Hello everyone! We are a family of soon-to-be 4 living full-time in our 5th wheel toyhauler! My husband is a welder, so we’ve gotten to travel all over the country to a lot of cool places in the past few years. We bought a brand new Keystone Fuzion 416 in Feb 2016 and have been living fulltime in it since then!
I’d like to start by saying that we didn’t buy our trailer to remodel, or be debt free, or become part of this generation of the tiny living movement. We just wanted the chance to live together and raise our children together while my husband travels for work. So our process and needs were a little different.
When we were searching for a toyhauler, we were pretty open to anything, but one thing we needed was for my Subaru to fit in the back for long hauls So we could travel together, especially if our family was going to continue growing. So our one need pretty much lowered our options to next to nothing. You can find plenty of toyhaulers with room enough for a 16 ft automobile, but most don’t have a separate garage space, so your vehicle, when traveling, is in your kitchen/living room/sometimes bedroom space. And that was a big No for me, I need my defined spaces.
We had about 10 days to buy a trailer, pack our asses into it and drive all the way to Virginia, so after exhausting a lot of avenues we checked one more location outside of Sac and there stood a 2016 42′ Fuzion with a 16′ garage! It was meant to be!
So back to what I was saying, we had no intention of remodeling when we purchased our toyhauler. I mean, I wanted to change it up, but I didn’t have plans to pursue a remodel anytime soon. Moving yourself, and a newborn across the country from your hometown and not knowing anyone is reason enough to not do anything other than mother for a bit.
But as you live in a space, you find out pretty quickly what is gonna work for you and what just isn’t. In my opinion, most(if not all) toyhaulers/trailers are designed with the weekend in mind. By that I mean that they are designed for entertaining fun short trips, not for day-to-day living.. So about 6 months in I started looking into cosmetic(and not really cosmetic) changes we could make to have our trailer be more functional for our family. And a year later when work moved us back to CA, and back to our hometown we decided to take on the remodel.
It took about 12 weeks to complete, my husband was still working 5-6 days a week 3 hours from home, so I worked during my 1 year olds day nap, after he went to sleep at night, and when my husband was home for a day or two. I didn’t have a theme, or picture in my head when diving into it, which was kinda scary, but having so long to think about it and mull ideas over in my head gave me a pretty good idea of what I wanted.
The OG trailer came with beige walls, wood veneer cabinets, carpet and vinyl tile floor, and grey ‘granite’ plastic counters. There was nothing wrong with it, I believe toyhaulers have come a HELL of a long way in the last few years. But with all the shades of brown and veiled tones it left it pretty dark looking, even on the sunniest day. So since Bear and I spent so much time indoors, I wanted to incorporate as much light and bright accents as I could!
We decided to paint all of the walls white, which was no small feat.. Anyone who decides to do that clean yo walls first! It’s crazy how much gunk and dust can build up in a small amount of time. So after about 6 coats of paint it looks like a whole new trailer! For the cabinets, I wanted to paint them black SO SOOOO badly, but ‘someone’ (husband) couldn’t get on board… But after a while of searching, Rusty and I decided on a dark matte grey, which turned out really amazing(but I still want to paint them black…) all our appliances/switches/window edges are black so along with the grey and bright white walls it makes it feel crisp and clean.
I so wanted to do diy plank countertops for all our counters. They look so rustic and also give the kitchen the legit hand-made appeal, but because biting off this trailer was already a little much to chew, I started researching butcherblock. We found a good price for a couple 8′ slabs of builder grade honey maple and decided to jump on it. I wish I couldve kept the counters raw with no stain, they were SO pretty, but alas, spilling anything on them was a big no and I’m a heated mess when I cook or just breathe so I found the absolute best water based varnish that was water-resistant, and SAFE for counters. Of course there’s maintainance that goes with any wood counter, but it has held up with daily wear and tear.
The other part of my kitchen I wanted to change was the faucet and sink. Did I need to? No. But if you havent learned already black is my favorite color(shade) and I wanted all my kitchen appliances to match. So I found via Wayfair the most badass black deeeeep granite composite sink and a beautiful matte black commercial grade faucet to match, both of which have worked out extremely well so far, and were extremely happy with them!
So one of the main things I wanted to change, and the one thing I knew I wanted and needed to splurge on was the flooring. I did tons of research on what works the best for flooring options in an rv. And after so much sifting and samples I found the perfect flooring for us; a waterproof vinyl plank tongue in groove flooring that had a cork base, and it was surprisingly not that hard to put in.
For our bathroom, which was the absolute last thing we finished, we had a few feet of butcherblock left over from the kitchen so we decided to use it up in there. For the sink, I ordered about 3, and each one was too big or too small, so the last one I got we pretty much said screw it and mounted it anyways, it’s a hammered copper sink, found via eBay and it was a steal. But it is a tiny sink, so when we do feel like upgrading again we’ll definitely be changing that out for something a little more roomier.
Bear’s room was fun. What was once our room, complete with a slide closet & dresser, a short king mattress, and tiny corner entertainment center, there was literally no room for anything else. Since we have a 16′ garage we decided to change that to our room, and remodel this one for our son, so he could have his own space. We pretty much gutted the whole thing, painted, put in the flooring, and ripped out the wall to wall closet so I could make a toddler bed for him when he’s ready to switch.
For our room, I really wanted to make it special. For me, having my own personal space to come back to and recharge, relax, and just be is extremely important to me. I put a lot of love into our whole trailer, but I put that and more into our own space. It was the easiest to remodel, originally it had two sets of bunk beds, and an entertainment center. We don’t need that many beds so we took three of the four out, and took down the big entertainment center to replace it with something a little more sleek.
Other than that, we put the same vinyl flooring in, and painted everything white. After that was done it was finished. All we had to do was move stuff in. I found a couple beautiful handmade persian rugs on eBay for 99$ each, bought some poufs, and borrowed/stole all my mothers woven flat baskets for the walls 😉 sorry mom! We found a faux wood stove heater at home depot and filled up the space with some greenery as a finishing touch!
A discussion that comes up a lot between Rusty and I over the last couple years is, are we still happy with our purchase? Are we content with the layout and would we ever consider selling and rebuying? As far as function goes, did we do a good job with our remodel?
Over the years, your wants and needs can change, as your children gets older, what once was necessary isn’t anymore. We as humans are constantly adapting and changing, but our answer hasn’t really changed.. It was the best choice for us at the time, and its the best choice for us now. We are 100% happy with it, and it suits our needs and our childrens needs to a t. Living in a place that is completely 200% your own is wonderful, I love being able to walk through the door and feel instantly at home, in our tiny space designed for us 🙂
Feel free to ask me any questions about the process/details/or items in our remodel! Thanks for taking the time to read!