10 Easy DIY Fifth Wheel Interior Modifications

Have you noticed that RV manufacturers seem to be missing the mark on simple necessities in their builds? Simple necessary items such as paper towel holders, bathroom towel bars and toilet paper holders in their motorhomes, fifth wheels, and travel trailers are oddly being left out of their build inventory. And where the heck do we put the trash can? 

We had to change that. These 10 cool DIY fifth wheel modifications helped to make our RV interior living in tight quarters easier and more functional. 

Always On Liberty - Fifth Wheel Modifications and Upgrades


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When we purchased our brand new Heartland Landmark fifth wheel, we wanted to live in it for a few months before making any fifth wheel modifications and upgrades. That way, we’d have a good feel of what we needed versus what would be nice to have.

As new(er) RVers, we’ve quickly learned that everything in an RV, with exception of very high end custom coaches, is what regular homeowners call “contractor grade”.

Some features are quite inferior in quality while others are just installed haphazardly or in the oddest locations. There’s no rhyme or reason of why and where some things are installed. And others, like those toilet paper and paper towel holders were missing completely.

So, after months of working through learning to adapt to our new fifth wheel, we decided it was time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.

We literally poured ourselves into other RV blogs and YouTube videos to see what RV modifications others did.

But, as we all know, each RV floor plan is different. What may work for one RV may not work for another. And of course, every RV owner has different needs and desires than say, we have.

So, putting all of that aside, we compiled a list of modifications we completed inside our fifth wheel. Perhaps these ideas will help you through your own.

Always On Liberty - Heartland Landmark Fifth Wheel
Our 2016 Heartland Landmark 365  – Photo by Always On Liberty©

10 RV Fifth Wheel Modifications

Custom RV Interior DIY Projects

Most of our fifth wheel modifications took less than an hour to install. And, by doing these custom improvements ourselves, we didn’t spend a whole lot of money on RV techs or decorating professions.

Aside from other blogs and youtube videos, we also turned to Pinterest for some worthy ideas.

Admittedly, some of these small upgrades became tedious because RVs are not constructed like homes. There’s no such thing as 16″ on center in a motorhome or camper.

In fact, really there is no rhyme or reason as to even some of the build quality (or lack of). But, I digress, that convo is set aside for 5 o’clock somewheres around the campfire.

Anyways, we accepted that anything that needed customizing in our RV will take twice as much work. I laugh when I say that measuring anything in an RV will be tenfold.

Getting this out now, nothing (and I mean NOTHING!) is or will be square, plumb or even hold up under the torments of America’s roads.

Pre-Installation Notes, Advice and Warnings

Anytime you install anything onto walls or cabinetry in your RV, you need to make certain that they are secured to endure the rigors of RV travel.

If you’ve not traveled the roads in the United States yet, you’ll soon find out quickly what I’m talking about. That means, you may have to make sacrifices on feature locations.

For example, most toilet paper holders are customarily installed onto a wall next to the toilet. However, that is not always feasible in an RV bathroom simply because they are so tiny.

Perhaps the cabinet door or drawer won’t be able to open. Maybe the toilet paper holder will hit your knees when you sit down on the toilet. Which probably explains why RV manufacturers don’t even install them.

But, since most of us do use toilet paper, we have to find a remedy.

Also, RV walls are typically constructed of a thin wallboard and styrofoam with hope of no electrical wires, power cables or plumbing behind the location where you want to hang or mount something.

So, before you nail, screw, cut into or do anything to the walls, we highly recommend contacting your RV manufacturer for a schematic of your RV.

That will show precisely (we hope?) where plumbing and electric may be (or SHOULD be). Make sure you provide necessary info including your VIN#, year, make and model of your RV.

Also, RV wall construction is not like a sticks and bricks home. As I mentioned earlier, RV builds aren’t held to strict building codes (like the 16″ on center requirement).

While there may be a level of quality control, there’s no possible way to inspect each individual camper coming off the line. RV manufacturers can try.

But having taken a tour of several RV manufacturing plants, I can honestly see the dilemma.

RVs are studded with aluminum and interior walls that section off rooms are constructed with wood studs.

So, if you’re thinking you’re going to find a sturdy 2×4 stud to hang your wall art square on center on an exterior wall, think again.

And lastly, you need to accept what would typically take a matter of minutes to install something in a regular house, will take a twice to three times more in an RV.

I’m not lying here. We’ve remodeled 3 homes and none have come remotely close to the headaches of trying to make our RVs into a home.

Also accept that you’re going to get frustrated because you will be working in really small spaces. I’m warning you now. Make certain your stocked with your best pain reliever as your reward for a job well done. 

