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  #1  
Old 09/07/08, 12:10 PM
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Any ideas for cheap ways to insulate a mobile home?

We bought a mobile home (manufactured home) on a permanent foundation last year. Winter was rough and expensive. I am wondering if anyone has some tips for cheaply helping to improve the insulation? I have heard of using bubble wrap in the chicken coop windows and thought about trying it in the mobile... any other ideas? I appreciate it!

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  #2  
Old 09/07/08, 06:10 PM
 
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I am with you there. We are looking at insulating a trailer also. What kind of windows do you have? Are they double pane? Take a good look under the trailer, are the ducts there? are they sealed? Can you seal them more? Do you have skirting? How good is it? Any chance of putting any blown type insulation in the ceiling? Have you looked carefully at the outside walls, are there any holes that you can seal?

We are insulating and replacing the single pane windows with double and in places were we cannot do that we are doing plastic.

I will be watching the thread as well, I am anxious to hear what others have to advise.

thanks

ar

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  #3  
Old 09/07/08, 06:27 PM
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There have been a lot of threads on this from using bubble wrap on the windows to laying 8 mil (?) plastic on the ground under the double wide.

There's also a site called Mobile Home Repair that has some good insulation ideas.

try a search here to see what you come up with. Solar Gary has some very helpful ideas too.

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  #4  
Old 09/07/08, 09:57 PM
 
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If you could bear to give up a few inches lengthwise and widthwise in your rooms, you could insulate from the INSIDE. Put up furring strips or 1 X 2's or 2 x 4's whatever you want, FLAT, 16" on center, as a frame for each outside wall (you don't have to do inside walls between rooms), put batting between strips, then put paneling/wallboard, etc. over that. If your mh has paneling, as so many do, just take it off, insulate, replace. It works fine. I had it done on a brick home and it helped immensely. Also stays much cooler in summer. You could probably do the ceilings, too, if you were so inclined.

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  #5  
Old 09/08/08, 06:18 AM
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odds are you are losing most out the windows

Your walls should be at least an R-13 if it is a conventional 2x4 wall exterior. But if they used just aluminum type storm windows for real windows.. That is the cause of the lost heat. Put at least a good double pane with argon and Lo-e.

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  #6  
Old 09/08/08, 12:44 PM
 
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That sheet foam insulation you can just cut with a knife is pretty easy to work with and get to stay up under the floors. Also can put that inside the crawl space round the foundation. We did this with my daughter's mobile home and it helped a lot at minimum cost.

PQ

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  #7  
Old 09/08/08, 12:54 PM
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In other words there is no cheap way to significantly insulate a mobile home. You can rebuild the thing to super insulation standards with foot thick walls and foam insulation, but that costs lot $$$, I dont think there is any cheap magic bullet.

When I went to college and dinosaurs roamed the campus, I lived off campus in a trailer that I owned but rented the space it was parked on. LP was less than 30 cents a gallon or something like that. First month I turned on furnace scared dickens out of me. Cost as much to heat that tinderbox than my mother payed in town for her much larger stick built house with natural gas. I didnt have that kind of money. I lowered furnace to minimum setting to protect the pipes, then holed up in the smallest bedroom (tiny!!!) with an electric heater. Amount gas used lowered so much that trailer court owner (who furnished the propane from bulk tank with meter for each trailer) replaced my meter twice, thinking it was broken or I had sabataged it. Told him what I did. He kept telling me it was a mistake and I'd ruin the trailer (I didnt). Anyway that was only low dollar way I found to cut fuel bills but not comfortable way to live long term. If I had been going to live there for many years, then probably been worth gutting back two rooms and rebuilding them with much thicker walls and lot more insulation and real windows.

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  #8  
Old 09/09/08, 03:44 PM
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Thanks for the help!
I guess now's the time to get busy!

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  #9  
Old 09/09/08, 10:00 PM
 
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we are looking into putting foam insulation boards on the outside of our trailer and covering it with 4 by 8 sheets of decking. I agree none of this is cheap but we have to find a way to keep the heat in.

good luck!

ar

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  #10  
Old 09/10/08, 05:51 AM
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If you take small square bales of straw or hay, and stack them(on edge) two bales high to form a complete skirting around the exterior base of the structure, this helps considerably.
Insulates, blocks drafts and airflow under the floors and at the floor level in the home. It also reduces freezing of pipes and plumbing.
For best results we put bales in place in the fall October to November so they don't start to decay prematurely from the early fall rains. Then come spring( usually by Easter in Kansas) we haul the bales away and mulch them into the gardens. If left year round they become homes for creepy crawly critters.

