RV Skirting: Maximizing Comfort and Efficiency on the Road

RV Skirting: Maximizing Comfort and Efficiency on the Road

RVs present a fun, practical, and cozy way to travel and explore the outdoors while enjoying many home comforts. They are, however, difficult to maintain, especially in severe weather. RV skirting is a wise investment that can help with these issues by offering insulation, keeping out unwelcome pests and debris, lowering energy costs, and improving the comfort level of your RV. In this article, we’ll go through the advantages of RV skirting and give you the knowledge you need to properly select, install, and maintain the ideal skirting for your vehicle and individual requirements.

RV Skirting Maximizing Warmth and Efficiency on the Road

Benefits of RV Skirting

  1. Improved Insulation. RV skirting is a barrier to prevent cold air from transferring from the ground to the RV’s underside, lowering heat transfer and greatly enhancing the RV’s insulation value. This function is especially important during harsh weather, such as the frigid winter. RV skirting may keep an RV warm, preventing the freezing of water pipes and the need for heating systems, which lowers energy use and costs.
  2. Reduced Energy Bills. By improving insulation, RV skirting can reduce energy bills and the need for heating or cooling systems. RV skirting can also prevent the loss of cool air in the summer, ensuring that the RV remains comfortable even in hot weather.
  3. Protection from Pests and Debris. Rodents, insects, and other pests are deterred from entering RVs by RV skirting, which serves as a barrier. Moreover, RV skirting can prevent dirt, rocks, and other debris from building up underneath the RV, lowering maintenance needs and ensuring the RV stays sanitary.
  4. Increased Comfort and Living Space. RV skirting can provide additional living space by enclosing the RV’s underside. This feature can be handy when the RV is parked for an extended period, providing a physical barrier for temporary storage underneath your RV

Types of RV Skirting

  1. Hard-Sided skirting. Hard-sided skirting is often constructed from solid and lightweight materials like PVC, fiberglass, or aluminum. It offers a secure and semi-permanent barrier around the RV’s underside, shielding it from the weather and vermin. Hard-sided skirting can also improve insulation, reducing energy consumption and costs. However, hard-sided skirting can be more expensive than other types. The installation process can be complicated, requiring specialized tools and skills.
  2. Soft-Sided skirting. Soft-sided skirting is typically made of flexible materials like vinyl or treated canvas. It offers an affordable and adaptable substitute for hard-sided skirting, enabling RV owners to change the skirting’s height or remove it entirely. Soft-sided skirting is a standard option for RV owners because it is simple to install and store. Yet, compared to hard-sided skirting, soft-sided skirting is less robust. It may require more maintenance to prevent damage from weather and pests.
  3. DIY Skirting allows RV owners to create skirting using readily available materials, such as plywood or foam insulation. DIY skirting can be a cost-effective and customizable option, allowing RV owners to adjust the skirting’s size and shape according to their needs. However, DIY skirting requires some skills and tools to build and install. It may provide a different level of insulation or protection than other types of skirting. Still, DIY will inevitably be the least expensive option. 

Choosing the Right RV Skirting

  1. Material. RV skirting is available in various materials, including vinyl, fabric, and insulated options. Vinyl is the most common material for RV skirting due to its durability and weather resistance. However, fabric options are also available, which can be more breathable and flexible. Insulated options are ideal for cold climates as they help to retain heat and keep your RV warm.
  2. Size. Ensure you measure your RV carefully before purchasing an RV skirting kit. The skirting should fit snugly around the base of your RV to provide optimal insulation.
  3. Ease of Installation. RV skirting should be easy to install and remove, especially if you plan to move your RV frequently. Look for skirting with complete installation instructions, and consider purchasing skirting with quick-release buckles or snaps for easy removal.
  4. Cost. RV skirting can be pricey, exceptionally if you choose an insulated model. But, making a long-term financial investment in high-quality skirting can save you money by lowering your heating and cooling expenses. Compare the prices and quality of different options to find the best one that fits your budget.
  5. Climate. Consider the environment you will be camping in when choosing your RV skirting. If you plan to camp in colder climates, the insulated skirting will be your best option to keep your RV warm. A breathable fabric skirting option may be more suitable if you camp in warmer temperatures.

Installation Process of RV Skirting 

  1. Measure the perimeter of your RV: Before spending lots of money on your new RV skirting, be sure to accurately and precisely measure the perimeter of your RV to ensure you order the correct amount of material. Be sure that you measure the height that your skirting will be installed, as there are variations in most RV designs as you go higher or lower on the exterior. 
  2. Assemble the necessary tools: Likely tools that you will need are a tape measure, a drill, a hammer, a staple gun, a utility knife, and an extra set of hands is priceless. 
  3. Install the mounting hardware: Mounting hardware is used to attach the skirting to the RV. Install the mounting hardware and follow the manufacturer’s instructions before starting. Some will require drilling into the exterior of your siding, while others, such as the RV Skirting Kits sold by EZ Snap, use a powerful yet removable adhesive that does not require you to drill into your RV. 
  4. Cut the skirting material to size: With your tape measure, determine the required length of the skirting cloth before cutting it to size. With a utility knife, trim the fabric to the proper length.
  5. Install the skirting material: Attach the skirting to the mounting hardware starting at one RV corner. Pull the skirting tight and secure it to the hardware. Continue this process until you reach the end of the RV.
  6. Trim the excess skirting material: Use a sharp utility knife to trim any leftover skirting material. Consider saving larger pieces to use as patches for future repairs and wear the proper PPE to stay safe while cutting your skirting material. 

Maintenance Tips

  1. Clean regularly: Regularly cleaning your RV skirting (and your RV itself) will significantly prolong its lifespan. Use a soft-bristled brush and hose to remove dirt and debris from the skirting. Avoid harsh cleaning chemicals as they may damage the material; mild soap is best. Check with the manufacturer for their recommendations.
  2. Check for wear and tear: Inspect your skirting for any signs of wear and tear; if you notice any holes or tears, be sure to repair them immediately to prevent further damage to your skirting and the underside of your RV. 
  3. Protect from UV exposure: UV rays can cause damage to your RV skirting over time. To prevent this, consider applying a UV protectant to the skirting material and storing it in a cool, dry place when not in use. 
  4. Store properly: When not in use, be sure to store your skirting in a dry, cool place away from pests. Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures, as this can cause damage to skirting over time.

Cost of RV Skirting

  1. Hard-sided skirting. The cost of this kind of RV skirting, which ranges from $800 to $2,000, makes it the priciest choice. The price varies according to the materials used, the RV’s dimensions, and customizing options.
  2. Soft-sided skirting. Costs for this sort of RV skirting range from $400 to $800 on average and up to $2000 for higher-quality alternatives like the RV skirting kits provided by EZ Snap. These are less expensive than the hard-sided version and often considered the most efficient skirting based on cost: effectiveness. The size of the RV and the materials used, like canvas or polyester, have an impact on the price.
  3. DIY skirting. This is, of course, the most economical choice because you can literally make the skirting yourself out of anything you have lying around; plywood, tarps, and foam insulation are common choices. Depending on the materials used, the ability to source used or recycled materials, and the size of the RV, the price of this option could realistically range from $50 to $800.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Installing RV Skirting

  1. Not measuring accurately: One of the most common mistakes when installing RV skirting is not measuring accurately. Measure your RV’s dimensions and add just a few inches to your measurements to ensure a perfect fit and accommodate materials that may shrink or expand with temperature variations. 
  2. Choosing the wrong material: Choosing the inappropriate material for your RV skirting can cause problems such as mold, mildew, and tears. Be sure to select a material suitable for the climate and weather conditions where you will be using your RV.
  3. Not securing the skirting properly: It is crucial to connect it firmly to the RV to prevent it from falling off or blowing away in the wind. Use secure clamps, zippers, or straps to hold the skirting in place.

Environmental Impact of RV Skirting

Using vinyl RV skirting can have a positive environmental impact over time by improving the energy efficiency of individual RVs. By reducing air infiltration and blocking drafts, vinyl skirting can keep an RV cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. As a result, there is far less of a need to run your heater or air conditioner, resulting in lower energy consumption and fewer carbon emissions. Moreover, vinyl skirting can aid in shielding the underbelly of the RV from the weather, extending the vehicle’s life, and lowering the need for replacement parts, all of which reduce waste and environmental effects.

