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Budget-Friendly RV Kitchen Remodel

RV Kitchen Remodel on a Budget
Melissa Brock
Melissa BrockUpdated December 10, 2022
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Editor’s note: Lantern by SoFi seeks to provide content that is objective, independent and accurate. Writers are separate from our business operation and do not receive direct compensation from advertisers or partners. Read more about our Editorial Guidelines and How We Make Money.
If you’d like to do an RV kitchen remodel, but you’re worried about the cost, it is possible to get the job done on a budget. In fact, a few small improvements could go a long way toward upgrading your RV kitchen. If you don’t have the money on hand to pay for an RV kitchen remodel, there are ways to help cover the expense.Read on to learn about the pros and cons of remodeling your RV kitchen, budget-friendly remodel ideas, and financing options to help pay for it. 

Pros and Cons of Remodeling Your RV Kitchen

Before you go ahead with an RV kitchen remodel, it's a good idea to consider the advantages and disadvantages to be sure the project makes sense for you. 

Pros of Remodeling Your RV Kitchen

The benefits of remodeling your RV kitchen include:
  • Personalizing your space: An RV kitchen remodel lets you customize and update the room. For example, if you’ve been thinking that white kitchen cabinets would brighten up your RV, you can paint them to get the look you want.
  • Upgrading the equipment: Your RV may have small appliances, such as a stovetop with two burners, a tiny refrigerator, and a single-basin sink. Remodeling may allow you to install bigger appliances.
  • Earning a profit: If you want to fix up and sell your RV for a profit, a DIY RV kitchen remodel can be one place to start. However, you’ll likely have to go beyond renovating just the kitchen and think about remodeling an RV bathroom as well.
  • Making a few affordable splurges: Because you’re remodeling on a much smaller scale than you would be if you were renovating the kitchen in your house, you may be able to spend more on certain parts of the project. For instance, you might spring for high-end flooring since you won’t need much of it.     

Cons of Remodeling Your RV Kitchen 

There are also some drawbacks to remodeling an RV kitchen, such as: 
  • It can be time-consuming: Like any renovation project, an RV kitchen remodel takes time to do. Make sure this is how you want to spend your free time and weekends.
  • There may be labor costs: Remodeling the kitchen in an RV requires knowledge and skill. If you’re not handy, or you’ve never tackled a similar project before, you may need to hire an expert to do the work, which can be costly.
  • It might lead to other renovation projects: Your remodeled kitchen might look so good that you’ll feel the need to upgrade other areas of your rig, such as remodeling an RV bedroom.

How Much Does an RV Kitchen Remodel Cost? 

The cost of an RV kitchen remodel can vary widely in price. Typically, it might range from a few hundred dollars up to thousands of dollars. The final cost of RV kitchen remodels depend on a number of factors, such as the materials you use, the appliances you choose, and whether you hire a contractor or do the work yourself.

Budget-Friendly RV Kitchen Remodel Ideas 

When upgrading an RV, there are many ways to give your RV kitchen a makeover on a budget. Some of them are fairly simple; others may require a little more work. Here are some RV kitchen remodel ideas you can tackle on a budget.

Floors

Is the floor in your RV kitchen structurally sound? If it feels "squishy," the foam in the kitchen flooring may have broken down, or there may be water damage. Adhesive or bonding between pieces of the subfloor may have deteriorated. Pull back the upper flooring and check the subfloor for discoloration, improper support, or rot. Even if the floor is in good shape, you may want to replace it with something more attractive. It’s best to look for a type of flooring that’s water resistant, durable, and lightweight. For instance, there’s vinyl flooring, which costs $1 to $2 per square foot, or laminate, which runs about $3 to $3.75 per square foot. Consider purchasing leftover flooring remnants from a kitchen supply store, which could help lower the cost.  

Repurpose Cabinets

RV kitchen cabinets are generally made of medium-density fiberboard (MDF), which consists of wood byproducts like wood fibers. Higher-end RVs may feature hardwoods like oak, pine, or hickory. To repurpose cabinets, you could repaint them with a durable oil-based paint. Or you could replace them with used cabinets (you can often find used cabinets online), which will be less expensive than buying new ones. 

