12 Lessons Learned from our RV Renovation Experience | RVLOVE’S DIY RV Makeover | Behind The Scenes

– Hey everyone. It’s Julie and Marc here from RVLOVE and we’re sitting here enjoying a nice cool rainy day.


– Hey everyone. It’s Julie and Marc here from RVLOVE and we’re sitting here enjoying
a nice cool rainy day here in Virginia with our lovely
new electric fireplace going. – Yeah we’ve been getting
quite a few people excited about renovation and whether or not they should do one
themselves and so we thought what a good opportunity to share 12 lessons learned from
doing our renovation. – So stay tuned. (upbeat music) – Welcome back everyone. So an RV renovation is a lot of work. It’s a lot more time, work and
money than you might expect. But is it worth it? – For us, yest it was. But it’s different for everyone and that’s gonna be up to you to decide. – So here are some lessons we learned from doing our RV renovation. Number 1 is knowing your reason
and goal for this project. – Yeah. Is it something you going to
wanna live in and travel in as we’re doing or do you plan
to flip it to make profit or even just treat as a hobby
or something you can tinker on in your spare time. – And also know what you
have available to give it in form of resources, of
time, skills and money. – Yeah, we’ll talk more
about those in a bit. For us, we were really clear. We’d already bought the RV older, we knew that it was livable the way it was and we knew we definitely
wanted to renovate it in order to keep living in it. That was always the goal
when we bought this RV. – All right. Number 2 is Time. It’s always gonna take
more time than you think. Both in the actual construction
part of it and also the punch list that follows. And do you have the time? Are you gonna block out a chunk
of time to do it all at once – Like we did, yeah. – Yeah like we did. Or are you gonna do a
little bit of project, one little project at a
time over a longer period? It’s always gonna take
more time than you think and you need to be prepared
for the unexpected. – Yeah. There could be delays or you might find unexpected water damage
or some of the things that we encountered that just
really add to the project beyond what you thought
when you first started. And when you’re thinking
about the amount of time you have to dedicate to an
RV renovation, think about what you already have
going on in your life. If you already have a
job, if you have a family or other commitments. This is another job
practically on top of that. Maybe you’re retired and
you have some more time up your sleeve to be
able to do that or maybe like us you just decide
to put everything on hold and just focus on it
intensely for a period of time to knock it out which worked
out really well for us. While we did it in three weeks, again we really should have
allowed three months to do it at a more comfortable pace. – Agreed. Yeah, you definitely need to
think of the opportunity cost of that time. All right. Third lesson learned
is that you need space. – A lot of it (chuckles). – A lot of space. – You’re gonna be doing your
RV reno indoors or outdoors. Regardless, you’re gonna
need a decent amount of space for this. As you would have seen from our videos, we were able to set up three tents. One for all the furniture
and gear going out of the RV. We had another one for
tiles and flooring and gear, and we had another one that was set up just for our incoming deliveries from Jane and my big shopping trip and
also all of the online shopping that was coming in. Sometimes one, two, three times a day we were getting deliveries
so it allowed us to keep things organized
and in their place. – So one of the most important
perks of the space for me was to have a really good workspace. – Mm-hmm. – So that I would not have to
set up and tear down everyday. The workspace was always ready to go and I had all the
materials stored in places where I knew where everything
was so I didn’t lose any time with that either. – Yeah. Keeping well organized
was really important and keeping the frustration down and just keeping that time
efficiency in doing everything that needed to be done. Now, speaking of space. You can’t just do something
like this anywhere. If you’re a full time RVer like us, if you don’t have a friend
or family member’s property that you can park on. We were so lucky to be able to park on Brett and Danell’s property in Oregon. That was God-sent to us. It wasn’t until we arrived and spread out and set everything up that we realized, oh my goodness how did we
ever think we could do this anywhere else or in a campground which was my initial crazy idea. Some campgrounds won’t allow
this kind of jobs to happen. We do know people that
have done RV renovations and it wasn’t as extensive
as ours, it was more inside but you’re gonna be creating noise, you’re using power tools, banging with hammers and that could effect the people around you in the campground or anywhere that you’re staying really. So really something to
think about with the space and the impact that all
of you are spreading out and all of the noise is gonna
have on others around you. – Number 4. Where are you gonna live
during the renovation? – Now if you’re not a
full-time RVer like us, you might already have a home or a condo that you’re living in and
that you’re able to work on the RV project on the side. Whether that’s on your own
