Happy Friday, friends! If you’ve been hanging around here for awhile, you already know Emmett & I moved to Utah because of our love for the landscape & mountains. We’re pretty outdoorsy people… we ski, hike, paddle, dive, bike, off-road, and generally just love spending time finding adventure outside. Camping has always been one of our favorite hobbies and our preferred way to ditch cell service & unplug. We have an impressive tent camping and backpacking setup that we’ve accumulated over the past decade (see my favorite gear for that here), but we’re getting to the age where sleeping on the ground (even on a nice camp pad) isn’t quite what it used to be. Toss our two dogs into the tent with us and it makes for an interesting night trying to sleep, ha. I think you can guess where this conversation is headed. Emmett convinced me to go look at a camper with him. It’s older, it fit our small budget, and we ended up pulling it back home with us that same night. I’m excited to tackle a unique design project that is a first for me. We’ll be giving this dated camper a quick and budget-friendly makeover before we hit the road and make some memories. Click through for the before tour, our to-do list, and my plans for this tiny home away from home…
Emmett has had his feelers out, looking for a camper or converted van for awhile now- almost a year. It’s something we’ve always dreamed about… the ease of adventure & travel in a comfortable way. It appeals to us! The last time we tent camped, we decided to get serious about our search for a better setup. Both dogs ended up having allergic reactions to who knows what (despite their monthly allergy meds), which required a makeshift bath in our emptied Yeti cooler with bottled water in an effort to de-puff their sweet little faces. Emmett also ended up passing out and injuring his wrist on a boulder from the fall while getting out of the tent in the middle of the night (we’re pretty sure he has PoTS which causes this). Anyway- it was the Murphy’s Law camping trip that really tilted the scales for us to look into campers more seriously.
The timing for our camper could honestly not be worse… we picked it up the night before leaving for vacation a couple weeks ago. It was an eight hour round trip to pick it up, we got home around one in the morning, packed for Hawaii, and didn’t have a chance to think twice about it. After arriving home from vacation, I halfway forgot about it until we pulled into our driveway and there it was. We were finally able to brainstorm and get excited about this little project. However, our primary focus right now is still the entryway.
We’re about to hit a lull with the entryway renovation though (update on that room coming soon)… the tile is almost finished and we’ll be stuck waiting on our stair parts, so it will be the perfect time to switch gears. While a very spontaneous purchase & project, we’re excited to get started on the camper soon, so we can put it to good use this summer! Our goal is to finish the camper in a one week time period. Think we can do it? Are you ready for a little before tour and our plans?
The camper is actually on the smaller side- it’s a twenty footer with one slide out… but it feels surprisingly spacious and will be more than enough for our needs. It’s lightweight and will be easy for us to pull. After all, we’re used to cramming into a two person backpacking tent with our dogs. Let’s go inside!
Since we’ve been on the hunt for a camper for almost a year, we discovered what layout we were most attracted to. Oddly enough, there were only five of these campers with this particular layout available in the states. It was the layout we really wanted, so when a used one popped up relatively close by (and within our budget)– Emmett jumped. When you walk inside there is storage on the left, the kitchen is on the right, and the bathroom is straight ahead. The bed is tucked away at the opposing end- which we really like.
The slide out makes this camper feel like a magical Harry Potter tent. It’s honestly kind of mesmerizing! With the press of a button, the dinette slides backwards creating a ton of space. You better believe this is the area I’m most excited to transform. I love the symmetry and can’t wait to replace the window treatments and reupholster the banquette seating… which actually turns into a queen size bed, if more sleeping space is needed. Our sweet niece has already called dibs on that spot for an upcoming camping trip.
Of course this thing will require lots of paint, and we’re planning to make some budget-friendly replacements, too. I found some remanent pieces of marble look alike solid surface material from Emmett’s work that was headed for the dumpster. I’m going to have a new table cut from it, and maybe I’ll find some more for a matching kitchen counter replacement.
The main bed is a queen size bed, which will be plenty of room for us. I’ve got a similar plan for the sleeping nook- new window treatments, paint, new hardware, maybe a couple sconces with battery powered lights on a remote. Of course I’ll also bust out some nice bedding and I’ve already ordered a memory foam mattress topper because the mattress is way too firm for my liking.
The kitchen is really charming… or at least it will be! I don’t love the cabinet door shape, but we’re keeping them for the sake of the budget. I will be painting the cabinetry, replacing the hardware, adding a backsplash, swapping the faucet, and installing new window treatments (think cute cafe curtain). We are extremely excited to have a fridge, freezer, oven, cooktop, AND sink. What more could we possibly need in here? Emmett said he is most excited to bake cookies while camping. I’m pretty sure he has never even baked cookies here at home, so I’m not sure what that’s about.
