6 Best Ways to Insulate RV Windows for Winter

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Learn the best ways to insulate RV windows for winter living, how to choose the best option for your RV, and a genius hack to insulate your windows without sacrificing style!

1. Reflectix Bubble Foil Insulation

Reflectix bubble foil insulation is a popular choice for insulating RV windows.

This insulation type is made from polyethylene bubble layers (like bubble wrap) sandwiched between reflective foil surfaces. The material is lightweight, easy to cut to size, and can be installed in minutes. It works by insulating the windows with an R-value of up to 14.3, depending on the application, helping to keep the camper warm in winter.

Moreover, it has the added benefit of being a barrier to UV rays, protecting the interior furnishings from fading due to sunlight exposure.

It’s pretty easy to cut down and install, too, which you’ll see in this video:

Winterize Your RV | Reflectix Window Covers

The downside? Reflectix completely blocks out all light from coming in through the window. I love natural light, so while this is extremely effective at insulating RV windows, the fact it blacks out the windows is a pretty big con for me.

Reflectix BP24010 Series Foil Insulation

Reflectix BP24010 Series Foil Insulation

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If you’re up for a little DIY project, here’s a genius idea – put the Reflectix insulation inside shade panels! Then, you can raise and lower the shade panels as you wish and still get the insulation properties of Reflectix without the ugly foil look!

THIS Replaces UGLY Foil Insulation In Your RV Windows (Full DIY Build)

2. Reflective Foam Core Insulation

Reflective foam core insulation is another effective material for insulating RV windows. It’s very similar to Reflectix but has a foam core instead of bubbles (something they claim makes it superior to Reflectix-like products).

The foam core does provide excellent insulation properties, helping to reduce heat transfer through the windows. It is easy to install, as it can be cut to fit the dimensions of the windows and secured in place using tape or adhesive, placed between existing shades and the window, or put in your shades as we saw in the video above.

This type of insulation not only helps in retaining heat but also aids in reducing noise from the outside, offering a quieter interior environment.

But, like the Reflectix mentioned above, it does not allow light to enter through the windows.

SmartSHIELD Reflective Insulation Roll

SmartSHIELD Reflective Insulation Roll

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3. Window Insulation Film

A window insulation shrink kit is a set that typically includes a clear plastic film and a roll of double-sided tape. The clear plastic film is cut to the size of the window frame and then affixed to the frame using double-sided tape. Once the window film is in place, a hairdryer or a similar heat source is used to shrink the film, removing any wrinkles and creating a tight seal.

This seal acts as an additional barrier to cold air, helping to prevent drafts and retain heat inside the space. It is a popular choice for insulating windows during the winter months. It is relatively inexpensive and easy to install while effectively reducing heat loss and preventing cold air from entering through gaps or leaks in and around windows.

It also has the added benefit of being almost invisible once installed, maintaining the view through the window while providing insulation.

You can see window insulation film applied to the windows of an RV in this quick video:

Insulating Our RV Windows for Winter

It’s a temporary solution and can be removed easily when it is no longer needed, usually at the end of the winter season.

Frost King Indoor Shrink Window Kit

Frost King Indoor Shrink Window Kit

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4. Rigid Foam Insulation Boards

Rigid foam board insulation is a type of insulation that involves using rigid panels of foam that you can find at any home improvement store to insulate the windows. These boards are cut to the size of the window and can be secured using tape or by placing the boards between the shades and the window.

The foam boards offer excellent insulation properties, helping to reduce heat loss through the windows, but like a few of the options above, they completely block out the light.

5. Plexiglass

Plexiglass is a transparent acrylic plastic that can be used as an additional layer of insulation for RV windows. Basically, you can use it to create “storm windows” for your RV windows, creating dual window panes with an air gap in between to reduce heat loss.

Plexiglass is durable and resistant to shattering, making it a safe option for window insulation. It is also lightweight, making it easy to handle and install.

That said, it’s not cheap and will take some work to create a window covering for all your windows.

RV Inspiration posted a helpful guide on how to create Plexiglass storm windows you should check out if you’re interested in doing this.

Plexiglass Sheet Panels - 24

Plexiglass Sheet Panels – 24″ x 48″ x 0.04″

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6. DraftOut EZ RV Vinyl Window Covers

DraftOut EZ RV vinyl window covers are removable and super clear RV window covers that can be installed in minutes! They can be ordered in custom sizes, so you don’t have to worry about cutting the covers down to fit your windows.

With their velcro fastening system, these covers can be quickly removed or reinstalled in seconds.

As for cleaning, simply remove the covers, wipe them down with a little dish soap and soft cloth, let them dry, then reinstall.

Here’s a quick installation video:

Say Goodbye to Drafty Windows for Good

Additional Insulation Tips

We’ve covered some of the most budget-friendly, effective solutions above. Now, let’s look at a few additional tips that can enhance the insulation of RV windows during the winter season.