Regulations for RV Skirting

State or country-specific regulations or guidelines for RV skirting may apply, so it is essential to research the rules in your area before installing skirting. Regulations may cover factors such as materials used, height, and other requirements for installation. Compliance with these regulations is necessary to avoid penalties and ensure the safety of the RV.

Maintenance and Care

Regular maintenance and care are essential for ensuring the longevity of your RV skirting. Different types of RV skirting require additional care and maintenance methods. For example, soft-sided skirting requires regular cleaning to prevent mold and mildew buildup. In contrast, hard-sided skirting requires occasional repairs and painting to maintain its appearance.

Here are some tips for maintaining and caring for your RV skirting:

  • Clean the skirting regularly to prevent mold and mildew buildup.
  • Repair damages promptly to avoid further damage.
  • Store the skirting properly (and dry) when not in use.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and read thoroughly before starting.
  • Keep a low-wattage lightbulb under the RV at night to deter rodents and other pests from building nests. 


RV skirting is a valuable investment for any RV owner looking to improve their comfort and efficiency. With improved insulation, reduced energy bills, and protection from pests and debris, RV skirting can enhance the RV living experience.

When choosing RV skirting, it is essential to consider factors such as climate, budget, material quality, and RV type. In addition, researching and comparing different types and brands of RV skirting can help make an informed decision.

Proper installation and maintenance are essential for ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of RV skirting. Following the manufacturer’s instructions and avoiding common installation mistakes can prevent damage and provide proper insulation.

In addition, understanding state or country-specific regulations and guidelines is vital to avoid legal issues and ensure compliance.

Investing in RV skirting and maintaining it can provide years of comfort and energy savings for RV owners.


  1. “Do You Need RV Skirting This Winter?” by Drivin’ & Vibin’ https://drivinvibin.com/2020/11/25/rv-skirting/
  2. “The Benefits of Putting on a Skirt” by SunCruiser https://suncruisermedia.com/Home/resources/benefits-of-putting-on-a-skirt/
  3. “RV Skirting for Winter Camping” by Boundless Bakers https://www.mortonsonthemove.com/rv-skirting/

RODENT EXCLUSION TECHNIQUES by National Park Service https://www.ehs.ucsb.edu/sites/default/files/docs/eh/ihrodentexclusion.pdf 

The Ultimate RV Pre-Trip Checklist

The Ultimate RV Pre-Trip Checklist

Recreational Vehicles, also called RVs, offer a leisurely, convenient, and comfortable method of travel. But like any motor vehicle, they also require regular maintenance to operate safely and to avoid costly and unforeseen pit-stops. By performing the simple and routine maintenance checks in this article, you will ensure that you and your family have a smooth, fun, and exciting journey to your destination! After all, road trips are a staple to domestic travel in the US and should be time spent seeing the natural beauty of the country while relaxing with friends and family. By the end of this article, you will be ready to take on your next big road trip with peace of mind behind the wheel as we will discuss comprehensive RV checklists and some recommendations on must-have equipment, such as RV skirts and other innovative products by companies such as EZ Snap.


When planning an RV trip, one of the most important things that must be done is a proper and thorough maintenance check. This is a comprehensive check of all your RV’s major and critical systems, like tires and electrical systems, which ensures that you have a functioning vehicle that will provide a smooth and safe journey. Neglecting pre-trip checklists and maintenance oftentimes leads to unexpected and costly repairs that offer nothing but stress and anxiety during your travels. In this section, we will be going over the most important components of a pre-trip maintenance checklist and what to do in the event something unexpected comes up, or you run into issues during your pre-trip inspection.


What to inspect before leaving for a trip in your RV


  1. Tires- Be sure to thoroughly inspect each tire (including your spare!) for tread depth, tire pressure, and overall condition. Check your manufacturer’s recommendations to get the best tire pressure for your RV, and just do a simple visual inspection of the inside and outside walls of each tire. Do you see any bald spots, or even worse, wire showing through? If so, it’s as good a time as any to get those tires replaced to avoid any dangerous blowouts on the highway.
  2. Brakes- Check the callipers, brake fluid level, and brake pads if you have them. This can all be done with a simple visual inspection, but if you’re having difficulty seeing the brake system, try turning your wheels to one side to get better access for your inspection. Your brake pedal should also feel firm when you press on it.
  3. Lights- You will want to ensure that all of your lights are working properly before you hit the road as well so the drivers around you can see you and know when you are turning, changing lanes, or slowing down/stopping. It is easiest to have a helper with this one to tell you if your lights are working or not when you test them. One of you will get in the driver’s seat, turn the engine on, and shout which lights you’re currently testing-brake lights, front and rear turn signals, hazard lights, taillights, and headlights (high and low beams)…see why its easier to have a friend? Alternatively, you can set your phone up to record video in front of, and then behind your vehicle as you run through all the combinations of lights, check the video to make sure all is working!
  4. Electrical- This can be a little trickier, especially if something is not working properly, but your first course of action is to simply start the engine…if it starts up without a problem, you’re looking pretty good, if not, it will likely be a trip to the shop unless you are mechanically inclined. Easy and important things to check though (whether it started on the first try or not), is to look for corrosion on your batteries (yes you likely have two in an RV, one to start the engine, and a “house” battery to run the RV when parked). It will look like pink or blue crystals built up on the battery terminals and is easily removed with a wire brush and baking soda/water mixture, be sure to wear properly fitting protective equipment like rubber gloves and safety glasses. You will also want to do a visual check on your alternator and any other electrical components including your fridge, heating system, A/C, 12v outlets, etc.
  5. Mechanical- Do you know when your last oil change was? If not, consider getting another done before your trip. Did you know that engine oil not only breaks down with mileage but also with time? Old oil can be as bad for your engine as heavily used oil, as the components break down over time and the lubricating quality does not work after a certain number of months. The recommendation is to get an oil change every 3,000-5,000 miles or every 6 months. Does your engine make any kind of whining or screeching sound when you start it up? Probably a loose belt that needs to be replaced. How about when you turn your wheels, does it make a groaning noise? If so, you may be low on power steering fluid or have an issue with your power steering pump.
  6. Plumbing- The job that one unfortunate soul gets stuck with-every single. time…It’s not a pretty job, but it needs to be done regularly to ensure a properly functioning toilet in your RV, if we wanted to be camping, we have brought a tent, right? You will want to check all of your tanks and “Summerize” tanks by rinsing out and flushing the winterizing RV treatment that you should be using every year. This includes your water tanks, black tanks, and gray tanks, which hopefully were properly cleaned and treated after your last trip, otherwise, you’re in for one heck of a cleaning job that nobody wants to do. You will want to check and test your lines, water heater, and water pump for overall functionality and any leaks by putting water in your system and testing out each component-turn the water heater on, test each sink with open cabinets to look for leaks, flush the toilet, then look under the RV to ensure there are no visible leaks. You’ll also want to test your drinking water hose for leaks before departure, they can be expensive on the road.
  7. Propane- Check the dates on your propane tanks to ensure they are still within the legal, usable date. When that is verified, connect your propane tank to your RV, and test all of the propane appliances and lines by turning them on (stove, oven, 3-way fridge), and spraying soapy water over the main propane lines to look for leaks (presented as bubbles on the hose).
  8. Exterior- Look for any chipping paint, loose parts, dry rot, etc. Do a thorough walkaround of your RV to visually inspect the all-too-often flimsy fenders and wheel wells to ensure everything is still connected and sturdy. While you’re at it, check the spare tire holder to ensure it is sturdy, and get under your RV one more time to check for any alarming rust or damage to your frame, slider motors, axles, etc. If something looks “off”, it is likely worth a closer inspection by you or a professional.
  9. Interior- This is not just for creature comforts, but also safety. Make sure to inspect all of your emergency exits and that the hatches and hinges are all functional. Check the date and functionality of your fire extinguisher and all of your fire alarms and your VERY important carbon monoxide alarm. Other than that, make sure you have all your insulating window covers (regardless of season), extra blankets, pillows, towels, etc.


If you do happen to find an issue during your pre-trip inspection, it is very important to have the issue fixed before departure, which is also why it is important to do this checklist at least a week in advance, and once again the day before you leave. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time for last-minute discoveries that will put anyone’s safety in harm’s way.

