Mobile homes and RVs sit on wheels, leaving their bottom sides exposed to the elements. Trailer skirting improves their appearance by creating the illusion of a foundation. Equally important, skirting adds insulation, which can reduce energy costs and make the unit warmer. Skirting also creates a barrier to prevent raccoons, skunks and other animals from taking shelter under your trailer, mobile home or RV. The kind of skirting you use depends on your tastes, needs and budget.

DIY

The sustainable-living website By Example offers instructions on making your own trailer skirting out of plywood. Using plywood requires fewer tools for installation than commercial siding would, and you can paint the plywood any color you want. The website authors also note that adding the skirting made their RV less vulnerable to the wind.

Skilled do-it-yourselfers can find a patent on the website Patent Storm (see "References" below) that shows how to skirt your trailer with concrete panels and foam insulation.

Commercial Options

If your only concerns are cost and function, then basic siding should suffice. Plain siding is the cheapest commercial option. It might not be as attractive as some of the more expensive choices, but it will insulate the structure and keep out animals. You also will have a few color choices. A 16-inch-by-12-foot panel from Skirting Direct costs $7.50.

If you need or want to consider aesthetics, a number of skirting options are both functional and somewhat attractive. You can find skirting that looks like rock, stone or brick. These types of skirting can make a mobile home look more like a traditional house. A panel (44 5/8 inches by 18 3/4 inches) of faux brick skirting from Mobile Home Depot costs $24.

Most trailer skirting is made of vinyl, but you also can find aluminum siding. Ashville Mobile Homes sells a metal skirting designed to look like stone for $13.89 per 28-by-60-inch panel.

Installation

Once you choose and receive your skirting, you can install it yourself or pay for installation. To install skirting yourself, you will need a variable speed drill, a chalk line, a caulking gun, shears or snips, a level and a hammer, according to the website Shade Builder.