Ways to Make an Old RV Feel Like New


Wade Thiel

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Wade divides his time among various outdoor activities in both urban and rural environments. An adventurer by nature, he is always up for a challenging hike, fun hunt, or day out on the water with friends and family. When he isn’t enjoying the outdoors, he’s writing, reading, or tinkering with motorcycles and cars.

RV interior design and technology have made plenty of advances over the years, but just because you have an aging RV doesn’t necessarily mean you need to trade it in for a new model. There are several steps you can take to modernize your rig and make it feel like new. Having your home away from home reflect your personal style is now easier than ever, especially with Camping World’s Design Center.

Featured in several stores throughout the country, the Design Center serves as both inspiration and a resource to help you achieve that home sweet home feeling while on the road. From complete renovations to simple upgrades, bringing your RV design vision to life is not only possible, it’s now part of the adventure. Here are a few ways you can spruce up your current RV and make it look and feel brand new.

Select New Furniture Pieces

Design Center RV Furniture
Image: Camping World

Furniture is one of the first items you should look at when thinking of modifying your rig’s interior. If it looks outdated, old, and overdone, you should be able to do some easy updating or altering that will give your RV a more modern, personal, and homier feel. The couch, chairs, and dinette table are the key things you may want to turn to for the biggest impact. Layering in current furniture is a surefire way to change the way you feel about your old RV.

When starting with furniture, look at options from Kathy Ireland or Thomasville — two brands that design living room pieces with style in mind that never sacrifice comfort. From recliners to sofas to ottomans, they offer furniture to take your RV from old to new without breaking the bank in the process. If you’d rather start in the bedroom, look at mattresses from Cozyway and bedding from Enclave. Together, these brands will turn your bedroom into the retreat you deserve after a long day of exploring.

Even if your RV isn’t too old, changing up the furniture to better fit your needs can make the whole space feel new. If you have a single large couch, consider replacing it with a couple of comfy recliners or gliders. Try updating the seating around the kitchen table or even adding cabinets to create more storage space. You don’t have to replace every piece of furniture either. Try going one piece at a time to build the modern-feeling living space you dream of.

Consider New Flooring

Flooring Samples
Image: Shutterstock

The floor of your RV takes a true beating. It’s designed to, but eventually, it will need to be replaced. Choosing between RV flooring materials such as carpet, hardwood, laminate or vinyl can be overwhelming, so take your time and weigh the pros and cons of each. Or consult a Design Specialist through Camping World’s Design Center for an in-depth look at the available flooring options and how each complements the overall design goal of your RV.

A new carpet in your living area or some more modern tile or vinyl flooring in the bathroom and kitchen can completely transform the look and feel of your RV. Take a critical look at your floor and the traffic patterns of your family. Is the carpet showing signs of wear beyond just dirt and grime that is tracked in? If so, it’s probably time to remove it and replace it. With your RV being a smaller space when compared to a typical home, the cost to replace the flooring is often reasonable. If you’re handy, you can even update your RV flooring yourself.

Redecorate, Repurpose, or Replace Your Furnishings

RV Interior Design
Image: Shutterstock

It can be easy to add a few camper decorations and forget about them going forward, but everything ages — the wrinkles around my eyes prove this. That trendy wall art you put up five years ago might not look so cool now. It’s easy to gloss over these items since there can often be an attachment to them, but redecorating your RV’s interior can completely change the look and feel of the space–and your RV trips.

Don’t just stop with wall art either! Think about all-new décor. You can replace curtains with something colorful and fresh. Consider reupholstering couches and chairs if you don’t want to replace them yet, and even paint walls or cabinets to transform the space. If you don’t want to do anything that extensive, start with smaller changes. Try some flameless candles, new throw pillows, or a small accent rug. It’s amazing how small changes can make a big difference.

Update Your Electronics

RV Technology
Image: Camping World

It’s not 1985 or 1995, not even close, and your RV electronics should reflect the current time and technology. Unless you want to live in a time capsule, you should update the multimedia system, or add one if your RV is currently without. Add in all the necessary connections for a modern TV and gaming console, if you’re into that sort of thing. Don’t worry, you can still play Mario on the new devices.

Even if you don’t want to update your RV’s entertainment features, you can always update other aspects to help bring your RV up-to-date. Consider adding a smart thermostat, new lighting, or switching your old manual awning to a powered one. Taking steps to modernize the electronics in your RV can do wonders to make it feel current and new. Most importantly, it makes RVing fun and easy.

Upgrade Your RV Appliances

Design Center Upgraded RV Kitchen Appliances
Image: Camping World

How old is your stove, HVAC system, or refrigerator? Do any of your appliances look like they belong in a museum? If so, it’s probably time to get something new. Transform your RV’s interior and get dinner on the table faster (and arguably tasting better) with an updated selection of high-performance RV appliances. Camping World has everything you need, from washers and dryers to ranges and grills. Even if your old appliances work well, age can take its toll on how efficiently they run.