The bathroom is more spacious than I anticipated. It has a full size shower, a toilet, two sky lights, and a small vanity with a sink and medicine cabinet. We won’t be doing much in here other than painting the vanity and swapping the hardware & hooks. I’ll share a full list of what we’re planning below.
The To-Do List…
This is what we’re hoping to tackle…
- Remove the exterior graphics
- Make some exterior repairs (replace gaskets, a few fittings & lines, etc)
- Replace the linoleum flooring with vinyl
- Replace the window treatments
- Swap the faucets & shower trim
- Paint the cabinetry
- Install a backsplash
- Reupholster the dinette
- Install new hardware & hooks
- Add some additional lighting
- Paint the walls & ceiling
- Install organization systems within the cabinets & storage areas
- Install an outdoor shower or wash system for the dogs
- Furnish the camper (bedding, dishes, cookware, bath towels, etc)
- Style it to feel cohesive with our aesthetic
I also assumed you’d like to see a rough visual, so I pulled together a very quick mood board with the finishes I have in mind…
01: budget sconces // 02: peel-and-stick tile // 03: rv faucet // 04: dinnerware set // 05: acrylic drinking glasses // 06: camp mugs // 07: cabinetry hardware // 08: vinyl floor tiles // 09: curtain rings with clips // 10: adjustable curtain rod // 11: cafe curtains // 12: towel ring and toilet paper set // 13: rubia pillow // 14: towel set // 15: vintage pastel painting // 16: adhesive hooks // 17: comforter set // 18: blanket // 19: gingham sheet set // 20: hand held shower spray // 21: shower diverter // 22: gretchen vintage rug // 23: no spill, non skid dog feeder
Emmett hasn’t even seen the design plan yet… so you’re beating him to it (unless he’s reading this post right now). He has been focused on the repairs and boring things (like sourcing a generator, fixing water lines, and de-winterizing the camper), and I’ve been quickly ordering materials for the design and cosmetic changes we’d like to make. I just compiled everything into a mood board last night, so it’s the first time I’m seeing everything all together. I think it’s looking surprisingly cohesive. Do you get a good feel for where I’m headed?
Will we be ditching tent camping altogether? I don’t think so! There is certainly a time and a (remote) place for backpacking and we’re always up for a good adventure… maybe without our dogs though. They always add complexity to the situation. Certain camping trips call for different gear, but we’re certainly going to pack up the dogs and start adventuring more often thanks to the convenience of this little home away from home on wheels. Funny enough, my bestie Laurie Anne and her husband, bought a converted camper van on the exact same day (without knowing we picked up this thing). As you might imagine, we’ve already planned a few trips with them that we’re looking forward to. We’re also meeting our family in Yellowstone later this summer, and many of our friends here in Salt Lake also have campers or rooftop tents, so we’re excited to join the fun and learn to camp in a different way than we’re accustomed to- which is usually “roughing it”. This will definitely feel like glamping to us!
We’re looking forward to sleeping in an actual bed and having running water… but most of all- I’m excited for a new design challenge. I’ve never owned, let alone designed a camper, RV, tiny home, or travel trailer before. It’s a whole different ballgame… with the caveat of only using lightweight materials. My designer self is always attracted to heavy duty, high-end, super high quality fixtures and materials, so this feels like going against everything I’ve been taught. If my health challenges have taught me anything these past few months, it’s to get outside, take the trip, do something different, and make the memories. Emmett & I are all about experiences, seeing new places, and sharing it with the people we love. I’m looking forward to sharing this quick makeover and camper journey with you! It will be random, very budget conscious, and mostly cosmetic, but fun & entertaining nonetheless.
If you’ve ever owned or currently own a camper, converted van, RV, or travel trailer, I’d love to hear your tips! I’m especially interested in maximizing the small space and hearing your organizational ideas. We’re totally new to this and our plan is to take it out for a maiden voyage one night next week before we dive into making it cute and more functional. We want to see how it functions as is before we start making modifications. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Is this something you’re interested in following along with? I’m debating how much of the process to share. The older (and wiser) I get, the more I enjoy sharing what brings me joy in the moment- whether it’s a good move for my business or not. When we first moved to Utah, I shared a LOT of outdoor and landscape photos from our adventures and my engagement immediately tanked. I got a lot of “stick to design” and “I’m only here for interiors” type of messages that really kept me from sharing that part of our life. Recently I’ve kind of sworn off the social algorithms (and caring too much) anyway- they’re difficult to keep up with and don’t feel very organic to me. I know this project isn’t the norm for Emmett & myself, but I hope it’s entertaining, interesting, and educational at the very least. We’re not going to become a travel blogging couple or anything, but I definitely want to share the makeover process with you… and maybe some fun snippets of us enjoying this thing! What do you say? Want to come along for the ride?
