Most RVs perform adequately well in any kind of weather conditions. However, there are times when the weather changes to extremely cold situations. In such instances, you will realize the importance of having insulations that will help keep you warm when you are inside the RV.
These are the times when you won’t need amenities like RV air conditioners. Why would you want to use them when in a real sense you need to remain warm? To improve the warmth status of your recreational vehicle, you need to ensure that no heat is lost from within the motorhome.
One of those areas which are usually known to cause heat losses is the RV underbelly. Most RV manufacturers have in the recent past done everything within their means to eliminate the heat loss. However, the factory-done specifications can’t work perfectly in extremely cold environments.
This, therefore, means that you will have to do something about it to have the RV in a good position to handle extremely cold conditions. With that having been said, you now have all the reasons to know how to insulate RV underbelly.
This article outlines all the possible ways through which you can retain heat within the RV by simply insulation the underbelly. There is no cheaper way to stay warm in the wilderness other than through these steps you are about to know about.
What are some of the tools and materials you’ll need for the insulation?
Before we head to the steps involved during insulation of the RV underbelly, let’s first have a look at some of the must-have tools and materials. This is absolutely necessary for purposes of better planning.
1. Insulation Material
What is of the utmost importance firstly is the type of insulation material you are going to use. There are different types of insulation materials you can use; one being the Rigid Foams such as ISO, EPS and XPS among others. These are the most common models as they are usually available in board shapes that are more convenient to use.
The other good thing about Rigid Foams is that they don’t catch fire easily; however, they do release harmful fumes when burnt. However, there are some manufacturers of these foams who have gone ahead to produce products with fire-retardant layers so as to eliminate the possibility of inhaling hazardous smokes when the foams burn.
Another great insulation material you can use is Fiberglass. It is also liked by many because of its affordability, durability as well as high resistance to humidity and fire. Unlike Rigid Foams, Fiberglass should be handled with a lot of care. Why do we say so? Well, fiberglass is made of glass strands in form of rolls which are quite delicate and should be handled with care.
Always remember to wear protective gear whenever you are handling Fiberglass. There are also some groups of people who like to use high-end products. Such is often associated with prestige. If you are among them then worry no more as we’ve got you covered as well. The Spray Foam is specifically designed for such kinds of RV campers.
Spray Foams are costly and complicated to apply but the good thing with them is that you can have them applied anywhere within your motorhome. They perform well even in the most enclosed spaces such as the RV underbelly.
2. Tools needed when insulating RV underbelly
Cutting tools such as a router
How to insulate RV underbelly: Step by step guide
Having brought all the above tools and materials with you, what now remains is the actual task. How then do you go about the entire process of insulating the motorhome’s underbelly? We have all the steps documented below for quick comprehension. Just read along.
Step 1: Examine and take measurements of the RV’s underbelly
How does the underbelly look like? Get yourself under the recreational vehicle and do a thorough inspection on the condition of the underbelly. Are there any visible holes or damages on the underbelly’s surface? These are what you are going to work on; therefore, you need to take note of them if there are any.
Secondly, you need to know the exact size of your underbelly as that is what will determine the thickness and size of the insulation material needed. If at all the underbelly is too dark such that you can’t see anything, use a flashlight to get everything right. With the flashlight, you can even work on the underbelly regardless of the time of the day; even at night.
Step 2: Have the underbelly detached
Once you are done examining the underbelly’s condition, the next step is to detach it from the entire vehicle. Disconnect everything from the RV water pump to the RV sewer hose and all wirings. This gives you sufficient space to install all the insulation materials without any hindrance.
When you are doing the disconnections, remember to make marks that will make it easier for you to return them to their exact positions without any struggles. If you notice that the old insulation is totally worn out, you have no choice but to discard it in entirety. On the other hand, if the material is still usable, just add the new layer to it.
Step 3: Installation of the new insulation material
In this step, you have to take measurements of the insulation layer that you are going to need to get the job done. Putting the insulation between floor joists, start the whole process from the RV’s front as you move towards the back.
You can decide to either install the material in multiple stacks or just single files across the recreational vehicle’s frame. To ensure that that the insulation is properly done, every space around the joints should be fixed with enough insulation. This improves the effectiveness of the material.
When you are done laying the insulation materials, have the layers secured onto the RV frame using either screws or wires. Wood lathes are also some alternatives that you can consider when it comes to securing the insulation layers.
Step 4: Return everything back
You are now done with the installation process and what remains is putting back everything to whichever place it was removed. Make sure that every pipe and wire is taken back to the exact place it was removed from. This is where the importance of the marks made during the detaching stage comes into play.
Leave everything in the best position ever without any leaks. The underbelly holes are also covered with glue on either of the sides before being returned during this time.
Step 5: Clean up everything from your area of work
The final step in the insulation process of the RV underbelly involves cleaning up all the debris and any other foreign materials that could have been left behind after everything is done. These wastes should be properly disposed to keep the environment safe for all living beings.
Remember to replace the RV skirting as well.
Wear protective gear when handling fiberglass insulation materials
Ensure that all pipes and wires are properly and uniquely marked to make it easy to return them back when the insulation work is complete.
Test the machine to ascertain that there are no leakages after you are done.
Insulating your RV’s underbelly will keep you warm during the winter or in cold environments. And as you have seen, the process of insulating the RV underbelly is simple and straightforward. It is something that you can do even on your own.
The other good thing about insulation is that it isn’t as costly as portable heaters and propane furnaces which have often been considered by many RV owners as alternatives. The maintenance and operation expenses are way too high and that’s why you need to take this route instead.
With the right kind of tools, you will get everything done within the least time possible. Try going the insulation way and share your thoughts with us. We believe you now fully understand how to insulate RV underbelly.