It happens after a period of time. Your RV becomes tired looking, dull and drab from dust, dirt and extended usage. It's not from lack of good housekeeping skills. Like most brick and motar homes, a make over or face lift is what’s needed! You may be considering trading up to a new RV and it’s easy to fall in love with a brand new, shining model. However, if you're not ready to trade or take on new payments and love your current home away from home, it can look nearly new with a few simple and mostly inexpensive upgrades.
It’s easier than you think to add a fresh face to your present home on wheels. A little imagination along with some inexpensive fabric, basic sewing skills and some elbow grease can easily transform a tired RV into a show place. It's your decision on how much to invest and how far to go with the work.
Before you start any remodeling project, create a “master plan" for your RV that’s based on your idea of the perfect RV. The concept can come from anything such as a picture from a book, an ad from a magazine, an image in your head, or a sketch on a napkin. It doesn’t matter – as long as you have something. If you try to remodel your RV without a visual target, your efforts will almost always end in disappointment.
When planning a remodeling strategy, address the functional and practical requirements first. For example, if you don’t have enough counter space in your kitchen – fix that shortcoming first before you install a new faucet or upgrade the flooring.
Begin in the Bedroom and Bathroom
Decide what needs refreshing and begin to make a list of items you want to replace.
A new bed covering with coordinating sheets and complementary pillow shams and throw pillows will give the bedroom an immediate updated look. Look for matching window coverings and replace your current curtains. All you may need to do is shorten them if you can’t find the right size.
Deciding on a theme can be fun and give you a direction to go in. For example, if you decide to do a jungle theme, look for accessories with animal prints, fur pillows and throws, rustic bamboo trays or baskets.
For example, a leopard print theme is easy to do because it’s timeless and happens to be very popular at the moment! It’s not hard to find items with this print – from bedding to curtains to lamps or switchplates – you name it and you can find it.
If you have structured box type valences on the windows, consider recovering them. It can be done without sewing by using fusible webbing and an iron. Another option is Velcro or pins if they can be used where they won’t be seen. A glue gun or fabric glue is also an option. You might also decide to get rid of them all together for a more streamlined look.
Replace blinds if needed. There are so many options these days for blinds that you should be able to find a style to fit your windows. Most can be cut to size or ordered to fit. Not only can they be decorative, they can be insulating and light blocking too.
Change out any drawer pulls to something more sleek or interesting and that carries your colors or design theme further.
If you've grown tired of the wood paneling or vinyl wall coverings, both can be painted over or wallpapered. Talk with the experts at a paint or home improvement store about primers or glues to use. For example, if you’re going to wall paper over plastic covered wallboard, you will need vinyl to vinyl glue.
If the bathroom is close to the bedroom, consider carrying the same theme into that space. Let’s say that you wanted an ocean theme in the bed and bathroom. That opens up a whole array of décor ideas, from seashells, fish, lighthouses, fish, dolphins, etc.
You can easily find a new shower curtain with an ocean theme. Add in some colorful towels and rugs, plus some ocean accessories and you will feel like it’s a brand new bathroom! Change out towel holders or hooks and cabinet hardware to complete the look.
If possible, update the light fixture too.
If your shower stall is worn or cracked, you can replace it. If you're fairly handy, you can do it yourself. The hardest part is getting it into the RV! Once you have it in, it's a relatively easy chore. You will need someone to help you lift it onto the drain, but after that it it's simple to complete.
It is also possible to change out the toilet for a newer one.
Kitchen and Dining Area
By it’s nature, the kitchen may need more updating than the rest of the RV because it gets used so often.
You can easily change the look of the backsplash with peel and stick tiles. You will be amazed at the different options available! You can find them in metallic, stone, glass or ceramic tiles.
Once you have decided on a material for the backsplash, that will give you a direction for the rest of the kitchen and dining area.
It is possible to paint or wallpaper over the existing wall coverings. Talk with the experts about primers or glues to use. For example, if you’re going to wall paper over plastic covered wallboard, you will need vinyl to vinyl glue.
If the flooring needs to be updated, there are new self stick floor tiles with patterns that look like hardwood, slate or ceramic tile. To finish the edges, look for bendable plastic molding which like fine wood trim and comes in all wood colors. By applying soft caulking under the plastic molding, it will add a professional leak proof touch to the floor.
You can dramatically improve the look of the sink area by adding a new faucet. Goose necks are popular and you can get them with sprayers incorporated. It’s not a complicated job to do – just follow the directions that are included or watch a demonstration on how it’s done on YouTube.
If the cabinets are looking a little sad, you may be able to restain or paint them. This is something you might want to get advice on from a furniture refinisher. What you are able to do will depend on the type of wood or veneer is on the cabinets. Before going through a stain or paint process, give the cabinets a good cleaning with oil soap and then go over them with a good coat of lemon oil or furniture wax. That may be all they need to look great again.
Again, updating the hardware to compliment the backsplash will give the kitchen area an inexpensive, visual lift.
Changing light fixtures can give a dramatically different look to the kitchen and dining area. You can find semi-flush mount lighting fixtures that are made specifically for low ceilings, and some are quite beautiful! Options range from rustic to modern and many other styles.
Replacing blinds, curtains and recovering seat cushions and valances in the dining area are easy projects that don’t take a lot of time or money but will make the area look like a million bucks! The major considerations are the color scheme that will be carried through to the living area. Clicking on the link will take you to a nifty color scheme tool. Or, stay within the scheme that the RV came in. Most stay within muted browns, greens and tan it seems. You should be able to find fabrics that work together in the space and throw in some punches of color to spice it up.
One RV owner decided to get rid of the dining table all together and replaced it with a computer station and craft table. For dining, they opted for a folding table and chairs when entertaining. Otherwise, they ate on TV trays in front of their lounge chairs.
The dining table and chairs can be refurbished with stain or paint. Again, make sure you know what type of wood or veneer you are dealing with so that you use the right products for the job.
If your RV has built in seating, removing it to replace it with a table and chairs is going to be quite a chore! This may be a project that's best tackled by a professional.
For a quick fix on the table top, think about putting something decorative underneath a glass top for a totally new look. Some ideas would be old maps, family photos, postcards from your travels, a beautiful wallpaper print, fabric, etc. Let your imagination go to work! Have the glass cut to size and voila! A new dining table.
Remodeling an RV can be an exceptionally rewarding process. Not only do you get the features and furnishing you need – you can also obtain the look and the style you’ve always wanted. That’s why the most appealing RVs are invariably the ones that have been improved and decorated by their owners.
In the next article, we will take a look at products and ways to update the living area.
If your current RV isn’t in great shape and you've decided to buy a new one, come to Rocky Mountain RV and Marine to pick out an affordable replacement. It could be new or used but you will know you got the best RV for the best price at Rocky Mountain RV and Marine.