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 pop up camper remodel or conversion 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 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.
Recovering a camper’s cushions is a big undertaking but it can also make a big impact. Try this traditional method or a no-sew version.
Adding extra lighting can help make a camper cozy. Add some battery-operated novelty lights or a plug-in style pendant lamp you can hang from the ceiling. Checkout our comprehensive guide to the best camping lights on the market.
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
Amazing Pop Up Camper Remodels and 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 pop up 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. Her pop up camper conversion is beautiful, and budget friendly.
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.
Expert Tip – How To Restore a Pop Up Camper Roof