You Don’t Need to Look at Ugly RV Furniture Anymore
Is your RV looking a bit worn out? For some people, this would be the cue to start shopping for a new rig. However, if you really love your little home-on-wheels, or even if you simply don’t have the funds to invest in a new RV, you might be looking for other solutions. Our favorite solution? Replacing the RV furniture.
A Nine-Step Plan to Upgrade Tired RV Furniture
Let’s face it, most RV furniture isn’t exactly beautiful to begin with, and aged RV furniture is just that much worse. Fortunately, it’s totally possible to replace that tired old furniture with something new that suits your style and makes you comfortable in your trailer or motorhome.
1. Give yourself time
First, it’s important that you give yourself time to shop for the perfect RV furniture. You don’t want to pull all the furniture out of your rig the week before your big trip, as finding pieces that fit well can take a while. Instead, start this project long before camping season begins, so you can shop at a leisurely pace and ensure you really love what you end up with.
2. Consider re-covering
Before you pull everything out of your rig and start new, take a look at each item. Is there anything worth keeping if you re-cover it? In many cases, reupholstering a chair or sofa is much cheaper than replacing it, especially if you need RV-specific furniture in that space.
3. Measure everything and then measure again
It’s no secret that RVs are tight spaces. For this reason, it’s important to measure your space a few times, ensuring you get the right measurements before you invest in that expensive couch or table. Make sure you consider how the furniture will fit in the space, how you will use it in that space, and whether it will be logical and comfortable to use that piece in that space on a day-to-day basis.
4. Think about rearranging
While you’re switching out the furniture and have the space nice and empty, you might also want to do some rearranging. Most RV furniture is bolted down to the floor and walls, making it nearly impossible to rearrange the original furniture. But when you’re putting new pieces in, you’ll have the freedom to place them wherever you like. Having an empty space to work with makes this as easy as it’ll ever be.
5. Know what you’re looking for
It’s much easier to shop for furniture when you have a clear idea what you’re looking for. The answer to this will be different for different people, but we have a few suggestions that might help you figure out what works for you.
Option 1. Look for assemble-yourself options
Because RVs are such tight spaces, and because the doors are so tiny, many people like to purchase assemble-yourself furniture from places like IKEA. This is much easier to get into the space and can be built right where you want it, removing the need for finding awkward angles in order to fit things through tiny doors.
Option 2. Design your own
Because many RVs require unique pieces, there are some RVers who choose to build their own furniture that fits perfectly into the space they have. This is great because it allows you to create multi-functional pieces that perfectly suit your RVing style. However, it will require some tools and know-how.
Option 3. Go with RV-specific furniture
Another option is to look for RV-specific furniture from companies such as FlexSteel or Coach Supply Direct. If you’re looking for an odd shaped or sized piece and don’t want to build your own, this might be your only option. It’s also the best option if you are wanting to use seatbelts with the piece of furniture you are replacing—such as in a motorhome—as these couches and chairs are made for that purpose.
Option 4. Buy used
Finally, if you’re on a tight budget, you might consider buying used. Thrift stores often have used furniture available that can be modified to fit into your RV decor style. Sometimes it’s even possible to find used RV furniture. This can be found at RV scrapyards or on RV sales pages on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, etc.
6. See it in person
It’s always a good idea to see any expensive things you purchase in person before buying. Furniture is no exception. If at all possible, head to the store or warehouse yourself and see what you’re buying before you buy it. This ensures you know the quality of the piece before buying and also gives you a chance to match colors and double-check measurements.
7. Check out reviews
Another way to make sure you’re getting what you want is to check out reviews online. This is an especially good way to weed out the low-quality items out there so you end up with something that will be comfortable and durable for years to come.
8. Sell the old pieces
As mentioned before, it’s sometimes possible to find used RV furniture for sale online. This means there is a market for these items, and might mean that you can sell your RV furniture and get back a little of whatever you spend on your new furniture items.
9. Make other RV furniture upgrades simultaneously
Our last tip is to make other RV upgrades at the same time. Why? Because it’s easiest to paint and replace flooring with no furniture in the way. It only makes sense to do these two projects while the RV is empty and you have the opportunity. Besides, you’re sure to adore your tiny home once the walls, floors, and furniture all reflect your personal style.
Chelsea Gonzales is a full-time RVer, freelance writer, and roadschooling mama who loves sharing her expertise about RVing with kids, roadschooling, and full-time RVing. The entrepreneurial and free-spirited author is also artistic director of the Aistear Mobile Irish Dance Academy, and currently travels with her family in a 27-foot travel trailer. Chelsea’s informational articles about full-time RVing, raising children on the road, camping, and destination features appear on her blog, Wonder Wherever We Wander. throughout the RV LIFE network, and in RV industry media outlets such as Outdoorsy, Coach-Net, and RV Share.