BrittanyMay 13, 2022 at 3:33 am
I am so excited for you all on this! Between friends and family there are a lot of campers in my life. Ha! We don’t get to go often-or rather don’t make the time for it much-so it doesn’t make sense for us to own a camper-just a tent- but I really do love camping, and I can’t wait to see how you transform yours to look more like you! And I hear ya about sleeping in a tent with a dog-not a lot of sleeping happening 🤣 ours just moved around constantly between us and the kids 🙄. We are camping in July 😬 with like 3 huge fans and the dog is NOT coming!
SarahMay 13, 2022 at 10:42 am
Thank you so much, Brittany! Camping is so fun- we always make the best memories and it’s relatively inexpensive, so that’s another perk. The dogs are a nightmare when we camp… we never get any sleep, they always get into something, and it turns into a stressful ordeal. Haha! I feel like the camper is going to be a game changer for that. They can have their space, we have water if they need a quick rinse, and for the parks that don’t allow dogs- they can enjoy (and stay safe in) the A/C while we take a quick hike. I hope you have a fantastic camping trip in July! I don’t blame you one bit for leaving the dog at home. Haha! We would do the same. Have an amazing weekend :)
HollyMay 13, 2022 at 4:25 am
Can’t wait to follow along! Very cool project!
SarahMay 13, 2022 at 10:39 am
Thank you, Holly! We’re really excited to get started soon :)
Melanie TMay 13, 2022 at 5:27 am
Design applied to campers? I can’t wait! One week transformation? If anyone can, it will be you two! We don’t even have a truck, but I’ve had fantasies of a nomadic life across the U.S. to see the phenomenal national parks so maybe I’ll have to start working on my husband. Have a great weekend!
SarahMay 13, 2022 at 10:39 am
I’m excited for this too, Melanie! The timeline is going to be pushing it, but I think we can divide and conquer. Our materials are already starting to show up and we’re eager to get going. Emmett & I have actually visited most of the National Parks (all are amazing!), but still have a hand full to cross of our list. This will definitely help us do that! If you’re ever in Utah, I’d be happy to share our favorite spots and recommendations. I may be biased, but this state is packed with beautiful parks and scenery to discover! Happy Friday :)
PeggiMay 13, 2022 at 5:50 am
Good morning! OK. I definitely did not have camper as my guess, but of course I’m interested to follow along! We’re decidedly “rent a cabin” (or yurt!) people, but my friend bought a camper a few years ago. I can attest to the comfort of the dinette bed! I love the aesthetic you’ve planned, and what a fun new flex for your design muscles. As for the algorithm and engagement…honestly all I can do is shake my head. I feel like the social media experience has been sullied for both influencer and follower, but that’s a topic for another time. What we need to discuss now is Emmett’s dream of baking cookies while camping. Hahahaha. I about laugh-snorted my coffee. How could I not be interested in that level of enthusiasm? Bring on the stunning outdoor photographs and tales of adventure! Cheers to Pizza Friday and authenticity!!💜
SarahMay 13, 2022 at 10:37 am
Really?! I thought for sure you had already guessed. We may or may not be planning a trip to Oregon with Laurie Anne! This time I HAVE to swing by and hug you. We don’t have dates yet, but I’ll keep you posted once we get something on the calendar :) Our family is meeting us in Yellowstone and they rented a yurt (and we’ll stay in our camper), so I totally understand the appeal of cabins & yurts- which are equally as fun. The algorithm used to upset me, and these days I just kind of say to hell with it. It will either show my stories and imagery or it won’t… and those that are there for it, that’s wonderful and I’m appreciative… and those that aren’t into it, totally fine too. I understand! I’ve kind of given up on stressing about it and am trying to share in the moment and do what feels authentic, despite the new standards. Anyway- oof. Went off on a tangent there. Emmett baking cookies is something I want to see, too! I’ll definitely have to document that moment. Lol! He is the MOST excited about this camper and I love him for it. He is scheming and planning and dreaming… and I just love seeing him do that with a high level of excitement. Ha. Here’s to adventure ahead! Happiest pizza Friday to you! We’re doing food trucks with friends tonight, so I’m hoping to find a slice there… and we’re packing some wine, too! Have a good weekend! xo
MonicaMay 13, 2022 at 6:49 am
Oh this will be fun to watch!
