happens to all of us eventually, everything in our RV 's becomes dull and
drab from dust, dirt and extended usage. It's not that we as RVers
lack good housekeeping skills, these units simply need a complete facelift
now and then. This becomes even more evident after a visit to an RV show
or dealer Open House. It is so easy to fall in love with a pristine dream
machine simply because it glistens. However your older reliable home away
from home can look equally as impressive with a few simple upgrades.
Don't fret; even if creativity is not your strong point, it is not
difficult to add a fresh face to your present home on wheels. A little
imagination along with some inexpensive pretty fabric and basic sewing
skills can easily transform a tired RV into a show place. A sewing machine
may also help some but in many cases it is not necessary. Depending on the
degree of upgrade, cost can be under a few hundred dollars.
I decide to modify I begin with a visit to fabric stores to peruse
up-to-date curtain ideas in search for suggestions, many ready made styles are
available. Let's begin with the
by adding a fresh
covering to the valences. Frequently this may be as little as covering existing decor with
new fabric. Pleating the corners using an iron and simply fastening the fabric with hidden straight
pins works well--on the underside of course. I have at times attached the
fabric to a thin cardboard base using an 'iron-on' medium. With the addition of new
blinds or lacy cafe style curtains the room takes on a cozy bright expression.
Coordinated sheets and quilted throws completes the transformation. Thanks
to the little girl in me I usually add a stuffed animal or two or three as
a final touch. Colour
matched pillows can highlight a new look.
When I can't find quality inexpensive fabric on sale I sometimes use king or
queen size sheets. This way I have ‘mucho’ fabric to work with, plus
it's easier to balance colours. Our present coach decor has an olive green/gold hue and since the
valences are in good shape so I simply mounted vibrant silk ivy/floral
arrangements to each living room valence for a dramatic transition. By the way the ‘s’ style curtain hooks with one sharp end work
wonders to hang flowers and decorative touches to all cloth or padded areas.
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TO MAKE THE UPGRADES
too can undergo a simple uplift by adding ‘lampshade aprons’
(these too can be pinned in place) to camouflage tired shades and by making a washable toilet seat cover
from the same fabric—finished size approximately 15” high x 14”wide.
Another option is to sew each side of a folded hand towel, angle the top
corners of the lid for fitted effect. Simply slip the cover over the lid;
add a coordinated rug from the dollar store. and the commode takes on a
pristine look. Fresh silk floral arrangement
completes the transformation. Voila, your bathroom too now has a classy
touch. Above the toilet we mounted a plexi-glass shelf with a heat-curled
edge on brass wall brackets. With the addition of a few fancy things
small pieces of non-slip plastic mesh along with a plant and your bathroom
too sports an elaborate image.
John and I wall papered directly over the plastic covered
wallboard. To accomplish this in an RV; wallpaper as normal but add an
extra covering of vinyl-to-vinyl glue designed to attach borders before
attaching the wallpaper.
winter, I added self stick floor tiles to the wall behind the couch and
again behind the stove. I sprayed some tiles with an adhesive spray,
but the glue I used with the wallpaper above also works. The techs at
Lowe's ((USA) suggested I prep the wall before adding the tiles. The
finished walls look absolutely outstanding,
NOTE: It is much more time-consuming to cut
around corners when wallpapering the small areas in an RV.
found a neat
HANGERS with two small nails at the back.
These hangers only make small holes in the wall, yet they are very
strong. They also look so good it is easier to leave them in place when
you sell your unit than it is to plug holes where hangers once were.
Liquid paper and wood coloured stains will cover most nail holes if you
don't have the hooks to cover the holes.
the same techniques to modify
in the bedroom, kitchen and living
areas. Instead of removing what is in place try dressing it up with a new
covering or by adding floral displays. The addition of preformed lace café
style curtains complete with rod holes on the hanging edge helps to add a
homey touch to the living room decor. We attached our café curtain rod brackets to the screws on our
window frames—no extra bracket holes were necessary. In our
hang sleeves to hold garbage bags (14”x18”—with elastic casing top
and bottom) on each side of the window; a valence in the same fabric
frames the window with interesting dressing.
