remodeled living and dining area in coachmen catalina - by Tiffani Borkon

Upgrading a New Travel Trailer for Better Livability

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It is becoming increasingly popular for RVing families, especially full-timers, to renovate RVs to make them more functional and stylish (even brand-new ones!). While upgrading a new travel trailer or motorhome may seem like an unnecessary cost to some, many RVers who do so think the results are completely worth it!

This updated 2022 Coachmen Catalina Legacy Edition travel trailer showcases some of the ways a new RV can benefit from a few upgrades and personalizations.

Tiffani Borkon (@tiffgelv on Instagram) shares that one of her top reasons for this RV remodel was to update the interior from what it looked like straight from the factory. “It looks pretty unrecognizable versus the original depressingly dark interior,” she proudly notes.

The 2022 Coachmen Catalina BEFORE the Renovation

Exterior of coachmen catalina - by Tiffani Borkon

Tiffani and her family picked this two-bedroom 2022 Coachmen Catalina Legacy Edition 303QBCKLE travel trailer floorplan because of its size, layout, and features. They liked that it was easily towable, had a bunk ROOM (instead of just an open bunk), and an open living, dining, and kitchen area. 

Note: Photos of a new Coachmen Catalina from Coachmen’s website to give an idea of how the space looked.

She also appreciated some specific features: “no shower doors, which I thought would make it difficult to bathe our kiddos, and not too much of an outdoor kitchen because we wanted to prioritize interior space.” 

However, it turned out that the space and style just wasn’t a great fit.

The Remodeled 2022 Coachmen Catalina

remodeled living and dining area in coachmen catalina - by Tiffani Borkon

“We didn’t realize until ‘living’ in it just how dysfunctional it was,” Tiffany shares when asked why they decided to renovate their brand-new RV. 

“Besides the drab gray on brown on gray on brown situation, in such a small space (and with a whole family in there!) just one storage need not being met can quickly snowball and everything feels out of whack. At least that’s how it was for us. My only regret is not having had time before we hit the road to work out some of those tweaks.”

remodeled kitchen in coachmen catalina - by Tiffani Borkon
remodeled bunkroom in coachmen catalina - by Tiffani Borkon

This updated and upgraded RV now has “all the extra equipment needed to hit the road, host guests, or work from home.” Tiffany thoughtfully added thousands of dollars in upgrades to improve the livability, functionality, and style for her family and the RV’s future owners!

Updated floorplan of remodeled Coachmen Catalina.
Floorplan of remodeled Coachmen Catalina.

About Tiffani & Her Insights on Upgrading a New Travel Trailer

Tiffani is a homemaker with an architecture degree who is passionate about family, art, and design. “Living within our means, financially but also sustainably, is also a big deal for me.”

One of the reasons Tiffani was excited to take on this remodel is that she enjoys a challenge: “I personally love designing with parameters. I’m a problem-solver. Working with existing layout and/or furnishings, weight limitations, budget constraints, … you name it.” 

Q: What are some of the specific products used in this RV remodel?

A: I adore IKEA. I have found their quality to be very reliable and the products have stellar customer ratings. 

remodeled bedroom in coachmen catalina - by Tiffani Borkon

Here are some of the specific IKEA products used in this remodel:

  • In the Living/Dining/Kitchen Area:
    • Tilt-out bins are TRONES. 
    • Modular storage sofa is VALLENTUNA.
    • Area rug is ENGELSBORG (so soft!). 
    • King size mattress is HAUGESUND. 
    • Wicker storage ottoman (with Luggable Loo tucked inside!) is TOLKNING. 
    • Wall sconce is MANALG. 
    • Curtains are all RITVA. 
    • White oak table top is TOMMARYD and the trestle base is NARSPEL. 
    • Birch storage stools are VILTO. 
    • Extra black folding chair is TERJE. 
    • Brass coat hook by the entry/fridge is KAMPIG.
    • Brass pulls on the black cabinet are GRIBBOL. 
    • Brass lamp on the black cabinet is SOLKLINT.
    • Brass rod/accessories in the kitchen are HULTARP (and RORT utensils).
    • Little planter on the kitchen counter is SAGOGRYN.
    • Custom-fit cutting board is PROPPMATT. 
  • In the bunkroom:
    • Rug is RAKLEV.
    • Yellow storage stools are BOSNAS.
    • Black rods/hardware in the bunkroom are RACKA, BETYDLIG, RAFFIG, and SYRLIG. 
    • Magnetic/dry erase boards are SVENSAS.
    • White lamp is LAMPAN.
remodeled bunkroom in coachmen catalina - by Tiffani Borkon

I also purchased some items from Amazon (brass curtain rods and shower rod, corner shelves, folding desk hinges, several organizational items, thermometers, lots and lots of RV equipment); Target (black cabinet, most of the bedding/pillows/throws, wall frame/poster); and Walmart. 

Get more simple RV remodel ideas here!

Q: What Product for RVers Do You Think is the Most Helpful?

A: One of my fave IKEA products for the RV is the SPIKRAK 13 gal. canvas bag. I liked to use them to collect dirty laundry (there’s a perfect spot under the side of the bed), then when we washed our clothes at the laundromat, the bag was easily tossed in with the clothes so I could bring our clean clothes home in a clean bag! 

Q: What are Some of the Highlights & Features of this RV Remodel?

A: This RV has a desert-inspired design with faux Saltillo tile floor and fun pops of color. 

The modern kitchen has vertical subway tile backsplash, an under-mount deep basin sink with custom cutting board, stainless steel appliances including fridge/freezer with an inverter, and a residential pull-down faucet/sprayer.

It also has beautiful light gray stained shaker style cabinet doors, charming brass finish accents, and all the tech you need with Winegard Wi-Fi extender, Bluetooth audio + USB ports throughout

remodeled kitchen in coachmen catalina - by Tiffani Borkon

The primary bedroom has a walk-around residential king bed with two wardrobe closets, TV hook-ups, abundant under-bed storage, and tilt-out cabinets

Bunkroom offers a second A/C with three beds plus a convertible bed, a fold-down desk, TV hookups, and more.

Living/dining area features a 12’ power slide, 39” flat screen TV on swing-arm mount plus Roku, 30” electric fireplace/heater, custom 2” cordless room-darkening faux wood blinds, faux leather modular storage sofa, white oak table, and seating for 4-5.

There is also a ginormous pantry at the entry, additional built-in storage, and functional furnishings offering ample stowing spots.

Get more tips for updating bunk beds, kitchens, and dinette booths!

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  1. We just got a small Gulf Stream travel trailer. The camper walls are so thin! How do you secure things to the walls? Since the walls are wallpapered, I’m afraid to even use command hooks.

    1. Did you wallpaper the walls yourself or are you referring to the existing camper wallpaper? If it’s the existing, don’t worry about Command Hooks. They will not damage the walls. That wallpaper is not going anywhere.

      For securing things, it depends on the product. In many cases for permanent items like shelves or curtains, screws are best. We go through the best options for lighter options like artwork and decor in this blog post:

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