SarahMay 13, 2022 at 10:31 am
We are really excited! It’s not going to be the fanciest, but I think it will be cute & more functional once we’re finished. Can’t wait to share. Have a great weekend, Monica!
SMay 13, 2022 at 6:55 am
Would love to see more progress and budget solutions to make the most of what you’ve got—and how these hold up to real life use —even if it’s in RV form!
SarahMay 13, 2022 at 10:31 am
Most definitely! I’m on board for that :) Have you ever checked out our laundry room makeover? That was the last super budget friendly project I tackled, and it still looks the same today. We’re hoping to full renovate in the next year or two, but in the meantime- it has been really nice and has held up very well!
MaggieMay 13, 2022 at 7:19 am
OOOOOH I am very much looking forward to this makeover! Post everything!
SarahMay 13, 2022 at 10:29 am
Yay!! That makes me so happy to hear, Maggie! I will be sure to document the entire journey once we get started!
JodiMay 13, 2022 at 7:31 am
I never really comment unless I’m looking for a specific source for something, but I just had to tell you how excited I am to follow along with this project! My husband and I really enjoy camping and have casually had our eye out for the right camper for several years now. We have young babies now, so the timing isn’t right for us to take on a project like this, but when they get a little bit older we will be resuming the search! I would want to remodel it to align with our style, so I’ll enjoy the inspo here! It seems rare for women in the ID community to share this interest, and if they do, it seems like you only see extreme Airstream remodels or something of that nature, which is neither practical or attainable for the type of camping we like to do. So I’m super excited to follow along!
SarahMay 13, 2022 at 10:29 am
You made my day, Jodi! Thank you so much. We’re excited for our camper journey. We’re used to tent camping, so this feels very luxurious to us! How fun to be able to take your kids out once they’re older- I think that sounds like the perfect plan that is sure to create happy memories. We always camped on a budget and roughed it (we’ve tent camped for two decades), and while beautiful- an Airstream just wasn’t in our budget. I’m hoping the same- this will share some inexpensive inspiration for updating a basic model that feels more attainable. We don’t want to spend too much on this- we’d rather put our money toward gas for more trips, national park fees, etc… just to see more things. We mostly do BLM camping and go off the beaten path. And if I’m being honest- it feels like a smarter investment to put renovation money into our home instead (since campers depreciate). Anyway, thank you for sharing my enthusiasm! Have a wonderful weekend :)
EliseMay 13, 2022 at 7:35 am
Yes please post everything, would love to follow along!
SarahMay 13, 2022 at 10:24 am
Can do! Thanks for chiming in, Elise! Happy Friday :)
BeckyMay 13, 2022 at 8:04 am
We fixed up a camper last year and it turned out amazing! Be prepared for the painting to take forever!! I ended up using drop cloths from Lowes to reupholster the banquette cushions because it was cheaper than fabric, has a linen look and texture, was neutral and easily replaceable (you can always find drop cloths) down the road if it should ever get stained or ruined. I don’t have a blog, but can email you pics if you’d like to see how the drop cloths look. I think you’d be surprised!
SarahMay 13, 2022 at 10:24 am
That sounds incredible, Becky! We’re hoping to use our spray gun to paint and knock that part out rather quickly… the prep always takes forever though. What a smart idea to use drop cloth! I actually found some budget fabric for our banquette, otherwise I would totally take you up on that. Thank you for taking the time to share! I think others will be super inspired by that as well :) Have a lovely weekend!
BrittanyMay 13, 2022 at 8:19 am
This is so exciting! This is the type of car of camping I can get into! What a great find. I would definitely read any posts you share about this! I think it will be relatable to small space, quick but impactful makeovers!
SarahMay 13, 2022 at 10:23 am
Thanks Brittany! We’re eager to get started on this and put it to good use :) I’ll definitely be sharing the design process. It should be really fun. Hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead!
colleenMay 13, 2022 at 10:02 am
I love the camper and looks like a fabulous way to explore the world. I can understand the desire to secure a better sleeping arrangement for you both and the pups. We tried camping once on our way to the cottage, to see if it might be something we enjoyed as a family and it was a hard no from everyone even our dogs hated it. We realized just from one night it was not for us, we were cottagers not campers. Lol.
I love the design plans and it’s going to be the prettiest and most stylin’ camper ever 😉 A well known local designer here in Toronto did a similar makeover of an Airstream and it was so amazing you should definitely share the journey. And yes if anyone can make that baby over in a week its you two. Super Fun!
