Welcome to “Ask an RV Expert,” the advice column where RVillage experts answer your questions about common RV maintenance problems.
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Dear RVillage Expert: Why is my faux leather furniture badly peeling all of a sudden? —Mark H.
Is your RV furniture flakier than a Pillsbury croissant? You’re not alone. The faux or bonded leather used to cover most RV furniture isn’t necessarily known for its durable, long-lasting construction. In fact, it carries quite the reputation for flaking, peeling, and tearing—even after minimal use. While everything from skin oils to sun exposure and storage temps can cause the materials on your furniture to break down, even the best care and upkeep can still lead to this wear and tear.
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for this common inconvenience; however, there are a few things you can do to maintain and fix your RV furniture if it’s manufactured with faux leather materials.
Regular cleaning. From wiping off sunscreen to regularly removing sand, dirt, and other grime that finds its way onto your furniture, one of the best ways to maximize the longevity of your furniture is to keep it clean. When oils, dirt, and other residues have time to sit and soak into your furniture, the quicker those materials wear. Check your owner’s manual for any specific cleaning recommendations, and always use RV-specific cleaning products that are safe for you and your rig.
Adhesive patching. If the materials are already starting to flake and wear, you might want to consider patching the damaged areas. This solution is best for smaller worn sections, as it can be difficult to find an exact color match. Simply cut the patch to the size you need, peel off the backing, and place it on your furniture. These patches are waterproof, scratch-resistant, and can be cleaned just like the rest of your upholstery.
Furniture covers. Another way to protect your furniture or hide unsightly sections is to use an RV sofa or recliner cover. These are especially great for rig owners with pets who like to jump on and off your furniture or shed. While you might not be able to find a cover that matches your furniture’s exact color, you can find options that compliment your rig’s color scheme.
Reupholstering. If your furniture’s materials need more than a quick fix, consider reupholstering the damaged pieces. This option is best for furniture that’s still structurally sound. Not only does reupholstering allow you to choose your own color scheme, but it also allows you to choose materials or fabrics that are less prone to wear and tear. While having this done professionally can be costly, if you’re capable of tackling it yourself, it’s a cost-effective way to update your RV’s interior.
Replace. For furniture that’s damaged beyond repair or is structurally unsound, it might be time to consider replacing it. This is a more expensive solution; however, it allows you to choose color, materials, furniture style, and even reimagine your rig’s interior layout. From sofas to loveseats, recliners, and dinettes, there are plenty of replacement pieces out there made specifically for RVs. Be sure to measure your RV’s doorway and clearance space (especially for recliners) before ordering new furniture for your rig.
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