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Warm up your RV with a window insulation kit

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
When my feet hit the deck one morning in the old RV, I knew something was decidedly wrong. Even with a bit of neuropathy, my sensors indicated that it was one COLD Arizona morning. The recording thermometer confirmed it: 24 degrees in Quartzsite. Yes, folks, it does sometimes get a wee bit on the chilly side, even in “RV nirvana.”

Part of the chill factor is that old problem of “single-glazed” RV windows. Sure, some manufacturers include “storm windows” on their rigs, but a lot of us just have that single sheet of clear stuff between us and the outside world. What can you do if you have too much cold coming through the glass? Add your own “storm window” with shrink-fit window insulation. You can buy this stuff at nearly any hardware store or home center.

Besides the window insulation kit, you’ll also need scissors and a blow dryer. Some RVers say that they use an electric space heater to “shrink” the plastic into place. If you try that trick, start at a considerable distance away from the plastic lest you find the source too hot and burn a hole in your plastic rather than shrinking it into place.

The short video below shows you the basic principles of installing the stuff. However, instead of sticking the sticky tape away from the window, most of us can stick it directly to the window unit itself. You may need to “work around” problems like window cranks. We might add that the video makes it appear that there are some leftover wrinkles in the finished product. We’re not sure if that’s an illusion, or if our “installer” just didn’t work long enough on getting the wrinkles out. With effort, your final product will be flat, tight, and highly viewable.

The last time we looked, a kit good for insulating up to five 3′ x 5′ windows cost about $26 at Amazon.com.

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Impavid
3 days ago

If you’re getting condensation on your windows you need to use your venting fans more or perhaps get a dehumidifier. This seldom happens in larger RVs. For my wife and I it never happens in our 40ft 5th wheel. Condensation on your RV windows will likely run down into the walls and start the rotting process. It’s easy to tell when you walk into an RV whether this has been a problem by the musty smell. As well, the metal frames of windows seems to transfer more cold into the RV than the glass itself. If you don’t know whether you have single or double pane windows hold a match or lighter up to the window. A single reflection of the flame means you have a single pane, a double reflection means you have double panes.

Diane Mc
1 year ago

The May prior to us ordering our 2002 Dutchstar we were in Indy for the 500. Freezing cold, believe record cold for May. We had a Damon Daybreak that was hard to retain heat. When we saw double pane windows as an option that was a no brainer. If we had bought any coach off a lot, would have never even thought about it. Added benefit, no condensation on the inside of windows. Thanks for the tip though. We live in a 120 yr old Victorian with original windows. So we will be giving this a try on a number of our windows at our S&B home.

McTroy
1 year ago

These shrink wrap storm windows work well. We used them for several.years at our house. Moisture from the humidity wasn’t a problem – it rolled off these just like the windows. But, watch that double sided tape! It peeled the paint off some window sills and left a messy residue on others. I wouldn’t recommend on the wallpaper in most RVs.

Sharan Harrison
1 year ago

We have a decorative cornice over each window. I bought a set of insulated curtains at Walmart and cut one in half. I made two tubes in same color filled with beans. When we go to bed I put the curtain edge over the window valence and weigh it down with the tube of beans. It completely insulates and darkens our RV bedroom. I guess if I didn’t have the cornice box, I would use velcro. Works for us!

McTroy
1 year ago

I use the same thermal lined drapes but hang them on a tension rod. The rod will fit inside the cornices. The curtains look nice and can be opened or closed as needed. Good for keeping out cold or hot air.

Alain T.
1 year ago

Might not be a problem in Arizona’s “dry cold/heat”, but how does it fare in regular humidity levels when dew point is reached and condensation appears in all windows and even some parts of walls? Does it help or does it make matters worst?

Randall Joe Davis
1 year ago

For just overnight, we place pillows in the windows.

Sandi
1 year ago

Kits can also be purchased at HomeDepot, Lowe’s and Walmart. Using these kits definely make a huge difference and worth the cost in my opinion if going to be in a cold area for awhile. If only a night or 2, the bubble wrap maybe the best option.I prefer using the shrink wrap as it’s see thru.

rvgrandma
1 year ago
Reply to  Sandi

I put bubble wrap over the whole window for the winter using painters tape to secure it. Sometimes I put a few thumbtacks in when the tape doesn’t hold good.

rvgrandma
5 years ago

I have a neighbor who buys bubble wrap. You wet the window then stick it on. Insulation and you still get light through.

Jim Bennett
5 years ago

Another Idea is to buy some foil wrapped bubble material easily obtainable at most hardware stores and cut to fit windows.This acts as a good insulator and cuts out hot sun during the day.

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