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Your RV flooring is an important part of your home-on-wheels. It protects the plywood subfloor, provides a comfortable surface for walking, and has a huge impact on the overall look of your RV interior.

Unfortunately, RV flooring also sees a lot of abuse. Camping is messy business, and it isn’t uncommon for dirt, sand, mud, and a variety of other debris to make its way onto an RV floor. Not only that, but if you’re living in your RV full time, you’re walking on that floor all day every day, something not all RV flooring was made to stand up to.

The good news? There are things you can do to protect your RV flooring, and even when the original flooring is all worn out, you can always replace it entirely. Here’s everything you need to know about your RV flooring.

Protecting RV Flooring from Dirt and Debris

First, let’s talk about taking care of your RV floors. Obviously, you will want to sweep and vacuum from time to time, but there are a few things you can do beyond these basic cleanings that will keep everything in tip-top shape.

Use an Outdoor Rug

We highly recommend putting down an outdoor rug right outside of your RV door. This will catch a lot of the debris that would otherwise be tracked inside.

Keep a Shoe Bin by the Door

Putting a shoe storage bin right by the door is helpful. Remind everyone who comes into your RV to remove their shoes and put them in the bin in order to prevent mud and sand from entering your home.

Put Down Rugs

Rugs can help protect RV flooring. They also work great for adding splashes of color to your rig and even covering up old or damaged flooring. Pick out some rugs you love and throw them down for a totally new look and some added protection!

Mop Carefully

You will of course want to mop your non-carpeted RV floors. That said, it is important that you do so carefully. Too much water could potentially seep down into your subfloor and cause water damage, especially if you mop often. Something like a Swiffer Wet-Jet will help prevent this issue by limiting the amount of liquid used.

Cleaning the Carpets

At some point all RV flooring needs to be deep cleaned, and when it comes to carpet, cleaning is a bit trickier. Fortunately, it is totally possible to deep clean your RV carpets, and you might be surprised what a difference this can make.

Here’s how to deep clean your RV carpets:

  1. Vacuum well.
  2. Spot clean stains using a carpet stain remover.
  3. Mix one part distilled white vinegar with three parts cold water and spray onto carpet.
  4. Let the solution sit for five minutes.
  5. Using a microfiber cloth, blot the solution out of the carpet, rinsing the cloth as it becomes soiled.
  6. Allow to air dry. Open windows and doors to increase drying speed.

You can also purchase small steam cleaners that will do an excellent job of cleaning your RV carpet.

Replacing Your RV Flooring

Even if you do everything in your power to take good care of your RV flooring, you are likely to find yourself needing to replace it eventually. Sometimes this is because the stock flooring is outdated. Other times it’s because it’s become stained beyond cleaning. Either way, the process for replacing your RV flooring is the same.

Choosing Your Material

Typically, you’ll see four types of RV flooring:

  1. Sheet vinyl – This comes in a sheet. It’s nice because it’s waterproof and inexpensive, but because it’s in one piece, it can be difficult to put down.
  2. Carpet – Because RVing can be so messy, we don’t really recommend carpet. Yes, it is inexpensive and relatively easy to put down, but it’s just too hard to keep clean.
  3. Laminate flooring – Laminate is an okay choice, but in order to get waterproof laminate, you will need to purchase a thicker product, which is heavier and can cause issues with slideouts.
  4. Luxury vinyl planks – This is our favorite type of RV flooring. They are durable, easy to lay, and waterproof. For this article we will focus on laying vinyl planks.

Tools You’ll Need

To change your RV flooring using luxury vinyl planks, you will need the following items:

  • Razor blade
  • Speed square
  • Tape measure
  • Rubber mallet
  • Pencil
  • Tapping block
  • Miter saw (optional)

Measuring for Luxury Vinyl Planks

To determine how much flooring to buy, multiply your floor length by the width and add an extra 10% for start pieces, end pieces, mistakes, etc.

Remember that thinner planks will save on weight and work better with your RV slides!

Pulling Up the Old Floor

Obviously, you will need to pull up your old RV flooring before putting anything new down. Fortunately this is pretty easy to do. Start by removing any trim at floor level. If you’re dealing with vinyl sheet flooring, you may need to use a razor blade to cut as close to the wall as possible. Carpet should come up with a bit of pulling and a nail or staple remover.

Prep the Subfloor

Next, clean the subfloor. Pull all staples and nails. Sweep at least two times and follow the broom with a Shop-Vac to ensure you get all dirt and dust.

Laying Your RV Flooring

If you are working with a slide that has a lot of overhang, it’s generally best to start by laying the flooring under the slide. Otherwise, choose the longest straight section of wall in your RV and start there.

Leaving a quarter inch of space between your planks and the wall, click planks together end-to-end until you’ve spanned the entire length of the RV. This will likely require you to cut the final piece to the correct length using the speed square along with either a razor blade or a miter saw to fill all of the space.

With the first row done, now move on to the second row, using the other end of the plank you cut at the starter piece in order to create an off-set pattern as you line it up with the first row. Snap each plank into place as you go using the tapping block and mallet, and cut the last plank to fill all of the space, using the remainder of that plank to start the third row and repeat the process.

Continue in this way, cutting around cabinets, floor registers, and other obstacles until the entire floor is complete.

Add Trim

When your floor is complete, you will need to trim everything out. You can do this by adding shoe molding or quarter rounds that match the floor, or you can add a baseboard to the walls and match the trim to the baseboard.

A Word about Slideout Transition Strips

Depending on what kind of slide you’re working with, finding a trim or transition strip that works well can be tricky. The video below talks about some of the best options. It also offers a visual guide to replacing RV flooring that could be helpful.

There you go, everything you need to know about RV flooring! Hopefully this guide has helped you learn how to care for your RV floors, along with how to replace flooring that isn’t in the best shape so you can keep on camping without worrying about RV flooring that is falling apart.

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