By upgrading them, you can reduce your energy consumption, save money in the long run, and boondock at faraway locations for longer. Also, new appliances can go a long way to modernize and improve the look of your RV’s interior. Many older RVs have off-white appliances that haven’t aged well. A newer appliance with stainless steel or black exterior can do wonders to spruce up your RV’s galley and add some much-needed visual style to the interior.

Design Your RV with Camping World’s Design Center

Camping World Design Center
Camping World Design Center

Whether you’re looking to upgrade your RV from top to bottom or replace things here and there, these are a few jumping-off points to get the design juices flowing. To get more juice from the updating squeeze, consider stopping by one of the Design Centers or browsing interior items at a Camping World near you for tips, advice, and guidance. Design Specialists are on-site to help take your RV from yesterday’s timestamp to tomorrow’s adventure.

How do you keep your RV looking great? Tell us in the comments below.

  • Comment (12)
  • James W Sharpe says:

    We have one of the first Keystone Montanas, It now has a problem with the slide outs. When we went to close it the slide outs would not come in. With the rain and snow we have had the bedroom slide out has to be rebuilt. How do we get the slide out s to come in?


  • Frank says:

    Great advise! We have an older model travel trailer and we’ve maintained the interior and is in very good condition. However, the exterior decals are faded and slowly peeling off. We’d like to repaint the exterior maybe with a different color combination and possibly leaving out decals or maybe have something painted on. Any idea where this can be done? Do auto body shops do this kind of work or is this something Camping World can do? thanks-

  • Joan says:

    Our couch is very uncomfortable and I wonder if it can be replaced with 2 recliners like you said. However the couch is the slide. My hubby says there is mechanical stuff under it and it can’t be removed. Is he right?

  • Ed Martin says:

    We are buying a 2001 class A Hurricane so this is nice info as I can see where we can upgrade a little at a time. It has 41,000 or so miles on it. My concern is as a 17 year old Rv how do we know all of its major systems are ok for a long while? Is there a way to get insurance on one that old? Thanks.

  • Gregg says:

    Great ideas, however I would start with the roof and ceiling fixtures first. Why you ask? The simple answer is, it will protect everything else you put inside. When completed correctly it will be the best investment in your RV. Then look into all other exterior seals, around slide outs, doors, windows, storage boxes….. then after you finish with the body of the RV you should look at the mechanics of the chassis and tires then functionality of all your electric, AC & DC, water and Gas / propane. Once all of this has been inspected / updated then go to town on your interior. There are only 3 reasons I can think of why it is so much better to do it this way than to buy a new rig.
    1) the COST
    2) I have not yet seen an RV that came with durable furniture that will last. This way you can pick and choose what you want.
    3) sometimes you just can’t afford to have a bunch of upgrades at the time of purchase, however to upgrade instead of purchasing could be much more affordable. Not to mention you are officially putting your seal of approval on it and will be much more proud of what you have accomplished.

  • Hi James! Almost all slide-outs can be manually retracted if their motor is no longer working. I’d suggest researching which type of slide-out your trailer is equipped with (there are several) and then searching for ‘how to manually retract [insert your slide-out] type’. I can pass this article on Schwintek slides along, if that happens to be what you have: https://blogcw.local/rv-basics/how-to/how-to-operate-a-schwintek-slide-and-troubleshooting-you-can-do/

    Hope that’s helpful!

  • Brad Cowan says:

    Hi, Frank! Check out Camping World’s Service Center for more details regarding maintenance and renovations.

  • Adele says:

    Great Reasoning

  • Anonymous says:

    Good advice

  • Joan says:

    Thank you so much. I was sure he just didn’t want to be bothered! I’ll get in touch with the dealer and see.

  • Wade Thiel says:

    Hi Ed,

    Older RVs require plenty of care. If you’re wondering about the state of the rig currently, look at the old service records to make sure everything is up to date. Another option is to take it to a service center to have a technician test all the equipment and replace any faulty parts.

    Insurance is easy and required by law in most states. You should have no problem getting that. I think what you’re looking for is an extended warranty. Extended warranties provide peace of mind and can often be tailored to your needs. Unfortunately, many extended warranty companies won’t provide coverage for vehicles over 15 years old. Some will do it for vehicles under 20 years old so you may be in luck. However, it’s not always worth it to buy an extended warranty. Get some quotes and weigh the costs vs the costs of potential repairs to decide.

  • Wade Thiel says:

    Hi Joan,

    Your husband may be right about that. Some couches do conceal important mechanical equipment. However, if you’re seriously unhappy with the couch in your RV, then there may be another furniture option (other than recliners) that you could fit in there instead. But you might just be replacing a couch with a couch.

    You could always call your nearest dealership and talk to someone there. If you tell them the make, model, and year of your RV, they may have a specific solution to your issue. Hope you figure it out!

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