We made it back to Canada just over a week ago and its been rush, rush ever since. It’s going to be an insanely busy summer over here business wise and on the personal front. I might not always be able to chime in but I’ll always be tuning into the blog to see all the updates and inspiring posts. Spring is here and one week to pool opening and so much to do. Yikes! I better run, so excited for your camper makeover and adventures. Yay! Happy Friday, enjoy pizza night 😋🍻
SarahMay 13, 2022 at 10:22 am
Happy Friday, Colleen! We’re really excited. I think our end goal is cottaging (longterm), but camping is fun in the meantime! Hah! Would love to have a second home to renovate someday. We’re eager to dive in and start making it cute. We looked at some airstreams, but they were out of our budget. I think this one should polish up nicely though, and I do love the layout! I’m thrilled to hear you made it back to Canada safely, despite being super busy. I bet it’s always a bit overwhelming to play catch up once you’re back. I’m also looking forward to a busy summer and enjoying the season ahead :) No worries at all if you don’t have time to say hello or chime in. I’ll be here whenever you have time! Have a lovely weekend! I know you’re anxiously awaiting the pool to open. I’m envious of your incredible backyard. xox
CherylMay 13, 2022 at 10:25 am
What a fun adventure! We traveled the US in a 34′ Class A motorhome for a year between retiring and becoming caregivers for Momma. Not sure who designs the interiors for campers but they have a unique design esthetic.
Day & night shades are less fuss than your existing blinds or most residential window treatments. Simple bed linens make bedmaking easy.
Pack the kitchen cabinets and refrigerator as full as you can (corralling items in bins as needed) to minimize spills and breakage while traveling. Use anti-slip shelf liner to keep things from sliding around too much.
3M Command Bath products were a great help – I attached a large bin to the shower wall for shampoo, conditioner & soap and a tiny towel bar for a wash cloth. Regular command products worked well everywhere else.
It’s been several years and I can’t think of anything else off the top of my head – but contact me if you have any questions.
OksanaMay 13, 2022 at 10:37 am
Sarah I am so excited for you guys! You will freaking love it. Please share all that you do in terms of the transformation – every little detail! It’s been a little over a year since we bought our RV – it was pre-owned but only a year old – so needless to say the husband is not a fan of my (many) remodeling ideas. 😂 I personally would love any inspiration that doesn’t require demoing or painting anything – but I’m still excited to follow with everything you’ll be sharing!
TeriMay 13, 2022 at 10:40 am
Excited to see your renovations in this camper!
SarahMay 13, 2022 at 10:44 am
Thank you, Teri! I’m looking forward to sharing and making some great memories in that thing :) Have a lovely weekend!
BridgetMay 13, 2022 at 2:03 pm
I can’t wait to see how you trick that thing out!
SarahMay 17, 2022 at 8:34 am
Thank you, Bridget! We’re really excited :)
LeahMay 13, 2022 at 2:31 pm
I too am excited for this project! I’m in Montana and we love to camp and be outdoors. What urged me to comment though was you mentioning POTS. I’ve been diagnosed with POTS since 2011 but had symptoms for years before that were attributed to my Crohn’s. It’s a tough thing to live with, especially for active people. Thinking of you both with your health journeys ❤️ and hoping you’ve found more answers with your stuff as well
SarahMay 17, 2022 at 8:34 am
Yay! I love hearing that, Leah! Thank you. It’s our dream to have a horse ranch in Montana someday. Ha! I’m so sorry to hear about your health struggles as well. It really is tough, especially when you’re used to being super active and on the go. We appreciate your thoughts! I’m still a medical mystery, but am hopefully getting closer to answers. My doctors have been crossing off a lot of things, that is hopefully leading us to answers. Anyway, I’ll be thinking of you, too. I hope you’re having a good spring season and have been able to get outside and do some fun things! xo
LaurenMay 13, 2022 at 2:40 pm
Sarah, I am relatively new to your blog and live in NYC (read: not outdoorsy), but I’d love to follow along on the camper renovations! So neat to see creative people do cool things.
SarahMay 17, 2022 at 8:32 am
Hi Lauren! I’m so glad to have you here. Thanks for taking the time to share. I’m excited to share the camper makeover and the progress- I think it’s going to be really fun :) I appreciate your kind words! Hope you’re having a great week so far.
JenniferMay 13, 2022 at 3:40 pm
Yes, please! Please share the makeover & some adventures, too. I grew up camping in a small camper mounted to a pick-up bed. 2 adults & 3 girls in a tiny space ! We did weekend trips and cross-country trips too. No shower, chemical toilet – yuk! Good memories otherwise.
