(This post was originally published in 2021 on mountainmodernlife.com)
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about this RV renovation
Type of RV: 2006 Cedar Creek Silverback 33LBHTS
Renovated by: @freebirdrvs / Budget: $10k / Timeline: 9 Weeks
After Jax, who did marketing for a construction company, and her husband Shawn, a musician, lost their jobs during COVID, they discovered passion and purpose in renovating RVs. Even though their renovation business was a temporary pivot, it flourished for two years, during which time they bought, renovated, and sold 30 RVs!
Today we’re taking a peek inside a 2006 Cedar Creek Silverback renovation they transformed during the pandemic, which includes pewter green and copper accents. They also made a custom dining table and knocked down a wall to open up the floorplan.
Keep in mind that this post was originally posted on Mountain Modern Life back in 2021, which is when this couple was still operating their RV business, Free Bird RVs, out of Nevada.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO RENOVATE RV’S?
In a nutshell, we are a pair of newlyweds that through losing our jobs during COVID and found our passion and purpose in creating beautiful renovated RVs for people. Shawn had always been an “RV guy” and when we got married I was not so sure that I was an “RV girl.” But he convinced me to take a few trips and I absolutely fell in love with the RV life. We bought our first one together in June of 2019 and SPUD ( named because we bought her in Idaho ) became our flagship RV. We had experienced through our home that the Property Brothers renovated on their show, that the “sharing” market was very powerful. So when we were not traveling with SPUD we would rent her out to others that wanted to create those memories and experiences with their own friends and families. Spud led to buying more RV’s for our Rental Fleet and creating an additional revenue stream for us while allowing us to share what we had with others.
The Renovation side of our business did not come until March of 2020 when, as we all know, sh!t hit the fan and the world as we knew it changed. Shawn was a working musician that lost his gigs overnight and I was marketing for a construction company that furloughed me almost immediately. The change had never been something that scared either of us but we definitely needed to figure out what to do next. I had been obsessed with the Tiny Home movement for years and came across a renovated RV in Louisiana that had the vibe and feel of a tiny home. I was instantly in love. So much so that on a trip to North Carolina to buy some land we decided to cancel our flight home and take a little road trip down to Louisiana to take a look at this renovated RV. I won’t go through all the details of this trip because it could definitely have fallen into the category of a total disaster but we somehow managed to come out on top of it. We rented a car until about Alabama where we decided to buy a truck that could tow this newly renovated RV that I was sure I was going to adore. We took our new truck down to Louisiana and picked up what we named “Lulu” after our oldest dog. Lulu became the catalyst for the renovation side of our business. We saw what they had done and knew we could do even better. It started with one 5th wheel that we partnered up with another couple on and quickly turned into a full-time business.
Through this process of growing our newfound business and really finding our passion, we were able to grow a team of our friends that have now become our Free Bird family. We quickly outgrew our house as RVs were taking over our neighborhood and although our neighbors were exceptionally cool about it, we knew we needed a bigger space and FAST. We decided to really commit to what we were doing and rented out our house and bought a new one with a bigger lot that could accommodate all 14 of our new RVs. We cutely named our new headquarters “The Nest.” Get it, Nest for the Free Bird. HAHAHA.
WAS THIS RV RENOVATION INSPIRED BY ANYTHING SPECIFIC?
I am always scouring the web and Pinterest looking for new design ideas and things I love that other people are doing. I think Bubba was a compilation of many things I had seen but nothing in particular. I love putting our spin on the design and adding our own flavor!
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE ASPECT OF INTERIOR DESIGN?
The final week when the vision in my head turns into a reality and you can see and feel exactly what I was trying to portray.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DECORATING STYLE?
We have renovated 7 RVs now in the last 10 months and have tried to do multiple styles to show that we are versatile renovators.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PLACES TO SOURCE PRODUCTS AND DECOR?
Sherwin Williams for paint, Hobby Lobby for fabrics and decor, Vfuty for awesome decor pillow cases, BESy Kitchen faucets are my go-to and Amazon of course for the convenience.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF DECOR THAT WAS INCORPORATED INTO THE INTERIOR?
Our custom dining tables are one of the things we like to splurge on and they always make such a difference! It’s a lot of work since we hand craft them but I love that it is not something that you can just go out and buy, each one is truly one of a kind.
WHAT WAS MOST CHALLENGING ABOUT THIS CEDAR CREEK SILVERBACK RENOVATION?
This was the first time we have ever knocked down a wall in one of our RVs but the way it opened up the floor plan was totally worth it!
WHAT PROJECT MADE THE MOST DIFFERENCE?
We went with a copper patina affect for the backsplash and the shower and I think it really brought out that rustic, unique vibe. It also tied in the copper rustic lighting fixtures that we chose.
WHERE WOULD YOUR DREAM RV VACATION BE?
Oh man, there’s so many! I love the west coast RV trips because there are just so many beautiful sites to see along the coast of California all the way up to Vancouver. But Yellowstone has also been on the list for awhile.
What piece of advice would you give someone about to begin an RV renovation?
Just prepare yourself that anything and everything can and probably will go wrong. You have to have super thick skin and be able to not get stressed out when things pop up that were unforeseen and learn to look at each snag with a solution oriented mindset and know that everything is fixable and doable, you just have to find the right solution. Oh and it will probably always take longer than you think.
Most asked about product sources:
Sherwin Williams Pewter Green has been a go-to favorite color of mine and gets asked about a lot. We used this one in the main room of Bubba. My two favorite kitchen faucets to use are this one and this one.
And this wallpaper has worked wonders for us and give that extra little splash.