How to Replace RV Ceiling Paneling

by Lynda Altman
RVs have ceiling panels which may require replacing.

RVs have ceiling panels which may require replacing.

RV ceiling panels deteriorate when leaks occur or with age. When this happens, the vinyl covering starts to peel or separate from the wood behind it. Removing the ceiling panels is not usually possible without causing structural damage to the RV, as the panels are installed before the walls and cabinetry. The best way to handle replacing the RV ceiling panels is to strip off the vinyl covering and replace it with a thin sheet of Masonite hardboard. Masonite hardboard is a versatile material which will accept paint or wallpaper.

Replacing RV Ceiling Paneling

1. Strip the vinyl covering and glue off of the Lauan wood. Continue removing material until you get to bare wood. A sanding disk for a drill makes quick work of this task. If a sanding disk is not available, use sandpaper or a paint scraper instead. If there are places where the Lauan wood is rotted out and must be replaced, cut out the rotted area and replace it with new Lauan wood. Attach the new wood to the old using wood screws and aluminum strips, then continue to step 2.

2. Measure the panels that require replacing and note all doorways and cabinets. Transfer all unusual cuts to the 1/8 inch Masonite hardboard. Cut the 1/8 inch Masonite hardboard to fit the panel areas.

3. Join the Masonite hardboard at the seams with covered aluminum strips. This hides the rough edges of the seams and makes an attractive finish. Attach the aluminum strips using screws with decorative caps.

4. Attach molding to the edges along walls, doors and cabinets. Molding can be glued in place with construction adhesive or screws can be used for a more secure installation.

5. Vacuum the entire area to remove all sawdust and pieces of vinyl. Stick painter's tape along the edges of the Masonite hardboard where it meets the molding. Paint the molding. Remove the painter's tape after the paint has dried for 15 minutes.

Items you will need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Sandpaper or sanding disk for drill
  • Paint scraper
  • Cordless drill
  • Table saw or compound miter saw
  • Masking tape
  • 1/8 inch Masonite hardboard
  • Covered aluminum strips
  • Screws
  • Decorative caps for screws
  • Vacuum
  • Decorative molding
  • Construction adhesive
  • Painter's tape
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush


  • For a seamless finish, paint the aluminum strips, Masonite hardboard and moldings the same color. Paint the molding a different color for a bold look.


  • To prevent the Masonite hardboard from chipping along the cut edge, run a piece of masking tape across the area to be cut. Cutting through the tape will create a clean cut.


  • "Tech Savvy: Coach and Chassis"; Wes Caughlan; Motorhome Magazine; March 2010

About the Author

Lynda Altman started writing professionally in 2001, specializing in genealogy, home-schooling, gardening, animals and crafts. Her work has appeared in "Family Chronicle Magazine" and "Chihuahua Magazine." Altman holds a B.A. in marketing from Mercy College, a black belt in taekwondo, master gardener certification, a certificate in graphic arts and a certificate in genealogy.

Photo Credits