Labor Day weekend project-re carpet truck camper

clutter
Finally replacing campers carpet around dinette. Just trashed. Been wanting to replace- well actually since we bought camper. Its all but white,short shag-not sure what manufacture was thinking-looked nice for a few months.

Few years ago added carpet (actually its recycled water bottles, a matt not woven carpet), to cover the main floor area and recover the step to bed and the dinette step which were soiled beyond cleaning. Wanted to replace the dinette floor but seat boxes are on top. 6-7 years later finally doing. Replacing everything with real carpet, original and added 'matt'. Except for the piece between window and bed- want to remove that. Manufacture just extended rug under bed out and over.

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I'm proceeding like it will be come clear 'how to' as I go. Starting with dinette. Everything will be a challenge cutting to fit, but the dinette area is fitting around seat boxes and attaching? Removal will be cutting where carpet goes under seat boxes. Modifications and additions over the years makes seat box removal impractical, which is really what needs to be done. Normally wouldn't not be that difficult. But wiring, drawer additions and rework after heater removal and dividing up space, just isn't happening. Not looking forward to this but needs to be done.

First I measured to get idea of carpeting needed.

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Measuring so all pieces can be cut with same pattern/texture orientation. Lot of waste but...I'll have enough scrap to fill few areas not shown like around bed, maybe a mat for door. 8'x12'.

Picked up carpet-...Its a short loop, multi color so every spot wont show.

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That we still have carpet mills is encouraging. Roll is setting out by camper.

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Then its removal time. As I got into it its becoming obvious more work than anticipated. In front of refrigerator, under carpet, is access panel for slide out motor. Needs rework. There is a hole in slide floor, piece of plywood covers under carpet. It doesn't set flush, square edge, so needs to be reworked. Likely just cut the lead at a steep angle. Second entire top front edge face of slide floor needs top outside corner rounded, as the tighter knit new carpet isn't going fold over sharp corners without showing backing. That and when I shortened a few years ago I couldn't correctly do portion over water tank. Details, but now that carpet is off I can remove and fix.

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Biggest hurdle though is where the carpet is in front of seat boxes and wraps the slide floor edge. I don't think the top edge that had been under boxes is going to stay or be attached without tucking under boxes. Just not enough surface.

What I'm going to try is loosen all the screws that hold boxes to floor and shove/tuck carpet under. Then staple in front. maybe. My confidence level at this point that this isn't going to look like dog poop is pretty low. But we are committed (I cant put it back)

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Last piece to remove. I must have pulled few hundred staples-crazy. Then its cleaning up, setting staples, rework the slide front piece and figure out the access panel in front of fridge. See if I can 'lift the seat boxes...I haven't even started and I'm regretting...trudging forward. If I can get the dinette area looking half decent its all downhill from there.

Next day...

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Removed the slide 'skirt'. Pulled left behind staples, trimmed hanging threads. Vacuumed. Also pulled (or drove flush) staples that held old carpet. I assumed carpet was laid, cabinets set on top then carpet cut. However the larger staples just before carpet went under cabinets, many were partially under. So the carpet was laid with pre cutouts for cabinets. Odd.

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Took the skirt to shop, set all the remaining staples. Cut a 45 bevel on the top edge. Redrilled and reinstall so skirt is actually flush to floor. Loosened the cabinet hold down screws at ends. Was able to use small pry bar to raise so I will be able to tuck new carpet under. That had me concerned, at least in front of the seat boxes. Need to get out stapler to set linoleum. The edges are severely curled up. Also the cut seam under dinette--

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A 'few' 1/2" crown staples to flatten the linoleum. All I need to do is cut the carpet...oh boy- this was from a new roll- so worst case is they sell me more...

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Well this is maybe 4 hours later. Taking a break. Pretty much done except the skirt face- requires laying on my back to wrap and staple bottom edge.Then folding/stapling the ends.

Old carpet was useless as pattern (backing pretty much turned to rag) and measuring kept getting different numbers. Nothing square. Between the 2 though, measuring camper, checking against old carpet then fudging extra finally got it cut. Did not expect it to be even close. But with no option felt at least I would end up with something I could measure and re-cut against. To my utter surprise it almost fit.

Took quite a while to finally get carpet in place. Few places did some re trimming and stretching. I was able to raise cabinets slipping under, working from one end to the other, back and forth, managed to get in place with most of the edges under cabinet. Painful to say the least. But having carpet tucked under is a relief, wont be unraveling and should help stay tight. Slowly started stapling using the wide crown 1/4" long staples (small gage easily removed) till it was good, then went to town. As the carpet isn't stretched and anchored like house, or glued, its relying on staples. Used 1/4" crown 1/2" long. And a lot of them.

Only place real issue was the piece at end that is in front of refer- its a bout 3/8" short of the cabinet (in front of window) However that section is screwed down to be folded back for access to slide motor. Removing screws and folding back, removing the plywood under neath exposes the access hole to work on slide motor etc. So I called it good. Plus the cabinet door is pretty close so there's only about 3" you can see. Also the piece of plywood that covers the access hole is within an inch of cabinets so Ill glue a strip of carpet in the gap.