Seal Around Windows

Ensuring a tight seal around the windows is a fundamental step in winterizing your RV. Over time, the seals can deteriorate, leading to gaps that allow cold air to seep in. To address this:

  • Inspect the Seals Regularly: Make it a routine to check the condition of the window seals and address any issues promptly.
  • Use Quality Sealants: It’s important to use a high-quality non-sag sealant like Dicor Sealant.
  • Professional Inspection: If unsure about the condition of the seals, consider getting a professional inspection to identify and fix any issues.
Dicor Non Leveling Non Sag Lap Sealant

Dicor Non Leveling Non Sag Lap Sealant

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Window Draft Stoppers

Window draft stoppers are accessories that can be placed at the base of the window to prevent cold drafts from entering the RV. They are usually made of insulating materials and can be custom-fitted to the dimensions of your RV windows. Here are some tips on using draft stoppers:

  • Proper Installation: Ensure the draft stoppers are installed correctly to effectively block cold air.
  • Material Choice: Opt for draft stoppers made from materials with good insulating properties to enhance their effectiveness.
Window Draft Stopper Foam Seal Strip

Window Draft Stopper Foam Seal Strip

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Insulated Windshield Cover

If you have a motorhome instead of a travel trailer, don’t forget the windshield! The windshield is a large glass surface that can be a significant source of heat loss. Insulating the windshield can help in retaining heat and enhancing comfort.

Thermal Curtains & Shades

Investing in high-quality thermal shades and curtains can be a great way to insulate your RV windows (and add a little style). Quality window coverings not only enhance privacy but also add an extra layer of insulation, helping to retain heat. When choosing shades, consider the following:

  • Material: Opt for shades made from materials with good insulating properties.
  • Fit: Ensure the shades fit well, covering the entire window to prevent heat loss.
  • Ease of Use: Choose shades that are easy to use, allowing for quick and hassle-free operation.

Installing thermal curtains is a simple and cost-effective way to add an extra insulation layer to your RV windows. I recommend combining one of the methods above with thermal curtains or shades for best results. They are available in various styles and colors, allowing you to choose curtains that match the interior décor of your RV.

Upgrade to Double Pane Windows

One of the most effective but costly upgrades you can make to your RV is replacing single-pane windows with double-pane alternatives.

Double-pane windows consist of two layers of glass separated by a space filled with air or inert gas. This design significantly reduces heat transfer, helping maintain a warmer winter interior. Moreover, these windows offer the following benefits:

  • Noise Reduction: They can dampen noise from the outside, providing a quieter living space.
  • Energy Efficiency: By reducing heat loss, they help in lowering the energy required to heat the RV, thus saving on energy bills.
  • Condensation Reduction: The design of dual pane windows reduces the likelihood of condensation forming, helping to keep the interiors dry.

Tip: If you’re winterizing your camper to live in, it’s a good idea to use multiple methods from above to best insulate your windows and keep the warm air in.

Choosing the Best RV Window Insulation

So, what is the best way to insulate an RV window?

The answer? It depends!

Let’s look at the most important factors to help you find the best option for your RV.

Climate and Weather

The climate and weather you’ll be experiencing during winter RV camping should be one of the main factors to consider when selecting RV window insulation.

If you’ll only be in milder temperatures above freezing, you may be able to get by with lightweight, temporary insulation like curtains. But if you plan to camp in below-freezing conditions or extreme cold, insulated window inserts (like foam board or Reflectix), vinyl covers, or a combination of several options may be required to protect against the cold.

Know the average low and extreme temperatures in the areas you’ll visit so you get insulation up to the task.

Window Type and Location

The type and location of the windows in your RV will determine which insulation solutions will work best.

Smaller windows, like porthole-style windows, have different options than larger windows. Windows in the main living area likely need more attention than ones in bunkrooms or bathrooms. Windows with nice views or that provide critical light may need special consideration.

Tip: Measure all your windows and note where they are so you pick insulation that fits and suits each one properly.

Permanence Needed

Figure out if you want temporary insulation that’s easy to install and remove or more permanent solutions that stay up all winter. Options like vinyl covers allow light to pass through and are ideal if you’ll occasionally use the RV in warmer spots, as they can be quickly removed. But for full-time cold weather use, plexiglass covers might be the better option.

Visibility and Light

The amount of visibility and light transmittance you want the window insulation to allow will determine the best product. Reflective covers and foam board insulation generally allow little to no light through.

However, window insulation film, vinyl covers, and plexiglass covers can provide both insulation and visibility.

Noise Reduction

While not strictly insulation, sound dampening is another important winter camping benefit of covered windows.

Shutting out exterior noise from wind, traffic, etc., provides a calmer, quieter interior environment. Foam boards are excellent sound dampeners.


RV window insulation costs range from inexpensive plastic sheeting to custom-fitted window inserts. Set a budget to narrow down options, but also consider value. A durable foam board that insulates well for many seasons may save more money long-term than a single-use plastic film. Get the best performance you can afford while staying within your budget.

Tip: Remember, insulating your windows is just one tactic to trap heat in your RV. Check out our guide on insulating a camper for winter use for 12 DIY tips you can implement right now!

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