When it comes to do-it-yourself RV skirting, it’s important to factor in the costs, time, and materials required before embarking on the project. Having a guide that outlines the benefits, tools and materials needed, and step-by-step instructions is key to making sure your skirting investment is as worthwhile as possible. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of DIY RV skirting, taking a look at all the pros and cons you need to consider, plus go through all the steps involved in making the perfect skirting for your recreational vehicle. So, for the adventurous DIY-ers out there, get ready to get skirting!
Benefits of DIY Skirting
Doing your own RV skirting can give you a sense of pride and accomplishment when the project is completed. It is a manageable and rewarding project for any skill level, and the finished product can attract attention and add value to your RV. Not only will it aesthetically upgrade the look of your RV, but it will also provide several functional benefits.
For starters, installing skirting can help protect your RV from the elements. Skirting completely encases the RV, blocking the wind and rain from the underbelly. This helps to keep your RV’s pipes and other systems from freezing in the winter and protects them from excessive heat in the summer. Skirting can help provide additional insulation to the RV, as well as reduce energy costs by cutting energy loss.
Additionally, skirting can provide extra warmth. During cold temperatures, having a layer of skirting around your RV can create a type of air pocket that collects and stores heat, thereby creating a warmer and cozier environment inside your RV. This helps with waterproofing and can keep your RV from getting too warm in the summer as well.
Installing skirting yourself can be a great way to save money on RV repairs and improve the security of your RV. It can help deter thieves, squirrels, and other pests, as well as help protect against slipping hazards. Doing the job yourself can also help to develop handyman skills, reduce repair costs, and increase the resale value of your RV.
Important Things to Consider Before Doing it Yourself
When it comes to RV skirting, one thing to consider before attempting to do it yourself is whether or not you have the skills and tools necessary to complete the job. Depending on the type of RV, the size of the skirting, and the materials you plan to use, the job can be more or less difficult. It is important to assess the level of difficulty of the task before beginning, in order to ensure the job is done properly and safely.
Another important factor to consider before attempting to do the skirting yourself is the cost. Depending on the type of skirting, the materials used, and the size of the job, costs can quickly add up. Before beginning, it’s always a good idea to research the costs of the various materials and compare them to the cost of hiring a professional. This will help you determine which option is most cost effective.
Additionally, the amount of time the job will take is a major factor to consider before doing the skirting yourself. If you are not a skilled craftsman and don’t have tools and experience working on this type of project, it could take significantly longer than hiring a professional. Be sure to also factor in the time required for finding the necessary materials, cutting the skirting to size, and preparing the site before beginning.
Finally, it is important to weigh the potential risks of doing the skirting yourself. The skirting is a critical component of the RV, so if any errors in construction arise, the safety of the RV could be greatly compromised. Before attempting to skirting, consider the risks of not having a professional involved in the job, and whether or not it is worth the risk.
Choosing the Materials
When it comes to choosing the materials for your DIY RV skirting project, there are several important factors you’ll need to consider. It is important to select a material that is durable, weather resistant, and easy to work with. You should also consider the cost of the materials as well as the amount you will need to complete your project.
The type of material you choose for your RV skirting should also depend on the area where you will be installing it. Skirting made of metal is a good option for regions that receive heavy snowfall or experience extreme temperatures. This type of material is rust-resistant and can stand up to harsh weather conditions. On the other hand, vinyl and plastic skirting is often a less expensive option and can withstand moderate temperatures and humidity without becoming damaged.
In terms of cost, metal skirting can be more expensive than other types of materials, but it is worth the investment because of its durability and weather-resistant. Vinyl and plastic skirting will be cheaper, but may require more frequent repairs in extreme weather conditions. It is worth researching the type of RV skirting that will work best in your area before investing in materials.
The amount of material you need to complete your RV skirting project will depend on the size of the RV, the height and width of the skirting, and the number of sections you need to cover. Make sure to purchase more than you need so you have enough material to finish the job. It is also important to take into account any additional supplies you may need such as fasteners, sealants, glue, or paint.