Depending on the severity of the issue, you may have to bring your RV into a shop to see a professional to get you back on the road safely. It is very important to not attempt any repairs on your RV that you are not comfortable with or lack the experience to complete properly, such as a brake job. Consider purchasing roadside assistance insurance that includes a rental car and hotel in the policy before your trip as well.

Engine and Transmission

The engine and transmission are arguably the most important parts of your RV because, without them, it’s just a big hard-sided tent that you can’t move! The engine and transmission are what deliver the power and directional torque to move your RV, and need special attention and maintenance to work properly, especially as more miles are put on your RV. Once again, any neglect in maintaining the engine and transmission of your RV has a high likelihood of leading to costly and unexpected repairs on the road, so be sure to pay close attention before it’s too late.

Best practices for maintaining your RV engine>

  1. Oil changes at regular and recommended intervals. As mentioned earlier, most manufacturers advise changing your oil every 3,000-5,000 miles or every 6 months. This is essential to keep the very hot and very fast-moving metal components of your engine properly lubricated. Ever seen old motor oil with shiny flakes in it? That is ground metal from engine components due to an improperly lubricated system…which is very bad.
  2. Replacing oil and air filters at regular intervals. Every oil change typically means a new oil filter, and new air filters to ensure the flow of everything is at peak levels and there are no restrictions along the system This helps keep your fuel economy at its most efficient as well, which is an essential factor for many on long RV trips.
  3. Check fluid levels regularly. Just because you haven’t hit those 5,000 miles or 6 months, doesn’t mean the oil in your engine is not breaking down. Especially on a road trip in your RV, be sure to check your oil levels every time you fill your gas tank. Also, while you’re at it, be sure to check all of your system fluids as necessary, such as your brake fluid levels, windshield wiper fluid, coolant, and power steering fluid.
  4. Check belts and hoses for wear. As mentioned earlier, this is a pretty easy one to hear when you start your engine or turn your wheel. Most of the time, your belts let you know when they need some attention via a very high-pitched squeal, which is the sound of the belt slipping. If it’s constant when you turn the engine on, it’s likely your serpentine belt, if it is only when you turn your wheels, it is likely the power steering belt. Hoses can be a bit trickier as they are typically for compression (air) in your engine. If you’re having a loss of power or notice a hissing noise, break out that spray bottle of soapy water from earlier when we checked your propane system, and spray the compression hoses to look for leaks.
  5. Check your batteries. We already went over this one, but it’s important enough to mention again in this article as it is a very common startup issue that can be easily remedied without much mechanical knowledge. Big thing is to check for corrosion, which will present itself as blue or pink crystals building up on the battery terminals. Oftentimes when this is the issue, all you have to do is remove the clamps from the terminals, and scrape or brush away the corrosion. Baking soda in water works wonders, but be sure to wear proper protection including rubber gloves and eye protection.

Best Practices for Maintaining your RV Transmission

Very similar to engine maintenance, transmission maintenance largely involves changing lubricating fluids and filters at regular, manufacturer-recommended intervals.

  1. Change fluids at regular intervals as recommended by the manufacturer. Typically, transmission fluid is recommended to be changed every 30,000-50,000 miles.
  2. Replace the transmission filter on your RV with every transmission fluid change. This helps to keep your transmission fluid clean and free of debris.
  3. Check for leaks around your transmission and repair immediately if a leak is found, one way to passively keep an eye on this is to look at the ground under your RV to see if there are any fluids near the transmission.
  4. Drive conservatively whenever possible, this reduces the strain on your transmission when shifting gears and will prolong the life of your factory RV transmission.


Exterior Maintenance of your RV


Exterior RV maintenance is more important than most people think before RV ownership. RV’s are typically built to have a greater focus on being lightweight than ultra-durable, and that requires a little more TLC than your normal motor vehicle. Being constantly exposed to the elements, road debris, salt in the winter, etc., they are prone to leaks, rust, and potentially rot (depending on where they are kept). Use the following checklist to ensure the longevity of your RV’s exterior.

  1. Clean your RV regularly. Regular cleaning of your RV removes dirt, road grime, grease, oil, insects, and other debris that can cause damage to your RV over time. Similar to a car, you want to hose the exterior down before scrubbing with a soft, microfiber brush or towel to avoid scratching the paint during cleaning.
  2. Check the roof for leaks after big storms, snowfall, and taking out of storage. Also, be sure to check all windows and the cabinets along the corners of the wall and ceiling- sometimes leaks like to hide in there and you won’t find them until you see visible water damage. Consider purchasing and applying RV roof sealant every 5-10 years. Be very careful walking around on the roof of your RV as well, especially if there isn’t a ladder attached from the factory as that typically means the roof is not designed to be regularly walked on. Just like walking around in an attic, be sure to look for the studs and only step on those studs, otherwise, you may send a leg through your roof!
  3. Clean and dry the awning after every trip and before storing it for the off-season. Just like a tent, you never want to roll up and store a wet awning as it will grow mold and mildew that will deteriorate your awning and can cause potential health implications. Use a soft brush and a mild cleaner to clean your RV awning.
  4. Check your tires (including your spare tire!). This one has come up a few times now… may be due to the high importance of having tires in good condition! Be sure to check your tires’ tread depth, sidewalls, air pressure, and visual condition periodically, and every time you depart on a trip. You’ll want to keep a keen eye out for any bulges or bald spots as well, which means that the tire needs to be replaced ASAP. 


For a high-quality line of products designed to protect your RV and improve your overall quality of time while traveling, consider checking out EZ SNAP. EZ SNAP specializes in exterior RV products such as RV skirting, RV insulation, and RV sun protection. EZ SNAP is most famous for its RV skirting, which is used as a barrier around the bottom of your RV to prevent wind, rain, snow, and dust from entering the underside of your RV while parked and camping.

Not only does EZ SNAP skirting help prevent unnecessary damage to the undercarriage of your RV, but it also provides the best layer of insulation that you can get for your RV. If you have ever camped or slept in a hammock without any insulation under your body, you know what we’re talking about. The wind that blows under the RV is a huge heat drain and will reduce the overall interior temperature of your RV by several degrees, at best, skirting eliminates this. 


Maintaining your RV Interior


Maintaining the interior of your RV can be as important as maintaining the exterior of your RV due to safety and health implications. Maintaining the interior of your RV is what ensures you have the comfort and safety of home while on the road, and the following checklist will help achieve that goal. 


  1. Clean the interior regularly, including the floors during and after every trip to maintain a non-slip and clean entry to your home on wheels. It is very difficult to get into the heating system of an RV, and most often the heat registers are on the floor. You will want to ideally vacuum the floor of your RV every few days on the road and especially when you return so debris and dirt do not end up in your heating ducts, then blowing everywhere inside your RV when you need to turn the heat on, leading to a higher risk of respiratory illness or allergies. Also with the kitchen oftentimes in the most heavily trafficked area, there is a higher risk for grease splatters on the floor that can create a slipping hazard. You will also want to dust, wipe down surfaces, and remove any travel dust that may have entered during your trip.
  2. Check appliances for functionality. Turn on all your systems before departure so you can ensure a safe and comfortable experience. Test the stove, refrigerator, freezer, heating, A/C, any slide-outs, water tanks, water systems such as sinks and showers, circuit breaker box (have spare circuits), and any other interior systems that are critical to your safety and comfort. You will also want to make sure that all appliances that run on either propane OR electricity are functional in all modes; for instance, make sure if you have a 3-way fridge that the house batteries, propane tanks, and shore power are all working properly before leaving for your trip.
  3. Check for any water or fluid leaks, particularly in overhead cabinets that occupy the corner between the wall and ceiling, that’s a great place for water damage to hide. Looking under your sink and clearing out any pea traps is also a great idea before leaving on a trip to ensure your plumbing is not backed up in any way. Fill your water tank and turn on each sink and shower, one at a time to isolate any potential leaks. Having a helper to quickly look for leaks under cabinets is also very useful to quickly pinpoint leaks while minimizing water damage.
  4. Test electrical systems, as previously mentioned, turn on all systems one at a time to isolate any issues and get them repaired immediately by a professional if problems are discovered.
  5. While checking for leaks, if any water damage is found, also keep a keen eye out for mold damage that could create long-term health implications. This can look like anything from dried water stains to black spots with fruiting bodies of mold growing. If you can see mold, it is a problem that will need professional remediation and potential replacement of insulation, wall paneling, roofing, cabinetry, etc.
  6. Check all emergency systems such as your smoke detectors, CO alarms, fire extinguishers, and med-kits. Restock anything that needs to be restocked and replace anything that needs to be replaced. There will be expiration dates on most of this equipment that you can refer to, or simply replace with fresh batteries before your trip. 


