Dated to Dazzling: Our RV Bathroom Remodel

We confused a lot of people when we sold our fifth wheel and bought a used, old truck camper.

But we had big plans to turn an outdated camper into a dazzling home on wheels. Remodeling the bathroom in the camper was one of our first projects in our new camper.

Unfortunately, we quickly discovered that it wasn’t going to be nearly as cheap or easy as we had originally thought. Today we are going through the remodeling process for the bathroom in our motorhome.

Let’s get started!

How to update a mobile home bathroom?

If you’re tired of having a picture-perfect RV bathroom, you can give it some character with an update. A fresh coat of paint or a coat of wallpaper can radically transform the space.

Replacing lighting, faucets and fixtures is also relatively easy and can have a big impact. These are all projects that anyone can tackle in a few hours.

To take it a step further, you can replace countertops, flooring or your shower. Depending on how you choose, you can make a room look bigger or make it feel bigger.

And some upgrades make it easier to keep your bathroom clean or organized!

This is what our bathroom looked like before the remodel

Do not forget: Looking for more conventional ways to store your toiletries in your bathroom? Try these RV bathroom storage ideas to make your life easier

What is a realistic budget for an RV bathroom remodel?

The cost of renovating an RV bathroom depends greatly on the complexity of the renovation. A typical RV bathroom renovation could cost anywhere from $75 to $250.

However, if you want to take your renovation to the next level and do a complete gutting, you can expect to spend upwards of $1,000.

We couldn’t find much information on what others have spent on their bathroom renovations, so we wanted to share our numbers with others before they tackle their own projects.

We spent just over $1,600 on our RV bathroom remodel. Believe it or not, it was easily the most expensive part of our entire RV renovation.

Before you begin any remodeling project, you need to set a budget. Otherwise, you may quickly find yourself spending much more than you anticipated.

Also, keep a detailed log of your expenses to stay within budget. Fortunately, on this project, we had a good idea of what it would cost and were not surprised by most of the costs.

A spreadsheet showing the cost of each item in our RV bathroom remodel.

How we remodeled our motorhome bathroom

We posted a few pictures and videos of how we remodeled our RV bathroom. As a result, we’ve received a lot of questions about what we did and what products we used.

To make it easy, we’ve detailed how we remodeled our RV bathroom. Let’s take a look!

Demolition day

Demolition day was fun, exciting and terrifying all at the same time. We gutted the entire bathroom in our RV. While we were excited about the possibilities the space would offer, we also knew we couldn’t turn back at this point.

It’s important to be extremely careful during demolition. You don’t want to cause unnecessary damage to walls, flooring, or cabinets that would create even more work for you.

Take your time and remove every screw that is holding an item in place.

Jason removing the old shower wall during demolition day.

Custom shower and waterproofing

After removing the shower, we installed a foam board shower pan that was custom made for our space. It wasn’t the cheapest solution, but it was worth spending a few more dollars to get the perfect fit.

The tub has a 2% slope, which ensures that the water goes down the drain as efficiently as possible.

Next, we installed GoBoards, which we purchased locally from Lowe’s. This helps to waterproof the shower walls and prevent potential damage.

This lightweight material is a fantastic replacement for cement board, which weighs a lot more. With the weight of our RV in mind, we looked for ways to save weight.

After we installed the GoBoards, we sealed the seams with a waterproof membrane to prevent moisture from getting between the boards.

We bought 75 feet of XFasten from Amazon, which was more than enough for this project. It was cheap and easy to install (two of our favorite things).

After the waterproof membrane had time to cure, we applied two coats of RedGard. A single gallon was enough for our shower project.

Rae with a mask after finishing painting RedGard in the shower during our RV bathroom renovation.

Installed ceramic tiles

After the RedGard dried, we started the water test. This was fairly simple, as all we had to do was plug the drain and fill the shower pan to the brim.

We marked where the water line was and came back 24 hours later to check it. Unfortunately, we had a small leak. We applied a third coat of Red Guard and repeated the water test.

Fortunately, there were no water leaks the second time!

Once we knew we were safe, we started laying the tile. We decided on a penny ceramic tile for the shower pan and a faux marble tile for the walls (more on the wall tiles later).

Penny tile in the shower tray of a motorhome

Everything painted

Next, we gave the shower some time to settle, and then proceeded to paint pretty much every remaining inch of the bathroom.

We applied Benjamin Moore Stix Waterborne Bonding Primer as our first coat; then we painted the walls with Dove White paint.

