This post, originally written in March 2018, posted a couple of months after I decided to add carpet to my RV steps. I revisit the topic today because: out with old, in with the new. In other words, it was time to re-carpet the RV steps. For the most part, the post remains the same though I added clarification and other thoughts throughout. Photos with blue carpet are from the original post. Photos with brown carpet are from the re-carpet project.
Regardless what type of RV you own, carpeting the steps can be a good thing. Plus, it’s a super fast and easy DIY project.
One of the downsides of buying a brand-new trailer is that it made me hesitate to change anything. It’s new and shiny so the idea of drilling a hole or painting something or changing anything makes me cringe a bit. When it’s new and shiny, you just want it to stay new and shiny.
But when I was in Walla Walla, there was snow followed by an ice storm. Despite my efforts to help her on the slippery RV steps, my dog fell down them a few times. That’s a hard fall. Metal, Concrete. Ice. At her age, she cannot be falling like that. She isn’t as bouncy and rubbery as she once was.
To get by, I would lay down a towel when we went in and out so her feet could get a grip. But I vowed to come up with a better solution. (Well, besides just staying the heck out of snow and ice!) I decided to add carpet to the RV steps. Here’s how.
Which Type of Carpet Is Best?
In my mind, carpeting the steps would be easy. And it was. What I didn’t realize was how many different options there were. None were that complicated, but I mention it here because it was surprising to me.
I found two basic types of RV step carpeting. First, there’s carpet with a sticky-back that adheres to the steps. Although it got decent reviews, I worried:
- Sticky stuff could be hard to get off when it came time to remove the carpet, or
- It not being sticky enough to actually stay on with wear and weather.
I dismissed the sticky-back carpet. To be fair, though, I could be entirely wrong in my concerns and my reasons for not going this route.
I chose the carpet without glue.
The next choice I had to make was what kind of carpet. And there is a lot of variety. You can get the turf stuff (like fake grass stuff though in a variety of colors) which I thought would be great for getting icky stuff off the bottom of shoes but I worried it would hurt my dog’s feet. You can get a smooth carpet. Or you can get a carpet with deep treads which is what I chose thinking it would help with shoe crud. Plus it looks tougher so that could mean it will last longer.
The deep treads became a little less deep over time. However, I feel I easily could’ve gone another year or two before replacing the carpet. It hadn’t faded or fell apart or anything like that. The decision to replace it was because, to my eye, it was time.
I chose Prest-O-Fit Ruggids step. I would’ve preferred purple. Obviously. But I don’t think they make purple. Since the inside of my rig is black that was my second choice. But the black was $6 more than the blue and $3 more than the brown. How ridiculous is that? Longtime readers of the blog will already know I chose the blue. Because a $6 savings is a $6 savings.
I was so happy with the product, I chose the exact same product the second time around. This time, it was the brown that was less money. And, today, as I write this, the black is $9 less than the blue and $3 less than the brown. How weird is that? But it’s a lesson for me. In another three years, I’ll starting watching the price months before I do the project to try to get the best price on the the black.
My choice of carpet meant it would be held on with zip-ties. But I also saw ones held together with springs. I am intrigued by the springs. On the one hand, you could easily remove the carpet to shake out the carpet. But on the other, might the springs loosen over time?
Tips for Ordering and Cutting Carpet
Before I ordered the carpet, I measured my steps. My steps didn’t match any of the width options for any of the carpets. I ended up asking about that on Amazon. One purchaser thought the carpet was thin enough that it could be folded under to accommodate the smaller width. While another person said he cut the carpet and then burned the edges to make sure it wouldn’t fray.
I ended up doing neither of those suggestions. It wasn’t malleable enough to bend. After I cut it to size, I felt like it wasn’t necessary to burn the edge. No problem or fraying ever occurred.
If you need to trim the carpet to get it to fit, you’ll want to do it evenly from both sides. It means two cuts per step rather than one but that way the tie-downs will be even.
- Measure each step individually. Since my bottom step folds into the top step, the top step actually had to be trimmed down about a half-inch more than the bottom one.
- If a step doesn’t fold, you may have to lie on the ground to close the zip-ties from underneath. It’s harder but doable. That’s what I had to do for the top step. A yoga mat is handy for laying on the ground when working on the rig. Or, in my case and because it was closer, a dog bed works too. But beware: your dog might think the bed has been brought out for her.
RV How-To: Carpeting RV Steps
What You Need: RV Steps, Carpet, Scissors or Box Cutter, Measuring Tape
Measure width of step.
Cut to correct width.
Thread zip-ties through grommats.
Pull snug to close. The instructions say snug but not too tight. My guess is that if they are over tight you risk them snapping.
Cut excess zip-tie.
One beautifully carpeted step.
Don’t assume that each step will have the same dimensions. Measure them separately. In my case, the upper RV step is slightly more narrow because of how it attaches to the rig.
For a second time, two beautifully carpet RV steps. This is such as easy DIY RV project.
Fold the steps and put them away. Ready for the next adventure.
Since I first posted this RV steps carpeting how-to project, I’ve noticed several people used my link to buy the carpet themselves. If you have added carpet to your RV steps–either for safety or for looks–I’d love to hear if you love yours as much as I love mine. I cannot imagine, at this point, ever not having the steps carpeted.
Links to Other RV Hacks:
- Hack: Adding Mud Flaps to the RV’s Tow Vehicle
- Jacks Maintenance for Your RV
- How to Install a Water Pressure Regulator
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- mDesign Adjustable/Expandable Plastic Drawer Organizer Tray
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