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too can receive a colourful upgrade by adding an overlay instead of
doing the curtains from scratch. However this may be a bit advanced for
the basic seamstress. Since we have two dachshunds, furniture cover-ups
are really a necessity, but keeping them in place was always a challenge.
In the past I designed special slipcovers that I could easily remove for
washing, yet with the help of elastic straps they always stayed put. Two
years ago I discovered a dark-coloured CHENILE
THROW from Wal*Mart is
perfect as a couch cover. Simply because it clings to fabric, it stays put
for days on end.
had one long lift-up cushion with loose back cushions. To add
we place a 1/4" piece of plywood underneath the couch
portion. If your couch has no end cushion, place a piece of thin plywood
covered with fabric into the end frame of the couch. You then have a
perfect place to toss large throw pillows.
are fitted in front and then neatly tucked in and around the
back and the sides of the seat. Upper portions of the chairs I leave as
is. These covers provide an easy changeable yet professional finish. Since
I can't move RV furniture, by changing things periodically our RV always
our Kastle #2 we added a favourite semi-permanent modification...we
REMOVED THE DINETTE and replaced it with a breakfast bar/computer
Our dinette seats were always a catchall; to sit four people for
dinner resulted in a major pre-clean-up and since our coach is our
'fulltime' home we're always searching for a way to extend space. By
redesigning the dinette area we gained 20 inches of kitchen hallway floor
space. The end result was I now had a six-foot table for crafts, ironing
COMPUTER DESK. During meals John and I ate facing a large picture
window, when guests dines with us, two sat at a folding table in the living
room...more than four, buffet meals were in. many RVers modify areas
of their units to accommodate their computers. Simply use your
imagination to come up with something that suits you.
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trading our first "Kruisin' Kastle", a 10 year old Pace Arrow
unit, it received a COMPLETE
PICTURESQUE FACELIFT including a
floor covered with vinyl that resembled giant patio stones.
We asked for
help in this task since it was a bit much for us. Caulking the vinyl edge
was a big problem. Soft caulking gathered dirt and hard caulking cracked
as we moved from place to place. While searching for a solution I
discovered 'Do-it Centres' sell a bendable plastic molding which not only
looks like fine wood trim; it comes in all wood colours. By applying soft
caulking under the plastic molding, it added a professional leak proof
touch to this versatile floor. Coordinated carpet runners provided the
finishing touch. Until living with a washable floor, I had no idea how
much dirt we tracked inside.
RECOVER FURNITURE AND REPLACE FLOORS
first update on that unit was to replace her
STYLE UPHOSTERY. We found a talented 'Ma and Pa' operation who even recovered her
cloth wall panels. Of course adding aesthetic throw pillows, new curtains,
valences and bedspreads carried the decor front to back. Wallpapering the
bedroom, bathroom and kitchen walls provided a perfect backdrop. I even
went so far as to add wallpaper to the inside yellowed air condition covers,
however you may wish to forego this tedious task. The final upgrade
included hanging silk plants and decorative accessories plus a change in
towel colour. Hand painting the bath mat added one more little touch. Once
again with a little work and imagination, old became new again.
a final step, we coated all the wood with a generous dose of
On the outside, John routinely gave the outside a concentrated clean and
polish and we're ready to hit the road with a sparkling coach from the
tires to the roof --- inside and out. If oxidation is present , boat products help remove it. Look for
these cleaners in marinas and boat stores. There are many brands on the market, but for years we used Meguiar's Heavy
Duty Oxidation Remover #44 or #49 followed with cleaner/wax #50. THIS DOES
NOT WORK WELL ON ANY CLEAR COAT FINISH. For an alternative detailing
option see our
shiny new coach.
I have to
admit updating our Pace spanned two years...we had fun making her ready for
her new owners whoever they were.
Whether your makeover is a touch-up or
an extensive facelift for yourself or getting her ready for a sale, spending the time to give your trusty home on
wheels an update is always worthwhile. Driving a 'like-new' unit adds zest
to your travels. BEST
OF ALL JUST HAVE FUN!!!!.
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