What You Need to Know Before Remodeling an RV

Remodeled RV

If you watch even a few minutes of any show on HGTV, you’ll be itching to start a project almost immediately. It might be making a delicious grilled pizza or maybe even a homemade candle. Or maybe you’ll want to rip some cabinets off the walls and spend a small fortune in paint. It happens to the best of us. But what about when you start dreaming of remodeling an RV? Restoring older campers, motorhomes, and fifth wheels is all the rage right now, with countless Instagram accounts featuring questionable “before” shots that precede gorgeous how’d-they-do-that “after” images.

But is remodeling an RV (or anything, for that matter) as easy as it looks on TV and on the internet? Probably not. So, let’s look at what you need to thoroughly consider before you jump into remodeling any rig:

Time

One of the biggest factors in completing an RV renovation is time. If you have it, then you’ll be in good shape. If you don’t, your project will probably take even longer than you expect. Bottom line is to be realistic with your timeline from the very beginning. As with any remodel, you should be prepared for all the potential scenarios, including a prolonged timeline.

Money

You can certainly save money by buying an older RV for a great price and rehabbing it into the rig of your dreams. The rehabbing is where you’ll really spend some money. Of course, the money you spend will depend on how intensive a remodel you plan to complete and how many supplies, fixtures, and other products you’ll need to buy to get it done. Make sure your budget can handle surprise expenses and repairs so the project can keep moving.

Hiring Out Services

Yes, an RV remodel can be done by anyone with a little moxie and hard work, but it’s important to know that a great many skills are required to complete one successfully. Think about it: An RV is a house on wheels, so you’ll need to have knowledge of mechanics, electrical and plumbing systems, carpentry, upholstery, painting, and so much more. If you are unable to complete certain projects on your own, you may have to hire a service to do them for you. This will add to your overall budget.

Weight

The gross trailer weight rating (GTWR) that your rig has is the amount of weight that includes the entire vehicle full of your stuff and full tanks. This is a number that you cannot exceed. Knowing your RV’s dry weight – what it weighs without anything extra in it at all, just the vehicle itself – and its GTWR can help you figure out how to avoid adding any extra weight during the remodel that the chassis cannot handle. You also need to consider the placement of certain heavy items, such as a washer and dryer, and the overall distribution of weight throughout the rig.

What’s more, you’ll want to ensure that your rig is even worth remodeling! Does it sit upon a solid chassis? Is there rust? Does the engine have low miles? Does the engine run? Remodeling an RV that doesn’t have a solid foundation to begin with could mean you’ll end up wasting a lot of time and money on the vehicle.

An RV remodel is an intensive project to undertake and all factors need to be considered before you tackle one head-on.

Have you remodeled a rig before? What was your experience? Comment below or contact us today!

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