4 Things To Consider Before You Renovate Your RV.
So you decided you want to Renovate Your RV? Awesome, us too!
There are some things you need to take in to consideration before you get started. We are going to give you our 4 biggest things we considered before starting our RV Renovation Project. And, if you want to follow along with our progress, we have a whole YouTube Series we just started about it.
First Thing To Consider
Is your RV still under warranty? If it is, doing any major changes will most likely void that warranty.
If you take out your Power Recliners and replace them with manual ones, odds are no one will care. Take out the kitchen cabinets and lay in a new floor and you could be S.O.L. if any factory repairs need to be made. Even if it is on a completely unrelated system or appliance.
Second Thing To Consider, Weight
Renovate Your RV, But, Keep It The Same
It’s no secret that RV’s aren’t built well. The manufacturers use the cheapest and lightest materials they can find to give you the wow factor when they show off their newest “Polished Turds” at the annual RV Shows.
It is very tempting to use heavier, sturdier materials, especially if you come from a construction background.
Using those heavier materials however is going to drastically increase your dry weight on your rig. The last thing you want to do is overload your RV Frame or your RV Brakes.
An overloaded frame can quickly lead to a cracked frame. A cracked frame and lead to a catastrophic or even deadly outcome.
Overloaded brakes can have the same deadly outcome as a cracked frame. If the brakes on your RV were designed to stop up to 5,000 pounds, and now your RV weighs in at 7,500, you may not be able to slow yourself down when traversing a mountain road. You may need to upgrade your RV Trailer Brakes too.
When making your material choices for your RV Renovation, be very careful to consider the weight of the product you are installing. If you have peel and stick rubber tiles for a backsplash in your kitchen, and you replace it and your flooring with porcelain tiles, you could easily be adding several hundred pounds that your RV wasn’t meant to carry.
Consideration Number 3
How skilled are you? Are you going to try to tackle a project that you have no business doing?
If you are looking to remove walls, or add lighting, but don’t know the difference between 12 Volt systems and 120 Volt systems. You may want to reconsider, or bribe your handy friend to come help you.
For example, I already know I have no business doing finish work. My Wife has shaken her head in disbelief at how horrible a painter I am on more than one occasion. I can however do the framing and electrical.
We make a good team on our renovation because we each have strengths where the other doesn’t and can each take the lead on different projects to maximize our time.
The Fourth RV Renovation Consideration
Cost. What is your budget for your RV Renovation? This number is going to end up being fluid rather than static.
The bigger your renovation plans, the more fluid this number is going to need to be. If you planned on $100 to replace an interior wall panel, but then find water damage and mold behind that panel, that number could be 3 or 4 times what you originally budgeted.
The more big surprises you have like that, the more blown your budget. So far we’re already 20 percent over, and we’ve only gutted 1 of the 4 rooms in our RV. You don’t want to end up blowing your budget during the Demo Phase, and then have an RV that you couldn’t finish and now can’t use.
Is It Worth It To Renovate Your RV?
So far I can say the short answer is Yes!
We have dismantled our Living Room in our Fifth Wheel, with what I would call Half A Plan on what we were doing. We have already found several things we think the manufacturer could have done better.
There are a lot of places where the factory attitude seems to have been “Don’t worry about it, that will be behind a cabinet.” Lots of shoddy electrical connections, and wall panels that don’t join, and even areas that have absolutely no insulation.
Just fixing these things alone is going to help prevent an RV Fire, keep us cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, and give us a nicer finished product.
Now I just have to talk my Wife into leaving the layout the same so I don’t have a whole lot of extra framing and wiring to do…