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What to know about RV floor replacement

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Whether your RV floor has a leak or a stain, or you simply want to update the look of your unit, replacing your flooring can be a costly option. Our shop does RV floor replacement, but 95 percent of the time it’s because a catastrophic event occurred and insurance is footing the bill.

This is also my warning for consumers who are shopping for a used unit. RV floor replacement isn’t that simple or cost-effective! Make sure you watch the video below.

Why does floor replacement cost so much?

Replacing RV flooring is NOT like replacing flooring in your house.

Your house furniture is easily lifted and moved to another room or outside. RV furniture is bolted in place. After unbolting the furniture, for the most part, it will be too large to fit through the entry door. Therefore, that furniture will remain inside, and our technicians will move it from one side of the unit to the other as they work.

Your RV has specially designed trim and fascia that is delicate. These items must be removed and reinstalled very carefully. If we were to damage these items, we most likely couldn’t order a replacement.

RV carpet is NOT installed like in a house with a tack strip. Your carpet is either glued down or stapled in place with thousands of staples (literally, thousands) that need to be removed— one by one. Either way, removing your existing flooring is time-consuming.

RV floor replacement

Many times, there are unseen items (anchors, carriage bolts, large gaps in seams) underneath your existing flooring that need to be removed or addressed before your new flooring is installed.

Here is what you need to know:

  • Each RV floor replacement project varies. Determining factors include size, floor choice, slideout(s), any pre-existing damage underneath.
  • Units without slideouts will take approximately 20–40 labor hours.
  • Units with slideouts: 6–12 additional labor hours per slideout.

My advice to you

If you are currently shopping for a used unit

Before you fall in love with the floor plan, make sure to thoroughly inspect the flooring. Don’t inspect the flooring just by looking at it, walk through all areas of the unit. If there is soft flooring, run away and don’t look back. Even if it’s being sold for rock-bottom pricing, it won’t be worth the cost of repairs.

If you own a unit:

It is common for older units to show signs of wear and tear and even have some staining. Before you tear out the flooring, I’ve seen miracles happen when a professional detailing service is paid to steam clean and Scotchgard™ the floor. While it won’t be perfect, it can certainly refresh it a bit and extend the life of the current flooring.

I’ve also had customers, who were unhappy with any throw rug options, take measurements of their RV flooring areas and have a local carpet store make custom rugs.

If your unit has soft flooring, your only option is to have it removed and replaced. While it’s expensive, make sure you find a facility well-versed in RV floor replacement, especially if it involves a slideout.

Your RV goes through an earthquake every time you go down the road. I’ve seen enough horror stories of customers paying someone else to replace their floor and a few months later their slideout either doesn’t work or it’s tearing up their brand-new flooring. Those customers then have to pay a second time to have it replaced.

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 & Hitch.

##RVDT1962

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Gary Bate
1 month ago

I thought about replacing the carpet in our 2009 view. Seemed simple to rip out the old carpet which is just in the front and run laminate like vinyl plank thru the whole coach. But we have a full length slide on the drivers side. After watching many you tube videos I realized it was a bad idea for so many reasons. Mainly the slide would likely ruin the new flooring. Especially where the existing vinyl is it would raise the floor 1/4″. Then there’s the trim problem, while vinyl is waterproof and doesn’t expand or shrink much you’d have to come up with some creative trim pieces. I’m a handy guy and licensed contractor but I’ve decided to live with the ugly factory interior flooring and invest in a good carpet cleaner or possibly Stanley steamer and scotch guard.

Marie Beschen
2 months ago

We had light tan carpet (who chooses that for an RV?) and I was always cleaning it…I hated that carpet! Decided to get rid of it and replace it with new flooring. Researched, and “everyone” suggested a guy in Texas was the very best. I didn’t think I wanted wood because we already had so much with the cabinets, but after working with Ernie, it was the best decision I ever made. What a beautiful job he did. Every inch is covered (except for the doghouse), so no more scrubbing on my knees, just sweeping out the door!

John
2 months ago
Reply to  Marie Beschen

Where in Texas?

Bob p
2 months ago

I was replacing the jack knife sofa with powered reclining love seats so I thought it would be a good time to remove the worn carpeting in our 17 year old motor home. Getting the old carpet out wasn’t bad, as was stated in the video removing the staples became difficult as their length was hard to pull. The old carpet just came off the staple and left the staple in the wood. Most would pull out with pliers, others required cutting off with my orbital saw and metal cutting blade. A thoroughly vacuumed floor and it was time for laminate flooring, with the help of my SIL. I removed the carpeting in the full length slide which I later regretted as the carpet hid the raised floor of the slide when it was retracted, extended it was flush with the rest of the floor, but SIL managed to solve the problem with a decorative trim from Home Depot. After making all the improvements and getting it just like we wanted, we sold it. Another mistake! Lol

Bob S
2 months ago

We own an older motorhome with light colored carpet throughout. The carpet had become stained badly over the years. I had the carpet cleaned professionally every year, but the stains would bleed through about one week after cleaning. I did a lot of research and decided I would replace the carpet with laminate flooring myself. But, I would need to keep some carpet around the slides. So, I had the carpet cleaned one last time, just to get the area around the slides clean. Instead of the traditional soap & water carpet cleaner, I hired a very enthusiastic Stanley Steamer person. He managed to get the carpet almost as clean as new and it stayed that way. Instead of replacing the carpet, we had custom automotive carpeted floor mats made to cover the traffic areas of the clean carpet. Now, except for driving days, we do not wear shoes inside the motorhome. Floors look great!

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