DIY Pop Up Camper Remodel #70DayRoadTrip

Pop up camper remodel. Before and after shots as well as #DIY tutorials for curtains and cushion covers. #camping #travel

With only a few days left before we leave on our 70 day road trip across the Northwest United States, I wanted to share the remodel that I completed on the 1997 Coleman Laredo pop up camper that I purchased for our trip this year. Last year we used a tent for our 50 day trip, but for various reasons, a small pop up camper will serve us better in what is sure to be some wet weather. Check out the remodel below, and you can see some steps on how I made new no-sew curtains and cushion covers to makeover the 90’s decor the camper was previously sporting. I think it has made an amazing difference.

No Sew Camper Curtains

While the interior of the camper was in good shape and sturdy, the decor left something to be desired. The curtains were old and moth eaten, with an ugly sort of ruffle all the way around the ceiling. So, the curtains were one of the first things to tackle in our pop up camper remodel. I do not sew, so I needed to find a way to make no sew curtains for the camper. Some seaming tape and adorable Route 66 fabric from Joann’s were just what the doctor ordered.

Step 1: Measure and cut your fabric. For the windows, I used just straight Route 66 fabric, so all I had to do was hem each end of the fabric with some seaming tape and I was done. I ran low on fabric when it came to doing the privacy curtains for the bed though, and the store didn’t have anymore. So, I chose a coordinating blue fabric, and placed a strip of Route 66 fabric at the top with seaming tape as a type of valance. You can use the old curtains as a pattern for this step.

Step 2: Measure and mark off a hem for each open side of your fabric. I generally tried to mark an inch if there was room, although on the smaller Route 66 strips of fabric for the privacy curtains, I went with a half inch seam.

Step 3: Place a line of seaming tape along the line you marked for your hem.

Step 4: Fold the fabric up over the seaming tape and apply an iron set to a cotton setting over the seam for 10-20 seconds.

Step 5: Complete the seams for each side of the fabric.

Step 6: If you are placing fabric on fabric like I did by adding the Route 66 fabric as a valance to the top of the privacy curtains, place a strip of seaming tape along the top of the curtains and iron on the second fabric on top.

Step 7: Remove the old curtain hook from the old curtains. Each pop up camper uses its own type of hooks for hanging curtains, so just reusing the old ones is the cheapest and easiest way to go.

Step 8: Use hot glue or other adhesive of your choosing to glue the hooks to the back of the new curtains. You can measure the spacing on the old ones, or just divide the number of hooks you have into the length of the fabric you have if you like.

That’s it! It is really simple, just time consuming to do.

DIY Camper Cushion Redo

The cushions looked like they were going to take longer, but ended up being really simple. I bought a home decor fabric that was on sale at JoAnn’s for $4.99 a yard. To cover the four cushions of the dinette, it took about 4 yards. You will also need a staple gun.

Step 1: Lay the cushion right side down on the wrong side of the fabric to measure and cut a piece to fit. For the two cushions that form the back of the dinette seats I had to make sure the fabric went all the way around, but for the two cushions that form the bottom of the seats, you can skimp and only leave an inch of fabric on the bottom of the cushion to cut some cost.

Step 2: Once the fabric is cut, pull up a few inches on the bottom of the cushion which has a board on the back. If your cushions do not have a board on the back, you will need to look at a new method for recovering them, or will need to add a hard board back to them. Use the staple gun with quarter inch staples to tightly adhere the fabric to the lower portion of the back of the cushion.

Step 3. Once secure at the bottom on the back, pull the fabric tight across the top and pull down to the back of the cushion before stapling it to secure. Be sure to pull it as tightly as you can.

Step 4: Unfortunately, I did not get a photo of this step before I put the cushions away in the camper, but all I did for the sides of the fabric, was fold them up like I was wrapping a Christmas present. Fold the corners of the fabric in and then fold the triangular point up and staple it to the back of the cushion. If there is loose fabric on the ends, you can place hot glue on the creases to make it tight.

The last thing I did in the pop up camper remodel is to repaint the cabinets and walls. They were a putrid greenish yellow color and looked awful. I just painted them with a high quality interior paint that had built in primer because there were not glossy laminated cabinets like you would find in a kitchen. The previous owners had recently placed lenolium on the floor and countertops, so we let those be for now. Check out the before and after shots below.



