Our RV Renovations Are Complete

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When we first bought our RV in November 2016, we knew we were going to eventually do some renovations. The first thing we did before we even moved into it, was to remove the back bunk and couch to create more space for the fur kids. After living in the RV for a few months, we realized that the furniture that came with it was not made for full-time living, so we ripped out the dinette and couch and replaced them with two recliners and a dining room table and stools. After another couple months, we found that living in “50 shades of brown” was awful, so we painted everything white and made the whole trailer light and airy. Aaron’s parents thankfully let us stay in their basement for a month while we painted and put the finishing touches on the renovation. 

RV Renovation days 1-3

After getting to Aaron’s parents on Friday night and spending Saturday at the Chicago Vegan Fest, we had to move everything out of the RV on Sunday in order to prepare for the week. While we do not have a lot of things, it still took us a good chunk of the whole day to pack everything up and move it into the garage. 

We spent the second day taping off edges and priming as much as we could. The biggest issue was the many nooks and crannies, which felt endless since we were painting every last surface of the RV. 200+ square feet doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you’re in the middle of priming everything, it feels huge!

The first part of the third day we spent finishing up the primer in the bedroom and cabinets, as well as taping off the floor. We ended up going with Bondz Primer which is supposed to basically be able to adhere to everything and anything and it did an amazing job on the walls, however, we were unsure how it was going to work on the fake wood material of the cabinets.

The second part of the third day we spent putting on the first coat of paint on the walls and the wood in the back room. For the walls and ceiling, we ended up using Dutch Boy Eggshell Ultra White paint which covered everything incredibly well. For the wood, we wanted to have a bit more of a sheen on it so we went with Dutch Boy Semi-Gloss Ultra White paint.

RV Renovation days 4-6

Once we had all of the taping done, we were able to concentrate solely on putting on our second coat of paint. We were able to complete the entire RV on the fifth day!  One of the issues we noticed after this second coat was that the ceiling looked very yellow in comparison to the new paint. We ended up painting the ceiling, which was a great decision! 

Our walls look incredible and have been very resilient so far, however, our cabinets scratch and peel pretty easily. We had heard this was a possibility and we think it’s just an issue with the type of fake wood that is prominent everywhere. When we started peeling up the tape, it peeled the paint right off some of the cabinets all the way back down to the original material which was VERY disheartening.  However, we found that if we used an X-Acto knife to cut the tape from the paint first, we were able to mitigate a lot of the issues ahead of time.  Only time will tell how it stands up to full use.

Hayden painted the counters with black chalkboard paint, which turned out great and look so good in contrast to the stark white cabinets.  The matte finish does show a lot of imperfections and any dust or dirt that gets onto the counters is more noticeable. We’re considering sealing them in the future. 

RV Renovation days 7-9

At this point, we were beat.  Everything hurt, we had worked 8-12 hours a day on the RV, and we were over this project. However, we still had a few more things that needed to be completed.  Hayden hemmed, pressed, and hung the new curtains. Aaron laid the new floor, which accidentally has the wood lines running the opposite way to our original floor. At that point we didn’t mind, we just wanted it put down.

We made a run back up to Menards to purchase additional paint since we ran out and still had the cat box and chicken coop to paint.  At this point, we were extremely close to being finished and SO ready to get back on the road.

Final touches

We finished up the paint on the doors and cabinets, with each side taking four coats of paint on top of the primer. All of the new hardware had been coated with black spray paint and the process of moving things back into the RV began. We added two new cabinets to the back room, which expanded our storage space for our hiking backpacks and camera equipment. Originally, the space was designed to hold a TV, but it’s not needed. 

We hung up the backsplash in both the kitchen and the bathroom which looks incredible! We added shelves to our closets, which greatly expanded the storage space.  Even though they look a bit rough, they are functional and store everything we need them to!  Aaron and Aryanna worked on the outdoor kitchen, or what they have dubbed, “the man cave.”  The blue color is a nice touch since the inside of the RV is all black and white. Aaron’s video games and a small monitor live outside in this space, as well as an extra fridge. 

Aaron’s dad built Brienne a beautiful new coop with extra storage underneath. We failed to take into account the tighter doorway when building the coop since it was designed to fit perfectly into the available space in the back. Aaron had to pull off one of the side panels and some of the trim, but we were finally able to get it put into place. Brienne is so much happier in this new and bigger coop and we’re glad she got an upgrade. 

Now that everything is done, the RV looks incredible and we’re really happy with the way it turned out. Overall, things appear to be holding up well, but we will likely have to touch up some areas that get dinged as we go along.  

The big reveal

Thank you for checking out our renovation post, photos, and videos! We hope that you like what you see and are inspired by our choices here. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to drop us a note down below. Enjoy the before and after photos!

This is a shorter video showing only the before and after shots

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  1. Susan August 11, 2017 at 12:54 PM #

    So much motivation for us! And so many questions: how do you like the “subway tile” wall covering? Does it stay in place well even in those wet spots? Did you fix your recliners to the slide floor or do they just sit there? Have you had any trouble with the slide rollers on the flooring?
    Thanks in advance!

    • Aaron
      Aaron August 11, 2017 at 3:22 PM #

      Hello Susan, thank you for reaching out to us!

      So far the “subway tile” covering has held up really well in both the kitchen and the bathroom and we haven’t had any issues of it peeling or bubbling or anything like that. We’ll definitely keep an eye on it and report back if we do though!

      Our recliners are not fixed to the floor but stay put pretty well, even when traveling. We wanted to be able to shuffle them around a bit when we are stationary to pull them away from the wall.

      Otherwise, we’ve had no issues with anything re: flooring. It’s all held in to the original flooring via stapling and our slides move just fine!

      Thanks for all of the questions!

  2. Shea August 11, 2017 at 1:05 PM #

    Hey guys! Everything looks great, amazing renovation! Do you mind if I ask how much you guys spent on these upgrades?

    • Aaron
      Aaron August 11, 2017 at 3:43 PM #

      Thanks for the love! While we don’t have all of the receipts from the project, it looks like we came in just under $1000 for all of the materials for the renovation. That includes paint, primer, flooring, brushes, rollers, floor strips, curtains, backsplash, etc… That doesn’t include things like our new table and chairs, however.

  3. Robin Hyatt August 27, 2017 at 5:31 PM #

    1st I just want to say thank you for sharing your adventures in renovation! I have read, re-read, and browsed your pix multiple times because I’m so INSPIRED! Our RV needs a similar overhaul of cosmetic proportion, and I just have to know: HOW did you get that furniture in there? Where did you find that sofa/recliner? And how is it y’all are so amazing?!

    • Aaron
      Aaron August 27, 2017 at 7:30 PM #

      Heya thanks for checking it out! Glad you’re inspired by what we’ve done as we were inspired by all of the RV renovations we were researching before we did ours. The recliners came from Ashley Home Furniture and the backs come off of them to make them much smaller in profile. By taking the backs off, we were able to fit them sideways through our front door. Our table and stools also came from there as well and we had to put them together. Thanks again for the compliments and checking us out, if you have any other questions, feel free to let us know!

      Happy traveling!

  4. House Depot USA November 28, 2017 at 6:07 AM #

    Really amazed with the design and architecture of your kitchen. Your kitchen is just amazing. It’s bright and light. Amazing stuff you got there.

    • Aaron
      Aaron December 1, 2017 at 11:58 AM #

      Thank you! My wife did all of the hard work of designing and choosing what went where

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