Life En Route

Interior Renovations

We’ve made a few renovations over the years to our RV, but lets do a proper comparison and look all the way back to the original configuration. These photos are what it looked like the day we brought it home:

The original design contained two recliners we never used, a RV refrigerator, carpet on the door-side slide, and a loveseat that began to peel and show substantial wear after only two years. At various points we swapped the recliners out for a custom bench with storage underneath, the refrigerator out for a residential model with water/ice in the door, the carpet for composite flooring, and the loveseat for an off the shelf residential one. We also changed all the window treatments and reupholstered the valances, in a process that seemed to take forever.

Last year, we hired a paint company in Austin to come in and paint the wallpaper white, but they did a horrible job. I’ll do most things myself, but really do not like painting (especially with oil-based primer), so sometimes opt to farm it out instead of dealing with it. At that point, we also added a peel and stick backsplash and and peel and stick wallpaper to the lower slide wall, both of which began to peel themselves off after several months.

Walking through Lowe’s the other day looking for a replacement peel-and-stick backsplash, we spotted a real stone backsplash we liked. On the spot, we decided to expand the scope of the project and finish out the interior the way we’ve been wanting. We spent a couple hours roaming through the store looking for things, and left with a truck bed full of materials.

Back at the RV, we pulled off the old backsplash, cleaned the wall, cleaned the wall next to it, and started cutting tile to fit. We didn’t have a tile saw and didn’t want to buy one, so I used an angle grinder with a masonry bit for most of the work. Once we had the tile cut, we covered the wall in mortar in sections and started sticking the tile on. We used plastic spacers to set the spacing between the tiles, removed the excess mortar, then applied a sealer once dried. After waiting a day, we mixed up the grout, filled in all the crevices, let it dry for half an hour, and then cleaned the remainder off. Several hours later, we applied sealant and caulked the edges. The tile, mortar, and grout add approximately 35lbs.

While waiting for the mortar to dry, I used a jigsaw to trim down 3/16″ hardboard beadboard to fit the lower wall of the slide. I applied construction adhesive to the backside, pressed it into place, and tacked the corners in with brad nails. I then cut quarter round trim for the base and corners, and filled the joints between the boards with caulk, as well as the the joints where the trim meets. I also added quarter round trim to the bench where it met the floor, and up the sides where it met the wall, and caulked using the same method. Since I hand cut everything with a jigsaw, instead of using a table saw and compound miter saw like I would have preferred, the trim and caulk was essential to make everything look properly done. The beadboard and trim added roughly 40lbs.

After that was done, we added another coat of paint to the walls, fixed all the edges so that now most of the lines are sharp, and spray painted the sconces a dark bronze. We used a nice green to paint the beadboard I added to the walls, as well as the existing beadboard found on the kitchen island.

We pulled down the original ceiling light fixtures and added two corresponding light fixtures. Since they’re residential fixtures with E12 bases designed for 120V bulbs, and RV wiring is for 12V, we ordered specialty E12 12V bulbs from Amazon that will be here tomorrow. I checked that everything is functioning correctly with a multimeter before cleaning up.

We found four 22.5″x22.5″ outdoor furniture cushions, and placed them on the bench. We had exactly 90″x24″ to work with, so these off-the-shelf cushions fit almost perfectly.

After cleaning up a bit, this was the final result:

It may not be for everyone, but we feel like this is a substantial improvement over the factory interior and are very happy with the results.

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