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Ashley Mann spent three years living full time in a 38-foot, 5th-wheel RV with her husband Josiah and their cat, Kitty. Her favorite thing about RV life is the challenge of finding the perfect way to organize a space, and she loves seeing all the creative and clever ways people come up with to customize their RVs.
A note from Ashley, founder of RV Inspiration: When my husband and I were first shopping for an RV in 2016, we toured many fifth wheel toy haulers. I saw the potential to turn the garage area of a toy hauler into a cozy living space, but I had never seen anyone do it the way I had envisioned until I came across some photos of Meg’s RV, which she offered to share with RV Inspiration’s readers.
I hope seeing the “Before” and “After” photos of Meg’s RV makeover will inspire you and show you that a toy hauler garage is really a blank slate that can be turned into whatever you need it to be!
After you read about Meg’s toy hauler transformation, check out this article for more toy hauler garage inspiration.
Hi I’m Meg Harrell! I am a full time RVer with my husband and 2 young kids. I run the travel & entertainment publication megforit.com.
Last summer we decided to sell most of our belongings, leave our home and move into a fifth wheel in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina! Today, a year later, we’ve moved to Florida, still live in the RV, and have finally completed the renovations to our RV. I think RV living is the best kind of “Tiny House”. Let me tell you why!
Why I love RV Life!
RV living means freedom, since you can pull your home anywhere and most campgrounds in the U.S. have full hook-ups for RV’s. Living in an RV teaches you to value what you own because you can only fit a few possessions into the space. The fun part is, since the space is small and manageable, you can design your RV exactly to your style, even on a small budget.
In this article, I’m going to show you how we designed the most challenging area of our RV: the toy hauler garage!
How We Renovated Our Toy Hauler Garage
Renovating a toy hauler garage can be challenging as the room is typically not very cozy, but I saw potential for a gorgeous master suite here!
Our RV is a 325 Wolf Pack 13 fifth wheel, and we bought it brand new, a 2020 model. The toy hauler area is basically a big, tall box–and that’s exactly that I wanted. I wanted super tall ceilings and a space we could use as a living room, laundry room, and master suite!
Here is a before picture of the toy hauler area:
I’m not sure how all the stars aligned, but it worked out beautifully, because there is a washer/dryer hook-up already in this 2020 model, as well as a bed lift system.
Our king size bed lifts up to the ceiling, and our IKEA couch fits perfectly lengthwise underneath. We lift the bed in the morning and bring it down at night.
I removed the bench seats underneath that came with the RV and sold them. I also sanded and painted every wall a bright white color. The rolled nets from the ceiling were removed and the floor was covered with a huge area rug.
To make the space feel more inviting, I added some string lights, a dresser, and a few minimal design accessories.
As you can see in this first photo, the bed is down, so this is the room in “bedroom” mode. The Edison string lights are on, there is a king size mattress covered in gorgeous French linen. (If you haven’t slept on REAL 100% linen, you’re totally missing out!)
A few more clothes are stored in the tall wooden dresser. The Moroccan leather pouf makes a perfect ottoman/bean bag chair for the kids, and the macrame pillows and Alpaca throw make the couch even more “cuddle ready”.
To cover the black back wall of this room, we added thick white “blackout” curtains to brighten the space and make it feel more homey and less “RV-ish.”
Year-Round Living in the Toy Hauler Travel Trailer
Our RV, the 325 Wolf Pack 13, is an “all seasons” RV, which means it is has extra insulation and the tanks are insulated for all weather conditions. There are also two air conditioning units. Our RV also has ducted heating and cooling in the garage, and the walls of the garage have the same insulation as the rest of the RV, which prevents the garage are from feeling too drafty.
We lived through a winter in North Carolina with lows in the teens as well as a summer in Florida with highs in the mid 90’s. This RV has seen every weather extreme and served us well!
In the winter I did have a small space heater in the kids bunk house and in the master bedroom area. Most nights we didn’t need it, but I grew up in Miami and I’m a bit of a pansy when it comes to winter!
Half Bath in the Toy Hauler Travel Trailer
There is a half bath located in the toy hauler area that we renovated as well. This area was a very small part of the remodel. I wallpapered the walls with “marble-look” stick on wallpaper, painted the cabinet white, took off the dark pleather valance, and added a mirror.
Here’s a quick “Before & After”:
Materials I Used for the Remodel
For reference, here are a few of the items we bought if you’re interested:
- Wall Paint
- Boho Chic Area Rug
- Washer/Dryer All-in-One Machine
- White Blackout Curtains
- Edison-Style String Lights
- French Linen Bedding
- Ikea Storage Couch
- Macrame Pillows
- Alpaca Throw Blanket
- Moroccan Leather Ottoman Pouf
- Half bath Marble Wallpaper
- Half bath Octagon Mirror
Advice for Any RV Remodel
My biggest piece of advice when remodeling an RV is to get to know your style. Are you more modern, farmhouse style, Boho chic? Find your style and know the kind of space you want to live in and then GO FOR IT!
Lastly, I want to encourage you to buy quality products that will last. If you’re planning on painting, use a high quality paint so you don’t get chipped paint spots a week later!
Anything is possible inside an RV. Any RV can be the mini dream house you’ve always wanted! I hope my RV remodel will inspire you and show you the potential that an RV can have! For more on my full RV remodel, check out this article.