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Full-Time RVing Family of 5 Shares DIY Renovation Ideas for a Fifth Wheel

Published on July 20th, 2023 by Brenna Chambliss

There’s nothing like a good before-and-after RV fixer-upper story. Today’s awesome RV renovation ideas just might inspire you to tackle your own DIY RV remodel chapter too.

The Full-time RVing Family on a DIY RV Remodel Crusade

Meet Kayla and Ricky Pennington, who have been full-time RVers for three years come September 2023. The couple is from Florida, and travels with their three children, Hudson, Fisher and Lynlee, and two Labrador retrievers, Winchester and Drake. 

Original interior 2013 Crusader 360 BHS fifth wheel, (Image: Kayla Pennington)
Original interior of the 2013 Crusader 360 BHS fifth wheel, before the renovation. (Image: Kayla Pennington)

Making Remodel Plans for Their Rig

The Pennington family lives in a 40-foot, 2013 Crusader 360BHS fifth wheel. When they bought it in 2020, they immediately knew they wanted to embark on a DIY RV renovation. 

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“The RV was so dark and gloomy and, well … boring!” Kayla says. “We wanted to make it feel brighter, more open, and homey. We wanted it to feel like a place we could call home.” 

The living room of the Crusader after the renovation. (Image: Kayla Pennington)
The living room of the Crusader after the renovation. (Image: Kayla Pennington)

Their Fifth WHeel Renovation 

For their fifth wheel renovation, Kayla wanted to use different textures throughout the RV. This led her to install a faux brick wall behind the master bed.

At first, she wasn’t sure it would look the way she envisioned. The original red color of the brick looked too fake for her liking. A little spackle and white paint transformed the fake brick and added the dimension it needed. Now, she loves it and thinks it looks close to real brick. 

Crusader 360BHS fifth wheel kitchen after the renovation. (Image: Kayla Pennington)
The kitchen after the renovation. (Image: Kayla Pennington)

Another transformation that made a big difference was painting the RV walls white to brighten and open up the space. Kayla loved the paint she used to update the Crusader.

  • Walls: Snowbound by Sherwin Williams 
  • Fireplace: Caviar by Sherwin Williams 
  • Doors and Board and Batten: Accessible Beige lightened 20% by Sherwin Williams 
  • Kitchen Island: Vintage Vogue by Behr 

They also replaced the flooring using DuraLux Performance in Classic Hickory.

Pro Tips for DIY RV Interior Painting

For more RV paint product recommendations, see what the Queen of RV Renovations Kelsey of The Happy Glamper Co., suggests.

One of Kelsey’s RV painting pro tips is to keep your pets out of the way. Take it from her first-hand experience. Her dog, Drey, once dipped a paw in a bucket of her paint, peppering her floor with painted paw prints.

The Penningtons installing new fifth wheel flooring. (Image: Kayla Pennington)
The Penningtons installing new fifth wheel flooring. (Image: Kayla Pennington)

RV Renovation Ideas for Beginners

Kayla offers these RV renovation ideas after completing their three-month, fifth wheel remodel: 

Prep is key

Never skip it! Sanding, cleaning with TSP, caulking and priming are some of the most important things you can do to help your paint stick. There’s no such thing as too much sanding or cleaning. 

Get good primer

Investing in a good primer is a must. 

Allow for time

Plan for your renovation to take more time than you think you will need. 

Repurpose hardware

You can save money by keeping the original hardware and spray painting it. 

Another money-saving tip is to choose your renovation supplies wisely. Each project will need its own list of tools and supplies.

Don’t forget about safety equipment to protect your hands, eyes and the rest of your body. 
Crusader fifth wheel's bathroom remodel. (Image: Kayla Pennington)
Crusader fifth wheel’s bathroom remodel. (Image: Kayla Pennington)

Follow the Pennington’s full-time RV family adventures to see more renovation photos on Instagram and YouTube

DIY RV Remodel Tips to Consider

Are you considering taking on your own DIY fifth wheel remodel? If you’re brave enough to say yes, there’s a lot for you to consider.

Do your due diligence and weigh your options thoughtfully before embarking on your RV fixer upper renovation project to avoid costly mistakes and wasted time. 

This Do It Yourself RV article shares the following food for thought for aspiring RV renovators, including:

Don’t renovate the wrong RV.

Check your appliances, water and frame damage, mold and other possibly costly projects. You would hate to blow your budget on these big projects before you even get to the improvements you’re most looking forward to.

If you have several large, costly projects like this to tackle, consider spending your time, money and effort on renovating a more solid rig. 

Plan for your RV remodel to be a bigger job than you thought it would be.

Reiterating Kayla’s RV renovation ideas tips above, once you start ripping things out, you will inevitably find unexpected issues that need your attention.

The biggest “surprises” you will likely stumble upon include water damage and mold. Don’t even try to cover it up and move on. These hurdles will need to be cleared before you can move on to your other, more fun projects. 

Consider your RV resale value.

It can be easy to get lost in the amazing ideas you have to make your RV renovation ideas work exactly for you.

Be thoughtful when you consider majorly altering floor plans or built-ins. For example, if you remove bed options, you may be limiting your resale value to singles or couples and eliminating the entire market of RVing families.  

RV Remodels Can Be Fun (and Profitable)!

One of the most fun things about embarking on a DIY RV renovation journey is that you get to let your personality shine through with the design and modification choices you make.

Plus, if you have an RV with solid bones, even if you have a small RV renovation budget, you can tackle many RV renovation ideas for cheap.

While it can certainly be daunting, renovating an RV can be an enjoyable and profitable experience. Yes, you can hit the open road in comfort and style without breaking the bank. Admire your handiwork as you make memories and see this beautiful country we call home. 

This post may contain affiliate links or mention our own products, please check out our disclosure policy here.

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