RV Renovation Days 1 and 2

February 16, 2016

November 12th, 2015

Day 1 – “Screw Day”

We got our RV home from Buffalo to Pittsburgh the day before and we were ready to get started. When we found our camper about a month prior, all the ideas we had for renovation started to take over. I was making lists of things I wanted to do, and some ideas even turned into sketches. I read every article I could get my hands on for RV renovation, and searched every renovation known to the internet. Pinterest helped me organize my thoughts! Kevin was caught up in the articles that were a bit more targeted at what he was interested in doing (painting, concrete counters, and flooring). Luckily, we were interested in the opposite things.

So we got our camper in Kevin’s parents driveway, and took off about 2 weeks to make it happen. We arrive the first morning well rested and SO ready to take on this project that we have read articles upon articles about starting! What I thought would take a day, really took much longer. More on that shortly.

First thing, we started with was emptying the stuff inside the camper, as you can see here this is what our camper looked like when we first got it. The couch was a bitch until we realized how it really worked. It was probably about 120 lbs, then we realized we could remove the fold old bed. Then it wouldn’t fit through the door, until we realized the back of it lifted off to come apart. lol First fail, of many I might add.

Next, Kev unscrewed the booth revealing a lovely seafoam color of carpet that had not seen the daylight in 15 years. We took off the cabinet doors, the hardware off the cabinet doors, the valences, the blinds, and anything that screwed in. Probably took out 400 screws, hence “screw day,” you dirty minded reader! Might I add, this took a lot of time. More than I anticipated.

We took a break somewhere in there to run to Home Depot for our first of many trips! We brought a cabinet door, and a sample of our wallpaper to see what the painting experts thought. We were toying with the idea of ripping off some wallpaper, but if you have never done this before, it is the worst thing in the world. Plus, it’s not really wallpaper at all. It’s a vinyl sticker held on with something stronger than super glue. So we decided to paint it!

Spent about 2 hours at Home Depot talking with employees, planning, and finding things we needed! Much needed break, the demo process was my least favorite, I have come to learn.

When we got back and looked closer at the bedroom wall, we noticed water damage in the cabinets and that was a fun surprise. However, the more research we did, the more common it seems to be. We were terrified about it at first, but we learned the steps of preventing more damage.

This was day 1. You can listen to us complain, in our 5 min recording here:


Pano of starting to take off cabinet doors

Please note Kevin creeping in this photo

Kevin bent over and removing the booths

Dat assssss

Our terrible carpet, in brand new condition

Nov 13th, 2015

Day 2 – “Worst day of Mandy’s life”

Ok, not really. But Demo’ing bums me out. Probably because our camper really wasn’t in horrible condition in the first place. I also had a lot of second thoughts like what if we totally mess this up? After all, we have no idea what we are doing, besides being internet article experts. 😉 But we kept plugging along, and I tried to have faith. My negative attitude definitely affected the mood for the day and we got in a lot of small stupid fights (that you can listen to on our audio). ENJOYYYY

We started the day with a trip to Home Depot and Dunkin’ Donuts, naturally. We thought we should rent a paint sprayer, because they are probably too expensive to buy when we don’t really need one. What we found out is we should just buy a decent one because they are stupidly expensive to rent for the couple days that we would need for everything to dry properly. So we bought one.

Did you know spray guns are powerful enough to inject paint into your skin if you get too close? That was about when I was like, “hey kev, you love to paint right?! Maybe just you should do it?! Ya’know because you love to do it.”

We were not quite ready to paint, but that purchase was probably just to keep us excited about the idea of painting. As we continued our boring work for the day, I sanded all the cabinet doors for painting which sounds like nothing, but something we learned quickly is we have a lot of cabinet doors!

Kev worked in our bedroom dissembling the bed, and the night stands. This is when we learned that our water damage was worse than we thought. It seeped through our night stands, and kev decided he needed to rebuild them. Typical man. He didn’t take that on that day, but that was to come.

Then he began to rip up the carpet! That seemed super fun from the outside, until I tried it. You know on home renovating shows how they rip up carpet and see this beautiful hardwood floor underneath? Ok, I knew this wasn’t going to happen. But I thought it would be a bit more satisfying to rip up, which it wasn’t. It was stapled in so many hard to reach places that made this a tough job. The best part of ripping the carpet up was when it was up and out of our camper. I was starting to get really light headed from the scent Camping World cleaned it with. Gosh, I sound like such a complainer.

The linoleum was easier to rip up because we had a crack in the floor. When it was all gone, it felt good that the only way our camper can go from here is up!

At the end of day 2, we were exhausted. You can hear more from our day here. Keep in mind, we didn’t edit out any footage, this is us after an exhausting day renovating:


Pano of our carpet removed and our bare subfloor Kev taking out our gloriously huge full size bed Pano of the glorious morning sun shining in Goodbye cabinet doors No more bedroom furniture. We have to sleep on the floor.

Hope this gets you all excited for what’s next!

xo M

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  • Reply Kenda March 1, 2016 at 9:51 am

    You two are so cute! Hubby and I are currently actively shopping for our bus conversion and plan on doing some of this so I am hoping to learn from ya’lls mistakes ;D Hopefully the water damage isn’t too terrible.

    Hang in there!!

    • Reply Kevin March 1, 2016 at 3:35 pm

      Good luck with your search and your renovation! You’ll do a great job and still probably make mistakes. Part of the fun, right?!

      The water damage ended up being pretty minor. We fixed the leak and relaminated the side wall and it’s almost as good as new.

  • Reply Suki June 24, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    Just discovered your blog and videos – just love everything you’ve done. Your Christmas video is my favorite, so far. Sorry if you’ve answered this before, but what paint and primer did you end up going with for your cabinets and walls? Looking forward to a new video!

    • Reply Suki June 28, 2017 at 2:26 am

      I found it! Kilz Max Primer & Behr Paint Primer.

    • Reply Mandy Holesh August 6, 2017 at 8:37 pm

      Hi Suki! Thank you so much for the love. We used Behr primer then paint separately! <3 <3

  • Reply michelle September 6, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    I’m wondering if you could email me the specifics of the floor remodel. we have a camper with a slide or that I really want to replace the carpet on and my hubs says we can’t because of the slide out.

  • Reply Melody December 19, 2017 at 2:46 am

    I’m moving into my own 5th wheel camper myself and I’m really excited! One question for you, how much did it cost you to do all your renovations?

    • Reply Mandy Holesh February 6, 2018 at 11:55 pm

      Hi Melody! It cost us around $3k!

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