I'm really amazed I pulled this off, I didn't think I could. Which is why I hadn't attempted years ago. Perseverance and a lot of luck. But it looks pretty good. So much better that the original. Finished stapling the skirt bottom. Probably got staples every 2" along bottom. Carpet had to have been installed before slide was installed. The end at front I had to wrap & staple thru window. But the dinette area is done-really happy with it. Been wanting to replace since day one. Now for the rest of the floor.

Pause...

Next-not sure. The slide step, water tank lid and the face under bed will be very simple to cut and wrap. I want to do them last though using remnants after cutting the large floor. BUT...
I realized after cutting/installing the dinette area, simply cutting and laying the main floor with raw edges isn't going to work. One I cant cut it that straight, second is unraveling will be a problem. It is really going to need some kind of trim. Also its not 'stretched' to perimeter nail strip, so would need to be stapled profusely like the dinette area to keep tight, don't want to do that. So the "easy" section isn't. I can use the previous loose carpet as pattern so cutting wont be too much a pain. But having to trim means I need to cut out existing welting around perimeter. Base trim-just unplanned. Depending on how close my cuts are will determine what I use. I'm also thinking of gluing the carpet down. So kinda stalled. More thought needed....

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Main Floor cut

Came out pretty tight so decided I'll glue it down with out trim, makes it semi permanent but will look good and stay flat. Cut all the corner beads off welting. Before gluing down pulling out water tank lid and step into bed so I can work on them while glue dries over night.

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Also remove one of the slide step lids. When I originally split step lid the carpet 'matt' was just cut, it doesn't unravel. The carpet will need to be wrapped at split, means cutting about a 1/2" off one of the lids for clearance. More prof the lid, hinges and carpet were installed before slide was.

No pics of gluing. Trowel out glue to front half of floor, letting it set a bit then laid carpet. rolled it with small rubber roller. Then folded the back section of carpet over on top of front, spread glue. Again after setting a bit folded carpet over. Rolled it out. Let it set for couple of hours, used water tank lid as 'knee' pad to stay off fresh glued carpet, rerolled it all.

Next morning

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Carpet appears to be well adhered. Still want to stay off so used the tank lid again. Reinstall cut and carpeted rear lid. Pulled off the matt from front lid. Note; I decided to leave the original carpet on step lids under new carpet. Not using padding and as this is highest 'traffic' area should wear longer, at least at lead edge and where it cover hinges. Maybe. Likely stretch. Carpet wraps nose and in the back folds up the slide support box. Staples are into that inside corner so pulls it taught. If carpet stretches pulling that back edge loose (wont be fun) should be abel to pull tight again, re stapling inside corner. Clear as mud, but allowance made

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Liking it a lot. Seeing all the same just nice. More so amazed how all the cabinetry & wood really 'pops' now. Like the old white carpet muted the colors. Having a cup and setting a minute to admire my handy work before tackling the remaining loose pieces it occurred to me. Noting my cup on the step I wondered who will be the first to spill something. Ha. Took it outside. Now to finish step, water tank lid and address the carpet on the wall.

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Got the water tank lid covered and the step. Cut the carpet at bed edge to expose paneling. I expected it to be full of staples but there were only a few at edge of window frame. Nice- I have some paneling and was planning on having to make something but looks good. Ill just cover top unfinished section.

I would like to show re carpeting the small step.

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Unbelievable. I counted-there was actually over 100 staples just on the front face of step. Top surface the was even more. Bizarre.

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Got top edge wrapped from under bed onto wall, wasn't as easy as I had anticipated. Some funny cuts at ends, end behind cabinet can't reach/ inaccessible. Working the folded bottom edge painful but got it. Liking the exposed paneling. Standing back to take it all in I saw how crooked it end up. Good grief.

Also the water tank lid- its not square at front edge, I intentionally cut square to back wall but the rolled edge just more noticeable-hmm...should have started at front.

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But its the face over the window, not only does it hang down 1/2" toward right end, the pattern rolls 1/2". Not a clue. Looks ok in close up picture. Why is it the one piece that's the most visible and last one done invariably the one screwed up?...

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Really liking the visible wood over the window though -just need to redo carpet or something. The water tank lid I might restrech, I have enough leftover to redo if needed/motivated. Over the window a face trim board wood be nice-get rid of carpet wrap all together. Would require unbolting the side step cabinet and moving away from wall another 1/2" or so for slide clearance. Which would be a good thing, When slide goes in/out drags the curtain with it and not room to fully slide curtain over- stuff falling between cabinet and wall almost impossible to retrieve. Put the step that much further outward. Hmm several reasons even if trim not added make moving cabinet worthwhile. Oh! and allow re trim of new carpet that didn't reach in front of refrigerator.

