How to Skirt a Travel Trailer
Last year we made a plywood skirt to enclose the bottom of our travel trailer. It made such a difference that we decided to skirt our guest room/office trailer this year. We have discovered that skirting our RV has reduced our heating costs, helped us to stay warmer and also prevents our trailer from swaying in the wind.
The materials needed for this project are pretty simple. We used four sheets of half inch plywood, screws ranging in size from 1 inch to 1 and 5/8 inch, scrap plywood and 2x4s, plus the supplies for painting.
Our recent "Indian summer" in November nearly fooled us and we had to scramble to get this project done when the freezing tempertures set in last week. We constructed and installed the trailer skirt over the course of two days. All in all, its a pretty straight forward project - but it does a whole lot to keep us warm!
Measuring and Cutting the Trailer Skirting
The first step is to clear out around and under your trailer, taking off the wheel well covers if at all possible. Take measurements around the bottom edge of the RV, keeping in mind that the skirt actually sits under the trailer body.
Trench a shallow line (2 to 3 inches) in the ground around the perimeter of the trailer body. Measure the distance from the bottom of the trailer to the bottom of the trench. The trailer skirt will be buried in the trench to increase the structure's stability.
Also take measurements for the wheel well pieces and the doorstep piece. There may also be other things that you need to cut around in order to get the best fit for your trailer skirt, for instance septic and water lines.
Cut the pieces for the trailer skirt out of plywood and paint all sides to protect the wood from moisture.
Installing the RV Skirting
Prepare the plywood panels for installation, by overlapping and screwing a piece of scrap plywood or a 2x4 to edges that will be joined.
Starting on one side, put the wheel well and doorstep pieces into place first, filling in the ditch so that the plywood panel is as close as possible to the bottom edge of the trailer. Then put the remaining panels in place on either side of the wheel well. Attach the panels to one another by screwing into the 2x4 overlap at each seam.
Get the plywood pieces as close to another as possible before joining them to ensure a tightly sealed skirt. Also it helps to fill in the trench from both sides as you go along.
After putting the skirting pieces on both sides in place, install plywood panels on either end of the trailer. Again, screw 2x4s inside the plywood panels to form a brace for each of the corner joints.
Finishing up the Trailer Skirt
Using a hammer or other tool, pack the earth down around the skirt to stabilize the new installation. Then, replace the wheel well covers. Using bubble wrap and other scarp insulation, fill any cracks around the wheel wells, doorstep, and other edges.
More Winterizing Articles
- How to Winterize an RV
- Info on making your own vent pillows, how to block window drafts, as well as details on how to install a plywood trailer skirting. Read about winterizing strategies that will make your home more energy efficient and increase your home's overall fuel efficiency.
- Skirting the Travel Trailer
- An overview of our first trailer skirting project. This article discusses the advantages of skirting a travel trailer, including increased fuel efficiency and reduced energy bills.