How hard is it to replace the carpet in a 5th wheel? Has anyone ever done it or should it be done by a professional carpet layer. We have a 34' Bighorn and I would like to get rid of the carpet or replace it. I was wondering if anyone had ever had the flooring replaced.
We, at Route 66 RV, have been in the RV flooring replacement industry since 1976, and over the years, this question comes up a lot. The biggest challenge with any RV flooring replacement is the intricacy of cuts and custom work needed to complete an RV installation. With many moving parts in a 5th wheel, be it a slideout, a door to access batteries, etc., an experienced RV flooring installer would be advisable. On the other hand, 5th wheels are among the easiest RV floors to replace, mostly because they are much wider and open spaces than Class A or Class C motorhomes.
The biggest hurdles you will face doing this on your own are probably going to be your slideouts. There are generally two types of slideouts in a 5th wheel - one that's raised and another that sits flat on the floor. The raised slideout can be wrapped with carpet, much like the bullnose on a New York style staircase in one's home. The flat resting slideout will need to be bound with carpet binding along the inside edge. This binding will overhang the threshold between the slideout and the main floor of the 5th wheel. Typically, this space is bridged with an unsightly metal. As a result, the bound piece will need to be pre-cut to fit in the slideout and brought to a bindery so that the outer edge of the piece could be stitched with a matching binding. Once down, this edge will cover that unsightly metal. This edge should overhang about 2-3" beyond the metal threshold you are trying to hide.
If you choose to do this yourself, also have a helper standing by, as you are going to need him or her to feed bolts through the subfloor to tie down your furniture in need of removal and replacement.
While we have had RV owners across North America, including Canada, make the trip to have us do it, you could pull it off if you have a lot of flooring experience. Keep in mind though that over our 34 years in business, I have had many carpet and flooring installers that have worked for our residential flooring division that couldn't install floors in an RV. Even they were overmatched by the intricacy of the project. It truly takes a professional sometimes to get you the professional results you desire.