Tag Archives: winter

How to Make a Portable Trailer Skirt

portable trailer skirt

Over the past year, I have improved upon my trailer skirting. I knew I wanted it to be inexpensive, easy-on, easy-off, and compact enough to be easily portable. I think I have finally hit on a working combination. Here is how I made my current Portable Trailer Skirt.

insulation
minimal foam board skirting

When we got the Minnie, we started off with foam board and heat lamps. This necessitated being hooked up to electricity to run the heat lamps. My new skirt keeps the salt-water charged waste tanks thawed down to zero. Then it’s time for some supplemental heat down there. Or preferably a move to warmer temps.

trailer skirt supplies

Materials for the Portable Trailer Skirt:

Putting it together:

cutting tarp in snow

1. Cutting the tarp down to size.

My trailer measures 8’ x 26’ plus the tongue, which holds the house battery and 2 propane tanks. I figured I might want the tarps to wrap around those as well, so I estimated a
length of 80 feet, just to have some wiggle room. I cut the tarp into 5 strips measuring 3’ x 20’. To do this, I had to open it up outside. There was snow on the ground at the
time, so the tarp stayed fairly clean. I had my son stand on it to help hold it down and help fold up each piece as we went. We also used rocks to help hold the tarp down as I
cut.

tarp on sewing machine

2. Sewing on the bubble wrap.

The bubble wrap was only 12” wide, so I had to sew 3 tiers onto each strip of tarp. This was the most tedious part of the project. I was also concerned that it would be hard on
my sewing machine, but it did fine. I had to clean the tarp dust out frequently and had to be careful not to catch the presser foot on the bubble wrap, but otherwise, it was
straight seams and easing the bulk through the machine.

3. Black paint.
After sewing on all the bubble wrap, the next step was to paint the outside of the skirting black. This is to absorb more sun and help retain the heat around the trailer. It is very
windy where we usually are, so I had to wait for a still day to get the paint to stick to the tarps instead of floating away.

 applying reflectix trailer skirt

We first tried attaching the tarp with velcro, but the wind made short work of that. We also found the addition of Reflectix insulation to be a major factor in keeping the temps under the trailer more stable. First, we stand the Reflectix around the perimeter of the trailer. Over that goes the portable trailer skirt.

back of trailer skirt

I looked at what other people were doing with trailer skirts and liked the idea of attaching it with turn buttons. Amazon had them listed so I ordered 2 dozen and my son-in-law helped me to install them. I put the grommets on my tarp and attached it to the trailer turn buttons. It stayed on perfectly, but I now discovered that I needed to seal up the loose ends. This was a much better use of the velcro and keeps the wind from whipping the skirt up and blowing the Reflectix away.

Finally, around all this, we place our heavy tent weights, our extra sewer tank, and propane tank just for extra insurance in case the wind blows. If the temps dip below zero or stay below 30F for several days we still have to break out the heat lamps, but the skirting is doing its job and helping us stay warm and cozy.

And the best part about the Portable Trailer Skirt is that it comes off easy, rolls right up (both the skirt and the Reflectix), and stows away in the back of the truck or in the basement when it’s not needed.

 

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Ice Capades

A series of storms has been blowing through the homestead, keeping us cold and wet. We have to bring in enough wood to make sure it’s dry by the time we need to put it in the stove. Gusty winds have necessitated hanging the laundry inside to dry. We came up with a system that works pretty good. Mrs. D got a couple grids used to hang things for craft shows and she hangs them over the doors, hangs hangers on them and hangs up the clothes. Smaller items are clothespinned to the hangers.

We awoke to 3 inches of snow this morning, so are very glad that we emptied the 5 gallon bucket rainwater collection system into the tanks yesterday. However, we had let them sit for several days, and they all had about an inch of ice on top! So we broke up the ice, poured the water into the tanks and reset the buckets. The ice was collected into another bucket and set indoors to melt and then be added to the rest.

And speaking of frozen water, the hose was also frozen. Usually it thaws by midday, but yesterday we had to carry buckets of water to the horses and goats and chickens, etc. and that was after breaking up the ice in their water buckets. Makes Mrs. D glad she doesn’t have to carry it up from the creek!

Yesterday we made Lavender Tea Tree goats milk soap, and packaged up the lotion bars we made on Saturday. Maryruth made her fabulous Vegan Vanilla Castille soap and Jersey Cream Oatmeal and Honey soap. We also made some quilting scrap soap bags, for soap ends, lotion bars and other doodads. Click on the link to Mrs. D’s Homestead for more info on our fabulous soap and lotion product.

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