Because you’re going to master some pretty uncomfortable, contortionist positions. Which means you’re going to endure some pain in places never felt before and headaches.

You’ll also make a modification on top of another modification. You may swear a lot like a pirate or a certain cast member from the movie Pulp Fiction.

So, my advice is to warn the neighbors that things may be said that will need forgiving later. At least maybe invite them over for some said pain reliever mentioned above.

Oh, and, just when you think you have the tools you need, you’ll be stopping halfway to head to Home Depot or Lowes to get that one tool that you’ll only use once.

And then, it will sit in a bin sucking up the last 3 pounds of weight over your GVWR.

Or, you’re going to need a big whopping tube of glue that you only need a squirt the size of what you put on your toothbrush.

But alas, you will get your toilet paper holder (we’ll talk about that later, I promise!) At the end of the game, you’ll be proud of the job that was supposed to take about 10 minutes took 10 times longer to install because, well, “That there is an RV, Clark!”

So, now that I warned ya or scared ya silly, let’s get on with the show and check out our 10 cool RV interior modifications in our fifth wheel.

Oh, and please, don’t take our humor seriously. It’s what gets us through this thing called RV LIFE! And, well, we’re sailors, and that’s what sailors do.

✰ READ MORE ✰  RV Factory Tours in Elkhart – RV Manufacturer Tour Info

FIFTH WHEEL MODIFICATIONS

LIVING AREA

RV Screen Door Handle

Fifth Wheel Modifications - RV Screen Door Handle - Always On Liberty
Photo by Always On Liberty©

Typically, RV towable RVs (travel trailers and fifth wheels) have a main hatch door and a separate screen door.

However, the screen doors like this one typically don’t have a preinstalled grab bar or grab handle. Several times, the wind would whisk the screen door right out of our hands because there was no handle to grab.

So, we needed to find a screen door bar handle specifically designed for camper and RV screen doors.  This was actually quite an easy install. Dan measured where it needed to be installed, drilled a couple holes, and screwed it in and voila!

This is one of my favorite multi-function RV gadgets! Not only is it a grab handle for our screen door, but it’s also a great place to hang our dishtowels to dry.

This RV screen door handle only cost us about 25 bucks (2023) and took less than 15 minutes to install.

LATER ADDITION: Adding in another small 3 minute modification (1 minute to order, 1 minute to open the box inside the box and 1 minute  to install) to our RV screen door.

If you notice, the little plastic slider door that covers your RV’s entry door handle doesn’t have enough protrusion or handle to slide it back and forth.

Adhesive Handles - Amazon
Photo Source – Amazon

This easy-to-install adhesive handle that you attach to the plastic slider is exactly what you need for the interior side of your screen door. No more broken fingernails or trying to reach for a so-called handle that wasn’t really there before.

Light Shade Replacements

We completed this simple RV modification on both, our Heartland Cyclone ceiling pendant lights and our Heartland Landmark wall sconce lights.

Our Cyclone pendant lights had down-rods with cheap beige frosted glass globes. We wanted to replace them with something a little more interesting and eye-catching.

So, these beautiful red marbled glass shades were exactly what we were looking for. While they were a tad bit more than what I was wanting to pay, they were worth the few extra bucks to get the exact ambiance we were vying for.

Fifth Wheel Modifications-Light Globe Replacements - Always On Liberty
Photo by Always On Liberty©

Now, fast forward after trading in our Cyclone for our Landmark, we completed a similar mod to our aft wall sconce lights on either side of the big picture window.

The original OEM pewter finish sconce lights came with standard fabric covered lampshades. While they were simple and gave off decent lighting, we wanted something a little more custom, decorative and added softer ambiance.

This time, we opted for the same type of glass light globe but in a crackled amber color. 

Fifth Wheel Modifications - Sconce Light Globe Replacements - Always On Liberty
Photo by Always On Liberty©

We found these globes in the lighting section in Lowes. Dan had to modify the lighting fixture slightly so the glass light globe would seat correctly and securely.

Now they give our coach a custom look which sets it apart from other Landmarks.

This lighting modification took less than 30 minutes for both installs. While the amber globes are no longer available, we did find a great color assortment of glass globes on Amazon that provide a similar decorating effect.

FIFTH WHEEL MODIFICATIONS

KITCHEN AREA

Glass Stemware Racks

One thing we couldn’t part with was our glass stemware (i.e. wine glasses, beer glasses)

Instead of mounting our stemware rack under the cabinet like normal people who live in houses, we mounted them inside the cabinet. But, for good reason.