For the cabinet, we took a risk and painted it black. We hoped to create some contrast between the walls and the cabinet.

We were nervous about how the outcome would turn out, but we like the result of our RV bathroom remodel.

White paint in a pot, two brushes and two paint rollers on the floor of an RV

Pro Tip: We made a conscious decision to use an RV with a dry bath when we downsized. Read our 5 reasons to avoid a wet bath in your RV!

Shower wall tiles installed

Unfortunately, this step of the renovation was quite expensive. The entire shower renovation accounts for about two-thirds of the total cost of the bathroom budget.

However, other options were not significantly cheaper. We originally tried to find a pre-molded shower wall and tub (like the ones we took out), but they cost about the same as tile.

In the end, we decided to go with the faux marble tiles. They provide the homey look and feel we were going for.

Yes, we spent a few hundred dollars more, but in return we now have a more functional and higher quality shower. This is the one project we don’t want to repeat in the future!

Installing the individual tiles was more time consuming than a molded shower insert. However, we were blown away by the end result and knew we had made the right decision.

Half of our shower wall is tiled and the other half is still being tiled as we remodel our RV bathroom

Upgraded shower faucet

Pretty much everyone has an item they spend money on when renovating. We decided to upgrade our shower faucet. We chose a Delta faucet to make our marine showers more comfortable.

Was it the cheapest solution? Not at all. But it’s a significant improvement that we think is worth it.

One of the main advantages of the Delta faucet is that the water temperature remains the same when it is turned on and off. So we can enjoy the shower even more and avoid wasting water.

Since we have some epic RV plans in the future, we don’t want to waste a drop.

The skylight and upgraded RV showerhead in our RV's bathroom.

Waterproof flooring and low profile toilet installed

We then installed the SmartCore waterproof LVP flooring. We chose this flooring because it is easy to install and maintain.

It is moisture resistant and has an underlayment on the back that reduces noise and increases comfort. It was exactly what we were looking for to remodel our RV bathroom.

Once the floors were installed, we installed the Thetford Aqua Magic V low-profile toilet. It’s a toilet designed for RVs, nothing fancy.

We didn’t have a lot of options anyway, since we needed a low-profile toilet with a 10-inch recess. But it does the job and was incredibly easy to install.

The final toilet and shower in our remodeled RV bathroom.

Pro Tip: Read 5 mistakes you make when showering in your RV to make sure you don’t cause future damage to your vehicle!

Butcher Block Countertops

For the countertops, we used a sealed Butcher Block that we purchased at Home Depot. We couldn’t be happier with the result and we love the impression it leaves when you open the door to the bathroom.

It adds to the homey feeling we were trying to create.

Plus, we had enough left over to use elsewhere in our RV. We’ll tell you more about this project in the future. Spoiler alert, the results were better than we expected!

Sink with high tap

One of the final projects in remodeling our RV bathroom was to find a sink and faucet that would match the rest of the room.

We’ve always loved the look of country style sinks and faucets in bathrooms, and were thrilled to find some that fit our small space.

After everything arrived, we quickly got to work on the installation. It was scary cutting holes in our brand new butcher block countertops, but it worked out great.

We thoroughly tested all the plumbing connections to make sure everything was working properly.

A bowl sink and tall faucet on a butcher block countertop in our motorhome.

The finishing touch

When we got to the point of putting the finishing touches on our RV bathroom, we began to breathe a sigh of relief.

We could see the light at the end of the tunnel, and all the big decisions and projects were behind us. If you’ve ever done a major renovation, you know how good it can feel.

For the finishing touches in our bathroom, we opted for a small curved shower rod. It gives us a few extra inches when showering.

If you’ve ever showered in a confined space, you know that a few extra inches can be a huge benefit.

We also opted for a soap dispenser that hangs on the wall to avoid having toiletries in the shower since the space is so small.

Three soap dispensers on the shower wall in our truck camper.

We completed the shower with a shower curtain from Target. Again, nothing fancy, but it serves its purpose and matches the colors of the wall and cabinet well.

Don’t forget: Before you start remodeling your bathroom, check out these tips for replacing your RV bathroom faucet!

Bring new life to your outdated RV bathroom

Now that our RV bathroom renovation is complete, we love it. Did we question ourselves and our sanity several times during the process? Absolutely.

But we breathed new life into our truck camper and will enjoy the fruits of our labor every time we take it on an adventure.

If you’re unhappy with the look and feel of the bathroom in your RV, do something about it. Make a plan and take it one step at a time!

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