Updated: Sep 6
I recently wrote an article on 10 impactful RV remodeling tips for Do It Yourself RV and I thought it could be beneficial for folks if it lived on my website as well. However, you should still check out the Do It Yourself RV blog as it's a great source for RVers in all stages of their journey.
1. PAINT: This is the biggest change you can make in your camper. However, it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s a ton of work if done properly. Here are my suggestions to save you from a lot of blood, sweat and tears. For more details on how to paint your RV, see my guide here: https://www.rain2shineventures.com/post/you-re-the-paint-to-my-brush
Pick one or two and leave the rest:
- Accent Wall
- Slide Trim
- Dining Area
- Entertainment Center
- Or, try Wallpaper instead.
2. WALLPAPER: This can be challenging but here are my tips to make it go as smoothly as possible.
Pick your print and make sure to order extra in order to match the print along the seams.
Clean and wipe down the walls you’re going to apply the wallpaper to first.
Start on one end of the wall at the top.
Pull the peel-off in small sections as you move down the wall.
Using a squeegee and press smoothly down the wall.
Try not to allow any bubbles but if you do end up with a few small ones, you can pop them with a needle and smooth them out.
When you get to the bottom, use a razor knife to cut along the edge of the base.
Match the pattern of the next piece and apply in the same fashion. You can cut any excess off the top with the razor knife.
You can also use the razor knife to cut around any obstacles (such as vents, outlets, etc.) you run across, but I do recommend removing the covers first. This way you don’t have to make a perfect cut since the face will cover any uneven edges.
I use 3M adhesive spray for extra grip. You will need to apply this to the wall and the paper separately to create a strong bond.
Always remember your work doesn’t have to be perfect. I use molding and trim throughout my remodels. It will cover any uneven cuts of flooring, wallpaper, tile, etc. and it makes everything look more finished and intentional.
3. FLOORING: This is the second biggest change you can make in your camper but it’s not an easy project. Paint and flooring are the 2 biggest jobs we do in all of our clients’ RV renovations so be prepared. Removing carpet can be difficult depending on how the manufacturers installed it.
I use an oscillating dremel to remove the larger staples. You can also use it to cut the carpet around the edges if it's sandwiched beneath the walls.
Another great tool to use for the smaller staples are nippers. Grab the staple head and pull at an angle to remove.
You will most likely need to cut and install a new subfloor after carpet removal and then install your new flooring. I recommend Luxury Vinyl Planking (LVP).
4. EPOXY APPLIANCES: This update is a great alternative to buying new
Use a scotchbrite pad to scuff the surface. This gives the epoxy a surface it can stick to.
Clean well, let dry and spray the epoxy. It will probably take 2 coats.
You can tape off the trim prior to spraying the epoxy if you wish to spray paint it in an accent color.
5. FAUCETS: Such an easy upgrade! I’d suggest one with a pull-down sprayer. It makes cleaning the dishes and sink much easier.
6. LIGHTING: A lot of people think you have to use RV lighting in an RV. That is absolutely NOT true. And there are a lot of fun options when you look outside of RV lighting.
Make sure to check measurements before you buy for 2 reasons: 1. That it will fit the space. 2. That the base of it will cover the hole above the old light.
If the light fixture you’re taking out is running on DC and the new light fixture will fit a 12V bulb, it will work in your RV.
If you’re unsure if the light you’re changing is AC or DC, you can check with a voltmeter to be safe.
Turn off the power before cutting any wires.
Make sure to cut the wires as close to the existing light fixture as possible to give yourself enough wire to connect the new lighting.
Use wire strippers to cut and strip the existing wires to splice with the new.
With DC (12V), most RV manufacturers make the black wrapped wire the ground and the white the hot (the opposite of a brick and mortar home) so match your new wires accordingly and tie the ground from the new light fixture in with the black.
Use wire nuts to splice the wires together.
7. BACKSPLASH: Peel & stick isn’t easier than real tile and real tile won’t add enough weight to make a difference in such a small area. MUSSELBOUND is a game changer!
MusselBound is a tile membrane that you can use instead of Mortar/All-Set. It’s much faster, less messy and allows the tile to lay completely flat against the wall.
Measure and cut your tiles accordingly with a wet saw.
You can place them on the tile membrane but don’t press til you’re ready.
Another great benefit of MusselBound is you can grout as soon as you’re done pressing the tiles to the tile membrane.
8. SHOWER/TUB: Rust-Oleum makes a tub and tile kit that will (literally) make your shower and/or tub look brand new. It’s a little work and does take time but it will save you $$ from replacing it with something new or covering it with tile.
9. HARDWARE: Spray paint old hinges and upgrade the handles and knobs on the cabinetry. Hobby Lobby has some fun options. It’s a whole new look (especially if you decide to paint your cabinets).
10. WINDOW TREATMENTS: Remove those old boxy valances and cheap blinds! You’ll be amazed how much this will open up your camper and let in so much more light.
Remove all the screws with an impact.
Putty (and sand if necessary) the screw holes and find a paint pen or stain to match the walls and apply (after the putty is dry).
Now, you can install 2” faux wood blinds, curtains, or even shutters. Whatever suits you.
If you’re not able or up for manual labor, try decorating. Adding rugs, decorative pillows, throws, mirrors, framed photos or collages can liven up your space and make it feel more like home or your “home away from home.”
If you are up to one or more of the tasks above, take your time and do one at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself with multiple projects. You might be surprised how one completed upgrade changes the whole feel of your camper.
Best of Luck and Have Fun!