DIY: Horse Trailer Insulation
Why didn’t I do this sooner? Insulating my trailer, that is. I had intended to do so for a long time, but hadn’t really looked into exactly how to do it and what supplies I would need. It seemed like a big expensive project in my mind, so it kept getting put off.
It really isn’t that hard or that difficult. I spent $80 at Lowe’s and one afternoon working on it and it was finished.
My 2 horse bumperpull dressing room needed 4 sheets of 1″ foam board insulation. I had enough left over for half of the horse area ceiling also, and I plan to purchase one more sheet so I can finish it as well. I’ve already noticed a significant decrease in the temp in the trailer on hot days. I originally planned on just doing the dressing room where I sleep, but now I want to finish the horse area to help keep them cool on hot days, especially if we get stuck in traffic or break down on the side of the road on a hot day (been there, done that, not fun!).
First you need to determine the appropriate thickness of insulation to buy. Measure how far the ribs stick out from the ceiling and walls. Mine were all 1″ thick.
I’m sure you could calculate precisely how many sheets you will need, but with all the different shapes, sizes, and angles you’ll be cutting, I gave up on that pretty quickly and just took a measurement of square footage and rounded up. I figured I could always buy more if needed. You do end up wasting some from all the irregular shapes, but no big deal. The insulation sheets I used were only $15 each.
I used plain foam board insulation without foil. According to the internet you can use the foil backed kind also, which may be helpful if you are planning on installing panels over the foam. I’m not sure, as I stopped researching at that, as I am not finishing the dressing room of this trailer for aesthetics. I’m trying to keep this project cheap and easy, as I plan to upgrade to a gooseneck trailer to install real living quarters in the next couple years. I also want to keep this little bumper pull light weight.
You’ll also need a couple rolls of aluminum tape. I found it in the plumbing section of Lowe’s.
Measure twice, cut once.
For the rounded panel in the front V of the trailer, I made several partial shallow cuts vertically in the backside of the foam to help it bend around the curve. I didn’t use a straight edge on this (oops) and you can tell by the wavy irregular lines… But it does the job.
Alternately you could just put a flat panel in the curved part and lose a couple inches of space… no big deal, except my mattress was already cut to fit into the V shaped area.
I skipped the rounded area where the walls meet the ceiling. It seemed like more trouble than it was worth. If you were planning on putting paneling over the insulation it might be necessary to do so to prevent condensation causing mold under the panels. Again, I stopped researching the details of prepping for proper wall panel installation. This will suit my needs just fine, and was cheap and easy.
If you don’t have insulation in the sleeping quarters of your trailer, seriously, do it. I wish I would have done it sooner! I can’t wait to try it out this weekend, especially since the forecast looks hot, humid and maybe rainy…