The one thing I remember is that storage cubbies seemed to hide everything during the trip. Either pull-out drawers or bins might help.
Looking forward to as much as you feel comfortable sharing!
SarahMay 17, 2022 at 8:31 am
I will, Jennifer. Thank you! I love hearing about your childhood camping memories- that sounds so amazing. I definitely need to get some storage bins and figure out how to be very organized in such a tiny space. Thanks for your tips and encouragement :) I hope you’re having a wonderful week so far.
Heather JenningsMay 13, 2022 at 5:13 pm
This is great! What luck you had getting a camper you had your eye one, I’ve heard it’s a crazy market for trailers, etc. Please share the project(s). And I appreciate your honesty in wanting to share not just design related content, I’m here for it!
SarahMay 17, 2022 at 8:30 am
Thank you so much, Heather! It’s definitely a crazy market for that sort of stuff right now- I can’t believe we snagged this one that fit our budget and preferred layout. Thanks so much for your support and encouragement. Have an amazing day!
KimMay 13, 2022 at 6:14 pm
We just bought a 2009 airstream and have some updating to do. Excited to,watch the progress!!
SarahMay 17, 2022 at 8:28 am
That’s so exciting! Airstreams are the most beautiful, when it comes to campers :) What a find!
Kim BeckMay 13, 2022 at 7:00 pm
Hi Sarah —
Thank you for sharing this part of your life. And good for you to be able to shrug off the negative comments. I look forward to following along.
Cheers to new adventures!
SarahMay 17, 2022 at 8:27 am
Thank you so much, Kim! I’m not the best at shrugging off negative messages or comments, but I’m slowly getting better about it. Thanks for your encouragement! Cheers to new adventures, indeed. I hope you’re having a wonderful week :)
LaurenMay 14, 2022 at 8:44 am
I’m way too excited for this one Sarah! Share every last thing!! Lol. I’m far more comfortable and familiar with campers/motor homes/travel trailers than I am with tent camping. Our current setup is tent camping, but the littles didn’t take well to our backyard trial run🥴. Now we tend to borrow one of our parents trailers, with plans to purchase our own down the road. A few tips from years of dealing with the bumps of the road: lightweight, stackable, compact kitchenware is your best friend. As someone above mentioned, non slip shelf liner will also be your friend. Clear bins with lids to corral as many items of one type as possible will make things ultra simple for storage, just be careful to have dimensions of cabinet interiors on hand. RV’s and trailers are token for having odd depth cabinetry. Select your window treatments carefully and where possible, utilize day and night shades. If you’re doing cafe curtains you might see if you can find some budget blackout liner to sew onto the back for the sleeper areas, and layer over a sheer cafe curtain. It’s interesting that rv’s have a ton of windows but in most cases the natural light or the window tint are terrible- in my experience it’s been both! Haha! If you run across the issue of your curtains shifting too much during travel and catching on things that may damage them, consider the solution my dad and I came up with for his: we added a smaller curtain rod on the bottom edge of the window, modified the curtains so they would accommodate the rod, and now they provide everything he needs without the hassle. “Batten down the hatches” is the name of the game with RV’s. Other than that, have fun with this one. I’ll be following along to see your ultra chic glamping finds and how incredible this turns out. Oooh-can you post a tutorial on how you remove the exterior graphics?? Loving this content!! Have a great weekend! xoxo
SarahMay 17, 2022 at 8:26 am
Thank you, Lauren!! We’re really excited. Hopefully your kids will enjoy tent camping with a couple more trial runs :) Or better yet- borrow your parents trailer in the meantime. Haha! Shelf liners are genius! Why did I not think of that? Clear bins seem like another easy way to stay organized. The cabinetry is definitely an odd size and depth. I tried to put some of our existing baskets into the negative space and it wasn’t working well. I’m going to sew the window treatments, so I’m definitely going to include a liner or buy a heavier fabric that has some black out capability. I love your tip about keeping them in place, too. Thank you! I’ll definitely share how I remove the graphics. Funny enough- my first high school job was at a graphics shop and when I first started I was the “graphic remover”, so I did a ton of this type of stuff back in the day. These are pretty baked on though from the sun, so it’s going to require a little extra elbow grease. Wish me luck! Have an awesome day, friend!
Danna FMay 14, 2022 at 10:39 am
So so so excited for you both! I am here for the remodel, trips…the whole journey! To heck with algorithms that tell you what is relatable or popular. What do they know?
