Basement Insulation

Discussion in 'RV Tips & Tricks' started by cougarkid, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. cougarkid

    cougarkid Senior Member

    We are set up for the winter beside a warehouse/office we rented (see "Selling it all for a new life" in General RVing). Shore power hookup and using the internal tanks for water system. New water heater tank. We are parked on concrete and have no skirting.

    Had temps in the teens with wind for about a week straight (last week) and could not get the rv warmed up. It was tolerable, but never got above 57 inside the rv. Floor was extremely cold. Furnace ran just about non-stop all night. Nothing is being stored in the basement storage.

    Decided to insulate the basement "space". At least this will stop air/wind from blowing under the floor. Will have to clean/vacuum the spaces out when spring gets here. Bought 2 rolls of R-19 unfaced insulation (120 S.F. each) for $9.89 each.

    Back end (under bedroom) has 2 deep sides an a shallower connection from side to side.
    Middle (bath, closet, table area, kitchen, living room/stiars) has deep drivers side and shallow connection up to propane tank area and stairs.
    Front (living room to doghouse) deep passenger side and shallow connection to generator area.

    ---------------------------------------------

    Back end: Stuffed in a whole roll of R-19 unfaced attic insulation. Opened the roll, let it expand out, and cut/fit it in the area.

    Middle: Stuffed in a second roll of R-19 unfaced attic insulation. Opened the roll, let it expand out, and cut/fit it in the area. This one took a bit more work. Had to use a broom handle to push it into the connecting area. Still need a bit more insulation to finish it up.

    Front: Not done yet - out of insulation.

    Also bought a 4'x8' piece of 1/2" plastic coated dense foam. Cut it to fit in the front window (in 2 pieces) and had enough to cover the passenger front side (big) window.

    Temps have been in the 20s and 30s for the past week, so comparisons are still to come. I will say that the first night it was much warmer inside the RV. Temp actually got up to 68. Furnace did not run near as much. Floor is warmer than before.

    Once the temps drop again (and they will) I will know how much good it did.

    Mike
     
  2. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    Re: Basement Insulation

    Mike, you will gain something by doing that, but until you keep that wind from running around under your MH, you will have problems getting it warm in there.
     
  3. Triple E

    Triple E Senior Member

    Re: Basement Insulation

    I copied this from one of utmtman post.

    Now if you are still in need of skirting go to your local lowes or home depot and get the insulation that is like aluminum foil with plastic between the sheets of foil and they come in 25 foot lengths with different widths from 1 foot to 4 foot and get a roll to go around your rv for skirting. I am using it on my motor home and I am in single digit weather at night and teens to twentys during the day. And it has worked good for me so far. For my 37 foot rig I bought 4 25 foot by 2 foot rolls. Come summer I will roll it up and put it in storage in case I ever have to winter in the cold again.

    I hope this helps. ;)



    :8ball:
     
  4. utmtman

    utmtman Senior Member

    Re: Basement Insulation

    Due to heavy winds I did have to add a couple of bricks or rocks to the insulation to keep the wind from blowing it under the motor home and it has worked great for me. Only used rocks and bricks in a couple of places.
     
  5. H2H1

    H2H1 Senior Member

    Re: Basement Insulation

    Triple E and Lee, how do you attached it to the MH ? :laugh: :laugh:
     
  6. Triple E

    Triple E Senior Member

    Re: Basement Insulation

    I have no idea. :eek: This is Lees baby. ;)



    :8ball:
     
  7. utmtman

    utmtman Senior Member

    Re: Basement Insulation

    I opened each of my basement doors and put it inside the door and I also cut a slit in it at the lock latch and pushed it over the latch. Its so thin it does no harm to shut the door on it. It worked well. I also stuck a piece inside the engine compartment in block winds coming in thru the cowling. I bought some of the regular insulation, one roll and cut a piece to go over the top of the tires to block the upper half that was not covered by the insulation I put around the bottom of the rv. At my tow hitch I cut a hole big enough to slide the insulation over it as well to help hold it in the back of the rv. At my front room slide I cut pieces and taped them together to cover the open area there and taped it only to the basement storage area and the under portion of the slide so that it was not taped to the rv finish portions. I will have to post some pictures later today to show what I did.
     
  8. Shorty

    Shorty Senior Member

    Re: Basement Insulation

    On the farm we used to put bales of straw around the place to keep the draft out

    One thing I know about dresing for the cold(Minnesota for the 1st 1/2 of my life)...doesn't matter how it looks as long as you are warm...
     
  9. cougarkid

    cougarkid Senior Member

    Re: Basement Insulation

    I gather the most important part of the skirting is just to close in the space and keep the wind out. Insulating properties are not that important.

    The insulation in the basement space DID help a lot. Temps went back down into the teens again and the wind is a howling - so hard that is was rocking the RV last night. Held inside temp all night and the furnace didn't run all the time. Couple of inches of snow on the ground.

    I was thinking about just getting sheets of 1/2" plywood, spillting them to 2' widths and standing them agains the RV. Screw them together at the seams and making some L-braces out of 2x4's to help hold them in place. I have to be able to remove the skirting for propane refills and tank dumps.

    On a side note:

    Water pipes in the lower compartment (connections and pump) froze up on me yesterday. Put some heat tape on and mounted a socket for a flood light in the base this afternoon. The tape got the pipes warmed up and the flood light is keeping the compartment above freezing. I think the pump is out now - won't come on. Will have to check it out tomorrow, since night has fallen and it is COLD outside.

