If you're on a tight budget the expense of commercial skirting is a good reason to look for alternatives. Who needs the fancy patterns and colors of nylon and aluminum skirting when low-cost materials might work just as well? With some hands-on effort and a lot less money you can build a barrier that will keep heat in and the critters out, minimize wind effects, improve aesthetics and create a weather-proof storage area.
Hay is a good insulator and farmers sometimes use it to keep chicken coops warm during the winter. You can buy 3-by-4-foot bales of hay for less than $10 and stack them around your trailer to fill in the gaps between it and the ground. To keep your bales dry and the bugs and vermin out you can buy used billboard tarps from billboardtarps.com and wrap them around the bales. This will also improve your makeshift skirting's appearance.
It's usually not a good idea to have wood in direct contact with the ground, but chemically treated marine plywood resists moisture and delamination. Wood is durable, easy to work with and a good insulator. Dig a 3-inch trench around your trailer's perimeter and measure from the trench to your trailer. Then cut 4-by-8-foot marine plywood to size (along with 2-by-4's to join them together), coat everything with waterproof paint and install it. You will have an attractive skirting that will last for years.
Galvanized Barn Metal
Since galvanized steel is strong but lightweight and doesn't absorb moisture or need paint, it's a step up from hay bales and marine plywood. Barn metal is also cheap as you can get 1-by-2-foot sections on eBay for as little as $2. To make things easier, buy it in 2-by-8-foot panels if possible. Install it like the marine plywood by digging a trench to drop it in and overlapping the trailer and the other metal panels. Use self-tapping sheet metal screws to attach the panels to the trailer and each other, and 1-by-4 foot lumber to join the corners. Then seal everything up by caulking the joints and gaps. Your homemade skirting will look great and last as long as your trailer.
Article Written By Dan Eash
Dan Eash began writing professionally in 1989, with articles in LaHabra's "Daily Star Progress" and the "Fullerton College Magazine." Since then, he's created scripts for doctor and dentist offices and published manuals, help files and a training video. His freelance efforts also include a book. Eash has a Fullerton College Associate of Arts in music/recording production and a Nova Institute multimedia production certificate.