There will be lots of stories and memories made with this camper. Your mood board looks beautiful. Of course loving the green and neutrals. You have thought of everyone. The pups will be spoiled! This will be the most stylish camper with the vintage rug!
Cheers to the entryway progress, rv remodel, health and beautiful spring nights! Have a great weekend!
SarahMay 17, 2022 at 8:22 am
Thank you so much, Danna! We’re excited to make some fun memories with the camper. I’m ready to get started on it. I think I’ll probably get going on the flooring and paint while Emmett wraps up the entryway tile. Thanks for your positive and uplifting comments to start the day! Cheers to progress, health, and some fun spring & summer memories, indeed. I hope you’re having a wonderful week, yourself! xo
PamMay 15, 2022 at 8:00 am
Enjoying our 4th “couples” trailer so yes I have few tips! Professionally recover the booth cushions with Kryton fabrics with a high rub count; lots of sliding through goes on there. Use shelf liner in the kitchen cabinets so things don’t slide around. So many great choices for pots, pans dish etc only buy the prettiest and bring real wine glasses, just shorter ones. Pretty takes as much room as ugly and remember you are glamping now! When Emmet adds the exterior shower see if he can also add a sprayer next to the toilet. Genius way to keep toilet paper out of the black tank and who doesn’t live to be squeaky clean. Last tip, don’t bother with a pizza stone for your oven. We have found the secret to perfect cookies( and Trader Joe’s croissants) is to move the rack as high as it goes and bake you r cookies on a parchment lines half sheet. Perfect every time! Can’t wait to see your beautiful touches on your own. Trailer! Pjmathieson
SarahMay 17, 2022 at 8:17 am
Thank you for taking the time to share, Pam! I really appreciate it. You have some awesome tips! Shelf liners- I never would have thought about that. We’re definitely going to make cookies with your tip and we love the Trader Joe’s croissants- so smart! You have me excited to take our first camping trip with the camper.
PamMay 15, 2022 at 8:04 am
Forgot one other tip! See if you can turn the mattress/bed so that neither of you has to be trapped by the wall. We love our tuft and needle mattress. Sleeping should be just like you would want in a hotel or cabin!You will thank me later…pjmathieson
SarahMay 17, 2022 at 8:19 am
Thank you! We tried to figure out how to adjust the layout and turn the bed, but no luck- there just isn’t space thanks to the kitchen and we don’t want to rewire or move things around. Too bad! As far as the bedding goes though- I definitely don’t want to skimp. I’m looking forward to getting a good nights sleep there :) Thanks again for the tips- have a wonderful week!
Caitlin RomneyMay 15, 2022 at 2:28 pm
Yes! Share share share!
I’ve always been interested in doing the same thing, so I’m hoping following along inspires and motivates me to do it someday. I’m loving the mood board and I’m excited to watch you bring that thing to life.
SarahMay 17, 2022 at 8:11 am
I’m definitely going to! I’m so excited that people are interested in seeing our little camper makeover. I’m eager to get started on it :) I hope you’re having a great week, Caitlin!
JamieMay 15, 2022 at 3:48 pm
Oh yes, yes, please share the process! I am more excited about this than is probably normal ; ) I’ll live vicariously through you, and maybe steal some tips from you. I have no doubt it will turn out amazing!
SarahMay 17, 2022 at 8:08 am
I will, Jamie! Thanks for sharing. We’re really excited about the camper… for the design and to make some good memories in it!
pjMay 15, 2022 at 5:36 pm
I LOVE thiS! yes please share~ For the record I loved the outdoor landscaping!
SarahMay 17, 2022 at 8:07 am
Thank you! I am definitely planning to share :) It seems like a handful of people are interested in following the camper design journey, and I’m eager to capture the progress! Have a great week!
CherylMay 16, 2022 at 1:55 pm
I used fabric and tutorials from this company for outdoor cushions – maybe you’ll find something helpful for your travel trailer projects:
They sent an email today with RV living room projects and I thought of you!
SarahMay 17, 2022 at 7:58 am
Ahh, so exciting! Thank you for taking the time to share, Cheryl! This is awesome. I hope you’re having a lovely week :)
DanielleMay 16, 2022 at 6:43 pm
I’m not a camp-ing or camp-er person but I am SUPER excited to see the progress and outcome on this. The mood board is gorgeous! I have no idea why campers and RVs and such seem to all have that same dreadful look (million dollar idea: actually stylish campers without those terrible decals on the side and obviously faux finish interiors). You have wonderful taste and really creative ideas which is why we’re all here – for YOU – so please share away!!