Used Appliances 

If you want to upgrade your RV appliances, such as your oven, stove, or microwave, you may find that the cost doesn't fit into your budget. For example, RV refrigerators typically cost between $1,100 and more than $3,000. You'll likely pay less if you look for used appliances online.You should also consider the size of appliances you can fit in your RV kitchen. Measure carefully. And if you are also doing an RV outdoor kitchen remodel as well, you may want to look for smaller outdoor stoves and refrigerators.

Countertops

Your countertop budget can vary depending on how you remodel them. If you want to improve the look of the original countertops on a budget, restoration is an option to consider. For instance, re-laminating countertops ranges between $75 and $200, while purchasing a kit to resurface your countertops costs $30 to $150. You could also opt for Rustoleum countertop paint for under $100.One of the fastest, easiest, and most inexpensive ways to give your countertops a facelift is to use peel-and-stick adhesives that have a faux marble, granite, or wood grain look. There are products designed to go on countertops that cost $10 to $30. Just be aware that this option may be less durable than some of the others.

Is Remodeling an RV Kitchen a Long Process? 

How long it takes to remodel an RV kitchen depends on several factors, including the amount of time you have to devote to the project, and how skilled you are at doing the job. Remodeling an entire RV can take up to four weeks from start to finish, for example. An RV kitchen remodel might take less time. 

RV Kitchen Remodel Financing Options

If you don’t have the money on hand for an RV kitchen remodel, there are a number of financing options you may want to consider, including these:

Refinance Auto Loans

You can apply for a refinance in the form of cash-back auto loan refinancing. You may get more favorable terms to replace your current auto loan. With this type of financing, you receive a lump sum of cash as part of your refinance, which you can use for your RV kitchen remodel.But be sure not to borrow more than your car is worth. One of the important things to know when it comes to refinancing an auto loan is that you will be required to put your car up as collateral. That means your lender could take your vehicle if you fail to repay your loan.

Credit Cards 

Another option for paying for an RV kitchen remodel is using a credit card, which can be easy and convenient. This may be a good choice if you can pay off your card by the end of the billing cycle, because then you won’t be charged interest. And if you use a rewards card, you could earn cash back or points you can redeem. If you don’t pay off the cost of your kitchen makeover before your credit card billing cycle ends, however, you’ll owe interest on the balance. And credit card interest is typically high.

Personal Loans

You can use a personal loan to finance your RV kitchen remodel. Personal loans are flexible and can be used for a variety of purposes. You can choose from personal loans for an automobile or even a personal loan for repairing a car, for instance.With a personal loan, a bank, online lender, or credit union lends you a lump sum of money that you repay with interest in monthly installments over time. The higher your credit score, the lower the interest rate you may get. There are a number of benefits of personal loans, including the fact that once you’re approved, you could receive the money quickly, typically within one to five days. If you’re considering a personal loan, learning some of the tips for personal loans can be helpful before you apply.And if you decide to move ahead with a personal loan, it's a good idea to get quotes from multiple lenders to find the best personal loan rate and terms for your needs.

The Takeaway

You can remodel an RV kitchen on a budget and make your space more attractive and functional. To keep the price of the project affordable, budget-friendly RV kitchen remodel ideas include purchasing used materials and appliances, repurposing cabinets, and buying flooring remnants to cut down on costs. If you’re thinking about a personal loan to help pay for your RV kitchen remodel, Lantern by SoFi can help. You can get offers from multiple lenders in our marketplace by filling out one simple form. It’s a convenient way to help find the right financing option for your situation.  Find and compare personal loan options with Lantern.

Frequently Asked Questions

What financing options are available for remodeling an RV kitchen?
How do you remodel an RV kitchen?
How long does it take to remodel the RV kitchen?
Photo credit: iStock/Liudmila Chernetska
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About the Author

Melissa Brock

Melissa Brock

Melissa Brock is a higher education and personal finance expert with more than a decade of experience writing online content. She spent 12 years in college admission prior to switching to full-time freelance writing and editing. Her work has appeared on Yahoo Finance, Entrepreneur, Investopedia, The Balance, FinanceBuzz, The Journal of College Admission, MarketBeat, College Finance, Rocket Mortgage, LeverageRx, Benzinga, Morty, Ally, and more.
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