If you don’t know how to measure your window, there are a few things to consider.
The first step is to determine where you want to mount your fasteners.
You can mount your EZ Snap shade screen on the window frame, on the trim or on the siding.
If you are planning on using the adhesive fasteners, you will need a 1 inch wide, smooth mounting surface.
For people who have a domed skylight and aren’t sure how to measure it, start where you will be mounting your fasteners and measure across the dome itself.
Once you have the height and width for your windows or skylights, add an extra 2 inches to all your measurements.
Your shade mesh will be mounted an inch past your fasteners, so adding 2 more inches in height and width will account for the extra shade mesh needed on the top and bottom, and both sides.
Now that you have your measurements, enter the numbers in the appropriate fields.
If you have multiple windows of the same size you have the option to change the quantity.
Next, enter your email address and press Calculate.
Our program will analyze your measurements and will let you know the recommended size of shade kit, how many fasteners you need (in total, as well as how many per window) and how to cut your mesh.
You will also get the results emailed to you to have as a guide when it comes time for your installation.
You can see there is a category called ‘Max fastener spacing’. The calculator takes into account the size of your window and will automatically adjust your required fastener spacing.
We recommend a maximum of 10 inch spacing between fasteners for windows under 25 square feet (which is most windows). If your window is 25 square feet or larger, then you will need a maximum of 5 inch spacing.
We also recommend placing an extra fastener on all four of your window corners.
There is going to be more force on the fasteners in the corners, so placing two in every corner and offsetting them will give twice the holding power and will help keep your mesh secure and problem-free. Our calculator automatically adds an extra 4 fasteners to every window.
You can see the results below include an easy to follow cutting guide where all the different windows are labeled and have their measurements included.
No more guessing, no more math, just enter in your window or skylight measurements and find out exactly what you need to order.
Retracting your awning every time you leave the house may mean that the sun can still hit your Low-E window and form hot spots.
So even with an awning you could still run into the same melted siding problems.
Planting some strategic trees as a means of shade would work, but again it’s not a practical solution.
It’s expensive and not everyone has the available space to be able to plant a large shade tree or trees.
Replacing melted siding with a heat resistant type of siding is an option, but it’s by far the most costly as it would mean having to replace the siding for the entire house.
Some people have taken the step to replace their siding with heat resistant vinyl siding.
This is by far the most expensive option as it can easily run into the thousands of dollars to replace the existing siding on a house with heat resistant siding.
The easiest and cheapest solution is to cover the window that’s causing the damage.
Painting over the outside of the window is cheap and easy and provides an immediate fix to the problem.
However, the entire point to having a window in the first place is to get natural light into your space.
Installing EZ Snap window shade over the Low-E window is the best way to fix a window while still keeping natural light.
EZ Snap works by blocking 90 percent of the sun’s heat and light from ever reaching the glass.
What does reflect off the glass gets filtered a second time on it’s way back out, ensuring that no hot spots can form from any Low-E glass reflections.
To see how well the shade mesh works in action, here’s a review a customer sent in who had a Low-E window that was melting siding. The video shows both the before and after of how EZ Snap stopped the hot spots from forming.
EZ Snap can be installed on almost any size and type of window.
Because EZ Snap uses an optical grade mesh, you still get to keep your view as well.
It’s also easy enough to install that you don’t need any previous experience.
Here’s a customer review from Bob G. that shows the temperature difference EZ Snap made in their kitchen:
“Our kitchen has a number of southern facing windows plus skylights. When the outside temperature got more than 90 degrees – the kitchen would get into the high 80’s.
We ordered enough for two skylights and four windows with the EZ Snap system. Shipping was super fast and the packaging was well done.
The system was super simple to install. The install took about two hours, including going up and down on the roof.
After we installed, the temperature in the kitchen stayed in the 70’s even as it got to 90 degrees outside. Take a look at the picture – you can see the outside temp is 93 degrees, while it is a cool 76 degrees inside.”
With that kind of temperature swing, EZ Snap shades end paying for themselves through lower energy costs.
