MY $500 CAMPER REMODEL THAT I DID ALL BY MYSELF

Well this post has been a long time coming.  And I have been putting it off for a couple of reasons.  1.)  Most of the RV was completed last summer, but we still have a couple projects to do, like the flooring, before I wanted to post pics;)  and 2.)  I wanted to do this blog post justice so you can read it and see my step by step guide with links so you can recreate this look for a great price too! Also, I wanted to note that the only reason I wrote that I did it by myself is for us women to realize we can do hard things!  And we don’t always have to wait on our husbands to get projects done.  Ryan was busy completely gutting and renovating the cabin and doing the steps I couldn’t help with, so I decided to tackle this project on my own.  I was able to complete everything but the flooring by myself.

PS. This post gets a bit long because it was quite the process, but at the end if my complete breakdown of money spent and all the links to the products I used, so if you want to cut to the meat and potatoes of it all, scroll to the end;)

So lets start with a few fun before pictures shall we?  First, off, I documented this whole journey over on my Instagram page and you can find me under @prvbsthirtyonegirl.  I  saved all of the videos to my highlight reel under RV RENO and RV RENO PART II.  So if you are really interested in doing this, I highly suggest you hop over there and check it out since videos are so much easier to explain in.  So this is the the RV we purchased a year ago.



It’s a Dutchmen Lite le and I believe 2006 model?  We purchased it for $4600 knowing it was clean and in good condition.  Since we had bought our cabin the year before we really didn’t want to sink a lot of money into the RV (lets be honest, Ryan didn’t want to sink a dime into it;) But I had a few ideas I wanted to execute and knew that I would have to do it myself, and do it on the cheap, in order for him to approve.  To start with, the whole inside was khaki and burgundy.

and If you’ve been following along here for awhile, you know those two colors just aren’t in my color pallet.  So the first thing I did was grab a gallon of primer and go to town on the cabinets.

and if you know RV’s, you know they have a lot of cabinets for the size, since storage is such a real need.  And if you know white paint, it takes a lot of coats to get it solid, EVEN WITH primer!  So one coat of primer and then I started to attack it with my favorite Simply White Benjamin moore color that I always get mixed at Menards in their Pittsburgh Paramount line.  I always have a 5 gallon bucket of this stuff at home because I use it for everything.  My whole house and cabin are painted in this color, so I did not include this as a part of my budget since I already had it.

So to be upfront and realistic with you all, your gonna probably need 3 if not 4 coats of paint, and this doesn’t include the primer.  I don’t know why, but white is just frustrating. And in an RV and tight spaces, it can get a little clastrophic.  Let’s just say I was happy when the painting was done.  But honestly, only $25 in and it’s already looking so much better!  Also, because I get this question so much.  I did not sand these cabinets at all before I started painting, I just used the primer and then the paint.  These cabinets were more of the fake wood and super smooth, so I was nervous how the paint would adhere, but over a year in and its still staying on great!

So, next up, a fun decorative detail;)  As you will see soon I use a lot of 1/4″ plywood.  I used it to do the faux shiplap in the whole RV, as well as my house:)  And I also use it to trim out corners.  Since it’s very inexpensive (around $13/4×8′ board) the budget goes a long ways.  I always have scraps laying around and I love to use them to add interest.  My idea here was to add an “X” to the end of the cabinet to make them look a little bit more custom:)

I use liquid nails to glue everything on and then 3/4″ nails with our finish nailer to secure it.  This project was practically free.  Gotta love that!

And because we can’t wait forever for an after…here’s how it looks all painted and done.

okay, so painting is done.  Up next.  Kitchen remodel.  First off I used the existing knobs that came in satin nickel and used this gold spray paint to give them a fresh look.  Then I purchased a 10 pack of pulls for the cabinets in the rest of the RV for a steal.  You can find them here. I love the updated modern flair it gave it.  Next up was dealing with the taupe counters.

Here’s a better picture of the counters.  So I primed and painted the edges so they were all white and would blend in.  Then my friend actually blogged about this product for the counters.  It comes in wide widths and is more durable than plain contact paper (which I used in other areas of the reno).  I actually had a piece of this left over as well for a home project, but only enough to do the counters and not the table top.  I was happy that the counter tops were done in something more durable though, since they would see a lot more water than the other areas.  Once I applied it, I used an exacto knife to cut around the edge of the sink and edges of the counter, and a plastic putty knife to smooth out any air bubbles it may have had.  It worked amazingly slick, and once I was done I caulked around the sink to ensure that no water would get under it.  Sorry, I wish I had more pictures to show you, but I do have videos of the whole process over on my Instagram so if your confused check it out!  Next up, the backsplash!  I found these peel and stick subway tiles that actually look quite amazing.

