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How to prevent damage to your RV furniture

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By Dustin Simpson
Why is my RV furniture CRACKING, PEELING, or looking like hell?! Most RV furniture isn’t necessarily known for its durable, long-lasting construction. In fact, it carries quite the reputation for flaking, peeling, and tearing—even after minimal use. 

Why is RV furniture so easily damaged?

I was recently approached by one of the top RV furniture manufacturers. They asked me to carry their products in our store. I asked them, “Have you seen your furniture after it’s been in an RV?” My shop sees around 25-35 units a week. It doesn’t matter the year, make or model, most of them have damaged or blemished furniture after time and use. 

The RV furniture manufacturer explained that “RV manufacturers purchase the cheapest quality of RV furniture that we can produce. They do this to save money.”

When I told them that I wasn’t interested in carrying cheap furniture in my store, the furniture manufacturer said, “No, we want you to carry our aftermarket furniture. This furniture is more like a ‘La-Z-Boy’ and it’s better constructed. We use better materials that last a lot longer than the standard stuff that we sell to the RV manufacturers. When customers come in with damaged furniture, you would certainly have the opportunity to sell them better quality furniture.”

The key is maintenance!

No, thank you! I am not in the furniture business. I am in the repairs and maintenance business. Here is my advice on protecting and maintaining what you have:  

Everything from the oil in your skin, the products we wear (lotions and potions), sun exposure, moisture in the RV, and storage temperatures can cause the materials on your RV furniture to break down. I recommend doing a regular cleaning. Wiping off furniture with 303 Leather 3-In-1 Complete Care to regularly remove sand, dirt, and other grime that finds its way onto your furniture. One of the best ways to maximize the longevity of your furniture is to keep it clean because when oils, dirt, and other residues have time to sit and soak into your furniture, the quicker those materials break down. 

This product works great for cleaning your RV! If you’re tired of seeing tired, worn-out furniture, use 303 Leather 3-In-1 Complete Care. You can also use 303 Leather Cleaner Step 1, which cleans and preps the RV furniture surfaces, and then 303 Leather Conditioner Step 2 (currently unavailable on Amazon, but check Walmart or other stores for it), which conditions and protects.

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More from Dustin

Dustin owns and operates California RV Specialists, an independent RV repair shop located in Lodi, CA. He thrives on sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm of RV repair and maintenance with his team, customers, and virtual friends.

Be sure to check out his YouTube channel where he shares what’s going on in the shop and the product offerings in the store. Dustin is also very active on Facebook. Join his group, RV Repairs and Tips – What’s in the shop!

Dustin proudly operates the business alongside his wife, Ashley; but the true pair that run the show are their Boston Terriers, Arvie and Hitch.

##RVDT1977

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Gary
1 month ago

Our 2004 Southwind has the same couch as the top picture and ours in still in great shape. In fact, all of our furniture is that material. Not sure what we are doing right, just some leather wipes even though it’s not leather.

DW/ND
1 month ago

Our forward captains chairs have real leather seat and back cushions surrounded by matching vinyl over the substructure. I clean and treat them spring and fall with Tanners Leather Cream. They are 28 yrs old and in near perfect condition with the normal character lines of leather. The couch, lounge chair and dining chairs are fabric covered and also in near perfect condition with annual vacuuming. I also bought contrasting cloth napkins from WalMart and had them embroidered with “Vectra LE” and place them over the backs of the fabric cushions to protect from UV and hand oils etc., when the shades are up. Shades are down during storage.

Lisa Adcox
1 month ago

When we purchased our 2nd TT. We loved the furniture. It was covered in materials just like our truck “Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Work Truck? Very heavy duty. It’s even same color. It has held up great. The couch we replaced, not due to wear but due to wants something more relaxing. The couch is in someone else’s home and looks great after almost 4 years of use. It is not that shiny smooth fake looking leather.

Leslie Schofield
1 month ago

I don’t feel I should have to “cover, clean, etc” my rv furniture to keep it from peeling. Maintain yes, which to me means wiping it down and keeping it clean. Our furniture has been used for a total of approximately 15 months and one recliner is beginning to peel. Would love to see just a ‘bit more quality!’

Thomas D
1 month ago

We sent our dinette cushions out for redoing including new foam. The swivel chair hit the garbage truck shortly after we bought the fifth wheel. The hide a bed i couldn’t give away and the mattress went with verlo when they delivered a decent mattress. What a waste of money. I really feel that I’d like to buy an rv with nothing for furniture and buy my own.

Jim Johnson
1 month ago

Good thing about having pets I guess. One of the first things we do is find pet resistant covers for our RV furniture. Of course you usually can’t find “skins” because RV furniture isn’t residential size. But we have found covers that look good and (mostly) stay in place with tucks and strategic straps. Machine washable of course. We live in our big RV six months of the year and the furniture still looks decent after 5 years. In addition to covers, all our shades are closed for UV protection when in storage.

Hint: we also have a camper with small booth seating. We found that ‘Pack and Play’ type crib sheets perfectly protect our booth pads. They do come in non-unicorn patterns and colors.

Lawrence P Murnane
1 month ago

It’s not LEATHER, ITS PLEATHER.
I use Mother’s vinyl cleaner and conditioner.
it’s the junky fake leather with a really bad backer material. ( Can you say Made in China?)
Yes, it’s junk. Ours started cracking after 3 years.
Now I use rust-oleun vinyl paint on it till I can take it apart sections replaced at a furniture repair.
Vinyl paint helps hold it together, flexible.
At some point, I’ll replace all the furniture.

bill
1 month ago

Bash China all you want but it is populated mostly by people who work very hard to try to provide properly for their families. Besides, where would you get your daily purchases? No Chinese made products = no Wal-Mart, no Costco, very limited NAPA or Auto Zone, nor most other businesses.

Joe Krebs
1 month ago
Reply to  bill

No need to worry about your American Neighbors!!!

Ran
1 month ago

I use 303 on my furniture as well. However, MOST rv’s don’t have leather furniture, it’s vinyl. So, buy conditioner/cleaner as you feel appropriate. They make it for vinyl, rubber, plastic. Good for most all rv users needs. IMHO!

Jewel
1 month ago

Honestly, the “ultra leather” they put into RVs is not made to last. It’s made to appear like leather. That is all. Well, and to show off the RV so it looks luxurious so people will buy it.

Even using 303 or any other product won’t help an inferior, temporary bonded product that is made from leather dust, glue and plastic. We kept ours protected with covers and conditioner and it was stored mostly unused the first two years of it’s life. Still started seeing cracking, flaking and peeling. We did replace with the “better, aftermarket line”. I wouldn’t have done it if it weren’t half price. Way overpriced for the quality at retail cost.

There should actually be a separate RV furniture store so people can shop for appropriate items to replace the junk. Yes I know RV suitable furniture can be found in a regular home store but it’s a hint to find the right fitting pieces that break down easily for getting in the door. At least a good furniture guide would help.

robert
1 month ago

Our MH is a 2006 National and the furniture is in like new condition, We have been thinking of getting a newer unit but every one we look at is trash. They all need the furniture recovered and it doesn’t seem to matter which make or model.

Glen Cowgill
1 month ago

I have a Fleetwood 2009 Bounder that is stored out side in Florida heat and rain and the furniture still looks like the day I bought it new, yet, I see other brands of Motor homes only a year or two old that the furniture is coming apart.

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