We bought a gently used Keystone Passport Ultra Lite travel trailer last summer. We named him Albert. We took him out a few long weekends then stored him for the winter since living in New England winters can be harsh. In early April Albert was uncovered! Unfortunately we found a small hole in the roof that appeared to be caused by a fallen branch found at the site. We immediately had to repair the roof. Here’s a tip: Do NOT suspend your insurance for the winter! We kept the insurance allyear and thankfully it paid for the new roof. But this new roof got us thinking….yup that’s trouble!
Albert was going to get an interior facelift now that he had a new roof! I admit I got very excited and this project keeps evolving. My husband calls this mission creep. Don’t worry, even though he often doesn’t get my ideas or thinks I’m crazy when I explain them, he always loves the end result and tells me so.
Thus, we start with a plan. The plan is to begin by removing the hideous, uncomfortable couch! We found an affordable comfortable sleeper sofa, that fit in the space, on Wayfair. The sofa was actually a jackknife sofa attached to a structural shelf supporting the slide so it doesn’t come close to the floor. The new sofa has to sit on top of it. We plan to build a platform that can be pulled out from under the sofa to support the sleeper and creating a skirting with outdoor fabric to go around the slide shelf which will hide the space underneath housing the slide mechanism.
A major part of our renovation plan was to removed the mattress on the lower bunk bed and build kennels for our dogs. We couldn’t remove the entire lower bunk as there is plumbing, water tank and storage underneath which is why we couldn’t use store bought crates. Having four dogs, two of which are nervous chewers and one is still a puppy, means kennels are a MAJOR necessity!
We also removed all of the window blinds (many were damaged), valances, curtains and over the door cornice (which I recovered). I special ordered fabric to make new curtains and I purchased outdoor fabric to recover the dinette which I ended up replacing all of the foam cushions due to deterioration.Another main part of our plan is painting….everything! The walls, the cabinets, the bunks…the entire RV. The walls and cabinets will be white in order to keep it bright and airy inside especially on gloomy, raining days in a strange campground. This decision has evolved, of course, and we decided not to paint the wall behind the master bed but instead to apply faux reclaimed wood removable wallpaper which I spontaneously purchased at Walmart while on our first camping trip of the year. A new backsplash in the kitchen area and new flooring would round out the plan for the main living area.
Our son will have the top bunk as his “room” so I gave him the option of choosing his own paint color (he chose a tintable chalkboard paint in a shade of blue) and the material for his curtain and his side of the divider curtain (the side facing the main living area will be the same material as the curtains throughout the rig and this will create a light blocking effect for privacy and sleeping in!). A large shelf is added between the top bunk and the wall for space to put his video games console and tv but it also acts as a roof for one of the kennels.
We changed up the kennel area a bit by installing beadboard over the walls which will still lighten up the area with its white satin finish but will also protect the original walls from any damage so when we sell this rv in the future we can just take out a few screws and it will be perfect. We used ½” PVC to construct the kennels and clamps to attach to the bottom of the top bunk and the “floor” of the kennels. We installed vinyl flooring over the bottom of the kennels to protect the wood from water spills.
The bathroom plan calls for new paint, new fixtures, new flooring, folding shower rod and possibly adding a backsplash. This room is tiny and should take no time at all to complete!
It is a lot to take on. Why remodel a perfectly good camper? People have different reasons. Some have to do so because they have some kind of damage to repair. Some just want it to feel it resembles their style and to feel at home. Some folks worry about resale value. Will it lower the value of my camper? Will I not be able to sell it? I thought about that too before deciding to move forward. The reality is that people want upgraded rigs. They are sick of the drab browns that permeate the industry décor…unless you have multimillion dollar purchasing budgets for your rig. There are more and more reality-based shows on tv about people buying RVs and the demand absolutely supports renovating. Now, there is a catch, in my opinion. You will have greater resale value and an easier time selling in the future, if you have a design that it appealing to the majority of buyers. What does that mean? Don’t get too eclectic in the permanent stuff. Multicolored cabinets won’t be a selling point to the majority of buyers, instead they will see money needing to be spent and work needing to be done. Put your flair into the removable items….accessories, curtains, bedding. It will look great, I promise! If that doesn’t sit right with you then all I have to say is….It’s your home on the road, do what makes YOU happy!
So enough talk, I need to get this project finished and spend my summer chilling in a hammock next to a campfire on some new adventure. I will share our progress so stay tuned. ‘Til then….Safe Travels and Enjoy the Ride!