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How to deal with peeling RV couches

A common problem

One of the most common interior complaints we hear from RV owners is that their couches begin to peel far before they expect them to. This can be a costly problem to fix, so it is important to both take preventative measures as well as be aware of creative fixes. Read on to learn how to both prevent and deal with peeling couches.

What type of couches are most likely to peel?

Couches with fake leather, or “pleather” surfaces are the most likely to peel in an RV. RV manufactures like to use this kind of material, even in high end RVs, to give the furniture the look of high-end furniture (without the cost). When first picking out your RV, you can investigate options to change the fabric or couches in your rig to avoid ones likely to peel. This upgrade will cost money, but in the long run it may actually end up saving you money in the long run.

Preventative Measures

There are several things you can do to help prevent peeling of your RV couch.

  1. Clean Regularly: lotion, sunscreen, and natural skin oils can quickly build up on your RV couch and make it more likely to peel. Regularly rub down your sofa with a leather spray and UV protectant to help extend the life of your couch.
  2. Add a cover: Add a lightweight quilted sofa cover to protect the couch surfaces. If you plan to resell your rig in the future, this might be a smart choice. It also allows you to add some color and design into your rig. However, these covers do often slide around, which some find uncomfortable.
  3. Cover the cushions: Instead of a full couch cushion, you can also purchase covers for the individual cushions. This will not protect the back of the couch, but the actual cushions are often the first to peel. These also tend to stay in place better than a whole couch cover.
  4. Avoid direct sunlight: Whenever possible, keep the blinds closed on your RV, especially ones that allow sun to shine directly on your couches. If you just hate having blinds closed, consider adding UV Heat control tinting to your windows.

Fixes for peeling couches

  1. Reupholster: The first and probably most obvious answer is to reupholster your couch. If you have this professionally done, it can be quite costly. This is a job that you can DIY, but it is challenging. Just replacing the cushion fabric is a little easier than the entire couch.
  2. Get new furniture: Purchase a replacement couch, or change the furniture configuration into a recliner area. You don’t have to purchase RV specific furniture, but you do need to consider size and the ability to secure the furniture in the rig.
  3. Re-imagine the space: If your couch doesn’t see much use, consider re-imagining how you use that space in your RV. Perhaps you want to add a eating bar, or turn it into an office area for those who work from their RV.
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