Once you've bought an RV, you'll want to make it your own. And we'll show you how to do it on a budget.
What Is A Homey Theme
Most travel trailers today come with various shades of brown interior. Use the brown colors as a backdrop for your new home on 4 wheels. You’ll find plenty of opportunities to make your travel trailer homey.
Most RVers that we know opt for one of the following themes:
- Farmhouse or distressed
So you've given it some thought and know the theme you want for your travel trailer. What next?
Shop Your Home First
Now that you’ve decided on the theme you want for your travel trailer, it’s time to start fleshing it out. Since we’re working on a budget, the best place to start shopping for decorations is in your own home.
Most of us have a spare room or a garage filled with things we’ll use "someday". And we add to the collection year after year. Now’s a great time to take a second look at all the treasures you’ve accumulated but never gotten around to reusing.
This is where your theme comes into play. You’re looking for things that fit your theme and re-purposing them. For now, set aside anything that might work in transforming your RV into a homey travel trailer.
TIP: Trailers have weight limitations. Look for things that add to your theme but that aren’t too heavy.
TIP: This is a great time to bring the kids involved. Give them an opportunity to add things they think will make the travel trailer feel like home. It will make them excited about upcoming trips as well.
Where To Shop For Bargains
At this point, there’s a pile of stuff on your garage floor. The adults have picked out what they want and the kids have picked out what they want. Now it's time to go shopping.
Dollar Stores Have Great Deals
We love dollar stores(except ours aren't a dollar anymore). And we've found a lot of great deals. This is where we look for things like plates and cups and hanging decorations. And there are toys and craft stuff that kids love.
Thrift Stores Are a Treasure Trove
We’ve bought lamps, rugs, throws, throw pillows, placemats, and dishes. and a ton of other things at a fraction of the original cost.
Don't limit your thinking to furnishings. Thrift stores are a great place to pick up videos and games.
Garage Sales Have Things For Pennies On The Dollar
A lot of people buy camping gear and seldom if ever use it. So it ends up in a garage sale. We've bought new lanterns, hammocks, and cooking pots and pans.
TIP: If you find a great deal but don't want to own it. Sell it on eBay. It may turn into a side hustle while you're traveling.
Walmart Is A Wall-to-Wall Bargains Source
Who doesn't love Walmart? They’re a great source of blankets, wall art, throws, and rugs.
TIP: When buying rugs watch the backing. Rubberized backing often leaves residue on the flooring, especially vinyl or linoleum. It can also turn flooring yellow.
Amazon Is The Go-To Place For Good Deals
We've found a lot of things on Amazon that we can't get in our local stores. It's a great source of toilet chemicals, plastic plates and cups, and RV toilet paper. They have a lot of RV-related novelty products as well.
TIP: Amazon won't deliver to the Post Office as a general delivery. But you can outfit your RV before you leave. And if you are a Prime member, you’ll usually have your order in a day or two.
eBay Has Plenty Of Great Deals
eBay isn't as fast in getting your order to you as Amazon. But you can find some great deals. Keep in mind that you'll have to wait a little longer to get it (most of the time).
Time To Make Your RV Homey
You’ve picked your theme and assembled everything you can from your home. And you’ve shopped bargain locations for new or used accessories for your travel trailer.
What To Change To Make Your RV Homey
Curtains. Add curtains over existing shades or blinds. It will give you the chance to try different curtains until you find something you like.
TIP: Tension rods work great on spaces where they can reach from wall to wall. We've also used Command Hooks with a tension rod.
Colorful Throws and Throw Pillows. Using Throws and pillows adds splashes of color. Throws are great for a homey look and they are useful. Who doesn’t love cuddling up under a throw on a chilly evening?
Rugs and Runners. Linoleum floors get cold. Having a rug in the living area and runners in the kitchen breaks up the space and makes the area warm and inviting.
Slipcovers. Covering the couch, chairs or recliners adds to the warmth of the living space.
Plants. Because you’re living in a travel trailer doesn’t mean you can’t have plants. We like to have some on the kitchen counter and dining table.
TIP: To keep small potted plants (or anything small that you don’t want to move around), use museum putty. The putty won’t damage your counters and it will keep small items in their place.
Bedding. This is another big area that can add a lot of style to your decorating. You can use bedding covers to blend with the decor or to add a big splash of color.
Essential Oil Diffuser or Candles. Having familiar odors makes a travel trailer smell homey. Or bring in something new. If you use a soft scent at home, try changing it to cinnamon.
Warning: make sure candles are out before leaving.
Tablecloths. Using a colorful tablecloth on a picnic bench is fun so try it on your dining room table. And it’s another great way to bring color to the area.
New Mattress or Topper. This isn’t a decorating idea, but it will make your travel trailer feel cozy. RV-manufacturer mattresses aren't comfortable. A topper will make a huge difference.
Let Kids Decorate. Making your travel trailer cozy has to include the kids. If they have their own sleeping area, let them decorate it. It will make the area interesting, and it might surprise you how well they decorate (or not).
An Ottoman. We love this idea. Recliners are nice, but having an Ottoman feels and looks cozy and homey.
Bring Your Slippers. Nothing feels homier than your own comfortable slippers.
DVDs And Games. TV reception isn’t always great when traveling, especially when boondocking. So having a selection of DVDs to watch will keep everyone entertained.
Real Dishes and Tableware. Paper plates and plastic forks, knives, and cups have their place. But using real dishes, cups, and tableware feels homey.
TIP: Real dishes are heavy. We buy plastic plates and cups that look like the real thing. To keep them from sliding around in the cupboard, use a rubber shelf liner to keep them in place.
Family Photos. Having family photos adds a homey touch to any RV. Framed photos can be set on counters or hung on walls.
TIP: Hammering nails in RV walls isn’t a good idea. Depending upon where you drive the nail you may hit something electrical. We use Command Hooks. They’re inexpensive, reusable and they work great. If hanging things on cabinets, use screws. A lot of cabinet walls are thin and screws work better than nails. Even on cabinets, we use Command Hooks because we don't like damaging our cabinets.
Decorate the frig. Mementos, photos, and reminders stuck to the refrigerator door are a family tradition. Like at home, magnets work great.
Whether you're traveling for a week or full-time, making your RV homey is fun. And you can do it on a budget using things from home or bargain shops.