How To Remodel RVs & Motorhomes Yourself (…See How I Remodeled Two 5th Wheel Trailers)

rv-remodeling.jpg It’s been said that most RVs off the lot are decorated “early ugly.”

For that (and other) reasons, lots of people remodel their RVs. Some take on a different remodeling project each year.  Others tackle it all at once with a complete RV overhaul.  I’ve actually done one of each.

Generally, the idea is to modernize outdated furnishings and optimize the placement of things onboard your RV to give it a more cozy, updated look and feel.

According to The RV Makeover Bible, the 5 most commonly performed remodeling projects are:

  1. Replacing or upgrading the flooring
  2. Reupholstering the furniture
  3. Upgrading the window treatments
  4. Painting or wallpapering the walls
  5. Replacing the dinette with a table and set of chairs

How many of those have you done?


The first words out of my wife’s mouth when we brought our Dutchman 18B travel trailer were, “So when are you going to tear the dinette out of this thing?”  I don’t know what it is, but ever since I remodeled our first RV, my wife has approached the subject of redecorating with a no-holds-barred attitude.

With 2 successful RV overhauls under my belt, my wife now thinks I can make a silk purse out of any old sow’s ear when it comes to making an old RV come to life!

How We Remodeled Our 1st RV:

Our first RV project was a 10-year-old Prowler 25-foot fifth wheel trailer.

It had seen a hard life, but we bought it cheap enough and wanted to make a good vacation RV out of it.

#1 We Replaced The Dinette Table

The first thing to go was the dinette.  My wife and I have a particular dislike for RV dinettes.  Since there are only 2 of us, dinettes take up way too much space inside the RV.  Plus, as you get older, it becomes more difficult to get in and out of those dinette seats which are so confining!

A simple small round table and 2 chairs works well inside the RV, and it looks a lot better too.

For the table, we picked a pine table top from Home Depot, and the familiar metal tube table legs from Camping World.  After a few coats of polyurethane, we had a table that could still be easily removed.  Best of all, our new dinette table gave us even more space in our small RV living room!

#2 We Replaced The Carpet

The next step was the badly worn and faded blue carpet throughout the RV.  A vacation rig doesn’t need carpeting.  Carpet just collects dirt, and before long will look just like what we had: dirty carpet.

I’m a firm believer in a floor that can be swept out.  If you have kids (or pets, as we do), this is the only way to go.  RV rugs can be taken outside and shaken, but carpet is harder to clean and will rapidly start to look nasty.

So, out came the carpet.  We installed peel and stick vinyl tile in its place.

I must admit, this was a mistake.  It was fine in the summer, but when stored the RV through the colder months, some of the tiles came loose and had to be replaced.

It would be well worth the extra effort to put in 1-piece vinyl flooring when you do this upgrade.  Better yet, installing laminated wood flooring would add a touch of class to the space.  With today’s snap-together laminates, it’s a simple and cost-effective way to get rid of old carpet!

#3 We Replaced The Window Treatments

With some new curtains on all the windows, our mini-makeover was complete.  Our old RV trailer was freshened up and looking like new again.


How We Remodeled Our 2nd RV:

remodel-rv-living-room.jpg Our second remodeling RV project was quite a bit more extensive, though still within the abilities of the average guy who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty.

When we decided to get back on the road again and leave Texas, we gave up our apartment and quickly moved into a secondhand 36-foot triple slide 5th wheel trailer.

Again, it was about 10 years old and a little worse for the wear.  The redeeming factors were:

  • It had more space.
  • It was the layout we wanted.
  • it was less than half the price of what a new RV would have cost.

We moved into it just as it was.

Now, only couples who get along very well together should attempt what we did next.  I immediately started a top to bottom rebuild while we lived in this small space!  This ended up being a pretty good-sized project, to say the least.

#1 There was some structural water damage that required my gutting one of the slideouts, adding new wall studs, a sub floor, insulation, and doing away with one window. Once it was sound, we started on the updating.

remodel-rv-slideout.jpg The dinette went, as did the fold-out sofa.  Actually. we emptied the 2 living room slideouts of everything that was permanently mounted, and we approached that part of the RV as an empty room.

Wainscoting  panels were installed, and the upper portion of the walls were painted on one side of the room.  Wallpaper was installed on the accent walls.

New wood trim around the slideouts with some lace curtains finished off the look.  We installed new carpet in the living room, and with new vinyl in the kitchen portion of our newly remodeled home we were done!

We approached this RV remodel a bit differently. Since we knew that we would be living in this RV for at least a couple years, we wanted it to feel like a home.  That meant my wife had to be able to move the furniture around, giving our residence a fresh look every now and then.

We actually treated this RV like an apartment, and we bought all new furniture — including a small sofa, recliner, kitchen set for 2. Having all of the new things inside a freshly remodeled RV really brightened up the place.

Without all the built-in stuff taking up valuable space inside the RV, we were also able to add a small chest freezer for additional frozen food storage.  A freezer is a great add-on if you’re going to be stationary for long periods of time.

remodel-rv-5th-wheel.jpg When we finally made the move north — with the walls slid in and things placed for travel — we had no issues with the fact that the furniture wasn’t bolted down to the floor.  Everything stayed in place just fine.

We also fixed up our spot at the RV park pretty nice too. We stayed there 2 years, during which time we built a deck, planted flowers, and we even built a swing.  In fact, the park was pleased that we left all of that behind when we moved on.



After these 2 remodeling RV experiences, my wife now looks at everything with an eye for change.  As a frustrated decorator, it doesn’t matter where we are, she wants to tear something out and do it different.

So, would I do another RV makeover again?  Absolutely!  It’s the best way I know to save and possibly even make money on an RV purchase.

Besides, it gives your RV the feeling of home that just can’t be attained at the factory.


Don’t Want To Remodel Your RV Yourself?

If you’re not particularly handy with do-it-yourself projects, or you just don’t have the time or space to overhaul your RV yourself, then let it to the professionals do it!

These companies will do a complete overhaul on your RV for you:


More Great Tips For Remodeling Your RV

7 Ways To Feng Shui Your RV

RV Bed With Storage Remodel

10 Things To Remember When Remodeling Your RV

A Frilly RV Renovation

RV Closet Remodel

Examples Of An RV Flooring & Interior Remodel

RV Pantry Upgrade

Top RV Remodel Ideas

RV Forum: Tips For Remodeling Your RV

Small RV Upgrades That Make A Big Difference

Remodeling Your RV For Your RV Office

Curtis Carper

I’ve been involved in RVing for over 40 yrs -- including camping, building, repairing, and even selling RVs. I’ve owned, used, and repaired almost every class and style of RV ever made. I do all of my own repair work. My other interests include cooking at home, living with an aging dog, and dealing with diabetic issues. If you can combine a grease monkey with a computer geek, throw in a touch of information nut and organization freak, combined with a little bit of storyteller, you've got a good idea of who I am.

