We have remodeled to campers over the last 3-4 years. It’s amazing how you can transform a camper into a modern living space with few hacks and tricks.
These are the best inspirational ideas we found during the modern interior make-over of our two campers!
It’s a mix of ideas from our own two RVs, RVs we have filmed during the years, and other great ideas.
Campervans and smaller RVs have become increasingly popular over the last decade.
More and more people are becoming geographical independent and life on the road part-time or full-time. We have heard about this change and the newspapers and local RV resellers. This means that more and more young people are choosing to live in campervans and smaller RVs.
Let’s take a look at some of those modern camper vans that have been rebuilt till look amazing.
Bright Colors For A Modern Feel
Let take a look at some good examples of brilliant use of colors in campers.
Here’s a good example of this with modern gray, white, and green colors around the seating area. The top shelves and the wood around the top of the curtains are just perfect in this camper.
Everything is so neat, and the green colors are a fresh touch when blended into the white interior.
As soon as you get rid of the dark and yellow surfaces you can start working toward a more modern and bright color palette.
This is always a good idea for small spaces as they will feel more spacious and bigger when you chose bright colors.
In the example below, they basically painted everything white and built up some new stories and shelving areas.
This is also a great example of how easy you can open up space by painting everything white. Just keep a couple of wooden colors here and there to create some contrast.
Let’s take a look at what we came up with for our own camper remodeling projects.
We started out with a tiny vintage camper from the ’70s and the idea was to turn it into a clean and minimalistic living space. It started out as a yellow and worn down camper and after a year and a lot of sweat and tears this is what it looked like:
We eventually sold the old tiny camper when we had Max who is 2 years old now. At that point, we really needed to be able to close the door between his nursery and our living space.
When we removed the old yellow and dark shelves we had the opportunity to do something else with the walls. We chose to have white walls with light blue colors on the wallpaper.
The back of the table is covered with the same wallpaper as the wall and you can see it to the right on the image above. It totally blends in with the wallpaper when it’s folded up.
Here you can see the table when folded down. We chose light blue colors because they are “cold” colors and we prefer to camp in warm areas during the summer. So it’s nice to have space feel a little colder.
You can see more pictures from inside this camper at the bottom of the post.
So we got a bigger caravan camper now which is 15 feet long (4,5 meter). It’s a pretty standard German caravan that you will see all over Europe.
You can see a full tour of the camper we currently use below.
It’s a Hobby caravan from 2004 which we have modified to include:
- Nursery (cot bed)
- Office space
- Change station for a baby
- Sofa bed
Interior Ideas For Sleeping Areas In Campers (And RVs)
The first example below is a rather small campervan where they have built a raised bed with storage underneath the bed.
This is a clever way of getting extra storage as you don’t need full ceiling height at the sleeping area.
This bed with built-in storage is really beautifully done. The light wood matches the floor and leaves the room with a spacious feeling. The use of wooden colors in this camper is also great.
(We will come back to that!)
Everything is made with white and light wooden colors which adds to the spacious feeling in this campervan.
It’s also a really great idea to add some additional lighting around the lines of the ceiling. This adds a lot of coziness to the atmosphere and it can also be used as ambient light at night.
The picture below is taken from the back of a Volkswagen Transporter van.
This is a pretty popular model to turn into a moving living space. Especially if you are looking for a cheap solution.
The Volkswagen Transporter vans have a really good reputation because they tend to work well even when they have been driven a lot of miles.
This is yet another great DIY solution for a campervan with a sleeping area and two sofas in the back. This space can be converted in no time and you will have a nice queen size bed when you need to go to sleep. During the day you will have seating for up to four or five people inside the van if the weather does not invite you outdoors.
This solution is basically just a good idea for the sleeping area if you are rebuilding a van into a motorhome.
In the daytime, the area can be used for sitting, playing, dining and so forth, and in the night time you just fold down the backrest, and voila! You now have a queen size bed!
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, I have rebuilt to campers with my wife. The bed below is from the camper we currently use.
When we bought the camper it had as U-shaped seating area in this end
We have pulled out the seating area in our camper and installed a modern sofa bed instead. It works just great and now we use this space as a seating area during the day and we can fold the sofa into a bed at night.
