Winterizing Your Mobile Home

Winterizing your home is a great way to stay warm and save on energy bills. This is just as true for your mobile home or trailer, even more so if it is an older model. This is a guide about winterizing your mobile home.

November 3, 2014 Flag
0 found this helpful

My mobile home is a 1992 with a garage. I have noticed the only room in the house that's even remotely warm is the small bathroom. I have shut down 3 rooms so far and it's still cold. Plastic has been put up on the windows but it seems there are not enough vents in any of the rooms. The walls are also cold.

Does anyone know if it is alright to close off registers and put blankets on the bottom of the doors in a mobile home?Any advice?


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November 4, 20140 found this helpful

Is the underbelly in good condition? Does it have a skirt? Can you take off a piece of wall panel and see what condition the insulation is? Close off the registers and rooms that you don't use.

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November 5, 20140 found this helpful

Hi - I do not know where you live but if you live where it gets really cold then you may have to decide which two or three rooms you can "live" in until next summer - unless you are buying this mobile home and can afford to do repairs yourself or hire a another repair person. Most likely this will also be a problem in summer also (too hot).

I believe you can safely close off vents to unused rooms and place something at the bottom of that room door to stop the "draw" of air. (Do not close off room doors that are being used as your heater or AC use this as return air vents - unless your doors have vents made in the door.)

You will probably find that your walls are very poorly insulated and you may have to find a way to seal-off the underbelly of your trailer home. Plastic on your windows is a good start but there may be air coming in around the windows also. You can try corking on the outside around the window and then maybe try covering the whole window (and frame) inside with insulated curtains or a blanket. Actually, almost any kind of covering will help.

You can try Google with your question as there is a lot of information on this subject.

I hope you find a way to keep warm as I know from experience that it is no fun to be cold all the time and still have to somehow pay a "high" gas or electric bill.

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November 9, 20140 found this helpful

A mobile home needs to be skirted, and it is better to insulate that skirt, or when it snows, bank the snow up around the skirting. By "skirt", we mean that it needs to have the open area under the home boarded off with a permanent "skirt", that will look like a foundation. Plywood or orientated strand board is used. A frame of two by fours is necessary.

You will likely also need to have heat tape wrapped around your water lines. Heat tape is an electrical tape/cord that you wrap around the exposed water lines and keep plugged in. If your mobile home is too cold, then you run the risk of freezing the water lines, which is far more expensive to repair than the cost of keeping things warm. If you do not know about any of this stuff, than you'd best find a carpenter/home repair handyman who can help you winterize your home.

If your furnace is not adequately heating the place at this time of year, than you need to do all these things. I have lived in mobile homes that were very snug - old ones, too, back in the 70's and 80's. And we have temperatures here in Saskatchewan that go to -40F. You should not be shutting off rooms completely, as you run the risk of freezing your water lines, which run through the floors of your home. The cold rooms will not keep the pipes warm enough. I had a renter who caused a lot of problems and burst the pipes because of this very thing.

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September 26, 20160 found this helpful

What is the best insulation to use to put on the inside walls of the skirting. I am going to crawl under and insulate best I can. I also live in Saskatchewan. My pipes always freeze. I have heat tape going from the water heater to ground. The pipes that run between the floors from kitchen to water heater are the ones freezing. I only have one plug in under trailer that are both used for heat tape already.

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January 27, 2011 Flag
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I need some advice about a mobile home/trailer. Here's the situation. I bought my father a mobile home back in 93. It is a nice well maintained home, but it is now 30 years old. My father recently passed away and now I have this trailer to deal with.

I was there yesterday and the kerosene furnace is almost out of fuel. Kerosene is around $3 a gallon here, so I would like to put a minimal amount in the tank for now and possibly winterize the home, drain the water, close it up until it's sold.

I was told I can expect to use around 4-5 gallons a day to heat it. I simply can't afford to waste this money heating an empty home. Does anybody have any thoughts on how to go about this, what do I need to do, who I should contact? The expenses are going to start piling up shortly (fuel, taxes, lot fees, etc.).

I have other issues with this, but I will post them separately. I'm 20 minutes south of downtown Pittsburgh in case anybody here needs a nice, cheap place to live. Thanks for reading!

By Sandy from Pittsburgh, PA

January 28, 20111 found this helpful

I feel for you young people who never were required to learn how things are done.

Just drain the water and drain pipes, including sink and toilet and shower traps, and cut off the utilities. Can't drain those traps? Fill them with car windshield-spray solution or rubbing alcohol. I grew up in northern Minnesota. We built a small summer resort and had to winterize ten cabins every single year! There was no money to call in the so-called "professionals". When that happens a person learns rapidly.

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Anonymous Flag
January 28, 20110 found this helpful

Listen to tomatoehanger and phooey with the professionals because most of them have a self serving agenda! Since you have just put in oodles of new kerosine you'll be able to prove to a serious buyer, who actually places a real offer to purchase, that the heating system works and all you have to do to prove the plumbing works is to turn the water back on again and drain and turn off again until the closing papers have been signed! Just make sure everything is documented and signed in writing by the buyers and possible inspectors that you proved the heat and plumbing works fine! Good luck to you for a speedy sale!

PS - God Bless your heart for having purchased the trailer for your daddy!

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January 28, 20110 found this helpful

My husband and I run a mobile home moving business and have our own rentals. I know something about your problem that can help. First wrap the outside pipes with insulation like the stuff they sell at hardware store for pipes. Turn the water off to the mobile home. If the mobile home is underpinned or has some sort of skirting (around the bottom of the trailer to the ground), then the pipe should be okay underneath the home if you do the following.

