remodel RV slide out

How We Remodeled our RV Slide Out

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I was hoping to put up this post after we had fully completed our slide remodel, but as often happens during a remodel things don’t always work out the way you plan. So here is the (almost complete) remodel of our slide-out.

First I guess I should tell you what a slide-out is, in case you don’t know RV lingo. It’s basically an extension to a room. When you’re driving, it’s pulled in. When you’re parked somewhere, it slides out and creates extra space. Slide-outs are usually on rail systems and have motors to move them in and out.

Old, yucky furniture and gross carpet

Do you know what sun rot is? An upholsterer told us it’s what happens to upholstered furniture when the sun starts to break it down. As you can imagine, upholstered furniture in an RV gets a lot of sun. Our slide-out had a sofa and a booth dinette. We had no interest in sitting on either of them, so we took them out first opportunity.

remodel RV slide out

Our slide as it used to be, with the sofa and booth dinette behind it. You can see a good example of sun rot on the seat of the upholstered chair on the left side of the picture.

Actually, we posted an ad in the free stuff section of Craigslist. We said whoever wanted it would have to use their own tools to remove it, carry it out and haul it away. Some guy and his buddy came and did it and were happy to have them. I’d hate to see what he had before if he liked our stuff. But we were thrilled because we didn’t have to pay to get rid of them, and have them end up in a landfill.

Underneath the furniture was some of the last bit of carpet left in the RV. Previous owners replaced most of the carpet with laminate. The carpet on the slide-out was NASTY. It was supposed to be all the same color but was three or different colors due to dirt, uneven exposure to light and who knows what else. Ryan ripped that out and we had plywood.

In with the new (floor)

All this happened right before we left to travel full-time, and many other things needed to be done. It was low on our priorities to fix it up, so the slide just had our turtle’s habitat, some storage bins and some other miscellaneous stuff for awhile on the bare plywood. During our travels, we finally stopped at a home improvement store and picked up some flooring.

Then, we traveled around with the boxes of flooring for awhile. We bought it right before we starting moving to a new place every week or less, so there wasn’t a lot of time. When we got to Las Vegas, Ryan finally had a chance to put the floor in.

remodel rv slide out

It was super easy. The flooring can be cut with a utility knife. It’s a floating floor and sticks together underneath. It took him less than a day to do the space including the cuts (less than 50 square feet).

remodel rv slide out

Organizing our space

I had a few things in mind for what I wanted, so I drew up a basic floor plan. What we wanted most of all was to have everything secured in place while we traveled. We didn’t want to do a lot of packing and unpacking or worry about things moving around.

First priority was to make something to hold Rocky’s habitat in place and create built-in storage. Ryan did an awesome job of creating a cabinet that held Rocky on top and has storage underneath.

We have a cabinet for our pressure cooker and food processor. Another cabinet holds all our bike gear.

After we took out the furniture we had a free-standing desk for awhile. We gave it away before we left, because it slid around and rattled when we took trips. So after he finished building the cabinet, Ryan built a desk attached to it.

We also bought a small trash can with a recycling bin on top. I attached some straps to the wall to secure it in place. The straps also have buckles on them that are quick to open and close, so we can pull the whole can out when needed.

What’s left to do

We have two folding recliner chairs and two folding tables that we keep on the slide when we’re parked. Right now they go into the bedroom when we’re traveling. We are going to create a way to secure them to the wall of the slide so we don’t have to move them every time.

We may also build a little “cave” around the dog bed, because dogs like that kind of thing.

We also need to finish the edge of the slide. It used to have carpet wrapped around it. It’s been difficult finding the right trim to cover the height of the slide-out floor.

We’re going to a huge RV show for our next stop, so hopefully we can find something there.

Also, as often happens, when you fix one thing up you find something else that needs work. So there will definitely be more to come.


4 thoughts on “How We Remodeled our RV Slide Out

    • Thank you! Have you seen the YouTube channel Life Inside a Box? They did a really cool technique for wood siding on their tiny house.

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