Tips For Updating Your RV Flooring 12891

Like a brick-and-mortar home, replacing the flooring in your motorhome or travel trailer can provide the space with an instant update and a whole new feeling. Instantly modernize your old RV with a magnificent, newly remodeled look.

Removing and replacing carpeting or another flooring option can be a do-it-yourself job, so don’t shy away from the project if it sounds intimidating at first. If you can’t figure out where to start, Camping World Design Centers can help. Our design specialists are standing by to help you find and install new RV flooring and make other RV interior upgrades.

Tips for Updating RV Flooring

DIY Do It Yourself
Image: Shutterstock

Although there are professionals who specialize in installing after-market RV flooring, like the service technicians at your local Camping World, some jobs are small enough—and easy enough— for RVers to attempt on their own. There are multiple videos out there that walk you through the installation process and high-quality products needed to update your RV.

Speak to an RV Design Expert

speak-to-an-expert-tips-for-updating-rv-flooring-05-2022
Photo by Camping World

However, before you start removing old RV flooring, you’ll need a plan for what to put down in its place. That’s where speaking to a design specialist at a Camping World Design Center comes in handy. Explore your RV flooring options with a specialist today.

Vehicles without slide-outs are best for do-it-yourselfers. We suggest using a special carpet-cutting tool to go along the perimeter of the travel trailer or motorhome to cut the old carpet and make it easier to pull out. If you do this well enough, the piece you cut out can be used as a template when cutting the new flooring.

It’s best to consult a flooring or home improvement expert on the best way to install and keep a new carpet down. Although, some RVers say anchoring it by placing furniture on top of it is a good option as it allows the carpet to be periodically removed and cleaned.

Choose the Right Type of Flooring for Your RV

choose-flooring-tips-for-updating-rv-flooring-05-2022
Photo by Camping World

If you’re looking for new rugs, 100% nylon-constructed rugs are best for RV use. Make sure to check the “remnants” section of your local carpeting store for the best deals. Since you probably won’t need to purchase a significant amount to cover the space desired. On occasion, you can snag a pretty decent deal simply by asking.

When considering new floor options, remember the importance of not adding too much weight to the floor of your RV. For example, try a laminate product instead to get the look of hardwood flooring without the additional weight.

Laminate flooring and stick tiles are also good RV options. They’re easy to clean and maintain; they’re just not as comfortable or warm as some of the other options available. As far as those options go, it’s always best to weigh the pros and cons of each RV flooring type before deciding.

Popular Flooring Options for Your RV

Flooring Samples
Image: Shutterstock

When it comes to choosing your new flooring material, a few options tend to be the most popular among RV enthusiasts both for their appearance and their longevity.

  • Carpet. It’s one of the most classic and accessible flooring options for RVers. Often used in slide-outs and bedrooms, carpet can instantly make a space feel cozy and inviting.
  • Laminate. It’s the perfect marriage of vinyl flooring and hardwood flooring in that you get the look and feel of hardwood but the benefits of vinyl. It’s easy to install and offers good scratch-resistant properties.
  • Vinyl. It’s easily the most popular choice for the RV lifestyle because of its superb water-resistant qualities. It’s the easiest to maintain and keep clean, allowing it to look newer for longer.

A Few Tips for DIYers

Helpful Tips
Image: Shutterstock

These are a few tips on updating and replacing your RV flooring:

  1. Sketch out your RV and make a diagram of the interior. Include furniture, walls, appliances, etc. This drawing will give you a visual of the best place to start your installation and highlight any potential problem areas so you’re aware of them before you begin.
  2. Clear furniture and start removing the current floor. You will probably have to use a flathead screwdriver to get the flooring up. Note that most factory-installed flooring runs underneath the cabinets. Most, if not all, renovations (especially the DIY kind) choose to leave the cabinets in place and, consequently, the flooring underneath them as well.
  3. Clean and level the floors as thoroughly as possible. You want your subfloor as smooth as possible before beginning the installation of your new flooring.
  4. Install and secure new RV flooring. Depending upon which flooring material is chosen, you’ll need adhesive and a few tools to ensure a smooth installation. It’s worth it to take extra care and spend quality time installing the first piece of flooring as it will serve as the guide for the subsequent pieces. Remember to measure at least twice before making any cuts.
  5. Let it settle. After successfully installing the floors, wait a day or two before reloading the furniture into your RV. Doing so will allow the floor to settle and any imperfections to reveal themselves. Then you can address them, if necessary, without having to move the furniture around several times.

Note: It’s always wise to wear protective eye gear when working with tools. It is also recommended to wear a mask due to the possibility of mold. Safety first, always.

Like an old boat, if the floor is damp or has mildew or mold, you will need to replace that section of the floor first before installing the new flooring. While you are doing that, check for any other damp or wet spots that may need attention. Addressing them all at once can save you time, money, and a headache further down the road. It is recommended to use plywood you would use for a boat.

Installing new flooring in your RV can be a challenging task, but with patience and a little hard work, you can replace your outdated floors and be back on the road looking and feeling brand new in record time. It’s worth warning you that one upgrade can easily lead to another.

With your shiny, new floors, don’t be surprised if you want to update furnishings throughout the rest of your RV. Take it one project at a time. Your RV is designed to get you from destination to destination, and you should be enjoying every step of the journey along the way.

As always, if you’re looking to sell or trade in your current fifth wheel or travel trailer, look no further than your local Camping World for help with that process.


Updating your RV flooring can dramatically change the way you feel every time you step into your RV. For the best resources, advice, and installation help, visit the Camping World Design Center near you today!

Have you updated the flooring in your RV? Do you have any other tips for a successful demo or installation? We would love to hear about your experience. Leave a comment below!

19 Comments

  1. We have a 2006 Wilderness TT which we purchased new. It is now 12 years old. It has been sitting at a local RV repair shop throughout December and January getting a small leak taken care of and a couple of other small things done, as we are planning on selling it in the spring to upgrade. However, the service manager just called me to advise they went out to make sure the leak had been taken care of when they found the vinyl flooring had “blown up”. I was not far away and stopped by. Sure enough there were long cracks in the flooring that seemed to be originating from around the floor vents. The manager said he has had this happen before to TT they had on their lot for sale and it was due to extreme cold temps, quality of the flooring, and poor installation techniques. He said ours was the worst he has seen though. My wife thinks the repair shop should be responsible, but I do not. I think it would have cracked regardless if it was sitting outside on the repair shop’s lot, or if it was inside the unheated pole barn we store it in. Any comments, suggestions/advice on replacing, to keep this from happening again would be appreciated.

    1. Our camper sets out all winter and one day I went out there and the vinyl had a split in it four foot long, starting at the vent. It was a pretty cold snap when it happened.

    2. I think you are right.Your wife is wrong. Hi RV did the exact same thing, After the temperature got down to 6°. The floor was already ripped and torn, But now I will have to replace it.

  2. What is the best type of flooring to use on a 31′ Keystone Travel Trailer. With Slide-out. I have all aluminum frame and have replaced all of the plywood. Should I use stick-on vinyl squares, stick-on wood looking laminate/vinyl, wood looking laminate/vinyl that needs to be glued, wood looking laminate/vinyl that floats. Also any other flooring that you can suggest other than carpet.

      1. What type of light weight tile but durable flooring can be used to replace carpet Rv with slide outs?

  3. We have floating Allure vinyl planks in our unseated sunroom. Had it put down 5 years ago, looks as good as the day it was installed. Has been through freezing winters and hot, humid summers. I know this is not an RV, however the weather conditions are the same. I think the key is to install exactly per instructions, leaving expansion space around perimeter. When we purchased this, they recommended this product for unheated areas. Then the recommendation changed to interior below grade. Must be people put it outside? Regardless, it is, although pricey, beautiful , easy to clean, water proof (pool+grandkids= wet towels and swimsuits on floor)hides dust and dirt.

  4. Our Keystone 29 foot Springdale had similar vinyl cracks one day after a cold spell. We cut out the vinyl, leaving the simulated trim alone. I was afraid the trim would break because it was so cheap. We did have quite a few staples to pull at various spots. Be sure to get all the staples and thoroughly wash the floor, I did it twice, before laying the carpet. Then I placed peel and stick carpet on the floor. The carpet did not affect the slide out movement in or out at all. What a different the carpet made! Felt nice and warm on the feet. Glad I did it.

  5. We have a 32 ft Fleetwood southwind 2006 we want to replace the carpet with some other kind of flooring any suggestions thank you

    1. Hi Donna,

      It really depends on what you want. If you want to replace your old carpet with new, you have all kinds of options. If you’re looking for something easy to clean and install, many people have found laminate or vinyl flooring options to work well. There are a wide variety of options available.

  6. I am looking at the peel and stick vinyl laminate squares for at least the bathroom area. I know I will need to put down a thin smooth plywood first but my concern is will the adhesive backing hold during the temperature changes of extreme hot and cold? I like the durability and feel of the higher quality peel and stick types over the sheet vinyl. What are your thoughts?

    1. A high-quality peel and stick vinyl flooring should be up to the challenge. It will likely depend on the product itself. I’d go around to different flooring sites and read the reviews. Focus on products that only have the highest customer review and look for any mention of the adhesive. From what I’ve seen on the web and heard from others, TrafficMASTER makes some quality flooring solutions, though I have not used that specific brand.

      1. We purchased a used camper and want to replace the flooring who ever had it before us removed. The carpet in the bedroom area and then put a 8×8 peal & stick tile over top of the existing linoleum and carpet area. My question is do I remove the original linoleum or just the stick on tiles . How would have the old linoleum been installed ? Should I just remove the 8×8 and go over top of the old or try to remove it all ?

    2. Not sure if you’ve done it yet, I’d suggest for the sub floor to put down in this case would be luan. It will be thin enough to not add a bunch of weight, and will give you a nice flat surface to attach the tiles to. Plywood, I think, would be too course for the tiles to get a good surface attachment. Luan is used in most vinyl flooring jobs.

    1. I just replaced mine last year in the slide. I pulled all the furniture and laid a tight burber down. Put everything back, and it looks great! Good luck.

  7. We just took our travel trailer out of storage and found that the vinyl flooring had cracked and split. Our trailer is 4 years old. We are assuming it happened due to the extreme cold temperatures we had this past winter. Looking for some advice on what type of flooring would be best. We were thinking vinyl plank flooring but am worried that the same thing will happen. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.