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RV Renovation on a Budget

Updated: Jan 9, 2023

For anyone considering doing a RV renovation I would just like to warn you in advance of three things:

1. It is incredibly time consuming! It starts out fun and exciting but as time goes by and camping season draws closer it can get incredibly discouraging .

2. Decide on the must-have's. Just like when renovating a house there are certain things you don't want to settle on, have that list beforehand.

3. It does not have to be perfect, just do your best. The beautiful thing about an RV is that it is for being outdoors. Things will get scratched and dusty and wrecked so don’t work so hard making it perfect that it is no longer even usable.

With those bits of advice/warnings in place here is the story and transformation of our RV.

My husband and I both grew up camping with our families and knew that it was something we wanted our summers to include. With our upcoming wedding we thought it would take a few years to be able to afford it. Lucky for us we knew of someone selling theirs for a great price, and although it needed a lot of work we jumped at the chance.

The inside was classic 1995 RV style. Oak and gold-foiled mirrors, questionable blue carpet, pink details, and torn linoleum. On top of all of that it had been smoked in and then left sitting for a few years so it had an incredibly musty scent filling the air. The project was HUGE.

From the start we laid out nonnegotiable's; for me it was white cabinets whereas Daniel wanted new floors. Here's what we were starting with.

We began by tearing out all of the floors and getting rid of the old stained mattresses. Hindsight we wish we knew that cabinet paint existed! Instead we did a primer and then about 6 coats of paint on all of the cupboards, it was NOT fun. Then Daniel laid new vinyl plank flooring. (We went with vinyl plank for it's spill proof and low maintenance qualities)

Lastly we moved onto cosmetics. Daniel sewed new curtains for all of the windows and I found a no-sew hack for "reupholstering" the table cushions. (Quick hint instead of sewing the bottoms just safety pin them tightly). Update: we sold the trailer after 6 years and the safety pins were still holding up when it sold!

The big blue couch was all that was left to tackle. I contacted a few re-upholstery shops in town and was quoted prices upwards of $2000 dollars. After spending hours trying to see if I could learn how to reupholster something (ya right!) I finally came up with the idea of a couch slipcover. We found a black one for only $30 and it does the trick perfectly.

The final touches were a few beautification things. A nice plaid blanket to tie in the colours, a quote about travel, some hanging letters for a personal touch and of course pillows. I honestly love how it turned out and although it isn’t absolutely perfect it feels like a relaxing place to spend the weekend.

If you've tackled a RV renovation project we want to hear about, and see pictures! Let me know in the comments and tag me in your photos.

-The Miller's


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