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Hobby and Recreational Vehicles

RV Remodels Made Simple

If you own an RV, you know full well that getting there isn’t half the fun – it’s all the fun. That RV is a dear friend. And if it’s been with you through the seasons and across the years, the interior may appear outdated. But don’t worry! It’s not too late to upgrade that aging RV with a few of today’s modern amenities. Renovations don’t need to cost a fortune, and many are simple enough to do on your own. So, before you get on the road this year, take a look at these ideas that can take your RV to the next level.

Think big, start small. Approaching camper remodels on a shoestring budget is possible, but remember to arrange your upgrades. Make a wish list of priorities and do your best to visualize the finished product so you have a firm understanding of what it will take — both physically and financially — to make your design come to life. Cosmetic upgrades are a great place to start, because enthusiastic DIY-ers can tackle projects like these without much outside help.

Consider the potential. Creating a more comfortable living space can be as simple as a new coat of paint or it can mean pulling out old storage cabinets and countertops and replacing them with new efficient systems that can scale to your specific needs.

Start with the walls. If you’re thinking about removing wallpaper, be aware that it has likely been applied directly to a plywood wall. In that case, you’re better to leave it in place and paint over it. The amount of work involved in stripping off and cleaning up the remaining paper can outweigh the effort. However, if a border is applied over wallpaper, that should be removed. Afterwards, start prepping for paint by using a common degreasing cleaner to strip the surface of dust and any accumulated grease. Consider investing in an all-in-one refinishing paint. These paints have long been the interior professional’s go-to resource for a single-coat answer to a multi-stage problem. It affords a fast, professional finish — both durable and washable. If your walls are too degraded or water-damaged, wainscoting is another long-lasting answer. You can quickly add a touch of class without breaking the bank.

Find new flooring. Migrating from linoleum to laminate is a fantastic means to quickly change the feel of your living space. And because the actual square footage you’re going to need is relatively small, you can approach sourcing your floor in non-traditional ways. Try contacting a local flooring company and inquire about remnant materials left over from other projects. They may be willing to sell you leftover flooring at a fraction of the retail cost.

Rebuild the bedroom. Swap your old, tired bed for a modern adjustable one. If your budget allows, this is one big upgrade that can turn your bedroom into a second living space with beds that incline to a seated position for daytime use. It’s a bit expensive, but a great way to create another private space for otherwise crowded RVs. You can also upgrade bedroom cabinets and storage for a more modern look by leveraging today’s efficient cabinet designs. If you have an older TV, consider purchasing a flat screen LCD which can offer several benefits: they consuming less than half the electricity required previously, and many on the market can deliver streaming content by hooking into wireless Internet.

Customize that kitchen for RV travel. As discussed earlier, leveraging that all-in-one paint for a quick upgrade to old, stained cabinets is a great first step to getting an up-to-date look on a tight budget. Start by removing your cabinet doors and paint them front and back. Then apply paint to the cabinet faces, and the interior as well. Swap out the hinges and pulls and look for self-closing hinges that help to keep your doors from swinging open while the RV’s in transit. Another big switch is to replace the LP stove with an electric cooktop, but it’s important to consider your energy consumption needs before you make any adjustments. Electric cooktops are ideal if you will be hooking to shore power during your time away. They also help reduce the risks associated with open flames and can increase counter space.

Rethink the dining room. Old fold-down tables and ancient foam-cushioned seating areas can begin to show their age. Original hardware — if your RV is an older one — can become degraded from wear and tear. Many DIY types are deferring to a standard kitchen table and chairs when replacing built-in kitchen furniture. An open floor plan affords you the ability to use the space in many different ways and clears out sometimes bulky dedicated furniture.

Change out your faucets. Over time, hard water can take its toll water systems and leave mineral deposits that interrupt or halt water flow altogether through spigots and showerheads. It’s wise to first review the manufacturer’s recommendation on descaling before replacing. If corrosion is too advanced — or if flow is blocked — it’s probably time to replace them.

After you put in the hours and applied the elbow grease to convert your old RV to today’s sophisticated ride, you’re going to love your new digs when you hit the road. And big investments — in both time and money — are worth protecting. Take a look at the insurance options available for your RV from American Family Insurance and find the coverage that’s right for you.

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