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Tips to Replace the Flooring Inside a RV Slide Out

Are you planning to replace the carpet in your RV but not sure how to handle the slide out? This was certainly a concern we had once we made the decision to install new flooring in our RV.

We did some research and although there is some information out there, there isn’t much and every RV is different. So we did what anyone would do, and attacked it head on, haha. In doing so we’ve learned some things along the way so we wanted to share some tips to replace the flooring inside a RV slide out with you.

Replacing the carpet and tile in our 2008 Tiffin Allegro Openroad 32 LA with rustic vinyl plank flooring. Planning to replace your RV flooring? After some trial and error we are sharing some tips to replace the flooring Inside a RV slide out | MountainModernLife.com

Tips to Replace the Flooring Inside a RV Slide Out

Installing the flooring in the slide was as easy as installing it everywhere else in the RV.

You may have seen our previous video on how we installed the floating floors on our slide-out or read about it in this post about how to replace the flooring in your RV. In that video and post we had suggested that you put an underlayment down in the slide-out before installing the flooring in order to ensure it’s level. This is especially true if your slide has rollers that make it uneven. We suggested that because we had skipped that step, bad idea.

After a couple days of walking on the slide-out without the underlayment we came to the conclusion that the trim piece wasn’t stable enough.

About 95% of the slide out was perfectly stable, but the other 5% (the front edge) didn’t set right with us, so we made a change due to the floor not being completely level. I originally thought the rollers were too small to make a difference. I was wrong.

Check out our updated video that explains how we went about fixing our mistake:

 

Step 1: Remove the old flooring

You can see how we removed the flooring inside our RV over on this post. This time around we needed remove all the plank flooring we had placed down on the slide out.

Planning to replace the flooring in your RV or camper? After some trial and error we are sharing some tips to replace the flooring Inside a RV slide out | MountainModernLife.com

As I was removing the floating floors I kept each row separate and in order, that way once we had the underlayment in place I could go down the line and replace the flooring that had already been cut to size. It didn’t take too long since we have a floating floor so the pieces snap together and aren’t glued down.

Step 2: Picking the Underlayment

The main concern without the underlayment was the 4 wheel wells that caused the last row of flooring to be un-level.

I knew that the screws from the wheel wells came up about an 8th of an inch which meant I needed a piece of underlayment that was at least that size. We decided to go with the 1/4 inch OSB (oriented strand board), but you may want to go with a thicker/thinner option or some sort of plywood depending on your situation.

I knew that the 1/4 inch OSB would have enough of a lift to keep the cork backing from our new plank flooring from hitting the wheel of the slide-out, without being quite as heavy as the thicker options.

Step 3: Cutting the Underlayment

We have a Jeep Cherokee, and although I’m amazed at what we can fit inside it, there are limits to the size of the items we can purchase. Because of that I wasn’t able to get the entire piece cut to size when we bought it, instead I had to cut it into two separate pieces.

Side Note: It is still important to measure the sizes you will need before you go to the store, that way you will at the very least have a plan as to how you will cut it to fit. 

Planning to replace the flooring in your RV or camper? After some trial and error we are sharing some tips to replace the flooring Inside a RV slide out | MountainModernLife.com

At this point, I measure and marked where all the wheel wells were.

When cutting the squares for the wheel wells I first used my drill, creating holes for the jigsaw to get in and work it’s magic.

Planning to replace the flooring in your RV or camper? After some trial and error we are sharing some tips to replace the flooring Inside a RV slide out | MountainModernLife.com

Then it was just a matter of cutting along the lines.

Step 4: Painting the Underside of the Slide Out

The first time we did this (without the underlayment) we realized you were able to see a little bit of white underneath the trim piece we had installed. It wasn’t a lot of white, but one or two spots that stuck out like a sore thumb.

The best way we thought to address this was to use a little black chalk paint.