SarahMay 17, 2022 at 7:58 am
Thank you so much, Danielle! Emmett and I were just talking about that- why are all campers and RVs so ugly? Ours has a very 90’s feel, despite the fact that it’s a 2013. We were thinking- who decided (in 2013) that this was a good look? Haha! Anyway, we super appreciate your support. I hope you’re having a wonderful week, Danielle! xo
Kristin RichardsonMay 16, 2022 at 6:58 pm
Looks like lots of positive vibes to keep sharing this project–you’re going to show those stupid algorithms!
I hear you about tent camping though. My tipping point was a rainy weekend with 2 adult sized teens, 2 dogs, and us in a 6 person tent. Nothing was dry. After that, no more and the hunt for a camper was on. Found a 1997 popup for a steal. I put peel and stick vinyl plank down, painted all the cabinets, and painted faux marble counters and the tabletop. All the linens and window treatments were replaced using clearance fabric and curtains plus my sewing machine. Agree with recommendation about heavy duty outdoor fabric for dinette but went one better last year and replaced my 1st fabric on seating with heavy vinyl. We don’t have a potty or even run water in it, so I’m ready for my next camper that’ll have a bath. I’m too old to go traipsing down to a bath house in the middle of the night. :)
Good luck, trust me, you’ll love it!
SarahMay 17, 2022 at 7:57 am
Thanks, Kristin! I love hearing your own camping / camper story. So smart to paint faux marble- I didn’t even think of that! I’m going fabric shopping later this week and hopefully I can snag some budget material for the window treatments and start sewing those soon. I think we’re going to use a vinyl on the banquette seating as well- something that can easily be wiped clean with water. Thanks again for your tips! We’re really excited. We’re taking it out for a maiden voyage (just one night) this week so we can see how things function before we get started.
Kristin RichardsonMay 17, 2022 at 7:27 pm
Harder to find nowadays, but I found blackout curtains on clearance in a solid color when renewing ours. Cut them to fit our windows and added new hems or header depending on need. Just something to think about. I then matched my patterned fabric to those.
SarahMay 18, 2022 at 11:01 am
Thank you so much, Kristin! That’s an awesome tip!
JennaMay 17, 2022 at 1:41 pm
I am so ridiculously excited to follow along with this reno! The process of renovating campers is just so fascinating to me, even though I have never once been camping, LOL. I love all the nitty gritty details, so please – share away!!
SarahMay 17, 2022 at 2:00 pm
Thank you for sharing my excitement, Jenna! We’re ready to get going on this project in the week ahead. I’m looking forward to sharing along the way :) Hope you’re having a great day!
MelissaMay 18, 2022 at 8:16 pm
Cheers to sharing what you love! This will be such a cool project to follow!
SarahMay 20, 2022 at 11:49 am
Thank you so much, Melissa! I hope you have a lovely weekend ahead :)
Liz AMay 18, 2022 at 9:58 pm
So fun! Found this post from your quilts post (one of which I’ve been googling at for a while now!!)
We did this with a 30′ trailer with two slide outs and lived in it while building our house (with a dog and a newborn!!!) Which we later sold. Paint, flooring, tile, lights, hardware. My husband just got us a toy hauler similar to yours for family adventures this past weekend and I’m excited to make it feel fresher and more like home!
One word of caution, I used that exact same stick on Subway tile in our last trailer remodel… It was beautiful but over time the shifting expansion/contraction/moving parts and the heat (especially by the stove) definitely took a number on it’s appearance over 2 years of hard use. Granted, if you keep the trailer stored out of direct heat/sun and use the AC when it’s hot that might help, as will making sure it is always leveled well…. Just wanted to share my experience.
SarahMay 20, 2022 at 11:48 am
I loved reading this, Liz! Thank you for taking the time to share. I’m so impressed you were able to live in your trailer while building your home. Thanks for letting me know about the subway tile. Hmmm… I’m hoping it works because I already bought it and have it here. I’m wondering if I should add some extra adhesive or create a frame of sorts to keep it in place. Either way- such valuable feedback, so thank you! I’m guessing it’s going to be stored outside in the sun and we live in Utah, so I’ll probably have similar challenges to deal with. Crossing my fingers! I hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead :)
MartyMay 25, 2022 at 12:05 pm
Today is the day we trade our tiny camper in for a new to us motor home. I’m excited to see what changes you make. I’ve been thinking about ways to update our new camper as well.
SarahMay 26, 2022 at 4:15 pm
Yay!! That is so exciting, Marty! Congrats on your new motor home. I can’t wait to share our camper makeover :) We’re hoping to get started this coming week.