by Fred Burns
Carpet step covers are a great after-market item for your RV steps. They’re less slippery than the metal steps, look nicer, and help in removing dust and mud from the bottom of shoes. But they are fairly pricey at around $25 apiece ($75-$100 for a set of covers). Worse yet, the front where the cover wraps over the edge of the metal step wears out quickly, creating an unsightly look and a safety hazard: a hole you can trip on.
Don’t throw those unholy holey step covers away at the first sign of wear. There are several ways you can greatly extend their life. The first thing to do is adjust the cover so the worn spot is now over the edge — and under the step. You can usually get two of these adjustments out of the cover before moving on to the next strategy.
Next, reverse the step so the old worn spots are towards the back of the step where they are not a safety hazard, although they’ll still be noticeable. After you’ve run out of these adjustments, then it’s time to apply a strip of Duck brand outdoor anti-slip tread tape over one of the worn sections and position it so the tape is right along the front edge of the step. This increases the safety factor of the cover, improves the look, and significantly extends the cover’s life.
As you can see in the picture, the top step has gone through all of the adjustment stages including the addition of some tread tape over a worn spot. The bottom step has been previously reversed and is now ready to add a piece of tread tape.
Of course you can also apply the tread tape to a new set of covers and greatly reduce or eliminate the carpet wear altogether. Apply the tape as close to the front edge as possible, as the wear and holes will appear right on the front edge, which takes the most scuffing abuse as you climb the steps.
The first signs of wear or holes will usually show up in less than a year if you full-time. These adjustments can extend the life of the covers at least another three to five years and end up saving you $300-$400. In our case, that $400 savings will cover the cost of a cheap, off-season cruise to the Caribbean out of Houston next fall.