All you need is to keep it warm enough to stop your pipes from freezing.
A nice bonus from using skirting is that your floors will stay warmer. Most of the cold in a tiny home is coming up through the floor, so having a warmer undercarriage means reducing your heating costs and staying more comfortable.
If you have decided that you want to skirt your tiny home, the next decision to make is what materials to use.
Chances are if you live in a tiny house you are a seasoned DIYer, and there are no shortage of do it yourself options.
The most common materials used for do-it-yourself tiny house skirting are:
Rigid foam insulation panels
Sheets of plywood
Rigid Foam Insulation
Using rigid foam insulation boards is one of the most popular choices for skirting a tiny house.
It’s inexpensive, easy to cut and easy to install.
The biggest problem with foam insulation is that the panels are so lightweight that they can easily blow off unless you build extra reinforcement.
This is typically done by building a frame and then attaching the panels to it.
If you care about aesthetics you’ll also need to put in some extra work because the insulation panels can be an eyesore on their own.
It’s the type of project that is a lot of work up front, but if you are planning to spend years in one spot then you can just leave it up and not have to worry about it.
If you foresee yourself moving at any point in the near future, however, it would most likely mean leaving your frame and insulation behind as it would be too big and heavy to bring with you.
Buying and cutting large sheets of plywood is another common option for skirting.
It’s durable, fairly inexpensive and is available everywhere.
Because plywood is heavy, it also doesn’t necessarily need a frame built for it.
There also isn’t a lot of skill or tools required so it can be done by pretty much anyone.
The easiest and best way to keep things warm inside the skirting enclosure is to have two temperature controlled heaters on either end facing each other (use the kind that has a tip sensor so that if it does fall over, it will automatically shut off).
Also, save some hassle and invest in temperature monitors, so you can always know what the temperature is underneath your RV without having to crawl underneath to check.
2: Stay warmer and more comfortable
It goes without saying, but if the underside of your RV is warmer, the inside will be warmer too.
By keeping that air column under the RV separated and warmer, you gain an extra layer of insulation under the rig.
It’s becoming an increasingly common problem for many homeowners.
If you are finding streaks of your turf melted and discolored, the culprit is most likely a nearby window that has something called low-e glass in it.
Illustration of how low-e glass windows work.
Low-e glass is glass that has been treated with a type of energy efficient coating. The glass is coated with a microscopic, transparent metallic layer that reflects heat, but still allows light to pass through.
These windows are good at cutting down the amount of heat entering a house, which is why more and more homes are being built with them installed. However, they can also act like a giant magnifying glass.
Low-e windows are all double paned, and when there is a difference in pressure between the outside air and the interior of the glass panes, the windows may slightly warp and bend. This can create a concave effect in the glass.
This concave effect, coupled with the reflective low-e coating, can focus sunlight into a concentrated hot spot, just like you see with a magnifying glass.
The temperature of these hot spots can get so high that they destroy anything they touch.
It’s increasingly common for these low-e windows to melt synthetic turf, vinyl siding and even cause natural grass to catch fire.
If a large enough patch of turf has been melted, it will need to be replaced. Since artificial turf can cost anywhere from 5 – 25 dollars a square foot (not including labor),replacing damaged turf is a costly and time consuming process.
EZ Snap customer with a hot spot on his lawn that was over 190°F.
As more and more homes are getting low-e windows installed, so are the amount of people finding their turf being damaged. Even if you don’t have low-e windows your lawn may still get scorched.
If you are seeing signs of damage to your turf and don’t have low-e windows on your house, the cause may be one of your neighbors windows.
What can be done about Melting Turf?
First, know that if you take the time and money to replace your lawn but don’t address the cause, it’s just going to happen again.
A simple solution would be to put something up, such as a patio umbrella, to protect your turf. This would only be a temporary fix though, because anything you put in the way of the hot spot will only get destroyed.
What needs to happen is for the sun’s rays to be blocked before they can hit the window and reflect back out. If the solar heat is cut down before it ever touches the glass, then there is nothing to reflect out and your lawn is safe.