This was by far one of my biggest splurges for the camper.  At $3.50 a square foot it ate up some of the budget, but it was well worth it.  It gave a huge statement.  I ended up ordering 3 packs of tiles, for 30 square feet total, and I was able to do the backsplash and a bathroom wall with it.

Once the backsplash and counters were done, I addressed the old faucet.  Knowing Ryan would never want to plumb in a new faucet for me (or spend money on it) I decided to just spray it gold.  When I spray paint fixtures that I can’t remove, I use painters tape and press and seal to tape off the surrounds so no overspray gets on anything .

So now the once dated faucet now looks like this…for practically pennies.

I also used a paint brush and put little black dots on the top of the handles for an extra detail;)

And this is my other favorite weapon for RV remodels that is a HUGE budget saver!

I’m not sure about you, but our sinks and shower were sooo yellow.  It’s almost as though the plastic yellowed over the years.  I knew we could never replace the whole unit, and someone suggested appliance epoxy to fix it!  I ended up using this stuff for the sinks, the shower, and the hood range…and it worked amazing!  The smell is super potent so I suggest a mask while you are doing it, and also taking frequent breaks, but the results are worth it!

My handy dandy method;)  If I were to do it all over again, I would have appliance sprayed everything first.  Then done the faucets gold and lastly the countertops.  That way you really wouldn’t have to worry about overspray.  I didn’t think through everything amazing, one thing just led to the next and I went with it.  So you  now can learn from my mistakes:)

The bathrooms transformation from just spraying the shower and sink were pretty amazing though!

This is a terrible picture but you can literally see the difference from where I have sprayed white and where it was so grungy yellow! I also added a wall of peel and stick subway tile in here, and after painting all the cabinetry, getting this shower curtain, and adding super fun “peel and stick” vinyl floor tiles, this bathrooms a wrap!

Oh, and also, how cute are these towels.  And you’ll never guess where they are from:)

You can find them here.

I DIY’d these hooks from some old cedar wood and used these hooks to screw them into.

Here’s the rest of the bathroom pictures…

I should have mentioned that before I even started priming the cabinets….pretty much once ryan had the truck in park I started tearing out as much of the upholstered parts that I could.  This included a beautiful mauve headboard;) , All of the window cornices, and he padding around the eat in benches.

You can see the maroon upholstery on the top of the benches and over the windows.  I just pulled the window ones down, along with the blinds, and have no plans of putting them back up.  The bench ones I replaced with pine 1×4 that I stained in special walnut.

It was about a $5 fix and instantly updated the look and brought some warmth in as well.  I then planked the back of the bench with the same 1/4″ plywood cut down into 6″ strips, and covered the existing benches with drop cloth.  The after is well worth all of the work.

I have a full video tutorial on how I made these bench covers with painters drop cloth and string.  The total cost to re-cover them was around $10.  This is the drop cloth I love to use.

It’s from  Menards and I used this for both the couch and the bench covers.  I had to use some extra drop cloth I had left over from a different project, but if you buy the biggest one at Menards for around $30, you should have enough to do both projects. This $6 contact paper has been a game changer as well.  You can find it here. I had to have a seam for this table, but it isn’t super noticeable, and for the price if it only lasts a couple of years, I can easily replace it.

The last few things I did to the eat in area were to add this peel and stick wallpaper, sprayed the pipes holding up the table in a flat black spray paint, and sprayed the little light above the table gold.

The base and back of the benches are painted in Toasted Poppyseed by Kilz brand paint.  And this floor runner was the perfect size and price for this rv.  You can find it here.

Behind the eat in area is two bunks.

I decided to paint this little area in the same Toasted Poppyseed.  I loved the idea of it turning into a little cave, sleeping area.  I also bought a queen size 3″ foam topper.  I was able to cut it in half and had enough to add to both bunks.  If you’ve slept on a bunk bed rv mattress, your behind hits the ground in about 2 minutes.  Extra padding is a must.  This is the pad I bought, and it’s proven to be a lifesaver.