property or somewhere else which is another consideration. How far is it from where you live? Do you have to drive five, ten minutes to get to where you’re going? Do you need to drive
half an hour or an hour? Factoring in all of the time
that it takes to get there and back because that can
really take up a lot of time and really decrease efficiency
and motivation I think – Mm-hmm. – For continuing on with the job. It just becomes another
effort to think about, gosh now I’ve got to drive over there and take all of my gear and. This was actually really easy for us to be able to do it on-site. – That was. And by living in the RV with
the intensity of the schedule, really all we did was work and sleep. So we worked say 16 hours a day, slept. So there wasn’t a whole
lot of living going on. – Right. – If you’re doing a longer
project and you want to have more life besides the project, you definitely wanna consider
living outside of the project. – Now, if you’re going
to be living in the RV during the as we did you
might have been seating there thinking we were a little
crazy for doing that and you would probably
would be correct in that. As you can see it was very
messy, very disruptive and very chaotic living in the
RV throughout the renovation but I think the important
point to note here is a couple of things. One, is we did it really fast and two, we were working really intensely
for a short period of time. – In a lot of the meals we prepared, we prepared over at
Brett and Danell’s space not inside our RV. Number 5 is the weather
or climate conditions where you’re going to be
doing this renovation. We were really fortunate
when we chose to do this in North-eastern Oregon
we had gorgeous weather. We actually had only one day
where the rain threatened. It didn’t even rain that day. – But. – But we had really great
conditions to be able to optimize our solars since
we were doing this off-grid and we had really good conditions. We’d leave all of our
tools and supplies outside and ready to go at all times. – But you might be luck
enough to have access to an enclosed space. Maybe you’ve got a garage
or a shade or a barn or someone that you know
where you can actually do the whole remodel or renovation inside where you won’t be a subject
to elements of weather as we were. Like Marc said, we picked
a place and a time of year that was really optimal for that and that worked out
really really well for us. Number 6 is you need a plan. And we did actually have a plan before we took on this project. – We did and we have quite a
few years of living in RVs. We have a lot of that experience but we also had quite a few
months, I think four months– – Mm-hmm. – Living in this particular RV. So we knew what was
working and what wasn’t. – And as part of creating
our plan because of course we had Jane who flew out from
Australia to help us, we had to make the most of all
the time that we had when she was here. I created a spreadsheet for
every single room or space or zone in the RV and
specifically detailed what we had, what we wanted to change,
what worked, what didn’t and some of my ideas or our
ideas to share with Jane. Took a lot of photographs of
the RV and sent that to her as well so she was able
to get the wheels turning about what she thought she
might do when she got here. So by the time she actually
arrived and we sat down and we collaborated on that
plan we were actually able to get on the same page
with her pretty quickly. So by the time we actually
started tearing everything out of the, RV we already knew exactly what we were gonna do,
who was gonna do what, and just went for it. – All right. Number 7 is skills and the
team you have available. So do an honest assessment
of both your skills available and the skills of your team
that you have available to you. As for me, I used to work in construction and I have done quite a few DIY projects in our previous home and our RVs so I had a decent skill set
coming into this project. We also had a really great skilled team– – Mm-hmm. – With Brett and Danell having
done their own renovation and Jane of course being a
professional interior stylist. – And know your limits. You don’t have to do everything and we didn’t do everything. I think while Marc could have
done the tile in the kitchen and the backsplash, to be honest, we were starting to run out of time and decided to outsource that job because it just makes a lot more sense. You can obviously do a
lot of research yourself and learn a lot of these things
but it does slow things down and sometimes if you’re
learning with trial and error that can slow down the process or you might make some
mistakes you have to undo. But if you’re a pretty handy person and you’re just willing to give it a go especially if you don’t have
a crazy timeline like we did definitely, there’s so
many things that you can do yourself these days and that’s gonna save you a lot of money. – All right. Number 8 is access to tools. And that’s not just power tools to do the actual construction
or demolition work. It’s also tools and
resources like dumpsters and like a workbench– – Mm-hmm. – And things like that. I consider all of those
to be tools of the job. – So whether you already own the tools or you borrow them, buy them, rent them. Those things if you
don’t already have them or you don’t have access to
borrow them from a friend or family member can add up
and get pretty expensive. We used a lot of those tools almost every day of the