Planning to replace the flooring in your RV or camper? After some trial and error we are sharing some tips to replace the flooring Inside a RV slide out | MountainModernLife.com

Step 5: Placing the Underlayment Down

I took an approach that was one at a time. Meaning I got my bigger piece cut and in place first.

I then cut and placed the smaller piece that would go in front of the fridge.

Planning to replace the flooring in your RV or camper? After some trial and error we are sharing some tips to replace the flooring Inside a RV slide out | MountainModernLife.com

Step 6: Install Flooring in the Slide Out

This last step was fairly easy because all of the flooring was already cut to size. I went ahead and used the spacers along the edges to leave room for expansion and contraction then laid it all down.

Planning to replace the flooring in your RV or camper? After some trial and error we are sharing some tips to replace the flooring Inside a RV slide out | MountainModernLife.com

When I originally installed the flooring in the slide I had removed the plastic flap from the edge.  as well as the lip from the last section of flooring as you can see in the photos below:

Planning to replace the flooring in your RV or camper? After some trial and error we are sharing some tips to replace the flooring Inside a RV slide out | MountainModernLife.com

Step 7: Adding Trim to the Slide Out

Next I attached the trim back along the edges. In case you are looking for ways to finish the edge of your slide-out, you may want to consider using outside corner moulding, which is essentially a piece of wood at a 90 degree angle. After looking into various transition pieces, we found this to be the best solution for us.

We cut both ends to a 45 degree angle to create a finished look on the corners, gave it a coat of stain and then nailed them into place with our nail gun. I’ve heard of other people using contact cement to attach a trim piece but we opted to use the nail gun instead.

You can watch the video at the top of this post to see how the slide looks with the trim piece added, but here’s a close up photo where the slide-out meets the rest of the flooring:

Planning to replace the flooring in your RV or camper? After some trial and error we are sharing some tips to replace the flooring Inside a RV slide out | MountainModernLife.com

The moment of truth happened now. I took my first step on the edge of the last row, and a smile took complete hold of me. Not only was the slight sway from before gone, but the entire edge was completely secure, not even the slightest wiggle.

Additional Tips

Here are some additional tips we learned in order to replace the flooring inside a RV slide out.

Tip 1:

If removing carpet from your slide out, know going in that your patience will be tested. Pulling out every strand of carpet can be stressful, make sure you focus and push forward and you will get the carpet out.

Replacing the carpet and tile in our 2008 Tiffin Allegro Openroad 32 LA with rustic vinyl plank flooring. Updating the flooring on the slide. MountainModernLife.com

Tip 2:

Once we removed the carpet we noticed a piece of black plastic had been stapled down along the edge of the slide out. This long piece of plastic was there to act as a bridge for the carpet to rest on, meaning it moved up and down with any foot steps that came in contact with it. Considering our floating floors do not bend like the carpet does we needed to remove this piece.

Replacing the carpet and tile in our 2008 Tiffin Allegro Openroad 32 LA with rustic vinyl plank flooring. Updating the flooring on the slide.

Tip 3:

Once this piece was removed we realized there was a decent size gap between where the flooring came off of the slide and the floor of the main section of the RV. In order to combat this we used a piece of outside corner moulding as a trim piece.

The outside corner moulding works well though we needed to still leave a small gap between it and the main floor of the the RV so that the slide could move in and out without scratching the flooring.

Once we replaced the flooring with the addition of underlayment we realized the small gap does not effect the integrity of the slide out flooring.

rv slide out with trim new plank flooring mountainmodernlife.com

Side-Note: Our slide out does not come completely level with the main flooring of the RV, however we have seen models that do. If your slide out does become flush with the main flooring you may want to consider a different transition piece.

Tip 4:

Once you have laid your underlayment and placed the floating floors down, you may realize that they hang over the edge of your slide out a bit too far. Don’t freak out if this happens, use your best judgement and cut the pieces down a bit in order to add more strength to the lip.

