The RV life is becoming increasingly popular, with more and more people wanting to have their own RV vehicle, so that they have the freedom to roam around, planning long trips in which they can enjoy the adventure of living on the go, in a practical yet comfortable way.
But within the RV world, what is also becoming incredibly popular, is renovating your own RV vehicle. People want things to be as cheap as possible, but they want those things to be perfect in a way that suits them specifically.
So the DIY route of buying a cheap RV, and then renovating it yourself so that it becomes the dream home on wheels, is on the rise.
But although renovating is tempting, and it comes across as a cheaper alternative to outright buying a brand new RV…it’s not without its expenses.
After all, you need quite a few materials and tools in order to renovate an RV, and you also need the skills, the time, and the labor.
So…how much does it cost to renovate an RV?
The answer, of course, depends. We will guide you through the different factors to take into consideration that might affect the overall cost, and we will also provide you with some real-world examples of RV renovations and what they cost so that you can get a better picture of the whole process and expense.
Does that sound good? Then let’s get right into it!
Factors That Affect The Cost Of An RV Renovation
Before you start planning the renovation of an RV, it is important to take into consideration the different factors that will be affecting the overall cost and expense of the process, so that you are prepared, and can choose the right way forward:
Are you going to do it yourself, or hire someone that has the right skills?
The DIY route is obviously the cheapest, as you don’t have to pay anyone. However, you would then have to make sure that you have the basic skills, or at the very least, that you are informing yourself properly for every step of the process!
Depending on how you go about it, the renovation can be done quite quickly or can take you forever. If you hire someone, it will usually go a lot faster, as they will be experienced.
If you do it yourself, however, you have to fit it around your normal schedule, and you also have to take your time to ensure you are not making any huge mistakes.
The Supplies Needed
In order to renovate an RV, you are going to need quite a bit. The supplies will include different materials and elements, depending on what it is you are renovating and what you are wanting to achieve by the end of it.
Try and buy them in bulk in cheaper stores, or see if you have anything already!
The Tools Used
You will also need to use the appropriate tools when renovating the RV. If you want to save some money, try and borrow them from someone who owns them, or look into the possibility of renting rather than outright buying. Especially if you are only ever going to need them for this one-off project!
The Amount Of Renovation Needed
Some RV renovations are fast and simple, while others require a lot more work and expense. What are you starting out with? What condition is the RV in?
Depending on how bad it is, you will have to spend more or less money. Think about what you want the RV to look like by the end of it, and what it is going to take to get to that point.
Real-World Examples Of RV Renovations And Their Cost
The RV renovation process is different for everybody, so the cost will always vary, depending on the specifics.
That being said, since RV renovation is becoming so popular, there are plenty of blogs, videos, and social media accounts that give you all sorts of information, and that shows you how different people do it.
You can follow people on their journey of renovating their RV, and most of the time, they will be happy to share information on the expenses!
This is a great way of scouting the world, and getting an accurate idea of how much it will potentially cost, especially if you see an RV renovation similar to what you have in mind!
So in order to help you get a better idea, here are some real-world examples of people’s RV renovations, and how much (roughly) they cost:
1. 1957 Vintage Century Travel Trailer – All Things With Purpose Blog
If you visit the All Things With Purpose blog, by Sarah, you will find the renovation of a 1957 Vintage Century Travel trailer, complete with the cost, the process, and plenty of pictures.
The trailer was originally bought on Craigslist for just $1700, and Sarah then renovated it all herself. It was a bit of a mess, worn down and beaten up, and she took the project on board, repairing and changing most of the interior.
The renovation cost a total of $2940. Once it was finished, Sarah sold the RV and made a profit, since that is what she does! Definitely visit her blog for plenty of information that is guaranteed to help you.
She also has a breakdown of the costs, which you can find here.
2. 1999 Country Coach Renovation – RV Love Website
If you want to see a complete renovation and makeover done to a 199 Country Coach RV, then you can head over to the RV Love Website, run by March and Julie.
The before and after pics on this particular project are truly amazing, and the result is a modern and functional RV that is better than it ever was before.
Some of the things they did, so that you can see whether it’s something interesting to your own potential ideas or not, are replacing the interior lighting with LED lights, adding luxury vinyl planking, opening up the interior space, completely remodeling the kitchen, and living room, renovating the front cabin area and creating a secondary workspace in the driver’s cockpit.
The total cost of the renovation was quite expensive, at $12,000. However, the end result was most definitely worth the money, especially when compared to the before pics of what they originally started out with! In their blog, you can find a complete breakdown of the costs, here.
You can also find plenty of videos of them answering popular questions about the whole process within their website, so it is worth browsing through it to get a better idea!
3. 2004 Monaco Windsor Renovation – Explorking Website
If you visit the Explorking website, you will find a lot of information on the 2004 Monaco Windsor renovation that Kevin and Leanne undertook.
They describe it as an expensive upgrade, which took them 7 weeks of work, and there are plenty of before and after pics for you to compare and watch the process.
Some of the things they did include upgrading the technology within the RV, fixing up the plumbing system, replacing the kitchen countertops, and overall remodeling the appearance.
New lighting, electricity, flooring, and a complete paint job. It was a lot, but definitely worth it once you see the results.
Overall, the cost of this renovation was $27,021. As we said, it’s expensive, but they did a very thorough job and truly upgraded the RV. You can find a proper breakdown of the expenses involved in the renovation process, here.
4. 5th Wheel Interior Remodel – Chickery’s Travels Blog
If you visit Chikery’s Travels blog, run by Julie, you will find the complete breakdown of the interior renovation and remodeling of a 5th wheel.
This renovation in particular wasn’t massive, as there wasn’t that much to do. However, the results of the before and after are quite effective, and it gives you a good idea of what to include within your own RV renovation.
The replacement of the interior furniture, in this case, cost a total of $1955. And the total cost of the renovation of both the living room and the kitchen came up to $2542.
You can see a full detailed breakdown of all the costs, as well as the work involved and the process, here.
5. 5th Wheel Renovation under $1600 – The DIY Mommy Blog
If you want your renovation to be on the cheaper side, with a lot more DIY involved, we recommend taking a look at the DIY Mommy blog, where you will find a 5th wheel renovation that cost just under $1600.
This project, undertaken by Christina, was easy and efficient. However, it is worth noting that in part, the reason why this renovation was so cheap, is that she started out already having most of the supplies needed.
Originally, Christina spent $1000 on the camper, which was from the 90s. She then made all of the necessary repairs and remodeled the entire interior.
She added some extra features, and in total, the renovation cost under $1600, as we have already said!
You can find all of the details for this particular renovation, here.
Renovating an RV is a great way of undertaking a challenging project in which you will transform an old and worn-down RV into your dream house on wheels.
As for how much it will cost, it will depend on the type of renovation, the starting state of the RV, and whether you need supplies and tools or you already have them. It will also depend on whether you’re hiring some professionals or doing it yourself using the DIY method.
We recommend looking at the examples we provided, as well as the many more you will find online, so that you can start to plan for certain aspects of the renovation, with realistic estimates of how much it will cost.