A Couple Spend $3K to Turn an Old RV Into a Cozy Home For Five

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By Lucy Wang
A family of five live comfortably and stylishly in a freshly renovated 180-square-foot camper.

When Ashley and Dino Petrone sold their five-bedroom house to purchase land for a future dream home they hoped to build in Ventura, California, fitting their family of five into a tiny mobile home wasn’t part of the plan.

Yet, when apartment rentals proved more expensive than expected, the couple took a chance with a 2003 Cougar Keystone camper they purchased used for $8,000. And after putting in $3,000 for renovations, they have revamped it into a surprisingly chic family home of just 180 square feet. 

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A peek inside the RV after the revamp. The couple spent three weeks renovating the space and did most of the work themselves. "My husband had worked in construction a little so he had a general background of basic things and we just figure out how to do things if we don't know how," explains Ashley.

A peek inside the RV after the revamp. The couple spent three weeks renovating the space and did most of the work themselves. "My husband had worked in construction a little so he had a general background of basic things and we just figure out how to do things if we don't know how," explains Ashley.

"The state of the RV was old and blue and dirty. The curtains were horrible and huge and the whole feeling just felt dark," says Ashley when describing the trailer’s former condition. 

The cabinets were refaced to match the new aesthetic.

The cabinets were refaced to match the new aesthetic.

The couple began the remodel by replacing the camper's blue carpet with pale timber floors. They also ripped out cabinetry and built-in furniture that crowded the interior. Original wallpaper was traded for wood trim.

A Couple Spend $3K to Turn an Old RV Into a Cozy Home For Five - Photo 3 of 10 -
Pops of greenery and art imbue warmth into the tiny home.

Pops of greenery and art imbue warmth into the tiny home.

The couple share the master bedroom, while their three young children sleep in triple bunk beds in the opposite end of the camper. Sliding doors are used to provide privacy throughout the space.

The renovation was completed in three weeks for just $3,000.

The renovation was completed in three weeks for just $3,000.

Their three young children sleep in triple bunk beds in the opposite end of the RV.

Their three young children sleep in triple bunk beds in the opposite end of the RV.

As for their secret in keeping the space tidy with three kids in tow, Ashley says they’ve learned how to be okay with less. "We just don't buy a lot and if we do bring something in, we get rid of something," she explains.

The compact kitchen features a ceramic tile backsplash.

The compact kitchen features a ceramic tile backsplash.

Their temporary home is parked on their land at the bottom of their lot while the couple makes preparations to build their new home. 

The couple incorporated lighting fixtures from Lucent Lightshop throughout the space.

The couple incorporated lighting fixtures from Lucent Lightshop throughout the space.

The countertop is a repurposed IKEA desktop cut to size.

The countertop is a repurposed IKEA desktop cut to size.

Minimal clutter keeps the home running smoothly for this family of five.

Minimal clutter keeps the home running smoothly for this family of five.

Inspired by her recent RV renovation journey, Ashley has also launched a blog, Arrows and Bow, to help others learn more about their process and trailer renovation.