How Should I Replace The Vinyl Floor In Our RV?


What You Need to Know Before Replacing the Vinyl Floor in Your RV

What You Need to Know Before Replacing the Vinyl Floor in Your RV

The vinyl flooring in our RV cracked over the cold Wisconsin winter. Can I replace it with new vinyl flooring and glue it down? I have a slide out and I know I have to be careful not to damage it or the new floor. Some other campers say that you should not glue it down. How would I go about replacing it then?

ANSWER You have entered a world where there are many opinions on this subject. You are not alone in the problem with the cracking vinyl flooring in your RV due to exposure to extreme cold. Quite a few RVers in the colder parts of the country have quite a surprise when opening up their RVs after winter storage to find their vinyl floors both brittle and cracked from the floor contracting due to the cold. Extreme heat also takes its toll on vinyl flooring.

Gluing the whole vinyl floor down seems to alleviate the problem in some cases, but not all cases. I am not going to go over the whole installation process but I am going to give you few tips:

1. Most RVs have subfloors made out of Plywood or Oriented Strand Board (OSB). Most Vinyl floor manufacturers do not recommend gluing a floor directly onto untreated OSB or plywood subfloors as the floor adhesive may not adhere well to that material. Before installing any vinyl
read the manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly as you may have to use an underlayment before actually putting a vinyl floor down.

2. The quality of vinyl flooring varies. If you plan to keep your RV for a long time you should really take your time on selecting the vinyl flooring you plan to use. Yes, better quality vinyl flooring will cost more, but if it saves you from having to lay a new floor every couple of years it is worth it.

3. Don't hesitate to contact the vinyl flooring manufacturer to find out if the flooring will be right for your particular application.

Let me also refer you to the answer I gave to this question What Can We Do To Stop The Linoleum Floor In Our RV From Cracking?

As far as how vinyl flooring will be affected by a slide out. The one factor that you must insure is the slideout clears the flooring when opening and closing. This is especially true if you end up having to use an underlayment material under the new floor. You may have to dry fit the floor and operate the slideout to make sure it clears.

If any of our visitors have any tips or suggestions for you they can add them to this page by clicking on the add a comment link located near the bottom of this page.

Happy RVing

RVing Al

Comments for How Should I Replace The Vinyl Floor In Our RV?

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RV Flooring
by: Rock

Thank you for the great insight on replacing an RV floor. If you know of anyone in the Calgary Alberta area that can replace my flooring. Please have them email me at

Rv tech from Cochrane
by: Shannon

Hello, reading the comment from the rv tech in cochrane about gluing down the lino... we would like to talk to u about installing ours for us.

R V flooring repair
by: Doug S

Hi, anonymous. Good info. A short explanation of job at hand: I lifted a small section of vinyl flooring carefully, keeping cut lines underneath wall & seat walls. Replaced rotten floor joists & plywood, have cleaned & leveled wood floor.

What glue should a person use to reglue vinyl floor into place? Local flooring & home hardware stores only have products rated for interior use. Someone suggested Lepage's PL premium ( this has recommended use for vinyl & wood), but because of its consistency would be hard to trowel out. The total area of repair is 3' X 4'.

Thanks for any & all info

by: Justin Abraham

My wife and I bought a new cougar by Keystone this past summer and the linoleum got cut where the main slide comes in and out, the place where we bought it from says that the manufacturer denied full replacement, and that they have to patch it in. Should I be ok with them patching will it last for years to come, or should I be concerned and move forward with this, and contact the Man my self......

advive on lino replacement and how to prevent a cracked floor
by: Anonymous

I've been an RV technician for 10 years, and in those 10 years i've specialized in flooring. in the years I probably replaced 200 linoleum floors and not one of them has come back with issues. a cold lino will expand and in hot temperatures it shrinks back to normal size. if the floor is glued down everywhere,in cold wheather the lino will remain at its normal size, keeping it from cracking. I think all camper floors should be glued down. All the appliances and cupboards sits on top of the lino. The trick to doing it the right way is to cut around the perimeter of the lino and once the lino is removed you use it as a paten for the new flooring. Always cut it 1/4 inch bigger all around in case of shrinkage. Then make sure their is no debris on the floor and then put down the flooring and go around the perimeter and cut the lino to fit tight against the cupboards, the lino is now ready for glue, make sure you glue everywhere but not all at the same 3 or 4' at a time. Then install trims all around and your done.

I work at Eastview RV in Cochrane Ontario(Canada). The weather here goes from -40 degrees Celcius to +40.the weather can change from 40 degrees in one day. id say its the worst weather for any RV flooring.

The best way to fix an rv floor is to glue it down. I disagree with all the other comments to never gluing it all down.

What will cause a flooring to crack depends on where you park your unit in the cold seasons. Never put your stabilizer jacks down, frost will twist the camper. Never park camper in grass, grass keeps humidity. keep all blinds and curtains closed,keep the sun out.

I hope my advice has helped someone along the way.

vinyl install prep
by: Anonymous

you can glue anything to any wood floor if you do your home work. like so many things the answer is in the preparation. Plywood, chip board, pressed wood floor needs to be sealed.

Use a OIL Based pigmented shellac (several brands available, target, bulls eye) be sure to get the oil base, NOT the water base. Two good coats will seal the floor and keep the wood from SUCKING all the adhesive into the wood.

Now glue your flooring down. this method works well for tile also. Preparation is the answer.

protect floor from slide wear marks
by: Anonymous

We purchased these plastic floor protectors to protect our RV carpet from black mark and wear marks made by the slide. They are just grey plastic strips about 5" wide by 42" long; as you bring the slide in you line them up with the slide runner and the runner goes on top of it protecting the floor from wear.

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