Floor Remodel

Carpet in campers and 5th wheels are naaaaasty.  I realize that manufactures want to give you a “home away from home” feel but when you’re talking about less than 400sq ft of space you’re going to be walking across the same flooring a lot.  Plus with the idea that you’ll be going in and out of the camper quite a bit it makes no sense whatsoever to lay carpet down.  But they did, and after our shake down trip I realized how gross it actually was and decided it needed to go.

One thing we decided to not do however was the slides.  They were mostly covered with furniture and it would have complicated the remodel quite a bit.

Before/After (For those of you who don’t want the step by step guide)


We took some samples from HomeDepot and matched colors as well as gouged them pretty hard to see how durable the laminate would be.  We decided on a maple shade at $1.46/sq ft.


Total for supplies – $266.85


Step 1 –  Ripping up the carpet and the existing linoleum.

The carpet wasn’t hard, but where the linoleum was glued it was rather difficult to scrape up and took a couple hours.  There were also about a thousand staples to be pulled up as well.

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Step 2 – Underlayment

We laid down a light plastic underlayment and used an electric staple gun to secure it.  Not because we’re worried about moisture but to help reduce sound and make sure everything was level.  This may not have been necessary and we read some debate on other forums but there didn’t seem to be any negatives to adding it first and was low cost.


Step 3 – Laying Floor

First row of flooring we decided to nail down. This is a snap down floating floor and will expand and contract depending on temperatures. However, because a camper is under earthquake conditions we felt at least 1 side should be secure to prevent buckling from vibrations. We couldn’t find any specifics on this but seemed to make sense.  We also stored the flooring in the trailer for at least 72 hours prior to installing to allow it to adjust to humidity levels.

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Step 4 – Cutting

More pieces than not required cutting.  Either to stagger the lengths, holes for the air filters, curves around the slides as well angles in the kitchen cabinets.

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Step 5 – Stained pine trim.

We could have bought the laminate maple trim but it was several dollars more per ft. than to just stain our own quarter-round with some existing stain my Step-dad had around.

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Step 6 – Cut & nail down Quarter Round including coping trim.

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Step 7 – Sit back & enjoy a job well done!

Special thanks to my Step-dad Dean who did majority of the work.

Total Cost – $266.85

Total Time – 2 days









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8 Responses

  1. Valerie says:

    This looks fabulous!!!

  2. chasw98 says:

    OK, I’ll bite. We have a 5th wheel and we are planning on pulling the carpet and installing Allure Traffic master Ultra (the click lock vinyl boards). It was good to see that you said the h*ll with the slide carpet, we decided to skip that also. I watched your intro you tube video also. I found it interesting that you walked in to the 5th wheel you bought and you knew immediately it was the right one for you. I thought we were alone in having that happen. When my wife and I got into our 5th wheel on the lot, we knew it was the “One”, and bought it on the spot. So congratulations! I would say stop by if you get to Florida but we will have left by then so we will just follow and look for you on the road.

    • Greg says:

      We had been in *SO* many 5th wheels and Class As that we could almost tell *BEFORE* we stepped inside. It got so that I could tell the layout of some manufactures’ floor plans just by the model number (“*the 33UFW? Yeah, that’s the 33ft upper flenzel widget model. We want the 33 MFW – the one with the middle flenzel widget*”).

      The slide carpet – yeah, if we’d torn that out, it probably would’ve caused us more problems than just leaving it alone. It gets so little traffic being on the side and vacuuming will be a trivial thing.

    • Courtney says:

      We actually need to update the video. The 5th wheel we originally fell in love with and made an offer for ended up not being for us. We got the weights back and even with a 350 Diesel the weights were at the absolute max the truck could tow. We wanted to build in a 20% margin and so decided to pass and negotiated on another rig — It was a compromise because we gave up the toyhauler (so sad) with a separate office but its only 35′ and now having driven and parked a bunch I’m glad we’re not the 42′ the original rig was. The items that bugged me the most (valances) are being recovered and now with the flooring and island it feels like a completely different rig.

  3. Shelley says:

    Great job! We have some carpet to take out as well, although our unit is new. There is carpet on the stairs and landing just beside the bathroom & before the bedroom. And of course, it’s cheap carpet so not long-lasting. We plan to cut along the door-line to the bedroom & bathroom and remove the carpet from there & the stairs. We need to find non-skid treads that will fit on the stairs (I’m terribly clumsy) and there is the lino underneath. So far we are liking the lino as the colours are great & don’t show the dirt. Where we remove the carpet we’ll have to remove staples & repair the holes but it’s one continuous sheet there into the bedroom & bathroom. Carpet will remain in the bedroom & under the one slideout.
    Anyway, having carpet on the stairs & right before the bathroom – not the greatest. Although there is a 2-pc bathroom located in the garage, the main bathroom is the one most often accessed especially when traveling as nothing blocks it. So off it comes! Love this post as if/when we decide to change the flooring, we’ll likely go this route as well. Hopefully that will be sometime down the line 🙂 Thanks!

    • A Roaming Life says:

      Thanks! Most of the hard work was done by the Step-Parental Unit, but we still learned a lot in the whole process. It makes the trailer appear so much bigger (strange how carpet ‘shrinks’ a room).

      • Shelley says:

        Lucky you for the step-parental unit 🙂 We’ve renovated before and have spent the past 4.5 years reno’g our house top to bottom (ugh!) and are almost done so we had a lot of skills and then learned more (like putting in a hardwood floor). As for the trailer – we’ll change the lino flooring to something else a few years down the line 🙂 but it was so good to read what you folks did. 😀

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