windows of RV overlooking a field

How to Insulate RV Windows (For cheap!)

The joy of an RV is that you can use it wherever and whenever you want. In the middle of summer, you can travel with it wherever you want, and in the winter it can serve as a wonderful upgrade from a cold tent if you are someone who likes to venture outdoors and go camping.

The one thing that can cause a hindrance, however, is the cold weather. An RV is supposed to provide you with comfort and warmth even in the coldest winters, but some RVs are just not protected enough from sub-zero temperatures to do this adequately.

This becomes even more of a problem if the windows of your RV are single pane. However, before you retire your RV for the whole of the winter, there are some things that you can do to make it a much warmer place to be.

This article aims to provide you with the many things you can do to insulate RV windows, ensuring warmth for you and your fellow travel companions, even in the bleakest of winters. 

Use an insulation foil 

The first method we would like to mention is the use of a reflective foil that is designed for insulation purposes such as Reflectix.

The purpose of this product and others like it is to insulate the RV, home, room, or any other space using reflective insulation to reflect the heat into your home that would otherwise be lost through the thin, single-paned windows. 

To use this method you should cut out some sheets of the Reflectix to fit the windows and then apply them to the inside windows of your RV.

You can tape it in place if you wish, but some owners put it between their windows and the shades and find this works well too. 

The reflective nature of the material can also offer some ambient light into your RV, but keep in mind that it will also not let much sunlight in.

For this reason, you may choose to use reflective insulation like Refelctix overnight, switching to another form of insulation in the morning and for the rest of the day. 

Use plastic bubble wrap 

Another method for insulating RV windows that has been very popular for many years with RV owners is covering the windows tightly with plastic bubble wrap.

The wrap is put on the windows on the inside of the RV. One of the best methods to use if the RV windows you are trying to insulate are single-paned. 

It will not have much of an effect on windows that are double-paned, and certainly not triple pane windows. To do this method, you should first measure how much of the bubble wrap you will need by measuring all of the windows in your RV.  

You will want to make sure that they fit snugly to the window panes. To fix the bubble wrap to your windows, wipe the windows with a damp cloth and then place the fitted piece of bubble wrap on there.

The dampness should make it adhere easily. Then you can fix it in place around the sides with scotch tape.

Whilst it is not the most efficient method, it certainly does stop you from losing a vast amount of heat, and lots of RV owners like this method because it is one of the cheapest and quickest ways of getting some insulation in a cinch. 

This method is a preferred method for some as it still allows natural light to come in from the sun. However, the bubble wrap means that it can be hard to see out of the windows as it distorts everything, making it blurry. 

Heat activated shrink plastic 

This method is one that is guaranteed to get you the results you desire, but it just takes a little more time.

It involves you purchasing some shrink plastic. We like this one by Duck Brand as it is made for the purpose of insulating and keeping the heat in small spaces.

You place sticky tape all around the window of your RV. it should be double sided as you will be placing the shrink wrap on top of that.

Place the fitted shrink wrap onto the tape so that all of the windows are covered. The next step is the most important tone as it is what makes the insulation work.

You need to get a hairdryer or something that blows out hot air and apply it all over the shrink wrap. The wrap will then, of course, shrink trapping a layer of heated air between it and the window.

This is a little more time consuming than just merely applying one layer of bubble wrap or Reflectix to the window but the end results are worth it. This is also a great method if you want to ensure that natural sunlight can come in.

After all, the sun is a huge source of heat so the more sun your RV can get the better. 

Make your own insulation curtains for your windows 

For this method, you need to be a little bit handy with a sewing machine, or at least know someone who is.

You can create your own insulating curtains to put up on the windows of your RV to insulate them during the night (and day if you wish).

All you need is material for three layers and a sewing machine. Get yourself a thick quilted layer such as a bed quilt, mattress cover, or even thick quilted curtains.

You will also need a layer of an insulating material such as heavy duty foil, or even some of the Reflectix we mentioned earlier, and then some thinner fabric such as bedsheets.

Measure your windows so you know what size curtains you will need and then you can simply sew them together ensuring that the insulating layer is in the middle.

You can then hang them on your windows between the pane and any blinds or shades you may have.

Of course, these will keep out the light so they may be better for the nighttime if you want the natural light to come in during the day. 

Final word 

We hope you can see by now that all is not lost if your RV gets too cold in the winter.

Whilst single-paned windows in an RV can make it incredibly cold, the methods we have detailed above can have a significant improvement in heating your RV.

whatever method you choose, please ensure to always double check the efficiency of your method first. We recommend perhaps trying our chosen method on just one of the windows first to experiment.

Leave the method on for a few hours and then check the feel of the window pane compared to a window without insulation. The insulated window should not feel cold to touch.

If it does, the method has not worked so you should check to see that you followed the instructions correctly and that there are no gaps in the insulation.

You can also combine these methods too for extra reassurance that your RV will be toasty warm. 

Happy camping! 

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