RV Canvas Skirting

As times change, more people are RV camping full time. While most people are familiar with summer camping and comfort products for warm weather, extended stay RV camping in cold climates over the winter months presents some different challenges. We received the following article about a product that we think you should consider if you are planning on staying in your RV during cold weather.

Is your RV your temporary or permanent home?
Consider SKIRTING YOUR RV to reduce heating costs.


By Lorin Rigby (owner) IDAHO CANVAS PRODUCTS with over 73 years of experience fabricating custom fabric enclosures.

RV Skirting

If you find yourself living in your RV year round and have noticed the chill in the air come November or December, you may consider installing exterior, vinyl skirting around your RV. This is not a difficult project to accomplish when you have all the materials and accessories needed from a supplier who has the experience and know how. Idaho Canvas Products provides the finished vinyl panels, three choices of fasteners, and accessories that you can use to customize and finish your own custom skirting.

Vinyl skirting, when properly secured on your RV, will effectively reduce interior heat loss by up to 25% and will help stabilize your RV and minimize wind rocking. RV Skirting Idaho Canvas Products offers an affordable and easy way to skirt your RV, camper or trailer. Standard sized, heavy duty, RV skirting panels are ideal for year round use in harsh temperature climates where your RV may be exposed to hard, cold winds and where extreme, sub zero, temperature freezing is a potential problem. Idaho Canvas Products manufactures skirting panels from a heavy, 18oz, polyester reinforced vinyl which is extremely durable and strong. The 18oz vinyl fabric is tear resistant and the edges will not fray. The vinyl panels can easily be cut and folded around steps, hitches, and pipes. Once installed, your RV skirting will last for many years. Put it on when you need it and remove it and store it away after it warms up.

If you are considering skirting your RV, here are some simple installation tips that we have learned:

  • The height measured over the RV wheel axles should always be a consistent height to the ground, no matter where your RV is parked.
  • The rubber beading trim found on most RVs is usually mounted at a consistent height on all four sides and is a good, solid mounting point to consider for skirting.
  • Longer panels can be wrapped around corners to skirt both the sides and ends of your RV.
  • Use longer panel lengths when possible to minimize openings and reduce splicing.
  • Slideout skirts are generally mounted higher on the RV and may require a separate skirting panel.
  • Because of the rounded shape on the front nose of many RVs it is recommended to use twist lock fasteners on the nose skirting for more secure attachment.
  • To minimize wrinkling, it is recommended that you attach one fastener at a time as you work your way around your RV. Do not pre-drill all fastener holes.
  • Always cut the vinyl skirting fabric from around heat source areas like the furnace or hot water tank exhaust.
  • Do not drive or pull your RV with the skirting panels attached. Before traveling, remove the skirting panels from your RV and store them properly.

For more information on RV Skirting, or other RV related canvas products see www.idahocanvas.com

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Federal Public Land
RV Camping Information

USFS (US Forest Service) - Describes USFS policies and rules about RV camping. Information about dispersed camping, and tips on how to find great free RV camping sites.

NPS (National Park Service) - General information about RV camping and campgrounds in US National Parks. With campgrounds in the most historic and scenic places in the country, the NPS offers some of the best places for RV camping.

USACE/COE (US Army Corp of Engineers) - USACE (perhaps better know as COE) manages water recreation areas throughout the USA. Information about finding USACE lakes, RV camping possibilities, and rules and policies for use of these water based recreation areas is included.

Free and Low Cost
RV Camping Ideas

Here's a list of places to consider when looking for a free overnight RV camping or parking location. We always recommend asking for overnight RV parking permission when looking for a free spot to spend the night. The smaller your RV, the better chances you will have finding places to stay if you choose not to ask permission. If you don't ask permission, you end up "sneaking" into places and hoping nobody bothers you or issues you a trespassing ticket before you move on.

Be smart and Be Safe...Ask Permission.

  • Truck Stops - Asking permission is usually not a requirement Be considerate of the big rigs!
  • Walmart - Not all stores allow overnight RV parking due to city ordinances. Check store for policy.
  • Nightclubs - Had one too many or just pretending?
  • Grain Elevators - Ask where you can park your RV out of the way for the night.
  • Fraternal Organizations - VFW, Elks etc. may allow members free overnight RV camping.
  • Cemetery - Sounds creepy to us, but we've also heard they may have water available.
  • Fairgrounds - State and County facilities may allow RV camping when not otherwise in use.
  • Parks - City, County, State, and Community parks often have free RV camping.
  • Churches - You can almost make "reservations" by calling ahead for permission.
  • Hotel Parking Lots - Assuming a nightclub/bar is inside, had one too many or just pretending?
  • Truck Terminals - Parking areas for large trucks might allow you free RV camping permission.
  • RV Dealers - Pretty brave to us, but you could fit right in.
  • Cracker Barrel - These nationwide restaurants usually allow free overnight RV parking.
  • Movie Theaters - Too tired to drive home after the late show?
  • Highway Rest Areas - All rest areas allow a few hours of free RV parking, but noisy.
  • Drive In Movies - Got a small RV, park in the back row and enjoy the show. Fell asleep by accident right?
  • Vehicle Repair Shops - Need to see the repairman first thing in the morning?
  • Big Box Retailers - Kmart, Best Buy, Sams Club often allow free RV camping.
  • Roadside Parks & Picnic Areas - The early day version of the rest area.

As you can see, there are a lot of free RV camping and parking possibilities. If you are not asking permission, it's best to keep a very low profile. If your RV has slide outs, jacks and TV antennas, don't use them so as not to draw attention to yourself. Consider your surroundings carefully and if you feel uncomfortable with the area, move somewhere else.