Remember to buy the highest quality materials that fit within your budget when selecting your RV skirting. Taking the time to research and select the correct material for your project will save money in the long run. Always make sure to measure twice and buy enough material, based on your measurements, to guarantee the best possible results.
Types of Material
The type of material you decide to use for your DIY RV skirting will largely depend on the desired look and feel and the level of durability that you want the skirting to have. Generally speaking, there are three main types of material that can be used for RV skirting: vinyl, plastic, and fabric.
Vinyl is an excellent option for RV skirting, as it is both waterproof and mildew resistant, making it an ideal choice for a permanently installed underbody skirt. Vinyl is also easy to clean and provides an amazing look that will last for many years to come.
Plastic is an economical choice for RV skirting and is the most commonly used. It is a highly durable material that is also waterproof, making it the ideal choice for any travel trailer or motorhome. It is also easy to install and comes in a variety of colors and patterns, so you can tailor it to match your existing décor.
Fabric skirting is also an excellent choice for RV skirting. It is lightweight, allowing you to install it without the need for heavy-duty tools, and offers a more natural, gently sloping look that can be customized with a variety of colors and patterns. Fabric is also mildew-resistant and can be easily cleaned with an ordinary vacuum cleaner.
The amount of material needed for a DIY skirting project can vary depending on the project. Before starting, measure the surface area of the bottom of your RV. The base and skirt boards should be long enough to cover the entire surface, with a few inches of extra to wrap around corners. You’ll also need to take the height of the RV into account, as the skirt needs to come all the way up to the underside of the RV. Keep in mind that some materials come in varying heights, so be sure to purchase the correct length for your RV.
You’ll also need to think about how much extra material you’ll need for overlapping. The overlap generally should be at least 2” for a sturdier installation, with more if possible for better coverage. Make sure to get enough extra material to make up for the overlap, as well as some extra in case of mistakes or miscalculations. If using a material such as aluminum, you’ll need to account for extra length to bend at corners, both to create a seamless look and stronger hold.
Finally, you may also need to purchase additional tools and components, such as nails, screws, flashing tape, and corner molds, to secure and finish the skirting installation. Consider what you’ll need to complete the job and purchase accordingly.
When it comes to the cost of doing DIY skirting, there is no set number as there are many variables to consider. The most important of which is the type of material chosen. Generally speaking, the most affordable option is vinyl skirting. It’s the easiest to access and the most cost-effective choice. There are also more aesthetically pleasing options such as wooden skirting. However, wood is usually two to three times more expensive than vinyl. Depending on the size of the RV, expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $400 for vinyl skirting and from $400 to $1200 for wooden skirting. Labor costs can also fluctuate based on the complexity of the job, the size of the RV, and the amount of skirting needed. On average, you’ll be looking at spending around $400 for labor costs.
If you choose to go down the DIY skirting route, you should also remember to factor in the cost of tools. This includes power tools and non-power tools such as screws, nails, a saw, a drill, a level, a tape measure, and a hammer. For basic tools, you should be looking at around $100 – $200 in upfront costs.
Don’t forget to also factor in the cost of paint. For big skirting projects, the cost of paint can significantly increase the overall cost. The cost of paint can range from $20 – $100 depending on the quality and the size of the RV you’re covering.
Ultimately, the cost of DIY skirting can add up quickly. Depending on the size of your RV and the type of material chosen, expect to pay at least a few hundred dollars for the project. However, if saving money is your primary goal, vinyl skirting is by far the most affordable and cost-effective choice.
Gathering the Tools
When it comes to gathering your tools, there are two main categories to focus on: power tools and non-power tools. Power tools are the big guns when it comes to skirting and they make the job much easier and faster. You’ll need tools such as a circular saw, miter saw, jigsaw, drill, air compressor, stapler, and more. Make sure you have the proper safety gear and guards when working with these tools.
For the non-power tools, you’ll need plenty of measuring tools such as a tape measure, level, and a speed square. Other tools like a hammer, nails, screws, screwdriver, and utilities knife are also important. Having a metal file, metal shears, and some sandpaper are necessary for finishing touches. You’ll also want to get some extra supplies like plastic anchors, galvanized brads, and lag screws for any extra reinforcing that might be necessary here and there.
