Two motorhomes at a campground, both with swooshy decals on the side.

Let’s Be Honest, RVs Are Ugly

Are you in the market for an RV? Are you disgusted with all the options simply because they’re so ugly? Yeah, us too. It’s hard to spend tens or hundreds of thousands on a rig that you don’t find visually appealing.

So what makes RVs so unattractive? Are there cost-effective ways to make them prettier? Below we discuss the curious phenomenon of RV ugliness and explore five unique models that won’t hurt your eyes. Let’s get started!

Two motorhomes at a campground, both with swooshy decals on the side.

What Makes RVs Ugly?

Let’s vent a little, shall we? After all, unless you love swirly tribal designs and that brown/beige interior decor that was all the rage in the early 2000s, you probably have an urge to remodel every RV you see.

This brings us to our number one complaint regarding RVs (and why they’re so unsightly). They haven’t changed in decades

Once upon a time, people considered off-white boxy vehicles with swooshy stickers pleasant on the eyes. People grinned when they walked into a fully-carpeted camper with that abstract 90s pattern that matched the couch with the valances.

However, that time is not now. Most people cringe when they walk into even the newest RVs simply because it reminds them of a sense of style that should remain in the past. So why haven’t RV manufacturers updated their interior design protocol?

Why Do RVs Have the Same Outdated Designs?

Let’s look at it from a marketing perspective: familiarity sells. As ugly as that familiarity is, consumers tend to spend money on a brand that makes them feel comfortable. For many, that dark-wood interior with plastic moldings screams, “I’m a safe purchase! You won’t regret me!” 

Furthermore, until recently, retirees were the most influential group of RV owners; without generalizing too much, one could argue that they aren’t always concerned with the latest RV trends. They may feel safer purchasing something that looks like their friends’ and neighbors’ RVs. They look comfortable and reliable, and updating RVs to look like their granddaughter’s new apartment might not fly with this generation.

There just hasn’t been much of a push to spruce up RV manufacturers’ design departments–until now. Millennials are currently buying RVs in droves, and there is a hunger for more modern-looking RVs. So will manufacturers catch up? 

This is what RVing looked like in the 1970’s.

Can You Find Modern RV Designs?

Luckily, some manufacturers have heard the ever-growing call for prettier rigs, and some are starting to deliver. Thus, it’s slowly becoming less challenging to find RVs that aren’t hideous.

Some RV companies are doing away with the tribal-like decals altogether and embracing a more minimalistic exterior. You may see white walls and cabinetry when you walk in, and no abstract patterns!

Yes, manufacturers seem to have gotten the hint after hundreds of thousands of RVers painted their rigs with lighter colors to make the inside feel brighter and less claustrophobic.

Can You Paint Your RV to Not Look So Ugly?

Speaking of painting, this can be one of the best ways to update your RV’s look. It’s possible to remove your RV’s decals and paint the exterior not to look so 90s.

This alone will make the outside of your RV look much more modern and sleek, rather than being a big clunky box with cracking stickers all over it. 

How to remove RV decals and make your rig look the way you want.

Painting can also be a great way to update the interior. We recommend using lighter colors like whites and soft greys, but hey, it’s your RV; do whatever color your heart desires! Painting your RV’s walls and cabinets can produce dramatic results that completely transform the inside at a low cost. 

Is It Expensive to Redesign Your RV?

Redesigning your RV can be as expensive as you want to make it, but it doesn’t take much money to change the look. Painting the exterior and interior is a great way to modernize your RV, and quality paint typically runs around $40/gallon. Depending on the size of your RV, you can estimate around two gallons for the interior and five gallons for the exterior. 

An ugly, outdated RV interior with patterned valences and matching couch and frosted sconces mounted to wallpapered walls.
Some RV interiors need more work than others to bring them into this decade…

Have a hideous couch? Updating the look can be as simple as throwing a cover on it. While many RVers opt to replace their outdated couch, a cover can be a quick and cheaper solution to get you by.

We can’t forget about those valances, i.e., the window coverings that seem to be made of the ugliest fabric ever. It can do a world of good to remove those and replace them with the same curtains you’d put in your house. This can transform your rig from a quintessential 90s RV to a cozy home on wheels. 

Our Favorite Modern RV Designs

Don’t feel like going through all the work of renovating? We don’t blame you. Instead, take a look at these four RVs that are actually good-looking!

InTech Terra

The inTech Terra is a sleek, aerodynamic travel trailer busting down the 90s decor fad. Its exterior designs are relatively minimal, and the inside gives a modern, polished look with contrasting whites and dark greys.

Couple that with expansive windows, and we think you’ll feel right at home in this RV. 

Happier Camper

Yay for molded fiberglass RVs! They are truly timeless, and manufacturers have resisted slapping a bunch of unsightly decals on the exterior. The Happier Camper is no exception, and with its simplistic surface, you’ll feel proud towing it behind you.

Moreover, its Adaptiv modular interior allows you to customize its layout. This, along with its white and wooden tones, makes it a near-perfect RV.

Dutchmen Colorado

Does the Dutchmen Colorado have designs on its exterior? Yes. Are they the swirly designs of the past? No, its manufacturers opted for modern grey, white, and dark blue tones with straight lines that echo some of the best RV remodels on Pinterest.

The interior has a rustic farmhouse-style floor, wooden valances, and a sleek white/dark gray color scheme. We think they hit the nail on the head. 

Grand Design Transcend Xplor

The Grand Design Transcend Xplor is another decent-looking RV that we think you’d be happy to tow behind you. Its exterior is minimal, except for straight, contrasting lines that only enhance its look.

However, we have a bone to pick about the interior, specifically, the dark wooden cabinetry. Luckily, the light grey walls and sleek countertops make up for it by providing a modern feel. 

What Will the Future of RV Design Look Like?

It seems like the tides are slowly turning. The RV customer base is growing younger, and many couples and families live full-time in their RVs. Thus, there’s a demand for RVs to feel modern and homey.

We’ve already seen some RV manufacturers update their design palette, and we think even more will jump on board once they see these sleek RVs bought by style-conscious travelers. 

What do you think? Are RVs getting prettier? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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