There are developments in the vinyl skirting that we put up on our new 5th wheel. It’s not good news either.
On a side note, if you’re in the market for a used camper, check out my post that includes quite a few options to find your used camper for sale by owner.
Our order just came in for replacement snaps and pipe clams. Sounds like bad news and it sorta is.
We’ve had some wind since we’ve had the skirting up. Some of our snaps have broken or popped off and caused the skirting to fall. Our 5th wheel enclosure seems intent on coming down.
Ah….the joys of figuring this all out.
The 5th Wheel Enclosure
We were pretty adamant about having the 5th wheel portion skirted.
We could make it work still, I’m sure. But of the 20-some RVs that are parked here for the winter, only a few are fully skirted. So we’re going to admit defeat as far as that portion goes.
We could have saved $200 by NOT ordering the enclosure and we’re regretting that money spent. We’re keeping the enclosure vinyl and may put it up again depending on how cold it gets in our room and what our heating costs are this next month.
From what we can figure, this is what we’ve come up with…
- The 5th wheel-end takes the brunt of the wind force.
- Snaps were placed at 10 inches but needed to be spaced even closer because of the wind.
- Our skirting was weighted down with sandbags but that may have been too tightly wedged, causing extra pull on the snaps.
- Because of the tightness, there is even more pressure on the skirting when the wind gets to blowing. So much pressure, in fact, that the skirting ended up looking like this.
- It is highly possible we rushed putting the skirting up. Um, actually we did for sure and ignored the recommended wait time. After attaching the 3M base, it’s important to wait on putting the vinyl up, which ensures the maximum bond strength of the 3m snap base.
- We needed to distribute the pressure evenly on the snaps, which would have been possible with a pipe clamp system rather than sandbags.
Lots of lessons learned on this one!
I contacted EZ Snap Direct to see their thoughts on where we went wrong or if there was some sort of faulty materials involved. They were very helpful and quick to respond to our questions and suggested some of the fixes below
- More snaps, quite a few more. Since we are in a high-wind area the snaps need to be closer than 10 inches. From EZ Snap,
For extra windy locations, we recommend placing the studs more like every 8″ to 6″ apart. If you use this spacing you will need to order extra fastener sets with your order.
- The snaps need to be allowed to cure. We are leaving them on for a week, even though that length of time isn’t necessary. Call us paranoid but we want to make sure they are really stuck on this time.
- We put the new snaps on when we had a warm day and it was near 60 degrees. We’re hoping it’s close enough to the recommended temperature to be effective.
- We are going to move the sandbags back and use them to stop the skirting from moving too much. This will allow some movement though, rather than wedging them allowing pressure to build up.
- PVC pipe clamps were ordered with the extra snaps. We’ll use them to clamp the skirting down to PVC pipes and more evenly distribute the weight and pressure. The sandbags will stop any flapping.
- Our contact at EZ Snap Direct recommended we superglue any snaps that separated (leaving the adhesive back on the camper)
Oh, to do this again! We didn’t do our homework as well as we had thought. Most certainly, we made mistakes. Overall, I think we would have been better off skirting our RV with Option #1.
As far as the vinyl skirting is concerned, here are our conclusions.
Pipe Clamp System. We should have read about and used the pipe clamp system especially given our windy location.
Snap Spacing. If we had paid attention to the windy area tips, it would not have cost us so much in the long run in added shipping.
Snap Curing Time. We rushed it. Plain and simple, we didn’t wait the recommended time.
5th Wheel Enclosure. As it looks right now, it’s not necessary and is really an added cost. We have our electric and propane costs for November. Of course, weather changes and fluctuates but we’ll see how our bill changes for the month of December without the 5th wheel enclosed.
EZ Snap was great to work with and their product does seem to be high quality. I just wonder if this type of skirting is not the best for windy locations.
We’ll update on how our modifications work after the next blustery day.