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How to Insulate a Camper/Trailer

August 19, 2021| Camping

Insulation is key to staying warm and comfortable in a camper or trailer. With the right insulation, you can stay cozy all year long.

There are many types of insulation that work for different purposes; however, it’s important to know what your needs are before you choose an option. This article will share the best ways to insulate your camper or trailer without breaking the bank.

How to Insulate a Camper/Trailer

Types of Campers/Trailers Insulation

The type and amount of isolation you need will depend on where you’re going to use the camper or trailer. If your camping needs are primarily in a warm climate, then you don’t need insulation as thick as if you were staying in a cold area.

Another important factor that determines the amount of insulation is the type of camper you have and what kind of heating is already inside.

For example, RVs typically come equipped with a heater or air conditioner for temperature control, while most trailers usually lack these necessities. In that case, you should insulate it from top to bottom. With this insulation, you can trap in warmth or coolness and keep it inside for as long as possible.

The more efficiently insulation maintains a consistent temperature, the higher its R-value is.

Now let’s dive into the main part of this article: the best ways to insulate your camper or trailer!

1. Replace Your Windows

One of the most efficient ways to insulate your camper is to replace all of your windows with double-paned glazing. Single-pane glass tends to lose heat and cold easily, whereas the thick pane of tempered glass not only blocks out unwanted drafts but also keeps in as much heat as possible.

To replace your windows, you can either purchase new ones or have the current ones retrofitted with additional glass. However, both options can be quite expensive.

You also have the choice to either do it yourself or hire a professional to take care of the job.

If you decide to do it yourself, make sure you follow all safety precautions. Also, do your research and read up on any tips or tricks before starting. If you’re not an experienced handyman, then hiring someone may be a better option.

If you do want to try it yourself, here are a few general steps we recommend you to follow:

  1. If you are looking for a replacement window, make sure to measure the size of your trailer windows first. Not all trailers have the same windows sizes! Making sure you order the right window size will save you a lot of back-and-forth trips to the store.
  2. Once you have ordered and received your new window(s), it’s time to start removing the old ones. Depending on the type of windows you’ve got installed, this could be a very quick and easy job, or require some more time because of complicated locks or hinges.
  3. The next step is to clean the frame where you will be installing your window(s). This should remove any paint, rust, and other useless materials that could mess with the seal of the window.
  4. Lastly, fit the window into place and use a new sealant to hold it securely in place.

How to Insulate a Camper/Trailer

2. Insulate Your Windows

Another, more cost-effective method, is to insulate your existing camper windows.

This can be done by covering your windows in some plastic insulating film, which helps prevent heat from escaping your camper. Although you want to insulate the windows, this is NOT a substitute for replacing glass with double-paned glazing.

It is, however, a very cost-effective way and easier than replacing your windows.

Insulating film is also great for warmer climates because it prevents heat from entering your camper, which can be too hot in the summertime.

You can find this insulating film at most hardware or home supply stores and many camping supply shops.

Another was to insulate your existing windows is by wrapping them in bubble wrap. This is probably the cheapest method, but the least cosmetically pleasing.

You should have bubble wrap lying around at your house anyway, so it’s an easy thing to do. It also provides added insulation for both warmth and cooling.

3. Reseal Your Door(s)

Now for the next logical place to insulate. Your door(s) are a major way for heat and cold to escape out of your camper. If it is too hot or cold inside your camper, chances are that’s because the draft is seeping through one of your doors.

One solution would be to apply foam weather-stripping to your doors. This will create a seal and won’t allow the draft to escape.

However, not all weather-stripping is made with the same quality of materials, so make sure you get yourself a good quality product that actually works!

If you’re having trouble finding weather-stripping for your specific door, there are many tutorials online that detail how to properly install weather-stripping for each type of door.

The easiest way to add insulation is to install a door sweep. These are specially designed strips of foam that will fit perfectly into the bottom corner of your doorway and seal it off from air leaking in.

The last method is more time-intensive, as it’s a DIY job. It involves reapplying a fresh layer of caulk around your trailer doors every year and adding extra to any small cracks or holes that may have appeared in the meantime.

How to Insulate a Camper/Trailer

4. Cover Your Vents

The vents on your trailer are another way for air to escape out of your camper.

If you’re using the stove or heater, then venting those fumes through your vents is a good idea, but leaving them open all the time may cause heat to escape from your camper.

To fix this, we recommend getting yourself a vent cushion to cover your vents.

We found this great vent cushion by Camco, which doesn’t break the bank and is a very efficient way to insulate your trailer more effectively. Vent cushions are essentially small foam circles that are self-adhesive and fit over your vent cover.

They’re easy to install and very helpful in reducing heat loss from your camper.

When using your trailer’s vents, always make sure to remove the vent cushions!

5. Add a Skirt to Your Trailer

A skirt is a protective barrier that covers the perimeter of your trailer and helps prevent heat or cold from escaping out around the bottom.

This can either be done by installing a metal track along the bottom of your trailer to which you can attach vinyl or aluminum skirting, or by attaching insulation directly to the outside of your camper.

If you’re handy with a sewing machine, then try making your own insulated skirt instead of buying one from the store.

Or if you don’t feel comfortable doing this project or have limited space in your garage or storage area, then a pre-made trailer skirt may be a better option for you.

6. Reinsulate Your Camper/Trailer Walls

Finally, the walls in your camper are one of the most important areas you should consider insulating if you want your camper to be more efficient.

Insulation also creates a better sound barrier for any noises you may want to keep quiet. If you’re like us, then you may want to listen to your favorite tunes in the trailer while camping, but you don’t really love listening to other campers’ music, or hearing their noises.

There are a number of options for insulating the walls in your trailer, but they all involve different levels of DIY skill.

When it comes to insulating materials for your camper walls, you have a few different choices:

  1. Rigid foam: This is the regular insulating foam we all know. It comes in different thicknesses, although the thicker it is, the more expensive it will be. You can get both sheets and rolls of foam for your camper. If you’re using rigid foam between the wood walls of your trailer, then we recommend using a spray-on insulation so that you don’t have to deal with gaps in the seams.
  2. Spray foam: This is a great and easy way to insulate your trailer. It’s just like spray foam you would see used in construction projects, but it’s specifically made for insulating purposes.
  3. Fiberglass foam: Lastly, we have fiberglass foam. Your camper or trailer is probably already made out of fiberglass, so adding some more is always an option for added insulation. However, fiberglass foam can expand in the heat, so you might have to change it more often.

How to Insulate a Camper/Trailer

Final Thoughts

From simple and quick fixes to more time-intensive DIY jobs, there are a number of ways you can insulate your camper or trailer.

From spraying foam to fitting a skirt, insulating your camper walls is a great way to save energy when you’re out camping. If you do decide to get some help from professionals for this project, then it’s always best to contact local companies. A quick google search should give you more information about where the nearest insulation companies are in your area.

We hope this article was helpful! Good luck!

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