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Repairing drooping headliner

by RV Forum member Carson

Older motor homes have a tendency to get, well, old and one result is the drooping and/or dropping of the headliner, as I found out last year. One third of the bedroom dropped completely (no vents on that side to hold it up) and the remaining parts started drooping shortly thereafter. Then the problem migrated into the galley and forward section of the RV, all within a couple of weeks.

Moisture was definitely NOT a factor; the adhesive just gave out. (Lots of Florida heat in the Summer.)

In lieu of spending $thousands, I decided to repair it myself. I'm happy with the results and decided to share how I did the repair.

The general idea was to use lateral straps/moldings to hold up the fabric, with some sort of reasonable appearance and stability. The option of re-gluing everything is out of the question, unless you are very rich. In an older RV, who cares. My warranty ran out over 10 years ago.

Materials needed:

  • Straps/moldings - 3/4" x 1/4" unfinished wood. They come in lengths between 10-12 feet at Home Depot.
  • Screws - stainless steel screw #6 x 1" with oval Phillips head. Available at ACE hardware.
  • Washers - stainless steel finish washer #6 ,also called cup-washers. Available at ACE hardware.


I cut each strap to size and applied one coat of wood-sealer. I used a sanding sealer which I happened to have in my workshop; worked really well. I prepared one strip at a time to ensure accuracy with each one.

Pre-drill each hole in the strap and simply screw into ceiling at various points. The ceiling,in my case, has plywood (I think) and makes for a tight grip. Stay away from the far wall to ceiling corner as there is metal approx 1-2" from the wall. Spacing is your concern, there is no magic to that.

I found it impossible to lift and fasten the fabric without the odd minor wrinkle being noticeable. Again, perfection is costly. It might help to have a second pair of hands available for assistance, but not necessary; I did it by myself.

If the fabric has actually slipped out of the roof/wall edge, it is impossible to get it back in. You might have to trim it a bit, carefully.

Finished results: