RV Advice

12 Budget-Friendly Updates for Your RV | RV Renovations

It seems like renovating RVs is all the rage right now. Since we’ve all had a bit more time at home this past year than usual, the desire to take on at-home projects has increased. Couple that with the burning desire to go on a road trip, and that makes the perfect recipe for an RV renovation. People are turning their basic RVs into dream homes on wheels, and it’s serving as quite the inspiration to get in gear and bring your RV to the 21st century.

So if it’s not in your budget to upgrade and buy a completely new RV, and it’s not in your budget to dump a load of money into a renovation, don’t worry. We understand — 2020 set us all back in one way or another. That’s why we are happy to be the bearers of some good news and share with you some updates you can do on your RV that will give you the feeling of a brand new ride, without breaking the bank.

Here are the top budget-friendly updates for your RV that you can get started on today.

1. Paint

You’d be surprised what a fresh coat of paint can do for anything, but especially your RV. In a space this small, the color of the walls does matter, so be sure you pick something that is suitable. White is a safe bet because it will brighten your space and also make it look larger. Most RV walls are made of a plywood that has a wallpaper-like texture on top of it, which is a great surface to paint on. Be sure to clean the walls well and apply a primer before reaching for the can of fresh paint.

And guess what? You don’t have to stick to just painting the walls. Cabinets are something that scream “out of date” from a a mile away, so instead of the old wood look you’ve got on yours, throw on some white paint and you won’t even recognize your RV anymore (in a good way). We aren’t going to lie — this is no easy task, but is well worth the effort. Plus, new cabinets will cost way more pretty pennies than anyone wants to spend.

2. Change the Hardware

Is taking on the projects of replacing or painting cabinets more than you can handle right now? Don’t worry — we’ve got a plan b. A quick and easy way to make your cabinets less of a problem is to change the hardware. This can be completed in under an hour and can modernize your kitchen with minimal effort.

You can choose to either paint existing hardware or get new hardware entirely.

3. Add Wallpaper

If painting sounds too daunting (we don’t blame you — it is a lot), then consider picking an accent wall or two to wallpaper. And before you stress about wallpapering, know that there is a new type of wallpaper that makes the job much easier: peel and stick. There will be no more adhesive and heavy paper thanks to the upgraded peel-and-stick wallpaper that takes a fraction of the time to install.

4. Replace Furniture

If you’ve had your RV for a bit, we are willing to bet that the furniture is outdated. It serves a great purpose, but it doesn’t look so good. You can change the feel of your RV completely by swapping out your old bed, couch, table, and more with modern pieces. For this, we love IKEA. The furniture here is budget-friendly and it seems there is an infinite number of pieces to choose from.

Or, if you’ve got the right skills, you can even build your own custom furniture. But be sure to budget your options ahead of time to make sure you aren’t spending time that ends up costing a lot of money.

5. New Appliances

Your microwave from the 1980s? That needs to go. Your refrigerator that still works but is an eyesore? That needs to go.

Your appliances say a lot about the age of your RV so if you want a new-looking RV, you better get some new appliances. If a brand new refrigerator is out of your budget, consider looking for some second-hand pieces on places like Facebook Marketplace.

6. Freshen Up Decor

Personalizing your RV with decor was likely one of the first things you did when you purchased it. Decor is what makes a place feel like home, and we love that. However, chances are good your decor needs to be swapped out for more modern things that speak to your new tastes. Things like wall decor, throw pillows, rugs, blankets, and shelves are easy, quick, inexpensive, and non-permanent ways to bring new light and life into your RV.

7. New Countertops

While this may be an expensive endeavour for your home, when it comes to your RV, new countertops won’t break the bank. Counter space in RVs is typically limited, so you don’t have many square feet that you need to purchase.

Prices range a great deal, so get a material and style that fits your wants and your budget. And don’t fret about the time involved in this project, either. Swapping out your old countertops for new ones can be done in a matter of hours.

8. New Light Fixtures

Don’t lay in the dark and let this task haunt you. It’s much simpler than it seems, and can have a huge impact on the way your RV looks and feels. If you don’t feel confident in your electrician skills, this is a project that is best left to the professionals. However, with a new light fixture and some LED light bulbs, you will quickly find that you look at your RV in a new light (literally).

9. Replace Curtains

Has anyone ever looked at the window treatments for RVs and thought “wow, I love those”? We are guessing not. They usually are just part of the package, and so we go along with them. Until we can’t anymore because they are just too hideous. Thankfully, there is a fix for that.

Step one is taking the valances down. Any and all valances are outdated, so don’t even try to change them up to make them work. Once those are gone, you can bring in some nice, modern curtains that match with the rest of your updated RV. Or, if curtains aren’t your thing, blinds or roller shades are great too. Even better — do a blind/roller shade and curtain combo! That will really elevate the interior of your RV.

10. Add a Backsplash

Bring a little splash of life to your kitchen with this little bit of material. It may not seem like much, but it has the power to change the look of your entire RV kitchen. And don’t think for a moment that you have to hand-lay all of the individual tiles for the backsplash. Modern inventions come to the rescue again, this time in the form of peel-and-stick backsplash sheets. The color and pattern options for these is nearly unlimited and it takes very little effort to get this thing up and looking like you spent a heap of money to have a professional do it.

11. Fresh Flooring

Do your kitchen tiles make you cringe? Us, too. This may be on the more expensive side of updates for your RV, but you can make it cheaper by choosing an inexpensive flooring option and doing the install yourself.

If you like wood floors but can’t justify the price, choose a laminate wood floor instead. They look just as good and cost a fraction of the price.

12. Upgrade the Faucets

If you’re reading this and the faucets in your RV are made of plastic, stop everything you’re doing and get yourself some new faucets. Not only do the plastic ones look cheap and outdated, they are cheap and outdated and are probably using more water than is necessary.

Since we are all about water conservation here at KOA (and are also all about your RV living in the 21st century), we urge you to swap out those old faucets for something new. Thankfully, new doesn’t have to mean expensive. There are some great faucets that won’t cost you much. Just make sure you’ve got the right measurements.

See? It’s not that bad. By taking on one, a couple, or all of the above DIY updates for your RV, you will feel like you just won the lottery and got yourself a brand new RV.


Leslie K Hughes

Leslie, a.k.a. Copy Girl, is a copywriter who gets butterflies from telling stories through words.

Her voice comes from a place filled with passion, dreams, and lots of sugar. “Cake over steak” is her go-to motto.

With over 10 years of experience in crafting words, and years of embarking on travels that have taken this Montana girl to some incredible places, Leslie love the adventures of both body and mind her writing takes her on.

Everywhere she goes, she takes this advice with her:

“Hold on to your divine blush, your innate rosy magic, or end up brown.” – Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

To see what Leslie’s up to in the writing world, visit her website here.


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