Maintaining your RV Electrical and Plumbing Systems


  1. Drain and flush the water systems after each trip and properly winterize your tanks every Autumn. This will help prevent any clogging due to hard water or mineral deposition and make it difficult for mold and mildew to colonize your tanks.
  2. Use water softeners to minimize mineral deposition in your tanks and lines, further increasing the longevity of your factory systems.
  3. Check all electrical connections such as fire alarms, radio, hitch connections, etc.
  4. Use surge protectors when connecting to shore power or a generator to add one more level of electrical protection to your trip. They make special surge protectors for RVs that should always be used when plugging your RV into a power source. 


Properly Storing your RV


Properly storing an RV is a very important part of RV ownership to mitigate damage from the environment, pests, and other factors that can cause wear and tear to your vehicle while it sits waiting for the next trip. 


Some essential tips for storing your RV are:

  1. Clean your RV every time you return from a trip.
  2. Empty the water tanks and make sure they are dry before storing them for an extended period.
  3. Winterize your RV by emptying the water tanks, and water heater, and using a specialized RV antifreeze that can be placed down each sink, shower, and toilet drain.
  4. Cover your RV with a high-quality RV cover to prevent environmental damage from the weather, sun, pests, etc.
  5. Disconnect batteries and keep them in a warm place until ready for use, and always connect to a battery tender to keep the charge and health of your batteries up. 


Tips for long-term storage of your RV:


  1. Use a climate-controlled RV storage center. These are the most expensive option, but also the most guaranteed option for keeping your RV properly stored when not in use.
  2. Check your RV regularly by removing the cover, inspecting for water or rodent damage, and regularly repairing what needs to be repaired.
  3. Use tire covers to keep your tires out of the sun and to minimize any dry rot and exposure to the elements.
  4. Consider RV-specific storage products such as EZ-SNAP skirting, window covers, and tire covers. There are also specific anti-mold cleaners that are very useful and great to have. 


As we have been discussing at length in this article, preparedness while traveling in your RV is critical to avoid costly accidents, and to ensure a smooth, safe, and fun trip for everyone. Some emergency supplies that should be kept in every RV include but are not limited to

  1. Basic first aid kit to treat injuries and know how to use it in the event of an emergency. You should be able to treat minor injuries and illnesses while on the road or camping.
  2. Emergency food and water supply need to be kept in a safe location and out of sight, such as under the main bed. This should not be kept anywhere that wildlife, other travelers, or cold temperatures can get to. Not much sense in having extra water if it’s frozen!
  3. Flashlight/headlamps, and extra batteries in the event of a power outage in the evening.
  4. Portable, hand-crank radio for weather and emergency reports
  5. Tool kit with basic hand tools for minor repairs
  6. Emergency warmth such as blankets, hats, gloves, hand warmers, and propane heaters such as a Mr. Buddy heater.
  7. Fire extinguisher


Even with all the planning in the world, accidents and emergencies can still happen. It is best to stay calm and know exactly what it is that you need to do in any given situation, and the only way to ensure that is through training and practice. In the event of an emergency on the road in your RV, be sure to


  1. Stay calm. Easier said than done, but staying calm not only helps to make more logical decisions but also aids in keeping those around you calm, which fosters a much better environment to figure out what comes next.
  2. Take an emergency preparedness course such as the Wilderness First Responder course offered by organizations such as NOLS Wilderness Medicine, which specializes in backcountry medical stabilization and emergency preparedness in a remote setting.
  3. Follow safety protocols while driving. If you need to pull over or make an unexpected stop, pull over as slowly as you safely can, turn on your hazard lights (that you checked to make sure worked before leaving), and evaluate the next move from there.
  4. Dial 911 to activate emergency services if you need emergency or medical assistance.
  5. Have a plan for emergencies and discuss it with your group before you depart on your trip, such as a meeting place if separated, informing friends about your location, and sharing emergency contact information with everyone. 


Additional Tips and Tricks for Maintaining your RV


Owning an RV is no simple task, and it comes with a lot of upkeep, maintenance, and preparation. However, if you follow the tips in this article and the following list of additional tips and tricks, you will be off to a fantastic start to a relaxing and rewarding travel experience. 


  1. Keep a regular maintenance schedule so you’re never guessing what is “due” or needs to be looked at more closely.
  2. Check the roof regularly for leaks and damage, as this is one of the first places where damage will inevitably occur over time.
  3. Use high-quality cleaning products that are specifically made for RVs, as they will be gentle enough to use on the paint, yet strong enough to remove dirt and road grime.
  4. Check tire pressure and maintain it at the manufacturer’s recommendations. Also do visual inspections of tires regularly, looking for bulges or bald spots.
  5. Find reliable RV specialists in your area to help diagnose and repair things outside of your ability. These are also great places to get advice as you build a relationship… don’t just go and ask for free advice.
  6. Join RV clubs and forums. This is where you go for free and knowledgeable advice from experienced RV owners.
  7. Use RV and tire covers to protect the exterior of your RV.
  8. Always keep a basic toolkit and fire extinguisher on board for emergencies and minor repairs. 


Q. What is the best way to maintain an RV’s exterior?

A. The best and easiest way to maintain your RV’s exterior is by cleaning it after every trip and storing it under an RV cover.

Q. How often should I perform an RV pre-trip inspection?

A. RV pre-trip inspections should be completed a few times before leaving on a trip. For example, check all the major systems that would require a trip to the shop at least 4-6 weeks before you leave. Other pre-check items can be done during the week of departure, such as checking tire pressure and your smoke and CO alarms.

Q. What supplies should I keep in my RV for emergencies?

A. As discussed earlier, you will want to keep extra food and water, blankets, flashlights, batteries, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, and an emergency plan that is shared with the group.

Q. How do I find a reliable RV maintenance professional in my area?

A. The easiest way is a simple web search for local RV dealers or shops. Also, ask any friends you have in the area who own an RV and read reviews online. 


Featured Image by vicznutz from Pixabay

Best RV Travel Deals, Passes and Discounts for Seniors

Best RV Travel Deals, Passes and Discounts for Seniors

Discover Park Passes & Discounts for the Ultimate Road Trip Experience

The Rest of Your Life


Everyone works towards retirement; however, few actually plan for it. 

Many plan financially for a time when daily work obligations end, but how many consider what to do with all of the time? “I’ll play golf,” “I’ll spend time with the grandchildren,” ” I’ll work in the garden,” does this sound familiar?  


As longevity increases, thanks to modern medical advances, retirement is also extended. Retirees have spent most of their adult life paying for a house and may still have a mortgage or ongoing rental costs. Do you want to spend your “golden years” in a “golden cage”? 

There is another option that is exciting and stimulating. Haven’t you always wanted to see the Grand Canyon?

Antique Trailer & Car - Unlock the Best RV Travel Deals for SeniorsImage Credit: Henry Leirvoll / flickr


A Recreational Vehicle (RV) is the answer. The term “recreational vehicle” can describe a fifth wheel (living space pulled behind a vehicle), a motorhome (living space with locomotion), a camper, or an all-inclusive “travel trailer.” It can also be a converted van for minimalists. 

What an RV really is, however, is freedom. The freedom to explore and enjoy retirement. 


Most seniors don’t realize that many discounts are available to minimize adventure costs. The federal government, individual states, cities, and private enterprises offer reduced prices for many places to camp, national and local parks, historical sights, museums, amusement venues, restaurants, and more for those of a certain age.


Before everyone owned a handheld computer (cell), it was difficult to access these benefits. Now, however, it is all at the explorer’s fingertips. So now is the time to unlock the best RV deals for seniors and discover park passes and other discounts for the ultimate road trip experience. 

Senior Park Pass - Unlock the Best RV Travel Deals for SeniorsImage Credit: USGS


Park Passes for Seniors


No one would argue that aging comes with some negative consequences. Consider the alternative. Many studies show that seniors who keep their minds and bodies active live longer and live happier. Exploring the wonders of America can do both. 


