Hello World! Welcome Friends! An RV might just be the ultimate DIY project. An old RV makes an excellent candidate for renovation, whether you want to completely remodel it and bring it into the modern era or want to restore it to its former vintage glory. One part interior design; one part functional planning, renovating an RV is a fun exercise in creative problem-solving. Most importantly, though, it’s making your home on wheels a reflection of you.
For one reason or another, it seems that RV manufacturers aren’t the most tuned-in when it comes to interior aesthetics. What that means to you is that you have ample opportunity to spruce up your rig. RV renovations span the spectrum from easy, done-in-a-day projects to fully blown overhauls that require a bit of DIY mastery. Here, we’ll go over a few ideas that are sure to make your RV interior pop.
Easy Cosmetic Fixes That Anyone Can Do
Let’s face it; a lot of older RVs have pretty depressing interiors. Sure, the vintage cooktop might be cool, but drab, peeling wallpaper and worn upholstery can quickly take an RV from charming to horror movie material. Let’s bring back the charm, shall we?
- Updating the interior walls of your RV makes a world of difference, and it’s one of the easier projects on this list. There are two ways of doing this. If there are issues with the wallpaper – like if it’s peeling or stained with smoke – you’ll want to remove it before making changes. Otherwise, it’s entirely possible (and time-saving) to just slap a coat of paint or a new wallpaper over it. Try to stick with light colors to keep the small interior of your RV as open as possible. For an extra punch, choose an accent wall to cover with an eye-catching print or color.
- Why does it seem like every old RV has the ugliest upholstery ever?! Reupholstering your RV furniture is another surprisingly easy fix. Get rid of that scratchy 1980’s material and cover your cushions in something you actually want to sit on! It’s just like reupholstering dining chairs. All you’ll need is measuring tape, a sewing machine, and the fabric of your choice. Don’t forget to pick up some foam if you want to replace the old foam or add more for comfort. Here’s a good tutorial for reupholstering your dinette cushions.
- You know what they say: the kitchen is the heart of the home. The same is true for your home on the road! Kitchen cabinetry takes up a lot of space in an RV, which is a good thing – you need the storage. But, if it doesn’t look good, it’s going to be a big eyesore. While easy, painting your kitchen cabinetry is a long, tedious project. You’ll need to tape off appliances and surfaces beforehand, take all the cabinet doors off, and use a primer. Also, you might need to wear a respirator mask. It’s a lot of work, but trust us, the payoff is HUGE. If you want to kick up the wow factor even more, purchase new cabinet pulls in a finish that complements your new kitchen.
- The walls of RVs are usually lined with lots of overhead storage. Unfortunately, they’re often clunky-looking and boring. Why not remove the doors from a few of them and use the open space to display your prized possessions? Make your bedroom overheads into a library. Or, pop off a door or two in the living/kitchen area and add some plants or knick-knacks. Not only will it open up the interior, but it will also add a little character and originality to your RV.
Renovations for Experienced DIYers
Sometimes your RV interior needs a little more than a new coat of paint. However, RV renovations can be tricky because you’re working around many moving parts in a small space. It’s not impossible, though! These renovations just require some extra time and attention to detail.
- There’s no way around it. Old RV carpets are gross. People are constantly tracking in dirt and debris from the outdoors, quickly destroying what was once a fluffy, cozy carpet. Laminate flooring, while easy to clean, can look cheap and outdated. Today’s technology offers some of the best in durability and style. Vinyl hardwoods are gorgeous and will stand up to nicks, scuffs, dirt, and water. The best part? It comes in a variety of finishes that look just like real wood. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial to walk you through the process.
- Replacing your appliances will immediately take your RV from “ugh” to “ooh.” Most importantly, though, it’ll save you a lot on energy, water, and generator costs. If you don’t have the budget to replace your appliances at this moment, there are a few other ways to save. Adding solar panels can make a big difference, and they aren’t too expensive. Replacing interior lights with LED lights is another affordable option that looks great and will cut down energy usage. Lastly, installing a low-flow showerhead and sink aerators will conserve water so you won’t have to fill and dump your tanks as often.
- According to the peer-to-peer RV rental site RVshare, creating more open space is a priority in RV interior design. Older RVs tend to have big, bulky furniture that eats up precious square footage. One of the simplest ways to fix this is to rip out the old furniture and replace it with a more streamlined alternative. For example, you could replace the dinettes with a drop-down table and a couple of dining chairs. Or, get rid of that humongous swivel chair and put a trendy post-modern accent chair in its place. Opening up more floor space will make the RV seem bigger and brighter inside.
Welcome to Your New Home!
The best thing about RVs is that they’re fun and somewhat easy to remodel. The sky’s the limit! There’s virtually no end to the upgrades you can make to your RV, whether it’s making it into an energy-saving machine or a rig worthy of a magazine shoot. Are you renting an RV but still want to make it “yours”? Check out RVshare’s ideas for temporarily decorating an RV rental. And don’t forget to share your own design ideas in the comments!
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