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Pondering options went ahead & cut carpet to cover 18" x 48" floor section at left side of bed. On right side is a small flat cabinet, it has curtain material in center panel (where did that idea come from? insert padded fabric into cabinet door) Other than looking dumb, impractical. Think I'll pull the fabric, IF finished wood I'll leave, if not then insert a piece of carpet. Hold my late night snackage better. done, on separate page

....Back to the front wall

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Looking closely at small cabinet- it could easily be pulled free. So went to shop, found a piece of leftover 1"x4" base board. Precut to length so redoing the carpet wrap, move cabinet to clear. Other than 20 screws only a surface mounted electrical junction box, attached to the refer wall, kept cabinet from freely moving, from it is length of romex wire that feeds plug on cabinet. The end of cabinet that butts to refer wall is open. Simple notching of 1x1 frame inside cabinet, adding a piece in front to regain rigidity allowed sliding the cabinet 3/4" away from front wall and closer to the electrical box. Also while free, allows removing /redoing the inaccessible carpet that was behind it. Reinstalled the cabinet. Re-cut the too short carpet error that's now too long in front of refrigerator. Cool.

I did look to verify that now I can easily retrieve items that fall between cabinet & front wall, But in verifying noted I can see AND reach the right front jack bracket! I'm unsure why it never occurred to me this little cabinet easily removable. Access to back side, access to the right jack bracket. Also while out I realized cutting a hole in the floor where cabinet sets, I could access the drain line on water tank, its directly underneath. THAT will happen later.

Now though, finish the front wall.

Hee hawed around trying to simplify the carpet wrap. Really just out of steam at this point. Was going to just pull carpet back, set new trim flush, fold carpet and staple to top. Didn't really like that, played with some other ideas but redoing Id really like the carpet not on face/wall at all or see folded edge. Then figured I could just cut carpet so it only goes down the wall and inch and re staple. Then I could set the trim on top of the carpet, flush to top of new carpet on bed floor. That would work... only need to space bottom of trim equal to carpet thickness..

So pulled the wrapped carpet loose, cut off couple of inches, pulled down as tight as I could over corner and re stapled. Added a 1/4" x 1" length of lattice to bottom edge of new trim. Measured distance that trim bottom edge needs to be from top of window frame. Placed some tape on wall, measured again. (Reason I'm redoing is not measuring in the first place and it ended up crooked.)

To the trim piece, measured out where screws need to be, took to shop. Pre-drilled it using 3/8" wood bore deep enough for bungs. Then drilled thru holes, then counter sunk. Stained out the board and bungs. Took back to camper and drilled pilot hole for center screw- verified its still centered & straight, drilled and screwed ends.

Its straight!

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Dang, looks a lot better not having 'carpet' on the wall.

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Set bungs in place to 'see' it. Ill be removing to let the stain dry and clear finish the trim board out of camper. Though I'd have rather the first install of the carpet wrap camp out straight and pattern not off-this 'almost' worth the redo. Sure looks a LOT better- bungs help tie it rest of camper, almost like it should have from the factory. The carpet rolling over onto wall always was goofy-a matter ease I guess. In all this focus on front wall one thing that I keep seeing is an actual ladder-its on the back burner.

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Need to get er out. I ve always wanted to replace the factory installed shag. Knew it would be a bit involved around the dinette. But 4 days wasn't planned, figured this page would be few pictures of the upgrade-. Redo of the front wall just an added appearance gain in my eye for 'simple' carpet replacement. All in all Kicked my widdle butt. But pretty happy with it- actually a lot nicer than I envisioned. Just more work than I thought it would be. Really happy its done!

A few small items to button up. Small piece of carpet between seat box and rear wall. Cant get in between to wrap and staple sides or bottom. I'll pre staple end that will wrap underneath to a length of 1x2, staple top edge then pull 1x2 underneath and screw it to bottom of slide floor. Round to it. Unbolt the small cabinet again and cut an access hole, re plumb the drain with larger tube, and reroute to exit somewhere other than on top of bumper with a better valve that hose can be attached to. Make a removable carpet for bath-requires binding... Replace 'pink' pass thru curtain camper came with that doesn't match anything. Identify all the design needs to build/add an easily deployed/stored and easily used ladder. Access to bed always been a 'scramble.' -just thinking out loud

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And curtain. Had a leftover piece of thermal back/room darkening curtain material. Its a bit more brown. As the existing curtain has a sewn in strip with plastic slides that ride in wall mounted track, I just sewed new curtain directly to existing curtain. That works, looks nice...so much so Margaret ordered another curtain to cut up. She wants to replace the sea foam green pillow case I sewed into a curtain when opaque door glass was replaced with clear. Never ends...Been on the round to it-just looked that was 10 years ago-wow.

Many pros/cons to carpeting camper-personal choice-your camper. I could argue impracticality of carpet, but at the sacrifice of comfort. For us comfort trumps ease of 'clean'. IF someone reading this considers carpeting, My only tips would double the amount of time you think needed, cabinet removal to run carpet under not needed- just loosen, Any that can be removed -do. Long run would have saved some effort. However most are just screwed together, seat boxes removed sure would simplify cutting & installation.

Related "remodel" projects done at same time
Bed side cabinet, replace fabric door insert with wood-
Add gas spring to shoe box lid new carpet stiffness made hard to open, also holds it open
New door curtain to replace pillow case that was hung temporarily...10 years ago.
Replace camper cabinet hardware just getting rid of all the bright shiny brass.
Yet to do is replace broken door threshold-cant find replacement...

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