The federal government encourages seniors to engage positively by offering an America Beautiful-the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, commonly called “The Senior Pass.” The pass provides free access and significant discounts at National Parks and other federal recreation areas. However, the passes are not free.


A lifetime Senior Pass costs $80. The government made it easier by extending yearly passes for $20. When a senior purchases four yearly passes, it automatically converts to a lifetime benefit. But be aware there are 16 free National Parks. However, there may be other costs, camping or parking fees, for example. 


Passes can be purchased at any federal recreation site for a legal resident 62 years or older. They can also be purchased online at https://store.usgs.gov. In addition to the entrance, the pass provides discounts on some camping sites, swimming, and boat launches. Check the website of the park to find specifics. 


City park passes for seniors are available in most communities. Each state has its own guidelines. For example, the senior pass in California allows a yearly $1 discount for day vehicle use and a $2 discount for family camping. Over time, these discounts add up. Again, check the city’s website to find the specifics. In general, the passes can be purchased at the park or online. 

Military Family - Unlock the Best RV Travel Deals for SeniorsImage by Kim Heimbuch from Pixabay


Are you or a traveling companion on active duty, retired military, veteran, or a Gold Star Family member? The federal government offers a free lifetime Military Pass to thank you for your service. The Interagency Military Pass provides free admission and basic facility fees at the following agency areas:


US Army Corps of Engineers

US Fish and Wildlife Service

Bureau of Land Management

US Forest Service

Bureau of Reclamation

The free Military Pass does not cover camping fees, tours, or reservation fees. In addition, it will not help with concessions or group fees. Receive your free pass online at https://store.usgs.gov and select “MilitaryPass.” 

Senior Discounts - Unlock the Best RV Travel Deals for SeniorsImage by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

Senior Discounts


One of the benefits of the RV lifestyle is the community. Multiple online sites and blogs specifically address senior discounts for the RV and other expenses along the way. One way to save money is by an RV Club. RV clubs make a financial deal with campgrounds for a discount. You save money, typically 25% per night, and the campground gets more business. Check out the Good Sam Club.


Save a buck on food, gas, and supplies. Keep a record of restaurants that offer senior discounts. If you have a Costco card, the gas prices are lower. Fill up there. You can also buy a gas discount card online, offered by several companies. AARP card? More discounts. As you start your voyage, talk to other RVers, find out how they save money with senior discounts and spend time searching online. 


A good idea is to rent an RV for a trial run. You may find it isn’t for you before laying out a lot of money. Several companies offer senior discounts. Don’t jump at the first RV rental place; compare and ask each if they provide a “maturity” discount.

VW Van - Where to Go - Unlock the Best RV Travel Deals for SeniorsImage by Pexels from Pixabay

Where to go?


One way to approach a trip is to select a place you want to see. Then, research what else is of interest along the way. For example, on your way to the Grand Canyon, stop in Cawker City, Kansas, to see the world’s largest ball of twine. 


Nature– The diverse national parks and natural wonders of America span all 50 states (Hawaii may be hard to reach) and change with the seasons. There are unlimited places and things to experience.

-Coastal Adventures- Do you like the beach? Start in Maine in the spring and end up in Florida for the winter driving along the coast. Next year. Start in Port Townsend, Washington, and get to Mexico for warmer weather. 

-History- If you are a history buff, map a trip that hits all the civil war battlegrounds or head to the Alamo. 

-Big Cities- Start in the largest city closest to you and pick a direction. Visiting and comparing foods, lifestyles, and local activities will introduce you to many new experiences. 


Don’t just show up, Do your due diligence. Research campground locations (did you know Walmart allows RVs overnight in their parking lot?). Find safe areas ahead of time and read what other RVers had to say about a destination. Being prepared is a safety measure. 

Motorhomes - On Your Way - Best RV Travel Deals for Seniors
Image by
Siggy Nowak from Pixabay

On Your Way


Which RV?

Now you have committed to the vagabond lifestyle, get started. The first order of business is selecting an RV that meets your needs. The first and most important consideration is choosing a rig (slang for RV) that you can handle. It doesn’t matter what else the RV offers; if you can’t drive and park it, it doesn’t matter.


There are three categories of RVs:


  1. Class A Motorhomes are strong, large, and heavy. These are similar to the high-end tour bus a band might use on the road.
  2. Class B RVs are similar to an oversized van. They are tiny; however, they are the least expensive, provide the cheapest gas mileage, and are the easiest to drive and park. 
  3. Class C combines the other two classes. There is an overhead sleeping compartment and more living space. They may have slide-outs for additional inside space while parked. Another benefit is the ability to tow a car or motorcycle trailer behind. 


Packing and Preparing

One thing you must accept is that less is more. While some things can be stored, it becomes a matter of priority. Bring your favorite coffee maker and pictures of the grandchildren. Leave unnecessary knick-knacks, wall art, superfluous dishware, and anything else you will not need and can do without. Remember that more items in a small space equals clutter.

Health & Safety - Unlock the Best RV Travel Deals for SeniorsImage by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay


Health and Safety

Another concern for traveling seniors concerns well-being. Bring as much as possible if you are on medications, and consider having refills available through a national brand pharmacy for easy refills. As you plan your escapades, always research hospitals or clinics along the route in case of emergency. 


If you have any physical limitations, find ways to accommodate potential difficulties. For example, if you have a class C rig and arthritis of the knees, climbing up to reach the sleeping area can be a problem. Buy a collapsible stool. Consider where your RV hooks up to water and electricity. Are you able to reach and strong enough to make secure couplings? You may need a large wrench and a flat roller, such as car mechanics use. 


Additionally, it is important to consider the use of RV skirting for both winter and summer to protect your RV from harsh weather conditions and reduce energy costs. Make sure that your skirting is properly fitted to the contours of your RV to prevent air infiltration.

Stay Connected

When on the road for extended periods, someone must know your itinerary. Call, text, or email that person on a routine basis. If anything untold should happen and you don’t make the expected contact, your contact can notify officials and have a good idea of where to find you.

Retired Couple - What Are You Waiting ForImage by Alisa Dyson from Pixabay


What Are You Waiting For?


Exploring the country is good for your health and well-being. There are different-sized RVs to fit all needs. With a little time planning and research, you can save a lot of money. It is exciting and gives you direction and purpose after a lifetime of working. You stay mentally stimulated and see and learn new things.


Or, you could sit in front of the TV with a beer and watch I Love Lucy reruns day after day. Get up and get moving; live life; it’s not over until it’s over. Most people today will spend 10 to 30 years as retired seniors. So, get busy and start logging the discounts that are due to you as a senior. And get on the road.

Additional Information: 


Travel Trailer & Truck - Unlock the Best RV Travel Deals for Seniors
Feature Image Credit: National Park Service

Beginners Guide to RV Trailers for First-Time RV Buyers

Beginners Guide to RV Trailers for First-Time RV Buyers

There’s nothing quite like the freedom that comes with owning an RV trailer. Beautiful mountain vistas, mesmerizing oceans, and exciting adventures are easily at your disposal when you can haul your accommodations behind your vehicle. An RV trailer is defined as a trailer that is outfitted with living quarters and is hauled behind a tow vehicle using a hitch. This is in comparison to a motorhome, which does not need to be towed because the RV, itself, is drivable.  

