Tips to Replace the Flooring Inside an RV Slide Out

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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 an 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 |

Tips to Replace the Flooring Inside an 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 of 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 sit 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 to 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 |

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 |

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 its 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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

Step 7: Adding Trim to the Slide-Out

If you’re looking for ways to finish the edge of your RV slide-out, you may want to consider using Flush Mount Stair Nose Moulding (also known as bullnose stair moulding), or an overlap reducer.

This is what we originally planned to use, but couldn’t find any that matched our specific flooring at the local Floor and Decor stores. That’s when we decided to use pine outside corner molding that we could stain to match our flooring. We found it with the other wood trim options at Home Depot.

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.

(Update: Should have listened to Katie and used the contact cement because we’ve since had to randomly hammer back the nails that pop out. It hasn’t happened a ton, but it has happened over the years. You can read about it in our RV flops post/video.)

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 |

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 an 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.

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 footsteps 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 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 affect the integrity of the slide-out flooring.

rv slide out with trim new plank flooring

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 judgment 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 |

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 |

I hope this information was helpful for you and can at least give you a couple of 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 owner’s manual, or reach out to your 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!

additional resources

How to update RV flooring

How to create a custom RV “doghouse” engine cover


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

    May 16, 2016
      • What model rv do you have im looking to put in rollers in my slide out but can’t find any the hide in floor of slide.

        May 24, 2018
  • erik verdeyen

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

    July 22, 2016
  • Crystie Welte

    What is the thickness of the flooring you used?

    August 16, 2016
  • 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
    • 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 πŸ™‚

      Hope that helps!

      September 27, 2016
      • Deb

        I removed the border paper in my camper using a blow dryer, it peeled right off and left very little sticky behind. i highly recommend this method, it looks so much better without it!

        October 23, 2017
  • Jackie

    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
    • melanie

      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
    • Dennis Reynolds

      MOST rv’s you can’t replace carpet because the slide out rides on it and would scratch anything except carpet. I’m a RV technician. I actually work on them day in and day out. I’ve replaced many slide out floors to. Replacing carpet in the actual slide out is doable in any RV. Replacing that small strip of carpet that is just in front of the slide is not an option in most every RV.

      October 28, 2017
      • charlotte Cover

        Mr Reynolds, that is something my husband and i have been concerned about. we have a 1993 fifth wheeel that i leave parked at the lake. due to granddaughters asthma, we want to remove that carpeting. your info has helped us. thank you

        December 20, 2018
      • Sharon Manning

        Is there a way to replace the carpet that is under the slide?

        June 25, 2019
  • Whitney

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

    January 8, 2017
  • judd lynn

    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
  • Trevor c

    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
  • Christy Hammon

    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!

    February 7, 2017
    • 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
  • John s

    How did put down osp? Nils, glue.?

    February 10, 2017
  • Maureen

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

    May 20, 2017
  • 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
  • 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
  • Jim Scott

    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
  • Peggy D Jackson

    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
  • Janice Nicholson

    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
  • Doug Huffman

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

    August 10, 2017
  • Kelly Henderson

    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
  • Doug Delashmutt

    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
  • Doug Delashmutt

    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!! πŸ™‚

    September 11, 2017
  • Aerin Tew

    It’s hard to tell from the picture, does the trim you used lay flush with the flooring? Thanks so much for the fantastic information. We have started replacing the old flooring with LVP and loving the look. Bit confused on what to do when the huge gap with the slide your idea seems the best I have found.Thanks again!

    September 19, 2017
  • Corky valadez

    Just wondering, does any one know where to buy the replacement carpet? Our carpet has a border that keeps the carpet from unraveling.

    October 8, 2017
    • You may want to check with your manufacturer to see if they sell it, or have a recommendation if you want to match it. We’ve found Tiffin to be super helpful when we needed to replace something they had put in. Otherwise, you may just want to purchase carpet from any home improvement store. πŸ™‚


      November 14, 2017
  • tom

    Do you find a floating floor sounds “hollow” when you walk on it? For that reason, I prefer to glue down the flooring, even though its suppose to be “floating”. I dont think it matters since a rv is so small, the floor wont expand/contract like a family room floor in a house. So I wondered how you keep the slide floor from moving since you didnt glue it?

    November 16, 2017
  • Gregg Remedes

    great info, after laying my bamboo flooring in the living room I also noticed a cup in the underlayment, I was actually thinking of filling the gap with some foam in a can. I also created storage in my step and covered them with my bamboo flooring as well using bullnose on the steps. when I did our dining area floor I just couldn’t find anything that would work, then it dawned on me I checked a piece of scrap bullnose I had laying around and it fit perfect, I had to fabricate 2 corner pieces and to fill the 1/4″ gap bullnose and the kitchen floor I used adhesive backed weather foam seal. after applying it to the bullnose and installing everything I could not be happier it fit like a glove. with the foam seal in place nothing can fall into the gap and cause any issues while opening or closing the slide out. it also keeps it clean to bad I can’t post a picture here however if you check out my Facebook page “RV modifications and add on” you can see what I did.. good work, good read.

