You barely ever hear about an amazing pop up camper remodel. In the world of old camper and RV remodels, Airstreams get a lot of airtime. But with some hard work and a little know-how, nearly all types of trailers and RVs can undergo amazing DIY transformations. In this article, we’re sharing our top 7 DIY projects that will transform your tent trailer (also known as pop-up campers). Then we’ll take a look at some incredible before-and-afters. Maybe it will inspire a renovation of your own!
Pop-up campers are a great first-time remodeling project because they’re very common and they’re often inexpensive. That said, most used campers will need a little TLC. Here are 7 easy and inexpensive DIYs to make an old tent trailer feel new.
The first step to refreshing a tent trailer is to clean and waterproof the canvas fabric. Here’s a great guide to cleaning and waterproofing from The Pop-Up Princess. She recommends using Woolite detergent for cleaning and 303 Fabric Guard for waterproofing.
Since the cabinetry in pop-up campers isn’t real wood, your best refinishing option is a couple coats of paint. Some popular options are chalk paint or spray paint. (Though if you’re using the latter, be sure to use a primer first.) Swapping in new drawer pulls and other hardware is another way to create an updated look.
Floors get a lot of wear-and-tear so most older trailers could use an update. The most popular option among DIYers is peel-and-stick plank flooring. It’s available in a few different finishes (like these planks or tiles ) and holds up surprisingly well over time. Even better? You can often refinish the whole floor for less than $40.
Many campers come with curtains in either the windows or to separate the sleeping areas. Replace them with some ready-made versions (you’ll have to shorten them) or sew your own.
It’s the finishing touches that make a trailer feel like home. Here are some ideas:
- throw pillows
- flannel bedding
- decorative blankets
- storage baskets or bins
- string lights
- indoor/outdoor rug
Tent Trailer Transformations
Now that you have the ideas and skills to tackle your own remodel, here’s some inspiration!
1. Jenny of Refresh Living saw potential in a 1990’s tent trailer and used her design skills to turn it into a one-of-a-kind camper.
2. Sarah Wagner of Dreaming of Homemaking renovated this pop-up camper for her sister-in-law—and ended up being able to keep it for herself.
3. Annie of Zevy Joy uses her remodeled trailer for camping with her family—and as a guest house!
4. Stephanie and Jeremy Puglisi of The RV Atlas bought their 22-year-old camper on Craigslist for a $1000.
5. Author Melissa Gorzelanczyk uses her refreshed camper for camping trips and creative retreats.
6. Jessica from Mama in a Stitch kept her camper remodel under $300.
7. Jo-Anna Rooney of A Pretty Life bought a 2004 model that was structurally sound but needed a refresh.
8. Lisa Rice from Rice Camp Blog has turned her love of tent trailer renovations into a bona fide hobby, so we had to share more than one of her amazing remodels. Here’s her trailer Mike:
9. And here’s another one of her first projects: Alvin, a 1978 Jayco she found on Craigslist for $400.
10. And last but not least, Beth Hites from Exploring New Hites bought a pop-up that was in rough shape but gave it a custom Disney-themed makeover.