Fun and simple DIY solutions to renovating your travel vehicle’s interior
Renovating your RV, campervan or motorhome may feel like a daunting task. But don’t get overwhelmed! There are many easy and affordable solutions to making your older, weathered travel rig look and feel like a million bucks. Renovating your travel vehicle doesn’t have to become a complicated or time intensive project.
Purchasing a gently used motorhome can be a great way to save money while still owning a high quality vehicle. Giving your outdated class B motorhome or campervan a modern look will improve your vehicle’s value and make it better suited for today’s needs.
Whether you’ve had your motorhome or RV for years and are craving a remodel, or you’ve recently bought a used rig, check out the following tips and suggestions for transforming your RV’s interior into a sleek and modern haven on wheels.
Update or remove your wallpaper
Many owners of motorhomes and RVs from the 1990s to early 2000s know that the wallpaper choices from that era weren’t always attractive. (If you own a campervan with that classic baby blue or teal floral wallpaper, you know what we’re talking about.) Fortunately, removing wallpaper is a pretty simple task.
We suggest getting a razor and some sort of oil-based solution such as Goof Off to remove the eyesore. Spray the paper and let it soak overnight. Then, in the morning, take your razor and remove the sections, piece by piece. Once completed, your travel vehicle will be like a fresh canvas for you to personalize and update.
If you want to apply newer, more modern wallpaper, we suggest buying “peel and stick” paper as this is one of the easiest solutions. Prior to applying, make sure that your wall surfaces are completely clean and dry. Sometimes water damage or changes in temperatures can cause your vehicle’s wallpaper to have bubbles or uneven surfaces. Use a long metal ruler to straighten out such areas.
Refurbish the paint
Painting your RV or motorhome might be one of the more time consuming renovation tasks, but it’s amazing how great your rig can look once completed. Prior to painting, we suggest taking the time to test the paint color by putting swatches throughout your vehicle interior to get a sense of what the finished product will look like.
Here are a couple more paint considerations:
- Neutral colors like whites, creams, beiges and greys can help create a sense of more space in your vehicle’s small interior.
- Bright colors can look great, too, up to a certain point. Consider using them for accent walls and cabinets to give your motorhome a unique look, without overwhelming the space.
Prior to painting, prep your surfaces. Use sandpaper to give the cabinets or wallpaper a uniform pallet to apply primer. Purchasing or renting a portable electric sander is an easy way to achieve the right finish.
After sanding down the surfaces, thoroughly clean your cabinets and interior walls. Use a cleaning solution such as TSP (trisodium phosphate) to ensure that your surface is ready for paint. Next, apply paint primer. After your primer has dried, paint either by hand or using a spray paint gun.
Add a kitchen backsplash
Adding a textured backsplash to your motorhome kitchen is easy and can give your motorhome a more polished look. Modern backsplashes or more clean country style textures can be the piece that transforms your outdated interior to whatever you desire.
As with wallpaper, we suggest buying an easy “peel and stick” backsplash from any major hardware store or find them online. These are affordable, easy to use and they look fantastic.
Replace your flooring
Replacing the floor on your RV, motorhome or campervan may sound complicated, but it’s not so bad if you take it step-by-step — and the finished project can be incredible! Some campervans from the 1900s and early 2000s may have flooring that looks decent, but floors can become easily worn down and damaged overtime. If your motorhome has outdated flooring that desperately needs an update, consider installing new carpet, “peel and stick” flooring or “click and lock” floors.
Installing carpet in your travel vehicle can be easy, inexpensive and a huge improvement. Carpet is hands-down the simplest way to install new flooring. It can be done in as little as an hour. Start by selecting your type of carpet carefully. A heavier, thicker carpet with stain resistant capabilities will remain in better shape, longer.
- Easy to install
- Cheap to install
- Best for cold climates
- Will pick up odor
- Can be stained
- Needs to be replaced more often
Peel and stick floor tile can be purchased at most large home improvement stores. It’s relatively inexpensive and easy to use. It’s important to purchase a tile that is light enough, so it doesn’t weigh your rig down too much. Start by cleaning your vehicle’s floor well. Then, place all of the pieces down to make sure they fit properly. Finally, begin placing tiles at the front of the vehicle and work your way back.
- Looks great
- Easy to replace when damaged
- Installation is time consuming
- Can be expensive
Click and lock flooring for your RV, motorhome or campervan can be purchased from most large home improvement stores as well. Similar to the peel and stick flooring, put down pieces before clicking them into place or installing an adhesive underneath. You will have to be careful when cutting pieces to fit the outer edges of your floor.
- Looks great
- Easy to clean
- Easy to install (with time and patience)
- Can expand and contract depending on temperature
Update your countertops
Since most RVs, motorhomes and campervans don’t have loads of countertop space, replacing this area is less expensive than you might think. If the idea of removing existing countertops and replacing them with new ones is too overwhelming, consider painting them.
Install new window treatments
Replacing the window treatments in your vehicle is a simple project that can make a huge difference. Removing the valance and installing some sort of blind or shade is easy to do. Or keep your valance and update the curtains. Getting rid of those thick, sun-bleached curtains is an instant game changer.
Update the furniture
Changes to furniture can take your motorhome from feeling old to instantly updated. If your existing couch is in pretty good shape, consider adding a sofa cover. Purchasing a futon is another great way to update your couch. Replace old, banged up tables with newer lightweight ones. Stores such as Living Spaces and IKEA often have affordable, smaller pieces that work perfectly for travel vehicles.
Adding texture and color to your vehicle with pillows and throw blankets are easy improvements that can go a long way. Hang lightweight picture frames or wall decor to give your vehicle a more homey feeling to it.
Updating your motorhome can be as quick, easy and affordable as you like. Many pre-owned campervans can be purchased at a great value and — with some simple changes — they will look and feel like new.
Thinking about purchasing a used motorhome or RV? Classic Vans is the San Francisco Bay area’s largest dealer of new and used class B RVs, motorhomes, camper vans and conversion vans. For over 30 years, we’ve been a family owned and operated small business. We specialize in pairing customers with the travel vehicles of their dreams!
Don’t live in California? Ask about low-cost nationwide van delivery.