Photo Credit: whitefloridafarmhouse

What It’s Like Hiring an RV Renovator: The Process, Cost, and Work Involved


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When it comes to homeownership, there’s always a honey-do list of things to be fixed and updated. This list can be twice as long with RVs, even with a fraction of the square footage!

Not all of us are handy DIYers with the time to renovate an RV ourselves. Hiring an RV renovator to execute your vision can save you time and hassle and give you the home of your dreams, even on a budget. 

I’ve never hired a renovator, opting to DIY everything myself… Which is why I’ve never gotten more creative than painting my RV!

Hiring a renovator feels daunting and like one more thing to figure out before getting started on any renovations. I found @FiveTalentsHomes, RV renovators on Instagram, and asked them all of the questions to learn what the RV renovation process is like, how much it costs to hire a renovator, and what all an RV renovation entails.

Here’s what I learned.

Key Takeaways When Hiring an RV Renovator

It’s worthwhile to note that all RV renovators have different approaches to remodels. Here are a few things to note:

  • You don’t have to find a renovator in your area, as consults can be done virtually and RVs can be shipped to your door.
  • Not all renovators will complete the same type of work, so find a renovator who will handle repairs to RV systems if needed.
  • The smaller your RV, the less time and money it will likely take to renovate.
  • Amazon is the go-to place for renovators to buy supplies for renovations.
Before-and-After Renovation by Five Talents Homes

Five Talents Homes, A South Carolina-Based RV Renovation Company

Meet Elijah & Leann, the couple behind Five Talents Homes, a nod to their five children.

Elijah and Leann started flipping homes in 2017, living in a trailer in 2019 to finish fixing their house. Looking around the tiny home, they saw an opportunity. Flipping the small spaces of RVs would be simpler than renovating houses and give them more time to spend with their family. 

Photo Credit: Five Talents Homes

Elijah and Leann specialize in one-of-a-kind campers.

“Our goal in the end is to make a space that someone walks into and just has to have…Something that they might not ever see again. That is what makes us excited to do this again and again,” says the couple.

hiring an rv renovator south carolina renovated rv bedroom with headboard
Renovation Credit: Five Talents Homes

What Work Will RV Renovators Do?

RV renovators are different than RV mechanics, which focus more on repairing systems on your RV. Many renovators will contract out to mechanics for these types of fixes or will recommend getting systems repaired before they begin work.

Five Talents Homes will renovate your interiors, but also can work on your RV systems.

Exterior renovation by Five Talents Homes

“We have replaced slide motors, upgraded manual awnings to electric, replaced breaker boxes and convertors, added skylights, replaced the exterior with all new Filon, and upgraded water heaters to tankless. If something needs to be fixed, we will fix it or make it better if possible,” said the couple.

In addition to these fixes, the full interior can be renovated and like the renovation featured above, the exterior can be reimagined as well.

What is the process for renovating an RV?

Some renovators will renovate your existing RV, but Five Talents Homes approach renovations a little differently.

“We prefer to pick out and purchase the RV ourselves to ensure that we are getting a trailer with minimal damage. We always offer it for presale before designing it, but if no one reaches out to put a deposit on it, we design it how we like and list it for sale when it is done.”

This cottage-inspired trailer just sold on our Renovated RVs for Sale marketplace a couple of weeks ago.

hiring an rv renovator south carolina
Photo Credit: Five Talents Homes

Five Talents also will create design inspiration for presale RVs that can help buyers picture what a before-and-after can look like.

“If an RV listed for presale has the right layout/budget, a buyer can put down a nonrefundable deposit and we will make a mood board just for them and renovate it to fit their needs,” says the couple.

Costs and Scope of RV Renovation Projects

For every renovation, the timeline and costs of a project will differ. For Five Talents Homes, small RV renovations are typically around $15,000, and large RVs cost up to $40,000 for supplies and labor.

