RV Doctor – Slideout Catching on Linoleum – Can I Replace It and How?

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January 26, 2010

Dear RV Doc,
The kitchen area in my motorhome is linoleum and the rest carpet. The factory replaced the linoleum once under warranty due to buckling and fracture. This was caused from the kitchen slideout roller coming across the linoleum when the slideout was moved in for transporting. Now, six years later the linoleum is doing the same thing and curling at the edges under the kitchen slideout causing the slideout to catch the edges when moving in and out especially in cold weather. I must replace the linoleum again as it is damaged from the above explanation. If I replace with linoleum again is it a good idea to glue it down? The factory did not do so either originally or with the replacement. I am also thinking of maybe going to a floating laminate flooring which might be better to resolve my problem. What is your opinion? How difficult is it to remove that kitchen slideout to properly get the new flooring under the slideout? I contacted the factory for information but received no answer whatsoever. Your opinion and help would be greatly appreciated. – Larry Reeves, (Metamora, IL)


Larry, I’m not fully convinced every single factory actually glues the complete floor area due to the time and effort involved. If the edge of the linoleum is exposed to the slideout floor it is bound to start catching and peeling eventually regardless of how it is fastened.

A properly designed slideout should have a wedge of Teflon or other low friction material running along its entire length. The edge of the carpet or floor should be secured under this strip. That way, the slideout contacts and is guided by the Teflon and never actually contacts the edge of the linoleum or carpet.

When replacing linoleum the pros glue it down completely. It makes for a better, longer lasting repair. Laminate flooring is nice, but often not practical with some slideout designs.

If the slide is currently catching on the linoleum, it is likely that laminate flooring will be too thick to allow enough clearance for the slideout. When the slideout is extended, it typically rolls across the floor and then “slides” down a slight ramp to sit flush with the rest of the coach floor. When it is retracted, it moves up the ramp then rolls back along the floor again. The laminate floor likely would be too thick and therefore sit higher than the top of the wedge, creating a significant lip at the top of the ramp, resulting in a possible jamming situation. There is certainly no sense trying to replace the linoleum unless you can get it underneath the slideout, as you indicated.

This is not typically a do-it-yourself project. Most RV dealerships are properly trained and have the necessary equipment to partially and fully remove slideouts. Although it is fairly straightforward to install linoleum, it is not truly feasible to remove the slide without this training and equipment. I would recommend that you have a qualified RV repair facility investigate this in the hopes that they can remedy the problem rather simply.

(Please feel free to comment, however, please also note that due to the volume of communications I receive from multiple channels I cannot guarantee a personal response in every instance. However, questions of an overall general interest may be considered and published in an upcoming RV Doctor column.)

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  1. Diane

    We just attempted to install 8mm Costco laminate in our 2001 Itasca Spirit 32′ RV with one slide out. It took a 2 days of work to rip out the old carpet and linoleum, level the plywood under-flooring, and cut the laminate to fit, starting from the kitchen cabinets in towards the slide out. Very meticulous measuring and cutting.

    Then when we only had a few boards left to lay, before installing any molding, I tried pulling in the slide out. The laminate is much thinner than the carpet and padding, so it did not seem that there would be an issue. Boy were we wrong! When the slide came halfway in, the floor moved!

    I felt under the kitchen table area and felt a large metal bracket hitting the floor 6″ in from the inside edge. And that is before installing molding to hold the laminate down at the edge of the carpet, which sticks up another 1/8″.

    Now we have to figure out if the slide can be adjusted a bit higher without messing up the tracking of the slide. If it doesn’t work, we will be forced to install linoleum or carpet over that section, and move the molding to the edge of the laminate where the slide doesn’t hit (at least a foot in from the edge of the table-area. Not cool at all!

    Be warned – lay the laminate on the floor and test the slide out before spending 20 hours cutting and measuring and installing laminate in any RV with a slide out!

  2. Frank

    Hi Larry, if you havent resolved this please post both measurements, the clearance of the slide-out when in., And the clearance of the slide-out when out. In addition please answer; Do the roller(s) leave a foot print when slide-out is retracted, and if so… Would you say it is as deep as the height off the carpet?
    – Frank J

  3. Gary

    This may not work for you but I bought a couple of those slide slickers. You place one at each end of the slide on the way in – make sure that the rollers come up on the slicker. Works great – not only to keep any outside crud off the carpet but the rollers never touch any of the flooring. The slide actually slides much easier. The slickers are about 4 inches wide and 4 feet long. To store them when not in use, I just slide them under the couch. They are 1/4 inch thick or less so they take up hardly no room at all.
    The slicker has a rounded edge that sort of sticks right at the edge of the teflon that the RV Doc referred to. It won’t help you until your repairs are done but would certainly help after. The pair for each slide were under $20 as I recall.

  4. DAN

    try double back tape for a repair.
    i am using db tape under the edges of my fairly new ALLURE flooring with good results.

  5. Ken Schwenke

    I had a similar problem and the vinyl was replaced under warranty without removing the slide. I believe with the slide extended that they tipped the slide in at the bottom in order to raise the cabinet fronts and sliped the vinyl under the cabinets and fastening the edge where they had access. However with this type slide set up as long as they got the vinyl past the rollers no other part on the slide rolled or slid over the vinyl edge. Some of it was glued but not a full glue job which I believe would have been best. One point to consider is all slides are NOT created equal. The kitchen slide that I had the problem with is totally on rollers and is not a flush slide like Gary was referencing to so there is no sliding. In another coach I had I removed the carpet and installed pre glue wood look vinyl strips that I sliped under the slide and never had a problem with that one either. Also if you use sheet vinyl again make sure to get a good commercial quality with a thick vinyl wear layer, the dealer that was doing the job was going to use some cheap stuff which I refused. So far its been two years and is holding up ok.