Fortunately, EZ Snap Shade Screens are the ideal solution. They can be installed right over the problematic low-e glass window quickly and easily, and for a lot less than it would cost to replace the entire window.
View from a window with EZ Snap Shade Screen.
EZ Snap Shade Screens are proven to stop up to 90% of the sun’s rays from reaching the glass. You get all of the cooling power of a low-e window, but without the risk of creating hot spots.
They are easy to order and can be installed by someone with no previous experience.
One of the reasons why low-e glass is so popular is that it blocks heat while still allowing light to shine through. What’s great about EZ Snap is that it uses an optical grade mesh, meaning EZ Snap blocks the heat but not the view. The screens are also guaranteed to fit all window sizes and shapes.
To learn more about EZ Snap and it’s benefits, click here.
Airstream owners can rejoice because there is finally a skirting solution that makes sense for them.
One of the most appealing things about an Airstream is the sleek, aluminum body. However, a problem that many Airstream owners encounter in cold weather is finding a way to attach RV skirting. The most common method to attach skirting is by drilling snap studs into the panels, and that is usually the last thing an Airstream owner wants to do to their trailer.
The other problem that comes with custom RV skirting is a hefty price tag and a long wait time.
Some cheap RV skirting options include plywood, bales of hay, or rigid insulation with duct tape. These methods are not usually practical as they do not allow access to the trailers’ sewage shut-off or storage under the Airstream. These cheap RV skirting options are bulky, not easy to move to your next RV site and, in the case of straw bales, can attract vermin.
And the one thing all these cheap RV skirting ideas have in common is that they all turn an Airstream from sleek to eyesore.
Thankfully, EZ Snap has found a solution that makes sense for Airstream owners. Using our patented 3M Fasteners, our EZ Snap® Studs use a VHB adhesive backing that sticks on to your trailer. No drilling required!
Our fasteners will hold our vinyl RV skirting on your Airstream trailer through sub-zero temperatures, rain, snow and wind.
We ship our RV skirting kits quickly and because of our “Do It Yourself” system, you can have the custom fit you want without the expensive custom price.
You can see from the photos how some of our customers have successfully attached our skirting kits to their Airstreams. Because Airstreams have a fairly low ground clearance, our 30 inch kits have the extra height needed to hold down your skirting using our pipe clamp system.
You can also see how attaching the skirting just below the trim around the length of the trailer gives a seamless look.
Looking at our two photos, you can see two different techniques for skirting around the wheel wells. One customer went over the top of their fender flair trim and one went below the fender flare. Both applications work, it all depends on personal preference.
That’s the beauty of EZ Snap®, it allows you to customize your skirting exactly to your preferences.
Because our proprietary Diamond Weave™ vinyl skirting is a non-fray material, you’re able to cut it to size to fit exactly how you want.
One of the main advantages with using EZ Snap® skirting is not just the low cost, but also the portability. EZ Snap® RV skirting can be easily detached, rolled up, and stored, if you’re moving from one RV site to another.
So, no more plywood, no more straw bales, and no more holes in your Airstream!
There’s a popular myth that RV skirting needs to have R-Value to be able to protect your RV. This is simply not the case.
We’re going to go over the common misconceptions around RV Skirting and R-Value, and what you can do to protect your RV for a fraction of the cost.
1. Any R-Value savings are much smaller the closer the outside temperature is to the inside temperature. When the temperature dips below zero, the area under an RV is typically kept just above the freezing point by an electric heater. Because of this, the temperature differential between outside and inside air is very small, as is the heated cubic square footage under the RV. This is unlike a house, where inside temperatures are typically kept at 70 degrees or more and where the cubic square footage is about 2500% larger than that of an RV’s.
2. RV skirting would need to be very thick to produce any significant R-Value rating. R-Value is the resistance to heat flow through a given thickness of material. For example, a typical home in the USA has wall insulation of R-11 to R-15. Your RV Skirting would need to have a sewn-in insulation that is 4 to 5 inches thick to achieve this R-value. Most RV Skirting that claims to be insulated is less than a half an inch thick. At this thickness, there is only the illusion of an R-value.
