Are you searching for RV decorating ideas to add personality to your camper or travel trailer decor, without breaking out a paintbrush?
Peel and stick wallpaper may be just what you are looking for!
To help you decide, we’re going to cover some background. We’ll talk about RV wallpaper in general, the pros and cons of peel and stick wallpaper and tips for installing peel and stick over RV wallpaper. Of course we will also share some peel and stick wallpaper design inspiration.
By the end of this blog, we hope to have shared enough insight to help you make the best decision, depending on your RV decorating ideas and needs.
What’s With RV Wallpaper, Anyways?
If you’ve spent any amount of time researching or shopping around for an RV, you may have noticed that regardless of the make, model, or year that it was built, there is one very familiar element throughout … camper wallpaper.
With an increasingly large number of people making the leap and preparing for full-time RV life, more and more people are scratching their heads and wondering how to add some personality to a very blank, and usually textured wall.
We recently sat down with Michelle Blosser, the Interior Design Manager for Grand Design RV, to talk all things RV design.
She was gracious enough to answer all of our questions on Instagram, including “what’s with RV wallpaper, anyways?”.
Between our conversation with Michelle and our experience as full-time RVers, we’ve learned that it comes down to two basic reasons why most RV wallpaper is seemingly created the same: appeal and function.
RV Wallpaper and Appealing to the Masses
Even with the growing number of full-time RVers inspiring new and trendy RV decor ideas, the fact of the matter is that RV manufacturers have the difficult task of creating a product that appeals to the masses.
Much like when you are listing a house for sale, it’s recommended that you paint the interior in very neutral tones to appeal to more buyers, RV manufacturers provide buyers with a similar neutral palette.
There are so many technical nuances involved with building an RV that leaves little room for customization. This means that most RVs you find for sale are going to have very similar palettes of greige, beige, and maybe even straight-up brown, RV wallpaper.
Camper Wallpaper - What’s it Hiding?
The other, very functional reason, that camper wallpaper is very much the same across various makes and models is that it helps to hide imperfections.
Campers are built to be lightweight to promote safer towing options. With that, instead of finding traditional nails or other typical building materials, you will likely find more staples and glue.
For this reason, textured RV wallpaper is ideal because it helps make it easy for the manufacturers to hide imperfections.
Peel and Stick Wallpaper for RV Decor
The good news is that the fairly consistent approach to RV wallpaper means you likely have a blank slate to truly personalize your space and turn your RV into your home.
There are a couple of options that you can consider when it comes to covering your RV wallpaper and the most common include: peel and stick tiles, paint or peel and stick wallpaper.
Peel and Stick Wallpaper Pros and Cons
So let’s talk peel and stick wallpaper pros and cons, so you can be better equipped to decide if it’s a good solution for your RV decorating needs.
Pros: Peel and Stick Wallpaper
It’s not forever: One of the most asked questions is “Does peel and stick wallpaper damage walls?” Here’s the thing – a quality paper that is installed correctly, and maintained properly can eventually be removed without damage to walls. This makes it a great option for RV owners who want to add some personality to their RV without making permanent changes that could affect the resale value.
You can DIY it: Installing peel and stick can be a pretty easy job, depending on the room, corners or cuts to be made, and with good quality paper and the right tools.
You can purchase it online: There are many different companies offering peel and stick wallpaper beyond the big box stores, making it easy to find more options to be delivered to your home.
Many design options: Peel and stick has come a long way, offering on-trend options, with classics, boho peel and stick wallpaper and even art deco peel and stick wallpaper. The options are endless and because it’s not permanent, you have more freedom to test out bold patterns without the fear of commitment.
Cons: Peel and Stick Wallpaper
It’s not forever: A quality peel and stick wallpaper should stand the test of time and even sometimes be easier to clean and maintain over traditional wallpaper. However, especially when using it as RV wallpaper, you are subjecting it to changing climates and increased wear and tear over using it in a setting like a house. For this reason, it may not last forever.
You can DIY it: Hey, just because you CAN, doesn’t mean it’s always a good thing. Let me repeat, “Installing peel and stick wallpaper can be a pretty easy job, depending on the room, corners or cuts to be made, and with good quality paper and the right tools”. Well, have you been inside a camper to see how many corners and cuts you will be working with?
You can purchase it online: The downside to purchasing it online is that what you see may not always be what you get. Due to natural variations in how colors are displayed on screens, and reduced details – you may end up with a design or color that was not what you had envisioned. Be sure to read the fine print, order samples if possible, and ensure the company offers a return policy.