Planning to replace the flooring in your RV or camper? After some trial and error we are sharing some tips to replace the flooring Inside a RV slide out | MountainModernLife.com

We are so happy that we took the time to redo our slide out with underlayment, and would definitely suggest this route for anyone looking to replace the flooring in their slide out.

Planning to replace the flooring in your RV or camper? After some trial and error we are sharing some tips to replace the flooring Inside a RV slide out | MountainModernLife.com

I hope this information was helpful for you and can at least give you a couple ideas on how to replacing the flooring inside your RV slide out. As always, feel free to leave any questions or comments below.

Disclaimer: Although this is what we have learned through trial and error. When making changes to your RV be sure to consult your owners manual, or reach out to you manufacturer to confirm the changes will be safe for your situation. 

Have you replaced the flooring in your RV slide-out and have any tips to share? If so we would love to hear about them in the comments, so that others can learn from your experience as well.

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36 Comments
  • Awesome! I’ve always wanted to do this!!

    May 16, 2016 at 1:54 am
  • erik verdeyen
    Reply

    What is the name/brand of the flooring you used? Hoping to do the same in my 5th wheel.

    July 22, 2016 at 1:21 pm
  • Crystie Welte
    Reply

    What is the thickness of the flooring you used?

    August 16, 2016 at 9:55 pm
  • Off topic a little. We just starting ripping things out of our travel trailer (replacing table, took couch out … well moved it to the bunkhouse, etc.) I noticed you painted. Did you remove the wall paper first? Ours is pretty stuck on here and I don’t see removing it as an option to be honest! LoL What would you recommend for painting??

    September 26, 2016 at 6:13 pm
    • Hi Sharon,

      We didn’t remove the wallpaper texture that is throughout the RV – that’s more of a permanent wall texture attached to the walls – at least it was for us. Instead we cleaned, primed and painted that area. However, we did remove any wallpaper borders like in the kitchen and bathroom. Those aren’t permanently attached and are fairly easy to remove. I can’t remember if I just peeled it right off or if I had to use a putty knife. The residue on the wall is sticky afterwards but you can clean that off with TSP, goo gone, or you can put warm water and fabric softener in a spray bottle, spray that on, wait a few minutes and then wipe it off 🙂

      Hope that helps!
      Katie

      September 27, 2016 at 10:43 am
  • Jackie
    Reply

    We were told by the lot we bought our RV on, that we couldn’t have flooring because the slide had to slide on carpet Any advise?

    October 3, 2016 at 11:09 am
    • melanie
      Reply

      we replaced our flooring and then found out when slide out was in, for traveling, it leaked! were told we have to put carpet back in !!

      May 28, 2017 at 3:38 pm
  • Whitney
    Reply

    So y’all used the floating floor that clicks and locks together right?

    January 8, 2017 at 3:29 pm
  • judd lynn
    Reply

    how did you all deal with getting the flooring on the main floor under the slide out?

    related question, tips on cleaning the fuzzy ceiling material that has water stains? Is that ceiling paintable with stain blocking primer?

    January 26, 2017 at 12:31 pm
  • Trevor c
    Reply

    Wow that looks great. Im wondering when your slide out is retracted does the floor flex alittle bit in the middle? I have a prowler regal and my slide room is bare right now trying to decide the best course of action since my slide room bends at the middle of the floor unless extended because the room itself is so long that the plywood doesnt stay level so i guess im concerned if i used laminate that it might pull away or pinch once retracted. Any ideas? Thanks

    January 28, 2017 at 8:35 pm
  • Christy Hammon
    Reply

    Hi, I just purchased a 5th wheel over the weekend that has 3 slides! It is huge… It is pretty as it is because despite being older, it was hardly used at all… the colors aren’t bad, etc, but just not my style… The floors are probably the first thing I plan to change… My question is how long/wide is your RV and is that what you used to determine how much flooring to get? I plan to do my whole 5th wheel, bedroom and all, similar to what you did in your living area!
    Thanks

    February 7, 2017 at 2:42 pm
    • I am a professional floor installer, the way I estimate the quantity of floor to buy is simple. You need to determine the square footage of the area to be cover. For that you can measure in small squares and add the quantitys at the end. Multiple the total amount for 1.1 and that is the amount you need to order. You may need to adjust the quantity to the amount of material that comes in every box.

