Tips for Updating RV Slide-Out Moulding
As soon as we brought our RV home from the dealership I started brainstorming ways to incorporate rustic, reclaimed wood, without adding too much weight.
One of my first ideas was to remove the RV slide-out moulding (fascia) and replace it with something more rustic. If you’re looking to change the look of your RV Slide-Out Moulding, then I hope this post will help guide you along the way.
Tips for Updating RV Slide-Out Moulding
In case you’re confused about what I’m talking about, here are a couple photos showing the wood RV slide-out moulding in our living room area:
Check out the video on how to update your RV Slide-Out Moulding:
First Up: The Inspiration
I was especially inspired by cozy nooks framed by rough hewn beams, rustic window trim, and door frames found in most mountain homes.
I absolutely love the mixture of woods used in the photo below:
If only weight weren’t a concern in the RV…
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How to Remove the Slide-Out Moulding
Let me first say that you can update the moulding of your RV slide-out without removing the current trim. Most people paint it so you may want to consider that option, or if it’s real wood you may even want to sand and re-stain it. Our slide-out trim was more of a plastic covered with veneer and while I considered painting it, I wanted to add character and felt wood was the best way to achieve this.
The right side moulding turned out to be attached with velcro, which you can see from the photo below.
Unfortunately, the other side seemed a bit more permanent.
Rather than just yank them off (let’s pretend we didn’t try this), we turned to our RV Facebook groups to see if anyone had suggestions. A few people said the moulding is purely decorative and shouldn’t be a problem to remove, and that it’s usually just attached with long staples and screws.
Upon closer review we noticed tiny staple holes which made us feel more comfortable about using our mini crowbar to remove the rest of the moulding.
With that said, please do this at your own risk.
Removing the first piece of trim was a little nerve wrecking, but afterwards we felt much more confident.
The moulding was attached to the MDF underneath it using staples, and the MDF was attached to the slide-out with screws.
To save weight we opted to remove the MDF boards as well, but you can always add velcro to these sections to attach your new wood, or screw into them rather than removing them all together. We decided to use the existing screw holes to attach our new moulding for our living room slide-out.
However, by the time we got around to updating the trim in the bedroom we left the MDF in place and just nailed the new wood into the MDF (again you can use industrial strength velcro). We think this worked and looked better, but you can use whatever method works best for you.
Replacing the RV Slide-Out Moulding
You can purchase moulding made specifically for RV’s, but we decided to replace ours with wood instead.
I originally considered using reclaimed peel and stick planks like those sold from Stikwood, Epic Artifactory, or East Coast Rustic, mainly because they’re generally pre-cleaned and planed down pretty thin which saves on weight. I really didn’t want a “planked” look though, so I then considered purchasing reclaimed boards and getting them planed down. To be honest I didn’t find any decent reclaimed wood nearby that fit what we needed, and didn’t hear back from several companies I had reached out to, even after multiple attempts.
If money was no option I would absolutely love to have used reclaimed rough hewn beams planed down to be thin and lightweight. I did find some rough hewn planks on Amazon, but it was still a bit pricey and I was unsure of the weight it would add.
So while I would have loved to use reclaimed wood for our living room slide-out moulding, time was running out and I was getting impatient. Ultimately, we stopped by our local hardware store and purchased some cedar boards, which we had cut to size. I think we spent roughly $30 for the wood used to update our living room slide-out trim. (I’ll get to our bedroom slide-out in a minute).
The Living Room Slide-Out Moulding:
While I love the look and smell of cedar I wanted the boards to be darker and seem more rustic so I dinged them up using a hammer, planer, nails, screws, and well just a bunch of random objects from our garage. I then stained the boards using a mixture of stains. I honestly have no idea of the exact mixture because it was was more or less the leftovers of random stains we’ve collected over the years.
Side Note: We were debating between pine or cedar since both are softer, lighter woods, but the cedar didn’t cost much more which is why we went that route.
We installed the boards back onto the slide-out using the pre-existing screw holes. This was kind of a pain to figure out but we basically measured where the screw holes were then made marks on the back of our wood boards.
One thing I should mention is I had all of the boards cut down at the hardware store in order for the top piece to fit in our Jeep, and we didn’t realize our measurements were off until AFTER we installed all the pieces. Go figure.
You see, we forgot to account for the fact that our new side pieces were wider than the previous trim that was there. This meant our top header piece of wood didn’t hang over the sides like we had planned, boooooooooooo. Of course you don’t have to do it this way, I just like the top piece hanging off a bit.
Eric doesn’t mind so much, but it honestly drives me bonkers!
We plan to update the slide-out wood in the future but it’s been on the lower end of our priority list so we haven’t gotten around to it yet. If I hadn’t used such a random stain mixture I could buy one new board and get it to match. Guess that’s the downfall of using a random mixture of leftover stains, haha. I figure somewhere along our travels we’ll come across some awesome reclaimed wood to replace it with, but who knows. I just wanted to make sure and mention this so you don’t make the same mistake we did… unless you don’t want the top piece to hang over.
It’s just one of those detail things that irks me, especially when I take photos because I feel like it stands out even more in pictures.
So a few months ago I replaced only the top piece to make it slightly hang off the edges and instantly felt better. Only the hardware store I went to didn’t have a cedar board long enough so I grabbed pine (ya know, ’cause I was being impatient). I then had to stain all the wood darker to attempt to make it look more cohesive. I’d love to eventually replace it with antique hand hewn skins (to save on weight) and have been trying to source materials, but until then I still think it’s much improved! And of course after I took the photo below I realized I need to add more dry-brushed paint to the sides.
Bedroom Slide-Out Moulding
I’d like to think we learned a thing or two after updating the RV slide-out moulding in the living room.
By the time we finished renovating the front and were ready to move onto the bedroom, we lucked out by snagging some reclaimed cypress wood. We had made a trip to North Carolina and it was given to us by the owner of the mountain wedding venue we were married at, who also planed it down to make it thinner.
If we were smart we could have just replaced our living room slide-out at the same time, but we completely forgot to get a piece long enough to fit the top. Woops.
We repeated the same process as above to remove the slide-out moulding and then cut our wood to size, making sure the top piece hung over this time.
Here’s a photo showing what our bedroom looked like when we first bought our RV, and what it looked like once we removed the moulding:
We then attached the wood to the MDF boards using our nail gun (probably our favorite tool ever!). Easy peasy.
Once the reclaimed cypress was installed I brushed on a couple coats of Tung Oil, which is what we used on our kitchen counters. I love how it enriched the wood grain.
I can definitely say that our bedroom slide-out moulding turned out much better then the trim in our living room. Live and learn, right?
Here’s the before and after:
We still plan to update the moulding in our living room (someday), but for now we love the difference it’s made in our RV.
Do you plan to make changes to your RV slide-out moulding or have any tips you want to share? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!
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