Many design options: The design options are plentiful and with this, the price can vary significantly and too many options can hinder decision-making. Another issue to be aware of is that with so many designs available, rolls of peel and stick wallpaper can be printed at different times, in different batches, and this could lead to minor variations in the color or pattern. When hanging peel and stick that comes from different lots, you will likely see these variations.
Overall Peel and Stick Wallpaper Pros and Cons
The thing is, there are many pros and cons to using peel and stick for your RV wallpaper and it will truly depend on your specific needs. Consider how you plan to use your RV. If you are going to leave it in inclement weather for long periods of time, it could impact how well your peel and stick wallpaper holds up. If you are unsure, you could start with an inexpensive option and test a small area too.
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Tips for Peel and Stick Wallpaper Installation in an RV
If you decide that peel and stick wallpaper is the right solution for your RV decor, we have a few tips for installation that we think will help. We’ve used peel and stick to cover the RV wallpaper in our own RV and we’re sharing these tips based on our experience.
There are a couple of differences when it comes to installing peel and stick in an RV versus in a house, because most RV walls are already covered with RV wallpaper that is not easy, or really recommended to remove.
Can you wallpaper over wallpaper?
Typically, no. You would not want to wallpaper over wallpaper because it would not adhere to the wall and would be more susceptible to air bubbles, imperfections, etc. You really want to install peel and stick wallpaper over a clean, solid surface. Having said that, RV wallpaper is usually very thin and flat and it makes it easier to install peel and stick over it.
Peel and stick wallpaper on textured walls?
Again, this would typically be a no, and most peel and stick wallpaper manufacturers will also advise you against it. We previously mentioned that most RV wallpaper is textured, but it’s typically a very light texture that will still allow enough grip to successfully install a quality peel and stick over the RV wallpaper.
Tips for Installing Peel and Stick Wallpaper in Your RV
- When you receive the product, check to make sure the batch numbers all match so you know the coloring will be consistent
- Let the wallpaper acclimate for at least 48 hours prior to planning installation
- If you plan to install peel and stick wallpaper over painted RV walls, you will want to wait at least 2-4 weeks to allow paint to fully cure
- If you plan to install peel and stick over wallpaper RV walls, you should wipe them clean with warm water and allow to dry fully before installing
- Gather tools: Exacto knife, scissors, ladder or stool, a plastic card, ruler, level, and tape measure
- When installing peel and stick in an RV, you may want to consider removing the molding and window frames (depending on your RV make and model) and replacing them when the paper is complete, to help hold the paper more securely in place
To Install Peel and Stick Wallpaper in Your RV
- You will typically work from the left to the right when hanging panels of any type of wallpaper. The exception to this rule is if you are installing a feature wall or a large-scale design, in which case you would want to start in the middle of the wall to create a focal point
- To create a guide for your first strip, you can measure the width of the wallpaper, and then measure that same width from the left-hand side of the wall. Using a level, draw a straight line down the length of the wall
- Peel about 6-12 inches of the backing away from the paper and start to apply the paper from the left-hand corner over, leaving about 1-2 inches extra at the top
- Using a plastic card, smooth the paper against the wall, moving from left to right
- The paper should align to the line that you drew and this will help ensure the remaining strips are hung straight as well
- Reposition the paper as needed
- Continue to peel 6-12 more inches of backing off at a time, working from top to bottom and left to right
- As you work your way down the wall, you can start to apply more pressure with the plastic card, smoothing air bubbles out as you go
- Once the strip is in place, use a utility knife to trim the excess paper from the top and along the bottom
- When hanging the next strip, line up the pattern and overlap the paper by about .5mm to avoid gaps in the seam as the paper continues to cure and may shrink a small amount
- Repeat until your wall is complete, and enjoy!
Peel and stick can be a great way to add personality in your RV decor without creating permanent changes
Peel and Stick Wallpaper Inspiration: RV Decorating Ideas
We can’t talk peel and stick wallpaper and RV decorating ideas, without sharing some of our favorite styles to inspire you!
When choosing patterns for our own RV, we focused on choosing a more timeless pattern for the main living space while adding some color and bold patterns in the smaller spaces like the bathroom and bedroom.
Peel and stick is a great way to test what you like, so you can go bold and try new things!
Boho Peel and Stick Wallpaper
Art Deco Peel and Stick Wallpaper
Shop our Wallpaper
More RV Decorating Ideas
If you are looking for more RV decorating ideas and inspiration to help turn your RV into a cozy, comfortable space – be sure to check out RV Decorating Ideas: 4 Ways to Make Your RV Feel Like Home, too!
We'd love to hear from you!
Are you considering peel and stick wallpaper or other RV wallpaper decor ideas? Share your ideas in the comments below!