    December 14, 2017
  • Brandi Burtness

    Hi Eric, thank you for all the great info! Our daughter bought an RV to live in, while at college & we agreed to help with the flooring replacement. When installing the underlayment, did you screw it in, or glue it? If glue, can you tell me the type please. Thanks again! Brandi

    January 7, 2018
  • Brian Betts

    you guys did an awesome job doing your flooring and the best explanation I have seen on “how to”. Thanks for your efforts, as it will make it much easier for many of us to do our own.

    February 12, 2018
  • vic

    what make and model did ;you remodel?

    March 6, 2018
  • Eric thank you for posting this in depth look at doing this! My question is how well have they held up? I saw a comment where an RV tech (and even our salesman) said that removing the carpet and replacing with other flooring will cause scratches on the vinyl/floor. Have y’all experienced any of this? Thank you in advance!

    April 29, 2018
    • It’s been almost 2 years and our flooring has held up awesome! There are zero scratches from the slide-out, which is something we were worried about too. I know all flooring products are different, as our slide-outs, but we haven’t run into any issues (and hope we never do!).

      May 22, 2018
  • Ron Allen

    Good evening Eric. I have bought an older camper (2003) and not knowing what to look for, I found out that I had a leak on my roll out side and the boarding is soft. It must be replaced. What and how do jack up the wall and slide out and/or roof so I can put the new floor in? Also I think I have found the leaking area. Thanks
    Ron Allen

    June 12, 2018
  • Debbie Dunbar

    We have removed the carpet and found that one end of out slide out has a bow in it so it’s higher than the other end which has no gap at all when open
    Any suggestions on what to do about it.
    Thank you

    June 14, 2018
  • Tetesa Jones

    We are having difficulty figuring out a transition piece between slide out & , floor. Whetr did you get yours?

    August 5, 2018
  • sina

    where did you guys find your outside corner molding? and how did you attach it to the flooring?

    August 28, 2018
  • Mandie

    Good evening! Super inspired by your blog and love seeing how amazing the before and afters are!!
    I am replacing my floors with a vinyl glueless plank flooring and was wondering how you got the very edge of the slide out to be solid where it tapers down. Was this from using the underlayment and 90 degree molding?

    October 21, 2018
  • Elissa

    How has your flooring in front of slideout held up? Ive heard stories of scratching happening when slideout Is used. Ive been researching To redo ours come spring!

    November 5, 2018
  • Ted tedford

    We have had 2 instances of the slide damaging the vinyl flooring. Both were caused by unseen debris. The rollers themselves won’t hurt anything but the campground pea gravel will do a number on it. Broken glass is even worse. Always do a thorough sweep up before closing the slides and you will be fine.

    March 23, 2019
    • Oh man what a bummer! Good tip, thanks for sharing! We try to sweep under outs pretty often just because that’s the area our pet fur tumbleweeds tend to hang out most.

      April 2, 2019
  • Hailey T

    I absolutely love this remodel of the slide out. Unfortunately, my slide out is flush with the rest of the flooring, but I’d really like to add the MOLDING as you did. Do you think, if I added a thicker underlayment, I’d be able to fake it and add the molding?

    March 27, 2019
  • Joan Balaris

    Saw this post as we are interested in getting rid of the carpet on the slide. We have already replaced all the carpet and linoleum throughout the balance of the coach with cork laminate floorin (lumber Liquidators). 3′ x 1′ planks that snap together and float. We went all the way from the back to the driver’s pedals. Now we have the crappy carpet on the slide out. Our wheels are on the main part of the floor, not the slide. In other words, the slide out moves onto the wheels in the main part of the coach. Not sure if your method would work. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks!

    May 4, 2019
  • Karen

    Wow I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot with your blog and especially this post. Thanks so much for detailing everything so well πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    July 15, 2019
    • Thank you, Karen! That means so much to us. We’ve learned mostly through trial and error so if nothing else, hopefully, we can help you with what to avoid, haha.

      July 17, 2019
  • Cindy Winkel

    Hi Katie and Eric,
    My husband and I live in Michigan and just bought our first travel trailer and would like to put new flooring in it. I have read your blogs on Pinterest and watched your videos and I think we would like to go with the same Nucore planks you used. My question is have you had any trouble with the planks separating with weather changes? Is 1/8 of an inch around the perimeter enough for expansion of the floor? Even though our trailer will be stored in a pole barn when not being used, we have extreme below 0 temps at tims and above 90 degrees at times. Your floor looks amazing. I hope ours turns out as well

    September 11, 2019
    • We haven’t had any issues with weather fluctuations affecting the flooring, it’s held up great over the last 3 years!

      September 21, 2019
  • Laura

    Thank you for this. We were always told we couldn’t put flooring on the slide outs had to keep the carpet there. Looking so forward to remodeling our RV.

    September 21, 2019
  • Brian N

    Do you have a Youtube channel as well with this kind of content on it? I would love to see this post turned into a longer video if possible. Maybe I can share on it on my website.

    January 5, 2020
    • We have a Youtube channel, but never documented the flooring process on video. To be honest, we had started our RV reno back in 2015, along with our Youtube channel and were pretty overwhelmed and nervous with the projects we wanted to tackle, so only some were filmed – others we just wrote about with photos and some we shared a video walking through the steps. If we ever do another RV reno, we’ll definitely do a better job documenting each project!

      Here’s the link to our Youtube channel if you wanna check it out:

      And here’s our video page:

      January 9, 2020

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