The Story of Our RV (part 1)

Our RV actually started out as 2. The front of one had been wrecked and the back of the other had been in a fire. So, as you can imagine we got them both for a really good price. Who would ever try to take 2 RVs and turn them into 1? My husband, obviously. This is a long story, so I will do my best to keep it short. But the transformation it’s undergoing is pretty incredible. In fact, you might want to grab your husband for this first part.

RV before 12

One of the first things he did was take the engine, generator and other mechanical things out of one RV and put it in the other. Yeah, all by himself. He rigged some kind of pulley system and placed it in the other RV. I would check on him every few minutes to make sure he wasn’t crushed under a 3000 pound engine. Yeah, you read that right, he moved a 3000 pound engine by himself. That was a feat in itself but getting it to run was going to be even more challenging. That is a major mess of wires, tubes and pipes but within a few months he was not only able to start it but also take it on a road trip to Las Vegas.


This is what it looked like after it had been gutted and cleaned up a bit (scary, I know). So, are you thinking we’re crazy yet? I was thinking my husband was and to tell you the truth I didn’t think it would ever actually get to the point of looking decent (it’s not there yet, but it’s on it’s way). We had to take things out of one and put it into the other. Between the 2 we were able to keep enough cabinets and appliances to complete the inside. We weren’t able to keep the couches or beds so those are going to have to be made or purchased. Why yes, that is a washer/dryer and it still works. Oh and see clear back there? We had to put the whole back of the RV on. Hubby cut it off the other RV and bolted it to this one. It was pretty crazy with 4 of us holding the whole backside on while he was on the roof bolting it in place. I’m pretty sure neighbors have pictures of us (their crazy neighbors).

RV collage 3

Now just so you know, the RV is only about 25% finished but I just have to show you the progress. Let’s start in the front, shall we? As you can see this is in the front as you come up the stairs. Since we can do whatever we want we’re not going with a traditional RV look and we’re doing it as inexpensively as possible. We’re pretty sure the flooring is going to be wood. The left is before and the right after in all the pictures.

RV collage 4

This is the driving area. I’m sure you figured that out. Hubby had to rewire everything in this area (and yes, it works). The vinyl was a taupe color before (not very manly or pretty) now it’s a nice gray. So how did he do it? Spray paint! I guess I’m not the only spray paint lover in the family. It’s holding up very nicely too. See those fans in the picture on the left? I stole them from hubby and use them in decorating now. You might have seen one of them on my mantel.

RV collage 5

This is above the driving area. We decided to go with white for all the cabinetry. I find that RVs seem so dark so I wanted to get away from that, plus they just aren’t my style. You can see the big opening in the picture on the right. That’s for a TV. Neither of the TVs survived so we will have to purchase a TV for that area.

RV collage

We have a working microwave, washer/dryer, fridge, sink, shower, stove, toilet, air conditioner and furnace. The generator still needs some work. Most of them had smoke damage though so they had to be scrubbed and sanded clean. It hardly looks like the same area. Hubby has been working so hard.

RV collage 10

Here is another before of the kitchen area. Oh my, what was he thinking? He’s doing such a beautiful job on the cabinets. A good primer and spray paint will give you a nice finish every time. Since we gutted the inside we are moving a few walls around and building bunks for the kids. The bathroom is going to be a little different too. That will come later though, you don’t want to see it now.

RV collage 2

Here’s a view of the lower cabinets. The counter tops are a mauve color. Definitely not my favorite but they don’t look as pink now that the cabinets are painted white. We still haven’t decided what to do with them yet. They’re in perfect shape, so that’s good.

RV collage 6

The most recent thing he’s been working on is the ceiling. This is my favorite part so far. It’s actually wallpaper and since that’s what they basically use everywhere in RVs, it fits perfectly. He’s working from the front to the back so there’s still tons of work to do but I think he’s doing an amazing job. We haven’t spent much money at this point either. We were able to sell some of the duplicate appliances and the other engine then we sold the other RV for scrap metal. It definitely hasn’t been a fast process but at least it’s moving along.

So what do you think? Yeah, pretty crazy but it’s hubby’s dream and he’s making it happen. I’ll have updates here and there on how things are coming along. I know you’re going to be impressed.

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{ 29 comments… add one }
  • Anna February 27, 2013, 9:52 am

    Holy cow, that’s an incredible transformation and it looks like it was a lot of work! Great job. 🙂


  • Danelle February 27, 2013, 9:53 am

    Wow! What a project, and excited to see the progress (impressive to this point, for sure). Keep up the good work, Leanne and hubby!

