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5 Simple RV Renovation Ideas (You Can Do In A Day)

RV renovation of a small RV kitchen.

5 Simple RV Renovation Ideas (You Can Do In A Day)

The demand for RVs is higher than ever and there is limited inventory to choose from right now.  If you order a new travel trailer, motorhome, or 5th wheel, it may be a long time until you can take it on the road. 

This is why a lot of people are searching the market all over the country and buying used RVs, often pretty old and dated looking ones. Inevitably, the thought of an RV renovation comes to mind, because dark and dull isn’t everyone’s favorite way to travel. 

Easy RV renovation ideas

Now after buying a dated looking RV, the search begins to learn how to actually update an RV.  Simple RV renovation ideas, and how to update an RV quickly and easily on your own, is one of the top searches on Google.  

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Simple things you need to know when updating an RV 

An RV is not a house and there are things you need to know before you start with your camper remodel if you want it to succeed:

  1. If you exchange furniture, make sure the new furniture is not heavier than the furniture you are removing.
  2. Make sure you can actually secure the RV furniture from sliding around while driving down the road.
  3. As space is limited, always try to buy multi-functional furniture for your camper.
  4. Often you are experiencing extreme temperature changes, so you will need to use the right material when updating your RV. 
  5. Don’t buy big stuff. Make sure you can fit the new things through the door. 

Now let’s start with the one tip that you can do fast and easy within 30 minutes when updating your RV:

1. Remove the wallpaper border

If you don’t want to spend a lot of time updating your RV but want to see immediate results, remove at least the wallpaper border.

How to remove the wallpaper border in your camper easily?

Get your blow dryer, warm up the wallpaper border and pull it off. Often, the wallpaper border just comes off like this. Sometimes, some of the adhesive (residue) will still stick on the wall after pulling it off. 

Then get some Goo Gone Spray, or Pure Citrus 100% Natural Non-Aerosol Spray (air freshener), spray it on lightly and just scrape the glue off with a small scraper. Done. 

The biggest impact you will make renovating your RV is by painting the walls with a fresh and light color.

2. Paint the walls

Now, even if you are not a painter, this is absolutely doable. You don’t need a ladder to reach to the ceiling, you don’t have huge walls to paint, you can paint one section after the other in an hour.

First, select the right paint color. 

Always choose a light and fresh color like a ‘Nebulous White’ by Sherwin Williams, a “Simply White” by Benjamin Moore or a “Silent White’ by Behr if you decide on painting the walls white. If you like to go for a blue wall color,  how about ‘Coastal Mist” by Behr, or ‘Solar Sail’ by Sherwin Williams.

Are you more a green type? ‘Misted Mint’ by Sherwin Williams, or “Iced Green’ by Benjamin Moore will look stunning in combination with your wooden cabinets. 

Do NOT use a cheap paint. Always get a sample and paint at least a 10 x 10 inches square on a cardboard and then stick it on the wall in your RV to see if you like it before you start painting.

The color will look completely different in your camper than in the store or in natural light, so get a couple of sample paints. Paint test spots on a cardboard or poster board and stick the board on the wall. You will see if you like the color inside your camper if you do it this way. 

Before you start painting, make sure the wall is clean, dust- and grease-free.

More tips on how to paint walls and cabinets can found from Colorful Designer and in this article from Do It Yourself RV.

How to clean a greasy wall in your RV

If the wallpaper around the kitchen area is really greasy, you will need to get a deglosser. You can get a deglosser for a couple of dollars at your local Lowe’s or Home Depot store or order it on Amazon

Pour a little bit of deglosser on a microfiber cloth and without a lot of pressure, wipe the grease off the wall. Don’t rub too much, otherwise you might take some of the wallpaper off. Make sure the wallpaper stays on the wall. 

Before you start painting, wipe off any detergent that might be left on the wall, otherwise the paint does not stick well. With a damp cloth, wipe down any dust and dirt off the wall.  Let the wall completely dry before you start painting. 

3. Add curtains on your windows

Another simple RV renovation tip is to give the dated-look of your RV a facelift is to update the valances on your windows.

First of all, valances block light out of your camper and second, they make your RV look dated. You want to improve your camper and make it look more modern. 