3. Stopping air movement is 10 times more important than R-Value for RV skirting. What good is wearing a winter coat if you have the zipper undone? The most important way to retain heat and keep cold air out is a barrier to air-flow (RV Skirting), not insulation. As long as the warm air is contained under the RV and the majority of the cooler outside air is kept out, adding insulation to the skirting is a waste of money. The barrier to airflow created by the skirting is really all that is needed.
4. If you are in an extreme winter climate what is the best way to add R-Value to your skirting? As mentioned above, the sewn-in variety of insulation (ie: Poly-fill or reflective bubble wrap) adds very little value to RV skirting and is not necessary in 90% of RV skirting projects. The exception to this rule is if the RV is wintering in an extremely cold area where temperatures are commonly 15 degrees or more below freezing. In this situation you will want to have both RV skirting and an insulated barrier of rigid Styrofoam board. Rigid Styrofoam insulation board is by far the most effective way to get a higher R-value without adding a lot of thickness.
Typically this board has an R-value of R5 per inch of thickness. The best variety of this board is extruded polystyrene foam board, also called blue or pink board in the big box stores. To use this board with your skirting, build a frame work under the RV using inexpensive 2” x 2” lumber, then attach the foam board to the framework. Once the foam board is in place, then you can install your RV skirting to seal the warm air in and the cold air out.
5. The best heat source to use under your RV skirting. In warm climates many RVers use a 100 watt light bulb to create a heat source, but there is a much safer and efficient way to heat the area under your skirting . Use one or two thermostatically controlled space heaters with a built-in fan under the RV. In longer RVs, place a heater at each end of the RV facing the opposite end. Turn the thermostat control to just above the point of freezing. When the temperature dips down close to the freezing point, the heaters come on and blow warm air around the entire area underneath the RV. This is a very safe and efficient heat source, as it is only using energy when needed. Be sure to see the heaters we recommend on the EZ Snap RV skirting product page at https://ezsnapdirect.com/products/rv-skirting/.
If you have a window that gets a lot of sun you likely also have a room that gets so hot it could double as an oven.
For those who want to cut down the heat, using air conditioning can be expensive and loud. Black-out drapes usually block more light than heat, and fans can only do so much. The two most common choices for people who want a low cost A/C alternative are foil insulation and shade screens.
But which one to choose?
We’ve provided a quick breakdown of both to help you decide what will work best for you.
To insulate or not to insulate?
If you are considering going the foil insulation route it’s best to know how it works. Foil, or reflective, insulation essentially functions like a mirror that reflects light and heat out of a given space.
Typically, it’s used on windows that get a lot of sun exposure.
Having just one window that gets a lot of sun can cause the room temperature to soar on a sunny day. Foil insulation can be cut to size and placed over it as an effective heat blocking measure.
For it to work effectively it must be hung on the outside of the window and it has to completely cover it. Unfortunately, this also means covering up your view and finding a way to attach it to the outside of your house or RV (usually tape).
If the foil is placed on the inside, it means that sunlight is hitting the window and heat will still be able to get into the room as a result. The key to keeping a room cool is making sure the heat stays on the outside of the glass because once heat gets in it’s hard to dissipate.
If you have double pane windows, placing foil insulation on the inside of the glass may cause the window seal to fail.
The reason for this is that the foil is reflecting heat back through the glass panes causing it to super heat. If there is a sudden change in temperature, like a cloud covering the sun, the stress from the metal expanding and contracting rapidly can cause the seal to fail.
Foil insulation can also be an eyesore. Having it attached to your window also means you are are essentially hanging a big piece of tinfoil to your home or RV all summer.
Despite these drawbacks, foil insulation remains a popular choice because it’s cheap and effective.
If you are thinking of going with foil, Reflectix is generally considered one of the best brands in terms of value for quality.
What about Shade Screens?
