RV Insulation: Which Insulation is Best for You?
RV insulation helps keeps the air cool during hotter months while during the cold months, it keeps the air warm. Therefore, with the right insulation, your family will be comfortable despite any change of climate as you make your adventures.
When choosing the best RV insulation, you should consider having insulation that best suits the humidity level of your preferred destinations, is capable of keeping you warm when in unfamiliar places and lastly, it should be long-lasting.
The importance of having RV insulation is that it helps in maintaining the right temperature in your RV.
There is no RV insulation without a certain R-value. This feature is used for rating thermal resistance. R-value simply means how good your RV’s walls are insulated. Often, R-value is established by the type of insulation used in your RV’s walls. Therefore, the higher the R-value, the more thermal resistance it will be for your RC walls.
There are two major types of insulation used in RVs. they all have different R-value ratings. They include; fiberglass insulation and foam insulation. However, foam insulation tends to come in multiple forms.
Fiberglass RV insulation
It is the most common and standard insulation used. It is also among the best insulation used to maintain temperature consistently even in extreme external climate change. based on its higher R-value rating, it is more desirable for people who like spending their time in either hotter or colder atmospheres.
They wear out faster as compared to other types of insulation. When moisture gets into this insulation, they start expanding which in response, reduces the R-value as time goes and as a result, it becomes less effective.
In addition, since it is mostly affected by saturation of moisture over time, there is a possibility of the insulation developing mold which may give the RV’s a musty smell. Therefore, it can cause unhealthy side effect to those to spend a lot of time in and use the RV too much. For this reason, fiberglass is not the best for RVers who like adventuring different temperatures regularly. But it is best for those who spend their time mostly in one single climate.
- Pros: High R-value, cheap, standard on most new RVs
- Cons: Wears down over time, and it is susceptible to mold
- Who it’s best for: RVers who spend most of their RVing time in a single climate
- Who should avoid it: RVers who travel to various climates in a short period of time, RVers who frequent humid areas
Video Overview: How To Coat a Fiberglass RV Roof by RV Education 101
Foam RV Insulation
This type of insulation comes in two types though they have different styles and functions. they are; rigid and spray foam.
This foam insulation comes in different thicknesses, therefore, can be cut to fit in any space. To increase its effectiveness; they have to be inserted into the RV’s walls in a form of a solid sheet. They have to be firmly fastened to the study of the RV’S wall so as to block any passage of air.
- Pros: Long life span, they are moisture-resistant and durable as well.
- Cons: Mid-to-low R-value, difficult to install, rarely comes pre-installed on new RVs
- Who it’s best for: If you like to outfit your RV by yourself, experienced RVers who change climate zones frequently
- Who should avoid it: Novice RVers, who do not want to crack open the shell of their RV.
They are more like rigid foam when it comes to R-value. the good thing about it is that it is easy to install. For installation, they have to be loaded in an applicator and are then sprayed directly into the RV walls. Generally, Spray foam RV insulation is cheap and quite easy to apply.
- Pros: They are durable, very lightweight, and are moisture resistant. They are good for RVers who spend most of their time in moist temperatures and are lightweight.
- Cons: They have a low R-value and in some instances can be smelly for weeks or even months after installations. You may require a professional for installation. Not suitable in areas with extreme temperatures i.e. hotter or cooler temperatures
- Who it’s best for: For those who spend time in most temperate locations, lightweight or ultra-lite RVs
- Who should avoid it: If you spend a lot of time in areas of extreme temperatures
From the following video you can learn: How To Heat and Insulate your RV with Insulation Windows Furnaces and Seals:
What type of RV insulation is right for you?
The decision is left to you. It all depends on your goal as an individual and how you want your RV to be like based on the temperatures of your favorite destination, those that you like adventure the most. Consider what’s important to you the most while choosing the RV insulation that suits you and your needs. How well do you need it insulated? Will you be moving to one or many places with different climate change/temperatures? Choose RV insulation based on your goals and needs for an RV.
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Travel Trailers Insulation Guide
Insulated travel trailers are vital when camping in cold weather. Not many homeowners have the financial capability to purchase a four-season RV. Insulating your typical RV is a perfect idea and allows you to extend your traveling season comfortably.
There are fantastic inexpensive options for your RV underbelly insulation. Underbelly insulation helps minimize heat loss during cold seasons. The insulation happens through external skirting, underlayment insulation sheets, and spray foams. If you choose DIY underbelly insulation, you must understand the details of the undercarriage. There is a lot under it. Install the insulation of your choice while minding the brake line and tank systems. Come up with a plan to handle every undercarriage component to prevent any damage.
Video Overview: RV trailer – Installing Underbelly Protection (Part 1)
R-Value of RV Insulation
The R-value is a unit of measurement used in insulation. A high R-value means that your RV has a high heat-resistant ability. RVs manufacturers install a polyform block with a dense R-value of at least R-5 to R-7 on the sidewalls. A high R-value minimizes the heat transfer from the RV to colder areas. R-value is like the strength of your home fence, which keeps unwanted guests off the property.
High R-Value insulation for your RV slows down conduction and convection processes. Reflective material on the windows, in addition to the underbelly and sidewalls, insulation protects the RV from heat loss.
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How to Insulate a Travel Trailer
The most significant factor to consider when doing RV insulation is finding out the best R-Value material. A good R-value resistant wall protects you from hot temperatures in summer camping and freezing in winter camps. Fiberglass insulation is the most common RV insulation. The type, however, wears out quickly and is more sensitive to moisture damage.
A more resistant insulation method is Rigid Foam insulation. This is quite resistant to moisture. It’s the best option for campers camping through different seasons. Before insulation installation, consider the material’s R-value and pricing. Also, find out the durability of the material and moisture resistance.
Video Overview: DON’T FREEZE! – Insulating RV for Winter with Reflectix, Foam Board, & Skirting – RV Life
Buying an RV is an excellent investment. The purchase decision ought to be a wise decision other than relying on the mere salesperson’s pitch. While there are popular and most marketed RV brands in the market, there are certain brands that you should avoid.
Hurricane RVs are one of the cheapest in the market but have the most low-quality material. The RVs have a flawed hydraulic line system which is likely to fly off when driving. Another RV brand that has the most number of customer complaints is Coachmen. Don’t get blinded by Coachmen’s elegant design as they have poor electrical insulation and poor freshwater drain.
Best Built RV
Finding the best RV to fulfill your camping needs best can be pretty overwhelming. Most people rush to find the answers on google but here are the most trusted RV brands in the travel trailer industry.
Grand Design RV is rated the best for excellent customer service, high quality, sleek design, and fantastic floor plans. Newmar Corporation has a wide price range for their full air-ride cabs. Another perfect RV is Leisure Travel Vans. They offer luxurious camper vans with at least six available floor plans.
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