When you buy an RV or camper, they all have the same interior features unless you special order one. Even then, almost all of them have very little in ‘custom decorating’ or necessary features fitting to our own individual personalities. Its up to the new owner to make it “their own”.
When we purchased our 5th wheel, we lived in it a few months before making small modifications; getting a feel of what we wanted, needed and where they would serve us best. Most of these small modifications or improvements to our 5th wheel took less than an hour to install and not very much cash. Make note that if you install anything into the walls or cabinetry of your RV, you need to make certain that they are secured thoroughly as they will endure RV travel. As well, be aware there may be electrical or plumbing behind the bulkheads. We recommend contacting your RV manufacturer for a schematic that shows where plumbing and electric may be.
What would take a matter of minutes to install in a S&B, will take a little more time in an RV because of building material you’re going to adhere it to and the fact that RV’s are ‘earthquakes on wheels’ so you need to make sure that it’s double secure. You’ll notice that Dan used extra building materials to reinforce attachment area.
1) Screen Door Handle – travel trailers and fifth wheels have the main hatch door and a screen door. The screen door however, has no handle and several times when we had our Cyclone, the wind would swing it out of our hands because there was no handle to grab. We found this handle designed precisely for camper and RV screen doors at Camping World and Amazon. Not only is it used as a handle, but we hang our dishtowels after use to dry.
2) Under Cabinet Towel Bar – There was no towel bar or hook in the bathroom to hang our towels onto. Being apprehensive about screwing brackets into the walls, we mounted it to hang from the bottom of the cabinet above the commode instead. Perfect! This one is an 18″ decorative higher-quality towel bar from Lowes for about $25 and took about a half hour to mount it properly.
3) Toilet Paper Roll Holder – In the bathrooms of campers and fifth wheels, some, if not all manufacturers forget that people must use toilet paper thus, not providing a toilet paper holder, so we had to install one. However, its scary to start screwing or nailing things in the wall so Dan reinforced the inside sink cabinet door and mounted it in about an hour to install. We bought this more heavy duty holder at Walmart for $10.
4) Glass Stemware Racks – one thing we couldn’t part with was our glass stemware (i.e. wine glasses, beer glasses). Instead of mounting them underside the cabinet where they would get in the way or get dusty and dirty, we mounted them inside the cabinet instead. When we are underway, we simply put a sock on each glass and a twistie to wrap around the holder so they don’t slide out and fall when we open the cabinet door. We found this two-pack at Bed Bath and Beyond for $15 and took about 15 minutes to install.
5) Light Fixture Globes – we did this for our pendant lights in our Cyclone and did the same mod for two LED lights on the aft wall on either side of our big picture window. The lights came with little lampshades; they were cute but we wanted something more custom and interesting.
We found these globes in the lighting section of Lowes. With a wee bit of modification so they seated right in the bracket, now they give our coach a custom look unlike others of our same model. We paid $30 for both.
6) Galley Trash Can Slide-Out – We prefer that our trash can not be out in the open; even the nice stainless ones that easily dent and get pretty grimy looking. We found this 20 quart Rev-A-Shelf slideout at Lowes for about $35. Dan reinforced the cabinet floor and mounted it per instructions. Installation took one hour. (See below – Paper Towel Holder)
7) Paper Towel Holder – We also can’t stand our paper towel roll being out in the open taking up counter space. We knew exactly which one we wanted as it was the same model in our S&B. Its sturdy and higher quality unlike the cheap plastic ones. This is another one of Dan’s 1-hour projects and again. Like the bathroom’s cabinet door, he reinforced the galley cabinet door as to not have the screws go all the way through the cabinet door and for the screws to have enough bite to stay secured. This heavy duty brushed nickel paper towel holder was purchased at Lowes in the kitchen organization section for $20. I push a straight pin into the roll so it doesn’t unroll during transit. (See above photo)
8) Bedroom Shelf Rack – We scored this attractive two-tier metal rack at Hobby Lobby in the sale section for a whopping $10. We DID screw this in the wall but Dan was extremely careful. He used dry wall fasteners to give the screws a secure bite to hold it. We’ve had that rack up for over a year and its still as secure as it was the day he installed it.
10) Extra Storage Cabinets – We had purchased both of these cabinets after we moved into our Heartland Cyclone Toyhauler because it lacked necessary kitchen accessory storage. Prior to buying them, we carried measurements of where we wanted them with us in our phones and kept a small sewing tape measur
e in our pockets when we went shopping. When we traded our Cyclone in for our Landmark 365, they fit perfectly at the ends of our island without loosing space. This larger cabinet fits perfectly on the living area end and holds our essential oils, vitamins, office supplies, electronic charger cords, etc. It’s a nice custom piece of furniture of useful storage. It cost about $140 and came from Hobby Lobby.
Concluding, these are just a handful of the small one-hour-or-less cheap improvements or modifications we’ve made to our 5th wheel making it more ‘ours’. Perhaps you can use some of these ideas in your own home on wheels.