3 Investments Sure To Warm Up Your Drafty Old Double-Wide Trailer

Double-wide trailers (especially older models) have a reputation for losing heat, and losing it fast. Because they're factory-produced, they lack much of the attention-to-detail that goes into the construction of stick-built homes. You can, however, make your mobile home retain heat every bit as well as a stick-built home by investing in the below 3 projects for warming up a drafty, old double-wide trailer.

1.  Install Continuous Insulation

The walls of double-wide trailers are assembled by stapling a bunch of wall panels to the home's wooden frame. The seams where the panels come together are then covered by thin, long strips of wallboard. If you were to pry these strips off and have a look, you'd see that the panels are not tight and flush as they would be on a stick-build home. Instead, they're crudely aligned, leaving large gaps and cracks between them.

In a double-wide trailer, the insulation is placed in all the nooks inside the frame, leaving the actual framework uninsulated. Heat loss through uninsulated framework is called thermal bridging, and it can account for up to 30% of your home's total heat loss. 

Consider investing in continuous insulation for your double-wide trailer. This rigid foam is attached to the outside frame of your home, effectively covering every square inch of your home with insulation -- including the wooden wall joists and studs.

2.  Upgrade To Insulated Vinyl Siding

The ability of a home's insulation to restrict heat loss is measured in terms of R-value, with a higher number signifying better heat retention. While regular hollow-vinyl siding has an R-value of .62, insulated vinyl siding has an R-value of between 2.0 and 3.5! 

Insulated vinyl siding has a thick foam bonded to its inside surface. This foam works in a similar fashion to that of continuous insulation, adding another layer of protection against thermal bridging.

The light-weight construction of double-wide trailers makes them especially susceptible to shifting and swaying, which can eventually pull hollow vinyl siding apart, leaving gaps where pieces of the siding join. Since insulated vinyl siding strips are 39% longer than traditional hollow siding strips, they require fewer join spots and leave less opportunity for the vinyl to pull apart.

3.  Incorporate Renewable Heat

Another way to make your double-wide trailer warmer is to simply use more heat -- but that's not always feasible with the fluctuating cost of non-renewable energy. Consider switching to a form of renewable heat energy, such as a pellet or wood stove. Wood products are generally much cheaper than heating gas or oil, and you can heat your home with these products exclusively, or run them in conjunction with your furnace so your thermostat won't kick on as often.

 A lot of people think that running a wood or pellet stove in a double-wide trailer is a safety hazard and just can't be done. This was true in the past; wood-burning stoves weren't recommended for mobile homes because the space-confinements of the mobile-homes disallowed the stoves from being a safe distance away from the wall. Now, though, you'll find many stoves on the market labeled "mobile home-approved". These stoves are generally small and have a heat-shield and top-exiting vent. These features allow them to have a smaller necessary wall-clearance distance so they can easily fit into any mobile home without causing a fire hazard. 

Do you think that your old, drafty double-wide trailer will never be as warm as a stick-built home? Think again. Instead of throwing money at high heating bills, invest that money in the above three projects. You'll almost immediately begin to recoup your investments with lower energy bills, and you'll enjoy those lower bills from the comfort of your cozy, warm double-wide trailer.