Renovating or updating your RV can seem like a dauting task. Don't get me wrong, it takes work but it's totally doable! Even if you don't have a lot of experience, you can totally do this! We'll show you what we did to this 2003 Dutchmen to update it!
Jump all the way to the bottom if you want to skip the explanation and just see what products we used!
This is what we started with. As you can see, it wasn't the worst, but definitely dated.
1. PAINT THE WALLS
There's nothing better than fresh white paint to brighten up a room! We used Zinsser Paint + Primer without any tint. It went on super easy and made a huge difference!
2. CHANGE THE HARDWARE
We changed the brass hinges and the pulls with nice, sleek, modern silver pulls.
3. SPRAY PAINT THE DOOR KNOBS
We wanted to save money so we spray painted the door knobs silver instead of buying new ones.
4. REPLACE THE KITCHEN FAUCET
We had this faucet from another camper and it went really well in this camper so we swapped it out.
5. ADD A BACKSPLASH
We love peel and stick tiles because they are lightweight and stylish!
Well, there you have it! How to update your RV for under $200!
CLICK THE PHOTOS TO SHOP THIS RENOVATION
So many people are afraid to paint their RV walls. But there’s no need to fear! It’s simple if you follow these easy steps.
As long as you thoroughly degrease and clean the walls before painting, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting the paint to stick to the wall. You don’t even need to sand the walls, unless you’re covering holes of course. I know some people recommend an adhesive primer, but so far we haven’t had any problems with paint not sticking to the walls by doing it this way.
We used an eggshell finish on our first camper, and it looked great but wasn’t as easy to clean up. So in our second camper, we used a semi-gloss finish and its super easy to clean! So I would recommend using a Satin or semi-gloss finish paint.
Who knew there are so many whites to choose from?! Well, I didn’t want to mess with any of that, so I just grabbed the Zinsser paint right off the shelf. I did not have them dye it.
TO TAPE OR NOT TO TAPE?
Definitely use tape and plastic to protect anything you don’t want paint on. But I would not recommend taping around the windows. You’re supposed to remove the tape while the paint is still wet, but if you’re supposed to wait for the paint to dry between coats, how does that work?! I had to do a lot of touching up after removing the tape from around the RV windows because the paint was sticking to the tape and ripped right off. So I would suggest using a tiny brush, like a brush for painting art, and carefully cut in around the windows. Then there’s no need for tape or touching up when the tape inevitably rips up the paint. We decided to replace our floor, so I didn’t even cover the floor to protect it. If you’re not replacing your floor, then certainly protect it!
START WITH THE CEILING
I recommend painting the ceiling if you’re painting the walls. This makes everything look cohesive and bright. So work from top to bottom following the same steps outlined above. If you’re painting your air conditioner or anything else attached to the ceiling, spray paint in the same finish, then paint the ceiling. That way, you can roll over any overspray and don’t have to tape anything off.
Make sure when you paint it’s not super cold or hot and humid because you might have problems with the paint adhering or drying.
We hope this was helpful to you. Share your project pictures with us on Instagram or leave us a comment below!
Why would you want change the location of a light fixture in your camper? The light fixtures that come with your camper are usually not stylish and are not placed in very efficient locations. So here’s one way to add or change the location or style of your light fixtures!
What you need:
Before you begin:
- Turn off the main 120v breaker (or unplug from shore power) and remove the fuse for light circuit in your fuse/breaker panel. 12-volt is not as deadly as 120-volt, but it can create a spark, harm electronics, start a fire, or blow a fuse. If you don’t feel comfortable with electrical work, don’t attempt this project.
- Always test the voltage in the wires you will be using. Although lights are commonly only on the 12v electrical system of your RV, there may be exceptions. 120v can shock and kill you.
- You can use pretty much any 110-120v AC light fixture that you would use in your house. To use it in your camper, the BULB must be rated for 12v DC. Make sure that the base of the bulb matches your light fixture (common size is E26).
- This tutorial is based on our experience with a 2014 Coachmen Clipper 17FQ. Your camper may have variances, but you should be able to apply some of the below methods.
Remove the existing light fixture.
You can open up the fixture or just cut the wire as close to the fixture as you can.
