Camper Remodel

Well, it’s been a year since we bought a camper and made it all fancy inside. I’m finally ready to share with you guys what it looks like.

img_5066

Part of the reason I was convinced to travel around in a camper and leave a large historic house behind was the promise of being able to remodel the interior. Pinterest contains a treasure trove of beautiful designs and thoughtful additions to otherwise bland RVs. I have never owned a home, and our rental home landlords have only allowed us to paint at the most. Painting cabinets, replacing floors, transforming the look and feel of something so drastically was incredibly appealing to me. So we bought a used 5th wheel from the parents of a friend of ours and knew we’d be putting money into it. We did look at new RVs, but knowing we would be dropping thousands on changing the inside and also considering the depreciation led us to purchase a well-cared-for used model. And boy did we luck out. The folks who had the Veltkamper before built a garage for it. They kept it in near perfect condition for 9 years before we came along. They were only selling it because they were buying a vacation home. It looked pretty already, but since it was 9 years old, it was a little dated inside. RV manufacturers seem to prefer dark colors in a small space, which makes campers seem small and cramped to me.

 

So we painted. Every. Inch. (Except for the toilet room, which is so small and so little time is spent in there, it doesn’t seem worth all the work to change it. Maybe one day we will get around to it.) I should have kept track of the hours we put into this remodel, but I would have likely lost count.

img_5039

The truth is that I loved the whole process. Even when I was tired and felt discouraged by the slow progress, I was having fun. The month of August was a blur of packing up our house and working on the camper. We would spend the days purging our possessions and making craigslist sales, and then we would go out to Scott’s cousin’s land (where we stored the 5th wheel) to work.

By the end of August, though, we had moved out of our house, sold and donated almost everything, and gotten a decent chunk of the remodel done. We took a few more months to finish up different projects, working on them here and there when time allowed.

I am so thankful for friends and family who came to help in any way they could! Our friend Brook was so crucial to our remodel. She was out at the camper many times and went shopping all over town with me to help create the perfect look.


I didn’t get around to the backsplash and counters until May/June of this year. And I didn’t take all these “after” photos until a month later. As a perfectionist who is overly concerned with the opinions of the Internet, I have refrained from writing this post for awhile out of fear. I want it to be perfect. With the hours we spent on this thing and the incredible attachment I now feel to it, I was unsure I even wanted to do this. But here we are– and I am proud of what we have accomplished.

I wanted a home on wheels and I think we achieved that goal. And not just because our interior feels pretty and cozy, but because we have shared so many memories in this tiny space. Because this adventure has shown me what I always believed. It has brought us closer together and reduced the literal walls between us. We spent less time inside and more time adventuring the rooms outside the door.

Bedroom After

Our “master” bedroom is one of my favorite spaces. 🙂

 

See that macrame piece hanging in the entryway? That was a lovely gift from an artist friend of ours who happens to run an Etsy shop (Knot Creative) with gorgeous handcrafted pieces available for purchase! She takes custom orders as well.

You’re looking at new floors, painted walls, painted counters, stained table and chairs, new curtains, and other touches we added to make this a unique and comfortable space for our small family.

Before this adventure began, we would take maybe a few trips a year, usually to visit family. We would never have been able to get out and travel like we do now if we had kept our house and all the stuff within it. And there is so much to see out there!

In the future, if people are interested, I might break down each project we did inside the camper and make posts about them. But for now, I just wanted to share with you guys what our space looks like. So enjoy the photos; I know I am still shocked at the difference between the before and afters. And feel free to shoot me any questions you might have about the remodeling or this lifestyle!

<3

Kate

kate

35 Comments

  1. I’m interested in how you did the kids room!!! 😍😍😍 love it!

  2. Love your makeover! Looks like a lot of work, but well worth it~ light and bright and inspiring. Enjoy your journeys.

  3. So gorgeous! You’ve created such a beautiful home!

  4. Kate, I think you did a GREAT job! So bright and lovely! I love all the little touches. Super excited to follow your journey and glad to see you’re a foodie also!

  5. Wow! What a beautiful home. I love that you have made the choice to enjoy traveling with your family. The RV doesn’t look like an RV. It’s such a beautiful place y’all call home. Seems like a dream come true!

  6. You’ve done such a good job of making your space pretty and it appears large. We enjoyed your narrative on the remodel as well as the pictures you posted.

  7. Love everything you two have done! So cozy and inviting. Katie tells us about your adventures and we enjoyed the video of your travels! What an experience for you and your family! 🤗

  8. Are the light fixtures 12 volt? If not, how did you modify them? I especially love the wire cage pendant. I’ve read you can simply use 12v bulbs with the proper size base, but they are hard to find…and my husband isn’t convinced that this would work. Your reno is lovely and fun. Well done.

    • So it’s a regular fixture hooked in to the 12 volt wiring. All the 12v fixtures are ugly and expensive. I did some research and everywhere I read it said if was possible to wire it this way IF we used a 12 V bulb. So I found a nice 12v led standard size bulb on amazon and it works great! I was a little confused on how to wire it up, but we met an electrician in Arizona who came over and installed it for us 🙂

      • So 12V for all of the camper electricals? … even the solar panels … and do you have extra 12V batteries for nightime? And have you converted all lights to LED? Do you hook up to 110v at campgrounds? How do you charge your ‘phones and computer(s)

  9. Totally love it! You are brave to embark on this journey with kids. I do admire your courage and determination. I would not have had the guts to do this when I was younger. I now full-time in a travel travel and love it! But I’m retired. Wish my son would get the bug!!!

    Excellent work on the decor. Beautiful!

  10. Your trailer is so beautiful!! You guys did a great job! I just saw on your blog that you are in Oregon…that’s where I live. Did you guys have a favorite area you visited?

  11. What a beautiful transformation! I am really interested in your couch replacement! I love that idea!

  12. Yes, PLEASE tell us how you did the various projects! We are still planning out our design and we are learning as we go!!! This is SO beautiful!

  13. Looks amazing!! What kind of flooring did you lay? I see you pulled up all of the carpet and laid the new floor on top of the sub floor? Was it hard to do on your big slide so when it comes in and out it doesn’t hurt the flooring? I am going to lay new floor in my 5ver to. Just nervous about the big slide area and that transition.

  14. Looks fantastic! I’m curious what primer did you use on the wood areas? Looks perfect! We are begining our painting project now and the primer doesn’t seem to hold well on the wood areas.

  15. It’s so beautiful! Such an inspiring journey to take. And a wonderful gift for your family.

  16. Your place looks amazing! I love how bright it is.
    We are new to full timing, but bought a newer, darker fifth wheel. I want to renovate, but I’m worried about resale. I’ll start with little touches and hope that it turns out even half as nice as yours. I look forward to following your travels and renovations.
    Congratulations!
    Bev

  17. Wow, what a beautiful transformation! I have a question about how you painted. Did you have to sand everything beforehand, do multiple coats, and what kind of paint did you use? Also, how are the linoleum floors holding up that are under the slide when you collapse? Have they gotten scratched? And is your backsplash in your kitchen, tiles or painted? It’s all so gorgeous!

  18. I’m so excited I found you’re blog. I to am a Michigander with a dream much like yours. I look forward to learning from you.

  19. You clearly have accomplished your goal of turning the camper into your home. Beautiful and bright … love the choices of colours (Aussie spelling) and accents. You are living many peoples’ dreams.

  20. Looks great, envy you, we have already gotten our trailer, won’t get a chance to travel around much for a few years though

Submit a comment