Since we removed the blinds in the RV it was necessary to find some method for privacy. Price was also a huge consideration in deciding to go with blinds or shades. I even considered doing a mirrored one-way glass tinting. Ultimately we settled on shades. Lowe’s had these 6 mil. bright white Levelor shades for $7-11 each and even cut them to size for free. Word of advice, plan on this process taking an hour and a half or more. More advice: don’t go with your wife, almost 2 year old and 5 month old. Make sure to measure from either mount-to-mount or material width. If you don’t tell the person cutting them, they will likely choose the wrong way. It’s also a good idea to measure them after they cut and before you purchase the shades. I learned the hard way on this one and had no less than three trips to Lowe’s to make this right. I also found that 1.5″ either side of the window was the minimum added width for ensuring the shade provides proper light blocking and privacy.
Standard RV bunk beds are great for family traveling. If you’ve ever purchased a floor plan with bunks then you know they are really intended for older kids. With two kids under the age of 2, we were challenged with trying to make the bunks both functional and safe. I spent a significant amount of time searching the internet to see other bunk conversion ideas and eventually pieced together a plan that I think will work for our family. Let us know what you think!
Step 1: Lots of measuring and a sketch that looks like a prison escape plan. Don’t judge. It made sense to me.
If you are considering restoring a camper don’t underestimate the enormous commitment to all the details. Hopefully you’ll be able to start with a RV that is a little cleaner and better maintained than “Stanley”. If you aren’t so lucky then you may want to add these tasks to your never-ending checklist.
Shore power cover
Coax cable receptacles
I painted the frame and bumper, installed new bulbs in taillights, and sealed with silicone.
The handrail at entrance was not installed properly. I had to remove and reinstall ½” to the left in order to attach to an aluminum wall joist. Sad thing is, this was likely done at a dealer.
I had to remove the water heater to replace the element. I found several dust-pan scoops of rat feces. It was so gross but glad I was able to completely clean it. The broken heating element was caused by someone turning on the water heater without water in the tank. The result was a “hot-skin” condition. If you touched the frame or any metal in the trailer while grounded it would give you a pretty good shock, probably about 50-75 volts.
I removed the battery box, LP bottles and mount also stripped and cleaned the trailer tongue to stop rust and prepare for a fresh coat of paint.
The trailer got a new full size fire extinguisher next to entry door inside lower cabinet.
All emergency exit latches were broken. I ordered and installed all new emergency exit handles. They had to be modified because they weren’t the proper length.
New gutters on all four corners to help shed water away from seams.
I knew the kitchen backsplash needed something fun. I decided to try peel-n-stick “tiles”. Let me go ahead and tell you, it is a NIGHTMARE for an OCD person. The tiles are not cut exactly perfect. The lines of the camper walls aren’t 100% straight. You also have to cut the tiles to fit around the outlets and windows. I’m sure cutting a sticker is easier than tile, but it’s still a pain. I’m not finished. I was close to being done and ran out of stickers. I read that they held up well but only time will tell. Actual wallpaper would have been MUCH easier. I’ll show you a final picture when it is completely finished. For the record, this video documents about 2 minutes of work. I think I’ve logged 4 hours so far. If you see an uneven spot just please don’t point it out.
Looking for the perfect table turned out to be a harder project than we first thought. We searched other RV project blogs and scoured online for the perfect size, weight, color. Finding a table the proper length that would fit into the space proved to be quite frustrating. About a month ago I posed the idea to Annie that I would just build a custom table. I don’t think she really liked the idea because I’m not exactly a furniture builder. In fairness, I’ve never really built any furniture. I started by taking measurements of the slide-out space then searched standard widths and minimum required length for seating for four people. I also used a standard table height of 29” to ensure the chairs Annie purchased would be functional. I purchased the table top wood (premium pine) at the hardware store for about $35 and used scraps from a previous project for the rest. I used the Kreg Jig (a must for any DIYer). The stain (ebony) was about $8 and I’d say it took me start to finish around 4-5 hours. Honestly, the hardest part was figuring out how to get the thing in the door once I finished. An oversight on my part. I think it turned out ok and ended up being one of the cheaper projects on the renovation.
Nate has done all the dirty work. Literally. Cleaning rat droppings out of the oven is not something I ever care to do. (Now you’ll think of that every time I use the camper oven. Don’t worry; it won’t happen too often.) Now that the camper is rid of the ugly furnishings, flooring, and everything has a fresh coat of paint, it was my turn to start thinking about decorating. First, I thought about the couch and table. I knew I wanted some kind of convertible couch. It needed to be mostly lightweight and the right size. Black or grey would be best to hide dirt. I also wanted something that didn’t have arm rests on the end. It sounds weird, but it seems like a larger couch without them. I looked at other blogs and pictures of other campers. IKEA had one that was a perfect match. Turns out it was in-store pick up only. Well I am more of an online-shopper-ship-to-my-house-I-don’t-go-in-stores-anymore (unless Target, because of course) kind-of-girl. So we never made it to IKEA. I kept looking and Amazon came to the rescue. I found this beauty for a steal! The back folds back into a bed (for a small human). This was the first piece to go in the camper after flooring and it suddenly started feeling cozy.