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8 Quick Tips for Fixing Up an Old RV

Recreational vehicles are built for many years of enjoyment on the road, and that’s what they’ll provide so long as you keep up with regular RV maintenance. But what if your older motorhome needs a refresh, or you recently purchased a vintage camper with wear and tear? Whether you want to improve a RV to provide an elevated camping experience for yourself or you’re hoping to flip the rig for resale in order to turn a quick profit, RVT has eight easy tips for fixing up an older RV.

1. Wash and Wax

One of the first tips to fix up your Class A motorhome or other RV is to thoroughly wash the exterior. Use a cleaning solution strong enough to remove any difficult residue, along with a car-washing mitt or sponge. There are many green cleaning solutions available. Once your unit is sparkling clean, apply a fresh coat of wax suitable for recreational vehicles to give your camper a good-as-new shine. Don’t apply wax in direct sunlight and only do a small section at a time to prevent the wax from drying too quickly. 

2. Deep Clean and Prep the Interior

As you will spend most of your time inside your renovated camper, it is important to deep clean your RV’s interior. Appliances should be moved for more accessibility to the hard-to-reach areas. Make touch-ups to all surfaces: wood surfaces should be re-sanded and apply caulk to any cracks in the walls or countertops.

3. Fresh Paint Job

Whether you have recently purchased an old RV, or you are restoring your well-loved Class C, fifth wheel, or travel trailer, all RVs at some point will need a new paint job. This is a simple, low-cost way to make your rig more aesthetically pleasing. Remove any decals, wallpaper borders, and necessary fixtures. Do not remove the textured wallpaper on the walls, however. It isn’t intended to be removed. Clean the walls with a degreaser, do any necessary patching, and apply a bonding primer before you paint. Then apply at least two coats of fresh color to create a more modern feel. When painting the outside of your rig, it is important to purchase the correct type of paint for your RV’s exterior. Check with your dealer or manufacturer for recommendations.

4. Clean Frames and Covers

As your RV has been exposed to numerous weather conditions over the years, it is likely that discoloration has formed along the frames of the windows and doors. Instead of purchasing new frames and covers, it may be more cost-effective to remove these parts and thoroughly wash each component in hot, soapy water. Apply a couple fresh coats of paint and re-install once dry.

5. Upgrade Furniture and Appliances

After years of use, it is likely that your RV’s furniture is worn, stained, and dirty. Replacing or reupholstering the furniture will enhance the overall aesthetic and give your RV a fresh look and smell. For a completely refreshed look, consider changing the fixtures and appliances as well. 

6. Replace Flooring

Your RV’s floor has been subject to a lot of wear and tear. Replacing it is another great way to refresh your camper or motorhome. One cost-effective solution for an instant change is press-and-stick vinyl tiles. Other solutions may include vinyl plank or porcelain tile. Keep in mind that lighter flooring, such as laminate, is a better option than real hardwood, as adding weight will slow down your camper, leading to lower gas mileage. If your rig has water damage or major cracks and dents in the flooring, you will likely need a professional crew to fix it. 

7. Electrical and Mechanical Repairs

Simple fixes, such as changing lightbulb fixtures or the RV’s battery, may be something you’re comfortable doing yourself, but overall it is best to consult with a licensed electrician or mechanic for electrical and mechanical repairs. It is crucial to get the inner workings of your RV up to speed so you don’t have any issues while you’re out on the road.

8. Replace Tires

If your RV has been idle for a long time, or if you’ve traveled a lot, your tires will likely need to be replaced. Here are some tips to look for when it’s time to replace new trailer tires. For safety, check your tires regularly.

Though fixing up your old RV may seem like a cumbersome task, following these tips will make updating your motorhome exciting. After all, if you plan to spend more time in the RV, you and your guests will feel much more comfortable cruising and exploring in a rig that is well equipped with newer, updated fixtures. If you’re wondering whether to renovate or buy a newer unit, these 12 key considerations may help you decide. When you are ready to purchase a newer RV, check out the current listings on the RVT marketplace.

By Alex Hoyes

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