In order to update the look of the windows in your RV, you can do three things:

  1. Paint the fabric of the valances (you can use chalk paint for a perfect coverage).
  2. Cover the valances with a modern fabric (use spray adhesive and just replace the old fabric with the new fabric).
  3. Remove the valances completely and add curtain rods.

How to remove the valances in your RV

You can remove the valances completely, they have no real purpose. You just have to search for the screws, they are normally hidden under the fabric. Just pull a little bit on the valance and you will notice where you have to search for the screw or the bracket. Use a long flathead screwdriver to remove the screws. 

Get a lightweight curtain rod and try to use the screw holes to mount the new rods from the valances. You can get very affordable curtain rods at Walmart and also from Amazon

Make your own curtains or buy very affordable coffee curtains (they are short and pretty) and use clips to hang them on the curtain rod. (For short curtains, you can also use a pretty kitchen towel with a funky design.) If you need more details on how to add curtains, here are more details: https://colorfuldesigner.com/how-to-replace-curtains-in-rv/

4. Paint the linoleum

Does your floor look pretty bad? But you don’t want to remove the linoleum and add new floor?

Yes, I know you might think this is crazy but it is not. I painted my bathroom floor in my camper and after 6 months it still looks great. If you don’t want to replace your floor because you have no time and no money for big updates, this is a great RV renovation tip:

  1. Get a Kilz primer and prime the floor once. 
  2. Let the paint dry completely.
  3. Get ‘Porch & Patio Floor Paint’ from Behr or Valspar and have it tinted in the color of your liking. (Don’t get it too dark, you want to make the look of your RV bright and modern.)
  4. Use a medium size foam roller to paint your linoleum twice.
  5. Let dry completely. 
  6. If you want to add a pattern, just add a stencil with a lighter or darker color.
  7. You can also make a stripe pattern if you don’t want to use a stencil.
  8. Let dry completely and you are done. 

Painting your linoleum is so much easier than replacing it. You have to move your furniture out of the RV which is not easy to do. Or even worse, when adding new and thicker floor you have to get the slides in and out without scratching your new floor. 

If you thinking, I am absolutely not handy or I don’t have time to spend renovating my RV, or I can’t do any of these tips by myself…then here are the easiest tips you can do to update your RV:

5. Add some pretty decor and give your RV a facelift with colors

Here are several quick tips you can easily do if you want to add some fresh color inside your camper:

  • Add a new bedspread in a happy color.
  • Get new pillows in a couple of colors that compliment the inside of your RV. How about a Buffalo plaid pattern if you don’t like it so colorful? 
  • Update your RV with a fresh rug. I love all the rug patterns from ruggable.com. And the best thing about their rugs is that you can wash them in the washing machine. An absolute plus if you have kids and pets running inside and out your RV. 
  • How about adding a removable wallpaper in a pretty pattern and color on just one wall? Often you only need just one panel to make it look fresh. 
  • Or add removable wallpaper as a backsplash? Or buy a couple of peel and stick tiles and add a new backsplash around the sink. 
  • Get a funky decal for your bathroom door.
  • Exchange the hardware of your cabinets or spray paint them in a new color.
  • Update your light fixtures. I covered mine with tassels and string, and it looks great.
  • Add a pretty poster on a wall.
  • Get a small wooden box, plant different herbs in it and place it on your table. A little greenery adds so much warmth. 

As you can see, there are a lot of simple RV renovation ideas that don’t break the bank. All of these camper updating tips can be done within a couple of hours and you will love the look of your RV when you are done.

Trust me, it makes such a difference if you are in a place you truly love and that makes you happy rather than looking at dark and dull walls. I hope you found some RV renovation ideas you can use right now to bring a 1980s-looking camper back into 2021. 


Need more tips on how to remodel your RV? Stay tuned to Do It Yourself RV and visit my site right here: https://colorfuldesigner.com/category/camper-remodel/

RVers looking for valuable how-to information have learned to go to the experts. Forums such as iRV2.com and blog sites like RV LIFE, Do It Yourself RV, and Camper Report provide all the information you need to enjoy your RV. You’ll also find brand-specific information on additional forums like Air Forums, Forest River Forums, and Jayco Owners Forum.

About the author

Conny is a proud owner of a 12-year-old FunFinder Travel Trailer. She used her passion as an interior designer to add beauty and functionality to her camper, and has since updated several more RVs with bright and colorful designs. Her website colorfuldesigner.com is all about remodeling and updating RVs, houses and apartments.