RV Remodel Tips, Ideas, & Cost for an RV Makeover

Ian Mutuli
Updated on

Whether you want to revamp your RV or you just got a new one and want to make some changes, this article will help you do that. We just did an RV remodel process, and we must say that we're very impressed by the results.

In fact, our glee over our new home is what inspired this article, in which you'll learn how to do the full RV renovation yourself. We'll cover RV remodel tips, ideas, and the cost associated with the whole process.

Let's dive in.

RV Remodel Tips to Keep In Mind

Here are some RV remodel tips to keep in mind before you begin your activities.

1. Work Within A Budget 

The best way to go about your DIY travel trailer remodel is to set a renovation budget and work within it. Think of your RV as a blank canvas. The higher your budget, the blanket your canvas because you'll have more to do.

Once you've set your budget, you'll know what to give priority to. For example, you may want to do a complete renovation but don't have money. In this case, it's best to focus on the parts that need the most attention.

On the other hand, you could choose to do a whole renovation but compromise on the quality of items you choose to use in the RV interior.

The point is that working with a budget will allow you to plan out your RV remodel better. Remember also to set aside some money for contingencies. 10% of your budget should do it. This will allow you to have a fund to back to in case some things are more expensive than you thought or if an emergency occurs.

2. Go With One Pattern

Image Source: joyfullygrowingblog.com

Having two or more patterns within your RV interior can make the place look busy, and the space look smaller. Therefore, stick to one pattern as you do your RV renovations. If you're unsure about which pattern to go with, you can test your taste on your accessories.

For example, get patterned pillows and blankets to test out the feel of the pattern you'd like before putting it on your walls.

The good thing about having patterns on your accessories instead of your walls or cabinets is that you can swap them out if you don't like them.

3. Form Follows Function

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Form follows function means that the purpose of your space should be the cornerstone of your design. Therefore, in this case, your design ideas should fit into the fact that you're working with an RV. Don't introduce anything that would compromise the efficient running of your RV.

This also means working with elements that are suitable for an RV. For example, you can choose to use Azdel Composite, which is a good alternative to wood when it comes to RVs.

Azdel Composite is lighter than wood and does a great job of providing proper insulation. We recommend using this material in an RV because of its value. Azdel Composite is odor-resistant, mildew-resistant, quiet, and lightweight.

These qualities are perfect for an RV because it's a small space. The odor-resistance means that strong smells won't linger, which is great when moving into another season.

4. Follow the Rule of Three

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The rule of three states that you should incorporate white, light, and bright into your RV design. Combining these three design elements makes your RV seem bigger and makes the small space feel brighter and more open. 

For example, you can use white paint for the interior and blend this with a light gray palette for the rest of the RV. 

Another way to ensure you get a bright space is to replace your cabinets with Plexiglass inserts. This makes the space look bigger and brighter without having to form more openings on the side of your RV. 

5. Be Generous With the Primer 

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You'll see the difference on your walls if you apply a primer first and then paint.

Although you may have heard of the trick of mixing your paint with your primer, it’s not enough to get great results for your RV renovation. 

6. Use Current Trends

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For the best experience in your RV, consider following current trends while designing your interior. This will keep you in touch with what’s happening in the world no matter where you travel to. 

Another reason why keeping up with the trends is a good idea is that you get to increase your efficiency. As technology continues to evolve, doing everyday things gets easier, and you want to be able to enjoy this. 

You might also enjoy the minimalistic feel that comes with more modern trends.

23 RV Remodel Ideas to Spice Up Your RV

Whether you want to upgrade a section of your RV or the entire vehicle, these remodel ideas come in handy.

1. New Windows

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All-weather windows are the best for a travel trailer. This is because you'll be traveling to various places and want windows that will protect your inner space no matter the location.

Another thing to consider when getting new windows is window treatments. Window treatments protect your RV interior from the scorching sun. Examples of window treatments you can try include roller shades, window covers, aluminum blinds, and more.

Check out our guide on how to insulate windows for more inspiration.

2. Paint In and Out

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There’s nothing more refreshing than having new paint in your space. In fact, we recommend this idea if you’re not looking to do a complete renovation or you’re working with a tight budget. 

However, remember to apply primer before applying the coat of paint. This applies regardless of whether you add the primer to your paint or not. 

Consider going light on your interior to make the space seem open and bigger. To customize the space, you can also add some colors that reflect your personality. However, remember to go with the palette of the rest of the interior to ensure uniformity. 

