DIY – Install flooring in a trailer

1 Dec

1 Dec


After toying around with the idea of installing fake hardwood planks, we opted for vinyl sheeting instead. Covering our plywood subfloor with vinyl was easy and done in one day. Now if only we could seal the shell so we can take the tarp off of our Airstream!

Whats in our toolbox:

butcher paper, exacto knife, grease pen, and painters tape

1. Large roll of Kraft Paper – You can buy this at any hardware store, do yourself a favor and get the heavy duty kind to prevent tears. Making a paper template first of your trailer prevents you from making mistakes when you cut your vinyl. Make sure you also pay close attention to the orientation of your craft paper before you cut your vinyl, we  flipped our vinyl upside down so it would come out right. Think twice, cut once!

2. Utility Knife – You will need this to touch up the vinyl once you have made your basic template and put it inside the trailer. This was the most time consuming part for us. You have to smooth out the vinyl as you go and cut the excess vinyl off around the edges to create a custom fit. This was especially tricky around the curved edges of our Airstream and the wheel well covers.

3. Extra Blades – We found that our blades kept scraping against the inner aluminum channel, thus dulling our blades. Extra blades are a must if you don’t want to pull your hair out!

4. Grease Pens or chalk – These come in handy once you have made your paper template so you can lay the paper on the vinyl and trace. Then just cut the vinyl along the lines with scissors. Make sure to pick a color that will contrast.

5. Painters tape – We used the painters tape to tape our paper template together inside the trailer.


glueless vinyl flooring

6. Vinyl Flooring – We ultimately decided on a 12 x 30 ft sheet of  Tarkett Magnitude 12 Ft Wide Sheet Vinyl in a grayish wood color called “Fumed”. Model Number: 19143


We swept her out with the help of our cousin Haley!


Erin & Kaitlin

DSC03254 DSC03256 DSC03259


You can really see the realistic texture here!

We were in Upper Michigan when we decided to tackle this project, so we got all of our supplies at a local Menards store. We trolled the isles for awhile looking at all of the options for our flooring. There was a sales associate who was very knowledgeable and explained to us the benefits of glueless vinyl flooring which made our decision very easy.

The process is simple, create a template inside your trailer with butcher paper and tape first, and then lay it on top of your vinyl and cut. Other than the supplies listed above you need a large area to lay the vinyl out flat and cut it, we sort of winged it in the grass, but a paved driveway would have been much easier and more accurate. The more help the better (vinyl  is heavy); I suggest recruiting at least one other person to help you, and  a few cold ones never hurt either!


*I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a free sample for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*

15 Responses to “DIY – Install flooring in a trailer”

  1. Leigh December 6, 2013 at 11:05 pm #

    Looks great!

    • Kaitlin December 7, 2013 at 1:48 am #

      Thanks Leigh! Your dog Curtis is adorable, he and my cattle dog Lucy would get along great! Do you guys still have your 1963 trailer?

    • Kaitlin January 24, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

      Thanks Leigh!!!

  2. Brian Kilday December 7, 2013 at 1:47 am #

    Looks Great!!!

  3. Nick @ Livin' Lightly December 15, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    Looks great! Have you decided what your doing for insulation? Its been pretty COLD lately in the Land Yacht…wish we would have gutted everything and did spray foam!

    • Kaitlin December 16, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

      Hey Nick, thanks! We have not decided on insulation yet. I have heard that certain spray foams can be corrosive to aluminum though. I think in our heads we were just thinking the bubble insulation sheets that come in rolls. Need to hit the forums and see what our best options are. What did you use on yours just the hard board sheets? BTW we are super jealous of your trailer, and how far you have come in your renovation in a seemingly short period of time! Finding time seems to be our biggest enemy with this project. Everything always takes 3x longer than expected and we are in the thick of it.

  4. travelfables January 24, 2014 at 5:44 am #

    Great article, I’m in the middle of the replacing the floor project myself. My project is a 64 Safari. I’ll be onto this part, after I weld some stuff, fix some under skirting, build frames for the new grey and black tanks. Anyway happy renovating — Dale

    • Kaitlin January 24, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

      Thank you Dale! I’m glad you liked the article. I would love to see a picture of your 64 Safari and hear your story as to how you acquired it! We have a lot more to do, so check back with us to see our progress. Do keep in touch ;)

  5. travelfables January 24, 2014 at 9:08 pm #

    I’ve got it back in November from my folks. They had it sitting in their back yard for almost a decade.
    It was one of Dad’s “going to fix it someday” projects.
    I tried every few months for years to talk them out of it, as they were just letting it sit there.
    Finally I did it.
    It was in terrible shape with rats, snakes, tales from the crypt stuff.
    Its now mine, the floors have been stripped out down to the shell, all the Trolls and Undead removed (haz-mat suit stuff).
    I’m not really gung-ho to be a blogger, but my friends have been pestering me about letting them know the progress-as I dropped FaceBorg, so I’ll be transferring my rag-tag fix-it up journal to a blog of sorts soon over at (You can see a sad before pic of the rig there now. I will be adding more.)
    I’ve been a full-time RVer on and off for 6 years now. My SOB (some other brand) trailer was getting well worn (and not worth fixing on all the time); so, I was like Yay!!! when I finally got the old Airstream. I hope to have it ready for a “Fool’s Journey” by mid April (going to have to hustle- tons to do).

    • travelfables January 25, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

      I love the way you have your to-do list on your blog. I stole the idea, and made one for my new site I’m spinning. Its already helping to show what’s ahead on my Safari project. I put a few checked off projects on there too, as to help me motivate, and not think I’m starting from nothing.

    • Kaitlin January 26, 2014 at 7:01 pm #

      Oh man great story! That’s one more rescued Airstream that will see the road again ;) I checked out your blog, awesome!!! We are not the best bloggers either, it’s hard to keep up with. We mainly just needed a collaborative place to share our story in hopes that we meet like minded individuals that can share and help us along the way. We need all the help we can get! But I kinda agree it helps to motivate us and nail down our next steps, even if it’s slow going. People really don’t understand how long this stuff takes and how much energy has to be put into a restoration. Keep on truckin! I can’t wait to see your progress, and at this rate you may lap us! The best feeling is the support we get when we take it on the road, so many people are interested in our story and I think we inspire people to be adventurous!

      • RivetPunk January 27, 2014 at 4:24 am #

        Thanks for stopping by the new site. I’m only just starting it, so its kind of a mess, and lacks pics and graphic elements. I have so much to do to the Airstream, and I want it now. Funny thing is I’m already planing how to decorate and stuff. It makes me feel silly when I need to think about floor repairs instead. I’ve got your site in my rss feeds. I’ll drop by and keep track of your progress. Happy Adventures. -RivetPunk/travelfables aka – Dale ;)

  6. Kevin June 2, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

    Hi Erin & Kaitlin,
    Great project and thanks for the tip on the flooring. I’m going to do the same for my ’54 Cruiser. Nice videos and pics too. What did you decide on the insulation?

  7. Lindsay July 3, 2015 at 10:59 pm #

    Looks amazing!! Quick question tho, where are the holes for your vents and plumbing?

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