Wednesday, January 14, 2009

RV makeover will save you money

If your old RV seems outdated it probably is. In the past you might have thought about trading up for a newer model with a contemporary color scheme. In this economic climate that may not be possible, so why not do some remodeling and redecorating?

Looking for a great deal on a used RV but aren't having any luck finding the color scheme you want? Why not purchase the great deal and use the extra money you save and decorate it how you want?

Motorhomes, 5th wheels and travel trailers are not much different than a stick house when it comes to remodeling and redecorating.
Dale and Ute Ford from Lake Forrest, California used a little creativity to redecorate their motorhome. Ute decided to redo the color scheme. She started by finding some upholstery material she liked for a few of the window boxes. The boxes easily come off the wall by removing four screws. She removed the top fascia board from the window box and stripped off the old fabric. She replaced the old fabric with the new using a staple gun to hold it in place. She put it all back together and remounted it on the wall. She removed the day/night shade pull down buttons and painted them to match the new window box color.

Next she sewed slip covers for the dinette chairs. These are easily removable for dry cleaning. She added coordinated place settings and made a dramatic change to the dining area.She transformed the bathroom by adding an exterior curtain in front of the shower. She simply ran a curtain rod across the top in front of the shower and installed her new curtain. Amazing what a little fabric and some creative thinking can do to transform the look of an RV.

Bringing you the latest RV cover story – Jim Twamley, Professor of RVing

27 comments:

sherranil said...

Good article. Been thinking about remodeling our RV. But what about the walls? Paint or hang new wall panels? Anyone tried that?

Jim Twamley said...

What about the walls? Good question. Yes, you can paint RV walls. In fact, this is sometimes the best solution. Be sure you prepare the surface properly and apply a good primer like "Kilz"(available in most hardware stores) prior to painting. Wall coverings (read wallpaper) is also an option. You can also do something very different like applying a textured paint. You may also consider a faux design (if you know someone who is good at this type of artwork). Don't be afraid to experiment. Go to the library and look through some home decorating books for more ideas. Have fun remodeling - Jim Twamley, Professor of RVing

Jim Twamley said...

Paneling may be replaced just like in a stick house except I recommend gluing it up instead of nailing it in place.

If you decide to paint over paneling, you will need to be sure to prepare it carefully and apply a quality primer designed to match the paint you intend to use (oil or water based). Jim Twamley, Professor of RVing

Anonymous said...

What about replacing the carpet and hard flooring? One slide in our RV is raised and the carpet is on the edges going under the cabinets. Also, the hard flooring goes under the cabinets.

Anonymous said...

Those curtains and chair covers are awful! Everything looks good except that.

Mary said...

I have to agree with anonymous. But, if the owners are happy with it that is what counts. Regarding replacing carpet. Our 2004 Alumascape had very light beige carpet and showed the dirt. I was forever cleaning up spots/stains. I decided to have carpet in living area replaced. Was going to go with wood look product but found out that our slides need to carpet to operate. I was told to pick a good carpet like I would put in our home. Found some at Home Depot and had it installed. Not cheap but am much happier with it.

retiredhappy said...

I painted all my woodwork to get rid of the orangey stain. Covered the valances, made washable slipcovers for dinette and sofa, removed all carpeting and put in vinyl. Its your house - do what you want.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why "anonymous" felt it necessary to hurt that poor woman's feelings. She did a good job regardless of our own decorating ideas and deserves to feel proud of herself.

Anonymous said...

We painted the bedroom walls while sitting in the desert at Quartzsite, used sealer and primer, added wainscoting as well, redid all the valances, replaced carpet in entry with tile, took up carpet and tile in living and galley area and went with laminate. Also had Granite Transformation redo all the countertops in the coach with a composite granite, looks great. Photos are available of all mods.
Walt at walt66@earthlink.net

Anonymous said...

Very nice work on the window treatment and slip covers.
The slip covers and window treatment done is this RV pretty much match our home master bedroom. It cost us over $2,000 with two windows, 2 chairs, 6 pillows, king size matching quilted bed spread and a few other items. Of course we like what she did. Looks great to us.

we are going to match this in our RV. The next thing we need to do is replace the wooden window blinds in our Grand Villa with something more energy efficient. We RV year around, cold, snow, rain, heat and our favorite, sunshine.

Anonymous said...

I agree...it's your house, do with it as you wish. We're removing the mirrors behind and alongside the cooktop, and replacing with tile. Next will be the construction of a credenza which will incorporate our table. Then it's out with the sofa and in with two Euro-recliners. We love our motor home, and will love it even more with these modifications.

Anonymous said...

Our idea of modernizing was so different. We bought a new refrigerator (old one smelled like ammonia and had bittren the dust we thought),a new Turbokool fan/swampcooler combo, i colored the scratches on the wood paneling with markers that matched, got new blankets/covers for bed,
etc.

Lisa and Jerry said...