Make sure you have everything before you begin the project so that you don’t have to disturb your work or run to the hardware store in the middle of your skirting project. As long as you have all the tools you need up front, you’ll save yourself time and trouble when it comes time to get started.
Power tools are an essential part of any DIY project, and skirting a RV is no different. When selecting power tools, it is important to choose ones that are powerful enough to handle the breadth of the job. This means selecting tools that will hold up to the types of material you are using and will be able to cut it with precision.
Corded drills, staplers and saws are especially important to have on hand when skirting a RV. Corded tools tend to be more reliable and provide more power than the cordless varieties. For example, a corded drill with a strong drill bit is necessary if you plan on drilling several large holes for the skirting. For stapling the skirting to the RV frame, a heavy-duty corded stapler will do the job efficiently. Finally, a quality corded saw is essential for cutting the skirting to the size and shape of your RV.
Aside from the ‘big three’ of power tools, a few additional specialized tools are necessary for do it yourself skirting. If you plan to install lattice around your RV, a nibbler or oscillating saw will help you to make intricate cuts to form the lattice. Depending on the material you have chosen for your skirting, a jig saw or circular saw may also be helpful in making customized cuts. All of these specialized tools can be found at your local home improvement store.
No matter what power tools you decide to use, it is important to read any user manuals thoroughly and make sure to follow all safety precautions. This will help you work quickly and efficiently while ensuring the job is done safely and accurately.
When it comes to DIY RV skirting projects, non-power tools will often be needed. This includes basic items such as a hammer, a level, a tape measure, a utility knife and some screws. You will also need sturdy clamps or a clamp to help hold things in place while you work. Some projects may require a saw, scissors or a drill, so it is important to know what the project calls for.
When considering the tools that you may need, it is important to think about the quality of the tool. Cheap tools can break or fail, so when looking for non-power tools for an RV skirting project, it pays to invest in quality tools that will last. The more expensive tools may have features that make them easier to use. For example, a higher quality hammer will have a comfortable ergonomic grip and a heavier head that helps make sure the nail is driven in correctly.
Make sure that you have the correct safety equipment, such as eye goggles and work gloves, to use with any power tools you select for your DIY RV skirting project. It is also a good idea to have a good supply of screws and nails. Make sure you purchase the right size and type that you need for the project. Paying attention to these details can help ensure that a DIY RV skirting project is successful.
Preparing for the Project
Before diving into the project, it is important to prepare for it first. This section is about gathering the necessary materials, tools, and taking the proper measurements.
Site preparation is an essential part of the project. You should make sure the site is clean of any debris or vegetation, so that it is ready for the skirting. You should also check for any potential obstructions that could hinder the final product.
Accurate measurements are also important. Before doing anything, measure the RV to determine the amount of material you will need. Do not forget to factor in any joints, as this can add to the total amount of material. Once you have the measurements, mark them off with a pencil.
The measurements should be accurate, as they will help ensure that the final product is a seamless fit to the RV. Having accurate measurements will save time and energy, as well as money, if any extra material is not needed.
Before starting on the project, taking the time to properly prepare the site is essential. Begin by surveying the work space. Take note of any obstacles that might present itself, such as protrusions or uneven terrain. If the space is uneven, consider using a leveler to create a more even working surface. If necessary, remove any debris or junk that may be in your working way.
Next, check the surface of the ground where the skirting will be installed. If soil is too loose, it can easily collapse during the installation and require more work to fix or reinstall. Consider using plywood or particle board to create a level base for your skirting.
Finally, inspect the RV itself for any potential installation issues. Before cutting materials and drilling any holes, check to make sure there are no pipes, wires, or other items that need to be moved or avoided during the installation process.
Creating a safe and organized working environment is very important when it comes to DIY skirting. Taking the time to properly prepare and survey the site before starting the project will help reduce the risk of encountering any unnecessary complications during installation.
