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RV Tour: Welcome to My RV! (Ashley Mann of RV Inspiration)

Ashley Mann of RV Inspiration
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I write about a lot of other people’s RV ideas here at RV Inspiration, but for this blog post I decided to show you what my RV looks like inside!

About Me

My name is Ashley Mann, and I am the owner and author of this blog. 🙂 I live in an RV with my husband Josiah and our Kitty.  You can read more about us here.  We are also on Instagram as @OurRVAdventure.

Ashley Mann of RV Inspiration

About Our RV

Our RV is a 2009 Keystone Everest fifth wheel that we purchased used from the original owner in 2016 to live in full time.  We are parked in a mobile home park in Kansas City, Kansas, for now for my husband’s job, and in fact we haven’t yet bought a tow vehicle, but we hope to be mobile within the next couple of years.

2009 Keystone Everest 345s

I do realize that before we move our RV I’m going to have to go through and secure everything, move decor, etc., but that’s not something I’m too worried about at this point since for now we are stationary.

And now for the tour….

Entry Area

Directly in front of you when you enter our RV is a bamboo shoe shelf.  The previous owners never wore shoes inside the RV, and after living in Korea for a year teaching English in 2009, I always wanted to adopt a no-shoes tradition in my own household.  We aren’t religiously strict about no shoes in the house, but for the most part we leave our shoes right here.

RV storage ideas - Bamboo shoe shelf and wall baskets from World Market | RVInspiration.com

Related: 9 Ways to Store Shoes in an RV

On the wall to the left of the door we added a coat rack, mounted using the screws that came with it.

coat rack in RV

To the right of the door we have wall baskets from World Market where we store hats and gloves, bills, stamps, checkbooks, and all the little odds and ends that it’s nice to drop somewhere when you first come inside.

RV storage ideas - wall baskets from World Market | RVinspiration.com

The previous owners of our RV made plexiglass covers for the screen that attach with Velcro, which is nice for days where you want a little more sunshine but don’t want to have the door open.  Also it lets us remove the panel on top but leave the one on bottom so Kitty can’t tear up the screen door.

Velcro plexiglass to make a screen door cover for an RV, camper, travel trailer, or motorhome | RVInspiration.com

To the right as you enter are the stairs leading up to the hallway with the bathroom on the left and the bedroom straight ahead.  We built a tunnel through our stairs for our Kitty to access his litter box in the storage bay.  We did this by removing the wood vent cover (just like the one on the front of the first step) and covering the exposed aluminum beams with a piece of carpet remnant.

Cat tunnel to litter box in fifth wheel RV | storage idea for motorhomes, campers, travel trailers, etc. | RVinspiration.com

The tunnel is a cardboard concrete form from Lowe’s.  We used foam core poster board as a makeshift cover for the area under the stairs since there are a lot of wires back there that we don’t want Kitty to be climbing around in.  I plan to make it prettier one of these days but for now it does the job.

Cat tunnel to litter box in fifth wheel RV | storage idea for motorhomes, campers, travel trailers, etc. | RVinspiration.com

Related: 7 Places to Hide a Cat Box in an RV

Living Area

The photo on the left is what the RV looked like before we bought it, and on the right is what it looked like after we moved in.

These are the main changes we made right away to make it better suit our needs and taste.

  • Removed the factory-installed window coverings (but we left the pull-down shades)
  • Painted the walls a neutral “greige”
  • Replaced the sleeper sofa, recliners, and bar stools with a desk, love seat, and my sewing machine.

A lot of people choose to paint their cabinets as well, but we actually love the maple cabinets; in fact the book case with the giant window and retractable TV was the main reason we chose this particular floor plan.  We would like to replace our flooring with vinyl plank at some point, though.

Continuing with the tour, this is our dining area.  This is actually the first dining table we have owned since we got married in 2011, and I am so happy that we can now sit down together for meals instead of just eating on the couch while watching TV or looking at our laptops.  I also love that there is hidden storage under the table top and chair seats.

