Ripping Out My Fifth Wheels RV Carpet

Why Rip Out My Fifth Wheels RV Carpet?

I was doing the spring cleaning of our RV after another great snowbird season down south and got to work tackling the carpets. For carpet cleaning, I use a Bissell portable steam cleaner, great little unit and small enough to travel with us. It does a great job and I use it on everything. Besides the carpets, it cleans our fabric furniture, window valances, and the trucks interior. This time, though I noticed the main living area carpeting was showing some serious wear and tear. They use pretty cheap carpeting in most RVs. Add on dogs and lots of time spent in the dusty desert and its life span can be short.

Carpet Going to be gone

Rather than spend hours trying to get it clean, this time, I decided to just rip it out! I really don’t like carpets anyway. From an earlier modification I had done (Installing a Remote Headphone Jack) I knew that under the carpeting they had first laid linoleum flooring the same pattern as the kitchen area. I peeked at the rest of the areas by gently lifting sections around the heat vents and sure enough, it looked like it was all covered. Next hurdle was to sell the idea to my wife, haha. At first, she looked a bit sideways at me and was skeptical. I explained the benefits of tossing the dirt and dog hair attracting carpet and my confidence that the flooring underneath was good. She decided let’s go for it.

The Old Grungy Carpet Gets Tossed

We decided to just remove the main living area carpet and leave the slide out and bedroom carpets for the time being. It was the worse area by far; being that is was the most trafficked by us and especially by the dogs. The slide carpet is mostly covered by the sofa and dining table so never walked on and the bedroom is a no go zone for doggies and shoes. The carpet came up pretty easily as it was only attached with tiny staples and most just pulled straight out with the carpet. For the rest of them, I used a pair of large needle nose pliers and worked them free. With the design and color of our lino, you can’t even see where the staple holes were. Next was the toughest part, getting the carpet out of the edges of the room. Seems they had jammed much of it between the walls and floor so I had to use an utility knife to cut away the carpet pieces and sometimes thread by thread pull out the carpet fibers. It’s a bit of a picky job but needed to allow the baseboard trim to sit flush against the wall.

Hacking it out   Ripping up the carpet long view

Right corner water pump cover off   Door side of the back of the rig

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For baseboard trim, we just picked up some cheap pine corner molding from Home Depot and painted it a nice dark brown to match. To install the molding rather than nails I used clear silicone. Worked great, is flexible and makes it easy to remove it needed in the future.  As far as the slide goes I left a few inches of carpet where it enters the main area and added metal trim piece so the slide bottom won’t snag. So far in testing the slide works fine and rides above the floor.

Kitchen Area     Under Entertainment Center

Angie is not quite sure    Metal Transition Piece for slide

Ripping Out the Fifth Wheels RV Carpet Video


I’m extremely satisfied with the result of this mod. The flooring looks nice and the new baseboard trim looks pretty sharp I think. Going forward this is going to be much easier to clean and maintain. A sweep and a little wash with floor cleaner and we are good to go. Next, I may tackle the bedroom area. I think that some type of vinyl flooring would look nice in there.

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Ripping out the RV carpet, remodel ideas from the Love Your RV! blog - #RVing #Mods

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  • Ray

    We did the same thing a couple of years ago. We were travelling with two dogs that shed a lot and pulling the carpet reduced the work required to keep the trailer clean.

  • nick

    I just did this myself to our camper. It’s an older model we picked up cheap but was very well taken care of. The carpet in these things takes a beating.. so I convinced my dad of more linoleum and less carpet. Went to menards and found what we like and after it was done it made the interior look brand new.

  • I love this! I ripped all the carpeting out of my home back in the Midwest years ago and just painted the wood chocolate brown. It wasn’t refinishing grade, so that worked. I’ve been saying ever since we got this 5th wheel that the only feature I don’t like is the cheap carpeting. Actually, wouldn’t matter the grade, I really prefer the clean floor finishes over a carpet any day! Running to the toolbox as soon as I submit this comment. Gotta check under the vents! You’re posts are so doggone informative that I look forward to them. This one has gone far above the dog issue and just for sanitary reasons, and convenience of cleaning, it makes total sense. Why do they put carpeting everywhere, anyway??? Thank you for this one!

    • Hi Heidi, I guess it is better for sales, looks nice when it is all new. Only thing to watch when changing the floor is the slide operation. If you add too much height with the flooring it may rub on the slide floor and scratch it up. There are many different slide systems out there, some have rollers or vinyl type shims/feet. Some use the carpet to slide on coming in.
      I kept a little carpet near the slide opening and installed the metal skid plate where the carpet and lino meet, so far my slide doesn’t rub on the floor in my tests, but every RV is different an even the way the slide is adjusted can be different. Worth checking out before installing some shiny new floor.

  • Jim

    That looks great, and with my wife’s allergies that is a great idea. We are planning to go full time very soon as I am about to retire and enjoy traveling. we have a travel trailer now and are looking to upgrade to a fifth wheel. if you were to pick another trailer what would it be and why?

    • Hi Jim, we would likely get something of similar size but look for a little better insulation, something that could handle the cold, more of a 4 season trailer and a built in generator would be nice. I guess a lot would depend on budget. We got very good back for our buck with this Cougar. In it’s price range of 30,000 dollars it was a good deal.