You can read about how we keep them from breaking during travel days, check out our Top 20 Cheap RV and Camping Hacks on a Dime.

Fifth Wheel Modifications-Stemware Rack - Always On Liberty
Photo by Always On Liberty©

This RV modification took about 15 minutes to install. Both stemware racks cost about twenty bucks.

Should you wish to do your own similar modification, just be certain of your interior cabinet measurements before ordering.

Trash Can Receptacle

Since floor space in any RV is premium, there isn’t a lot of space to put a trash can. And personally, we prefer that our trash to be out of sight anyways.

We found this kitchen trash can slide-out that fits perfectly inside our RV kitchen island cabinet. Dan reinforced the cabinet floor with a wood plank. Then he mounted the slide-out mechanism per manufacturers’ instructions. 

Fifth Wheel Modifications - Cabinet Trash Can Slide Out - Always On Liberty
Photo by Always On Liberty©

This trash can slide-out modification and installation took a little over one hour. The trash can slide-out ensemble and supplies to reinforce the cabinet floor cost about forty-five dollars.

If this particular trash can pull-out feature doesn’t work in your RV, there are other similar trash can pullout ideas that may work better for larger cabinets.

✰ READ MORE 3 Genius DIY RV Kitchen Cabinet Storage Upgrades

Paper Towel Holder

Seriously, I can’t stand our paper towel roll being out in the open. And I’m not a fan of countertop paper towel holders either not that RVs have a lot of extra counter space for that to happen anyways.

So, I asked Dan to mount a paper towel holder inside the same kitchen cabinet that we installed our trash can slide-out (above).

But, we didn’t want to ruin the the beautiful wood cabinetr. He had to figure out how to reinforce the door area for mounting. Which if you know Dan, that actually came easy for him.

First, he did reinforce the cabinet door with a small slab of wood using liquid nails to adhere it secure.

This would keep the screws from going all the way through the cabinet door. It also added a little more bite for the screws to secure the paper towel holder.

Just a quick RV tip for travel days, push a straight pin into the paper towels so it doesn’t unroll. 

Cabinet Door Paper Towel Holder - Fifth Wheel Modifications - Cabinet Trash Can Slide Out - Always On Liberty
Photo by Always On Liberty©

This RV modification took about an hour to complete. The paper towel holder and cost about fifteen dollars.

✰ READ MORE ✰  Check out another of our fifth wheel modifications  Our Fifth Wheel Kitchen Faucet Upgrade

FIFTH WHEEL MODIFICATIONS

BEDROOM

Decorative Wall Shelf

RV fifth wheel modification - Bedroom Decor Shelf Rack - Always On Liberty
Photo by Always On Liberty©

At Hobby Lobby, we scored this attractive two-tier metal rack in the clearance section for 10 bucks. I knew exactly where I wanted it to go in our fifth wheel.

This cool decorative rod iron wall rack would be a functional piece next to the bedroom corner sink where I could store my body sprays and other trinkets.

This was actually an easy home decor mod. Or, at least Dan makes them look easy. He carefully installed dry wall fasteners for reinforcement since the wall board is thin and backed by 3″ of styrofoam.

He then screwed the rack screws. That’s it! No weird tools or modifying anything. It took less than 10 minutes from the time he got his tools out to putting stuff on the rack.

We’ve had that rack up for almost three years and its still as secure as it was the day he installed it. Upon trading in our Landmark for our Winnebago View 2 years later, I ended up selling it at a yard sale where another RVer bought it.

SPECIAL NOTE: Since the two tier shelf is no longer available, you could essentially buy two of the one tier shelves and invert one over the other. Or, stagger or off-set two shelves on a larger wall.

✰ READ MORE ✰  You’ve not seen so many RV upgrades in one places! See what we did to our Winnebago View Class C Motorhome!  30+ Winnebago View Upgrades & Modifications * For Winnebago Navion and Other Class C motorhomes too! *

Wall Jewelry Organizer

RV Modification - Framed Jewelry Organizer - Always On Liberty
Photo by Always On Liberty©

I am still a girlie girl even though we live in a shoebox on wheels. But having lots of pretty clothes isn’t conducive to full-time RV living.

So, Jewelry it is! And because jewelry is small, I buy whatever I want. But I didn’t want to store all of my pretties in a jewelry box where they are forgotten. I can match my clothes with my jewelry with one glance.

This fifth wheel modification was my own DIY project. Our bedroom came with pre-installed ugly cardboard wall art. But since it was already there mounted in a cheap ass frame, I figured, why not recycle it?