Types of RV Trailers

There are many different types of RV trailers to fit the needs of a wide variety of travelers:


  •  Pop-up trailers – These look similar to a box and are only a few feet tall when being towed. At the campsite, the owner raises the “lid” by turning a crank or pressing an automatic crank button. Then, beds slide out on either side. The slide-out beds and middle living area are protected from the elements by canvas walls and clear, vinyl, zippered windows. The central part of the pop-up camper might be big enough for a small kitchen, table, and bench seats.
  • Truck campers – This kind of camper is the one exception to the “towed” part of the RV trailer definition. A truck camper doesn’t need to be towed because it sits in a truck bed and does not have wheels. Usually, the bed area extends over the cab of the truck.
  •  Hybrid trailers – This kind of trailer is a cross between a pop-up camper and a travel trailer. They mostly have rigid exterior walls in addition to slide-outs with canvas walls.
  • Travel trailers – These are what most people think about when they hear “RV trailer.”  They widely vary in size and often feature hard-wall slide-outs. Most of the time, they are big enough to have a full (albeit small) bathroom.
  • Fifth-wheel trailers – Fifth-wheel trailers are larger than most travel trailers. Instead of connecting to a bumper hitch, they attach to a large hitch that must be installed in the bed of your truck. Some 5th wheels are suitable for winter living with RV Skirting.
  • Sport-utility trailers – They come equipped with living space on the front end, as well as a garage and ramp on the back end. People who travel with motocross bikes, ATVs, or other sports-utility vehicles often use them because they can simply roll their “toys” into the back of the trailer and camp simultaneously. 
Travel Trailer with 4 x 4 Van Tow Vehicle

Image by Gavin Seim from Pixabay

Benefits of Owning an RV Trailer

It’s not hard to see the numerous benefits of having your own hotel-on-wheels. Traveling with an RV trailer gives you more control over your vacation. Headaches over canceled flights and questioning the cleanliness of highly-used hotel mattresses will be no more. Additionally, you can forgo expensive restaurants by making your own food in your RV kitchen.

RV Trailer vs. MotorHome

When comparing a motorhome to an RV trailer, there are many reasons why people often opt for the latter. It’s all about flexibility when you’re traveling. Will you want to leave the state park or KOA and explore after making yourself at home? In a motorhome situation, you would have to pack everything up and take your home with you while you adventure beyond the front gates.

On the other hand, if you own an RV trailer, all you would have to do is unhitch your truck or SUV, and bam! You would be free to drive wherever you want, leaving your accommodations at the campground. Backcountry dirt roads or tight parking lots wouldn’t be an issue for you.

Here’s one more factor to consider: most motorhomes are not equipped with crash-tested car seat hookups in the passenger area. Therefore, if you have young children, your truck or SUV would be a safer place for them to ride.

Which RV Trailer is Right for You

Image by Siggy Nowak from Pixabay

Which RV Trailer is Right for You?

When you’ve been wishing for too long and are finally ready to purchase your own RV trailer, it’s vital to consider the following factors.

What Size Do I Need?

Of course, you’ll need to think about the number of people who will be using the RV trailer regularly. But it’s more than just looking at the number of people that can sleep in any given trailer. Sure, you might be able to fit seven occupants into a 23-foot-long trailer, but you might like more elbow room than that would allow for your seven-person family.

What kind of storage space will you need in your RV trailer? This depends on how many days you plan on spending away from home. Consider how much food and clothes you plan to bring, and ensure your trailer comes with all the cabinets and shelves you will need.

When deciding what size you need, consider where you plan to take your RV trailer. Do you want to drive on narrow, steep roads and sleep in the middle of the Rocky Mountains? In that case, a smaller pop-up camper might be more suitable than a large-and-in-charge fifth-wheel trailer.

What is My Vehicle Capable of Towing

Image by Mike Goad from Pixabay

What is My Vehicle Capable of Towing?

Deciding on an RV trailer type and size will only be relevant if your truck or SUV is capable of towing it. Check your vehicle manufacturer’s specifications for your tow rating. You’ll add the weight of the trailer to the weight of passengers and cargo to come up with a total towing weight.

Everything that goes into your vehicle and trailer, including gas, water, suitcases, mountain bikes, etc., must be calculated into the total towing weight. And just to be safe, make sure your vehicle’s tow rating is well above what you calculate the total weight to be.

What Amenities Do I Need?

RV trailers can come with an endless number of add-ons and amenities, so what are your priorities? Do you need a bathtub for your toddler? Private sleeping quarters? A full kitchen? As you look at different brands and models, your “must-have” features might change.

For example, you might start by looking for a four-bed travel trailer for your four-person family, but come to find out that two of the beds need to be converted from the kitchen table and bench seats. Knowing this, you may consider upgrading to a six-person trailer with two bunk beds. Converting the table and sofa into beds every night during your vacation really cuts into family fun time, so it’s no wonder why you would change your mind. This is just one instance of how priorities can change when looking at different amenities.

How Much Can I Afford to Spend on an RV Trailer and How Will I Pay for it

Image by Steve Adcock from Pixabay

How Much Can I Afford to Spend on an RV Trailer, and How Will I Pay for it?

The answer to this question might impact the number of amenities that can fit on your priority list. Consider how you’re going to pay for your new trailer. Are you going to pay cash or get an RV or personal loan? If you need to get a loan, how much can you afford to spend monthly to pay it back? Here are the differences between different types of RV loans and personal loans:

  • RV loan from a bank – Almost any bank can provide you with an RV loan just like they would a car loan (but they are not the same). You might do this before visiting the RV dealer to determine your budget ahead of time. Your lender may or may not require your RV to be inspected before they will approve the loan, which could cost a couple of hundred dollars.
  • RV loan from a dealer – After choosing your perfect RV trailer, the dealer will likely present you with many financing options. Sometimes, going through the dealer for RV financing can give you a certain amount of negotiating power on the asking price.
  • Personal loan – A personal loan might be the right decision if you need to borrow less than $10,000. After obtaining a lump sum payment from the lender, you can show up at the dealership with cash in-hand.
How to Maintain Your RV Trailer

Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay

How to Maintain Your RV Trailer

The best things in life require regular care and attention, and an RV trailer is no different. Proper maintenance will help your recreational investment to keep going strong after decades of use.

Regular Inspections and Tune-Ups

Depending on your state, you might be required to have your RV trailer inspected yearly, just like your regular vehicle. Most states require inspections for trailers that are over a specified weight.

Whether or not yearly inspections are required for you, you should regularly have an RV mechanic check your tires, brakes, and other mechanical components for any problems. You could avoid a major accident by doing so.

Don’t Replace Your Old Windows with Low-E Glass – Use Shade Screens

Don’t Replace Your Old Windows with Low-E Glass – Use Shade Screens

Window Shades
Skylight Shades
RV Skirting
RV Shades
Boat Shades

Imagine losing $1000 from your income every single year.

For most American households, that’s roughly how much it will cost to heat and cool their home for the year.

That adds up, especially when every dollar counts.

It’s no surprise that people are looking for ways to save on energy costs.

Typically, windows are the worst energy culprits on any given house.

Heat gain and heat loss through windows account for between 25%-30% of a home’s energy use for heating and cooling.

If a window has failing seals, it will perform even worse.

Even the type of the window frame can affect energy performance.

If the window frame is made from a material that is a poor insulator, such as aluminum, it can create what’s known as a thermal bridge and conduct heat from inside the house to outside. 

One inefficient window can lose as much heat as 10 to 20 times what an insulated wall would lose.

Even if your window is new and well sealed, it could still be the cause for a lot of energy use in your home.

Solar energy is still able to pass through glass, so even an insulated window can heat up a room quickly if it gets a lot of sun.

In the dead heat of summer, having even just one window or skylight that gets a lot of sun exposure can mean the AC is running all day just to cool the room off.

So What Can Be Done?

The most common recommendation to make old windows more energy efficient is to replace them entirely with new, low-e windows.

Low-e windows are windows that have been treated with a film that reflects solar heat while still letting natural light pass through.

With less solar heat entering the home, the AC no longer has to work as hard to keep the house cool.

The less energy the AC uses, the more savings there are for the homeowner.

Is replacing old windows with new ones worth the cost?

There will be energy savings from replacing old windows with new, low-e glass windows but it comes with a substantial upfront cost.

The National Association of Realtors estimates the cost of replacing every window in a 2,450 square foot house to be around $19,000.

For a household trying to save money in energy bills, that’s a very large investment with a slow return.

What are some more cost effective alternatives to replacing an old window?

The most important thing to do with old windows is stop any exchange of air between the inside and outside of your house.

For drafty windows, using a product like rope caulk to seal up any holes can make a major improvement.

Plastic film insulation is another popular and effective solution for sealing up older windows.

Both options are inexpensive and simple enough for anyone to apply.

For windows that get a lot of sun exposure, a quick and easy way to make them more energy efficient is to mount exterior shade mesh on them (also called shade screen or solar screen/mesh/fabric).

There are a lot of different kinds of shade mesh available, but they all work by the same principle.

It’s a mesh fabric, and like low-e glass, it works by blocking solar heat and light, while still letting natural light through.

