Is Investing in RV Insulation Worth the Money?

If you have your own recreational vehicle, then every weekend can easily be turned into a mini-vacation. Nothing stands in your way to be on the road to wherever you can think of, with no worries about the accommodation, because you’re taking your accommodation with you.

However, in order to make your road trips as cozy as possible, you will also need to think about insulating your RV properly.  This will not only help you save on cooling/heating your RV, but it will also help you spend less fuel, thus lowering your carbon footprint.

What are the benefits of insulating your RV?

If you insulate your RV properly, you can easily trap conditioned air indoors. This will provide you with a nice and comfy atmosphere inside your vehicle, no matter the outdoor temperatures. Good RV insulation will help your heating/cooling system reach a certain temperature quicker and maintain it longer, and it will save lots of energy both for cooling and heating. Insulation will also reduce condensation from breathing and humidity in the air by reducing temperature differences. This will keep your vehicle in good shape longer.

Of course, it is still very important that you park your vehicle in a shade, keep your windows closed during the hottest part of the day and protect your RV from direct sunlight in the summer.

Similarly, in winter, you can – and should – still use different kinds of electric heaters designed for vehicles to make your indoors toasty, and try to park your RV away from direct wind to save on energy for heating.

What to reconsider before you decide on type of insulation

    Costs of insulation

If you want to insulate your vehicle properly, be prepared to pay a fair cost. No matter if you do it yourself or decide to hire an expert, it will be an expensive project.

    Insulation adds weight to the vehicle

Insulation will add weight to your vehicle, which will change fuel consumption and vehicle stability. It will also slightly reduce the amount of space in your interior, but it’s more than worth it, considering the comfort it will bring.

    Decide on R-value

R-value in insulation is the ability of the material used for insulation to resist the transfer of temperature. Better insulating materials have higher R-value. You will decide on the material depending on your usage of the vehicle.

Types of RV insulation

    Fiberglass insulation

Fiberglass insulation is the cheapest and the most common type of insulation but it has high R-value. It is very flexible, easy to install and simple to match your vehicle shape.

On the other hand, fiberglass insulation does not perform very well with moisture and it wears down faster than other types of insulation. It has to be replaced more often if you want it to remain effective.

    Rigid foam insulation

Rigid foam insulation has very good moisture resistance and is very durable. The panels of rigid foam are available in different thicknesses which means their R-value differs depending on the thickness. To ensure effective insulation, panels can be cut to exact size and shape. They have longer lifespan and excellent moisture resistance, but they are not so easy to install, and their price is higher than fiberglass. This is a very reliable type of long-term insulation.

    Spray foam insulation

Spray foam insulation is very light, so there is no worry about adding too much weight to the vehicle. This insulation expands and seals all those spots that are hard to reach, and it is also water resistant. However, it has a significantly lower R-value.

    Wool insulation

Wool insulation is made of not-so-popular color and quality natural wool. It has high R-value and it is very much moisture resistant, but it can contain some pesticides and other chemicals. This kind of insulation is heavy, adding lots of weight to the vehicle, tricky to install and more expensive than other solutions.

Tips on how to keep your vehicle properly climatized

  • Keep the doors and windows closed
  • Add caulking on your windows and some extra window shades in hot weather, do not let sunshine in, and in the cold weather do the opposite to help heat up your vehicle faster
  • Add double panes to your windows – this will keep the temperature you want and prevent moisture collect on the windows
  • Park in the shade in the summer, and in the winter, park somewhere sunny, use solar energy
  • Install solar collectors to the roof of your vehicle. They can be attached directly on the roof with no drilling

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