Because I didn’t want to create new holes in the wall and needed to cover up the existing ones.

So, I unscrewed the ugly frame from the wall and took it apart.

After, giving it a good wipe down using straight white vinegar, I spray-painted the frame with a metallic dark copper paint to give it a more expensive look over the cheap plastic.

I gave it 2 good coats; allowing it to dry thoroughly between and after each coat.

The cheap ass cardboard ‘artwork; was mounted on a piece of foam board. So, not trying to reinvent the wheel, I dry-fitted a piece of 1/2″ thick upholstery foam and medium weave tweed fabric.

Then I cut both about 1/2″ wider and longer than the foam board to allow some wiggle room for positioning.

After, I spray adhesive onto the cheap ass cardboard and then firmly positioned the upholstery foam onto the board.

Once I was content with placement, I then firmly rubbed over the entire foam to ensure it stuck to the cheap ass cardboard.

YAY! No more 1,000,000 in print cheap ass artwork to look at!

Fast forward, since the spray adhesive dries immediately, I repeated the steps but this time, with the fabric overlaying the upholstery foam.

After I was happy with the placement of the fabric, I then took my glue gun to reinforce the edges of the fabric to the board. I then trimmed the fabric and foam to the exact measurements of the board.

Once that step was complete, I installed the fabric covered foam board to the inside of the frame.

Now, it was time to screw the frame back into the wall into the existing screw holes. I did squirt a little wood glue into each screw hole to prevent the screws from stripping out.

Now my fish hook earrings poke right into the fabric and foam staying secure. I stuck in long decorative floral pins to hang some of my favorite chain necklaces and bracelets.

This fifth wheel modification took about 2 hours to complete. Supplies to complete this project cost about $20.

Of course, you can make your own but your costs may differ as you’ll have to buy your own frame should one not already exist.

✰ READ MORE ✰  Want to see other ways to store or display your jewelry in your RV? Jewelry Organizers for RVs, Tiny Homes and Small Spaces

FIFTH WHEEL MODIFICATIONS

BATHROOM

Towel Bar

As mentioned earlier, there’s sometimes no rhyme or reason as to why some important features are omitted from the RV manufacturing process.

In our fifth wheel bathroom totally lacked a towel bar AND a toilet paper holder. Heck, it didn’t even have any hooks whatsoever! So, we had to install both bathroom accessories.

Fifth Wheel Modification - Bathroom Bar Towel Holder - Always On Liberty
Photo by Always On Liberty©

We were apprehensive about screwing heavy duty brackets or dry wall screws into our fifth wheel’s walls.

So, we decided to mount our new towel bar from the bottom of the cabinet above the commode instead.

But also, there wasn’t ample wall space to mount a towel bar anyway. This worked out beautifully and aesthetically worked.

This bathroom towel bar project took less than a half hour to complete. It cost about twenty bucks!

Toilet Paper Roll Holder

Ah, we saved one of our best fifth wheel modifications for last; the beholden toilet paper holder that I told you we’d get back to.

I laugh at this one because seemingly, Heartland RVs must think people don’t use toilet paper. Hence, the reason why toilet paper holders are left out of the build sheet.

Like our bathroom towel bar mentioned above, we didn’t want to start screwing or nailing in the exterior wall of our fifth wheel.

The other laughable part is I bought this toilet paper holder for a heck of a lot of money than what I should of because look where it ended up! HIDDEN inside the cabinet.

But, since we live full-time in an RV and shopping options are minimal at the time when we did this fifth wheel modification, we just had to deal with it.

It’s kind of like the $500 toilet seat the Army pays for but that’s whole ‘nother thing we can joke about around the campfire.

Fifth Wheel Modification - Interior Cabinet Toilet Paper Holder - Always On Liberty
Photo by Always On Liberty©

Anyway, Dan reinforced the inside sink cabinet door with a slab of hardwood the same as he did with the paper towel holder previously mentioned.

Again, he mounted the toilet paper holder onto the hardwood as to not put added stress onto the actual cabinet door.

As well, the added thickness of the wood slab added a better adherence for the screws. Our toilet paper holder installation took about an hour to install and about fifteen bucks.

It’s a beautiful toilet paper that only the secret cabinet gnome people and those who take a crap in our RV (Dan and I) will ever get to see.

I just hope the people who bought our Heartland Landmark see the humor behind such beautiful toilet paper ensemble. We should have autographed it before letting our fifth wheel get traded in.