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Fun From Around the Web

  • Sue and Jim Spragg

    My wife and I have redone or rebuilt 2 35′ 5th wheels. The first was a rebuild on a Shasta without slides and the second a tripple slide Numar we bought brand new and we on both removed fixed furniture and are happy with the changes. Both were a lot of fun and we are going to make some more changes to the Newmar Country Star soon. We are going to repaint the inside again this time with Hy- Tec insulating paint among other things. We have already installed a 15 gallon electric water heater great for takine baths and a little freezer inside.

  • Sue and Jim Spragg

    My wife and I have redone or rebuilt 2 35′ 5th wheels. The first was a rebuild on a Shasta without slides and the second a tripple slide Numar we bought brand new and we on both removed fixed furniture and are happy with the changes. Both were a lot of fun and we are going to make some more changes to the Newmar Country Star soon. We are going to repaint the inside again this time with Hy- Tec insulating paint among other things. We have already installed a 15 gallon electric water heater great for takine baths and a little freezer inside.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the articles. I hate the hideabed and 2 recliners that came with my 5th wheel. They are an ugly color and very heavy. Don’t know if a thrift store would pick them up and probably can’t sell them on craigslist. How did you get rid of your old furniture? Thanks

    • Curtis

      I don’t remember specifically, but since than I have disassembled a number of furniture items. Any wood I’ve cut down to firewood size for camping, metal parts have gone to the scrap yard for recycling, and the remainder went out in the trash can with household garbage. Some times it took a couple weeks to cycle everything out as we are limited to one 40 gal trash container. Consider donating the recliners to Goodwill if they are still in usable condition.

      • Gimullins2

        Curtis, you have alot of skills and knowledge about remodelingso I wanted to ask a few questions. I want to remodel my bathroom in my RV. It currently has a small tub/shower. Can a normal house tub/shower be installed in an RV? What about a regular toilet? I hate my short toilet. I feel like a kid on a pottie and Im to old and have bad knees to be getting up and down on that little thing. I want to remodel the bathroom and kitchen so if you can give advise I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks Linda

        • Curtis

          Gimullins2, As to the shower, it’s all a matter of space. If you have the room to fit a house sized unit (very doubtful) the mechanics are the same. The toilet is a different matter. House toilets have a water reservoir and rely on a surge of water to force waste through the trap part of the toilet. RV toilets just open a slide valve and let the waste drop through. You can update the RV toilet to a porcelain model that is similar in height to a house toilet, but no you can’t use a house toilet in an RV. Here’s a link to the type of toilet you need:

    • Curtis

      I don’t remember specifically, but since than I have disassembled a number of furniture items. Any wood I’ve cut down to firewood size for camping, metal parts have gone to the scrap yard for recycling, and the remainder went out in the trash can with household garbage. Some times it took a couple weeks to cycle everything out as we are limited to one 40 gal trash container. Consider donating the recliners to Goodwill if they are still in usable condition.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the articles. I hate the hideabed and 2 recliners that came with my 5th wheel. They are an ugly color and very heavy. Don’t know if a thrift store would pick them up and probably can’t sell them on craigslist. How did you get rid of your old furniture? Thanks

  • Tinaashcraft

    Curtis, all your articles are extremely helpful! We just bought a Class A 1990 motorhome yesterday and are very excited about it…..BUT its pink and blue on the inside and I need to change that. So Im really hoping to find out how to re-wallpaper and upholster, curtains, blinds, carpet, bedding etc……..
    Thanks again!!

    • Curtis

      Tina, It’s really not much different from remodeling a house, just on a smaller scale. Wall paper is a little tricky because of all the extra shapes and corners to work with but paint is easy. If I was to recommend a particular approach I’d consider wall paper for an accent wall that is open and flat. Paint for the rest. Flooring I’d use laminate wood because it’s easiest, looks good, and holds up well.

  • Brenda L1958

    thanks for your help on yahoo.answers, if i wire for 120 what type of breaker or fuse box do i need to install. brendalee

    • Curtis

      Brendalee, there is no one correct box that is perfect for every installation. If you’re remodeling an RV likely what is there will work fine. If it’s a new installation it needs to match what accessories you plan to install.

  • Blondie76642

    how can i take out carpet and put in perogo laminate where the slide are??

    • Curtis

      Blondie, It depends on the individual RV. Flat floor slides do make it more difficult. I haven’t done one, but I think it might be better to terminate the laminate flooring before the slideout and just install laminate on the main floor of the RV. Older slideouts that are above the main floor are easier. You can tuck the end of the laminate under the slideout without much problem.

  • Nellydhont

    Hi Curtis, I have an 1985 fift wheel and need to change the top linger in the bedroom area and the wall. My question is to replace the top linger I do have to take out the cabinets that are above the head of the bed area. Can you also give me some tips on the walls. I noticed that they are put together in pieces, Is their any reason for that or can I put in a bigger piece. The material for the walls and top linger do they have to be from a surtan brand or can you use tong and groof for the walls. Hoop to hear from you soon. thanks.

    • Curtis

      Nellydhont, Sorry, your spelling is so bad I have no idea what you are referring to.

  • KingRoad86

    Hello Curtis, I have a 1986 King of the Road that has water damage around the slideout. How hard is it to tear out and repair this area? The slide out is above main floor of the rv, and I think I will need to fix the seals on the slideout. This thing is built like a tank, too nice to scrap.

    • Curtis

      KingRoad86, It’s all hinged on your abilities working with wood. I’m no expert but it didn’t stop me from tearing into a water damaged slideout that required extensive repair. I was satisfied with the out come, you probably will be too. As to how yours is put together, there’s too much variation between brands to know. Good luck.

      • Koffee Gypsy

        I have this currently on one we bought…but my fear is ripping out the walls and such from the inside isn’t going to work – watched this video ( ), and makes me nervous to take off the entire wall, can you share how you did it, from the inside only and replace wood and insulation?  Sealing? do you have any pictures with advice on that project you did that you’d consider writing a post on?  Also really love the stripes in the slide out rooms on your 5th wheel, did you paint that or is it wallpaper? Thanks – Michelle

        • Curtis

          Koffee Gypsy, When I did that project (10 yrs ago) we were living in the trailer full time.  I had to maintain weather tight integrity while I did the work.  With one end wall and only a corner of the main wall being affected I just disassembled  what was rotten and replaced the bad wood with new without completely taking the wall apart like in that video.  My fifth wheel had a wood frame, one with an aluminum frame would be easier because metal doesn’t rot.  The only pictures I have are those of the finished product.  For the do it yourself’er I’d recommend only tearing apart what  you find is rotten.  Then don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t look like factory when you’re done.  The stripes are wall paper.  Remember wall paper and paint hide many a small mistake.

          • Koffee Gypsy

            Thanks for the quick response, I think we’ll attempt this without attemping to remove sides like the video but only after we’ve assured the outside of the slide is for sure waterproofed again!  This one has a complete corner of side wall/main wall and the ceiling :-(

  • Lisa

    I can’t say how inspriring your website has been! Until a half hour ago I had no idea that such renovations were even a remote possibility.