Here are some tips to follow when painting your RV:

  • Sand the surfaces you want to paint using a fine grit sandpaper
  • Use a pure water and vinegar solution to clean the surfaces after you sand them
  • Putty any holes
  • Apply a bonding primer
  • Apply the paint

3. Replace Light Fixtures

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Swapping out light fixtures was one of the activities we enjoyed most when renovating our RV. You can use any light fixture you want in your RV if you use 12-volt bulbs. You can get RV-compatible 12-volt bulbs from Amazon if you're unsure which store to check.

4. Add A Backsplash 

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A backsplash is a cool way to spice up your space. You can put one in your kitchen and one in the bathroom.

Remember how we talked about following one pattern? This is one of the instances where this comes in.

We find it best to use the same (or almost similar) pattern for our kitchen and bathroom backsplash. 

Some exciting and modern backsplash options you can go with include ceramic tiles and faux bricks. This is where your creativity, taste, and budget come into play. 

You can also for a peel-and-stick backsplash if you want to keep things simple. 

5. Replace the Flooring 

Image Source: blog.goodsam.com

Here’s another way you can make your RV space look completely different. One of the most common materials used in RV flooring is linoleum. This material is lightweight, durable, anti-microbial, eco-friendly, and more. 

Therefore, you can opt to go with linoleum again (if that’s what you had) in a different pattern or try other options like vinyl planks or even wood if you don’t mind the weight and maintenance. 

Replacing the flooring of your RV is a good idea when you’re doing a complete interior renovation. This will allow you to match the floor with the rest of the interior decor. 

You can also choose to go with affordable printed foam tiles if you don’t like the idea of wood, vinyl, or linoleum. 

6. Update Your Fixtures and Faucets

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Here’s another renovation idea that will change your entire experience. Plus, it’s also a chance to update your plumbing if you’ve always wanted to. 

Some fixtures you can change up include cabinet handles, doorknobs, and towel racks. In fact, if the current fixtures and faucets are still in perfect condition, you could store them safely and then swap them up again if you want to change things up. 

The thing with an RV is that it’s not a very big space. Therefore, changing even the little things can make a huge difference, especially if you spend a lot of time there. 

If you want a more modern or masculine feel, go with brushed black metal for your fixtures and faucets. On the other hand, if you want a more rustic feel, gold and copper accents should do the trick.

Remember to keep the pattern uniform for a more seamless feel. Therefore, if you go for brushed black steel, use it for all your fixtures and faucets. 

7. Install Some Shelves

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Shelves help to add storage room to your small and cozy space.

Consider adding some shelves to your living room where you can place books, photos, and more. It will help make the space more homey and personalized. You can also opt for floating shelves in your kitchen instead of RV cabinets for a more airy look.

8. Change Up the Curtains

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Curtains hugely affect your space, and changing them is one of the easiest and most affordable ways you can remodel your RV interior.

New curtains can freshen up your space and change the entire atmosphere. For example, if you have light-colored curtains, you can replace them with dark-colored ones.

Curtains also play a role in insulating your camper trailer. They keep the sun out and also offer an added fabric layer of fabric to prevent warmth from escaping during those cold nights.

9. Add New Covers to Your Seats

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You can either reupholster your seats again or add slipcovers that you can wash whenever you like. The new fabric will add new life to your RV and improve your experience. 

10. Create An Accent Wall 

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An accent wall creates life in your space and works as a great conversation starter when you have a guest over. Instead of just painting the entire RV one color, consider creating an accent wall where you can put up some floating shelves and place your favorite photos and other accessories. 

You can also choose to add some mirrors on this accent wall to make your RV interior seem bigger. 

11. Add A Skylight

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12. New Kitchen Appliances and Cabinets

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Renovating your kitchen is always fun. You can play around with so many things to create change and a new experience. Some appliances you can upgrade that will make your RV feel like home include the stovetop, refrigerator, dishwasher, and microwave. 

With these appliances in place, you can easily make and store your meals and ingredients and save on money you’d have used for outdoor dining. 

You could also consider going with energy-efficient appliances for a better experience. Once your kitchen is fully equipped, you’ll feel the difference it’ll bring to your RV experience. 

When it comes to cabinets, you could either paint your current ones or install new ones. The choice depends on the state of your current cabinets, preference, and budget. 

13. A Kitchen Island 

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A kitchen island can save you counter space, especially if you opt to move your sink there. It also spices up the look of your RV interior because it’s a unique feature. 

You could also add more cabinet space to the kitchen island where you can store your dishes, utensils, silverware, and more. 