Wine glass storage in RV, camper, motorhome

As you can see, I decided to add curtains after being inspired by other RV owners’ window coverings.  I also added a rack for my wine and liquor glasses.  I will definitely find a way to protect the glasses when we move the RV.

Here is a DIY project I did.  On the wall between the dining table and couch is this wall sconce.  In looking for ways to add some color to the RV, I decided to make a cover for it that I could remove and change if I wanted.  You can read all about that project in this blog post.

Next we come to the couch.  This was the couch that came with our RV.  It was a sleeper sofa with an inflatable air mattress.

At first I had planned to keep the sofa and cover it with a slipcover.  I bought this slipcover and really liked how it looked.  Kitty liked it too, apparently.

Stretch-to-fit slipcover - idea for campers, motorhomes, travel trailers, etc. | RV Inspiration

But unfortunately the couch just wasn’t comfortable to sit on.  Since it was our main seating for every day, we decided to buy a new couch, and ended up deciding on this one from Ikea, which came in a box and was assembled in our living room.

Something else we added to the RV was this storage ottoman / coffee table that I’d had for years but spray painted and reupholstered with a canvas drop cloth when we moved into the RV.  We use it to store shoes that we don’t wear as often.

Norsborg sofa love seat from Ikea and storage ottoman for shoe storage | RVInspiration.com

I built this shelf to go behind the couch using 1″x6″ lumber and shelf brackets as an extra place to set potted herbs during the winter, because one can never have enough plants!  The shelf brackets are mounted on the wall with screws and wall anchors and have been very sturdy.


DIY plant shelf behind sofa | RVinspiration.com | storage ideas for motorhomes, campers, travel trailers, and RVs

Related: Mobile Gardening: Growing Plants in an RV

Kitty likes the shelf because he can sit on it to monitor the neighborhood.

DIY plant shelf behind sofa | RVinspiration.com | storage ideas for motorhomes, campers, travel trailers, and RVs

Recently I added a shower shelf spray painted gold to the corner for even more plant space. 🙂

Shower shelf used as extra storage space in RV living room | RVinspiration.com | ideas for travel trailers, campers, and motorhomes

I made my curtains out of flat sheets.  (You can also see my bird feeders, which are hung on the outside of the window using these adhesive hooks.)

I also made curtain rods out of stained dowel rods with drawer knobs in the ends and hung them using Command hooks which I hot glued directly to the top of my window shades (leaving the screws exposed in case I needed to remove them).  I would have stuck the hooks directly to the wall, but it turned out that my lovely drawer pulls were too large to allow that.

DIY curtain rods made from dowel rods and drawer pulls and hung with Command hooks | RVinspiration.com

Related: RV Window Makeover Ideas

This is my husband Josiah’s work space.  Josiah is a web developer, and even though he currently works for a local company in Kansas City, he also works from home a lot.  He is also a musician.  Because of all that, he needed a desk that could serve multiple purposes, so he built this one using the metal frame of an old Walmart desk he used to own, but adding maple plywood slabs with a pull-out tray for his mouse and keyboard.  The electric piano can be pushed up under the shelf while Josiah is using his laptop, or pulled out for playing.

Work / office / recording space in RV | RVinspiration.com | ideas for campers, motorhomes, and travel trailers

At the bottom right of the photo you can see my sewing machine, which is probably the most impractical thing we own in our RV, but I love my sewing machine so much.  It is a 1950’s Singer cabinet sewing machine that belonged to my great-grandmother, and I refinished the cabinet myself.  It is also the only sewing machine that I felt like I could understand how to use without ending up in tears of frustration.  I like being able to see exactly how the mechanism works.

Kitchen & Dining Area

Here’s another before and after for you: our kitchen.

I used mug hooks to mount these baskets to the end of the cabinet for storing onions, potatoes, apples, etc., and I hung another basket for fruit over one of the cabinet doors.

Related: 8 Fruit & Root Vegetable Storage Ideas for RVs

Below is our coffee station.  We take coffee very seriously, lol.  The espresso machine is a Breville BES870XL.  We use it for making lattes, but if we want a regular cup of coffee we use the French press sitting on top, which I highly recommend if you want a great way to make coffee that doesn’t take up a lot of space.  The basket on the wall is from World Market and holds our manual coffee grinder, pour-over cone, and moka pot (which I used for making stovetop espresso before we got the espresso machine).

coffee station in our RV | RVinspiration.com

On the refrigerator you can see our hygrometer/thermometer – an essential for RV living!

