The RV was perfectly functional, but the owners wanted more. So they pumped up its style, made it feel bigger, and brought in the comforts of home.

By Kit Selzer
June 13, 2019

Kate Malo dreamed of memory-making road trips. She pictured her young family—husband Dave, son Thomas, 8, and daughter Allie, 5—hiking, building campfires, and taking in the scenery. Fueling that vision: a 2007 Four Winds camper handed down from Dave’s parents. To make it their own, Kate and Dave modified the built-in furniture, covered the old floor, and, Kate says, “painted every square inch of the walls and cabinets.”

Along the way, they learned a handful of necessities unique to an RV makeover. They needed adapters for light fixtures and tried to use lightweight materials with towing in mind. Six weeks later, the Des Moines-area family headed for the Black Hills and Rocky Mountain National Park, enjoying the journey as much as the destinations. Take a peek inside their amazing RV transformation.

Dave and Kate kept what made sense. Appliances and cabinets were already secured for travel (and free). So they simply painted the cabinets white and teal (Deep Sea Dive SW 7618). Easy-to-install surfaces include tile-look sheets for the galley backsplash and vinyl floor planks; both are self-adhesive.

Jay Wilde

The Malos needed only three beds, so they replaced a bulky futon in the sitting area with a cushioned bench. To quietly dress up one wall, Kate chose wallpaper with a simple pattern. Keeping the rest of the walls white makes the space appear larger.

In the kids’ bedroom, Kate and Dave turned a full-size bottom bunk into a twin to make space for a shelf unit. There, they can store everything they need for a rainy day—board games, art projects, and movies included. A wall-mount wire basket at the foot of each bed holds books.

Jay Wilde

A framed mirror (Kate could go bigger by not centering it over the sink) and a bold border of self-stick floor tiles upgrade the teeny bath. Keeping the small space clutter-free makes it feel less cramped. They stuck with a simple bathroom color palette to streamline the decor.

Now, the Malos can add more destinations to their family travel bucket list. The next stop? Disney World!

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Comments (1)

echodobes9659233
August 7, 2019
Excellent, well written article with lots of colorful photos. Sounds like this couple had lots of great ideas and carried them out! Good for you folks!