Camper remodel – how to remodel your Travel Trailer under $ 200
We bought an older camper and remodeled it because the best vacations we have ever had were in RV’s, cruising up and down the West Coast. Even when our son Sean was still a baby, that was the best vacation ever. This was our freedom, we could do whatever we wanted to do. He grew older and we still rented RV’s, cruising all over the US.
Sean still remembers all the kids he met in the State Parks, going imaginary hunting and fishing with them. Nobody had to look after them, they ran around all over the campground, in the woods, learned how to make a fire and how to use a knife. Everything was easy and it was the total freedom for him and of course for us. Happy days.
Now, years later – our son is not going on vacation with us anymore – but we still have a lot of memories thinking about these vacations. So we decided to buy an older camper for the two of us and our dog.
Why are all campers brown on the inside?
Unfortunately every camper we looked at was pretty ugly and needed serious renovations. No matter if it was a tiny little Travel Trailer or a huge Motorhome. The interior was ugly. I guess the brown color is supposed to hide the dirt?
Anyhow, we bought one in decent shape (no leaks or any kind of issues) and then I started with the Camper remodel.
DIY Travel Trailer remodel
If you are wondering if you can do this on your own, YES YOU CAN! As long as there aren’t any major issues with your camper and we are only talking updating, making it pretty, then yes. If you know how to use a paint roller, a brush and a carpet knife, even better. Then you can do it definitely.
Just to be sure, I remodeled this Camper by myself – saying you can do this too!
If you want a quick overview, what the Top 5 things are you should do to glam up your camper, you can download the Checklist right here:
And here are all the details of my Camper remodel journey:
How to start with a Camper remodel
This is how it looked when we bought it: so dark and uninviting, not very pretty at all. But of course this look can be changed easily. So don’t be scared.
This is how to start:
- First I removed all the ugly brown valances and just left the blinds on the windows.
- Then I decided on a maximum of two main colors. White, light grey, light blue is always a good option to start with. I picked a light blue paint for the walls.
- After painting the walls, I painted all cabinets and doors with milk paint. No need to sand them down. The beauty about milk paint is that you don’t need to sand or prime anything before painting.
- I added some glam with teal backsplash tiles in the kitchen. It took me almost a whole day, because I tiled it without grouting and it was a little tricky, but so worth it. Easier and much faster if you buy self-adhesive tiles, just stick them on the walls and done. That’s what I did in the bathroom.
- First I thought I would keep the floor, but the brown beige color sucked all the light in and didn’t look good with all the other colors. So I added a new white floor. I glued the new self-adhesive vinyl tiles on top of the old one. Looks great. It took me (with a little help from my husband) about 5 hours to get it done, because some of the tiles had to be cut to fit. Here are all the tips “How to lay new floors in your RV”.
- Of course the couch was brown/beige also. I cleaned it first with a carpet foam and brushed the stains off. Then covered it with a white/gray sheet or just use a blanket.
- I added some splashes of color with a tiny rug, pillows, sheets and a curtain. Most of these items I didn’t had to buy.
And this is how our Travel Trailer looks now, so pretty and clean and inviting.
How to start with painting
I painted all the kitchen cabinets, the storage cabinets and the bathroom door with a light gray Milk Paint. It is super easy to do and goes relatively fast.
If you need more details, here is how to paint Camper Walls and Cabinets
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
Best tip to paint the kitchen cabinets fast and easy:
If you are thinking about remodeling your camper, paint your kitchen cabinets and the doors. They are normally a dark brown and it creates such a dark atmosphere.
And I have the best and easiest tip for you: use Milk Paint. You don’t need to sand or prime the cabinets!!!
You just need to clean the cabinets and wipe them down with deglosser (takes all the grease off) and then you start painting. This was a total game changer for me because who loves sanding down cabinets???
Especially if your cabinets are not real wood – you definitely don’t want to do that.
I ordered all my paint and accessories on Amazon, but you might be able to get it at Lowes or any paint store also.
Here is my affiliate link for your convenience to Amazon, please read my full disclosure policy here:
How long did the Camper remodel take?
The Camper remodel didn’t take very long. I worked about 4 to 5 hours every day for a week until it was done. I did almost everything on my own.
My husband helped me a little bit with the floor cutting. I decided to add vinyl peel and stick planks on top of the old an ugly linoleum, which took me about 4 – 5 hours.
It was so worth redoing the floors, because it added so much light to it. We added the vinyl floor planks on one Saturday afternoon.
How much did it cost?
Altogether I spent a maximum of $ 200 for the paint, accessories and floor.
I used one quart of paint and one quart of top coat which is about $ 60. The peel and stick vinyl floor was $ 70.
To paint the walls I used Sherwin Williams paint with primer and it was $ 20. The backsplash for the kitchen was a free leftover from a different project. But peel and stick tiles are very affordable at Lowes or on Amazon to buy.
Of course it depends on the size of your camper how much material you need and if you have to buy everything from scratch. I didn’t had to buy brushes and paint rollers.
We also bought a new mattress (the old one was in good shape but I rather have a new mattress) for the camper and a small rug.
Pillows, the curtain, blankets, and the storage boxes I didn’t had to buy. I am sure you have some spare decorating articles at home too.
Using your own decorating items is always the cheapest way, or just make your own.
Final thoughts on the Camper Remodel:
It really was a fun project because I love to renovate things. Makes me feel so much better especially when it turns out so pretty.
So if you are thinking about packing your kids and going on unforgettable journeys, or you just go without kids, try it out. If you need more detailed information and all the links where to get the material and so much more, get my Ebook. You just follow step 1 to 10 and you are good to go:
Always a good idea is to rent a camper first before you buy one. Try it out if this is something you would like to do.
If you are thinking about buying an RV or Travel Trailer, here are some tips to help you decide. RV or Travel Trailer
My best day ever is waking up early in the morning somewhere on a beach on the West Coast, putting on my running shoes and going for a run on the beach.
Nobody is out there, just some dolphins, turtles and maybe some fishermen. Peace and freedom – what an amazing luxury that is.
I will see you on the road,
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