How to Remodel a New RV: 5 Easy and Affordable Ideas


Has the thought of RV living ever interested you but the thought of a complete renovation sends you running? I think today in the world of Instagram and digital marketing its easy to get wrapped up in the comparison game. You may be scrolling through Sally's Instagram page in awe of the fact that she  remodeled her RV with no experience and it turned out incredible. But in the same breathe you may be sitting there realizing financially that isn't realistic for you, or you may not have the time to perform a full renovation or heck you just don't know what you're doing and don't want to bank on being able to figure it out as you go. Whatever it is that's holding you back, I'm here to show you that you don't have to go out and try and be the next Joanna Gaines of RV flips.

When we purchased our first RV we did a complete flip, I'm talking head to toe remodel. We painted every inch of the RV, ripped out cabinets, replaced light fixtures, removed and replaced furniture, etc. When it came time for us to upgrade to our new RV, I knew that we didn't have either the time or money to complete another full flip. I was hesitant and in all honesty, I didn't think I could possibly make the RV feel like "home" without doing a complete remodel. Moving into the second RV really challenged me to step outside my comfort zone and work with what I had. And in the end, this RV felt even more like home than the first. It was truer to my style, whereas in the first RV I spent so much time taking in what everyone else was doing, I was missing out on what I truly loved. So I'm here to show you that yes, you can turn a brand new or slightly used RV into a home without a whole lot of time or money. Here are 5 easy and affordable ideas I used to turn my RV into a bohemian farmhouse haven.

1. Wallpaper
Wallpaper is a great way to make a statement or accent an area of your home without all the mess and time that painting requires. My go to company for wallpaper is Loomwell. Not only are their products quality made but their wallpaper is SO simple and easy to apply and it wont damage your walls should you choose to remove it. But best of all, they take custom requests. Both of the wallpapers I used in our RV were custom requests. The courtney wallpaper was used to accent a large empty wall in our kitchen and the beau wallpaper was part of my fireplace makeover. Many people asked me if we used real wood and brick, talk about a compliment.

Empty wall space inside an RV
Large empty wall

Loomwell Wallpaper used in a RV
Loomwell "Courtney" Wallpaper
2. Backsplash
Backsplash is a great way to add contrast and dimension to your kitchen or bathroom. It can also help you create a focal point. This is especially helpful when trying to distract your guests from less desirable things in your space. For example, those bathroom countertops you can't stand. While you can use real tile in an RV, weight is always an important consideration which is why we chose to use Tic Tac Tiles. Tic tac tiles are peel and stick tiles that can be easily applied to a variety of surfaces. They have multiple patterns, colors and styles available to fit your space. I used the white hexagon in our bathroom and absolutely love how it turned out, for all the details on my simple bathroom refresh click here.

RV bathroom
Standard RV Bathroom

Remodeled RV Bathroom using Tic Tac Tiles
Tic Tac Tiles White Hex Backsplash

3. New light fixtures
It wasn't until we swapped out our pendant light fixtures that I realized just how much light fixtures can change the feel of a space. They are a great accent piece that can help set the tone for the style of your home. We replaced our granny looking pendant fixtures for some black wire caged fixtures. They contrasted well against our faux wood wallpaper, giving me the "boho farmhouse" vibe I was hoping to achieve. You might be wondering, how the heck do I find new light fixtures for an RV? Well, its actually a lot easier than you might think. Typically, the overhead lights run off of the 12V DC system whereas the outlets and bigger appliances run off of the 120V AC system. To make a long story short, you can replace your old RV light fixtures with any residential light fixture so long as you use the appropriate light bulb. In this case that means, you can purchase and install a 120V light fixture as long as you use a 12V light bulb. So, don't stress about searching for 12V light fixtures cause the pickings are slim and they are not cute. We found our wire caged fixtures on amazon and I only paid $30 for the pair, awesome right!?

Disclaimer: I am not and do not claim to be an electrician so if you have any questions or reservations make sure to consult a professional.

Pendant light fixtures in a RV
New Pendant Light Fixtures 

4. Window Treatments
If you know anything about RV's you know ALL about the god awful window valances that manufacturers include. Simply just removing these makes a world of difference. They are so clunky and awkward and distract you from the beautiful natural light that should be seeping through your windows. So if nothing else, remove these. Once removed you can add your own window treatments to create more of a "homey" feel. You can even remove and replace the window shades. However, if you're looking to keep it simple curtain rods and curtains will more than suffice. If you're like me and cant stand the thought of paying $30+ for curtain rods, you can make your own using my DIY PVC pipe curtain rod hack. Hang your curtains high to give off the effect that your windows are larger than they really are.

RV Window Valences
Manufacturer added Window Valences

DIY Curtain Rods used in RV
New Window Treatments

5. Slide Out Trim
Just like window valances, RV manufacturers love their chunky, awkward slide out trim. There are a few ways you can go about changing these up. If you're not in the mood to remove and replace, paint is a great option. Comparable to painting trim in your room, painting the slide out trim will provide you with a subtle but fun change. If you're just not digging the way the slide out trim looks or want a more dramatic change, you can remove it completely. I'm a huge fan of natural and wood elements so I replaced our trim with some custom stained planks from Home Depot and absolutely loved the warmth it added. For all the details and step by step instructions check out my previous post.

RV slide out trim
Manufacturer Slide Out Trim

Faux mantel and brick wallpaper used in RV makeover
New Slide Out Trim
So there you have it guys, making your space feel like home does not always have to entail a whole lot of time, money or renovation experience. A little grit and an open mind can go a long way. 

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