When it comes to measuring for skirting, it’s important to be precise in order to ensure a proper fit. Measurements should be taken from the ground up as skirting should not touch the tires. The skirting should create a solid barrier about 1 foot from the ground to prevent animals from entering the RV. Additionally, it needs to be wide enough so that it reaches from wheel to wheel on your RV.
Start by measuring the width of the skirting you need by measuring the length of the RV from wheel to wheel. Take note of the length and keep in mind the thickness of the wood you will be using. The skirting should be cut long enough to provide a snug fit.
Next, measure the height of your skirting. Measure from the ground up to the side of the RV. Again, take into account the thickness of the wood that you’re using. It should reach about 1 foot from the ground.
Lastly, measure the length of the skirting boards. Each board should be cut to slightly overlap the board before it to ensure a continuous line. Measure from the end of one board to the end of the next.
By properly measuring your skirting, you can ensure a snug fit, preventing animals from entering your RV, and keeping out any debris. Keep in mind the thickness of the wood when calculating the measurements, and take care to measure the length, width, and height.
DIY Skirting: Step-by-Step Instructions
Do-it-yourself RV skirting involves cutting and attaching pieces of material of your choice to the exterior of your RV. This will provide some insulation and help protect your RV from the elements. Here are a few steps to follow when doing this project.
Step 1: Cut and Attach the Base Extension. This is the most important step in the process. Measure the area that needs to be skirted and cut the boards to size. Attach the boards to the bottom of the RV with screws and a power drill. The boards can be secured with liquid nails if needed.
Step 2: Measure and Cut the Skirting Boards. Before you can attach the skirting boards, you need to measure and cut them. Measure the length and width that you need and cut the boards accordingly. Make sure to wear protective glasses while cutting the boards to avoid any injuries.
Step 3: Attach the Skirting Board. Start at the bottom of the RV and measure up to the top edge. Attach the skirting board to the RV using a power drill and screws. Make sure to have a leveler handy to ensure the boards are even and level. Once the boards are in place, you can use liquid nails to secure them further.
Step 4: Secure any Seams. Once the skirting is attached to the RV, there may be a few seams that will need to be sealed. Using an approved sealant, fill in any gaps between the boards and the RV to prevent moisture from entering.
Step 5: Inspect and Paint (optional). Once the skirting is attached, it is a good idea to inspect it for any areas of weakness or wear and tear. If necessary, you can paint the skirting with a waterproof paint to provide additional protection from the elements.
With these steps, you can do a DIY skirting of your RV and enjoy the insulation and protection it provides.
Step 1: Cut and Attach the Base Extension
Cutting and attaching the base extension of your RV skirting is an essential step to ensuring the longevity and performance of the skirting. The first step is to determine the size of the base extension and cut it to the appropriate length. You will want to use a saw to make the cuts, and it is sensible to make several test cuts before finalizing the size and shape. Make sure to measure twice before you cut as you can’t reverse a wrong cut. The majority of skirting materials are steel, wood, or aluminum, so make sure you select the appropriate saw for the material you are using.
Once the base extension is the correct size and shape, the next step is to attach it to the RV. The most common method is to use pop rivets, but you can also use self-tapping screws. Make sure to drill pilot holes for the screws for a proper and secure installation. The fastener should be securely attached to the RV and lap over the base extension. You may also need to add a strip of caulking along the lap joint to ensure a watertight seal. After the base extension is firmly attached to the RV, you can then begin prepping and attaching the skirting boards.
Step 2: Measure and Cut the Skirting Boards
When measuring and cutting skirting boards for your RV, it is important to be precise in order to ensure a good fit. First, measure the entire length, width and height of the area to skirt your RV. Do this by placing a measuring tape against the skirting area on all four sides and take note of the results.Once you have the measurements, it’s time to start cutting. It is best to use a power saw for this task as it will provide a more precise cut. Mark the exact length on the board and cut accordingly. Make sure to double check your measurements when cutting as any mistakes can easily be avoided with a quick second look.Once the pieces of the board are cut to size, it’s time to begin assembling them. Lay them out and double check that the measurements match up with the measurements of your RV’s skirting area. This will help you avoid any unnecessary trips to buy more materials upon completion.
