add color to rv renovation cabinets and backsplash
Photo credit: Erin Cherry

How to Renovate an RV in Less Than Two Weeks (Without Taking Off Work!)

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When you hear the word remodel, you probably imagine living in a construction zone for a few months while your home feels a little unlivable.

But how long does it take to renovate an RV?

For renovator, Erin Cherry, the answer is less than two weeks. After buying a 17-foot 2002 Nomad Skyline, Erin and her husband, Jordan, renovated this camper and listed it for sale all under two weeks.

Before:

After:

Photo credit: Erin Cherry

Before:

After:

Photo credit: Erin Cherry

How to Renovate an RV in Less Than Two Weeks

Back during the pandemic when everyone was buying RVs, Erin wanted one too. But there were no affordable RVs in her area. So she found a cheap $5,000 trailer and renovated it.

Erin’s first RV renovation:

This sparked an idea for a side hustle. Between her design skills and her husband’s ability to “figure out anything,” why not try renovating and selling RVs?

Now Erin and Jordan have renovated eight RVs in less than a year and a half! And this is just a side gig—they both work full-time too. As they’ve renovated, they’ve gotten better and better at approaching each RV and easily completed this transformation in under two weeks.

Photo credit: Erin Cherry

Pssst those white cabinets fold down into a hidden bunk bed!

Erin kept the footprint for the RV the same—leaving existing cabinets and the dinette booth—making the renovation to this RV more cosmetic-based. This saved the time of rebuilding new furniture or cabinetry. Paint and fresh upholstery make this RV feel brand new again.

Painting the RV

Erin does all the painting herself and always uses Sherwin Williams Emerald Paint.

“It’s pricier but it dries perfectly smooth on cupboards and they look professionally sprayed, even though I roll it on!” Erin said. Using better-quality paint saves time and the need for fancy equipment.

Photo credit: Erin Cherry

The hardest part of this particular flip was replacing the hot water tank. The previous owner didn’t winterize it for Canadian winters causing it to freeze and crack.

Because this RV is over 20 years old, the right model of hot water tank didn’t exist anymore! Instead, they had to replace the entire hot water system—which Jordan did himself.

Photo credit: Erin Cherry

The Key: A Clear Design Plan

We asked Erin how she and her husband could renovate this entire RV in less than two weeks.

“My main focus when I start a new flip is honestly design!” Erin shared. “I spend hours thinking about what paint colour, fabric for upholstery, and what decor I’m going to choose!”

Decor, Erin pointed out, is what she believes sets her RVs apart from other renovated RVs on the market.

Photo credit: Erin Cherry

She purchased all of her decor from Hobby Lobby for this RV and includes it all in the sale.

Her secret for selling her renovated RVs is taking the time to stage the RV with beautiful decor. These don’t feel like old, manufactured RVs. Her RVs feel like tiny homes.

Photo credit: Erin Cherry

Final Costs?

Even with the hot water system, expensive paint, new flooring, and decor, this entire renovation cost only $1500.

Before You Tackle a Renovation

The best thing to do before tackling an RV renovation is to come up with a plan. Choose your paint colors and upholstery as well as new hardware, faucets, sinks, and anything else you’d like to replace.

Not sure where to start? Download our renovation planning template:

With the right plan and tools—and as Erin says, a husband who “truly can figure anything out”—you can renovate an RV in less than two weeks. Even if you have to replace the entire hot water system!

Erin already sold this RV, but you can shop similar renovated RVs on our marketplace.

To ogle more of Erin’s renovations, follow her on Instagram @trailer_untrashed.

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5 Comments

  1. I love your curtains throughout this renovation, the creamy color with the fringe is exactly what I’m looking for. Are these actually repurposed towels and where did you find them? I love all of your ideas, you have a real eye for decor!

  2. Hi we have an RV that i would love to paint walls and cupboards but we also have a boarder approximately 6 inches. Would you have an idea on how to remove as I would not think you could paint over this. Please help

    1. Without seeing it/knowing what material it is, I’m not sure if you could paint it or not. You likely could, but also removing it shouldn’t be too difficult. It’s like adhered with staples or glue and should be able to be pried off.

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