14. Revamp the RV Exterior 

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The exterior of your RV needs some love too. Painting the exterior is a great way to remodel it. You could go for bright colors like gray or white. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, you could also go for some bold colors like blue or green. 

Another way you can remodel your exterior is by replacing your old camper door with an upgraded RV door. You can either make the new door yourself or purchase a finished one.

15. Use Reclaimed Wood

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Wood is one of the creative ways to spruce up your RV decor. For example, you could replace your floor with a wood plank vinyl floor or even a wooden one if you don’t mind going big. 

Other places you can incorporate wood include kitchen cabinets and tables. This will give your mobile home a natural feel. 

You can even do a teak shower floor if you don’t mind maintaining it. All in all, ensure that you have enough information on maintaining wood if you decide to go that route. 

Here are some more ideas on using reclaimed wood to create treasure in your space.

16. Replace Your Countertops 

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When considering countertops, go for lightweight ones. Examples of these include plastic laminate, thin stainless steel, and plywood. 

Another simple way to renovate your countertops includes using linoleum sheets on your kitchen counters. These are easy to do and can make the space feel new. Use this space to add some texture and color to your RV interior. 

17. Add Solar Panels 

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Using solar panels is a great way to be sustainable and extend the battery life of your RV. You can add solar panels to the roof of your RV after your consult a specialist. 

Having energy from solar panels will also give your generator a break and can help increase its life span. 

18. Get A New Toilet

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The best toilets for an RV are gravity flush toilets or even camping toilets. 

A new toilet can also make a difference, especially when your current one is a bit old. Consider getting an eco-friendly one that will help you reduce your water usage. 

19. Get Bunk Beds

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Bunk beds are a superb way to save space in your RV. This is especially if you have kids with you. And the best part is that you can put storage containers under the bed.

For extra space, you could also have some hidden built-in drawers under the lower bunk. 

20. Repurpose Your Bunk 

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This revonation idea works great if you have a bunk bed that you’re no longer using. This could be because all your kids are grown up and have moved on. 

If this is the case, consider adding storage containers to the top bunk or bottom bunk and railings to the side to avoid them from falling over while you’re moving. 

You can use this storage space to store whatever you don’t need on a daily basis.

21. Do Some Thorough Cleaning 

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This idea especially applies if you’ve just bought a used RV. The first thing to do, even before you look for what to replace, is to clean it thoroughly. This serves two main purposes. 

One is to remove any prior dirt and energy from the previous owners, and two is to find out what needs fixing or replacing. 

You’ll get to know your RV intimately while cleaning it and find ways to customize it to suit your needs. Remember to clean the storage spaces as well and get rid of anything the previous owners may have forgotten. 

22. Consider A Loft Bed

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A loft bed is quite similar to a bunk bed except without a lower bunk. This means that you can use the space under the loft bed as a storage space, desk, sitting area, and more.

Loft beds are great when you don’t have much space to play with in your RV or when you don’t have a designated bedroom. 

Just remember to account for some small stairs or a ladder to help you get to the bed. 

23. Upgrade the RV Bathroom Vanity

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Here’s another fun upgrade. 

Imagine waking up in the morning, washing your face, and preparing for the day in front of a beautiful bathroom vanity. It will make your whole day better. 

When looking to upgrade your RV bathroom vanity, ensure that you’re using lightweight materials. For example, you could use acrylic, plastic, or light stainless steel sinks made for RVs. 

Also, ensure that these sinks are compatible with your plumbing system before you purchase them. For the faucets, consider stainless steel or pebbled copper. You could also add a towel rack and a round mirror for an enhanced experience. 

RV Remodel Cost

The cost of remodeling your RV will depend on the extent of damage, the things you want to change, your preferences, and more.

Setting a budget before you begin the work will serve you well because you'll know what to focus on.

On the other hand, you could first start by determining what you want to work on and then creating a budget based on that.

On average, renovating an RV ranges from a few hundred dollars to a couple of thousand dollars.

If you're just changing things for a more modern look without having to fix serious problems such as water damage, you should budget for about $1,000 or more.

The actual cost will depend on the materials you use, the condition of your RV, how much remodeling you want to do, whether it's DIY or you'll hire professionals, and so on.

Final Take

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We hope that this guide was helpful and that you can now plan and execute your own RV remodel without much hassle.

Remember to work with a budget and to leave some money for contingencies before you start your remodeling process. This will give you more control over the process and make it as seamless as possible.

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Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.