Carmen, an RV Makeover Love Story, Part 3 (of 3)

Today brings us to the final installment of my RV Makeover Story. I’ve always wanted to do this, and it’s amazing to get to fulfill a dream. I actually drove her to the mechanic this morning (she’s ok, just some expected work that needs to be done) and I miss looking out the window and seeing her; miss going out to have an evening glass of wine with her. Sigh…she’ll be back in a week or two, all tuned up and ready to go.

the Kitchen, Bathroom & Exterior

rvrearkitchenareathe Kitchen, BEFORE



The kitchen is tiny, but has everything we need. I painted all the wood a gloss black to work with the black range and hood, and used wallpaper left over from my living room for the backsplash. I placed a sheet of clear plastic behind the stove for easy clean up of spills and splashes. I also used the wallpaper on the drawer fronts, and coated it with Modge Podge to help it wear better. I added a rod hanger from Ikea and magnetic knife holder, magnetic spice rack, hanging paper towel holder, a few cup hooks and a clock (all Amazon) along the back. We changed out the leaky faucet with a taller one, which I like much better.






I wasn’t expecting to go black and white in the bathroom, but I already had 2 yards of the black alligator-embossed vinyl and the vintage black and white floral and decided to use those. I love the way it turned out. I used the same Gianni black granite counter paint I used in the kitchen in here.rvbathdetail

I’ve had this vintage black glass candle holder for years, it works well in here. I had these leftover coque feathers from an old project and popped them in, I love the way it looks. The zebra plate was a thrift store find. I added black plastic trim (hot glued on, bought on Ebay) where needed to cover up not-so-good-looking edges.rvshowerinsideIn the shower I simply covered the walls and ceiling with cheap pvc shower curtains and caulked the edges with white caulk to ensure a good seal. I replaced the shower head and added a space-saving shampoo/soap dispenser. I love that the shower curtain looks like tile.rvbathshowerThe clear shower curtain with pockets adds extra storage. I also replaced the toilet (the old one was falling apart) and plan to replace the sink and faucet in the future.rvabathlowI installed black picture shelves under the counter to hold towels. It makes good use of otherwise wasted space. I love how the black vinyl looks on the walls, and it’s easy to clean. The little black panther heads on the wall are from Target, and the trash can, matching counter container (with the pink peony in it) and soap dispenser are from the Assistance League thrift store.

the OUTSIDErvrightside



We did a ton of prep on the outside, sanding down the stripes and rust spots, cleaning her well, priming with automotive primer, then painting with a heavy duty exterior latex gray paint.


Believe it or not, I didn’t want to get too crazy with the outside (this is subtle in my book 🙂 My aim was to make it unique but still look good here and match the house somewhat, which is mostly grays. I also wanted to keep it simple so it wouldn’t take too long to do, and because painting a design over the textured paneling is very challenging.rvrightrearI added a touch of gold on the bumpers, rims, door and mirrors for a bit of glam. The designs are inspired by tattoos on my arms by the amazing Sandi Calistro, a tattoo artist in Denver, CO. I also added a hanging flame light lantern by the door and solar lights by all the entries.rvrightfront_edited-1rvfrontrvfronteye

rvhood2She wouldn’t be complete without her own custom-made hood ornament. That’s a ceramic bird I found at the thrift store, a mini disco ball, and old pair of earrings and some iridescent glass balls.rvrearleftoutsideShe’s just about ready to go. I have a cargo hitch that will hold her new generator on the back. As soon as she comes home from the “Car Doctor”, we’ll be taking her for a little spin. There will be more to come in the Adventures of Carmen the Vintage RV!

Please help keep Carmen rolling…

Well our sweet Miss Carmen is at the Car Doctor, with a blown head gasket. I brought her in for her check up, knowing she’d need a few things, but this was a big surprise, and a major blow to the wallet. If you’ve enjoyed Carmen’s story, please consider a donation to help keep her rolling. Thank you 🙂 (ANY amount is deeply appreciated, this is just a suggestion.)


5 thoughts on “Carmen, an RV Makeover Love Story, Part 3 (of 3)

  1. She is truly gorgeous Sister! Every detail is amazing and fab. Your trip to Burning Man will definitely be more cozy and oh so memorable! Xoxo g

  2. Amazing. Love the outside. Beautiful art work! Great ideas I never would have thought of. Want to know how all the hot glue holds up!! How did you attach the fabrics?? Very creative.

    • Hi Karen! Thank you! All the fabric is attached with spray adhesive, heavy duty staples and hot glue, depending where it is attached. On the walls, I initially adhered it with spray adhesive then secured with staples. The trim is all hot glued, as is the beaded fringe. It’s been sitting in my driveway through a very hot summer and everything is holding up fine. The only thing I’ve had an issue with is the plastic shower curtains in the bathroom, which were only up by spray adhesive, I have had to reinforce those with hot glue, which seems to be working.

  3. Any advice and do you mind sharing what your budget was like. Oh, anything you would have done differently? Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Alesia

    • Hi Alesia! I put about $2000 into the makeover, including paying a friend to help and another to replace/repair a few things (toilet, faucet, some systems repairs) and reseal the roof. The engine is another story…what would I have done differently? Had it more thoroughly checked out before I bought it, I had to spend more than twice what I had budgeted on the engine repairs. Overall it took much longer and cost much more than I thought, but I do love her 🙂 I’d say estimate how long you think it will take to do the work, then triple it:-)

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