When you’re out on the road, exploring new locales and soaking up the Great Outdoors, your RV is your home away from home. Not only is it the place you spend hours while driving, but it’s also where you sleep, eat and relax – it’s your family headquarters when visiting an unfamiliar place. It’s these reasons that you want your recreational vehicle to look as good as it possibly can.
If you already own an RV that has a few miles on it, or you found a deal on an older model that you just can’t pass up, you can still have a modern-looking machine to explore in. Today, the DIY spirit is alive and well with RV enthusiasts. Updating your old RV is now the ultimate expression of an explorer’s independence.
Here are a few tips and tricks to help you update your RV and help you save a few bucks in the process.
Installing A New Floor
Your RV’s floor gets a lot of damage, but can easily be rejuvenated. In fact, you can update it without having to tear out anything or make any drastic changes. All you need is a little faith and some peel-and-stick flooring. It's quick, easy and much better than having to pull up and replace your entire floor.
Peel and stick tile comes in a variety of colors and styles. Once you’ve found a style you like, remove the shine from the old floor with a handheld sander, which ensures that the new flooring adheres securely to the base. After sanding, clean the old floor thoroughly and let it dry. Next, find the floor’s center with a laser level; the exact floor center is the starting point for your tile. Finally, lay down the new flooring piece by piece, cutting them with scissors to fit against walls and furniture. It's that easy, and the results are simply amazing!
New Window Treatments
Like your stick and brick home, the windows in your RV have a significant influence on how the interior makes you feel. Window treatments are a quick update that almost anyone can do. Window decor won't take a lot of time to change, but be sure to pick something that can stand up to the rough life of the road.
The most common window treatments are classic pleated, wood blinds, lace curtains, Roman-style shades and Venetian blinds, all of which you might also find in a regular home. If you’d rather get something that would be useful in your RV, consider day/night shades. Day/Night shades can be raised from both the middle and the bottom and are made of two types of fabric. These shades allow for light filtration during the day, then provide a layer you can’t see through at night.
Like flooring, the furniture in your RV can also be replaced. You can take out your dinette table or remove a sofa to make extra room. Want to update? Stick and brick furniture can provide a homey feeling in your rolling home; just be sure it is mounted to the floor and wall to prevent it from flying around when you travel.
First, before you replace any furniture, make sure you won’t have any issues removing it. Will it tear up the flooring? Do you have the right tools? Does it fit through the door or will you need to remove a window? If this seems like a project you can undertake, begin looking for new furniture that will fit through your RV door. Always double check the measurements so you don’t get anything that won’t fit into place. Unlike a traditional home, you won't be able to move things around to make a new piece of furniture fit.
One furniture company that stands out for its innovative line is Home Reserve, which is the perfect solution for tiny spaces: each piece of the furniture comes UPS in a small box that will easily fit through an RV door. The company promotes renewable furniture, which means that every part can be restored or changed. You can buy new cushions and new fabric covers, customize your layout for space and easily add or subtract pieces later on. Each piece of furniture also has built in storage, which makes it perfect for an RV.
If you would like to purchase new RV furniture, you can find a variety of options on the Bradd and Hall. Bradd and Hall have experience in the complexities of RV furniture configurations and can help you learn to correctly install it. Their website offers color selections, as well as styles from the top manufacturers.
If you aren't ready to replace your furniture, you can always consider updating your upholstery. If you can sew, then you can probably update the look of outdated fabric. Just make sure you’re reupholstering cushions, pillows, and other removable items – bigger pieces like entire sofas and chairs are best left to the professionals.
First, find fabrics that you love and that will match the other pieces in your RV. Second, be sure to overestimate the amount of fabric you will need and buy more than enough. After removing the old fabric, wrap the cushion in your new fabric and tuck in the loose ends, making sure the seam is on the bottom. Next, simply hand stitch the seam together. Finally, add any little bits of flair you think would jazz it up, like a button or patches. Need visual instructions? Try searching Youtube for step by step tutorials.
If instead, you are looking for a quick fix, you may consider slipcovers, which come in a variety of colors and styles. Sure Fit is a popular brand that offers many choices. In addition, they also sell pet covers that can dress up a couch or chair. You can even take a slipcover 101 class and learn how to pick the perfect fit on their website SureFit.net.
A new paint job will drastically change the interior of your RV. Painting the inside of your RV is different than painting a bedroom or the side of a house. The inside is cramped, and this type of project will take a lot of prep. You can paint everything from wallpaper to cabinets, and it will be worth the effort in the end. Just remember, it is not a quick fix; painting an RV takes time.
Your first step is deciding what will get painted. If you need to partition off entire parts of the RV, such as the cockpit, do so with trash bags or plastic sheeting. Cover anything else not being painted with trash bags and newspaper – the floor, appliances, windows, whatever. Use regular masking tape when you can and save the painter’s tape for the edges since it can get expensive.
The best method for painting a space like this is a spray gun. It’s quick, easy, and gets the job done. Once you’ve covered all the surfaces in the color of your choice, remove the painter’s tape and using a brush, touch up any spots that you missed or may have come up with the paint. If you plan to do your cabinets, remove the fronts and paint them outside.
Most people choose to update their RV interior by using light or bright colors. Light colors cause the small space to seem larger. Bright colors often feel upbeat and homey. It's also fun to add a bit of whimsy to your paint job. Consider using chalkboard paint to a small wall or the front of your fridge to create a command center.
Once finished, remove all other tape, paper, and trash bags to reveal a freshly painted RV. Remember, if you want to change the floors, furniture or window treatments, you will always want to paint before taking on other projects.
1. Ikea offers a large variety of small space furniture and kitchen ideas. Many RVers are embracing their smart use of space and adapting it to their apartment on wheels.
2. Add a simple peel and stick backsplash to your kitchen or bathroom. Smart Tiles are available at Home Depot in a variety of colors and styles. These simple to use plastic tiles look like ceramic, but are easy to cut and install.
3. Vinyl sayings and swirly designs can add a personal touch to the walls of your RV. Etsy is a great source of unique designs in every color under the rainbow. If you want to add a modern touch to your RV without a lot of cost, vinyl is a great option.
Updating the interior of an older RV can make it feel fresh and new. Whether the inside longs for a real renovation, or you just want to mix things up just for the sake of design, these DIY interior updating projects are RV game changers. Need ideas? Spend some time looking through RV makeover and update ideas on websites like
Pinterest and DoItYourselfRV.com.