Living in an RV full time is very different from staying in your actual home. In the last few years, people have been living in their RVs full time. People say one of the reasons they remain in RVs is because they cannot afford a bigger home. However, most retired couples and newlyweds stay in an RV because they want to spend time traveling during the weekends.
Those who opt to travel and stay in their campers make their campers winter-ready. However, you may want to travel and camp out and chill in your RVs comfortably. There are ways to make your RV warm during the warm weather. Here are some tips to make your RV heaters more energy efficient.
First, what does energy-efficient mean? It means that you’re using less energy for the most results. You may want to save up on expenses for your propane or electricity and protect the environment. Your heater will have to work overtime if you will not ready your RV resulting in higher energy consumption.
Ways to keep your RV Heater Energy Efficient
1. Make a plan
Before anything else, you should inspect your RV. Remember where hot air is coming in during the summer. Those are the same places where cold air will come in also. Measure these places and check the depth—plan on how you will put insulation on these places.
Create a list of all the materials needed to insulate your RV, like plumbing foams, fiber insulation, foam boards, foil tape, and others. Make sure that the right thickness and size will fit what you want to do. Then, check even the outside area of your RV and doors to see what you can do to insulate them.
2. Buy materials from Home Depot
Most Home Depots have a complete selection of insulation materials and everything you may need to ready your RV. Do not forget the plumbing foam to insulate your pipes to have water in your faucet. It will also help in making cool air get inside the space of the slider. These plumbing foams are also great space sealers.
3. Insulate your plumbing
As you have planned to make your RV heater energy efficient, in step 1, you also measured the things you needed. The foams should fit your plumbing, and you should also put Fiber insulation between these rods and pipes. Make sure that air will not pass through.
4. Skirt your RV
To prevent cold air from going inside your RV underneath, you need to skirt your RV. Before doing so, find the right spot where you want to park your RV for the winter. Then you can now start avoiding your RV with foam boards and attaching it with foil tape.
Make sure that the Foam boards are tight wholly and together taped to your RV. Some cuts you have to do can be irregular on the tires part and stairs. Make sure to use weatherproof foil tape to snap it all tight.
5. Insulating your door, windows, and windshields
Use insulation boards on the windows putting the reflective side outside to add more heat. More people use plastic shrink wrap on both sides of the door or windows. Others use a reflective sheet for the windshield and windows. You can choose depending on what you want. If you want the natural light to come inside the RV, use the shrink wrap. Using it will give you more warmth while having a better light inside.
6. Use R 19 faced fiberglass insulation
Make sure to put R19 in the spaces in your RV cabinets that can pass through the air. Create a warm environment by locking the cold wind outside. The cold air usually gets inside the RV through the electrical wire spaces and the pipes. So, it is much better to stuff it all with R19. You can also seal the drawers or cabinets if you do not use them during the winter.
7. RV Slider Seal
Suppose you have a slider RV where you push out your slides to make the RV space bigger. That part also can make cool air pass through. What you should do is put foam tubes on the slide. Underneath the slide, prevent wind blows by this makeshift slide seal. Use these tubes are to prevent weather and dirt. It would be best to cover the slide mechanism with foam boards then seal it with foil tapes.
8. Water System Area Insulation
Insulate the door of the water system box. Put a double board of blue foam to insulate the door and make it thicker. These thin doors can be an excellent pass-thru for cool air and will make your heater work harder. Make sure that the pipes are also covered with foam to prevent water from freezing.
9. Install a Door board
Create a makeshift cover or door board for your steps. This is usually made of blue insulation to fit the door floor. It would be best to make it by gluing three boards together, but the third should be adjusted to the step to make a good fit. You can put this door board on every night when you close the door, then remove it the moment you want to step outside.
10. Foam Flooring and Pillow vents
The most important part of the RV that you have to insulate is the floors. This is where you put dark-colored foam mats to prevent your feet from stepping on chilly floorboards. This will also help your heater create more heat by absorbing some of it. We suggest dark colors because it is more absorbent of heat.
Lastly, you have to seal the vents with pillow vents. Unfortunately, almost all pillow vents fit on the RV vents, so you have to buy them from Home Depot. Then stuff it in all your vents.
Now that you have sealed your RV from outside coldness choosing the right heater is next. First, buy a bigger heater for the living area then another smaller one that you can put near your bed if the bigger heater is not enough to make your bedroom toasty and warm.
Read reviews and blogs on the best heater to use for RVs to see the best unit for your RV. The higher the reviews are, the better. It is also good to watch on YouTube what other campers are using. At least you won’t need to waste money or time while you are testing but rely on the best products suggested.