Our Trailer Reno

We didn’t set out to do a trailer reno, but we found a travel trailer on Kijiji with a layout we loved. It just happened to be 15 years old and with time on our hands due to Covid, we jumped right in. At first we found inspriation on Pinterest and blogs, but then stumbled upon an amazing Facebook group called “RV Renovations” that has been an incredible source of inspiration and practical know-how. The downside was that our original plans to do a quick surface reno, turned into a much more ambitious reno after being inspired by that group. We had to deal with two big hurdles with our reno. We would have only 2 weeks to complete it.

We wouldn’t be starting the reno until the ski season ended and it started to warm up. We hoarded supplies, researched and made plans so that we would be prepared for our 2 week work period. Nowhere to do the reno. At home we could have parked the trailer in our driveway and would have access to tools and supplies. Not so easy from our ski condo.We borrowed tools from my brother, found a friendly local that allowed us to park the trailer on his property and use his power and water and continually improvised.

What we loved about this trailer is that it had separate sleeping space for our 3 kids. Last year when we were planning our year-long road trip to Central America, we spent hours trying to find a small trailer with space for all of us. We even considered importing a trailer from Australia, where they build very high quality trailers with triple bunks.

Trailers in North America are just plain ugly. For years we accepted their look with their faux wood paneling, hideous wallpaper borders and flimsy finishes. If you have seen RVs made in Australia and Europe, you will have seen that trailers don’t have to be ugly. Thus, it has become incredibly common for North American RV owners to reno their trailers, even brand new ones. Faux wood paneling gets replaced with sleek white cabinetry, ugly fabric-covered window valances get junked, linoleum flooring from the 80s gets replaced with vinyl plank flooring and many even swap out the cheap RV furniture for real furniture.

We knew painting the trailer was the single biggest change that would make the most difference. We also knew that painting the walls and cabinets would be a ton of work and needed to be done properly. It took us 4 days to do it and they were body-aching, tedious days, but it was definitely worth it. We are pretty handy people but don’t have much experience painting. We compensated for this by doing a lot of research. Painting an RV is different than painting in your house. Since you cannot remove the wallpaper that is adhered directly to the trailer walls and since the cabinets are not made of real wood, preparation is key.