What do you think? We hope that you will take a moment to follow along with us as we travel across the United States. The trip starts this Friday May 9th and ends the middle of July. You can see updates here on the blog and by following the #70DayRoadTrip hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!


  1. Kathleen, you are freaking amazing. That is unbelievably improved, and such a fresh and inviting environment. As always, you impress me to the nth degree.

  2. This is great info since I don't sew but are looking at used pop ups! Can't wait to follow your trip.

  3. You did a great job! I love that it's bright and cheerful but still not 'girly' for your boys. I like even better the fact that you did no-sew curtains 🙂

  4. You did an amazing job! It doesn't even look like the same one! Hope you have a blast on your 70 day road trip!

  5. Do you make your beds before heading out or when you get to where you are going? I really want to make them before hand, but it seems like everyone makes them when they get to where they are going and I wasn't sure if there was a reason?? First time pop-up owner!

  6. I leave the fitted sheets on the beds before we leave and while traveling, then when we get to the stop I unpack the sleeping bags and blankets if needed and put them on top of the fitted sheet. I have found the easiest way to camp with the kids is to have them in their own sleeping bags and not use traditional bedding in the camper, this way there is no fighting over sheets or blankets. Also, if it is really cold, it is easier to stay warm if you wrap a blanket around yourself first and then get into the sleeping bag, much more effective than placing the blanket over your sleeping bag.

  7. What a transformation, I love it! You took something ordinary and made it positively stunning. Well done!

  8. love what you did! I am such a fan of the fabric tape have used it on several projects already. My husband and I just bought a used travel trailer and I am definitely looking for easy ways to update the inside to meet our family's style. The tape is an AWESOME easy way to help tailor your trailer to your individual style. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing!!!!! Happy Camping!!!:)

  9. I'm wondering where I can get the hooks that you show here? I can find the nylon ones for the curtains in the bed area but I need the ones that you show for the windows. I am redoing my daughters pop up that they just bought and she decided that she wanted more volume in the curtains. So I don't have enough hooks to accommodate the volume. Please help !!!!!

  10. I did not purchase the hooks, I just recycled them off of the old curtains. If you need more hooks, I would suggest maybe heading to a junkyard or pick and pull type place and see if they have an old pop-up you can pull some extras off of. Another option is to use velcro instead. They sell velcro dots and small squares with sticky backs in any material or craft store, and you can sew or stick the other side of the velcro to your fabric at different intervals.

  11. Wow I love this! We are looking at getting a pop up camper and I definitely would need to redo one as well.

  12. I was wondering if your curtains become wrinkled from having the camper in the closed position during travel? If not, how did you solve this problem?

    • Natalee, I guess I never really paid attention to whether they became wrinkled. We returned home from a 70 day road trip a few weeks ago, and I never noticed them being wrinkled. We didn't do anything specific to combat it though.

  13. This looks great!

    How many yards of fabric did you use for the outside curtains? I have this same pop up camper and I really need to redo the outside curtains. The bed curtains are still okay.


  14. I love how bright and clean your camper looks…Hope to create the same feeling in mine….Just bought a pop up today and we've been working hard all day, but have soooo much more to do..I noticed you removed the dining table. It makes it looks roomier….Wish me luck

    • Thanks so much! I am sure your will turn out to be beautiful. We did take the table down to turn the dinette area into a bed. We did this because I have four boys, so we needed the added sleeping space, and it was too much to set it up and put it down each day. Plus, we camped a lot in bear country and I do not allow eating inside the camper. 🙂

  15. I forgot to ask if you had any tears in your screen? or find a broken zipper? I just ran across those things on our run project 🙂

  16. You did an awesome job, and I think if you had used all the same fabric it would have too busy. Sometimes life hands you lemons but you made a wonderful & inviting lemonade!

  17. Great job…I just bought a used pop up and I am cleaning and painting the inside….learning a lot as I go….I am also covering my cushions…my colors are Aqua/turquois

  18. This looks so beautiful. We are looking for a camper to purchase at the moment. We have owned new camper trailers and caravans before but this time I want to find and older one and give it some personality. Can you tell me, did you replace the canvas? It looks like you did and used a white material. Could you please tell me what you used and how this has worked for you.
    Thanks so much for sharing, I'm pinning and following along.
    Gourmet Getaways

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