Refurbishing a travel trailer ceiling can be difficult, depending on the make and model of your travel trailer. On some models, the interior walls are part of the ceiling structure. On these models, replacement ceiling panels can easily slip over the top of the wall. Other models use the interior wall partitions to hold up the ceiling. This will preclude an easy replacement of the panels. Stripping panels down to the lauan wood is the only option for these models.
Use a drill with a sanding bit to strip the old vinyl off of the ceiling until the lauan plywood is exposed completely. Take care not to go through the lauan plywood as this will be difficult to repair. Sanding will make a mess, so cover or remove anything that you do not want covered in dust with a drop cloth. Plan to use more than one sanding pad.
Measure the area that needs to be recovered with a tape measure. Mark the unfinished side of a ¼-inch piece of Masonite hardboard to match these measurements. Check to see that you have marked the cuts correctly. For example, an L-shaped cut should be drawn as a backwards "L" on the reverse side of the Masonite.
Cut the ¼-inch Masonite hardboard with a table saw. Cut out the areas to go around wall cabinets and partitions with a table saw.
Install the Masonite hardboard using decorative screws. The panel joints are held in place with covered aluminum strips. Use a drill with a screwdriver bit to secure the aluminum strips to the lauan plywood.
Cover all exposed edges with decorative molding. Use construction adhesive to attach the molding to the ceiling.
Paint the molding and Masonite hardboard to match the interior of the travel trailer. Allow the paint to dry completely before using the travel trailer.
- Masonite hardboard splits easily when drilled or cut. Be prepared to purchase extra in case this happens.
- Taping the front side and edges of the Masonite hardboard with masking tape prior to cutting will help prevent splitting.
- To prevent inhalation of any particulates, use a dust mask while cutting the Masonite.
- "MotorHome" magazine; Ceiling Installation; Wes Caughlan; March 2010