Rustic Meets Modern in this Creative RV Renovation
This week we’re visiting the home of the Tillmans, who transformed a 1999 Class-A Motorhome into an amazing tiny home on wheels!
Karlton and Toni are photographers that travel with their son, David, and their dog, Scout. I especially love their bold and creative design decisions, like getting rid of the passenger chair and replacing it with a sectional they brought from their previous apartment.
Update: This family has since sold their RV, but I know you’re going to love what they did!
Rustic Meets Modern in this Creative RV Renovation
You can tell they have some mad skills and the quality of their work really stands out. And if you watch any of their Youtube Videos, you’ll likely have a few laughs and immediately wanna be friends. I can only imagine how much fun it would be to hang around a campfire with this family.
I have to admit I get pretty excited when I find an incredible Class-A Motorhome remodel. I may be biased since we currently have a motorhome, but with shorter ceilings than most 5th wheels, generally smaller kitchens, and a funky cab area to work with, it’s always fun to see how others reimagine the space to work for them.
Type of RV:
1999 Damon Intruder Class A Gas
How much did the renovation cost?
We spent $4,000 on everything.
How would you describe your decorating style?
I guess I would describe it as rustic modern farmhouse.
Slide over the images below to see the before.
What led you to the tiny life?
Right after we got married, the first house that Karlton and I ever lived in was pretty small, around 600 sq ft. We loved that charming, cozy cottage feel and started looking into tiny homes, but knew that we also did want to travel with our tiny home. We strayed away from the idea of getting a traditional tiny house on wheels and started looking into different RVs, which are really made to take on the road. We found ours after about a year of avidly searching on Craigslist.
How often do you travel?
We hop from campground to campground every week or so, but really only take big road trips in the summer months.
What has been your favorite place to explore so far during your journey?
When we did the tour of the east coast last summer, I think our favorite place was either the coast of Maine or New Hampshire. We love a good rocky coastline, but NH had these awesome mountains that could compete with the mountains is Oregon or Washington, two of our most favorite places in the US.
How long did it take you to remodel your RV?
It took us two months to get all of the big stuff pretty much finished and start living in it, and then another month or two for all of the finishing touches.
Did you do everything yourself, pay a professional or do a mix of both?
Karlton and I did everything ourselves, but we did borrow some tools from our friends!
What is your favorite project or piece of decor and why?
We love everything in here! If I had to pick one, it would probably be the kitchen. I absolutely love our butcher block countertops and our huge quartz sink!
What was your least favorite project and why?
Ugh – the plumbing! Everything plumbing related in our motorhome gave us the hardest time. We didn’t have running water for like 2 months after we had moved in, and it seemed like everything we tried just kept failing us over and over. We recently discovered that we had mold in our entire bathroom, too and had to basically rip everything out and do our whole bathroom over again!
What was most challenging about your creative RV renovation?
Same answer as before! LOL
What project made the most difference in the space?
I think putting our big L-Couch up in the front area made a huge difference in our space. It totally changed the layout and general feel. I love how it kind of creates some separation between the ‘living room’ and the rest of the motorhome.
What do you enjoy most about your space following the transformation? Is there a specific area you spend most of your time?
I spend the most time at the desk, but that is really just for work. I do love my tiny little home office, but I would have to say my favorite place is our bedroom. We built our bed to have storage underneath, so it is very tall. It feels like a fort back there; it’s so awesome!
Where’s your favorite place to shop for décor?
IKEA and Target! Basically everything we own is from either of those two places.
What piece of advice would you give people starting an RV renovation?
I would say, just have fun with it! We loved the renovation process. It was a fun project for us to do together, and we just enjoyed working together towards a common goal. We had the music going and we would just get to work every day!
What’s your favorite tiny home hack?
Ahh I love these! Something simple that we made and that we still get a great deal of use out of every day is a custom sized cutting board. It fits perfectly both on top of our sink and on top of our gas range, so you can essentially double your counter space by moving the cutting board wherever you need. It’s also nice to cover up the sink if you have a ton of dirty dishes in it!
What’s your favorite aspect of tiny living?
Oh, there are so many, how do I choose? I really love not having too many things. When we lived in our house prior to going tiny, we had an entire garage full of stuff that we never, ever used! For some reason, when you have more space, it seems easy to accumulate things that you don’t need. I also love that we can bring our whole house with us anywhere we go, really. We don’t ever worry about forgetting to pack something. Of course, there is also the financial aspect of tiny living. We are actually able to save money now because we aren’t spending it on rent.
What is something you’ve learned in general or about yourself since going tiny?
This might be an oddly specific thing, but here it goes. In all of our houses prior to this one, we have always had carpet. I finally got my vinyl flooring in our tiny little motorhome, and I absolutely love it. But man – I never knew before just how much dog hair and dust and dirt must have been stuck in all of that carpet over the years! I vacuum and swiffer our floors now multiple times a day now, because I can actually see the debris. I get kind of grossed out thinking of how dirty our carpet must have been, eek.
What’s your favorite meal to cook in your tiny home?
We have really enjoyed grilling lately. Karlton got this tiny propane grill and we have been cooking up everything on that thing!
Thank you so much, Toni and Karlton, for showing us your amazing RV renovation! We can’t wait to see what you do next!
Follow Toni and Karlton Tillman
Don’t forget to swing over to their YouTube Channel to check out their RV video tour and watch other helpful videos, including detailed info on their reno budget, how they pack up before leaving a campground, and all of their storage hacks.
This family has since moved into a home, but you can keep up to date with their journey, beautiful photography, and home renovations by following along on Instagram!