How to Restore a Camping Trailer


Restoring a camper trailer can be done with just a few simple tools. If you have about half a day, you can refurbish the exterior and interior of an RV. Once the siding and panels are upgraded, replace old furnishings and restore facilities for a new and improved look from the inside out. This project does require some labor, but nothing too grueling or beyond the ability of a novice DIYer. Grab your tools and get started.

Things You'll Need

  • Auto cleaner
  • Microfiber towel
  • 400-grit sand paper
  • Primer
  • Enamel
  • Wood panels
  • Filler
  • Caulk
  • Silicone
  • Air pump

Restore the Exterior of Your Camping Trailer

  • Clean dirt and debris from the siding of the RV using automotive cleaner and warm water. Wipe the siding dry using a microfiber towel.

  • Dull surface damage, scratches and rust using 400-grit sandpaper. Use up-and-down action until the surface is dull.

  • Wipe dust that has accumulated on the siding using a second microfiber cloth.

  • Restore the finish with an aluminum primer per the manufacturer’s instructions. Let the primer stand for up to four hours. Finish with a top layer of acrylic enamel, which will infuse the siding with added shine.

Restore the Interior of Your Camping Trailer

  • Upgrade interior fittings and fixtures. Remove old, worn wood veneers and replace with new ones. Consider the characteristics of the wood before making your decision. Examples would be “fine-grained" and "coarse-grained" wood veneers.

  • Refurbish a leaky bathroom. Pull out trim, paneling and insulation from the walls by hand or with a hack saw if necessary. Remove and replace old, corroded studs. Scrape away dried sealing using a scrapper or screwdriver and reseal with new caulk and silicone. Reinstall the walls.

  • Restore the cooling system in your RV refrigerator. Remove dust and other debris from the burner assembly using an air pump, which can be purchased at a local hardware store. A dirty burner assembly can cause the cooling system in your RV refrigerator to fail.

Tips & Warnings

  • Protect your eyes with goggles when using filler.

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