We do this on our old frame farmhouse every year.

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  #11  
Old 09/10/08, 01:09 PM
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I'd go with Up Farm's suggestion of using hay bales stacked around the sides. 'dI stick them in large plastic garbage bags first. We've done that around the house during the winter.

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Old 09/10/08, 01:17 PM
 
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For a less than cheap, but permanent, fix, a lot of people in my neck of the woods tack a foam insulation to the outside of the home and then stucco over that. It makes the mobile home look like a sitebuilt home, and really lowers the utility bills.

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  #13  
Old 09/10/08, 01:25 PM
 
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I have done a couple mobiles. If you can take off the inside paneling you will most likely find that the insulation has slipped down from the top leaving a gap. Just take more insulation and cover the gaps. You may be able to make the whole thing a little thicker or even add the sheets of insulation. Good luck getting it sealed up. Sam

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Old 09/10/08, 01:51 PM
 
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insulation

Years ago lived in a 12x60 one winter was skirted with metal roofing. I took my pickup and hauled green sawdust from a sawmill(which they are glad to get rid of) and banked it up around the back end and the two sides. I left the hitch end undone as the metal didn't fit as good there and there needs to be some ventilation under the house. Floors stayed nice and warm that winter with the sawdust piled up almost to the top of the skirting. was a little work to rake and haul most of it away the next spring. Nowa days I still bank my wellhouse with sawdust, never have to worry about freezing without any extra heat..:-)

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  #15  
Old 09/10/08, 07:38 PM
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Okay guys these are my plans:

Install bagged square hay bales around the west and along the north of the trailer skirt.

get some of that foam insulation and install in the air space between the outside window and the winter window.

seal electrical outlets, and witerize windows and the drafty back door.

Heavy curtains or a heavy blanket over windows.

Install water heater blanket, and insulate the copper pipes from water heater.

Use a electric blanket and oil filled heater in bedroom/bathroom.

Where should I set the furnace thermostat at?

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  #16  
Old 09/10/08, 08:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KansasFarmgirl View Post
We bought a mobile home (manufactured home) on a permanent foundation last year. Winter was rough and expensive. I am wondering if anyone has some tips for cheaply helping to improve the insulation? I have heard of using bubble wrap in the chicken coop windows and thought about trying it in the mobile... any other ideas? I appreciate it!
Hi,
This is an idea you might consider. Its not inexpensive, and it may not fit what you want to do, but I thought is was a pretty clever way of 1) providing more insulation, 2) providing some solar heat, and 3) providing some sunspace/greenhouse living and growing space

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Green...e-Trailer.aspx

A less ambitious scheme would be to add a sunspace on the south side. This would insulate the south side as well as providing some solar heat that could be used to help heat the house. Some ideas here:
http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects.../sunspaces.htm
Sunspaces can be very simple and cost effective.

May not fit what you want to do -- Just a thought

Gary
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  #17  
Old 09/11/08, 06:20 AM
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As been stated, get the bottom insulated with hay. or if you have the money, use wood and the blue hard insulation, it'll stop the mice from moving in.
Yrs ago, people used to stack horse manure all around their house for insulation.

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  #18  
Old 09/11/08, 06:47 AM
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Here's another aspect to winterizing. First, determine what direction the prevailing winds come from on cold winter days. For us here in Southern Kansas, the winter winds from the North and Northwest have the most cooling effect.
Then, appraise the situation on those two sides of the home. Long term a planted shelterbelt of trees is a good solution. However, if this does not exist, one can create an artificial windbreak. If you have a farm and need to stockpile hay anyways, big roundbales stacked two high to form a wall about 20 feet north of the home can create a dead air space between the north winds and the home. I have even seen farmers park a row of wagons or old trucks to serve as a windbreak for the home or farmstead. "Circle The Wagons!... LOL!"
You will have to strike a balance between aesthetic considerations and an effective windbreak based on your personal tastes, LOL. To me, reduced heating bills and warm floors in the home are a beautiful thing, LOL

* Preventing direct exposure to cold wind on the home is an important element of winterizing.*

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  #19  
Old 09/11/08, 09:55 AM
 
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I'm surprised no one's mentioned the roof, but considering the laws of thermodynamics and all, THAT would be the first place I would tackle. Heat doesn't move sideways or down, it rises.

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Old 09/11/08, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by fin29 View Post
I'm surprised no one's mentioned the roof, but considering the laws of thermodynamics and all, THAT would be the first place I would tackle. Heat doesn't move sideways or down, it rises.
so would ceiling fans keep more of the heat in, maximizing by mixing it with the cold air at the floor?
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