Filed under: Comfort at Camp, RV Modifications, Space Saving
Modding your RV – think outside the box…
or in this case, Inside the Closet!!!
While not everyone travels fulltime with 10 children, most of us with RVs would like to modify them in some little way to meet our needs better. For some, that means adding shelving, or pulling down valances and adding black out curtains, or changing out that plastic toilet for a ceramic one more like the house, or even painting some of your inside walls. In many instances, modding your RV is a lot like remodeling your house. There are certain, very glaring differences sometimes, like making sure of the width of outside walls so any screws you use on the inside don’t go through your gel coat on the outside. Some aren’t so glaring, like remembering that any weight that you add with your mod makes a permanent impact on your GVW. And some are handled just like they would be in a house, like hanging wire shelves or painting.
For our tribe, it has taken some permanent, and sometime extensive mods to get our crew to comfortably fit in our 40′ toy hauler. We have installed wire shelving in most of our cupboards to allow us to store the amount of kitchen paraphernalia and kids’ clothing that our tribe needs to live on the road. We have built custom bunks (5 beds) in our toy hauler garage, that take up the space of one single bed, and gives the littler boys a fun ‘loft’ to sleep in while still having their own beds. We have pulled out a love seat and built a dinette with a custom designed table that takes extensions (the table was built by a cabinet-maker friend), and added a magnetic knife bar to our kitchen wall. We pulled out the furniture in the big slide and had a couch custom built for that space ($ ouch but so worth it!). We removed our wall-mounted TV and hubs made a small built-in entertainment center in our master bedroom so that our TV would be flush with the wall, and I wouldn’t hit my shoulder against it every time I walked by. (all the links in this post lead to our mod posts either here on Woodalls or on our personal blog at ticknortribe.com)
Our latest modification has got to be one of my favorites! While it probably isn’t just right for your rig (LOL!), I hope to inspire you to think outside the box (or is that inside the closet???) when it comes to remodeling your RV to make it fit your needs. Our needs were a new sleeping arrangement for our littlest girls, ages 3, 5, and 7. Previously, our 3 y.o. had been sleeping with our 16 y.o. daughter in the queen sized loft, and the 5 and 7 y.o.s had scaled down versions of traditional bunk beds, placed in the ‘garage’ of our toy hauler, which is really the ‘boy’s room’ to us. The 3 y.o. was not cooperating at bed time, and it was becoming a trial for our 16 y.o., the 7 y.o. was getting too tall for her bunk, and the 5 y.o. didn’t like to sleep ‘alone’ (7 kids in 8′x12′ isn’t what I would call alone even if they do each have their own beds! ROFL!). Looking around, I came up with the idea of building the 3 and 5 y.o.s bunks IN OUR CLOSET!!!
Hubby undertook the project this past Sunday afternoon for me, and had the closet stripped, the old bunks dismantled and cut down to make the new ones, and the instillation of 2 new bunks, in the closet, done in a couple of hours! He used the door stoppers to build the lone corner support for the bunks since they were already the perfect height, and he used pieces from the previous set of bunk beds, cut them down a little since this set would be smaller, and rebuilt the bunks inside the closet, with cleats on the closet walls for supporting the beds (because the closet shelf had been screwed to the wall, he already knew what size screws he could safely use). We used a thick memory foam mattress topper, cut down, for mattresses on the previous set of bunks, so I simply trimmed them a bit more to accommodate the new bunk size.
We still have a few finishing touches to put on the closet: thin wire shelving in the other end of the closet, blackout curtains for the girls with a matching curtain for the other end, and some hanging pocket for the girls’ flashlights and books. They are working great even without those last details, and the girls sleep like logs without the distractions of older brothers whispering and reading (light). Link to this mod on our blog, which has a few more pics.
The stuff that was in our closet has been hung in the back where the previous set of bunks were. Because we can put stuff under the hanging clothes, this mod has even opened up quite a bit of floor space in the ‘garage/boys room’. With 12 people in 400 sq. ft., we appreciate every sq. inch we can get!!!
I love to be the ‘homeowner’ and delegate on mods! My hubby does fabulous work, including trim work, so I get the fun job of explaining to my ‘contractor’ what I would like and just getting to check in on the progress to make sure we both envisioned the same thing. We both enjoy making our RV ‘home’, and for us, modding is a bit like re-arranging the furniture in a house! We have this RV just about perfect for us right now (but that will change – it’s always a work in progress as our family grows!), but our whole family would love to start over; buy a new toy hauler (or maybe even an entertainer coach), and redo it knowing now what we didn’t know when we bought this one and started modding it. I think that remodeling an RV is a lot like building a house – your first one is the guinea pig, and you don’t really know your perfect set-up until you’ve done it once and know what you would change the next time around!
I would love to hear about your mods too! Inspiration is often sprouted by the ideas of others, and we sure like to rock our rig!!!