RV Remodel, 4: Floors

I am not a big fan of carpet. When I bought my 1987 Toyota Dolphin, one of the things I was most excited to get rid of was the beige carpet. Who knows who or what has stepped on it over the last twenty seven years.

So I started ripping it out one day.



The process of removing the carpet from the tiny floor space of my 21.5′ motorhome was actually quite the workout. Think staples. Lots of staples. Back when this baby was born, someone put down carpet across the empty floor and then built all of the cabinets and furniture on top of it. To remove it all in one swoop would have required the removal of all the cabinets and furniture, which was not going to happen. So instead, I used a razor blade to cut the carpet along the edge of the floor cabinets as close to the edge as possible. It took time and energy, but it was worth it. With each section of carpet I pulled up, I feared I would reveal rotten wood or a leak or something nasty. Fortunately, the plywood beneath the carpet was in wonderful shape.

I chose vinyl flooring because of the cost and the weight. The other option was porch paint over the plywood, which I might still do one day if the vinyl doesn’t hold up. To break up the space, I decided to put “tile” in the kitchen area and “wood” in the living area. The flooring ended up costing something like $30 to $50 total, and that includes the extra pieces I bought due to cutting mistakes.

In an effort to model nature, I chose a dark color for the “wood” floor and a stone/slate color for the kitchen tile. I love the new look of wood, even if it is fake.

There was a slight repair needed for the stairs, so I added a piece of plywood to the bottom step. I used the vinyl floor for the steps, but I would suggest on the vertical pieces using some glue in addition to the existing adhesive because the stairs have not held up. Wood glue did not work. I think I will try some 3M glue next. Tips or ideas? I’ll update this once it’s fixed and let you know what glue worked.

The vinyl tile was fun to grout!




RV remodel camper floor journeyfoot tile vinyl


  • Super job, the contrasts are great. Vinyl tile adhesive would work bet.


  • I have a 1984 Winnebago and had the same issue with the carpet (laying the carpet down before they installed the furniture, ugh!). The previous owners did their own touch-ups to places where I guess the carpet was coming loose- with 2.5in screws and some sort of gooey adhesive. It was a mess. I used vinyl wood planks but my god did they ever not turn out as nice as yours. I had a huge problem with the vinyl not sticking to clean (yes, it was clean and smooth) plywood. The pieces I had to cut for the weird spaces and corners still barely stick. Rugs and runners have saved a terrible floor job that I’ll have to redo whenever I sell this beast. Any tips on how you got your vinyl tiles to stick so nicely? BTW- the glue you want is liquid nails. I installed mini “baseboards” to cover the carpet remnants and liquid nails worked like a charm.


    • Hi Lisa! Sorry for the late response! Was it cold out when you put the floors in? I found that they didn’t stick when they were cold. It was Feb or March when I put mine in, and I had to heat the pieces up by the heater to get them to stick.

      The other option I was thinking of was to use porch paint over the plywood and if these floors start lifting, I might try that for a more “industrial” look. Thanks for the comment!! 🙂


  • Very informative. Great work ig looks awesome. I am interested in going the porch paint route, have any suggestions or guides you may have found offering instruction on the porch paint approach? Do you know anyone else who has done it?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Looks great!!!! We just ripped the ugly orange carpet out of our 1985 Pace Arrow. I wanted to use the same flooring you did but my husband wanted carpet. It looks and smells so much better.


  • I LOVE THIS! We have a hunting camper we are about to Reno and this is a great help! Where did you purchase the wood-look vinyl?


  • I used the same flooring on my 1995 Jayco 5th wheel. Great product. My came from lowes product # 0737983 40 per box covers 60 square feet. Heat up your coach prior to installation.

    Information. During the production of campers and mobile homes. The frame and floors come down the assembly line first followed by floor coverings then the walls are set followed by roof/ceiling (very much in contrast with conventional building)


  • Hi Jayme, Do you still have your dolphin? If so how are your tiles holding up… or I should say sticking down? We just bought a 1990 Road trek so you can imagine what the carpet is like. I also want to put in peel and stick planks but have heard from some people that they can shrink and leave large gaps. Have you had any problems?


    • Hi Sue! Sorry fir the extremely late response. The sticky “tiles” are still holding up after almost four years, however some have come up and then gotten dust underneath so they’re losing their stickiness in places. I would use these again because they’re so cheap, easy to clean and look nice. They’re also easy to replace, even just one here or there.


  • I love the flooring, I am 65 and married to a man with out vision. We have an RV and love it 2006 . I am ready for DIY on it love looking on Pinterest for easy to do ideas and your has me thinking “I know I can – I know I can . Thanks for the tutorial.


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