Here’s what it looks like during the day and the night:
The bed cost us around $800 so it wasn’t that cheap but it has a VERY nice and comfortable mattress that we really enjoy when we are on the road. You can see sofa beds like this one here.
We had the classic U-shaped sofa seating arrangement in this area before and we really felt like it had to go. It was too cramped and we didn’t like sitting there. When you have a 2-year-old toddler in the camper you will have to be on your feet all the time so you don’t want to squeeze in and out behind the table and the sofa.
It says sofa bed which we assembled inside the caravan camper because we couldn’t fit it through the door. It fits the camper perfectly and during nighttime and we can fold down the backrest in order to create a nice (almost) full-size sleeping area.
The Kitchen Space
The kitchen space is often also the main living area, so it’s important to keep it clean and clutter-free – both on a daily basis but also design-wise.
Here are some of the best interior ideas we have come by for remodeling RVs. Let’s start off with a great space for all of us who enjoy a white and minimalistic feel to our RV.
Everything is made to utilize the vertical space and the wallpaper goes well with the white finish on the cabins and the ceiling.
These wooden panels and storage solutions are also very well worked out:
This kitchen area is for the family that really enjoys cooking. There’s plenty of counter space, and everything is neatly organized.
It’s pretty cool to have the fronts of the cabinets and drawers painted white with wooden frames. It looks trendy and up-to-date.
Notice how the counter space is curved in order to fit inside the motorhome floor plan:
The next idea is a fine way to add some storage to the camper.
The sliding cabinet dorrs are stylish and look like the latest styles from the modern caravan and RV manufacturers.
We love these sliding doors as they don’t require space around to open them up. A very cool and innovative way of designing the drawers.
It’s important to be able to close off all the closets during transportation. By adding the little wooden molding on the front off the top shelf you can avoid things from falling out.
This is another fine example of how great it works with light wood colors in campers.
You don’t have to paint everything white. Just keep the natural colors of the wood or choose another light color like the green and blue nuances below.
The dark red/brown colors on the kitchen counters below work wonders for this camper. The kitchen solution utilizes the full width of the caravan and offers a double-sided counter space.
The dark wood really looks great in contrast to the white ceiling and wallpaper:
This is another good example of the effective use of natural wood colors and a white ceiling.
White Peel-off Tiles (Adhesive)
Another neat trick we have used is to cover the kitchen walls with white adhesive tiles.
These are pretty cheap and you can mount them directly on the wooden surface.
Here’s a picture of how it looks in our current camper. We found these adhesive tiles on Amazon. They are sold in sheets you can cut with a scissor.
They totally transformed the ugly yellow walls into shiny white tiles which looks a lot like the tiles you would find in a modern bathroom.
Ideas For The Toilet And Shower
The bathroom might not strike you as the most important room in the RV/Motorhome, but nevertheless, it’s most certainly a space you can improve.
Check out this great knitted wallpaper and interior:
If you need to cram in a toilet in a very tight space, you might consider this type of toilet.
It’s a solution we also often find in under-the-stairs bathrooms.
It’s a toilet where you use the spilled water from the sink for flushing the toilet. Many campers have a composting toilet but if you are going for a more regular toilet this could be a really cool solution.
The toilet seat is mounted sideways so you can mount the whole toilet sideways. This way you can access the sink as well. It’s a beautiful and modern design that we found while researching tiny toilet ideas.
Interior Ideas For The Living Space
As we mentioned above the storage is always critical when it comes to RVs.
Many people forget to built-in enough storage space and then you have to keep boxes and bags in the RV. It’s much better to hide this inside bed furniture and inside seating areas.
This is a nice solution with the partial wall between the seating area and the front of the RV. The table and the seating furniture can be pulled out from under the bed which is a really nice twist!
Check out how cozy this 4-person dining area has turned out:
The storage sofa below is custom-made for a modern bus conversion we filmed in Florida a couple of years ago.
Instead of a backrest, they placed some big pillows for the back. This is a great way to create a comfortable seating area that you can easily turn into a sleeping area when you need to.
