After being grounded for months, we’ve become antsy, craving adventure and escape. But with social distancing recommendations still clipping our wings, plane, bus and train travel seem worrisome.
Home still feels safer than anywhere else. What to do? Why, take that home on the open road. That’s precisely what a motorhome or camper lets us do. It’s no wonder that the RV Industry Association reports a sharp uptick in RV sales and rentals.
“Our inventory is down to a dozen vehicles,” says Autumn Quinn, marketing manager of Dylane RV Center, Denver. “Normally we would have about 80 vehicles on the lot. Spontaneity and freedom are key attractions to travel by RV, and they are precisely what families are looking for after all those COVID constraints.”
Lee Vought of Stoltzfus RV of Adamstown agrees. “We have four RVs in the lot. Normally, we’d have 100.”
Dealers say that RV manufacturers are working hard to improve motor homes’ interiors, but at price tags of $50,000 to $100,000 for new motor homes, or even more depending on sizes and features, older models are obviously popular. However, their interiors are an issue for design-minded buyers.
Some RVs practically beg for design intervention. But it seems a daunting task. RVs are smaller spaces, so every decision counts, and plywood walls and boring cabinets make you want to start from scratch and tear everything apart.
Chic comes to old RV
Designer Anastasia Laudermilch of Annville understands this problem. She faced it herself when she and her husband bought a 1999 Winnebago.
“We bought it for weekend trips,” she says. “We like the escape once in a while. But I couldn’t live with its interior, and I ended up changing every inch. It was a DIY job, lots of work, but also very satisfying. Rolling down the road in a comfortable, attractive vehicle makes weekend adventures so much better.”
What in the past may, to some, may have given RVs a reputation for tackiness has been all the woody surfaces. So Laudermilch started right there, painting the walls light gray and the upper cabinets black.
“That alone made a dramatic difference,” she says. “I found a great product called Zar, easy to use because it is just wiped on. New hardware on cabinets and drawers followed.
“In the kitchen, a pretty glass mosaic backsplash and a new vinyl plank floor were big upgrades. The ceiling light over the kitchen table was boring, so I covered it with a gold-finished basket,” she says.
“I cannot emphasize enough what a difference all those little things made, and they were all inexpensive,” she says. “For example, I used moldings to create a nice mirror frame in the bathroom, and I found a lovely crackle-finished