I finished the beds off with this cute ticking stripe duvets from Linens and hutch, and if you use code prvbsthirtyonegirl you get an extra 30% off.  These throw pillows were the perfect size to add just a touch of cozy without being too hard to store.  And the price is amazing for feather pillows.  You can find them here.

So we now are done with half of the camper.  Yay!  A few things to note.  I sprayed all the door handles gold before I painted them white for an instant update.  Also, I get asked all the time where I get my rattan shades.  I have gotten them on crazy clearances over the years at big box stores and haven’t been able to consistently find them anywhere.  I had this one in the shed for a year that I hadn’t been using, and although it was a couple inches small over the sink window, it was free for me, so it was good enough;)

We also plan to hang a tv on this back wall eventually.  The kids do like to veg out to a movie after swimming all day, and we actually have a tv already, we just need to buy a wall bracket so we can hang it on the wall.

Alright, moving onto the back of the RV, which includes the couch and the bedroom.  The couch was my biggest nemis, so I waited the longest to finish it.  I knew we needed to keep the jackknife sofa, because we do use it for the kids to sleep on.  So now the problem was how to make it look good!

I mean, the maroon floral is speaking to me…but it’s telling me it’s gotta go!!!

I knew I was going to use the rest of the drop cloth I had used for the bench covers, and I have made slip covers before, but its one of my least favorite jobs.  I have learned all I know from watching all of Miss Mustard Seeds slipcovering tutorials.  I am not a seamstress. And my mom actually could not watch me because of my method, lol!  But honestly, when you need to get the look you want you cross your fingers and hope it works.  That’s basically what I did;)  I started by making a skirt for the bottom of the couch.

Next up, the slipcover for the couch.  I couldn’t figure out a good way to make a custom looking cover for the couch that allowed it to still pull out into a bed, so this slipcover is just that.  A slipcover.  And when we want to use the couch as a bed we will have to take it off lay a sheet down on the couch, but I’m okay with that.  I had a lot of suggestions to just use a flat sheet and tuck it in, but I was more interested in making the couch look custom than figuring out the bed part of it:)

So after some piping work and a heck of a lot of please let this work, this slipcover was born:)

And for about the $10 I have into it, I’m super happy with the results!

The big long cushion was a find from Sierra Trading Post, but sadly is no longer available.  I love that it gives texture but is also just one pillow so it keeps things simple.  The throw was also from there and no longer available.

You can see from this angle that I just ran the skirt to the wall and I it’s not perfect.  But its better than what it was and that’s what I’m going for:) Also, to see more of the step-by-step instructions, check out my Instagram stories and you can see how I made the piping and my steps for the whole slipcover;)

Alright, onto the bedroom. This may be one of my favorite areas, because lets be real, there is faux shiplap all around.  And you know I love me some faux shiplap.  I used 4×8 sheets of 1/4″ underlayment ripped down to 6″ strips for my shiplap look.  It’s way cheaper than actual shiplap, its much lighter for the rv, and it’s bendable for the walls that aren’t quite square:)  The sheets I purchased from Menards were about $12 a sheet and I ended up using 5 sheets, making this a $60 splurge for my budget, but well worth it;)

This is the good ole before of the bedroom with two stinking cute kids.  Just saying;)

And here’s the after.  I ended up doing my faux shiplap vertical on 3 of the 4 walls to draw your eye up and make it feel bigger.  And I actually *gasp* left the back wall wood!  And I actually *gasp* love it!  I stained it with the same special walnut that I used on the wood on the benches, so it blends nicely.  And the rest of the shiplap I painted in the same cabinet color simply white.  It keeps things nice and simple;) When putting up these strips, I used a liquid nails to glue them to the wall and then 3/4″ nails to secure them.  An important note is to paint your walls at least one coat of paint the same color you are doing  your shiplap, because you will see little peeks of it.  Also, I use a nickel for spacing the planks because you do not want them tight together, and when you paint them with a roller I have a butter knife on hand to glide between the cracks to get out any globs or drips of paint.

I hung this sign I made that mimics hunt and gathered goods sign that you can buy here.  I thought it was a perfect addition to this little nook.

Because everyone is sleeping tight in the RV:)

I also love how although there is no big division between the bedroom and the rest of the RV, the vertical shiplap defines the space.

