Deep Cleaning Our RV Carpet the Fast, Easy Way

RVing and dogs are a great combo, but not when it comes to keeping a clean rig. Dogs create an extra layer of filth inside, especially on the carpet. Ours were rather disgusting and recently I couldn’t take it anymore. I spent a few hours deep cleaning our RV carpet and wow what a difference!

Dog on Board? Don’t Skip Deep Cleaning RV Carpets

deep cleaning our RV carpets
Our German Shedder does a number on our carpets.

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We love our German Shedder Wyatt. But dogs add wear and tear to RVs faster than anything, and ours seems to do twice as much damage as an ordinary dog — especially when it comes to the factory installed carpet.

If it were up to me, I would live in a carpet-free RV. But slick floors are a three-legged dog’s worst enemy. And there’s no real reason to pull up that carpet yet, it’s not worn out. But it was dirty. And smelly. Even Jim noticed, and when a man notices something like dirty carpet smell, that’s saying something.

deep cleaning RV carpets
Slide out carpet grease in our Arctic Fox 275B.

I tried spray-on carpet cleaners to get the dog stench out of the carpets, but hated the toxic aerosol fumes. And when I finally accepted that I had put off a good deep cleaning for too many years, I knew I needed to pull out the big guns: a professional-grade portable carpet cleaner.

Amazon carries loads of five star portable carpet cleaning machines, most under $200 and many that are RV-sized. Over time buying one of these little machines is cheaper than renting a giant carpet cleaning monster from the grocery store, which is what I was going to do. But then I noticed my sister owns a portable steam cleaner. Bingo! 

deep cleaning RV carpets
The Bissell SpotClean works great in RVs

Like a good sister she loaned it to me and I headed back to the rig. The model she owns is the Bissell SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner. It weighs almost nothing and is small enough to maneuver in the RV, something those grocery store carpet cleaning rentals can’t do. It also has a five foot hose which made cleaning so easy.

Cleaning day arrived and I realized I had a challenge: if I cleaned the entire rig at once, how would I keep Wyatt from laying on the wet carpet? Then it came to me: I would deep clean our RV carpet one room at a time. First the bedroom, then the living room. I used a baby gate to keep him off the damp carpet until it was dry. 

deep cleaning RV carpets
You don’t know how gross RV carpets are until you try this.

After just a few minutes I could see that the Bissell’s pet-safe carpet cleaning shampoo works better than any aerosol can cleaner. And the machine’s incredible suction power not only lifted out years of embedded dog fur, it also left our carpet with minimal dampness, allowing them to dry quickly.

Just one drawback bothered me during the process: the machine is so darn loud! I felt like I should have warned our neighbors about the racket.

deep cleaning RV carpets
Clean, odor-free RV carpet, finally!

In total I probably spent six hours on the whole job from start to finish. That might seem like a lot of time, but considering that I’d never tried deep cleaning our RV carpets, it was a small effort with a big payoff.

deep cleaning RV carpets
“Hey Mom when can I step on the carpet?

I reluctantly returned the carpet cleaning machine to my sister. It would be so nice to have one of these on-board. Unfortunately we don’t have a huge basement with extra room to carry one, otherwise I would absolutely make this a part of our essential full-time RVing gear.

If you have room in your basement, I’m jealous! For less than $200, this little Bissell machine is definitely the way to go.

4 thoughts on “Deep Cleaning Our RV Carpet the Fast, Easy Way”

  1. I love not having factory carpet. We bought a cheap rug from Walmart that covers most of the living room and several small rugs I. Kitchen, doorway and bedroom. Jack seems to do well going from rug to rug. After about 3 years the big rug got stinky so we replaced it for about $80. The small ones are all washable.
    Our old RV rugs didn’t come clean even with a professional cleaning.


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