renovation so having access to a friend’s set of tools, thanks Brett, they were invaluable to us
in able to pull this job off. – Yeah, and definitely do
consider getting tools though cause sometimes having the right tool can save you a lot of time. Number 9 is the access and
proximity to conveniences like a hardware store. – Mm-hmm. – There were days that our
team went to the hardware store five and even six times in one single day. So it’s really important to
have proximity to grocery stores and hardware stores and any
of other conveniences you need to do the project. – And that includes a dumpster
which we were lucky enough to have on Brett’s property
or access to a local dump. And you’ll probably need a truck to be able to dump that as well. – Mm-hmm. – So think about things like that. You’re gonna be offloading
a lot of crap out of your RV if you do anything like we did
and even things like shopping for what you need to
actually decorate the RV. We were in a small town
with very limited resources and shops. And the nearest town was
really about two hours away. And the nearest really big town that would have a greater selection was four-hour drive away. We just jammed it out for
two days straight shopping packed the jeep, went to
all of these great stores but we had to know in
advance what our plan was. We knew what the decor
was gonna look like, what the star was, what
was the color scheme. We knew exactly what it was gonna be, bought as much as we
could in those two days. Yes we did return some things but and the benefit of online shopping, we were able to pull it off. – Number 10 is the support
you have available. And I don’t just mean the
physical hands on the project, I also mean emotional, and moral support. – It’s really hard to do
this kind of job alone. If you’re a solo person Rving, you’re gonna need somebody
there to provide moral support, some hands on support of
course, but even just somebody to give you a pat on the back,
somebody to help with meals. And we were so lucky that we
not only had the hand-on help of Jane, Brett and Danell
during the renovation but that we were cooking
out meals most evenings and that was an amazing help
at the end of a hardworking day that we had meals ready for us. We also had some company and just somewhere to really
sit down and decompress and have a few laughs with and
just having that friendship and that support and knowing
that we’re not doing this on our own. So yes, it was a lot of hard work but we also had a lot of
fun and some laughs as well and that can really get
you through a lot easier when you’re doing such a big job. – Number 11 is having a deadline. If this is just a hobby, something
you do in your spare time then that’s great but if you wanna really get
this thing finished, you need to set yourself a deadline– – Mm-hmm. – A time that it has to be done by. That will I’ve you immense power in being able to complete the project. – Our deadline was having
Jane jumping on a jet and heading back to Australia
and having a film crew come in over those last three days to film us. So we knew we had to get it
finished by a certain date and that just kept us going. – And I think the other element
of having a deadline is that on those really long tough days, – Mm-hmm. – You can also see the light
at the end of the tunnel saying okay it’s only a couple more weeks. I can survive this. – Yeah. And we did our renovation
in pretty much three weeks and we really would not recommend that. It was more intense. If there was any thing we
could change about what we did, we don’t have any regrets – No that’s– – But we would have liked to have done it in a more reasonable timeframe. – It’s definitely the one
thing I would have liked seeing different. – It really was a 3-month project that we pulled off in three weeks. But the only reason we were able to do it is thanks to the amazing team. Jane, Brett and Danell helping us do this and of course Marc
working around the clock like what 16, 20 hours a day? – I had some half days. (laughs) Twelve hour days. – And last but not least,
12 is knowing your budget. And is this financially worth it? – RVs typically depreciate
but if you buy well and you’re able to do a
lot of the work yourself, you might actually be able to
increase the value of your RV. – Which we managed to do. So whether you’re buying an
RV to make some improvements and then flip it and
make a profit, or like us you’re buying to modify
it to suit your own needs for living, working and traveling. And just to make it more enjoyable. They’re all considerations on
how much time, work and money you wanna put in. For us it was worth it. We absolutely love it. – But it’s not for everybody. – Mm-hmm. – And so that’s what were hoping
that in today’s video with some of the lessons learned
that we share with you today, will help you decide whether
or not this is something you want to take on. Cause it’s definitely not
for the faint of heart. – But if it is, it’s so worth it. – Mm-hmm. – Like if it something
you’re willing to take on and you give it a go as we did, it really is very very rewarding. Hope you found this video helpful. We’d love to hear from you guys
down in the comments below. I’m sure you’ve also
got some tips and ideas about what you think people
should think or know about before they undertake an RV renovation. Thanks as always for
watching and until next time – [Together] See you on the road. (upbeat music)

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