9 Little Renovations That Can Transform Your RV


When we set out to decide on which RV would fit our family best, we had to consider a lot of things.

We purchased a used 2017 Coachman Chaparral 390QSMB from a private party. It was in near perfect condition, but wasn’t quite our style. There was a light brown wall paper throughout that we knew we wanted to brighten up, the curtains were brown and not our favorite, and we wanted to upgrade the light fixtures and hardware to something we loved.

We were able to really transform our RV by making the following changes:

1 . Paint

We did our research before painting and determined we would need to use several coats of primer first, and then several coats of a paint/primer combo. This sounds like a lot, and it was. But it was necessary. RV walls are different from “regular” walls and it’s hard to get good coverage. We used and recommend Glidden Gripper Primer and Sealer and Behr Marquee Interior Satin Enamel Advanced Stain Blocking Paint and Primer, available at The Home Depot.


2. Curtains

We didn’t love the curtain valances that came with the RV. We decided to remove them all and start over. For the living/dining room windows, I found some panels at Target I liked a lot. For some of the smaller windows, I cut the panels in half, and ironed and hot glued the cut edges. I found other curtain panels at Hobby Lobby and was able to cut 2 panels down and cover all of the windows in our bedroom. The kids room curtains were made from fabric I got at Joanne. 

Our original plan was to use regular curtain rods. Unfortunately, when we started drilling, we realized there must be metal plates in the wall where the old curtains were because we could not get screws in. We decided to just use command strip hooks and lightweight Ikea rods. 


3. Lighting

The lighting in the RV wasn’t bad at all, but I have visions of exactly what I wanted and decided to do some switcheroos! This was more tricky than switching out light fixture in a house. Our rv needed 12 V light bulbs and compatible lights for those bulbs. Amazon is where I found what I needed. I was able to find all the light fixtures and light bulbs I needed there!


4. Backsplash

I decided to use sticker sheets that LOOKED like tile for the backsplash. It was lighter and cheaper than using tile. I love how it turned out and has held up perfectly. We used this in the kitchen as well as in the bathroom.


5. Bunkroom

The bunk room came with a bunk bed on top and sofa sleeper on bottom. We didn’t want to have to transform a sofa each night, so we took that out and put a twin mattress in its place. I wanted to make sure the kid sleeping on top was safe, so our friend built a rail and a ladder out of pipes for the bunks!

I thought about putting wallpaper on the bunk room slide, but decided to go with removable stickers that LOOK like wallpaper instead. They were more cost effective and WAY easier to work with! 


6. Shiplap

My inner Joanna Gaines came out and convinced me that I needed shiplap! We bought sheets of plywood, cut it into strips, painted it white, and glued AND secured the strips to the wall with a nail gun. We did this in the headboard area of the master bedroom as well as in the bathroom. 


7. Dinette

Lots of RVs come with a built in dinette-booth thingy, but ours came with a stand alone table and four chairs. We didn’t like them, so it was a lot easier removing them than having to rip out a whole dinette! We found a white table at Ikea we liked a lot and four industrial style stools on Amazon that went well together, so we made the swap and love it! 


8. Trim

We decided to replace the trim in several places. There is trim around the beds in both bedrooms, around the door and also around the main room slides. If we’d had time, we would’ve loved to replace all of them! They were all bulky and a little ornate for our taste. We like a simpler, more rustic style trim. We easily pulled off the old trim with our hands and a little muscle! We used the same plywood we used for the shiplap, measured, cut it down, and stained it brown. Then we nailed and glued it where the old trim was! The door was a little trickier because it was curved on the top, so we let our neighbor measure and make the curved cut for us! 


9. Decor

Decor can make a big impact. I loved our living room floor area and knew I wanted a rug that would be a focal point of interest. I found a rug I loved with great reviews on Amazon! I also bought 2 soft throws from Homegoods to make the room cozy and soft. Shopping my favorite discount stores like TJMaxx, Ross, Marshalls and Home Goods was a lot of fun as I picked out several inexpensive items for decor! 


10. Miscellaneous Upgrades For your Needs

Even small changes like replacing all your cabinet hardware can make a huge difference in the overall look of your RV. We also added a flip-up work desk in the bedroom to create an office space for when we need some quiet worktime away from the rest of the family.

To shop our stuff, click HERE for links of items you see in our RV!

After some time traveling in our RV, I realized I needed to make some more changes in the kitchen for it to be more functional. I wrote an article about those things that you can read HERE

I hope you enjoyed reading about our RV renovation! If you have any questions about anything, feel free to reach out and comment below!