Our Renovated Toyhauler RV, or “home” as we prefer to call it has seen quite a few changes since we purchased it back in 2018. We have customized it quite a bit to make it work for our family. It's a 2014 Keystone Raptor 410LEV and we love it. Welcome to our home...
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Why A Toyhauler?
At first, I refused to get excited about toyhaulers. They are usually big, and HEAVY. The length of many toyhaulers worried me. But like everything in life, all RVs have their pros and cons. Toyhaulers can carry more cargo weight. They have large holding tanks, an onboard generator, and a ramp that makes into a porch.
We love bunk houses. In fact, we almost bought two different units. However, we chose our toyhauler mostly for it's floor plan, and the fact that we found it at an incredible price. It's a 2014 Keystone Raptor 410LEV.
After having it for only a few days, we realized that we made a great choice. I quickly got over my rule of "nothing over 38 feet" when I realized how we could modify it to suit our needs. The garage makes it so easy to customize the space to what you want.
We've done a lot of modifications, but they are all things that anyone could do. If you have wondered if maybe a toyhauler would work for your family...check out how we remodeled our RV below.
***NOTE: We have changed the "layout" of our RV a few times over the past several years. In the video above, we had switched the kids room and our room so that we could have an office space. After finding out we were pregnant with our 4th kiddo, we switched it back to it's original layout. Both options worked equally well! New tour video coming soon!
What We Did First...
My first mission when we decided to do a renovated toyhauler RV was to create a space for the kids.
The first project was to level the dovetail in the floor. This is where the floor drops off at the back to accomodate the ramp for rolling golf carts, motorcycles, or whatever else most folks haul.
We don't haul toys. We haul kids. And they needed all the floor space we could give them for toys, clothes, and just playing in the floor.
Leveling the dovetail gave us about 18 inches of extra flat floorspace. Basically, we cut wedges out of 2X4's, laid them across the dovetail, and covered them in thin plywood.
We then covered that with two layers of carpet pad, and a nice, plush carpet. (Check the scrap section at your local carpet shop!)
Many families just turn the lower Happijac couches into beds for their kids, and that works great for them. We decided however, to remove the couches completely and start from scratch with an open space.
We did leave the top Happijac loft/bed area to use as sleeping (and Lego building!) space for our oldest son. We cut some very thin pieces of plywood that fit up in that space to give it a little more structure and covered that with carpet. Happijac lofts typically have a webbing type support with a large foam "mattress," but we wanted the kids to be able to really get up there and climb around and it be sturdy.
In the space below, Derek built a mini bunk bed for our two younger kiddos. Our garage is only 10 feet so he built them a bunk to fit IKEA "junior" mattresses. A regular twin sized bed would have taken up way too much space. Plus, they were only 2 and 5 at the time, so a teeny bunk worked great!
Across from their bunk bed, we put an IKEA cube storage unit with baskets for toys, and a set of plastic drawers for all of their clothes.
We also hung a fabric backdrop across the toyhauler door to cover the ugly railings and brighten up the space.
Paint, Paint, & More Paint
Just like many RVs on the market, our RV was DARK. Dark cabinets, dark furniture, and dark window coverings.
When doing our renovated toyhauler RV, I wanted to brighten up our space so that it felt more inviting and open. We heard what a huge undertaking it was to paint your RV, but decided that it was something that would make our space feel so much more homey to us so we took the plunge.
No matter what anyone says (especially the paint people at the hardware store)...painting an RV Is NO EASY JOB. It just doesn't accept paint like a normal house.
We learned the hard way that you cannot cut corners. Our first attempt at painting cabinets was an utter fail. Please follow the rule of SAND, PRIME, PAINT if you decide to paint your RV.
We chose white for our cabinets. I love that I can see when they are dirty, and they brighten the entire RV up so much! We painted our walls a lighter greyish beige color and it just makes everything feel much more roomy and bright.
We are blessed that our particular floor plan has LOTS of windows. The only downside to that is that there are lots of window treatments. The ones that came in our RV were faux wood blinds and marine vinyl covered valance boxes. They were INCREDIBLY heavy...and dark...and they made lots of noise.
I opted to rip everything out and start from scratch.
We wanted some sort of heat blocking treatment that would help with the summer sun and curtains for privacy at night.
We found solar roller blinds at Blinds.com for an affordable price. They come in MANY different options, and are custom cut for your renovated toyhauler RV windows.
On top of the solar blinds, I hung regular curtains. I found fabric on sale at JoAnn Fabrics that I loved, and sewed up a few curtains. They aren't perfect, but they provide us privacy at night, and they make it feel more "homey."
Our RV came with one VERY long, and awkwardly shaped couch. It was covered in marine vinyl and not a sleeper sofa. We decided to ditch the uncomfortable ugly thing and purchase an Ektorp loveseat and ottoman from IKEA.
Yes, we kinda love IKEA.
The Ektorp has covers that can be machine washed and let's be real...that's a HUGE BONUS when living in an RV with kids and dogs.
In our other slide, there were two huge swiveling recliners that had to go! So we sold those on Facebook and replaced them with a small drop leaf table, stools, and a cart to house our Berkey water filter.
Our table is where we spend much of our day. Between meals and homeschool, it gets a lot of use.
We did a few other fun touches to our renovated toyhauler rv space, like peel and stick vinyl tiles for our backsplash in both the kitchen and bathroom. They work really well...but after 2 years have started to peel a tad and may need redoing, or a spritz of adhesive.
We also did a peel and stick wallpaper on our fireplace surround, one "accent" wall next to our fridge, and a wall in our bedroom.
The wallpaper is holding up extremely well and has seen everything from 120 degrees on a travel day down to below freezing while the RV was unhooked from power. I highly recommend it!
As I write this post, we have been living in the RV for over 2.5 years. It has seen some changes and there are a few that we still have to make.
We have recently decided to rip up all the flooring and carpet. The carpet has gotten really nasty over the last few months, and I just want it gone.
We have decided on vinyl plank...I'll update this post once we are finished!
We are also pregnant with our 4th kiddo and are really excited to see what that is going to be like in the RV! If anyone has any tips to send our way...please feel free!