02 May 2015

Motor home Refurbishing

For one reason or another, my attention wandered to motor home refurbishing, updating, and redecorating images on the web. I love our motorhome – it is an affordable way for us to get away, we rarely go very far but we can go fishing for several days or The Reluctant Farmer takes his kids off to a campground to play and cook hot dogs over the fire and not have any responsibilities, and we have used it at the Fair and other events as a “home base”, meaning we can snack on ordinary food instead of concession food and have a bit of a break from the noise and bustle when needed.

It’s a 1995 Tioga, no slide outs, nothing fancy, just a bunk over the cab, a built in dinette that can turn into a bed, a wee little kitchen, a fridge, microwave, and a double bed at the back.

It wasn’t ugly by any stretch of the imagination, but the pink and teal floral print was not really making me say “ooh, that’s awesome”. So, I went to the fabric store and hit the bargain shelf to find about eight metres of coordinating fabrics in some colour OTHER than pink. And, I wanted to have some variety in the fabrics: coordinating, yes, but not all exactly the same. Variety being the spice and all.

I settled on greens and browns and yellows, having found three nicely textured heavy cottons that all seemed to go well together.

First job: take down the drapes and the wooden frames around all the windows. The venetian blinds rattled (not just when you were driving – if you rolled over in the night and banged the string with your elbow, the whole thing clattered), the roller blind by the dining table was getting weary, and the frames were upholstered in dusty rose, teal floral prints, and gold trim. I’d made a green curtain for the back window a few years ago, but it wasn’t really ideal. Besides, having the windows surrounded on three sides by three inch fabric covered wood felt … clunky. The one by the dining table made it impossible to lean up against the wall, too.

Down it all came:


Around the bed, I wanted darker curtains so it wasn’t so bright in the mornings (if it’s warm enough to go camping, it’s probably going to get light around 5 am). The brown floral print I’d found worked well for drapes though I may need to add a lining to get it a bit darker:


The privacy curtains around the back bed were on a ceiling mounted track that curved around the corner of the bed. I took that down and replaced it with a tension rod that goes straight across – easier to use the loo in the night without having to deal with the drapes right at the edge of the bed, and they pull nicely out of the way during the day. These drapes are some old white curtains I had, dunked in a bit of yellow Rit dye for about five minutes … they turned into a lovely buttery yellow, very cheerful.

The window by the table got the same brown fabric, but with a yellow ruffle at the bottom (leftover from the privacy curtains): much nicer than the plain white roller blind that had been on this window before.


And yes, the seats have been recovered! I was going to leave them … I tried overdyeing the dusty rose original fabric, but it wouldn’t hold the Rit dye. And it was PINK. Very pink. Really didn’t go with all the new greens and browns. I had intended to use this fabric, which has a linen like texture and is very lovely, as the privacy curtains for the back bed, but there was just enough to recover the cushions and I couldn’t bear the pink clashing with everything else. The reupholstery job is a very temporary thing at this point (gorilla tape and strategic folds), but I will do a proper job of it now that I know I like how it looks.

The upper bunk got new curtains to close it off from the main space as well as dark curtains over the two side windows. I still need to do something about the front angled window, but that’s a bit trickier to deal with … I’m still pondering. I have one smidgen of green fabric left … I’m thinking cup hooks and elastic loops at the corners.


The bunk met with the approval of the Small People:


(Photobomb by The Reluctant Farmer)

It’s not really obvious in the photos, but the wall by the dining room window has been painted – the wallpaper was getting weary, and it was a sort of swirly rose pink. I’ve left it in several places, but I painted over the wall by the table and around the bathroom sink, as those spots were easy to get to and looking pretty worn. I used some leftover beige paint from Princess Girl’s bedroom – it looks quite good, actually.

We like to keep the driver/passenger seats blocked off from the living area when we are parked. I had some white curtains that I’d sewn for something else and we’d hung them across the opening years ago on a tension rod. I rigged up a different rod (having mitched the tension rod for the space at the back) from some of the leftover gold trim and three Command Hooks, dyed the white fabric a sunny yellow, and voila.


Some hand woven cotton fabric strategically draped over the chair to the right, an unused creamy satiny bedspread over the top bunk, and it’s a whole new place!

I’m still working on some more painting, I need to do something about the trim around the back of the dinette benches, and I have to get the mirror hung back up. And put a shelf over the door. And maybe some jars mounted under the kitchen cabinet for tea and hot chocolate and coffee and sugar and honey, instead of the paper towel holder that’s there now.

But it’s looking lovely, and I’m very happy with the progress.

All this for under $90: most of that went to fabric, then curtain rods. I scavenged fabric for drapes, reused a bedspread, found a use for some woven fabric, repurposed one long curtain rod, and used up some leftover paint.

More puttering is bound to ensue, but it’s a fun project.

Fishing season opens later this month!

1 comment:

  1. I'm sure you will enjoy this update! Great memories of a trip to Drumheller with The Boy and Grandpa Art!


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