We like nice things. BUT… We also like saving money and we’re always up for a good DIY. This project checked all the boxes.
This is our second winter in a fifthwheel. We used foam insulation board last winter and while it did the trick it wasn’t what we had in mind for our new (to us) rig. The foam board is bulky, not easy to transport and definitely looks like the cheap option. Now don’t get me wrong. If your option is foam board or not having anything, we suggest the foam board.
However, if you want custom looking for budget skirting that you can pack up and continue to use in every season and every location, year after year, this post if for you.
We priced out having professional custom skirting installed. WOW! We were quoted $2500-$2800 depending on our exact options. That was far more than we were willing to pay so we starting looking at skirting kits. We priced a few of those and came up right around $2000. It was a little better than having it done professionally, but definitely still out of the budget!
Jordan started looking for materials to buy individually to see how the price compared. The difference was astounding. He priced all the pieces separately, looking at shipping costs, wait times, and tools we would need. We could complete the skirting for $800 if we pieced it together ourselves! That also included the $150 snap tool! We found our next project.
We measured the exterior and included the slides. We knew we wanted the slides skirted and some of the kits didn’t cover them because of the height difference of the slide. And none of them skirted the fifthwheel overhang. We wanted that skirted for warmth and also for storage. Our other want was to have as few pieces as possible. Ideally we wanted two. One for the entire body and one taller piece for overhang.
Snaps These are the ones we used .
We’ve recently found THESE SNAPS for quite a bit cheaper.
Press and Snap Tool
RV Butyl Tape
1″ PVC Clamps
1″ PVC Pipe
1″ PVC Caps
The actual installation was quick and easy. It took us longer than it should have because we have three little kids and need about 1000 snack breaks. You can easily complete this project in about half a day as long as you have all your supplies on hand.
Use your tape measure and sharpie to mark where you’d like all your snap bases on the RV. Our plan was to have them all 6-10″ apart. We started with that, but stopped measuring precisely. Keep in mind that some of them will be closer together around corners or simply because you don’t have the real estate to space them at that distance on shorter areas. We followed the graphic stripe around the RV. It was solid and level, but we did have to pencil mark the slide sides to keep it level where there were no markings.
Install the snap base. Place the butyl tape on the screw to get a great seal and then screw them in. Clean up the leftover butyl. The clean-up is a great job if you have kids that you are trying to include or keep busy.
Unroll and layout your vinyl. Place one end near where you plan to start. Fold over the top edge about two inches. Using the snap tool, place your first snap. Snap both parts of the snap together to insure a good fit.
Having a second set of hands makes the next part much easier.
One person can stretch the vinyl past the next snap. Place a mark with the silver sharpie. Double check and then have the other person place the snap over the mark on the vinyl. While the first person is reloading the snap gun, the second person can check that the snaps fit together well and then mark where the next snap should be. This is simple on the straight pieces. On the rounded edges and corners you will need to cut the vinyl and adjust as you go.
Continue this process around the entire RV. We had previously removed the power and sewer hoses and put the stairs up. The area around the stairs we cut to wrap to the inside. We knew that we’d need to place another piece after so we saved what was cut out.
Once we got to the overhang of the fifthwheel we ended our first piece. We laid out the remaining vinyl and cut it to length. We had to cut the remaining vinyl in half, horizontally and used the rubber cement to glue it to the initial piece because we needed at least another 12″ to have the appropriate length. After it dried we followed the same procedure around the front portion.
Make sure that both pieces over lap on the sides. You need the vinyl overlap to fasten them together to create a good barrier.
Lastly we added the velcro. Initially we just used the sticky back of the velcro on the vinyl. It didn’t work well so Jordan went back and used the vinyl cement. It has stayed wonderfully. If we were to skirt another we would use the snaps on both sides or sew the vinyl on. We didn’t order the flat part to make it happen on this one. In retrospect we would of liked to have them. You can find them HERE.
We flipped the extra vinyl under and put the PVC tubes on top. Jordan and the boys had filled and capped the tubes so they were weighted. Then we clipped the PVC clamps over the tube and viola!
Jordan did have to cut a hole for the sewer hose and we had to reconnect the power cord. It was well worth a day of work to save the $1500 AND get amazing looking skirting!
If you have questions or comments we’d love to hear from you. If you use these tips to skirt your own RV, please share the photos with us or tag us on your social media posts on any platform.
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Catch You Down the Road,
The Drake Family