RVs are pretty much built with cookie cutter molds – all come out looking much the same. With the exception of those custom builders, they are like subdivision houses. You may have a choice of a couple of floor plans and a couple of colors, but not much else. In fact, manufacturers discourage changes.
When George and I were trying to find an RV sized between his 33′ New Horizon 5th wheel and my Lance camper, we finally zeroed in on the Safari Trek. However, it would need modifications to work for us. Safari charged $750 as a re-engineering fee, and that was not including any parts or labor. That was just to interrupt the assembly line. Needless to say, we decided against that and kept the New Horizon.
With an existing rig there are many ways RVers make it a home.
- Add or change furniture – typically remove couch and dinette and replace with recliners, real table
- Convert an area to an office or work area
- Take out or recover valances with own material. Put up new window treatments
- Add throw rugs, pillows, bed coverings
- Put up personal photos or paintings
- Replace knobs on cabinets and drawers
- Change faucets
- Repaint the exterior with different colors or design or add a rear mural
- Replace carpet with vinyl or wooden floors
- Exchange the mattress for a more comfortable one
- Make rig more handicapped-accessible
Some go to more extreme measures like painting or modifying the walls. One RVer even gave the walls a stucco effect.
In our original RV, a ’98 Pace Arrow, we removed both couch and dinette and built in an office area plus put in a more comfortable recliner. We also added photos. New Horizon is one company where you do design your own rig. George did a wonderful job with layout and with other touches. We have some of his photos hanging too plus his fly fishing rod, some fun hats and a new bedspread. He also took up the carpet in the kitchen area and put in a wood flooring. So much nicer!
You do need to be conscious of weight. One bookshelf, loaded with fly-tying books that George put in, caused the tires on that side to blow. That side was 300 pounds overweight. The bookshelf had to go.
What have you done to your rig to make it more individualized and your home? How has it worked for you? You can also vote at our poll, “Have you remodeled/redecorated your RV?”
Jaimie Hall Bruzenak