First, pull the main breaker to turn the power off to the home. And also flip the breaker for the hot water heater. Flush all the toilets in the home. Turn on all the faucets and let the water run out of them. This will be after you have turned the water off to the home. Add anti-freeze (like you put into car radiators) down as many of the sink holes you have in the trailer. Pour this also into each commode and also the tank. This will keep the water that's left in the pipes from freezing. Be sure to tell who ever buys the home that they need to be sure to let the water in the hot water tank refill before they turn the hot water breaker back on or they will burn the elements up in the tank.

Cold water hitting hot elements will cause your new owner to have to buy new elements or worse a new hot water heater. Also, the new owner will need to run the water in the sinks before they use the water for personal use to run the anti-freeze out of the lines Everything else in the home will be fine. I'd also leave the refrigerator door open because they can really begin to smell foul if left shut for a all period of time. Good luck with the sell.

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January 29, 20110 found this helpful

I took care of houses for realtors for years and once lived in a mobile home. You do need to leave the heat on as winter can occasionally cause stress damage if left unheated. However, you can leave the furnace turned down to 60 degrees.

A work light left on in the crawl space will keep the crawl space and pipes warm and lower heating costs a bit. Put foam insulation on all the pipes. To winterize the water lines, get someone who is a professional. If done wrong it will do damage. Make sure the hot water tank is drained, and refill it before turning the power back on.

You may not want to put plastic on the windows as it gives a buyer the idea that the place is cold in winter. I would not do it. You want to stage the trailer, just like they do for houses. Do not take out all of the furniture until it is sold. Put a de-humidifier into the trailer to reduce any moisture in the air, that will also help lower the heating costs.

Good Luck!

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February 1, 20110 found this helpful

May 28, 2009 Flag
0 found this helpful

Any ideas to insulate my mobile home? The floors and walls are cold and I am restricted on money.

By lrrn567 from Bristol, CT

May 31, 20091 found this helpful

Thank you for your responses. I will call tomorrow to see if someone can help me.

I'll keep everyone posted as this goes.

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June 1, 20090 found this helpful

Here's some tips that I've posted that may help you::

I hung new throw rugs on my walls (as tapestries) for insulation...

You can also buy those stick-up carpet tiles (or use double-backed carpet tape on the back of carpet samples then hang on the wall as "art")

Insulate windows with bubble wrap year round:

In our area they have help for free winterizing:

There's a powder you can add to paint that's supposed to help insulate

---> insulating additive for paints: ... htm?gclid=COrMsputzJcCFRqgnAodsUQT7g

Since you live in a mobile home (like I do) I thought you might find this info valuable too:

Spray & forget siding, roof & deck cleaner:

* Here's some great tips from other ThriftyFun readers:

Winterizing Your Steel Doors

Do It Yourself Weatherstripping

Insulating walls:

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June 3, 20090 found this helpful

I called CL&P for help. It costs $75 dollars for them to come in to inspect. They do not install anything for insulation. I have to get a contractor to write out the price and they will rebate me about 8% of the cost. Wanted to get this info back to all of you that were trying to help me.

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January 24, 20100 found this helpful

If you have central heating, turn your heat up to about 72 degrees during the day. Your rooms may still feel cold. If so, get some space heaters for the rooms you spend the most time in such as your living room and your bedroom. You can get good space heaters at Fred Meyer for about $40 to $60 dollars. Get ones with a digital thermostat that will turn off and on automatically.

Run them only when your home. Insulating your home better is a long term goal you can work on as you get the money and have time. You can beef up the R-factor of your crawl space by adding some foam board insulation if you don't have a skirting with a high R-factor. Remember to cut vents in it if you do this. Good luck.

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October 17, 20120 found this helpful

January 19, 2010 Flag
2 found this helpful

My husband and I spend the winters in the southern states, living in a travel trailer. We have a string of days where the weather is very cool and that is when I do my cooking and baking, enough to get us by for several days' meals. It eliminates the need to keep our electric heater running and warms up the unit at the same time.

I also leave the dish water in the sink and put the plug in the bathtub when taking a shower, until the water has become cold. That adds moisture to the air, which makes it feel warmer.

By annelaundrie from Green Bay, WI

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January 20, 20100 found this helpful

If you have any plants either inside or outside, and your dish washing soap is phosphorous free, you can water the plants with them!

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January 24, 20100 found this helpful

Thanks for the good idea! We too are "snowbirds"

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May 26, 2014 Flag
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Over the past winter, our mobile home's linoleum floor split in several places. There was no sign of water damage -no leaks - just several slits in the linoleum. It was a very cold winter. What flooring would hold up best during another very cold winter?


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May 28, 20140 found this helpful

One that's insulated from underneath - depending on how old your MH is, and how well it's been maintained over the years, you may not have sufficient insulation under there from the factory, or there at all any more - critters love to go under your easy to access MH (even with properly installed skirting) and use the insulation to build their nests.

Go under and have a look. If you still have the MDF (usually what they use to cover the insulation from the underneath of a MH) intact, it may be that this was a winter your manufacturer wasn't counting on when installing the grade of insulation ordered for your model sub-flooring.

We gutted a 1962 Douglass of Georgia MH (ok, it was a single wide, lol!) in the late 80s and part of the reno included installing new insulation to the subfloors. Made a huge difference in how well the home stayed warm, and how well the vinyl floor covering and good-grade carpeting held up. Sold the MH on in 2001 to friends who still live in it (retirees) and they say it's all holding up well.

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