Underneath the sofa, there’s a ton of storage as you can see below.
You just grab the seat and lift it up.
Here they have placed batteries and other tools for the camper. You need to remember storage for tools and other things you need for maintenance on your RV or camper.
They have done a really good job of making sure every square inch is used in one way or another.
Normally the best option is to use the bed area for sitting during the day and then fold down/out the cushions when you need to sleep.
This vertical storage space is meant for laptops and magazines.
Everything is painted white and the mattress breaks up the white colors. It doesn’t feel small and claustrophobic as it sometimes is the case with a small space.
Just beside this sofa area, you find a built-in dog crate for a very cute (and rather big) dog. You can see it in the video below. As we mentioned, We found these ideas inside a nice modern bus conversion in Florida.
You can see the video tour of the space below where Maria guides you through the many ideas.
Don’t let the skin fool you with this one. It’s REALLY sweet and modern on the inside!
Ideas For Very Small Trailer Campers
We will start with a beautiful kitchen area from a sweet little teardrop trailer.
We have a nice walk-through of a bunch of teardrop trailers in this article. Check it out if you are into tiny camper spaces. There are some really great ideas as well!
Use Natural Wood Colors
This kitchen space is compact and stylish.
The natural colors of the wood look amazing and it adds a lot of atmosphere to a camper.
It’s a great idea to mix the use of natural wood with a couple of strong colors or darker wood. This will add some contrast to the wood.
If you paint everything white it often ends up feeling too sterile and impersonal.
Notice how they have hidden storage underneath the seating area as well as in the back of the van. Extra storage like this is really important if you choose to take down the upper shelves around the ceiling.
The little leather straps look great.
We use the same type of leather straps on our storage cabinets and they are both stylish and modern. We stole this idea from a Scandinavian design Magazine.
Below you see a picture of our own tiny camper which we sold a couple of years ago.
We gutted the camper completely and built everything up anew. This bed is built around a very comfortable mattress and under the bed, we had a ton of storage.
We would keep all our clothes and personal items in here as well as some camping gear.
In tiny campers like this one, you have to sacrifice some space due to the wheels. So we built a bookshelf and a small cabinet for our laptops and electronic devices like cameras, phones, and chargers.
We also built-in power sockets in these shelves so we could leave the computers in there while they could charge.
This way we could get them out of sight and we could keep them hidden when we were out exploring so thieves couldn’t see them.
As we always work on the road when we travel we need to bring our laptops and electronic gear with us. So we had to think about storage for this and a place to charge the gear.
You cannot have too many power sockets and USB sockets in a tiny space.
In order to get cords and wires out of the way you should place power sockets in every corner and everywhere else, you can. Inside drawers, besides the bed, in the kitchen etc.
We had a power outlet in the corner of the bed so we could charge our baby unit and our phones during the night.
Change Station And Nursery In A Camper
We also built a nursery into our camper.
Max was around one year old when we started camping in Italy for a month. We needed a change station and a crib for him so we decided to put in a crib just like the one he has in our apartment at home.
This way he felt more at home when we were on the go because he recognized the space around his bed.
We placed a change station on top of the crib. It was made from wood from the camper. We throw out a lot of furniture and wood from the camper during the rebuilding process and we kept most of it in order to use it for projects like this.
That’s a great idea because you will need super light-weight materials if you are going to build new furniture and walls in your camper space.
And as you can tell, Max loved his little space inside our caravan.
We put up some heavy 3-layered curtains to keep the cold out during the night.
He has a habit of kicking off any sort of comforter we cover him with during the night we so had to keep the temperature high during the night.
The curtains we mounted in the ceiling and went all the way to the floor in order to keep him warm.
I hope you got inspired by these interior ideas. If you have a modern RV space you’d like to have featured on our blog just let us know. We are always open to that.
Morten is the founder of GoDownsize. He has filmed and interviewed people living in tiny houses and RVs since 2011. He grew up on the coast where his dad took him boating from a young age. He has completely rebuilt two RVs in which he travels with his family for months at the time. Read more about Morten here.