Shade screen is a fabric that is designed to be placed over a window and provide shade. Just like the foil insulation it works best when attached to the outside of your window.
There’s a lot of different varieties of shade screens on the market, so if you’re planning on purchasing shade screen know that they are not all created equal.
There’s a lot of different brands out there and it can be hard to feel like you’re picking the right one. Some have irregular or uneven weaves, or some will give you shade but you also won’t be able to see through it.
RV with EZ Snap Window Shades
The best shade screen is from EZ Snap. It’s a patented product made from a non-fray mesh that blocks 90% of the sun’s heat. It’s also been designed to allow you to see out of it so you only block the heat, not the view.
EZ Snap is attached with a stick-on stud, so there’s no drilling and no holes left behind. The mesh snaps onto the studs, so it can be taken on and off without much hassle. What’s also great is that a kit from EZ Snap comes with everything you need to install your shade mesh, so no frantic trips to Home Depot needed.
Choosing between foil insulation and shade screen comes down to a matter of preference and appearance. If you are in need of a quick fix then foil will get you through. If you are wanting a more permanent solution that looks good, but still retains your view, then a product like EZ Snap shades is the answer.
Nothing beats the summer for getting out and enjoying your RV.
However, keeping your rig cool in the midday heat can be a challenge for even the most experienced traveler.
You might have an AC unit that is too loud, or boondocking, or maybe you don’t have AC at all. Fear not, we’ve compiled the top ten inexpensive ways to keep your RV cool without an air conditioner this summer.
1. Parking is everything
Be sure to park smart this summer. Where you park is the number one way to keep the heat down. Sidling up beside a nice lush tree will help keep one side of your RV cool, plus it’s doesn’t cost a thing.
Be aware of what side your RV is facing as well. The hottest part of the day is typically around 3 pm, so you want to try and keep as few windows exposed as possible to the afternoon sun.
2. Clean and be cool
Having good airflow in your RV is a key part of keeping it cool. Something that gets overlooked a lot is the dust and grime buildup in the areas behind and around your fridge and stove. If the airflow is inefficient then you will have heat flowing back into the RV, making for unhappy campers. Before your set out on your adventure, make sure to give those places a thorough clean.
3. Swap out those bulbs
When you’re trying to keep the temperature down every little thing counts, and this is one that doesn’t take much of an effort to do. If you’re still using incandescent light bulbs, know that each one of those works like a tiny heat generator. For the power they consume, around 90% of it is expended as heat.
Switch those old bulbs over to LED light bulbs, they’ll give you the same amount of light but with a fraction of the heat.
4. Your biggest fan(s)
There are two ways to use your fans to cool down for those hot days and nights. During the day get those fans pointed right at you. Air that is moving feels cooler than air that is still, so you will at least get some relief with some fans blowing at you.
In the evening, when the air is cooler outside of your RV than inside, point your fans facing out the windows. This way you will be blowing the hot air out and at the same time drawing the cool air in. The more windows you can have open for an effective cross-breeze, the better.
5. Cook out
Try to cook the majority of your meals outside of your RV. Any time you fire up your oven you are generating a lot of heat that is hard to dissipate. Plus, who wants to cook in a sweltering hot room? Cook your meals outside, either over the fire or on a camp stove.
It may take a bit more work to haul your ingredients and cookware in and out of your RV, so try and make enough so you have leftovers and don’t have to cook every single meal.
6. Shade Screens are a dream
Usually the main heat culprit in your RV is your biggest window or windows. The sun’s rays come in through the glass and heat up the interior of your RV. Then, because the heat has nowhere to go, it just keeps getting hotter and hotter.
The key is to stop the sun from even getting through the glass, and EZ Snap Shade Screens are by far the easiest and best option for attaching shade to your RV. The best part is that they block the 90% of the heat but you can still see out of them, so you get to keep your view.
RV with EZ Snap Shades
7. Tarp time
They may not be pretty but tarps are the Swiss Army Knife of any good RV’r. They’re inexpensive, they don’t take up a lot of space and they have a variety of uses. If there are any trees nearby you can try and attach your tarp across them to make some extra shade and cut down on the sun exposure to your RV.
