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Good As New: Renewing Your RV Steps

Your RV’s steps really take a beating over the years! They get walked all over, get covered in dirt and mud, and even get rained or snowed on! It’s no wonder that they start to show some wear and are in need of a repair after a few years or so. Don’t sweat it, wear and tear happens. You can keep your RV steps as good as new! Find out more on how to renew your RV steps quickly and you’ll be another step in the right direction to keeping your RV looking newer for longer!

Say Goodbye To Rust

When metal is exposed to the elements, rust will happen. Never fear—you won’t have to be stuck looking at unsightly orange spots for years to come! It’s pretty easy to make your RV look like new with a simple paint, prime, and resurfacing process.

What You’ll Need:

  • Rust converter primer (available at most hardware stores)

  • Rust-stopping paint, like Rust-Oleum

  • Tread strips, carpeting, or other anti-slip surface


  1. Locate spots of rust and lightly sand with fine grit sand paper to remove any debris.

  2. Apply primer right to the areas where rust is present. These primers work to harden rust into a solid surface and stop it from spreading.

  3. Paint over the rust spots with the rust paint. Use enough coats to match the existing paint.

  4. If you’re replacing the tread, apply the tread strip, carpeting, or whatever you’re using and secure with adhesive or recommended method on the packaging.

If doing things halfway isn’t your style, try out this more involved process instead!

What You’ll Need:

  • Paint stripper solution

  • Stiff-bristled brush

  • Rust converter

  • Primer

  • Weatherproof paint (like Rust-Oleum)

  • Desired tread material


  1. Cover the stairs in the stripping solution according to the bottle’s instructions. After the recommended amount of time, use a putty knife or a stiff-bristled brush to scrape the paint off.

  2. Apply the rust converter, then the primer, letting the coats dry between applications.

  3. Paint the stairs to your liking, and let the paint fully dry.

  4. Adhere the tread strips with an adhesive or with any product indicated in included instructions.

Stair Maintenance

Nip problems in the bud and keep up with maintenance on your RV’s stairs! It’s simple to work into your other regular maintenance regimes, so it should be easy to remember to show your stairs a little care and keep them working better for longer.

Keep stairs clean. Moisture leads to rust, and dirt can wear paint down. If your stairs get dirty during travel or at your campsite, make sure to give them a good wash after you get home. Keep an eye on them to make sure they completely dry before you fold them back up to ensure you keep rust at bay.

Make sure to lubricate your stairs. Those joints can get stiff and creaky, so bust out the can of WD-40 or any other silicone-based lubricant. Spray every joint on the stairs, and make sure to get under the RV and make sure that components on the motor get some lubricant too. This will prevent creaking and eventual damage.

Touch up rust spots often. If you went with the first method of repairing rusty stairs, keep an eye on those spots and retouch them as needed to prevent the spread of rusty spots.

A set of old, creaky, rusty RV steps doesn’t have to throw a wrench in your RVing lifestyle! Just follow recommendations on renewing your RV steps and they’ll be as good as new!

If maintenance has you feeling overwhelmed or you just want someone else to take care of it for a change, bring your RV down to National RV and let our team of certified RV technicians take a look! They’ll always get your RV looking its best, so don’t hesitate to come down and let us do the dirty work! As your most trusted Michigan RV dealership, we have your back when it comes to all things RV!

Have any other tips for renewing your RV steps? Leave us a comment below!

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