Our TT has brass accents everywhere! Mirrors, soffits, door handles, wall light fixtures, etc. To replace all that brass with nickle or silver would be cost prohibitive. We're considering using spray paint and wondered if anyone else has tried that. Of course, we'd have to remove all the brass, paint outside, and reinstall, but it's a labor of love, isn't it? :-)

Anonymous said...

Lisa and Jerry;
If you shop on line ...EBAY, you can find some good deals on drawer pulls, knob etc. I replaced 70 drawer pulls in my 40 footer , switched from brass to oil rubbed bronze for less then $150.
Walt
walt66@earthlink.net

Jim said...

Lots of fun doing makeovers on our rigs. Check out some of my "Extreme Makeovers"

http://picasaweb.google.com/alpenliter/BeforeAndAfterAlpenliteProject?feat=directlink

WCForbesPE said...

We put Granite Transformations countertops in our motorhome also, and went to a high quality commercial carpet to avoid the wear tracks near the door and hallway. It looks great, however it added enough weight that now we have to be carful about what we carry. We have a Cruisemaster on a Ford chasis, and before we didn't ever get over the GVWR, but now we do if we are loaded for a long trip and and we have to be careful about the load and hitch weight when we are towing a utility trailer

missymcbrm said...

Love the article and questions answered. I have more (wink!). The interior faux wood paneling on our 86 Rambler is too dark and dated to say the least. Hubby thinks painting over will look bad. What's your honest opinion...? I've been advised on the technique to paint over paneling...fine sanding to remove gloss...remove sand dust...good primer.....paint. Any other valuable tips?

Jim said...

Here are some tips on painting RV Walls: http://www.rvhobby.com/2009/02/painting-the-interior-walls-of-your-rv/

Missymcbrm said...

Thanks - I actually have already read that article and it is helpful. I also looked at your remodel pics. GREAT! The distinction (I believe) of help I need is that I'm happy with the walls (creamy color) but not the woodwork. Have you ever painted over existing paneling woodwork?? Specifically all the paneling and such that is in the kitchen and hallway?? I can send pics of my RV if it would help. I need some good advice.

Jim said...

You have a couple of options to paint over paneling. If it is grooved paneling and you want those grooves to go away, go to a wallpaper specialty dept and ask for wall liner. This is a heavy wallpaper that is designed to cover paneling, concrete block, etc. Use wallpaper sizing for a good bond. If you want to paint over the walls, wash with TSP, rinse, then primer with oil based primer. Allow to dry, then coat with the latex paint of your choice. Good Luck!

Rachel said...

I just bought a 1985 Chevy Motorhome and would like to replace the wallpaper with paint. The wall paper is over wood paneling right now and I was trying to find some tips on removing the wall paper. I have already started removing the paper but with it being an 85 I don't think that wetting the paper to remove it is a good idea. As the wall already has a rotting area near the window. Thanks for any suggestions you can offer me!

Anonymous said...

We have a six year old aluminum sided TT. We are so upset with trying to keep the black streaks off and the products on the market just dont cut it. We were thinking about an elastic type paint for the outside, just anything to make the streaks disappear. Any suggestions?

Jim said...

I wouldn't suggest painting the trailer with "elastic paint" or any other paint, as the black streaks will continue. The reason you are getting black streaks, is that you have a dirty roof, and it is running down the sides. You didn't mention what kind of roof you have, but it is probably EDPM (rubber). Use Spic and Span and a stiff brush and clean it thoroughly. Keep it clean and the black streaks should stop. In the mean time, try cleaning the black streaks with Awesome Cleaner ($1 a bottle at the dollar store) and/or Mr Clean Magic Eraser.

Ginger said...

I want to put curtains up in my windows, do I have to remove the RV valances? Would love some suggestions.

Mimi said...

Hi, my husband and I have been remodling a 1987 Class C motor home and I took down all the cornice boards, (valances) and made new curtains and took down the shades and added vinyl mini blinds. We ripped out the old carpet and had laminate put down. Oh my goodness, you wouldn't believe the difference. I also recovered the dinette cushions, long bench style, & we replaced the table. I primed and faux painted over all the old wallpaper and am in the process of taping, priming and painting all the old paneling. I am leaving the cabinets and bathroom door alone. I am thinking about replacing the drawer and cabinet handles, will see about that. I saw one post that talked about adding a curtain rod outside the shower and I'm going to do that. Have been thinking about a curved shower rod though. Has anyone tried that? I know that it would have to be shortened from either end, but that is not a problem. Any ideas? We also had the one chair in the living area recovered and bought and had installed gently used captain chairs for the driver and passenger. They have built in seat belts and shoulder ones also, made it even better. The entire RV looks very bright and cheerful and we both love the way it looks. I don't care about resale, we don't plan to sell it anyway, but if we did, we sure would have more interest in the way it looks now. Only wish that I had taken before pictures, the difference is amazing!

Anonymous said...

Where can you get the wood paneling for patches or to cover spaces? RCH

Paula said...

We just purchased a park model and it has paneling with those little strips where the sheets butt up against one another. I would like to paint the walls and eliminate those strips. How do I make the wall look smooth? Or, do I have to live with the lines where the panels touch each other?

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