Peek inside this modern-farmhouse inspired RV, a quarantine renovation project that sparked a new business venture
Rachel and her husband, Jake, decided to spend a good chunk of quarantine last year tackling a major DIY project, renovating an RV that could be used for family vacations.
Not only did Rachel give the outdated camper a modern-farmhouse inspired interior, but that renovation led to a new business venture, renovating RVs! Rachel now enjoys sharing their client RV renovation projects on Instagram while empowering others to tackle their own remodel. (And how cool is it that she won an episode of Flea Market Flip 3 years ago?!)
Today we’re peeking inside their camper, and I hope you’ll feel inspired not only by the interior but the beautiful opportunity they created despite the uncertain times going on around us.
Modern-Farmhouse Inspired RV Renovation
Type of RV
2014 Forest River Salem Cruise Light 261 BHXL
Approx. 5 months
What inspired you to experience #RVlife?
Shea was born with a heart defect and had 4 surgeries, 2 of them open-heart surgeries, by the time he was 1 year old. This really just forced us to put life into perspective. I quit my job to be home with him and to pursue my dream of painting full time. Jake is an engineer in NYC. Last year we rented an RV and drove to the Grand Canyon. The trip was life-changing and a few months later we bought our own RV and have been addicted since!
How much did the renovation cost?
The actual renovation cost $2,500. We’ve never owned an RV before so we also bought about $2,000 worth of items to camp and fit it out.
How long did the renovation take?
This RV was our quarantine project. We started it the very first weekend Jake left his NYC office and started working from home due to COVID. We took our time to keep us occupied and 19 weeks later we have completely finished it.
How would you describe your decorating style?
What’s your favorite aspect of interior design?
My favorite aspect of interior design is the potential to change something that some people have “written off” and turn it into something that people love. My business is painting furniture and 3 years ago I was on HGTV’s Flea Market Flip. I won my episode and used my winnings to renovate my garage into my workshop.
Being on that show really taught me the magic of taking something old and dark and using smart design choices to make a huge impact. Specific to the RV Lifestyle, I love being able to take a tiny space and make it more functional. For example, we took the booth and table out of our RV and replaced them with a 5.5-foot long table that we built. That table also doubles as a huge food prep counter, desk when Jake is working on the road, and it slides completely against the wall to expose more floor space for the kids to play.
Did you draw inspiration for this remodel from anything or anyone specific?
Trina from @RVFixerUpper is my all-time RV inspiration. I always look to her page for inspiration and ways to make huge changes in an RV. Kelsey from @thehappyglamperco was also an inspiration for me when we started, as she had just started her reno as well.
What are your favorite places to source products and decor?
Target is actually my favorite place. The Hearth and Hand by Magnolia line is exactly my style. I also like IKEA.
What do you love most about your RV?
My favorite part of the RV is the little bathroom sink nook. It’s easily the smallest space in the RV but it has all my favorite elements combined in that tiny corner and I just love getting ready there in the morning.
What project made the most difference?
Painting the cabinets made the most difference for sure. I absolutely love the green paint we used for the lower cabinets, and I think it was just the right amount of POP to brighten the space but also allow it to really stand out from other RV’s.
What was most challenging about this renovation?
Installing the flooring was definitely the most challenging part. Jake and I have installed a few flooring types in the past, but we went with a tongue and groove floating floor for this (it was free from my parents and really pretty) but it was a little tricky to install in such a small space.
What is your favorite piece of decor or splurge-worthy item that was incorporated into the interior?
Our kitchen sink is the best splurge-worthy item we installed! At just under $300 it was on the higher end of what we wanted to spend, but it is huge! It came with a cutting board, drying rack, and a lot of other extras that made it really practical for an RV. I also really love our mattresses. We replaced all the mattresses (queen bed, two bunks, and the couch) with Zinus memory foam mattresses and they are SO comfortable!
What piece of advice would you give someone about to embark on an RV remodel?
Do your research! Do not just jump into it. Gather up inspiration ideas, learn about how to complete the projects you want to complete, and give yourself a budget and timeline. There is so much information on Instagram and YouTube.
What’s your favorite and least favorite aspect of tiny living?
My favorite part of tiny living is being so close and connected with my family. Life is busy. We are constantly on a schedule at home and often times don’t get to have the family time we really need. Living in a small space means that you are all on top of each other, and that just means that we don’t miss out on anything. At our home, we have a huge backyard, so when we are traveling in the RV I do miss just letting my 4-year-old run free in our yard. It feels like at campsites he wants to run off into the woods or to the playground, so we end up doing a lot more child chasing when traveling!
How often do you travel?
Every other weekend for sure. Sometimes a short trip n between.
Where would your dream RV vacation be?
We are dying to get to Acadia National Park in Maine.
Do you have any future projects or changes planned for the interior?
We still aren’t happy with our couch. The heater is underneath and we ended up just building a bench around the heater to be the couch, but eventually, I’d like to figure that out and replace it with an actual small sofa or lounger.
Update: They have since replaced their couch, which you can see over on Instagram!
Most asked about product sources:
All of my Amazon products are included on my Amazon Storefront page.
Lower Cabinets: Valspars April Arbor
Upper Cabinets: Benjamin Moore Interior White
Ombre Wall: Gradual mix of April Arbor and Interior White
NuWallpaper Reclaimed Shiplap Peel and Stick