RVs, motorhomes, travel trailers, campers, and fifth-wheels are tried-and-true vehicles for traveling around and seeing all that the country has to offer. They offer a place to eat, sleep, work, and spend time with family and pets. RVs essentially act as a mobile home-base for your sightseeing and outdoor adventures—a home-away-from-home, if you will. Although they offer many of the same amenities as real homes, these trailers and motorhomes are designed to be lightweight and easy to transport, unlike an entire home. RVs tend to be hot in the summer and cold in the winter months due to lower insulation levels. One of the main culprits? Windows.
First, let’s take a look at why RVs are constructed the way that they are. One of the top considerations when purchasing an RV is weight. If you’re towing a travel trailer, you’ll need to make sure the trailer is light enough to be towed by your vehicle. Suppose the trailer is heavier than your vehicle’s rating says it can hold. In that case, it can be dangerous and even illegal to tow. Besides, heavier trailers will take more power to pull, and ultimately, more gas, sapping your precious miles per gallon (MPG) rating.
Typically, the larger the RV, the more it will weigh. Many campers want to keep their RVs as small and light as possible for handling and maneuvering purposes. It’s great to have lots of living space, but it could make you less likely to take trips if the RV is overwhelming to drive.
The other factor at the top of most RV buyer’s lists is cost. For these reasons, manufacturers want to keep costs down for buyers. If RVs were constructed like houses, they would cost nearly as much. To keep the entry barrier low so that many people can enjoy the RV life, many manufacturers use construction methods and materials that will keep costs minimal.
Many RVers travel only during summer months or only to temperate climates during the winter months. This allows most RVers to get by with minimal insulation to keep the indoor temperature normalized. However, RVs can typically be purchased with a special cold-weather package, which may add insulating features.
The majority of RVs are manufactured with single-pane windows. A single-pane window is what it sounds like—one pane of glass. The level of insulation provided by just a single pane of glass is minimal. However, single-pane windows help to keep the cost and weight of the RV down.
Glass can be an excellent insulator, but it must be engineered correctly. The windows used in most modern homes in the United States are double-pane windows. These windows used two sheets of glass, with a sealed air space in the middle. This air-gap is the critical ingredient to ensuring the window provides insulating properties. Some homes even feature triple-pane windows. These windows use three layers of glass to produce two air spaces for even greater insulating properties. Double and triple-pane windows work to keep the heat out of a home or RV during hot weather and keep heat inside during cold weather.
Why do well-insulated windows matter? The main reason is comfort. Suppose your windows allow a lot of warm air escape in the wintertime or let in a lot of warm air in the summertime. In that case, you won’t be as comfortable as possible. Maintaining a constant temperature inside your RV has numerous effects.
If you’re in the process of purchasing an RV and you know that you’ll be using it in either scorching hot or freezing cold climates, ask your RV dealer what options are available. The manufacturer might offer add-on packages for specific environments. These additional options could even feature double-pane windows. Different manufacturers have different offerings, so be sure to shop around.
Your dealer may be able to offer additional aftermarket accessories such as shades and window coverings. Be sure to ask what options are available for your RV.
If you already own an RV that was manufactured with single-pane windows, you can take steps to help insulate them. Combine one or more of the ideas below in order to help keep your RV as insulated as possible.
If your RV is in need of replacement windows, Glass.com provides nationwide service. We can handle the replacement, no matter where you are in your travels. Submit your RV details to us, and we’ll reach out to provide you with a quote. Whether you’re looking to replace a broken window or curious to know if there are upgrade options available, we can help.
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