Before & After: A Cookie-Cutter Camper Now Has a Super-Cute Farmhouse Kitchen

updated Apr 3, 2020
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Credit: Courtesy of Stephanie and Joey Thacker

For Jacksonville-based couple Stephanie and Joey Thacker, an RV renovation was something they didn’t always see in their future. While Stephanie “didn’t have much exposure to RV life or camping growing up,” both love the outdoors and wanted to take full advantage of adventuring, while still having access to all of the comforts of home. 

But when they finally decided to start looking, they found that many RVs and camper vans were unattractive, while older models had structural issues or water damage. Purchasing new was definitely the route they wanted to go, but a full-blown RV remodel was going to be a challenge. 

Credit: Courtesy of Stephanie and Joey Thacker

“We wanted something that was dependable, one where we weren’t going to have to spend money later down the road because it had been sitting in someone’s garage unused for five years,” she says.

Furthermore, with a young daughter, they wanted a separate sleeping area with one or two bunks, a master bedroom, a decent-sized bathroom and space where they could come in from a day of camping or hiking and have it feel like home. Room for a comfortable couch, space for family game night and a dining banquette with seating for up to four was also on their list. 

Credit: Courtesy of Stephanie and Joey Thacker

They quickly came across a 2019 Palomino Puma XLE Lite, that could easily be pulled by Joey’s truck. “There’s a certain tonnage that vehicles are able to tow, and we knew we needed to stay within that range,” she adds. While the RV checked off their bucket list of necessities, including a large tub their daughter enjoys using on the road, it was dark inside with boring brown walls. 

An accountant by day, Stephanie enjoys spending her nights and weekends redecorating and remodeling, whether that be “thrifting a piece of furniture and reupholstering it or moving the living room around one million times,” she says. Their Jacksonville home is builder-grade and they’ve done many custom, DIY things to “show off their personality and make it look different than the other homes on their street.”

Credit: Courtesy of Stephanie and Joey Thacker

Taking a similar approach to the RV and leaning toward a more neutral palette of white, grey, black and natural wood tones, they got to work. She also started following hashtags on Instagram like #camperrevampers and asked her parents for advice. “They show horses and travel and part of their camper has a living quarters,” she says. “They had never remodeled it though and looked at us like we were crazy.”

First up was getting an all-white canvas, something that was a lot trickier than one might think. “RV or camper van walls are paper-thin and almost covered in a wallpaper-like material. Regular paint won’t stick to them,” she says. After many visits to her local Home Depot and Lowe’s, she found that it would take two coats of gripper paint, a paper advertised to stick to even shiny metallic surfaces, and three coats of a latex paint to cover up the brown walls. 

Credit: Courtesy of Stephanie and Joey Thacker

They also wanted to flip the seating area with the dining area. Originally, there was an oversized, U-shaped banquette that took up a lot of room. “That was a bit of a challenge pulling everything out and seeing how everything had fit into such a small space,” she says. 

The new living/dining room features a wooden dining table, with seating for four, made by Joey Thacker, plus a customizable couch with storage underneath Stephanie ordered off of Home Reserve.

Credit: Courtesy of Stephanie and Joey Thacker

The space was also originally outfitted with carpeting, something which the pair found to be quite impractical. “If we were going to the beach or camping, we’d most likely track in sand or dirt,” she says. “We didn’t want to look back two years down the road and have gross-looking carpet.” They found a solution by contacting the RV maker and purchasing the same vinyl flooring used throughout their home-on-wheels. 

“That particular type was discontinued, and the company sold us the very last roll,” she recalls. 

Credit: Courtesy of Stephanie and Joey Thacker

For the kitchen, she continued the minimalist black-and-white look by changing out the faucet, painting all of the cabinetry white and adding a simple backsplash and white subway tiles, while the bathroom was upgraded with finds from Amazon and Target. 

After 10 weeks, the van was complete and ready to hit the road. Now, their RV is ready to rent on RVShare, a digital platform that acts as an RV rental marketplace.

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: Before and After: A Cookie Cutter Camper Gets a Black and White Modern Farmhouse Makeover