  • Toni February 27, 2013, 10:02 am

    That looks awesome. What a before and after!

  • Aly February 27, 2013, 10:03 am

    that is incredible!!! ROAD TRIP!!!

  • Laura February 27, 2013, 10:06 am

    That is incredible, who knew that was even all possible. Very impressive! Can’t wait to see it all done!!


  • What the I had no idea he had this much done! Yay I love the white cabinets and the ceiling. I cant wait to see it all done. Good job Dad and good job mom for staying strong through this mid life crisis project hahaha it will be awesome

  • Andrea February 27, 2013, 10:57 am

    I cant believe it!!! You both are superheros!!! I love that your husband took this kind of project on–this will be so fun for you all!!! It looks amazing so far!! Cant wait to see it when its finished!!!


  • Ashlee @ I'll Love You Forever February 27, 2013, 10:59 am

    Wow, amazing work! Tell your hubby he is amazing! 🙂 I would never even imagine attempting something like that. Time to put that baby to use! I found you through the Utah Bloggers Group. Have a great day!

  • Leslie February 27, 2013, 12:03 pm

    Oh wow, Leanne!!
    The transformation is AMAZING!
    I can’t even believe it the same vehicle (or two)!
    Your hubby is one genius craftsman and electrician/handyman!
    You two make a beautiful God-designed team!
    Go Y’ALL!
    I love the ceiling and the white cabinets, by the way.
    I hope this isn’t all we will be seeing of this project!
    Love, Leslie
    Leslie recently posted..Sunday Serenity :: A Never Again Reminder

  • Cheryl @ The Creative Me and My McG February 27, 2013, 1:02 pm

    wow – wonderful job – can’t wait to see the whole thing finished!

  • Jamie's Stamping Cafe February 27, 2013, 2:04 pm

    OMGOSH, this makes me so nervous…I really don’t get home reno and the unknown freaks me out. Despite the fact that my hubby DIY’d our whole house. Watching walls come down, etc…I get the jitters. But I’m so glad the guys know what they are doing. My hubs had to keep reminding me, “this is MY job, don’t worry, I can handle it…you don’t have to do anything but enjoy it later”. 😉 Maybe it’s the control freak in me??? Or the “fixer” in me…I just want it to be fixed and not a mess. But this looks like it will be very fun and worth it…so good for you guys!!!

  • Shirley February 27, 2013, 2:14 pm

    We actually have an RV that is in a campground and not moved. We took the steering wheel and two front seats out and my husband put a futon in their place. He also built a bunkbed above the futon for extra bedding space. I love all the changes you have made to your RV and your photos have given me an idea to paint our cabinets white as well. Oh and the RV was free, the best kind. I am going to bookmark your site, I am looking forward to watching your progress. Thanks for sharing with all of us.

  • Jenny@thelavendermagnolia February 27, 2013, 2:37 pm

    Our dream was to find an old Shasta or some small camper from the 60’s to refurbish on a dime. With literally no money to buy one with, we thought we would have to put that off for several more years. We went to go visit my stepdaughter one day in her boyfriend’s childhood home and lo and behold, what was in the back yard? A vintage Shasta camper! We didn’t go inside because it was cold and wet, but we are told it doesn’t leak and all of the windows still work and that he want’s it out of the back yard. He has no interest in it. The angels started singing! We are working on getting new tires for it so we can pull it back to our house and my husband can start working on his new project. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited we are.

    Your undertaking looks much greater than ours, but only time will tell! Hope you are rolling down the roads soon and enjoying the fruits of your labor!

    Jenny@thelavendermagnolia recently posted..Finding my style

  • labbie1 February 27, 2013, 3:06 pm

    Since we live in an RV, this one really caught my eye! Wow! What a talented hubby! And I like the idea that he is using anaglypta wallpaper for the ceiling! I want that! We have that kind of carpet looking stuff in the 5th wheel and more of a wallpaper in our smaller bumper pull. Your RV is going to be GREAT! Can’t wait to see the whole thing when it is finished!

