All the RV Renovation Details
Introducing Nonie, our little home on wheels…
Nonie is a 19 foot Coleman travel trailer and we purchased her new, in 2016. We know what you’re thinking - you purchased a NEW travel trailer and completely gutted and renovated it? Yes. And honestly - if you’re asking that question, you probably haven’t seen the common Bachelor-Chic styles that new RVs are rocking these days.
We completed the renovation over two years, starting with paint and ending with the bathroom. We spent a few years picking the best travel trailer interior that met our needs (function wise - not style wise) so the only space that got a full gut was the bathroom. We’ll share with you the basic rundown, some links to products we used and feel free to ask us questions you have!!! (Also note - we do earn a commission when you use those links - so thanks in advance!)
First to go - goodbye dark cabinets, hello bright glossy white. After much research in the blogosphere, we settled on Nuvo cabinet paint. We read up on many blogs and attempted the project without any priming or sanding. Stupid. Not for our dark cabinets. We had to reassess. A friend we roped into painting with us, suggested two coats of primer after sanding, he was right.
After painting our beautiful new white bright cabinets, we realized the brown beige walls had to go. We chose white walls. Why? Truthfully, so we didn't have to tape the new cabinets. But also because we wanted to really brighten the space. Eventually, we switched out the knobs, hardware and faucets to matte black as well.
After making everything white and clean looking, the beige blinds looked awry. We spray painted them white to match the new look. We also used the spray paint for outlet plugs and switch covers.
We LOVE our new kitchen - and since Jonathan is a chef - this space needed to be welcoming and useable. We opted for peel and stick subway tile for the backsplash and eventually, we purchased a new Corian counter, Ikea sink, and faucet to really solidify that bright white look.
One of our favorite parts of the kitchen is our spice rack. Ready? It’s super easy. Take a weird space in the RV - add a tension rod and BOOM - new exciting storage feature!
Living Room + Dining Room + Office
I mean, the fact that we’re even separating up our home into these little categories makes us laugh. Our whole space is 152 square feet and everything has more than one purpose BUT hey - welcome to our living room, office and dining room!
Let’s start with the biggest project. The original dinette took up a ton of precious space, the storage underneath was challenging to access and not very organized. We were also missing a spot to actually work inside the camper (full time RVer does not always mean retired!). In TWO days, Jonathan and a friend built this incredible table with ottomans (bonus - extra storage!!!). The table serves as extra counter space for the kitchen, our dining table, our office, as well as the majority of our storage - and we built a special spot for our Vitamix! We love that the ottomans are seats and storage - holding a bunch of kitchen and laundry supplies!
We basically dismantled the original futon and just kept the bottom cushion, down the road we’ll probably switch this up. Big shout out to our friend Kelly for turning one Ikea sofa cover into a cover for all three pieces in our living room!
We didn’t do much renovation wise in this area. We switched out the nightstand counter to match the kitchen counter. We painted the area - added some decoration and pretty much called it. Above the bed is most of Molly’s clothes and some of Jonathans and the mirror-ed door leads you to… the world’s tiniest closet! We have a queen RV mattress that fits all four us - dogs and all - very nicely!
The very last project we took on was the bathroom - and spoiler - we’ll probably redo it again in the future. Womp. We mostly love it but the new shower isn’t great. Fear not - we’ll update you when we take on that challenge.
We switched to a Nature’s Head Composting Toilet. The truth is, we did this to save money on campgrounds (no black tank = double gray tank = less sewer needs) but we cannot believe how much water we are saving. If you make the switch to a composting toilet, you’ll be making a HUGE impact for the environment and your budget. And here’s the craziest thing - it does not smell. Ever. Seriously. Blew our minds. We opted to alternate between two batteries rather than linking with our main battery.
Jonathan built a custom cabinet and our friend Jordan made us a teeny tiny copper sink and a custom copper shower rod. We built a custom shower pan and tiled away. Finally, we spray painted the shower fixtures black (we love spray paint). We added these two shelves for storing shampoo, conditioner, and soap as well! As we said, the shower is not great and will need to get redone. We have some plans but we probably won’t get to it for another year!
So, should you renovate your RV? I mean - yea!!!! Sure, it was a lot of work, we made a million mistakes, long nights and headaches along the way, but overall we are really happy with the final outcome. This is our home. And we needed the space to feel like it. Now, with all the wild color and design, it is an expression of us and our style.
We absolutely love how our trailer looks! So for us, that feeling of home is worth every single headache.
Make sure to check out our Amazon Store for our favorite tiny house items, all the RV renovation items, and more!
Please note, as an Amazon affiliate we earn from qualifying purchases made through each link in this blog post**