Making Bessie The RV Great Again: The Kitchen & Living Area

Bessie needs a face lift.  

Ever since we made the decision to keep Bessie (rather than upgrade to a larger RV), I’ve been pondering and researching things we can do to make our 2003 Jayco Greyhawk look more updated and, most importantly, more comfortable.  It’s a very small space, but it has lots of potential.  We’ve made some great progress and I wanted to share some early photos.

Check out the other articles in the “Upgrade vs. Keep RV” series:

The Back Splash


The Back Splash Before



I purchased the back splash from Amazon.  I was originally going to go with Smart Tiles, but I liked the looks of an alternative brand called “Peel and Impress” a bit better.  I was a little worried about the mixed reviews, but I decided to give it a try.

The back splash looks absolutely beautiful! It’s the peel and stick variety, although you couldn’t tell unless you got very close to it.  Applying the tiles to the wall wasn’t easy.  I felt like a contortionist at times squeezing my body under the coffee maker and around the faucet to line the tile on the wall.

Several hours later, I was so disappointed when the edges began to curl up. Over the next couple of days, many of the tiles started to peel away from the wall.  Upon further research, several customers had similar problems and found success with applying a clear silicone to the tiles before attaching them to the wall.  So I removed all the tiles and reapplied them using silicone all over the back of the tile.  It worked like a charm.  Hopefully, it will work long term.


The Window Covering


I’m not much of a Seamstress.  I gave away my sewing machine years ago.  The only sewing I do is with a needle and thread.  But I decided to make my curtain with the fabric that I’m using to cover the boxes around the windows.  I used liquid stitch around the seams and attached it with those adorable pinchy café rings.  The curtain came out perfectly!


The Dinette/Couch/Bed





The lack of comfortable seating in our RV was a big issue.  We pondered several options that involved removing or transforming our existing dinette.  And then I remembered that we had a barely used couch in the basement with big, comfortable cushions. I decided to try those cushions on the dinette (when it was converted to a bed) and they fit perfectly!  I couldn’t believe it.  This update was the most significant change that made Bessie more livable.  A super uncomfortable dinette is now a comfortable daybed that seats 3 people.

We were a bit worried about the extra weight on the table part of the dinette (the center).  So we bought a brace for the bottom of the table. Ted added a couple of 2 x 4s to the brace for extra stability.

My daughter can still sleep on the bed at night and the table is still available if we want to use it for a meal.  So far, we are getting by fine with eating on TV tables without converting the dinette.


The Seating Area


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Aaah…. the dreaded Barrel Chair.  It would be comfortable if you were 5’2″.  I’m not.  I was pretty motivated to replace it with something that would allow me to recline and stretch my legs.  We stumbled across the fabulous red recliner at Value City Furniture.  It was reasonably priced and complimented our new color scheme nicely.  It’s incredibly comfortable and it fits perfectly in that corner.  The footstool is stored in the bedroom when we travel.


The Fabrics


I love the bright, happy fabrics that we’ve chosen to cover the window boxes (and all the other random fabric places in the RV).  I found the fabrics at WalMart!


What’s Next?

Although I’ve made some great progress, I still have quite a few things I’d like to do:

  • Spray paint all the gold hardware throughout the RV.
  • Cover the fabric window covers in the bedroom.
  • Update the headboard.
  • Add tiles to the bathroom.
  • Replace the bathroom faucet (or maybe spray it).
  • Update the decorations in the RV.
  • Down the road… update the flooring.


I’ll share updates on my progress from time to time.  Any thoughts or suggestions?



Please share if you enjoyed the article. Thanks so much!
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  • Reply explorvistas July 5, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    Wow…you guys have been busy, Chris. Looks great! 🙂

    • Reply Chris Hughes July 6, 2016 at 8:11 am

      Thanks so very much!!!!! I’m enjoying your Michigan adventures! Hope you are having a beautiful summer.

  • Reply Making Bessie the RV Great Again: The Bathroom – CU On The Road September 4, 2016 at 10:57 am

    […] the RV is getting a face lift.  The renovations began with the kitchen and living area, and this article shares updates to Bessie’s […]

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