Last Updated on October 31, 2019 by Jody
In August we bought a new RV! Well, new to us. We upgraded from a 2011 Class C bunkhouse to a 2016 Class A bunkhouse. The unit's low miles and excellent condition, along with end-of-season pricing, made the purchase an easy decision.
But even though the motorhome is relatively new, it has the same problem most RVs have- the interior is brown. Lots of brown. With accents of gold and maroon.
In other words, it's dark. And while I completely understand why brown colors are used in RV interiors – it does hide the dirt and debris that outdoor adventures always drag in- it just isn't as inviting as I want my RV to be.
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Recently RV Trader published tips for simple RV remodel projects, and are allowing me to share that information here.
Easy RV Updates to Make Your Interior Feel New
The idea of an RV remodel may seem rather daunting and difficult to a first-time (or even second-time!) owner. However, certain small adjustments can make a huge difference, especially in a tiny space. A little goes a long way, and just a few weeks of work can have your RV looking bright, cozy, and modern in no time.
Consider these suggestions for simple projects that will make the biggest changes to your RV's interior.
Decorate in Your Style
Decorating can completely transform your space without requiring a complete renovation. Simple changes like fresh throw pillows, bedding, curtains, decorative blankets, wall decor, area rugs, photos, and plants can add a ton of character with only a bit of work.
Decorating is all about personal preference and taste. Find items that make you happy and incorporate them throughout your RV. Or utilize items found on your travels to remind you of the places your ‘home away from home' has taken you.
When decorating a small space, it is usually best to keep the same theme and color scheme for the entire RV. Be sure to choose a theme that matches your personality, and the rest is up to you! Remember that a little goes a long way in a small space, and just a few items can make a big difference.
Planning a More In-depth Camper Restoration?
Read our review of Camper Rehab!
Add New Window Treatments
Swapping window treatments is one of the simplest things that makes the biggest difference.
Window valances in older RVs are typically covered in busy patterns and cover a large portion of the windows. Removing these can instantly brighten up the space, let in more light, and create a more modern look. They can easily be replaced with roller shades, accordion blinds, or curtains. You could even go with combination of curtains and shades.
If replacing the window valances entirely is outside of your comfort zone, they can easily be removed and recovered with a simpler fabric, then returned to their original position. This will allow you to choose a color scheme that matches your new RV design without overly changing the space, if that is what you prefer.
Replacing furniture is another fairly easy task that can change an entire space. Sofa beds can be replaced with a new futon, and recliners are easily swapped with an accent chair. IKEA has a great line of furniture geared towards small spaces. Be sure to bolt any new furniture to the floor to keep it from sliding around when you are on the move.
Dinettes can also be transformed fairly easily.
If yours is the type with a table and chairs, these can be replaced with a modern set. If you have a dinette with a table and benches, consider painting the benches and recovering the cushions.
You can even add throw pillows to the dinette benches for extra comfort. This will completely change the overall look and feel of your living and dining room space.
Add a Coat of Paint
Painting an RV is no small task. However, the reward is a beautiful space that will feel brighter and more welcoming. Many RV renovations are completed with white paint because of the openness it allows the floor plan. However, other neutral colors such as gray and beige also look nice and often stay cleaner-looking.
If you are thinking about painting with bright colors, consider utilizing accent walls as a pop of color, while keeping the rest of the walls neutral colors. Remember that very bright colors can sometimes feel overpowering in a small space, so they are often best in small doses.
Before you paint, there is a bit of prep work involved.
First you need to decide if you want to paint the walls only or both the walls and the cabinets. Wallpaper and wooden surfaces should then be lightly sanded to remove the outer coating.
Next, you should clean the walls and cabinets thoroughly. It is best to use TSP (trisodium phosphate) to remove all dirt and debris, allowing paint to better adhere to surfaces.
Finally, you should begin with a coat of primer before painting with at least two coats of the final color.
Replace the Flooring
Replacing the flooring in an RV is a task that requires the most time and money of any update (though it will cost less than replacing your RV- which is what we did!).
Over time, the carpet in RVs becomes worn and often dingy. (It's also a hassle to clean!) If you remove the carpet, you are free to install a new floor.
The most popular option is wood-look laminate flooring. Real hardwood floors are beautiful, but they are typically too heavy for a standard RV weight limit. Laminate floors are made to look like wood at a fraction of the price and weight.
When choosing flooring options, you must decide between peel-and-stick floors and click-and-lock floors. Each of these types of flooring has different pros and cons, so you will need to do your research to decide which type is best for you and your RV.
There are so many changes that can be made to RVs, but these are some of the most basic concepts. If you are new to the world of RV renovation, the idea alone may seem daunting. However, if you begin with these five steps, you are sure to create a beautiful space that feels more like home.
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