    Can the pump be removed without draining the water tank and water heater? Boy, I hope so!

    Thanks to all.

    Mike
     
  10. cougarkid

    cougarkid Senior Member

    Re: Basement Insulation

    Well, good news at last.

    Had the heat tape and flood light on for the afternoon and evening - running water and working pump!

    Temps are down, but the water is flowing. The heat tape and heat from the flood light are keeping the compartment warm.

    Life is good again! :)
     
  11. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    Re: Basement Insulation

    Mike, that plywood skirting would work just fine. You just need something to divert the wind around your MH instead of "howling" under it.
     
  12. utmtman

    utmtman Senior Member

    Re: Basement Insulation

    Yes anything to block the wind will work. There is an insulation that comes in 4x8 sheets and I have seen others use it. I chose the stuff I am using because I can roll it up when I am done and save it a lot easier than lumber. I thought of the wood or the solid insulation but I did not want the wind to blow it against the rv and cause scratches. And than the work necessary to make it, I dont have a power saw and I dont wish to cut wood with a hand saw. Also the solid insulation can be cut with a good knife but it is brittle when froze and could easily break, my neighbor has had that problem with it. He finally taped his to his trailer cuz the wind causing it to bang against the rv broke pieces of it off.

    Shorty have you priced straw lately, bales are getting expensive, its as much now as hay was when I had horses and they would even be worse to store later and mice just love bales of straw. I speak from experience. Also I would need 18 - 23 bales to go around my rv.
     
  13. LEN

    LEN Senior Member

    Re: Basement Insulation

    If going to plywood a person could glue some of the styro-foam from 1" to 2" to it to help with the insulation also. Maybe 1/4" ply and the styro-foam then add a couple heat lamps under the MH placed at the best spots to turn on in the coldest times.

    LEN
     
  14. cougarkid

    cougarkid Senior Member

    Re: Basement Insulation

    Utmtman,

    Got any pics of the insulation in place? Would be nice to see.
     
  15. cougarkid

    cougarkid Senior Member

    Re: Basement Insulation

    Okay, so I stopped on the way home from work and picked up 2 sheets of 15/32" plywood to start the RV skirting. Going to do the back and up the passenger side - where the wind always comes from - and see how it goes. Drivers side is next to building.

    Took the plywood cut it in half long-ways. Now I have (4) 2' tall x 8' long pieces.

    Screwed 1' long 2x4's to selected ends at the bottom, half on and half off.
    Screwed 1' long 2x4's sticking out at the bottom edge for braces.
    Cut tapered pieces 15" long for the braces.

    Sat the back one in place and sat the 1st piece for the passenger side up against it. Lined them up and screwed them together. Now I have an L. Went to the drivers side and strapped the end to the bumper with plumbers strap.

    Sat the 2nd side piece in place and the tail pipe is in the way. Marked the spot, grabbed a hole saw and drilled a 2 1/4" hole for the tail pipe. Slid the plywood in place and used a muffler clamp on the tail pipe to hold the plywood tight against the RV. Screwed it to side piece No. 1.

    Sat the 3rd side piece in place. Need to cut it to fit under the door. Marked the spot, cut it out and sat it back in place. Blocks for the steps will hold it tight against the RV. Screwed it to side piece No. 2.

    Side piece No. 2 goes over the wheel well. Still space open there. Used the cut out piece from the door and screwed it to the back side at the wheel well - half down and half up. Screwd a scrap piece of plywood I had (just the right size) to close the opening in.

    Went back and screwed the tapered braces in place and I am done.

    $20 for plywood, scrap 2x4's (say $10) and about $1 worth of drywall screws. Not bad, not bad at all. 3 more sheets of plywood, another $15 in 2x4's and another $2 in screws and it will be enclosed.

    Cold, windy and snow forcasted for tonight - guess we'll see how it does!

    Mike
     
  16. cougarkid

    cougarkid Senior Member

  17. utmtman

    utmtman Senior Member

    RE: Basement Insulation



    I got the pictures and put them in my web site here; http://utmtman.multiply.com/photos/album/103/Our_RV_winter_insulation_
     
  18. utmtman

    utmtman Senior Member

  19. H2H1

    H2H1 Senior Member

    Re: Basement Insulation

    ALL I got to say is dang !!!!! I would have found a warmer place to stay. That is to much snow for me :laugh: . I like to warm climate or a temperature above 30 degrees in the winter. But I do like your concept and it looks easy to do and maintain. Good luck in the snow
     
  20. cougarkid

    cougarkid Senior Member

    Re: Basement Insulation

    Gee, Lee, just the snow alone will stop the wind! LOL. Looks good.

    The part I have up on mine has already helped. Supposed to get windy and cold tonight (about 15) so we will see how it does.

    I spent about 1 hour cutting the wood and about 30 minutes putting it up (including the door cut).
    Installed it in the dark with a drop light, flashlight and cordless drill.
    Our RV is straight on the bottom (no curves) so it was pretty easy.
    Planning to put more up later.

    My favorite part of the install was that the tail pipe ended up sticking through the plywood and I could use a muffler clamp on the pipe to hold the plywood in place - what luck on my part!

    Stay Warm!

    Mike
     

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