For the bedding, I wanted to keep it light and airy with just a little pop.  These sheets were so fun to add some vision interest and the price was right! And this white duvet was so pretty with the big ties on the top and on the shams and the price was amazing.  The rest of the bedding I had stored away (I’m a bedding hoarder;).  And sadly the rest is discontinued.  This throw will give you the similar feel to the one I have up there though.


I also love how the white pops on the wood wall.


And I don’t mind seeing my bed from my kitchen table when it looks like this:)


So I think that wraps up our RV reno.  I’m going to break down the exact things that I did, and I’m actually going to put them in the order I SHOULD have done them had I to do it all over again:)  Also, because I forgot to address this, Ryan did lay the luxury vinyl flooring in here.  It was a little tricky with all of the angles and cuts and I’m super grateful he did that part for me.  Also, our luxury vinyl was found at a builders outlet store and didn’t even have a brand name on them, so I’m not sure what they are or called.  We used this flooring in our cabin and had enough of it left over to do the RV with amazingly only one piece left over.

Keep scrolling because I’ll have my comprehensive list of links for everything I used and break my budget down so you can see where the $500 went!  Hey, happy glamping you all!

Steps to re-doing the camper:

1.)  Take out all extra upholstery (window treatments/headboards/bench tops.

2.)  Prime all the woodwork white.

3.)  Spray tubs/sinks with appliance spray paint.

4.)  Spray knobs/handles/faucets gold or color of your choice, spray table pipes black.

5.) Paint all of the primed surfaces.

6.)  Put on countertop adhesive.

7.)  Put on peel and stick subway tiles.

8.)  Give all walls that you are going to shiplap one coat of white paint.

9.)  Paint walls not getting treatment color of choice.

10.)  Rip down plywood for shiplap and hang.

11.)  Make new bench tops with 1×4 pine stained in special walnut.

12.)  Recover seat benches

13.)  Slipcover futon.

14.)  Lay flooring.

If only it went as quickly as you can read it;)  Seems pretty simple right?!?

And here is a list of all the links for things I used:

Countertops:  here.

Table top and all other surfaces:  here.

Peel and stick subway tile:  here.

Cabinet knobs:  here.

Wallpaper:  here.

Runner rug:  here.

Shower curtain:  here.

Towels:  here.

Toilet sign:  here.

Bathroom flooring:  here.

Master bedroom sheets:  here.

Master bedroom duvet and shams:  here.

Bunk bed mattress topper:  here.

Bunk bed duvet covers:  here. Use code prvbsthirtyonegirl for an extra 30% off.

Bunk pillows:  here.

Bed throw blanket:  here.

Hooks:  here.

Wooden hook rack for kitchen:  here.

BUDGET BREAKDOWN

1/4″ plywood = $50

7eel and stick subway tile = $70

Faux marble contact paper = $12

Counter top adhesive = already had but would be $50

Spray paint (Appliance/black/gold) = $17

Knobs = $13

Bathroom Flooring = $10 ( I got a 10 square foot package off of amazon but since went out of stock.)

Rug = $23

Toilet Sign = $12

Duvet Covers = $54

Pillows for bunks = $24

Queen master duvet = $32

Master sheets = $35

Hooks = $13

Primer = $25

Drop Cloth = $30

Wallpaper = $50

Paint = Already had

Flooring = Already had

Total = $470

BEFORE AND AFTERS

Kitchen

Dinette

Master Bedroom

Bathroom

Bunk Room

.

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8 thoughts on “MY $500 CAMPER REMODEL THAT I DID ALL BY MYSELF”

  1. You are truly inspiring in everyway! You camper turned out amazing! I have the same layout in our camper, I really want to try some of your ideas. Just Wow! Thanks for sharing your ideas and hard work!

  2. Okay! Amazing! Never thought I’d want an RV until this post! Didn’t realize they could be cute and homey!

    Love your style and resourcefulness! Did you say you did all the projects yourself? I think I read that in the blog. My sister and her husband flip houses and do most every project together. Not so in my case. Kearned early that I’d be hanging all the rods and painting all the walls etc. Deep down I probably love the challenge but I shy away from projects I think are too big. Like painting cabinets and resurfacing countertops. Do you ever get nervous? Every project I get anxious fearful jitters and think “What am I doing?”

    Current Project: Turning my small walk in attic into a mini office so I can have a more quiet place to work on my Side Business! Main business: Stay At Homeschool Mama if six🥰

    1. I did do this myself and I always think, whats the worst that could happen. If I don’t like it now it can’t get any worse:) And it usually always is better!

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