Unlike low-e glass, which is a film that’s been applied to the glass, solar mesh is installed on the exterior of the window.

Applying the shade screen to the outside of a window is key for it’s ability to keep a room cool.

If it’s applied to the inside of a window it will still work but not nearly as well.

If it’s mounted on the inside the screen will still provide shade from the sun, but the energy savings will be significantly less because the heat will be trapped inside the house.

If you are considering shade screens for your home and don’t know which one to choose, the easiest and best option is EZ Snap.

They sell do-it-yourself kits that let you mount and cut your mesh to your window, no matter it’s size or shape.

EZ Snap is also a fraction of the cost of what you would pay to buy and install new windows.

You save on the price of the product, and because you are able to install it yourself, you save on labor as well.

EZ Snap shade screen is also better at blocking solar heat than low-e glass.

The effectiveness of heat blocking applications for windows is measured by the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC).

The SHGC is the amount of solar radiation (heat) that transmits through a window.

It’s measured between 0 and 1, and the less solar heat that transmits through a window, the lower a window’s SHGC number is going to be.

There are a lot of low-e glass makes and models, but the range of SHGC for most of them from varies between 0.60 – 0.25. 

Shade mesh from EZ Snap has a SHGC of .18.

Something else to consider is that low-e windows are known to damage turf and siding.

In the right conditions, the solar heat that they reflect can focus into a hot spot creating a magnifying glass effect that melts anything in its path.

The problem is becoming so rampant with the rising popularity of low-e windows that one scientist is calling them, “the next asbestos.”

If you or your neighbor has a low-e window that is damaging property, EZ Snap is also the ideal solution.

Rather than replace the entire window, installing EZ Snap window shade over the problem window provides a fast and effective fix.

The solar heat is reflected off of the mesh before it ever reaches the window, preventing any chance of a hot spot forming.

The result is 100 percent effective and can be installed in as little as an afternoon.

An added benefit to an exterior shade product like EZ Snap is that it’s also removable. So, when the winter months come you can take it off and benefit from the natural heating you get with the sun.

It’s like getting free heat in the winter.

No matter which window option you choose to make your home more energy efficient, it’s important to do your research before making a final decision. 

You want to make sure that you are going to be getting the maximum return for your investment.

Replacing your windows might be worth the cost, or it might make more sense to invest in solutions that are able to make your existing windows more energy efficient.


Is Your Artificial Grass Melting? The Cause And The Solution

Is Your Artificial Grass Melting? The Cause And The Solution

Artificial Turf Melting: The Cause & The Solution

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.

Fake grass will begin to melt at around 175 degrees Fahrenheit. We recently had a customer write to us to say that his turf was melting due to a Low-E window. He took a reading of the hot spot that was destroying his lawn and it was over 190 degrees.

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.

Low E Window Reflection Melting Astro Turf

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 number 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 neighbor’s 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.

Inside View Black EZ Snap Shade Screens

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 the 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 its benefits, click here.

How to Install EZ Snap Shades on Sliding Patio Doors?

How to Install EZ Snap Shades on Sliding Patio Doors?

In some cases EZ Snap® fasteners stick out too far and the door won’t slide open without knocking them off.

Sliding Patio Door Shade Instructions…

First check to see how much clearance you have between the surface where you will be mounting the EZ Snap® Fasteners and the surface that will be sliding past the snaps. You’ll need 3/4” clearance between these surfaces.

This clearance needed for EZ Snap® Fasteners is the same, whether you are using the Stainless Screw or the 3M Adhesive Studs.

If you do not have 3/4” clearance, here are your options:

  1. Mount 3M Adhesive Studs directly on the patio door glass to gain more clearance.
  2. Use Velcro on the patio door glass to gain more clearance.
  3. Mount your 3M Adhesive Studs onto the existing bug screen frame for one of the windows and use the outermost panel to mount the other shade screen onto. This works well most of the time since the bug screen frame usually has lots of clearance from the sliding door.

Note that if you install EZ Snap® Shade Mesh over top of your bug screen, a moray pattern will appear. This does not affect the performance of the Shade Mesh, but will affect your view. Optionally, you may remove the bug screen from the frame to avoid this issue.

What Color Shade Mesh is the Most Popular?

What Color Shade Mesh is the Most Popular?

Black EZ Snap® Shade Mesh is the Most Popular Color

There are two main reasons why black shade mesh is most popular:

The human eye sees lighter colors easier than darker ones. Because of this, your eyes will see right through a black screen and see the brighter colors outside… very important, if you want to maintain the view from your windows after your window shades are installed. If the exterior shade screens were white, your eyes would mostly see the white screens, making it very difficult to see through the screens. The same reason that your TV screen is black… so you see the color pixels of the image and not the screen itself. When viewing your shaded windows from the exterior, black sun shades generally just look better than lighter colored shades. Let’s say, for example, that you have a tan colored house. If you put tan shade mesh over the windows, the windows blend completely into the color of the house. This makes it look like either your house does not have windows, or that they are covered with plywood. A black shade on the same tan colored house enhances the window.

Window Shade Colours

Black exterior sun shades look more natural from the outside and maintain your view from the inside, making black our most popular window shade colour.

Shade “Product of the Year”

EZ Snap® Quick & Easy

The patented EZ Snap® fasteners & our proprietary non-fray fabrics make it easy for you to “cut to size” and install right on site. Our “NO DRILL” 3M™ adhesive snap studs also mean no holes in your skylights, windows or RV with professional-looking results, every time.

  • No Experience Needed
  • No Special Tools Required
  • No Drill 3M™ Adhesive Studs
  • Non-Fray EZ Snap™ Solar Shading Mesh

How EZ Snap® Pricing Works

Combine Multiple Windows & Skylights to Save Money

Larger Shade Kits work well for projects that include multiple windows or skylights. Find the best kit using the EZ Snap® Kit Size Calculator. If you have a boat or RV, combine projects to save money.

EZ Snap Window Shade Kit Size Calculator

The EZ Snap® Kit Size Calculator determines the best layout for your shades and then recommends the correct size Shade Kit for each project.

Remember to enter your email address to receive a customized layout diagram and snap counts for each skylight or window... very helpful for ordering correctly and planning your cuts before starting your installation.

Windows may be rotated for efficient nesting of multiple Shades. Find the most efficient layout easily with the EZ Snap® Kit Size Calculator.

Vinyl Siding Melting Solutions

Vinyl Siding Melting Solutions

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Repair Melted Siding for the Last Time.

How to fix Low-E window reflection from your neighbour’s house.

Is the vinyl siding on your house melting or warping? A more common problem than homeowners realize. It is almost always caused by the sun reflecting off a nearby window onto your vinyl siding.
Vinyl siding melting from window reflection VIDEO

Ohio woman suing home builder after her house began ‘melting’.

Sun reflecting off of window glass and melting and warping vinyl siding VIDEO from NBC News… New low e windows act like a magnifying glass, concentrating the sun’s energy onto a small area. Temperatures in these hot spots often exceed the melting temperature of vinyl siding, causes thousands of dollars in damage. Typically, most vinyl siding products will start to melt and warp when they reach 160 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. On darker colored siding, temperatures have been recorded of nearly 220° F in the area where reflected light is hitting.

Is melted vinyl siding a new problem?

Melted siding from window reflection is a problem that has become more common in recent years. The main reason is the increasing number of Low-E or energy efficient windows that are being installed in new homes or renovated homes.

Low-E windows are designed to reflect more heat away from the glass by design.

That is why low e windows help cool your home. The problem is that reflected light off these windows is now more powerful than ever and it substantially increases the surface temperature of the objects it lands on, like vinyl siding or artificial turf. Facts from vinylsiding.org: Glass in double paned windows may on occasion slightly warp or deflect due to a difference in barometric pressure between the interior of the glass panes and the outside air pressure. This can create a concavity in the glass. Such a concavity is a normal response to pressure differences, does not affect the performance of the window, and does not constitute a defective window condition. However, the concavity may focus sunlight reflected from the window in a fashion similar to the effect seen when light passes through a magnifying glass. The heat generated by the focused reflected sunlight has proven sufficient to visibly damage and distort vinyl siding on nearby houses.
Any double paned window may cause this effect, but double paned low-e windows have a higher reflectivity quotient which can exacerbate the reflected light/vinyl distortion phenomenon…
A combination of contributing factors must be present before the effect occurs or causes damage to any nearby materials, including vinyl siding. The presence of the concavity in the double glass panes (resulting in the magnifying glass effect with a focused light beam) appears to be the primary cause of the heat generation, more so than the mere increased reflectivity of the low-e window.
The angle of the sun is also a factor. A low angle of sunlight (such as might occur in late fall, winter, or early spring) is more likely to produce the effect.
Other factors, such as proximity to the adjoining house, wind speed, air temperature, and the presence of buffering foliage are all said to have an impact on whether a damaging reflected sunlight effect does in fact occur. Facts from The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors: The intense reflection from low-E windows is reported to have caused other kinds of damage, as well, such as melted plastic trash bags and plastic garbage cans, melted plastic solar collectors, melted plastic parts of vehicles, and melted housewrap on new builds yet to be covered with siding.
Four house fires were confirmed to have been caused by such reflections, according to an investigation by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. In these cases, reflections from sunroom roof glass and skylights ignited nearby cedar shingles.
The hazard is not limited to property. One new high-rise hotel in Las Vegas reportedly gave off reflections hot enough to burn people using the hotel pool. Windows with standard glass panes can cause similar damage in some situations, but this is rarely reported.

Top 3 Ways to Prevent Melted Vinyl Siding

The easiest and most effective way to stop reflecting sun rays from melting and warping your vinyl siding, is to block those rays.

There are a variety of ways to block reflections from windows. Depending on your situation, you most likely desire quick, easy and inexpensive options.  Here are three melted vinyl siding solutions:

1. EZ Snap™ Sunshade Mesh

Stops the Sun: Exterior window shades stop intense sun from passing through your windows and also stop reflection off the outside of the glass. You end up not only stopping the sun from melting the siding, but the exterior window shade also substantially cools the room with the window.

Easy & Quick Installation: A do-it-yourself exterior shade system like the EZ Snap exterior shades can be easily installed be someone with no previous experience.

Inexpensive: They are also very affordable, costing as little as $1.70 per square foot. If the offending window happens to be on your neighbour’s house, they are so affordable, you can offer to install the EZ Snap exterior shades for free for them. This saves them money on their air-conditioning bill and you instantly stop the sun from damaging your vinyl siding.

The solution to this problem is to stop the sun’s rays before they can hit the glass and reflect off of the glass surface. When you install the EZ Snap exterior shades on your windows, it is like planting an instant shade tree in front of the offending window.

EZ Snap stops up to 90% of the sun’s rays from reaching the glass. The remaining 10% that does get through is reflected back,  but must then pass through the EZ Snap mesh a second time. Again, reducing it a further 90%.

With 99% of the reflected light now eliminated, the problem of melted vinyl siding is also eliminated.

Added Sunshade Mesh Benefits:

  • Cools the interior of your home and surface of the glass.
  • Provides daytime privacy.
  • Reduces annoying glare inside and out.
  • Lowers your air conditioning bill.
  • Prevents birds from flying into the reflective glass surface.
  • Reduces the fading and damage caused by the suns U.V. rays.

2. Plant Trees

Although this is a natural and eco-friendly solution, planting trees and waiting for them to mature, obviously takes significant time and patience. Trees and other landscaping have potential to block reflection from windows, however, seasonal leaf loss and varying sun angles can result in poor results. There’s a good visual of different options around the 2 minute mark in this DIY video…

3. Replace Vinyl Siding with Hardy Plank

Like EZ Snap, replacing your vinyl siding with cement board product like Hardy Plank is a guaranteed fix. Unfortunately, replacing your siding is a time consuming and very expensive solution. A siding repair or re-install is also beyond the ability level of most do-it-yourselfers. When replacing your vinyl siding with Hardy Board, in extreme cases, there’s still potential for the extreme heat to discolour or damage the painted surface of your new siding.

 Video Review on the EZ Snap Solution.

We recently had a customer installs vinyl siding for a living that had a melted siding problem of his own. He was so impressed with how quickly and easily the EZ Snap system solved his problem, that he did a video review of his project.

In our phone conversation with him, he says that he has seen this problem numerous times with his own siding customers. Now that he has a solution, he will be spreading the word with his customer base.  Check out his video review.

Energy-Saving Hacks for Your Home

Energy-Saving Hacks for Your Home

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These days, the number of energy-efficient products on the market is pretty impressive. But if your strategy for lowering your utility bills and going greener starts with buying sparkly new appliances, you’re neglecting several inexpensive, basic updates that make those fun new purchases perform even better. Home Improvement Leads offers a few straightforward solutions for homeowners who want to increase energy efficiency but don’t want to break the bank or undertake a major project.

Insulate and Seal

The number one bit of advice is far from glamorous but very effective: insulate. Nearly 50 percent of your heating can escape if your home is not properly insulated. You can keep turning up the thermostat in the winter or turning it down in the summer, but unless you block that heat transfer, your HVAC system will under perform.

Thankfully, this is totally appropriate for a DIY project. Add insulation in the attic and seal up holes in the heating ducts. Doors and windows are also huge culprits, so make sure you weatherstrip and fill up any cracks with sealant. Check along the floorboards and the space around fixtures for other gaps that need to be filled.

EZSnap Exterior Shades on Arched Window
Install Exterior Window Shades

Now that you have the basics out of the way, you can focus on more sophisticated approaches. Window coverings and shields can do a lot to keep the radiant heat out of your home while still providing ample daylight. EZ Snap Shading Mesh blocks up to 90 percent of the sun’s heat and UV rays that could cause your furnishings to fade. It also reduces the sun’s glare so that you can still get beautiful views of the outdoors—and as a bonus, the shades are easy to install!

Get a Programmable or Smart Thermostat

Adjusting your thermostat to only heat and cool your home when needed is an art. Some have mastered it, while others let opportunities to save energy slip by. It’s understandable—it’s inconvenient to come home to a house that’s too hot or cold. But instead of putting the burden on yourself and your family to save energy every day by adjusting the thermostat, install a programmable one. You can program it to switch to a more energy-saving temperature while you’re away, and to get comfortable again half an hour before you come home. Or go one step further and install a smart thermostat that will learn your routine, keep tabs on your energy use, and make your home more comfortable by precisely meeting your heating and cooling needs.

LED Light Bulbs Save Energy
Use LEDs Wherever They Make Sense

Traditional incandescent lights are pretty inefficient, but thankfully, recent technologies have provided us with better options like LEDs and CFLs. LEDs are the most expensive, but they also last the longest and use the least amount of energy. Because they last so long, it’s not a bad idea to replace some hard-to-reach light fixtures with LEDs so you’re changing inconveniently-located bulbs only once every few years. If you’re worried about the bright light of LEDs, rest assured that they’re now available in warmer colors comparable to traditional incandescents.

Adjust Your Habits

One of the best changes you can make doesn’t involve tools or a trip to the home improvement store. You can save energy just by reevaluating your everyday practices and setting new guidelines for your family’s energy use. Consider taking these measures to conserve:

  • Take shorter showers
  • Dry your clothes in the sun instead of in the dryer
  • Wash all of your clothes on cold—just make sure to get cold-water laundry detergent
  • Warm your home (responsibly) with a fire in the winter
  • Close the curtains when you leave on a hot day
  • Use ceiling fans instead of centralized cooling whenever possible
  • Eat more raw foods and use the oven less
  • Unplug (rather than just turn off) any unused appliances or electronics

If you like green—both on the earth and in your pocket—these simple changes will be perfect for your home and lifestyle.

New RV Skirting Website

New RV Skirting Website

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Phone & Tablet Friendly.

EZ Snap is proud to announce the official launch of our new, fully responsive website showcasing RV Skirting & Exterior Window Shade Kits.

The new site has the latest in internet security, keeping you and your information safe when purchasing from our online store. The new web-site can be found at https://ezsnapdirect.com

New site features:

  • Fast-loading
  • Big photos & videos
  • Searchable
  • Secure shopping cart
  • Responsive and Mobile friendly

We are preparing as we roll into the busy Fall RV Skirting season, boosting up inventory of RV Skirting Material and our patented 3M Fasteners.

Orders are already rolling in from all over North America for our best-selling Diamond Weave fabric.

We would appreciate feedback on our new site design. If you are so inclined, have a look around and let us know what you think.