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Old 10-20-2012, 08:19 AM   #1
jmk
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replace carpet for vinyl

jmk-I am new at this, tried another post could not get it to send, so here I am. I have a 2001 International dolphin 36ft with 1 large slide in livingroom. I want to replace the carpet with floating vinyl. I was told from a rv dealer the slide needed to be tipped out to do this, I would rather not, can I replace the carpet without tipping the slide, will the slide work without carpet and not marr the new vinyl floor. The cost for the dealer to this is way too much. I have a friend that is a carpenter that offered to do it for alot less, but I am nervous. Need help.
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:36 AM   #2
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jmk-

First welcome to the forum. Also, your Dolphin was made buy National RV, out of Perris Ca., who went of of business in 2008. (No Problem). I would also like to point out that IRV2 has a forum just for National Owners: National RV Owner's Forum - iRV2 Forums (A moderator may move your post there)

I just finished putting in AllureⓇ vinyl flooring (myself) in my '99 34ft Dolphin with a 12x3 ft slide. There is no need to tilt the slide out. Just extend the slide all the way out. The carpet will be stapled just an inch under the slide. I took all the carpet out and left about 3 inches hanging out from under the slide. Then I just ripped it out. There will be pieces left as well as some staples. Then with a good pair of pliers, block of wood and a crowbar, you can raise the slide face up enough to remove remaining carpet pieces and staples as you move along the edge.

Once all carpet is removed from the MH, there will be between 10 and 20 bazillion staples to pull up, a real PITA.

In several places, you will see large phillips screws in the flooring going through washers. These screw into the frame. However, no matter what I tried, I could not get them level or below the flooring surface. So I removed the washers and did it that way.

Now comes the real important stuff. The slide face will have 5 solid nylon puck/sliders. 2 on the couch side and 3 on the dinette side. These work fine over carpet. But they will scratch the hell out of a vinyl floor. They can also scratch up a very hard surface laminate. Part of this problem is the weight these 5 sliders have to carry. Mine were only 3 inches long and maybe 3/8 wide. Figuring they are carrying close to 1000lbs, that's a lot of weight on a very small amount of square inches. I tried 3 ideas before I got it right.

The last one was to eliminate the nylon sliders. I made six blocks of wood out of 6x1x1/4 inch oak. Glued carpet to them, then glued those along the leading edge of the slide. We've had the slide in/out at least 10 times now with no scratches. One more tip, make sure the flooring extends beyond the sliders when the slide is all the way out. If you don't, the carpet can be pulled off as it makes it's way up onto the flooring.

My Dolphin is 2 years older and there may be some slight differences, but I doubt very much.
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:59 AM   #3
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Nice reply...........I am no expert (did stay at a Holiday Inn this week), but isn't a floating floor a little iffy in an RV. If water gets under the floor covering and isn't noticed soon enough, the flooring could rot and/or develop a mold condition.

I think I would like the new flooring glued down. Just have to pick a high grade flooring that will last the life of the coach.
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:12 AM   #4
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People are successfully "floating" laminate floors in RVs, but gluing seems like a better alternative, especially for vinyl. I know one "pro" RV flooring guy who always glues the floors he installs.

The downside of gluing is the difficulty of future replacement. Might be worse than even the bazillion staples in the carpet. My advice would be to buy top quality flooring to minimize the chance that you might need to pull up some or all in a couple years. An RV doesn't have that many square feet, so spring for the good stuff that runs $3+ per sq ft.
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
People are successfully "floating" laminate floors in RVs, but gluing seems like a better alternative, especially for vinyl. I know one "pro" RV flooring guy who always glues the floors he installs.
Gary brings up a point I failed to mention. I did not float my Allure floor. I also did not glue it. The reason for that is the kitchen had hardwood glued down and it took me many many painstaking hours to get it up. Even being careful I did a lot of damage to the subfloor. So I used some very thin plastic back foam, left over from a laminate install at home to smooth the wrinkles. Anyway, because of the horizontal stress a slide can put on a floor and this Allure could have turned out to be an experiment, I simply screwed down the floor a foot or so in front of the slide and the adjacent wall. (Allure has overlaps so screws will not show when installed and the overlaps stick together to strengthen it horizontally).

In hindsight, I probably didn't need to do this, but I didn't want to take any chances and it didn't take much extra effort. Had we went with a thicker/harder composite laminate, I would have floated it. All in all, we are very happy with it and no plans to ever replace it.
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