    BTW, your washer/dryer looks like a Splendid, which is what we have. We found out that it doesn’t get along so well with dog fur. It clogs up the vent system because the washer/dryer doesn’t have a filter screen that you can clean, so you have to take the whole thing out, remove the cabinet and clean out the rubber hose that goes under and up the back of the thing. What a pain in the kiester! Tell hubbs to be sure to clean that rubber hose out before installing for sure! 🙂 Wish I had gotten the two separate units or an apartment stack (need 110 v) instead of the Splendide. Lesson learned…
    labbie1 recently posted..It’s Just A Number…And Mine Is Unlisted!!!!

  • Jesseca February 27, 2013, 3:19 pm

    I’m in love with the cabinets! The entire transformation is incredible! I want textured wallpaper somewhere in my house.
    Jesseca recently posted..Cinnamon Sugar Apple Chips

  • labbie1 February 27, 2013, 3:48 pm

    PS About a year ago we removed the carpet from our 5th wheel and replaced it with Vinyl Wood Planks (not the laminate, but vinyl planks that look like wood or stone) and replaced the sectional with a leather section that includes storage under the cushions. You can see the transformation here: That might give you some ideas for your RV. We went with the planks because we have dogs coming and going and the planks are impervious to just about everything–including moisture, which makes them perfect for the RV/Camping lifestyle. You are supposed to be able to put these in water and take them out and they will be fine to use as opposed to the laminates that will swell if you get water on them and don’t get it up right away (been there-done that in our house before we sold it and took to the open road). We have been very happy with the planks for the year that they have been on the floor through rain, mud, sleet, snow and occasional, um, accidents with the dogs…ahem…
    labbie1 recently posted..It’s Just A Number…And Mine Is Unlisted!!!!

  • Wanda Ann @ Memories by the Mile February 27, 2013, 4:16 pm

    Holy Cow, what a big job! I’m so impressed! I love the white cupboards, it makes it so bright and open. I would love for you to link up to my party @
    Wanda Ann @ Memories by the Mile
    Wanda Ann @ Memories by the Mile recently posted..Tuesday Trivia–TEXAS and Link Party

  • Amy @ The Happy Scraps February 27, 2013, 4:28 pm

    Wow, that is looking great!! I can’t wait for more updates! I love those white cabinets.
    Amy @ The Happy Scraps recently posted..Shamrocks in a Bottle

  • Anna Starner February 27, 2013, 5:07 pm

    Very impressive.
    Since you want to be as frugal as possible why not use the rustoleum counter top paint. I used it on my counters and it has held up pretty well for over two years. I will be putting on a second coat and this time I will put a protective coating on it. I never finished it but it looks so much better than it did. It covered very well.
    I will be following this project. It would be soooo much fun to pick the finishes for this project.

  • Ronda February 27, 2013, 6:07 pm

    very impressed! I want to show my husband, but I’m afraid I’ll end up with two RV’s in my yard!!

  • Sheila February 28, 2013, 7:06 am

    Amazing!! We have been gifted a motor home and I really want to paint everything a white or cream color to brighten it up. We will be using it with 7 small children 4 of them boys, a dog and whoever else we can bless and share it with. I can’t wait to follow this and I will be checking out the plank floors labbie1 mentioned.

  • Traci February 28, 2013, 9:29 am

    Love it. Good Job Dad! You are so handy. Soon you’ll be able to come and visit us!

  • Leisha February 28, 2013, 9:30 am

    Seriously impressive! I cannot believe he took two RV’s and put them together. We are definitely not that handy around here.

  • Kathleen Richardson February 28, 2013, 2:35 pm

    This is incredible! Imagine how much you would have to spend to buy even a used RV in ready-to-use condition. Your hubby is amazing to do this work, and you are amazing, too, to go along with it!
    Kathleen Richardson recently posted..Homemade Graham Crackers

  • Katherine March 2, 2013, 4:34 am

    What an amazing project. I can’t wait to see the end result. Your husband is doing a fantastic job. What adventures you will have together.
    Katherine recently posted..Ten on Tuesday

  • Kembrough May 25, 2013, 3:47 pm

    Beautiful ceiling! Thinking about redoing my 5th wheel ceiling. Can you say more about the material you used?

  • leanneja July 7, 2013, 8:32 pm

    It’s a paintable wallpaper. They carry it at Lowe’s.

  • Melissa September 3, 2013, 5:42 pm

    So my husband and I just started a similar project, ours is a Class C. How is yours coming? Do you have any more pictures?

  • Sarah December 8, 2017, 1:06 am

    Great work! Clean and cool to the eyes.

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