If the light was installed under a cabinet (like ours was), remove the “floor” of the cabinet. This is a 1/8” plywood panel that is stapled to the base of the cabinet.
Then drill 3/8” holes through the interior structure of the cabinet, wherever you want the wire to go.
*If you don’t want to tear apart the cabinet, you can run the wire through to the inside of the cabinet and run it along the back side or corner.
Run new wires through the holes you just drilled or along the back of the cabinet directly to the switch location. Two wires (red and black) per fixture. Be sure to run a little extra length of wire to be sure you have enough.
Strip all ends of wires. Strip them according to the guidelines that come with your connectors.
Make connections with existing wires- black to black and red to red. If you are going to add an additional fixture, use crimp-able wire caps to connect three wires. If you’re only moving one fixture, you can use wire caps or butt connectors.
*Don’t leave any bare wire exposed.
Install new light fixture.
a. Drill a hole to pass the wires through the side cabinet.
b. Use a short wood screw to mount the base of the fixture to the cabinet wall (just how you would mount the base to an electrical box in a house).
c. Pass the black and white wires through the hole.
d. Mount the fixture to the base.
e. Install the 12v bulb.
Connect the toggle switch.
a. Crimp on quick disconnect female terminal connectors to the black and red wires coming from the existing wiring.
b. Plug in the red wire terminal to the “power positive” post of the switch.
c. Plug in the black wire terminal to the “ground” or “power negative” post of the switch.
Connect the switch to the light fixture.
a. Add a new red wire with a terminal connector to the “power load” post of the switch.
b. Connect the other end of that new wire to the black wire of the light fixture.
c. Use an in-line splice connector to tap in to the black wire coming from the battery-negative.
d. Connect the battery-negative splice wire to the fixture white-wire.
Replace the fuse to turn the power back on. Then turn on the light! All of your connections should be solid so that they don’t vibrate loose during travel.
That’s it! Once you get the hang of it, you’ll probably want to move all your camper lights... which you should do!
Drop any questions or comments below! We'd love to hear from you!
Everyone says don’t use screws or nails to fasten to the walls of your camper. But if you really want to make permanent changes, you’re going to have to use something other than 3M Command Strips or tape. When you need to hang something heavy on your RV or camper wall, you’ll definitely want to find the studs.
Note: My experience is based on aluminum sided campers, specifically Coachmen and Starcraft brands. Fiberglass campers will have different construction. All campers will have variances and the following may not apply to your unit.
House vs. RV or camper wall studs
Before you start, you should know that the wall studs of a camper have some differences from walls studs of your home. For instance:
How to do it
Here are some techniques that may work for you to find the studs in your camper walls:
Use a stud finder
I wasn’t sure if a stud finder would work because of the plywood interior walls. But it works well! Remember that the studs are running vertically and horizontally, so you can move the stud finder side to side and up and down to locate the studs.
The Zircon stud finder has another great feature- it will also find 120v wires that are running through the wall (when the power is on).
Here is the brand of the stud finder I have been using: Zircon Stud Finder with Wire Warning.
Caution: Wires will be running through the walls and are not in any protective casing. To avoid electric shock, before drilling make sure you turn off the main circuit breaker and fuse; or disconnect from shore power and disconnect the battery.
Look for seams in the wall
Plywood paneling usually has seams that land on a stud. Chances are there will be a stud wherever you see a 1” line running from floor to ceiling. The seams are not the only location of studs. Still use your stud finder to make sure it is actually a stud.
Locate studs based on cabinet anchors
Usually the sides of the cabinet are screwed to studs. You have a good chance of finding a stud by mapping out a vertical line down or up from the edge of a cabinet.
Use a magnet
If your camper has metal studs, you can simply run a magnet over your wall and you’ll be able to feel where the stud is.
Get a framing diagram
I have not done this, but I have seen that many RV owners have requested a framing diagram from the manufacturer. It seems like a simple request and it will include all sorts of useful measurements.
Push or knock on wall
Unlike drywall, plywood is fairly flexible. If you gently push in an area of the wall and it doesn’t flex, that’s where your stud should be. You can also knock on the wall. Wherever it isn’t hollow, that’s where your stud is.