8. Get on Google
Depending on the nature of your trip you may be planning your stops well in advance. Use Google Earth to scout your prospective stops to try and cherry pick the sites that will have the most shade. You will be glad you spent the extra time planning when the midday sun is out and you are relaxing in the shade from a nearby tree.
9. Night time is the right time (to cool down)
If your RV is like an oven during the day, the evening is the time to cool down not just yourselves, but your over-hot RV as well. Open up all those windows and turn those fans on.
Don’t forget to open your cupboards and storage bays, as those are places where heat can build up over the course of the day and can keep your RV uncomfortably hot if not aired out.
10. Skylight too bright
Your large windows may take all of the blame for the heat, but don’t forget about your skylight. They are notorious heat generators, and they can be a big reason why your RV is unbearable hot. Covering up your skylight is one of the best ways your can bring down the temperature in your RV this summer.Here’s a list of the top four ways to cover a hot skylight for under $100.
While they are known for keeping things bright, skylights also have a dark side.
With all the light they let it in skylights can heat up a room to the point where it becomes an abandoned part of your home.
The cause for your hot house is called the greenhouse effect: light comes in, heats up your room and then has nowhere else to go. Which would be fine if you were growing tomatoes in your living room, but chances are you’re not.
Even with the AC on max some rooms just can’t be cooled, and the sun’s rays can also cause your furniture and floors to fade.
We’ve compiled a list of the top four DIY ways to cool your skylight and get your house back.
1. Paint over your skylight
This one is as simple as it sounds. The key to cooling a hot skylight is to stop the sun before it gets through the glass.
If you can block the light, you can block the heat. Painting over your skylight will stop light from getting through and will keep for your house much cooler for just the cost of a can of paint.
The main drawback with painting your skylight is that it is a fairly permanent fix. Scraping paint off is time consuming and you will undoubtedly be left with more than a few scratches on your glass.
Depending on how hot your room is getting though, this may be a sacrifice you are willing to make.
2. Tarp it up
A quick and easy fix that is by far the cheapest of all your options. Simply buy a blue tarp that is several feet longer than your skylight. Lay it over top of the skylight so that it is completely covered and pin down the excess fabric using bricks. It’s a fast, cheap and easy skylight cover.
You’ll still get some ambient light coming through and most of the heat will be stopped, but expect your room to have a blue tinge.
Depending on how visible your skylight is from the street, you may also have the neighborhood eyesore on your roof all season. Once summer’s over, it’s only a matter of picking up the bricks and rolling up your tarp and you get your skylight back without a whole lot of trouble.
3. Board it up
This method requires the most amount of skill, but it’s the only one that doesn’t involve a trip to the roof. You will need to buy and cut a piece of foam insulation board that will fit snugly into your skylight shaft opening.
Then, along the outside of the insulation board attach weather stripping. This will ensure a tight fit that you can push in or take out depending on the weather.
This one make take some trial and error as you will need to cut the foam board to just the right size so it is just big enough to squeeze into the opening and effectively pinning itself in place.
The biggest drawback with this method is that you are now trapping all the heat between the skylight and the insulation. This heat can build up to the point that your seals could fail or your glass could crack, so proceed with caution.
4. EZ Snap Skylight Shades
EZ Snap is a solar mesh that attaches to the outside of your skylight that is proven to block up to 90 percent of the sun’s heat. It still lets in lots of natural light, plus it’s affordable and a breeze to install.
Once the kit comes, no special tools are needed to install. Simply attach your mounting studs to the frame and then attach the mesh to the studs using the pins and caps included in the kit. Once it’s on it can be left on all year round.
If you want some direct sun in those cooler months you can also easily unsnap the mesh and store it away until next year.
Whichever method you choose to combat your sizzling skylight, know that the US Department of Energy concluded that exterior blinds and shades are up to seven times more effective at stopping heat from entering the home than interior blinds or window tinting.