Our refrigerator is magnetic, so I bought magnetic hooks which I use to hang pot holders, measuring cups and spoons, etc.  If our fridge had not been magnetic, I would have used Command hooks instead.

Items hung on refrigerator with magnetic hooks | RVinspiration.com | Storage and organization ideas for campers, RVs, motorhomes, and travel trailers

I found a nifty way to store my pizza pan by using magnets to stick it to the side of the microwave.

Pizza pan storage on side of microwave using magnets | RVinspiration.com

I actually purchased the pot rack before we had even seen the RV, haha, but then when I went to install it I quickly discovered that our ceiling is made of metal, and there was going to be no screwing into the ceiling.  Fortunately my husband had an idea, which was to remove the screws from the vent cover and screw the pot rack into those holes.  And it worked!  How lucky that the vent was located exactly where I wanted the pot rack!

Pot rack in RV kitchen | RVinspiration.com - storage and organization ideas for campers and motorhomes

This wall-o-spices is my pride and joy.  You can read about how I made it here.

Magnetic spice storage wall in RV - RVinspiration.com - kitchen ideas for campers, motorhomes, travel trailers, and small apartments

This was a neat discovery: it turned out that behind the panel under our pantry cabinet was just empty space, so I turned it into a place to store jars.

Extra storage found in RV | RVinspiration.com

We also got a pet fountain for Kitty to drink out of, because he prefers to drink running water.  At our old house we used to have to wait for him to take long drinks out of the sink faucet, but when we moved into the RV I decided this would be a better option.

AquaCube pet drinking fountain | RVinspiration.com

Related: 9 Space-Saving Spice Storage Ideas

The rack where my cutting boards and baking sheets are stored was actually purchased to hang on a cabinet door, but when it ended up not fitting I figured out a way to mount it over the panel that covers the space where our converter is located instead.  If I had been planning to purchase a rack to put there, I would have purchased this one instead.

RV kitchen storage idea for cutting boards and baking sheets

I store my silverware next to the sink in a basket I got from a thrift store with tin cans as dividers.  I like having the silverware there where it’s handy to put away.  Something else I want to mention about this photo is the sponge caddy in the sink.  I used to have problems with the suction cups constantly slipping or falling off, but then I read a tip that said it would stay put if mounted in the corner of the sink, and it was true!

Silverware storage idea for RVs, motorhomes, campers, travel trailers | RVinspiration.com

It really bugged me to always have the ugly dish soap bottle sitting on the counter, but we were too lazy to put it in the cabinet underneath the sink each time, so I bought this nifty little squeezable rubber soap bottle.  It comes in lots of pretty colors (mine is the gray one). It’s the little things.

Easy squeeze rubber dish soap dispenser | clever RV kitchen idea

Bathroom

Organizing the medicine cabinet wasn’t my top priority, but when I wrote a blog post about bathroom organization ideas I decided to purchase some baskets so that when we are ready to be mobile stuff shifting around in the cabinet is one less thing for me to worry about.

RV / camper / motorhome / travel trailer bathroom medicine cabinet storage and organization idea

I also put a corner shower shelf in the corner of the bathroom and hung a full-length mirror over the door.

Shower shelf extra storage idea for bathroom organization in campers, travel trailers, motorhomes, RVs

I love over cabinet storage.  I use these towel bars for hanging both my hand towel and a bath mat.

Here’s something else I did to prepare for future travel.  I wanted to be able to pack and go in as little time as possible, so I added plexiglass “walls” to the shelves in my shower so I could leave everything on the shelves without it falling off. I wrote a blog post about this DIY project as well.

