Trailers provide many useful features to help people live comfortably while traveling long distances. However, they do have some disadvantages too. One of them is their lack of insulation. If your trailer doesn't have proper insulation, then chances are you are going to spend a lot of money on heating and cooling costs. In fact, trailers without proper insulation can cost you an arm and a leg so to speak.
Now, if you want to know how to insulate your trailer and save money at the same time, then keep reading. Here are 10 best ways for insulating trailers that I am about to share to you below. Feel free to take note of these tips before making any final decision.
Insulation is a product that prevents heat loss out of a structure by reducing heat transfer through conduction, convection, and radiation. Insulators work best if they completely cover the area being insulated, however, often times insulation layers overlap each other. There are many different types of insulators including glass wool, mineral wool, rock wool, spray foam, blown-in fiberglass, cork, and plastic sheeting.
Insulation works in two ways, it works by trapping heat inside your trailer when you want, or trapping cold air when you want.
Thickness relates to the insulation's ability to withstand temperature-related changes. If the insulation is thick enough, then it would not change in size or mass at different temperatures. An example of this type of material is metal foil. When the metal gets hot, it expands. However, if the insulation is thick enough (like aluminum foil), it won't expand. Another way to think about this is that when you place a thin piece of plastic over something cold, it will warm it up, but if you put a thicker piece of plastic, it will stop any heat transfer.
Density refers to how heavy something is. A highly dense material is heavier than a less dense material. Wood and steel are examples of materials with high densities. In terms of insulation, density can have two effects. First, it depends on how much air space is between the layers of insulation. If the insulation is dense, it blocks airflow and therefore causes the inside to stay warmer. Conversely, more air space means more airflow, which means the outside stays cooler and therefore it keeps the inside cool.
Porosity describes how open the holes are. As the number increases, the air exchange decreases. With a higher air exchange, the inside becomes cooler and the outside stays warmer. High porosity insulators tend to be thinner and lighter. Examples of these types of insulations include cotton, wool, and polyester fiberfill.
Covering Your Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl flooring is often damaged by moisture. When you cover vinyl flooring with carpet, it saves you from spending extra money on replacing the vinyl flooring while providing insulation. Carpet also adds aesthetic value to the interior of your trailer. You don't need to worry about the carpet looking dirty after years of use since it is machine-washable.
Installing Heat Pumps
A heat pump system can reduce the amount of electricity that you use in winter months. With heat pumps, you simply turn on the unit and wait for it to heat up. Once heated, it will supply heat to the whole trailer.
There are two types of heat pumps, ground-source and propane. Ground-source heat pumps are placed underground and transfer heat from the earth to the home. Propane heat pumps are similar to gas furnaces where you use natural gas to power the system. You can add a separate propane heater to your RV, but it would require an additional fuel tank.
An awning is perfect for covering the rear of your trailer. Since it does not block sunlight, it helps maintain the temperature inside the RV. Moreover, you can use it for shading the sun, protecting yourself from rain, and providing privacy.
However, make sure that you try to install an awning over door openings. Otherwise, you may experience issues with noise and debris entering your trailer.
Spray foam insulation
Spray Foam Insulation is sprayed onto the inside of the trailer wall and ceiling. It expands and then sets up, providing a barrier between the air and the wood or metal structure of the trailer. It does not require any tools or mechanical work to install. The only thing that could cause trouble is if a person tries to cut corners and uses the wrong amount of spray insulation or they do not use enough of it. If you do not have enough, your trailer can leak air or moisture. You may even find out that it leaks water instead of just air. But since the air seal is already installed, you don't need to worry about it leaking.
Pros For This Type Of Insulation
Durability - This is very flexible and very durable. You can easily cut out any area of the foam with ease and once it's cut out, the rest of the foam is still able to hold its shape and keep all of your belongings safe from damage. Plus, since the foam is waterproof, moisture won't get inside the area you want to insulate.
Easy to apply - This insulation isn't difficult to apply at all. All you have to do is make sure you've got all of the materials ready before applying them to where they need to go. Once you've applied the material, you'll be good to go.
Less expensive than traditional methods - This type of insulation is less expensive than some other types of insulation. This means that you don't have to spend a lot of money before you start working with it.
Cons For This Type Of Insulation
Not suitable for all types of applications - This isn't really suited for hardwood floors or concrete. These surfaces are really rough and spray foam may not be great at holding onto its shape. So if you plan on installing this form of insulation, make sure you know your target first.
Toxic fumes - Some people may complain about the smell of it. It might be strong if you don't give it enough time to dry completely.
Limited lifespan - Once you've sprayed the foam, you're going to have to wait for it to dry. Sometimes, this could take days. However, after the foam dries, you're set to enjoy the protection that comes with it. Spray foam can last anywhere from five years to 15 years depending on how long you're waiting to install it.
Time-consuming process - In order to work well, spray foam takes a lot of time to finish spraying. If you're planning on doing this alone, make sure you plan ahead and figure out when you're going to be home to complete the job.
This insulation is basically a polystyrene material. It is lightweight, strong, durable, and comes in many sizes and shapes. Styrofoam is often used in refrigerators, freezers, and other places where temperature control is necessary. It is commonly used in trailers and RVs because it provides great insulation. However, some people think that Styrofoam smells bad. However, as long as you keep the Styrofoam away from the heater, it won't smell at all.
Cellulose insulation is made of cellulose fibers. It is also referred to as wood wool. It was first used in ships to provide insulation. It is commonly used today in refrigerators because it absorbs cold easily. It is also biodegradable, making it safe for use indoors.