✰ READ MORE✰  Check out something big that we did to our fifth wheel bathroom!   RV Fifth Wheel Bathroom Makeover: RV Interior Renovation Tips

Final thoughts on our fifth wheel modifications

So, that wraps it up for our 10 fifth wheel modifications to our RV interior. As you see, these are just a handful of inexpensive (except for the toilet paper holder) one-hour-or-less improvements we’ve made to our fifth wheel making our RV more of a home.

We hope this gives you great ideas for some DIY projects to add to your own RV; whether it be a fifth wheel, motorhome, travel trailer, or even truck camper or caravan!

More RV Fifth Wheel Modifications and Upgrades to check out!

Our Fifth Wheel Toy Hauler Interior Makeover

Fifth Wheel Kitchen Faucet Upgrade and Installation

RV Cabinet Storage Solution

Our Fifth Wheel Flooring Upgrade and Installation Guide

Anderson Kantleak RV Water Service Panel Upgrade and Installation Guide

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17 Replies to “10 Easy DIY Fifth Wheel Interior Modifications”

  1. Thank you so much for all the space saving idea . . We have a 26″c class with very limited space
    I’m finding be organize is the only way to go . Thanks again

    1. Welcome Linda!

      Yes! YES!! Organization is the key. And anyone who tells you that you won’t ‘loose stuff’ in your RV hasn’t really LIVED in an RV. Even as organized as we are, we sometimes seem to lose a set of keys or something. Oh wait, that has nothing to do with RVing LOL more of ‘getting older’ LOL. But yes, get containers, baskets and holders for everything. And every 6 months or so, weed out. I found cold medicine that was 4 years old from when we started RVing!

      Smooth roads ahead for you! Happy trails!

      -Dan & Lisa

    2. Thanks for the good info!! We have a 2017 Winnebago Trend. It has pretty limited storage options. I noticed you had 2 kayaks lashed to the back of your RV. How did you accomplish that?? Any ideas on external, add on storage compartments? Our Trend has a 1 1/4 inch trailer hitch. I saw one fellow fabricated a storage box which can be mounted to the coach via the hitch receiver. Any thoughts on this. Thanks.

    1. Thank you Renee! We enjoy sharing tips, tricks and ideas with our audience. We hope you stay tuned into our blog by subscribing to see more! Happy day! -Dan & Lisa

  2. Thank you for sharing these tips; some are very creative and useful. Living full time in an RV is an adventure like none other. Please keep these tips and ideas coming, i can use all the help I can get.

    1. Mike & Diane, so glad our tips help! Keep following – we love sharing them as we experience them on our own or with others. Safe travels! -Dan & Lisa

  3. My husband and I are thinking of living in a RV after we retire. Can anyone tell me if they live in theirs, and if they have any advice for me. Looking forward to the adventure, but a little nervous about living in a RV.
    Thanks Kelly

    1. Hi Kelly, we live and travel in our 5th wheel RV full-time. What kind of info are you looking for? Make sure you check out our menu bar and follow the blogs. You’ll find some helpful articles and incite of our 4 year experience. There are also a lot of social media groups you can join. Best wishes on your dream! -Dan & Lisa

    2. I have lived in my 5ft wheel for 2 years now. I was very fortunate to find a used one that has the living area next to the kitchen. I have looked at a lot of models where the couch is facing the kitchen sink. Not too homey. I like to go into the living room area to relax.

    1. Hi Cindy, so glad you have joined us by reading our blog. We have no issues of our baskets sliding out during transit because there is a 1/2″ lip on the shelf they sit on that keeps them from sliding out.

      Take care and keep being awesome! Safe travels! -Dan & Lisa

    1. Hi Ann, thank you for reading our blog post. Dan attached the small piece of wood with liquid nails. HTH’s! -Lisa

  4. Hi Dan and Lisa,
    Very helpful blogpost. I love reading about how you live and travel. We also have a View D. I’m wondering where (and how) you keep office supplies like notebooks, paper, correspondence, pens/pencils, business books, and the like. Do you still use a set of basket drawers? Thanks so much.

  5. I added motion detection lights …. These are by the bathroom door and the coach door going outside. It’s great for security reasons. Also it helps for late night bathroom trips to the inside bathroom or to use the RV facilities when coming back to the motorhome for security and navigating to the bedroom. I used the rechargeable magnetic USB (AAA batteries rechargeable are available).

    1. Great idea James! We tried that but with our nocturnal roaming kitties in our motorhome, that proved humorously disastrous for us in our motorhome. I think they ‘knew’ they could turn them on and off just with a flick of their tail. Thanks for reading and your great suggestion (for non-cat owners). Safe travels!

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