    I have a 1989 31 foot Wilderness trailer with extensive water damage. The back half took most of the beating. When we tore up a section of rug & the vinyl floor that was under the rug, I almost cried when I saw the condition of the support beams that go across the trailer. They are so rotted that you could take your pinky and flick off huge
    chunks of wood.

    I’ve seen a lot of furniture and closet remodel examples, but nothing that consists of fixing the support framework. Is my poor trailer lost for good, or is this something that we can tackle on our own?

    Thanks SO much for any advice you can offer. If having photos would help, please let me know and I’ll take some to send.

    Thanks again in advance for your help. — Lisa

    • Curtis

      Lisa, It’s all a matter of what your skill level is working with wood and what tools you have available. If you’re of the mindset to do major renovation of your sticks and bricks home on your own, likely you will will do well redoing your RV. One thought to remember, doing it exactly like the factory did isn’t mandatory. The only one that needs to be satisfied with the results is you.

  • barbara

    Thanks for the inspiration .We just purchased a 1991 champion a class,its 36 feet .We knew we wanted to do the floors with a wood laminate and have hired someone today.He asked if we knew how to remove the porclien toilet so he can install the floor any ideas?Sice we plan to do the wallpaper and all other things ourselves(the floor has put us over budget) we also cant figure out how to remove the vinyl covered panels around the livingroom windows.Your projects seemed very successful

  • Curtis

    barbara, the toilet should be held in place with two bolts, one on each side or one front and back.  Sometimes these bolts are hidden by a small removable plastic cover.  I’m not clear as to what you’re referring to about the vinyl covered panels.  Good luck on your project.

  • Williamsonpatrice2

    We just bought a 2006 travel trailer that will be set up in a resort spot.  One bedroom has 4 bunk beds, we want to remove them and walls to the side of the entrance and make our living area larger.  Any problems taking out the walls???  Or bunkbeds?  Have you ever put in an electric fireplace?

    • Curtis

      Williamsonpatrice2, Probably not a problem but without being there and seeing what you’re dealing with I really have no idea.  I’m assuming an electric fireplace is basically a 1500watt heater which runs on 110vac.   I’ve never installed one but if there is wiring in the vicinity of where you want to mount it there shouldn’t be an issue. 

  • Williamsonpatrice2

    Thanks Curtis I appreciate your quick response.  Its only the middle of Sept. and I’m excited about summer.  Things are already a little chilly in these Black Hills.

  • Stevenhartley79

    i have a water leak around my ac on my 1982 winabago. the roof looks like it is low around the ac it holds water there by the ac.i put a new gasget betwene the ac and the roof but it still leaks by the ac. do you have the answer why?   steve

    • Curtis

      Stevenhartley79, If the roof is low around the ac that is your problem.  Water pools and works its way through the foam seal.  Either the roof in the area is rotten or the weight of the A/C is more than it can support.  Either way until the roof is repaired the leak will persist.  Condensation water needs to be able to run off the roof away from the A/C.

  • interiors

    I have problems with electricity in my RV  , what do you think its dangerous  to repair electricity by myself  or better contact with electricians?

  • Dmpjlp

    Have a 38 foot motorhome and want to replace carpet in living area with a good grade of wood look roll linoleum?  It has one large slide (kitchen and sofa)…any advice?

    • Curtis

      Dmpjlp, Only two thoughts. First, you’re on the right track with roll out linoleum.  Peel and stick tiles will never stay stuck down. Second, I’d recommend attaching it with an air stapler around the edges.  Then cover the staples with a trim molding of some sort.  

  • Gberman52

    I have a 33 SKQ alumascape , main slide leaked on top,fixed it. But how do I get into top of slide to replace insulation?

  • Curtis

    Gberman52, First thing, if the insulation is styrofoam you don’t have to replace it, just dry it out.  If it is fiberglass bats I would remove the paneling from the ceiling inside the slideout.  This isn’t something that I can say “Pull the staples out along Blah Blah and so on”.  Every RV is different.   If you’re handy, go at it carefully.  If you’re not, go find someone who is.  Do remember you’ll never find the exact same paneling so be prepared to make it look good enough for you.

  • Barbara

    my camper has filon siding that has not held up well, leaving for leaks and warping, The inside of the camper looks fine, except for roof in bathroom shower from water leakage. Is it possible to repalce the filon siding without spending too much ?

  • Curtis

    Barbara, In one quick word, NO.  Filon siding is a sandwich product with means it’s most often glued to luan plywood.  It’s usually the layers of the plywood that separates causing the blisters and bubbling.  It’s called delamination and there is no cost effective way to repair this condition.  In most instances it isn’t a structural issue, just a cosmetic one.  

  • Rebeccainfla

    Curtis, We are about to embark on our on remodel on our little Class C motor coach.  My question is the “LOVELY” walls inside the RV have become a bit dated and I wanted to paint them.  Is it possible to just paint over the wall paper or do we have to remove it?  I am not sure it is real wall paper or just some type of factory decorative boards the company uses to coordinate the interior with it’s fabrics, etc. 

    • Curtis

      Receccainfla,  Yes, you can paint right over what’s there.  It isn’t wall paper, it’s an integral layer of the paneling.  You can’t remove it without making one heck of a mess that would almost require you to repanel the RV.   

  • Hubbard0514

    We just bought a 1984 Jamboree Motorhome, the paneling has serious water damage and needs to be replaced. What do you suggest replacing it with, cheap but nice?

  • Curtis

    Hubbard0514,  I guess I’d probably go with more paneling.  You won’t be able to match exactly what’s there, but finding something that is close or compliments any paneling that you may not want to replace should be about the easiest way to go.  Any home center can fix you up with paneling and an assortment of inexpensive molding that you might need.  

  • Rubyfire77

    We are in the beginning stages of remodeling our RV (a 1998 Winnebego Adventurer). Like your wife, I’m anxious to rip out almost everything and start from scratch! I have a question though: in the shower, at the top of the wall directly above the shower, the wall is carpeted. It’s gross…utterly disgusting as you can tell it has only collected moisture from the shower over the years. There is mildew imbedded in it. How do I go about taking that down? Do you, by chance, have an idea what may be under it? Perhaps a normal wall I could just paint? It’s the one thing I really find irritating about the RV. Who would put carpet on a wall above a shower anyway?! Hahahaa

  • Curtis

    Rubyfire77, That’s a good one, carpeting above a shower…Who knows what they were thinking huh?  I haven’t a clue what’s behind the carpeting but I suspect it’s plywood or something similar.  You might be able to paint it or if not sheet over it with a piece of bathroom type waterproof paneling from the local home center.  I’d probably cut the carpeting in the middle and start ripping it out from there.  That’s the best I can offer without seeing it.  Good luck.

    • Rubyfire77

      Thanks, Curtis! Maybe I could take a picture of it and send it to you? I guess I could cut a test corner, just to see what’s going on behind it. It’s really atrocious. There’s even a little bit of mold and mildew build up in the wall carpet! Unreal I tell ya.

