Insulation myths you need to know


The R-value is:

Basically, R-value refers to the speed at which heat is transferred between materials. High R-values are found in heat insulators. Low R-values are associated with heat conductors.

  • Wood with a thickness of one inch has an R-value of about 1.
  • Fibreglass batting about 1 inch wide has an R-value of 3.2
  • 1 inch blocks of Styrofoam have an R-value of about 5.
  • In general, thicker materials have higher R-values.

Among the methods of transferring heat, conduction, convection, and radiation are among the most common. The following are three myths you should know about!

Myth 1: RV skirts need R-value

RV skirting is an interlocking wall that surrounds the base. Cold weather is often a time for them to be used by travel trailers and fifth wheels. The myth goes as follows:


“The skirting panels must be insulated and have a high R-value.”

In comparison to R-value, airflow is more important. The RV skirt prevents cold air from flowing beneath the trailer floor and sucking away heat. This allows air to work on its own because skirting enables air to do the work for itself! During the winter, warm air escapes through the skirting, causing the air to be heated.

Myth 2: R-Value is in sales brochures 

There’s a discrepancy between what you see and what the R-values are! Usually, RV manufacturers mean either of the following when they say “Our wall is R-11:

  • The walls are insulated with an aluminum tube or foam core of 2 inches
  • Insulation is stuffed into 16-inch wide fiberglass batts and framed with 2×2 bays (1-12 x 12 studs).

Myth 3: Fibreglass RV insulation is tried & true

There are still many entry-level RVs that use fiberglass batting for insulation. Fibreglass insulation has long been considered a poor choice for RV insulation.

Cold spots can form on RVs when fiberglass settles and compresses due to travel. It is good practice to glue the batt facing to the plywood sheathing. This will prevent the roof from settling, but choosing a RV with foam insulation inside the walls is a better option.

More to explorer

Which RVs should be winter-ready?

RVs can withstand freezing temperatures with the following features.  If you plan to camp in cold weather, look for these RV features. 

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