It’s time to share our camper reveal! This blog includes our camper renovation DIY tips, links to the products we used and an overview of all the design elements that made this little space a comfortable (and gorgeous) home away from home!
Charles and I both grew up camping, so when we had a family of our own we knew that a trailer was a must. We didn’t want to spend a lot, and ended up picking up a 2005 Jayco Eagle 5th wheel trailer from Facebook Marketplace. Fast forward to three days into Covid restrictions and Charles, out of boredom (prompted by a mouse infestation), gutted the trailer. Alright, I thought, let’s do this! If you prefer a video tour, scroll down to the bottom for my saved Instagram Live tour!
Is Renovating a Camper a Lot of Work?
Heck YES! It’s a labour of love and requires a bit of skill (which I don’t have for the record but thankfully Charles does). We kept the cabinets and most of the bathroom along with the countertops in all the areas, but gutted everything else including the sofa and dining set along with the TV. I realize a lot of people like camping with a TV, I’m just not one of them.
How to Renovate a Camper
- Demo. Rip out the components that you don’t want to keep. We took out the couch (it was infested by mice), dining banquette, decorative lights, carpet and the sliding glass door for the shower. I also removed the wallpaper border (first thing I did – it was so ugly): it peels off so easily! We left the linoleum floor in and just went over top of it with a new vinyl product.
- Paint & Wallpaper. We painted the cabinets, ceiling and walls and installed wallpaper in a few places for interest.
- New Flooring. We chose carpet in the bedrooms and vinyl ‘hardwood’ in the living areas.
- Finishing. Install trim and replace fixtures (sources below).
- Replace Window Coverings. Ours were broken and very dated with old fabric valances. Bye bye!
- Decorate. Replace any of those components like couches etc that you ripped out and decorate away! The best part!
How to Paint a Camper
There are 2 ways to paint a camper: spray or brush & roll. If you have the budget, spraying is the way to go. You can either buy a paint sprayer or get it professionally done. In this case everything that isn’t getting painted is taped off and the rest is sprayed. Time was on our side so Charles ended up painting it. I think if he were to do it over again he would have sprayed – it was SO MUCH WORK! We used Benjamin Moore Simply White on our walls in a satin finish (easier to wipe down) and the cabinets were Benjamin Moore Classic Grey in a cabinet-grade paint. The boys’ bunks were painted the same colour as the interior of my front door, Benjamin Moore Half Moon Crest.
We went with an eggshell finish for the walls, a satin finish for the trim and a cabinet grade finish for the cabinets. Some have had success with Fusion mineral paint which is another option and wouldn’t require priming. We primed everything first with a Zinzer primer.
Replacing Camper Flooring
Since we have a slide we ended up getting the vinyl flooring professionally installed as it was a bit tricky. Charles just picked up a standard vinyl plank floor in a tone we liked along with some carpet remnants from a local store since we didn’t need much. They worked just fine! We placed the vinyl floor overtop of the existing floor since it was hard to remove.
Camper Window Coverings
I’m OBSESSED with our window coverings. Lindsay from Q Design Centre custom made them for our space and I absolutely love them! Lindsay did our window coverings for our home too. The original ones were half broken and rather ugly, so this was a massive upgrade. We went with gold hardware for the café curtains with a cute French-inspired stripe for the main area and a soft linen grey/blue for the bedroom curtains to play on the hydrangea theme. I would do it over again the same way a thousand times over! Lindsay holds a Black Friday sale every year that you won’t want to miss; subscribe to her newsletter to make sure you don’t miss out! Lindsay can give you our fabric choices if you want to recreate the look.
Replacing Camper Lighting
Lighting for campers isn’t as easy as you would think. I didn’t like any of the options in the local RV stores, so headed online and followed my cousin Sammy’s lead by choosing these brass lights that I’m in love with! Camper lighting needs to be 12 V (you can’t just use any regular light) and if you don’t have a wall switch to control them you need to make sure that they have switches on the fixtures (hard to find). These ones also come in black which would be cute too.
Camper Dining & Living Room
We wrestled over what to do with the dining area and settled on a small set from IKEA – I love it! It really opened up the area. To transport the tables and chairs we turn them upside down and they do just fine. The couch was also from IKEA and is slipcovered which is essential. I have boys after all. I had some leftover plaid wallpaper (from Target originally) from our laundry room renovation and it worked perfect in here to add a bit of texture, warmth and interest. All of our wallpaper was installed by LL Applications here in Kelowna.
The original living area had a massive TV which we would never use, so we took it out and my friend Tifni from Refined Furniture built a cupboard for our food. Because: PRIORITIES! The baskets inside the cupboard are from IKEA and the cute vintage Belgian crate is from my friend Maria at Dreamy Whites Lifestyle. The gold wreath above is from The Cross (was originally on a stand and I took it off). I found this one that is similar but a mirror which would be stunning too! The white baskets are from IKEA.
Sigh. I bought a peel and stick backsplash from Amazon and loved it at first. However, when the temperatures soared it started to peel off and shrink. We have since stapled it in place for now until we figure out another solution. Many people have had success with this, we just weren’t one of them!
We kept the original sink (I will eventually spray it with a Tub & Tile spray paint that you can get at Home Depot) but replaced the tap. Here is the one I used, I love the brass and it’s great quality that will last.
Hooks & Hardware
All of the cabinet hardware and hooks in the space are from Emtek in Antique Brass. I love their products and we had a few extras from our build that we were able to repurpose. It really adds to the vintage vibe of the trailer.
We added wallpaper from Urban Walls (this is the Hydrangea print in grey, the pasted version) to cozy up the bedroom, some cute grey/blue curtains from Q Design Centre, white bedding from Homesense (how much am I going to regret that haha) and striped throw cushions from Q Design Centre. I found a petite laundry hamper at Homesense and added one of my favourite pictures of the boys for the sweetest image to wake up to each morning.
The boys’ bunk beds at the back also got a little refresh with that gorgeous accent wall (Benjamin Moore Half Moon Crest) and fun linens and pillows for a space just for them! The pillows and linens are a mix of Homesense and Q Design Centre (velvet and pom pom ones).
The original camper bathroom had a sliding glass door on the tub which was absolutely impossible to clean and so awkward to get in and out of. Charles ripped that out and installed a simple fixed bar with a curtain (Homesense). We put the same hydrangea wallpaper from Urban Walls in here and I finished it off with a little framed print that I made out of a vintage frame that I found at Value Village (score!).
We replaced the toilet paper holder which was falling apart: this one is from Emtek. Charles simply painted the bathroom sink countertop; this doesn’t always wear perfectly so we decided to just spray paint the orange counter trim in the kitchen and kept the original countertop there instead with all the cooking we do. The little jars are from Homesense and the “Hello Beautiful” decal is from Urban Walls.
Our Camper Decor
I refinished the edge of the boys’ bunks with a staple gun and some upholstery fabric remnants I purchased at a local fabric store.