      • Curtis

        Rubyfire77, Sure, you can send me a picture.  You can attach it to your reply by clicking on the +image notation at the lower left corner of the reply box.  

  • hamilton

    curtis, any ideas where i coud find a manual for a 21ft pull behind fleetwod terry hybrid ( has bunk fold out on both ends). was built in jan 99 so either a 98 or 99 model year should work. it’s in pretty good shape but has a few things we will have to repalce if we want to keep it in service for many more years, like the canvas covers for the fold out bunks. we also have one light near the front bunk/ living area that does’nt work, tried to replace with new one still didn’t work, did have a leak at one time could the water damge have caused  the wiring in that one fixture to short out /rust/ corrode?
      have a few more small things that, if we had a manual, might could answer them for us.
     so if you have ANY info to send our way we say thanks in advance!
    the hamiltons

  • Curtis

    Hamilton, Sorry, manuals for specific RV’s generally aren’t available unless you happen upon someone who has one you can photocopy.

  • John

    what can we do to fix our rv fridge door panel?  it is warped from becoming moldy one winter.  It is a fake plastic wood type stuff.

  • Curtis

    John, On most RV’s the fridge door panel is removable, just take off the surrounding trim pieces and you should be able to find some thing at your local home center that will work as a replacement.  Otherwise you can probably order replacements from Norcold or Dometic, whichever brand you have.

  • Ladypenguin10

    we just got a used 1998 camper and the back corner is coming away fromthe side, looks like the screws have let loose, how can i fix this

    • Curtis

      Ladypenguin10, If the problem is the original screws rusted and rotted off you can just screw in some new screws.  More likely the wood has rotted from water infiltration.  In that case you would need to disassemble the whole corner and replace the rotted structure.  

  • Pjammie2000

    Maybe someone knows….I have a 97 Terry and want to paint and wallpaper but first I need to remove those ugly carpeted window valance pieces.  As far as I can tell you cannot see any screws, or any way to remove them.  I’m about ready to take the sawzall to them.  Is there a trick to this?

    • jimmy

      they are staple in, just grab them and pull

  • Curtis

    Pjammie2000, Those valances are about the ugliest thing.  I’ve removed them out of a couple trailers.  Those that I’ve taken out were held to the wall with small metal “L” brackets that are mounted on the inside of the valance in a way that you have to unscrew them from the valance before you can remove the bracket from the wall.  You have to turn yourself almost upside down to see them way up behind the valance.  

  • Saramck

    I have a question – The slide in camper we currently have has a gas light. I find that it provides a lot of heat – but also a lot of fumes. The camper does not vent it very well. Do you have any suggestions on how to make this better??

  • Curtis

    Saramck, Yes, don’t use it.  Yours must be a quite old camper as I haven’t seen a gas light mounted inside a  camper in many years.  They do provide good light, but the heat and fumes are a definite negative to them.  I’d recommend updating your camper to a modern LED light fixture that will provide good light, practically no heat, and absolutely no fumes.

  • Major-animal-lover

    I need your story on how to replace the entire roof of a 98 37’Layton Nomad, fast.  I have no idea where to start. I don’t care what I have to tear out inside to expedite things, including the a/c, which doesn’t work anyway.  All I care about it the roof.  I have a giant roll of commercial roofing rubber, but I’d prefer metal if it’s easier. I just don’t know what type or where to get it.  I use the camper as an office, & it won’t be leaving my yard until it’s scrapped.  But I want it to look nice/original from the outside, no overhangs, etc. I have every tool imagineable & can get whatever I need. I can handle replacing any or all of the rotten frame, I just don’t know how to tackle the roof.  I’d greatly appreciate any help.  Thank you!    

    • Curtis

      Major-animal-lover, Sorry but I’ve never replaced an entire roof.  Way too little information for me to be of very much help.  Does your RV currently have a rubber roof? Do you suspect frame damage? Is the the plywood sheeting solid?  I’ll assume you have a rubber roof, that said to remove the old you simply remove everything that currently protrudes through it.  Remove the trim around the edge of the roof and open up the roof top edge of the front and rear cap (assuming it has them).  That should allow you to remove the rubber roof.  Then repair or replace any rotten or weakened roof structure or sheeting.  Then roll out the new rubber and re-install any vents that you removed.  Re-install the perimeter molding and fasten down the front and rear cap.  Apply the correct sealant for your rubber roof material over all seams and screws.  This all sounds pretty straight forward because it is.  The key is do you have a place to do the work that is out of the weather and enough hands to get the job done properly?  If you plan is to use the RV as an office and it will never again be on the road maybe a better alternative is to frame up a pitched roof and use cheap pole building metal to close it in.  You’ll have to figure out what’s the best approach for your situation but I think you better slow down some and think this project out.

  • Leslie Austin

    We have a 19′ travel trailer that doesn’t include a couch or slide out.  There is a platform queen bed with the fresh water tank underneath.  Is there any way we can remove the bed, move the fresh water tank and put in a fold-out or sofa bed?  Thank you.

    • Curtis

      Leslie Austin,  If you can find another place to mount the water tank where you can run water lines to it, I don’t see any reason why not.  It doesn’t make any difference to the water system where the tank is locatedddddd.

  • June-Bug-Jane

    Hi Curtis,
    My husband and I just purchased an 06 FleetwoodProwler at an auction. We absolutely love it! Remodeling has been fun so far….BUT, the bathroom is more like a broom closet!! Kind of dark and dank! We we’re wondering if it is possible to put a window in there to brighten it up a bit.

    • Curtis

      June-Bug-Jane, I’m going to be conservative on this one and advise against it.  There are too many unknowns about the basic structure.  Cutting a sizable opening through the exterior walls may compromise the integrity of the whole RV never mind damage any wiring or plumbing that may be inside that wall.

      • June Bug Jane

        Thank you for the info. We will try a different route, maybe a nice picture or something.
        June Bug Jane

  • duckiee

    Have you ever heard of moving a toilet and bathroom sink in a class A RV?  I am trying to install a washer/dryer combo into a 1990 38 ft mallard overland.  I can’t find a spot. But, I had the idea that if I could move the toilet, bathroom sink and the existing wall, I could put them where the hallway is and make a walk though straight through the middle of the bathroom like I have seen in other motorhomes.  The problems are, what about connecting the black water tank up to the new spot? how to hook the plumbing up to the new sink location? and where to move the outlets and switches in the wall that needs to be opened up? I have a side hallway that I want to shut off, put the toilet, sink , and washer there,  and the shower and closet will be on the other side of the new opening.  I am also wondering if there is such a thing as a load bearing wall in an RV?  Any information would be helpful.  I would post a picture if I knew how.
    Thanks, C

    • Curtis

      ducklee, Wow, talk about an ambitious project.  There’s a lot to consider before you start this one.  Generally toilets are placed directly above the black water tank to minimize any plugging issue.  RV toilets use much less water than residential units so trying to flush any distance through piping would be a problem.  The sink would be an easier move, I don’t see any real issues though in both instances don’t forget they need to be vented as well.  I don’t believe any of the walls are load bearing, but I’m not an engineer. They could be figured into the whole structural picture during roll over accidents, I just don’t know.  Personally this is a level of remodel I’ve never attempted and would likely shy away from. There must be an easier way to install a washer/dryer.  Another point to consider, the one piece washer/dryer is hardly worth the effort.  They are very poor at both cleaning and drying.  I’ve install a couple apartment sized stacked washer dryers which work very well and are much better.

