RV renovation tips to get you started

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By Liz Wilcox
(Click on any image to enlarge.)

Man, are some RVs ugly! You know the ones I’m talking about. You walk in and you walk right out. Or you click on the RV Trader post and you quickly hit the X button. But lucky for us ugly-RV owners, we now have the big ole World Wide Web to help us transform an old RV into a new space. Here are some tips to consider before you get started.


1. Make a plan

This one might seem obvious, but it really is the most important step to renovating. I know because I didn’t have a plan. We bought our RV off the side of the road on a whim and just decided to “go for it” with our renovation. It took us 10 months to renovate just the galley of our 5th wheel because we had no plan and no clue what we were doing.

Take the time to plan out what you want. Know your priorities:
• What is an absolute must-have?
• What are some things that would be nice?
• What isn’t really that important?

Write down the answers to these questions and evaluate. Then set a deadline and create your budget for the project.

2. Get resourceful!

There is so much information out there. Here’s what my friend had to say about watching YouTube to help him renovate: “When I set out to do this, even before I bought, I watched a ton of YouTube to get ideas… It’s a great reference point to help you… YouTube is a great resource.” I totally agree.

Here are my favorite RV renovation series on YouTube:
Duet Justus
RV Jedeye
Mountain Modern Life

I also highly recommend joining Facebook groups for renovation ideas! They’re also a great place to get encouragement, bounce around ideas and get help when something goes wrong. My favorite Facebook RV renovations group is called RV Renovations! You can join right here.

Last, RV bloggers are always a great resource for anything and everything RVing.

Here are some of my favorite places on the web to find information about renovating your rig:
RV Inspiration
The Virtual Campground (my site)
Chickery’s Travels

3. Don’t go cheap on everything

This goes double if you plan on full-timing in your rig or you’re a snowbird. Things you use daily can and will take a beating. No one wants to change out their flooring or faucet six months after installment. Take a look at your budget one more time. What’s important is that high-traffic and high-use areas get allocated funds.

Quality is important if you’re going to be spending time in your rig, so don’t be afraid to invest a little upfront. It will save you time and money in the long run!

Here are a few ways to get quality without overpaying:
• Shop on eBay. If you’ve never done it, give it a try! I found brand-new throw pillows for our daughter’s room for about half the store price. Oh yeah!
• Look in the OOPS paint. Painting can be a big expense when it comes to your RV renovation. My husband and I weren’t completely in love with one color or another, so we went to Lowe’s and looked at the OOPS paint. I think we spent only a few dollars on these colors for our daughter’s room. Booyah!
• Sell what you’re not using to get cash for what you want. Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are great places to post your items for sale.

Interested in more renovation tips?

Check out my free e-book 101 RV Renovation Tips for tips on how to renovate your entire rig, fix water damage, and maximize storage space! Just click here. And don’t miss The Virtual Campground website for RVing tips, tricks, interviews, humor and more.

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Laura

Great tips, Liz. We just brought our Solitude so… won’t be renovating for awhile but, we still want to make it ours. Thanks for sharing and keep on keepin’ on!