When cutting and assembling the skirting boards, it is important to be aware of any nails and other sharp objects that could compromise the integrity of the boards. It is also important to make sure that the boards are completely level, as uneven or slanted pieces can cause draft and other issues. Finally, make sure the boards are securely fastened and screwed to the ground to avoid high winds or storms from blowing them away. Taking these precautions while measuring and cutting your skirting boards will ensure a high-quality job and a finished product that looks great and is extremely durable.
Step 3: Attach the Skirting Board
Once you are done cutting and attaching the base extension for the skirting of your RV, it’s now time to attach the skirting boards to the base.
It is important to make sure that the skirting boards are measured and cut properly before you begin to attach them. It is best to use pliers to attach the boards so that they are level with the base. If the boards are not level, it may cause inefficiency and make it difficult to have the skirting cover the trailer evenly.
When attaching the skirting board, it is a good idea to use some screws that have been treated with corrosion-resistant coating to ensure that the boards will remain stable and secure over time. If you are going to paint the skirting after attaching it, make sure to use the appropriate screws.
In addition to attaching the boards, it is important to check that the skirting is even before beginning. Make sure the boards are flush on any seams and that the skirting is smooth before moving onto the next step. This will ensure that the walls of the RV are adequately covered and aesthetically pleasing.
Once the skirting boards are attached, you can move onto the next step of the process and secure any seams with caulk.
Step 4: Secure any Seams
Securing any seams on your skirting is a crucial step. You may have gaps or cracks between your skirting boards that need to be accounted for or else water can easily seep in and cause damage. To make sure your seams remain secure, you should use a clear sealant or caulking to fill any gaps. Start by applying the caulk along the entire length of the seam, and then use a putty knife to spread it out evenly. Once the caulk is in place and dry, you should use a roller to force the caulk down and make sure it remains securely in place. Using a sealant or caulk is also beneficial because it will help protect the skirting from being easily dented or damaged. This additional protection will ensure your skirting looks great for years to come.
In some cases, you may also need to use insulation to ensure the seams are properly sealed. You can purchase special insulation boards from your local hardware store and attach them to the skirting boards when they are in place. This will give your skirting extra protection and will also further reduce the risk of water damage. For the most secure installation, you should also make sure to use fasteners and brackets to attach the skirting boards to the base. This will make sure that the skirting boards remain securely in place and reduce the risk of them becoming dislodged.
Once you have sealed all of the seams, it’s important to check that they are secure and that they are not leaking. If you do find any leaks, then you should re-caulk the seams or use additional insulation in order to further protect your skirting. Doing this now will save you from potential costly repairs in the future.
Step 5: Inspect and Paint (optional)
It’s almost time to be finished with your skirting project and there are just a few more steps left. Once you’ve completed the first 4 steps of the DIY skirting process, you’re now ready to inspect and paint the materials.
The step of inspecting and painting is completely optional, depending on what you want the final outcome to look like. Many times the skirting boards are already weather and waterproof, but if you want to give them extra protection and make sure they look great you may want to paint them. If you decide to paint, pick an exterior oil-based paint in a color of your choice to apply to the material.
Inspecting the skirting boards and materials will also help with the overall finish quality and make sure there are no uneven surfaces or cuts that need to be fixed. Do a final check of the boards to make sure screws are tightly secured and fill in any holes that may have appeared.
Once you’ve finished the inspection process, you can apply the final coats of paint. It’s important to note that the paint should not be applied in direct sunlight and a few thin layers are best to ensure the paint overall looks great.
After painting is finished, leave everything to dry for a few hours in the shade. Once dry, you can admire your handiwork and admire the final result of your DIY skirting project.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Cleaning and properly maintaining your RV skirting is essential to keep your RV looking good and functioning at its best. As you probably already know, dirt and grime build-up from continuous exposure to nature can be hard to remove, so you’ll need to take extra care when it comes to cleaning. Fortunately, with a bit of effort, you can keep your RV skirting looking good as new for a long time.
