This Nashville couple brings new life to outdated campers and the results are stunning
Bo and Madison are a couple from Nashville that are making an impact on the RV industry, one camper at a time.
This duo has experience flipping houses and Madison has a degree in interior design. They now pour that passion into transforming campers and the results are stunning!
In fact, they’ve already flipped (and sold) two RV’s and are currently working on their third! They also own a beautifully renovated home they rent out on Airbnb, and when it’s booked they spend time traveling in their Sprinter Van.
Today we’re taking a peek inside their first camper renovation, a 2010 Salem by Forest River. This RV has already been sold, but the modern yet casual interior is sure to inspire!
RV Tour: 2010 Forest River Salem
What made you decide to go “tiny”?
We AirBnb our home in Nashville. We built the van so we could travel and have somewhere to stay when our house is booked. We are currently booked solid every weekend now, so we live in our “tiny home on wheels” as much we stay in our stationary home.
Do you work on the road?
We don’t! Because we need to be in one place while we’re working on campers, we stay around Nashville and work to save our money to where we feel comfortable hitting the road! So far that has meant a few 2 week+ trips a year. Our goal is to take longer and longer trips, while still being responsible and saving money for the future.
How long does the renovation process generally take?
It really depends on the reno, but I would say around 500-600 hours of labor. We put a lot of time into these babies!
On average, how much do you spend on a renovation?
I would say a good round number for our renos would be $5,000 NOT including the cost of labor or the actual camper.
How would you describe your decorating style?
I always struggle to answer this question! I use classic elements (larger expensive items/things that are hard to change like paint colors) so that you can change the decor as styles evolve but not have to paint or buy a new sofa every 4 years. Then, I mix in more trendy accessories/art/pillows/lights/etc. SO….I like classic elements and natural textures with a modern casual twist. So whatever that is! If anyone reading this can describe my decorating style, holler at ya girl!!
What made you decide to renovate RV’s?
There is clearly a demand for people wanting a look other than what RV Manufacturers are producing…and a lot of people that can’t (or don’t want to!) do the work themselves. Taking these campers from “drab to fab” gives other people an opportunity to experience this lifestyle we’ve grown to love traveling in our van.
Where you do draw your inspiration from?
My degree is in Interior Design and I’ve spent the last 10 years working in that field doing residential and some commercial design along with flipping houses. My mom has a great eye and also does Interior Design work so I learned a lot from her. I’ve been following the design world since I was able to flip through a magazine! I seriously have notebooks (from before Pinterest) where I would rip pages out of magazines or print images I saw online and file them in plastic sheet protectors! Ha! I try to keep up with the fashion industry and some of the more progressive Interior Designers to try to make sure I know what’s coming next, but then mesh those styles with what is currently popular.
Where’s your favorite place to shop for décor?
EVERYWHERE!! I can’t say that I buy my decor in one place more than another! I don’t have one favorite place, but if I had to pick I would say Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, or finding vintage items at flea markets or on Etsy! (I know that’s 3 but I can’t narrow down any further!)
What is most challenging about RV renovations?
Painting. Painting is seriously always the hardest and most time consuming part of any of our renovations or build outs. You have to be so careful and really know what you’re doing when you paint these things! They DO NOT like to accept paint. We have learned SO much about this and finally feel like we have it figured out (at least for the time being!).
What project makes the most difference?
What is something you’ve learned in general or about yourself since going tiny?
That I crave stability, but that doesn’t mean I crave being “home”. Our van feels every bit of home as our actual “house” does….but I’ve learned that I do like to be settled every now and again…even if that means only for a few days!
What’s your favorite aspect of tiny living?
The minimalism. I seriously love it. I love the fact that Bo, Olive, and I can get into our van and live and have everything we need right there. I don’t miss anything while we’re gone! Even though we are part-time and do have a house, we have paired down to almost the bare essentials (and still need to get rid of more!) because we have guests staying in our home. When we started “AirBnb-ing” we had to put away all of our personal belongings and instead of just sticking them in a closet, we got rid of most of it!
What’s your least favorite aspect?
Lack of stability. Don’t get me wrong…traveling in the van is SO AWESOME. However, because we aren’t full time, we find ourselves trying to cram as much as we can into each trip and it gets exhausting moving around everyday!
What has been your favorite place to explore or a place you are excited to explore in the future?
My favorite place has definitely been Utah. We’ve done it twice and will absolutely be back again. We’re dying to go to Canada!!
What piece of advice would you give someone about to embark on an RV renovation?
First of all…make sure you can handle it and are prepared to put in the work. It is a lot of HARD work. I don’t think people realize how much work it is until they’re in the middle of it. Also, make sure you’re prepared financially. Although there are ways to update without spending a ton of money, we’ve found you will end up spending a decent chunk of cash on these renos if you want them to hold up and really look good. One other general piece of design advice I love to give people is “if you love something, it will never go out of style”. Who cares if someone doesn’t like the shade of pink you painted your cabinets or the pillows you chose for your sofa?!? If you love them….that’s all that matters!!
Do you have any exciting renovations planned for the future?
We are working on another camper right now and will have many more in the future =) We should be done in a few weeks, so stay tuned!
Most asked about product sources – such as paint, wallpaper, decor:
If I had a penny for every time someone has asked me where I got the wallpaper in our first camper, I would be LOADED. It’s a peel and stick by Holli Zollinger.
The link is in this “Salem Camper Remodel” post on our website!