      August 6, 2017 at 10:12 am
  • John s
    Reply

    How did put down osp? Nils, glue.?

    February 10, 2017 at 9:12 pm
  • Maureen
    Reply

    Our slide out is higher than rest of floor; about 2 1/2 inch step up. How do we handle that?

    May 20, 2017 at 12:37 pm
  • Hi Eric,
    We totally appreciate you sharing your experience. From what we can see it looks fantastic. How is it holding up? Any pictures of the finished front including the dog house?

    June 12, 2017 at 1:12 am
  • Hi your RV floor looks amazing. I would like to know if you have to put underpayment under the regular floor of the rv. Thank you.

    July 3, 2017 at 10:57 pm
  • Jim Scott
    Reply

    Your work on these two videos seems to be the best on YouTube. Very thorough. Are you seeing any marks on the new flooring from the rollers travelling under the slide? How do the rollers make it up the ridge of the 6.5mm flooringwhen you first begin to close the slide? Did you bevel it somehow?

    July 18, 2017 at 3:56 pm
  • Peggy D Jackson
    Reply

    I left the carpet in the slide out as it was under my jack/knife couch and closet and had no problem with the transition as that carpet looks new and have be satisfied with it.

    July 19, 2017 at 11:03 am
  • Janice Nicholson
    Reply

    Your work is amazing and inspiring. We have taken the plunge and have removed all carpet and now removing the tile. Here is my question. How did you deal with the tile under the cabinets and shower, etc? It seems they (Tiffin) laid the tile and then put everything on top of it. So our cabinets, shower, and even toilet sit on top of the tile. When we started to remove it we got nervous as it seems to be a stabilizer. How did you tackle the tile? Any deeper details you can give would be great.

    August 7, 2017 at 9:17 am
  • Doug Huffman
    Reply

    How did you remove the carpet from the main floor under the slide out?

    August 10, 2017 at 7:23 pm
  • Kelly Henderson
    Reply

    I also would like to know how you removed every piece of carpet from the slide out bottom. I’ve tried everything. Pulling with pliers, all kinds of knives, some stupid tool.. Any advice would be great. Showing my Husband how you did yours..

    August 15, 2017 at 11:21 pm
  • Doug Delashmutt
    Reply

    Very fired up about replacing our original (9 year old) carpet in our RV after seeing this. I’ve seen a couple of other folks asking about how and what you did to get the flooring underneath the slideout but didn’t seen an answer. I have a slide out on opposite sides of each other and the kitchen area has quarter round on it so I figured I’d have to start on that side and move towards the dining area. Once I did that I don’t know how I’d be able to use the locking mechanism of the flooring as the lip of the slide out prohibits this. Sorry for the run on but this is a major job and as you’ve pointed out.. has me in knots… Thoughts?

    September 9, 2017 at 9:10 am
  • Doug Delashmutt
    Reply

    I think it makes sense, thanks but then again I’ve been told I can be rather daft sometimes. So with that being said I have opposite side slide outs.. Side one is the kitchen side, I’ll call it which currently has linoleum much of the way and then carpet towards the back of the RV. There’s quarter round on this side of course. The other side which is the 14-16′ slide out has the carpet lip you described and looks like yours before. Given all this info and thanks for reading this long…I’m thinking the best place to start is underneath the slide out and work my way towards the kitchen so i can at least use quarter round to cover the gap. I envision connecting the first length wise run of the flooring and slide it under the lip and “float” it and work my way towards the kitchen. The “fun” part will be if the last pieces can be connected given the lip of the fridge and the cabinets. Making any sense? Really appreciate you taking the time Eric!! 🙂

    September 11, 2017 at 5:39 pm

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