Plexiglass walls for RV shower shelves | RVinspiration.com | storage and organization ideas for campers, motorhomes, and travel trailers

Bedroom

This is the “before” and “after” view of our bedroom.  I replaced the bedspread with an inexpensive down comforter and duvet cover from Target which I love; the comforter keeps me warm and cozy in winter but doesn’t make my husband hot in the summer, and the duvet cover feels like a sheet on the bottom and can be removed and laundered so we don’t have to use a flat sheet, which makes bed making a cinch.

I also covered the mirrored closet doors with faux rice paper window film to mimic the look of a Japanese shoji screen.  I wrote a blog post that tells about how I made them.

Here are some of the ways I save space in our closet.  (I told where I got each of these items in a blog post about closet organization ideas).

I also use hanging organizers on the doors in my bedroom for extra clothing storage.
RV clothes storage and organization idea | RVinspiration.com | ideas for campers, travel trailers, and motorhomes

We have a Splendide Vented Combo washer/dryer that has worked great for us so far.  We put our dirty laundry in the hamper hanging on the wall; the canvas bag can be removed from the frame and closed with a draw string if needed.  We actually just use the plastic laundry basket for extra storage.
RV washer dryer combo and laundry hamper | RVinspiration.com | ideas for campers, travel trailers, and motorhomes

Kitty spends a lot of time in the bedroom, too.

Professor Theodore | RVinspiration.com

Video Tour

My RV was featured for a live video tour as part of RV Renovation Week hosted by Liz Wilcox of The Virtual CampgroundClick here to watch the replay of my live interview and RV tour!

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I will reply ASAP!  We will be making RV skirting out of billboard tarp vinyl in a couple of weeks; then I will do a blog post about how we prepare our fifth wheel for winter!  Let me know if you would like me to email you when that article is published!

Want to see more ideas like this? Enter your email below I will let you know when I publish a new blog post. (I promise not to spam you – I hate that too!)

 

RV Inspiration website | Storage, Organization, and Decor Ideas for Travel Trailers, Campers & Motorhomes

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18 comments

  1. Ashley 17 October, 2017 at 14:42 Reply

    This is great!!! I love your floorplan. I love the closet door now that you covered the mirrors… most of all I love how you found ways to accommodate your kitty!!

  2. Jody Siebel 19 October, 2017 at 09:36 Reply

    This was fantastic review on everything you wrote about. I am truly impressed with all of you organizational tips as well. Thank you very much for the inspiration. Happy redecorating Jody

    • Ashley Mann 26 October, 2017 at 19:23 Reply

      Someone once said, “The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources!” I was inspired by other people’s similar creative solutions for both of those projects! 🙂

  3. Adrienne 26 October, 2017 at 22:15 Reply

    Wow! My husband keeps threatening to buy an RV (not to live in) but it just doesn’t appeal to me, mainly because of the space. But you have so many good ideas…i’ll try to soften.

    • Ashley Mann 26 October, 2017 at 22:29 Reply

      Ha! You just have to negotiate…tell him you’ll let him get one as long as you get to decorate it! 🙂 And thanks!

  4. Mia 27 October, 2017 at 19:27 Reply

    The RV biz must be booming right now! I’ve been really into the whole tiny home trend lately- it’s super appealing. Your kitchen in there looks awesome!

    • Ashley Mann 28 October, 2017 at 13:23 Reply

      Thanks! Yeah it seems like the number of people who have chosen to live in RVs full time has grown exponentially in just the last year or two!

  5. Paul 27 October, 2017 at 21:16 Reply

    Thanks for the tour! We’ve been 3 years full-time, but just bought an RV Park in Passaic Mo…. Show-Me Rest RV Park. The only way to live! Blessings !

  6. Romer 10 November, 2017 at 23:19 Reply

    Great mods! I am concerned that you will be way over your GVWR for your trailer. I think those things can carry close to 1800 lbs. max.

    • Ashley Mann 11 November, 2017 at 14:32 Reply

      I am definitely aware of that possibility, and the first thing we will do before moving is drive it to a weigh station, which is fortunately only about a mile from where we are parked. We may even rent a U-haul for some of our stuff until we know how much cargo weight we have to spare. We would also plan to drive with empty gray and black tanks, which should save some weight. Thanks for the safety reminder, though!

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