When it comes to cleaning, it is important to start by washing all surfaces of the skirting with warm soapy water. Use a soft brush to scrub away all the dirt and grime that have gathered on the surface and then rinse the area thoroughly. Afterward, let the skirting dry completely before continuing with the maintenance process. It is also a good idea to check for any signs of damages or cracks that may have occurred over time.
Once the skirting is clean and dry, you can move on to the maintenance part. To maintain the skirting, inspect all the nails and screws for any signs of rust and replace them if necessary. Check the sill and skirting seals to make sure they aren’t loose or worn out and replace them as needed. Lastly, you can use a good quality sealant to help protect your skirting from the elements and make sure it looks like new for many years to come.
Finally, when it comes to storing your skirting, it is important to make sure that all parts are kept in a cool and dry area. If your RV has a skirt storage bag, make sure that it is clean and dry before placing the parts inside. Finally, when removing the skirting for storage, make sure you take special care to disconnect all parts and store them in a way that will keep them from becoming damaged or lost.
Cleaning the Exterior of your RV
Regularly cleaning your RV’s exterior should always be at the top of your seasonal maintenance list. After all, not only do you want your RV to look its best, but you also want to protect it from dirt, dust, and other debris that can cause damage over time. Start by scrubbing your RV with a brush using mild soap, such as a car wash solution, and warm water. This should help cut through any dirt, dust, or grime that has built up on the exterior over time. Carefully pay attention to any areas around the skirting, taking extra time and care when scrubbing. Next, use a garden hose to rinse away the solution with a good blast of clean water. For any hard to reach areas, use a soft bristled brush, such as a toothbrush, to get into the those nooks and crannies. Finish off the cleaning process by drying your RV with a soft cloth and then allowing it to air dry completely before “putting it to bed” for the winter. This will help ensure your RV is clean and well maintained for the next season.
Inspecting the Skirting and Repairing
When inspecting the skirting of your RV, it is important to keep a few key points in mind. First and foremost, safety should be the priority when inspecting the skirting for any damage or signs of wear and tear. When inspecting the skirting, take a close look at the boards, joints, and seams that connect the skirting together, as well as any exposed rivets or brackets which attach the skirting to the RV itself. Make sure no moisture or debris has infiltrated any of these areas, as this can lead to structural weaknesses or corrosion. Additionally, check for any loose boards, seams, or brackets and tighten or replace them accordingly.
It is important to note that any repairs or replacements to the skirting of your RV should be attempted only by a professional, unless you are comfortable and proficient in this sort of work. If you are not confident in doing the repairs yourself, contact a professional RV service and repair shop as they will be able to handle the job with ease. If you do decide to do the repairs yourself, always wear the proper safety gear, such as gloves and safety glasses, and be sure to follow manufacturers’ instructions. It is also highly recommended that you use high-quality materials when making any repairs to ensure that your RV skirting is up to its highest standards.
Properly storing your RV skirting is key to prolonging its life. When not in use, it is best to store the skirting in a covered and protected area. This helps protect it from harmful UV rays, dirt, and debris, as well as damage from extreme weather conditions like wind, rain, and snow. It is also important to regularly inspect your skirting for rips, tears, or any other damages that might have occurred. If it does get damaged, it is important to take the time to repair or replace it, so it can be reused for future camping trips.
If storing the skirting indoors is not an option, make sure it is securely tied down to the ground or other surface. This prevents it from being easily broken due to strong wind gusts or movement. Make sure all of the edges and seams are secured tightly, as loose edges can get caught on objects or in wind gusts. Additionally, if any boards or panels are loose, secure them down properly to avoid any unwanted movement.
When packing up your skirting after every use, make sure to clean each panel and board to prevent any dirt buildup or grime. Clean out any dirt, debris, or grime that may have gotten into the panels while camping and inspect any seams or edges that may have come undone. It is also important to inspect the skirting for any signs of damage, and make the necessary repairs or replacements to ensure the skirting is ready for the next camp trip.
By following these simple tips, you can ensure your DIY RV skirting is always stored properly and maintained in an optimal condition. Doing so will ensure your skirting will be ready for use for many camping trips to come.