Hope this post is helpful!
Have questions or comments? Drop them below!
A big project for your RV is updating the floor. Is it worth it? We think so!
Vinyl is a great option because it’s lightweight and durable. For our camper, we replaced our existing vinyl sheeting floor with peel and stick vinyl planks and I’ll tell you why. I should start by telling you that there was nothing wrong with the floor, I just hated the outdated pattern and dark color. So below are our top 5 reasons why we chose vinyl planks instead of vinyl sheeting.
1. EASY TO REMOVE AND REPLACE IF NEEDED
In the event of water damage in your camper, you can just remove and replace the damaged planks. With vinyl sheeting, you would have to remove the whole thing. If any part of the sheet tears, its hard to repair and keep the floor looking good.
2. WATERPROOF VINYL PLANKS ARE DURABLE
Vinyl sheeting is also usually waterproof and pretty durable. But vinyl planks are harder and thicker than sheeting. Some vinyl planks aren’t waterproof, so at the very least just make sure they’re water-resistant.
3. MORE COLOR OPTIONS
Vinyl sheeting colors and designs are limited. Vinyl planks on the other hand come in a variety of colors, sizes and designs. You can get them online or at any home improvement store. So you can easily pick planks that match your decor and the overall look you’re going for.
4. VINYL SHEETING IS HARDER TO INSTALL
Vinyl sheeting comes in one piece. So you have to lay it and cut the edges to go around all the corners and furniture. When the camper is made in there factory, they lay the vinyl sheet first, and then put all the furniture on top of it. So if you’re replacing existing vinyl sheeting with different sheeting, you’re not going to be able to put it under the furniture unless you remove it all and reinstall. So there will be a lot of cuts to make, and hopefully you don’t tear the sheet! In a small camper, it might be hard to move around and make all those cuts.
5. NO EXTRA ADHESIVE REQUIRED FOR VINYL PLANKS
To lay vinyl sheeting, you need some sort of adhesive. So you have to prep the floor and use a spray adhesive or spread a paste with a trowel. With peel and stick, that’s literally all you do! Remove the backing of the vinyl plank, and stick. You still should prep the floor to ensure better adhesion but at least you don’t need any extra glue!
Well, there you have it. Our top 5 reasons why we chose peel and stick vinyl planks instead of vinyl sheeting
Need some inspiration? Check out our top 5 picks for peel and stick vinyl planks! Click the color or the picture to see more!
2. Light Oak
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!
Remodeling a bathroom doesn't have to be difficult or overwhelming. Here's what we did to our camper bathroom.
First, we degreased the walls with Zep. We did not sand the walls or anything. Simply use Zep, wipe with a clean damp cloth and paint! We used Dutch Boy Paint from Menards. It's a paint and primer in one. Two coats of that and you're good to go!
We used command wire hooks to install this shelf, and put this cute little artificial plant on it.
I wanted to have more wood in there, so I got this set of arrows and installed them with command strips.
This tub was yellowish, so we used Rustoleum Tub & Tile to paint it white and a year later, it's still holding up!
TOILET PAPER HOLDER, DOOR KNOB & TOWEL HOLDER
We just used some Rustoleoum Black spray paint.
So, there you have it! Ready to tackle your camper bathroom remodel?
Drop any questions or comments below!
Peel and stick wallpaper is a great option for an RV, an apartment or even your home! What makes it great? It's cheap, easy to install and removable!
Below are my top 10 design picks. You can find them all on Amazon for a reasonable price! I would use them on an accent wall or to brighten up the bathroom.
Available in 5 colors!
Also available in green and navy blue!
Which peel and stick wallpaper is your favorite? Let us know below!
Disclosure: We may make a small commission if you purchase products through our affiliate links. We are recommending these products because we used them and loved them! The commission helps keep our pups fed as well!
Shiplap Accent Wall
Hanging Decorative Shelves
Top 10 Best Wallpaper
Easy Bathroom Remodel
Vinyl Planks vs Vinyl Sheet
How to Find Studs
How to Change Light Fixtures
How to Paint RV Walls
Hi, I'm Christelle. I live in Lansing, Michigan and I love small RV's! I enjoy interior design and decorating,