  • Pepper M

    We have a 1998 Gulfstream Tourmaster Diesel pusher with a jacuzzi tub enclosure.  The jacuzzi no longer works, and my arthritis prevents me from stepping over the tub wall to get in and take a shower. I’d like to remove the tub and install a corner shower enclosure.  I want one that will stand up to fairly heavy use since we are full-timers.  I’ve been looking at the artificial stone (quartz and polymer blend) pans since weight is not really an issue.  Any experience with them?  Or do you have any recommendations on brands or materials for durability and economy? Thanks for any help and advice you can provide.

    • Curtis

      Pepper M, That sounds like a good solution to me though I’m not of much help as to recommendations.  I think your own research will do you the best as to what’s available in your area.

  • Sue

    Hi I am in desperate need of your help! I decided to remove the set of bunk beds in our 2007 Four Winds travel trailer. These are metal and fold out from a frame at the headboard area. I’ve removed every screw and they do not budge from the wall? Any idea what might be holding them?

    • Curtis

      Sue, Sorry, not being there I can only suggest you feel around with your fingers into every little spot that you can’t see into easily. There must be a hidden screw or bolt you missed that might be a little tough to get at. There may even be a screw covered with maybe a piece of trim that you won’t see without removing the trim first.

  • camper in the northwoods

    We purchased a used travel trailer last year after purchasing a small lot. After sleeping in the bedroom part of the trailer I have noticed that there is a very musty/moldy smell that seems to come from the storage area under the bed which is carpeted. My husband thinks its the board that the bed is made up of that smells and I think it is the carpet in the storage area itself. It is kind of hard to detect which. Would it be advisable to tear the carpet out and replace it with vinyl flooring if its the carpet, or paint over the board with some kilz paint to see if that will stop the smell?
    Also, if one does not need the toilet in a trailer, can the toilet be taken out and the drain hole be covered up? We would then put vinyl over the floor where the toilet sat, and instead use the space for a changing area.

    • Curtis

      Camper in the northwoods, I’m doubting it’s the board but it’s not impossible. Carpeting can hold odors quite easily. Replacing the carpet with vinyl is always a good plan. I take as much carpeting out of RV’s as I can. Also consider the mattress as well. If it turns out to be the board, painting would probably be a good cure. Removing the toilet really isn’t a problem but do consider resale value. When it comes time to sell the value will be greatly diminished if you remove any of the main systems.

      • Camper in the northwoods

        Thank you for your speedy reply. I should have also asked about removing the top bunk in a two bunk area of the trailer, is it possible, as my husband seems to think it may ruin the wall support, and how should we repair a hole in the non window wall that someone has already put in that same bunk area?
        Again, thank you.

        • Curtis

          Camper in the northwoods, I doubt the bunk is supporting the wall but not seeing it I really can’t judge. Like paint, paneling hides a multitude of problems. Buy a piece of paneling to cover the damaged section of wall and put it right over the hole. Trim it out and you will be the only ones who knows what’s behind it.

          • camper in the northwoods

            Hi Curtis,
            We recently started small with redoing things in our trailer by ripping out the carpet in the storage area under the queen bed. It did smell an awful lot like mold. But, now upon further inspection of other things that we have just started noticing, we found out that there is an area under the door that seems to be soaked with water. Don’t know if it is rain run off from somewhere that needs to be sealed or what. And, the bolts that hold the awning in place on the bottom of the trailer are not grabbing onto anything, so we think there may be dry rot there. Husband put small holes in underbody to let water escape, and he is thinking we will have to replace damaged barrier. Have you ever experienced anything like this? How should it be fixed?

          • Curtis

            Camper in the northwoods, If I’m interpreting what you’re saying correctly I had a similar problem on a 10 year old 5th wheel trailer. The siding on the trailer had a horizontal seam at floor level. The foot or so of siding below that seam was what I would call skirting around the trailer as it had nothing behind it. That area was made of sawdust board wrapped in plastic to give some structure to the bottom part of the sidewalls. Lousy design that did nothing but trap road splashed water which dissolved the pressed wood structure.
            My solution to the problem was to remove the lower fiberglass panels and strip out all the sawdust board below that horizontal seam. I replaced it with pressure treated deck boards (solid wood, not plywood). This greatly improved the strength of the lower sidewalls and being guaranteed against rot for 25 years I didn’t bother to wrap it with plastic.

  • Dolores

    We had to rip out all of the ceiling and insulation in our travel trailer. What products and resources might
    you recommend to replace the ceiling? Looking for easy do-it-yourself.


    • Curtis

      Dolores, Many travel trailers have what amounts to thin plywood paneling for ceilings. Most home centers carry a variety of 1/8″ thick 4’x8′ sheets with printed patterns that would be suitable. Just be sure you don’t use any that are made of pressed sawdust. Only use plywood style paneling, it’s much more durable.

  • Curtis

    Avionowner, You didn’t mention if your son is a pre-schooler or a late teen, 6″ taller than your husband. Weight is the issue. RV’s are generally built as light as possible. I wouldn’t recommend hanging a hammock from either the ceiling or the existing walls. There just isn’t enough strength to support it. A different idea would be to build a framework that would carry the weight of a bunk cross ways over the existing twin beds. Having vertical supports between the single bunks would carry most of the weight and attachments to the walls would only be to stabilize the bunk

  • Curtis

    camper in the northwoods, I don’t see any issue with removing the bed if it looks doable by you. On the vinyl I guess it’s a question of how good you are about making patterns and working with many corners and such. Single piece vinyl may be a bit challenging. So you know, I used 12″x12″ peel and stick tiles once and they wouldn’t stay stuck down once cold weather came and the RV wasn’t heated. My personal favorite is laminate wood flooring. You can cut and trim to fit much easier when your dealing with a single strip of wood. Plus it floats so it doesn’t even need to be nailed down. The previous owner of my motorhome ripped out the carpet and put in Pergo hardwood flooring. I’ve thanked him many times over for saving me the effort.

  • Diane

    we have a 95 fourwinds motorhome 29 ft. it is a total mess. we started with one thing and has now ended up almost all the walls are stripped to the siding. wanted to know can you just replace the whole camper, put another trailer on the frame, or should it be rebuilt from the ground up. my husband is a do it yourselfer. but don’t know where to go from here.

    • Curtis

      Diane, Me thinks you may have gotten over enthusiastic. I won’t say you can’t plop a trailer on the chassis but if you think you’re in over your head at this point I don’t see that as a viable solution. If the basic structure (walls, roof, and exterior siding) is still standing it would be way easier to rebuild from that point. Remember you don’t have to make it exactly like the factory did. Just make it sound and to your liking.

