Take a peek at our Home On Wheels!
I know, I know... it took me long enough! After receiving lots of questions and update requests, I finally pulled myself together to film a video tour of our beloved camper.
For those of you who do not know us personally, I will give you the quick rundown of how our year began. Back in October, we started thinking about buying a camper to live and travel in during the upcoming months. By Thanksgiving we had one to call our own. We spent the next month selling and giving away the majority of our possessions, downsizing our world to suit our new lifestyle. We spent our first night's sleep in our new home on New Years Eve, the same night we began the renovation process. Based on this paragraph, I am sure you can make the connection that Ryan and I rarely think things through. We don't plan. We just do. Luckily, it has mostly worked out in our favor... so far.
With the Tiny House movement in full swing, there is a lot of buzz currently revolving around the idea of downsizing, debt free living, and pursuing a simpler lifestyle. While we are still not completely debt free, (school loans are a b*$%@!), I can honestly say, after doing it ourselves, that this experience has taught me a lot about what I need... and don't need, to be happy. There is a sense of freedom that sneaks up on you when parting with all your things. Once I got over the initial shock and "but I like all my things" stage, I was hit with a strong sense of possibility. We were making a change in our lives that most people can't even wrap their mind around. It felt good. And while sometimes I need a friendly reminder that it won't always be easy, I can honestly say that our Home On Wheels has taught us a lot about the lifestyle we want to continue striding towards.
Now for the fun stuff..
We began our journey with an ugly, outdated, brown... everywhere camper. I am a self-proclaimed interior designer at heart, and could not stand the idea of living in something so depressing and hard to look at. So, I could not wait to get my hands on it, to say the least.
If you are thinking about purchasing a camper and renovating it yourself, ask the dealership if you can use their dumpster before driving it off the lot. The guys at our dealership were great! They let us gut the whole thing right on their lot and even helped us transport the unwanted furniture and window treatments to their dumpster. Now, I admit, that if they had a better idea of what we actually had in mind, they may have prohibited this, but nonetheless, they made our lives SO much easier.
Once we gutted the entire camper... literally, everything went, we started on the walls. If you have ever spent any time in an RV, you know that the walls are always plastered with a weird material wall paper. In order to avoid having a strange texture on our walls, we decided to coat and spray a mud/cement mix layer before diving into the paint. This prevented us from having to sand everything down, and also added a "drywall" look to the finished walls. After the mud was dry, we were able to paint... and paint and paint and paint. I believe the entire camper took 4 coats of white paint total, and around a week to complete. This was by far the longest and most grueling step, however it made the biggest difference in our renovation. If you are planning on remodeling an RV and are on a budget, I highly suggest starting by painting it's entirety. It is well worth the pain for the end result!
Next, we added a thin layer of cement on all of our countertops. It took 3 layers to get a look we were happy with, and finished it off with a food safe sealer. This was by far the cheapest option we found when researching our possibilities. Total cost came under $100, and gave us a rustic/contemporary feel that we love. If you want details about the type of sealer and cement we used, please feel free to email me. I will be happy to send you all of that information you need as well as some tips that will help avoid melt downs.
The second most important change we wanted to make to our new home was the flooring. The original floors came with a combination of lightly colored carpet throughout, and light linoleum in the kitchen. I hated everything about it. Because we bought our camper used, the carpet was dirty, smelly, and not something I wanted my bare feet to touch. We knew we wanted to tear it all out and start fresh, thinking we could do it ourselves easily. HA! By the time we were ready to change out the floors, we were more than willing to outsource this project and hire professionals. They were in and out within a day, and we were able to take a well deserved rest. It was a splurge we were happy to spend, and highly recommend for those of you looking to commit to a similar project. Whether it be the floors, countertops, ANYTHING, don't be afraid to get help where it is needed. It will save you a lot of headaches and arguments.... TRUST ME! haha
The Big Reveal...
Like I mentioned above, we sold all of our furniture and possessions before moving into the camper. This allowed us to start fresh and purchase only the necessities for our new home. The decorating aspect of this project was obviously my favorite part of the whole thing. We bought a lot of our "we need it right now" furniture at Ikea for as cheap as possible, but have been able to take our time with the rest. As most of you know, I love thrifting and antiquing, so I am thoroughly enjoying finding SMALL treasures for our Home On Wheels to give it a special personal touch that truly makes it our home.
Click on the photos above to see some highlights of our home!