“We can get some projects done in 4 weeks and some can take up to 12 weeks,” said the team. “It depends on the size and how much custom work we are doing. Changing layout, building cabinetry, upgrading appliances and mechanical components can really add on time.”

Photo Credit: Five Talents Homes

Materials and Brands Used on Renovations

High-quality products are a must in renovating an RV. Off the manufacturing line, you often see plastic faucets, sinks, and other low quality products. To give the RV value and function to last, Elijah and Leann opt for brand name products.

Leann found a way to save on these products using Amazon too.

“I love to use name-brand faucets after my parents had issues with a lower-priced brand. I keep my eye out for big brand items in the Amazon return section because I can often find a $500 faucet for less than $200. I’m always thrilled to be able to offer our buyer an item that I would never be able to afford normally.”

Renovation credit: Five Talents Homes

Finding quality products for an RV on Amazon is the go-to for many renovators. Unique light fixtures and affordable couches and furniture are often purchased on Amazon for their low prices and breadth of options.

“We love to buy items from Etsy and eBay. We try to stop by our local antique stores as frequently as possible. Not only are the vintage items one of a kind, but things were just built to last back then. The project we are working on right now has handmade items from India and Kenya and antique lights from Turkey. Shipping takes a little longer and they aren’t quite as cheap as a replica from Amazon, but we think it is totally worth it.”

Working with Clients

During the process, video chat is the most common way to keep up with projects. While Five Talents is located in South Carolina, that doesn’t mean you must hire local RV renovators only.

Consultations can be done over calls and finished RVs can be picked up or shipped across the country.

Read Next: Our Experience Shipping Our RV (+ Tips for Hiring an RV Transport Company)

As you think about hiring a renovator, consider how hands-on you want to be in the design process, or if you would prefer to give over total control. Letting a renovator handle all the particulars—like which faucet to buy and what wallpaper to hang—can be an act of trust, but one that can save you time and energy. The mood boards that Elijah and Leann put together will give a good idea of the overall design without bogging you down with specifics.

Hiring an RV Renovator FAQs

Here are a few of the questions we see most about renovating your RV.

Does remodeling an RV increase value?

This depends on what renovations take place. Some renovations can negatively affect the value of an RV, like painting everything in bright colors. This makes it more difficult to appeal to buyers and many dealers ask sellers to paint over bright colors before agreeing to sell.

Learn more about which types of renovations can reduce or increase your RV’s value here.

How do you remodel an RV on a budget?

Hiring an RV renovator can be the most expensive way to renovate your RV since you are paying for parts and supplies as well as labor.

To stay on a budget, we recommend going the DIY route. Check out 23 Ideas for a Budget RV Makeover to get started with your own budget-friendly renovation.

Where do I find an RV renovator near me?

While you don’t need to hire a renovator nearby, there is great peace of mind when you can see the progress of your home on wheels. We regularly update this list of RV renovators across the country so you can find someone near you.

What It’s Like Hiring an RV Renovator Summary

Saving yourself time on an RV renovation can be well worth it, particularly if you aren’t comfortable with DIY projects or handy with power tools. RV renovators are often home renovators, just like Five Talents Homes, who are equipped to remodel and build out your RV to fit your design style.

Before hiring an RV renovator, be sure to contact them with questions like:

  • How long have you been renovating RVs? 
  • Do you provide references to past clients? Are there any online platforms or websites where I can see your work and reviews?
  • What is your typical process for an RV renovation? How much control will I have over the design?
  • How long do most projects take?
  • What is the average or expected costs for a complete renovation? 
  • How do you approach the design phase of an RV renovation?
  • What is your preferred method of communication during the project? How is progress shared throughout the process? 
  • Are you available for future maintenance if needed?
  • Do you fix broken systems on the RV, or only renovate interiors?

When hiring an RV renovator, find someone who shares your unique style. For a one-of-a-kind renovation, follow Five Talents Homes on Instagram and see what projects they are working on.

Thank you Elijah and Leann for sharing your expertise and your beautiful photos with us!

Would you hire an RV renovator to design your camper? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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