      • Curtis

        By the way my motorhome is a 2000 30′ Fourwinds that leaked like a sieve when I got it. I resealed the windows and vents, and paneled over damaged interior wall paneling. It’s not a show piece by any means but it looks neat and doesn’t leak anymore.

  • Peter Clark

    Hi I have a monster slide on camper by Millard that im rebuilding that is funny as i was origonally going to build from scratch anyway.But i saw a rotten fixable finished job then brought .Well the roof had leaked the internal beams had rotted to mush and the interior plywood had turned to paper, corrosion on the aluminum skin let in waterUnscrewing the side wall screws the complete alloy roof just rolled back like a garage door and then i strapped it down with a rachet strap.Then totally lifting out the rotten insides and insulation.Replacement in reverse it is very easy but large job.The walls didnt fall in as the cabin furniture held it all together.The front raised section roof was left intact for strength as well.But i had a huge hole.A complete rebuild of the roof from top down-thats how the interior ceiling goes in eh from the top!A galvanised steel beam and marine plywood let me stand up there and elastic paint helped the aluminium.Sikaflex is wonderful stuff. It doesnt rain much in Western Australia!Now i stripped the old dodgy wall panels inside and found the merenti timber turning to dust in the exreme corners and along the bottom.The cuboards and fittings jumped into the bin and bonfire.New merenti timber and metal brackets fixed that in no time.Marine plywood stiffened up the structure.Now today at the back the body has to be pulled 5mm inwards to lock the back door.I found the back door frame and wall werent even bolted to the plywood and frame floor.A door step support beam was also mushy wood and was the exit point of all that water over the years, it is from 1981.All the wood around is very good but will scarf in a 200mm section of ply and rescrew all the back wood.Will glue a thin veneer of plywood on top of the floor.Not as difficult or worrying as the back wall is being removed anyway as i want to be able to load a motorbike and want the back wall made into a ramp, i have the steel frame and may reuse the door frame sides .Has anyone else done this conversion before.As the Millard slide on camper on a series 11 1965 Land Rover lwb is parked for extended periods it can also store the motorbike out of the way.

  • Kay

    We recently downsized to a 22 foot travel trailer. I want to get rid of the dining area and add a sofa with a small table in front. What regular furniture brand works well in travel trailers?

    • Curtis

      Kay, Pretty much which ever is on sale and fits in the space. Brands don’t really mean much just take good measurements and shop for what you like and what will fit.

  • Carla

    Hi Curtis. If you were a younger woman ( or I was an older man) , from the sounds of you, we’d be identical! Great site. Thank you for bringing it all together for us. I’m shopping for my first travel trailer. Pretty exciting! Best to you and the wife. Carla

    • Curtis

      Thanks Carla, Happy shopping!!

  • Alan Schwanke

    Dear Mr. Carper,

    My father has a 2006 Fleetwood Wilderness Trailer. While traveling the trailer has encurred many dings and dents, especially along the front nose and curved edgings. My father takes alot of pride in keeping things nice and kept up so he wants to replace the exterior paneling of the front nose to try and improve the look. But now that Fleetwood has gone out of business, he’s not sure who to ask or where to begin. Having a professional company do it is definitely not a possibility mainly for the afformentioned reason. The expense is far too great to justify the repair. But he would like to exhaust all possibiites before giving up on the project. I don’t expect you to be able to tell me how to do this project, but if you have any resources or reading material that you think might be helpful to get him started I would be much obliged. Thank you for your time.

    • Curtis

      Alan, Sorry but the internet is my only resource. There are some repair videos out there but you didn’t say if your trailer has single sheet aluminum or multi-piece like lap siding. I’ve never removed either myself as my remodeling has been limited to interior work. A suggestion though, I’m guessing the majority of the dents and damage is to the lower portion of the front surface. Rocks and debris being thrown from the tires of your tow vehicle. Maybe it would be easier to install a sheet of diamond tread aluminum across the damaged area instead of replacing damaged siding. A Dutchman trailer came from the factory with a piece about 18″ wide across the lower front. Sure saved it from rock damage.

  • Kelly

    Is there an aftermarket product that will allow you to install a drop down bed over the driver/passenger seats in a Class A Motorhome?

    • Curtis

      Kelly, I’ve never run into anything like that. There’s too much variation between brands and models. They all design their own to fit what they make.

  • studio kohl

    I bought a 1978 dodge mobil traveler and started to remodel it but half…ok 1/4 way through the braines of the operation, my uncle. moved back to Montana because his daughter was pregnant. Now I have a partialy done motorhome that I can’t finish on my own. I have no idea where to sell it or how to…or who would want one. I don’t want to get the money I put into it back but I would like to get a little. Any ideas on where I should start. It is at my mom’s place in Cave Creek AZ and she is getting tired of looking at it, well there are actually 2 there, but only 1 is mine.

    • Curtis

      Studio Kohl, You might try Craiglist. It’s on line, and it’s free!

  • Emily

    Dear Mr. Carper,

    I’ve enjoyed your RV posts for several weeks now, ever since we got “serious” about purchasing our RV. However, we’re still in the deciding phase; the thing that’s holding us back from buying a standard RV is the new, adorable, custom-made Tiny Home movement. Designing my own RV sounds like a dream come true! But I had a question about length and width, and since you’re the expert, I hoped you could help me.

    We want to design a home that’s 10′ x 30′. Since maximum road width without a permit is 102″ (plus 6″ overhang for appurtenances like roofs, right?), I know we’d have to apply for a permit every time we go on a road trip. What other challenges do you foresee? Do RV parks exist that allow for width excess? We don’t want to settle in a mobile housing park every time we go somewhere, but we have a large, active family and an 8′ wide home is simply too small. Also, we eventually hope to settle the RV on a permanent foundation and rent it out for a summer cottage while we go overseas.

    Thank you so much for your time. I know you might not reply, since you’re busy, so I’d like to say again that I’ve enjoyed reading those articles of yours – I’m learning a lot!

    Your fan,


    • Curtis

      Emily, There is no “Plus” for appurtenances when it comes to DOT highway rules. It’s 102″ total width and they will count anything that protrudes past that. Getting permits may not be as simple as you might think. That’s getting into commercial freight hauling and you likely would have to meet all of the DOT’s requirements. That means CDL license, medical certification, and log book requirements.

      I love the Tiny Home movement but unless you’re planning on sneaking it down back roads for short distances, they are the next thing to a permanent structure. Not something you can easily go camping for the weekend with. Generally they are something to move once every year or two because it will be a hassle.

      Because they’re designed to make maximum use of the legal height limit 13′ 6″, it is unlikely they would fit in any normal RV Park.

  • elaine

    where can we find a bathtub for a 1985 Prowler 5th wheel and are they hard to tear out and replace?

    • Curtis

      Elaine, Finding exact replacementw for anything more than a year or two old will be almost impossible. This is where you find something that will do the job and fit in the space available then modify as needed.

