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Setting up free homemade camper skirting and passive solar floor heating

January 20th, 2012


I have been working on my camper skirting using free materials I found laying around. I also made some free passive solar heaters under the camper using salvaged materials. Total cost for camper insulation and heating – $0.



There were some 40 ft long sheet metal pieces out in the forest that I dragged back to the camper to use for skirting. I also had the idea of setting up passive under floor heating with some old window frames I found. I dug up some old rolls of black roofing material that I laid out under the south side of the camper. Then I placed the old windows over the roofing material to make a free passive solar heater underneath my camper.

The idea was to have the sun heat up the space underneath my camper during the day to save on heating costs. The skirting will keep the heat in during the night and also prevent heat loss through the floor. It will also hopefully allow me to use the built in camper water tanks with no danger of freezing. This camper is fully off the grid, so electrical water heaters are not possible.




I got the skirting on just in time too. Today it snowed. I still need to plug up gaps in between the metal sheets. And I need to frame in my passive solar heating underneath the camper. On the front side of the camper I will frame in the windows with hinges so I can put some vegetables under the camper as sort of a greenhouse.

I used tin snips to cut the metal sheeting to size and then used masonry bricks and cement blocks to hold the pieces in place. The back side looks very good.


Even without framing in all the windows and plugging all the gaps in my camper skirting, the solar heating system is working very nicely. Today it was 29 degrees outside and a toasty warm 65 inside the camper with no other heating other than my passive solar heating system.

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Troy Reid


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