Polyurethane insulation is a good choice for RV trailers since it is flexible and waterproof. It is also used in homes because it keeps drafts out and prevents cold temperatures from entering the home. On top of that, polyurethane is fire resistant.
Wood fiberboard insulation
Wood fiberboard insulation is similar to cement board insulation. It is thicker than cement board, but thinner than Styrofoam. And it comes in different thicknesses and colors. It is also extremely durable and has a long lifespan.
Insulate Your Windows
Bubble wrap is not only great at insulating your home, but it can be a wonderful tool for the insulation of your windows. This product comes in rolls and can easily be cut to size. When used indoors, it can help keep frost out while still leaving enough air flow to maintain a nice environment for any plants you might have. You can use standard household tape to seal the edges together once they have been cut to size if desired. This will help prevent any moisture seeping between the sheets. If you do decide to use bubble wrap for your windows, make sure to leave space around them as well. This will allow for proper ventilation and provide room for the water vapor.
Caulking and Sealants
Caulk and sealants are similar products, but caulking is specifically designed to be applied to the edge of window frames and windows themselves. These types of materials are useful for keeping moisture out of cracks and crevices in your windows. Use caulking and sealants sparingly because they may cause mold growth.
Bamboo Siding Spray
This spray is usually used for the exterior of homes, but it's perfect for providing insulation for your windows. Bamboo siding spray works by preventing condensation from building up on the glass. As the temperature drops and the humidity rises, the moisture will gather along the glass and eventually turn into a film. Because bamboo siding spray prevents this buildup, less moisture collects along the glass and therefore it will not fog up or cloud over. This type of spray is best suited for those who live in cold climates, where temperatures drop below freezing regularly.
Silicone Rubber Sheeting
Silicon rubber sheeting provides excellent protection against leaks and drips and is often used to cover windows and doorways. To use silicone rubber sheeting, simply peel off the backing and place it over the area you want to protect. Make sure to leave some extra space around the perimeter of the sheeting if it does not go completely around the entire frame of the window. This is known as overlap and is necessary to avoid trapping moisture in between the pieces. Silicone rubber sheeting is often used as a temporary measure until campers find their own permanent solution.
Don't Neglect The Doors
Use weatherstripping to keep out cold air while still maintaining privacy. Weatherstripping is simply rubber strips that fit around doors or windows to help insulate them. You'll find weatherstripping at home improvement stores. Make sure you use a pressure-sensitive adhesive (not glue) on the back side of the strip. If you have a vinyl window or door, make sure it is not painted or varnished so that it does not peel off. Also, if possible, leave the weatherstrip in place until after installation. Then remove the old strip before installing the new one.
What types of weatherstripping are best?
Weatherstripping comes from three different categories—rubber, foam, and spring-loaded. Rubber is the least expensive type and is commonly used to seal bathroom and kitchen cabinets. Foam is ideal for sealing between two surfaces and should be used to seal doors. Spring-loaded weatherstripping is the most effective way to keep cool air out.
Which materials work best?
Rubber is durable but tends to shrink over time. In addition to shrinking, rubber doesn't perform well in extreme temperatures. Polyurethane and silicone provide a bit of elasticity and don't shrink, but they are much more expensive than rubber. Polyurethane is often used on heavy doors. Silicone is ideal for glass and sliding doors.
Does weatherstripping cause condensation problems?
If your trailer is drafty, you may encounter problems with condensation on windows and doors. Condensation occurs when warm moist air moves across a cooler surface and turns into water droplets. Moisture causes mold growth and creates an unpleasant environment and unhealthy surroundings. Installing weatherstripping helps prevent condensation problems.
Which type of weatherstripping should I choose?
Foam products are great because they are waterproof and won't crack or tear easily. Rubber is less expensive than foam but isn't as good for sealing doors. Spring-loaded is the only option that stops cold air from moving through.
Insulate your trailer roof
Waterproofing tape should always be included in any project that involves water. Waterproofing tape is super simple to use and comes off easily. You simply take small strips of the tape, apply them around the entire top of your trailer roof, then wrap the edges together to seal them tightly. The waterproofing tape creates a barrier between the elements and your roof, keeping rainwater away while letting air flow through the trailer roof.
Roof covering material
Roof coverings are great if you live in an area where heavy snow falls. These materials make it much easier to clean off snow from your roof than traditional roofs. When you do have to remove the snow, you don't have to worry about having to replace the roof covering material.
Air vents for winter protection
Your roof must allow for some ventilation during colder weather. A good way to achieve this is to install air vents at the bottom of the roof. This method helps keep warm air inside your home and cool air outside.
Install A Skirting
Trailer skirts are a great way to insulate your trailer for wintertime use. If you don't have a trailer skirt installed, you may find that your trailer gets cold inside even if you're using the heater. There's nothing worse than having a cold trailer! You can install a trailer skirt yourself, but we recommend calling a professional installer.
The good news is that installing a trailer skirt is pretty simple. Follow these steps to get started
- Measure the width of your trailer. We recommend measuring from the outside edge of each wheel well to the opposite side.
- Get the right size skirting that will cover the complete length of your rv.
- Attach EZ Snap with adhesive to securely keep them in place on the exterior of your rv.
- Secure your skirting to the EZ Snap links you secured earlier.
- Finish off your installation by attaching door latches and securing them to the rv.
The answer here is both yes and no. There are pros and cons to insulating your trailer.