RV Restoration

RV restoration is no small task but well worth the effort for a full-timer, do-it-yourselfer or someone who bought their RV brand new ten years ago and would rather fix it than spend the money to buy a new one. You can restore the inside and the outside, or do some upgrades to keep your current RV on the road for many more years.

Wood Rot

RV’s are sometimes prone to leaks as the sides begin to rust and the windows lose their sealant. To do an RV restoration of this type, you have two options: the first is to tear out the rotted wood and the second is to simply paint over the mold with specialty paint and then cover it with a new piece of wood. The first option is the right way to repair the RV but requires a lot of knowledge and is more expensive, and the second option can only be done if the rot is not too bad and is able to support a new wall on top of it.

Before repairing any type of rot, you have to find the cause of the water damage because that also needs to be repaired to avoid any future recurrences. This might mean replacing windows, welding a piece of metal to the outside, resealing the area around the rooftop air conditioning unit, or making adjustments to the door frame. Depending on what needs to be done and how handy you are, this project can vary in scope and cost.

Creating Storage

For a full-time RVer, storage is often a problem because you are downsizing from a home or apartment full of knick knacks and furniture. Also, you are on the road so collecting items from your travels or finding hard to pass up bargains at flea markets may add to your storage woes. Obviously, you can rent a storage unit but this is not always a convenient solution.

Some RVers elect not to use their stove because the living space is too small or they are afraid to use the propane or they simply prefer the microwave. If you don’t use your stove, one RV restoration idea for creating more storage is to replace it with cabinets.

Another Storage Solution

When I began living fulltime in my motorhome, I quickly discovered the need for more storage. While there was a tiny bathtub (try sitting down in that and you'd be kissing your knees), storage was more important. Since I didn't figure to waste my water taking showers, when most campgrounds and RV parks had shower facilities, I used the mini-tub/shower unit for storage.

Another solution is to redo the closet since it tends to only have a rod for hanging as opposed to shelves and drawers. You can build your own shelves out of simple plywood and finish them with paint or stain. Stores like Wal-Mart, Target, Lowes, and Home Depot also carry shelving and storage solution kits that come with drawers or shelf baskets which are good for holding socks and under garments. Depending on the size of your RV and how much free space you have, you may elect to install floating shelves or build custom night stands or end tables.


The number one RV restoration is probably flooring. Most RV’s have carpets because they provide insulation and rugs tend to get stained and retain odors. Ripping up a carpet in an RV is a little frustrating because it is installed underneath all of the fixtures so cleaning out the corners and edges is time consuming but this is an easy thing to do yourself as is laying down the new floor.

Putting down a new carpet is best because of the insulation but you can opt for linoleum, wood, or the newer lock-in, pressed faux wood slats that come in a pack of 25 at home supply stores.

While parked at a flea market for the summer, I decided it was time to remove that nasty gold indoor-outdoor carpet. Needless to say it was a real job, mainly because it had been glued down. It took a lot of scraping on my hands and knees to get that black rubber backing up off the floor.

Then I bought a remnant of vinyl flooring, drew out the floorplan, took measurement, then rolled out the flooring on the grass outside, drew lines and started cutting. For being my first time putting down flooring, it made all the difference in how the motorhome felt, and was much easier to clean!

In performing an RV restoration, small upgrades such as new curtains or a paint job provides a modern look and gives your home on wheels a comfortable and welcoming feeling. A restoration is a great way to add life to your vehicle and renew your pride of ownership.

More RV Restoration Information
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