  • Bryan

    We have a 2005 Franklin park trailer with (3) slides two of which are in the front living area and are on opposite sides from each other. Since this trailer is in a permanent location, I would like to eliminate the tripping issues of the slides by raising the floor between the slides. This would require laying 2×4’s,on side, and then laying 5/8″ sheets on top to level the flooring area. I am concerned about screwing down the 2X4’s since I am not certain what is under the existing flooring. I know that there are no water lines but am not sure about electrical. Your thought’s please.

    • Curtis

      Bryan, I think the best choice would be to not screw it down to the original floor at all. Build it as a floating platform that just fills in the space seemingly temporarily. Nothing is forever, I can about guarantee at some point the slides will be retracted and the trailer moved. Whether in one year or twenty. The point is if the platform is removable, no damage done. Besides gravity will hold the platform down, no need to make it permanent.

  • Maria Carlin

    Cutis, we recently bought a 2006 Thor Jazz with rear kitchen and one large slide! Its in need of some TLC, our biggest worry is we want to replace the carpet with laminate as we have dogs! Our worry is we have no idea how to tackle the issue with the slide, since the carpet in that area has a slight overhang onto the main carpet! Any tips on how to deal with flooring and the slide, dose the slide have to be removed?


    • Curtis

      Maria, I would never recommend removing the slide, it’s way to heavy to deal with. Generally if the new flooring is thinner than the carpeting you can get by with just tucking it under the edge of the slide. The key is removing the carpeting completely. It may take pulling the end remnants with pliers as it’s likely stapled along the edge. If laminate appears too thick for the job consider one piece vinyl sheet goods. I don’t recommend peel and stick tiles because when left unheated in cold weather the adhesive will release and you’ll have loose tiles everywhere.

  • Bonnie Bowser Ward

    We have a 1989 Mallard Sprinter 26′. We have been doing various remodels and starting on the kitchen area. I noticed the ceiling is bowing. We’ve had water leakage but we have finally resolved it. My concern how should we address the sagging ceiling My concern is mold. How do you remove it and then what if its a mess. Then what do we do?

    • Curtis

      Bonnie, sometimes a ceiling will bow because something as simple as a staple had pulled loose from the edge of a panel. If you had leakage and the panel has become saturated it may need to be replaced. I have no way of telling from here how it’s attached so the best I can suggest is attack the problem cautiously. If you have mold, cleaning with a bleach water solution to the framing should kill the mold. Paneling should be replaced.

  • Judy

    I have old ugly carpet in my 5th wheel that I would like to take out and replace with peel and stick vinyl. I have a super slide on one side that when open remains at higher level then the rest of the floor. The existing carpet is in the slide and that area of floor. If I remove it will the gap under the edge of the slide be to great to use peel and stick? I really would rather have the tile then carpet. Any suggestions or solutions are appreciated. J.H.

    • Curtis

      Judy, I can’t recommend peel and stick tiles because when the RV is unheated and the temp drops below freezing the tiles will pop loose. I used them on a small 5th wheel I had and it was a continual hassle to restick the tiles. Better to use one piece vinyl or even wood laminate. Actually just putting in new carpet is a big improvement at a reasonable cost. I just installed new carpet in the living room of my motorhome using a remnant I bought for $45.

      • Judy

        Ok, Thank you Curtis. I may have to go that way. I want to fix it up some. It has that ugly dark blue carpet, yuk. My main concern was the edge of the slide. I live in mine all year round. Its in pretty decent shape except for the carpet. Always looks dirty. Time to spruce up. Thanks for the advice.

  • Kenny

    Hi Curtis

    I’m kenny and I’m lookin for a travel tralior I can fix up that has a bay window I’m 18 and I’m wanting it to be my first house instead of an apartment I’ve looked on Craigslist and they have new and expensive one do you have any suggestion to were to go online to find one for cheap

    • Curtis

      Hi Kenny, I’ve found Craigslist an excellent resource but you might consider joining some Facebook groups about RV’s. You can find many otherwise unlisted bargains that way. Another possibility is Ebay, They post a large selection of RV’s. You seem to have some specific ideas of what you want, such as a bay window. Have you considered building your own? The tiny house movement may be something that you could consider.

      • Kenny

        Thank you Curtis

        Yes I have thought about putting in a bay window on my own but that sounds like a god idea to go on Facebook or ebay

  • Tina Willis

    Hi Curtis. When applying wainscoting panels, what did you use to hide the nails? Regular house trim? I mean, for the seams (both at corners of RV and where panels meet)?

    Also: do you strap down your dining room chairs when towing the RV?

    • Curtis

      Tina, I used an air brad nailer to install regular house molding along the top. By using small head finishing nails, they will be practically unnoticeable. If you use construction adhesive with it you can use less nails as they will only be holding it until the glue sets. As for tying down dining chairs, I use a bungee to tie the apposing chair together while they are set at the table.

      • Tina Willis

        Thanks very much! Right now we just decided that we wanted to “experiment” with camping in an RV. So we purchased a used one on impulse and without realizing what we were doing. In decent condition but there is a wall with dry rot. (There is a small hole on hitch-side wall of camper, where bed & (convertible) dining cushions were located. Behind cushions is where I found the hole and can see, touch and smell the dry rot (about 1 inch whole but larger soft spot probably at least 8 inches on each side). Even worse, there is a musty smell even after removing all cushions and everything made of fabric. Just opened door today to start airing this thing out.

        We purchased used because we have camped only a few times before and thought we should try before we really committed to a larger purchase.

        Good news is my husband is very handy. Bad news no experience with RVs.

        Do you think the smell will slowly go away now that I’ve removed the cushions and am airing out? We thought the smell was bug spray when we purchased bc the owner said he sprayed for bugs regularly, but now I realize that isn’t the case. And do you think he should just begin ripping out that wall, without fear?

        Other question: there is window on that side of the wall (seems like maybe a window leak caused this problem). Do you just cut a hole for the window on the paneling before you install? How do you trim around windows? Or would that be a bad idea?

        Thank you again!!

        • Curtis

          Tina, Generally windows are a sandwich affair. Screws around the interior trim piece hold the window sandwiched in the wall. As to the odor issue, it depends on what the insulation is made of and how rotten the wood is. It is very likely you have water trapped in the walls that will never dry out without opening the walls. Taking into consideration how much effort it will be to install some paneling over the damage, I’d probably do some exploratory surgery and get a better picture of how much damage you’re dealing with. In most of today’s rv’s you have a bonded sandwich of fiberglass on the outside, styrofoam insulation and luan plywood on the inside. If you open up some of the inside layer you might be able to get it to dry out then cover the damage with Wainscoting is an excellent idea.

          • Tina Willis

            Thanks very much for all of your great advice Curtis.

