Insulating an older Mobile home

txchickDecember 30, 2007

HI, Im new to the forum. Glad to meet you all and really glad to find this as I have an old 1978 single wide mobile home(no idea of mfg) I purchased it over a year ago. It has a Roof over and a 20x40 addition on the back.

Its Freezing cold though. There seems to be no insulation to speak of in the walls behind the paneling. We were planning to remove all the paneling and add insulation and then put up drywall, however after reading this forum Im not sure if we should use drywall??? The home sits on some blocks and still has the tires under there!

I never feel movement as the roof over is Very massive and the addition is large.

The floors are JUST the subfloor, much of it has been replaced with mdf or other low grade plywood. the former owner simply painted it after removing the carpets. The insulation that was under mostly falling off.

So we need to insulate. Any tips on this. Are there special considerations for mobile homes? the trailer roof seems intact so I think were ok for insulation there.

Im hoping to cover the floor with laminate wood or hardwood. I figure tile is out of the question for this place. currently I can see the ground through a few of the seems.

Also there is No furnace(they removed it) so we rely on the fireplace(in the addition) and electric heaters/window AC.

Im in west Tx...we have hot summers (90-105 normally) and mild winters(20-60 normally) and very little rainfall and even less snow.

Also wondering if I could add wood planks to the ceiling to cover the ugly panels. I'd also like to ad some 2x4 beams to make it look a bit rustic and substantial. Our ceilings are low already...maybe 7' Ive already torn out all the kitchen cupboards that were just horrible...except for teh sink one...which leaks and is horrible but I need it.

Thanks in advance.


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If the exterior is aluminum that is held with visible screws, it may be much easier to remove one exterior section at a time and insulate that way. No mess inside, much easier than removing the paneling. There probably will be an inch or two of insulation already and space for insulation may be limited. Buy some R-11 that is used for soundproofing, it may fit as-is. Or buy R-19 unfaced and split it into thicknesses that fit your situation.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 7:20PM
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I second what bus_driver said. Just remove the siding and put the insulation in there. Something else to consider would be replacing any doors or windows if you have the older ones. They are not like the windows/doors of today and will greatly help! If they are newer, then try re-caulking and sealing up around the edges. Look for cracks and seal those babies up. Little things will make a HUGE difference!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 10:24PM
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First I want to apologize for such a long post. But, this is something I have already experienced and thought I would share these ideas.

One of the most overlooked losses of heat is through the floor. Check the skirting around the trailer to see if it is vented. If it is, consider putting mostly non vented skirting on the north side or plant wind blocking year round shrubbery. We have a trailer in Weatherford TX that was freezing us to death until I did this.

Since you stated the insulation is falling off underneath, sounds like you have the same problems I had.

I cut the plastic canvas and removed all old insulation. It was all settled to the middle. Then I went and got some barrier foil insulation (foil lined bubble wrap) and stapled it about an inch below the subfloor in each space between the floor joists. Next, I got some plastic mesh screen for holding cellulose insulation and stretched it tight and fir stripped it across the floor joists and blew in cellulose insulation in between each floor joists. It wasn't easy but the difference it made was unbelievable.

Most lumber yards let you use the machine to blow in the insulation free if you buy the minimum amount of insulation. I had to buy 10 bales a 7.00 a bale.

While you are under there, you will be able to see all the water lines and the old HVAC ducting. If the ducting is seperated, either reattach the pieces back together or tape the holes off with foil tape. I would just tape them off unless you intend on replacing the HVAC. Then consider replacing the entire duct with flex duct. The ducting on most older trailers I have seen are uninsulated metal, leak air and are not very efficient. Mine was channeling cold air up through the floor where the registers were. While under there, it would be a good time to check the water lines as well...

Odds are, if you have a '78 model, the insulation in the ceiling is blown in. My '78 Breck had clear plastic stapled to the trusses and insulation blown on top of it. This was covered with 1/4" fiberboard. The interior walls were just paneling and thin fiberboard directly nailed to the the studs. We did take this out, rewire the entire trailer and go back with 7/16" OSB sheathing on the walls and ceiling. Then we blew regular drywall accoustics to the ceilings and walls and it looks like sheetrock inside.

One last thing to note... If the water heater has a door outside for access, consider removing the door and attaching a piece of ductboard (foil lined fiberglass insulation board)to its entire inside surface. Be sure to cut out for the vents if it is a gas or propane water heater.


    Bookmark   February 28, 2008 at 1:21AM
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Don't tear your home apart, buy cladmate board insulation and attach it directly to the outside walls with screws and washers. No need for home wrap just apply siding overtop of the insulation. That's what I did and put up beautiful cedar shake and siding.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 1:30AM
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Was the cladmate board insulation expensive? My daughter-in-law wants to sell her trailer in the near future but it needs insulation. Of course, she wants to upgrade it some but cost is a factor.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 12:42PM
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The cladmate insulation is abit expensive, I would only do it if I planned to stay in the home. But it was so easy and we did all of the skirting as well so it looks like a cedar cottage.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 11:21PM
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I have inherited the ancestral trailer home. After living over seas for many years I returned home to care for the second family generation to live in this home. I have thought of selling it off, but with the cost of todayâÂÂs housing, like a used car, I am thinking itâÂÂs not such a bad place after all.

ItâÂÂs a 1972 Brookwood double wide, 960 square feet. It has been well cared for over the years, but it is time for an update.

I am looking at gutting the paneling on the inside and re-insulating, thinking of a foil lined rigid foam lined insulation. Keep in mind the walls are only about 2 inches think. The roof was replaced/ added onto about 20 + years ago with a lifetime roof and an additional 4 inches of Styrofoam insulation. I would also like to insulate between the 12â center 2 x 6 floor joists, either with a blow insulation or an expanding foam insulation.
The flooring is 5/8ths.

To add rigidity to the walls and the structure I am considering a 3/8â to ýâ plywood in addition to a 1/2â drywall for a smoother wall surface, exterior walls only. Keep in mind the structure has now been here for 42 years. All of the windows have been replaced with vinyl double paned windows also the same time as the roof. To date there has been no punctures. I am also planning on replacing the hallow core front door, and eventually replacing the odd sized bathroom tub/shower and revamping the bathroom.

Any thoughts, sharing experiences, would be much appreciated, and thank you before hand.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2014 at 10:33PM
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