  • John Schutz

    Hi Curtis. I purchased an RV from a seller who didn’t disclose extensive water damage. Year 2000, 20 foot trailer with no slide outs. I have torn out the walls, some of the studs & insulation, down to the aluminum. I can see that there is water coming from the roof on the corners, which could be the a/c leaking or could be the roof. Also some water coming in on the side of the front windows. I feel comfortable with most of the interior renovation. The seller said he coated the roof and caulked with RV grade caulk. I can see that he did. Wasn’t silicone. I don’t know what it was. He said he has done this a couple of times per year for the 10 years he’s owned it. True or not, I don’t know. But I can see layers of caulk on the sides and a thick coating of something on the roof. The question is whether I need to consider re-roofing (gees I hope not) or if I can just seal it again myself. And, if so, with what? Thank you very much for any advice my friend.

    • John Schutz

      p.s. I could send pictures if that would help. Also I am an a/c repair guy, so I can handle the a/c leak if that is the problem. I just need to know about how to deal with the roof.

      • Curtis

        John, pictures wouldn’t mean much from here.

    • Curtis

      John, the best I can say is I don’t know. Water can’t penetrate the rubber so if there are no tears or holes water is likely coming in from a seam or other roof penetration like the A/c. The best I can suggest is to replace the seal under the A/c to eliminate it from the equation. I love Eternabond seam tape and recommend using it on all topside seams. Then cross your fingers and hope you cured it. No matter what it’s a bit of a crap shoot.

  • J B

    Hello! Thank you for such an informative website.
    I would like to remove the decorative wall paper strip that is starting to peel off the walls. Is there an way to remove it without damaging the wall and without leaving any glue/paste behind?

    • Curtis

      JB. I removed such a strip from my motorhome just last year. I suspect it was an add on by a previous owner. It was self adhesive and peeled of pretty easy leaving a slight film that cleaned right up with normal household cleaners. I think it was 409 I used. I can’t say all decorative strips are the same, but that was my experience.

      • J B

        Thanks for the suggestion however this strip looks like it was from the factory. Would steam be bad for the wall covering that is normally used on the walls?

        • Curtis

          JB..If it is an applied strip, I would think steam would be fine. Most interior panels that I’m aware of are actually a vinyl product that is somewhat water proof. I would even try warm water soaked sponge and see if that is enough to break the bond. Here again, these are just suggestions and not being there have no way of being sure so I can’t be responsible if it goes badly.

          • J B

            Thanks. I’ll try a spot that’s not too visible.

  • John Phillips

    hello my name is john and i have been looking at a 2005 encore sportcoach that feels funny around the rear ac. i have spoke to another dealer that said the frame was broken for the ac is this repairable?

    • Curtis

      John, Could be..When in doubt stay away from it.

  • carmen brunsch

    Curtis, I have a couple of questions, for starters , i bought a 30ft fifth wheel trailer , from some gentlemen, where i live, and they must of seen a sucker coming , when they met me, the trailer was cheap, and i know now why , it seems it has taken on a bit of water, in its day , and it is leaking from every where like crazy, i now have to pretty much gut it , and being a girl with some but not alot of skill in this kind of stuff , where would you suggest i start this restoration? and can you suggest places for me to buy or obtain stuff to fix for on a almost no money what so ever ? i am living in it as we speak , but the more it rains the more water i am taking on and i have to stop it soon , please help me , i am at my wits end with this thing , but at least i am not homeless yet .

    • Curtis

      Carmen, Sorry the only cheap solution I can see is put a decent quality plastic tarp over it to stop any more water getting in. As for materials any local home center is your best bet. But before you build back, be sure to open wet areas up and let them dry completely. It sounds like you are looking at a big project that very well may not be financially feasible.

  • lori

    We just remodeled a 2005 Excel to fit our large family. We have some pics on instagram:

  • deb

    we have a 2004 jayco travel trailer. We want to cover up the slanted window. how can i hang a picture on the slant? any other ideas to cover it up with. It will remain closed; this is our home. tks!

    • Curtis

      Hi Deb, Without seeing what you refer to I can only guess. My thought is to fasten a piece of paneling over the window with screws to provide a surface that you can also screw a picture to.

  • Tina Tarr-Mosley

    Bought my first camper( 24foot Salem), has some water damage, when to local RV parts not to friendly if your not willing to let them fix it. I’m a carpenter daughter, its not in my blood to pay someone to do what I am capable to do.
    Front window seal bad, can I clean and reseal it, replace the wall beneath? Where do I pick up supply, can I use refurbished if so where. I. I live in Michigan, Livingston county area. Please guide me.

    • Curtis

      Tina, You can fix whatever you feel comfortable in tearing into. Sure you can clean and reseal the front window. You can get supplies at any Home Repair center. They will have butyl putty tape to reseat your window, and when you are done be sure to run a bead of good clear silicone around the window when you are done. As for the wall, just use what you find at the home center. RV dealers just mark the price up because it says RV on the package.

  • diana

    Hello,we just got a 1981 champion trans star 20 ft. Mortorhome,i need to replace or update the celing,ive go it down to the bare wood cant just paint it that would look bad. What kind of celing can i put up.

    • Curtis

      Diana, Pretty much what ever material you choose to use.what ever you can find at the Home Center that looks good to you is about what your choices are.

  • Peggy Soper Crimlis

    Hi, my husband and I are redoing our 1997 Mallard. We were doing ok until we decided to take out a well worn sofa, not thinking to look and see what was underneath, we did know the water tank was under there and we took that out, BUT we didn’t know the wheel well was there. We don’t know what to do. PLEASE help

    • Curtis

      Peggy, Hindsight is always 20/20. The best I can offer is maybe you can build a base to set the new sofa on that will raise it enough to clear the wheel well, but not raise it so much it becomes unmanagable. Your only other option would be to modify the new sofa in some way to help make it work. I guess at this point you may need to make some concessions to make it work. You can’t modify the wheel well without causing clearance issues with the tires. It’s the sofa that needs to be adjusted somehow.

  • Peggy Vanlandingham

    Hi, I have been looking at tiny houses for retirement but due to cost have started looking at renovating an rv. My mother states that rv’s aren’t meant to be lived in.what are your thoughts on living long term in an rv. I want to get one next year or I will have to wait 8 more years til I retire to get a tiny house. I see that you lived in one for several years but would you have stayed in one longer?

    • Curtis

      Peggy, I hope you can live in an RV long term….It’s the only home I have. I would say it’s hinged on where you are. In the snow belt, probably not a good plan. They aren’t insulated very good and snow will make it more likely to eventually leak. Further down south, why not? The big plus is it’s designed to be on the road. You don’t like your surroundings, leave. A solid older RV can be bought and renovated a lot cheaper than building a tiny home from scratch.

    • Peggy Vanlandingham

      I am in the south. I want to be able to live debt free and due to the high cost of the tiny house plus the labor, its just not feasible for me. I want to replace the walls of an rv and increase the amount of insulation. How do you heat yours? Thanks for your responses.

      • Curtis

        Peggy, The short answer is I use an 18,000 BTU portable propane heater to heat my 36′ motorhome for the most part. It is the most economical way for me. I have two furnaces on board as well, but they consume both electricity and propane at a high rate. Rather inconvenient since I am boondocking in the desert for the winter months. The long answer will be coming to you by email.