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about this RV renovation
Type of RV: 1999 Coachmen Santara Class-C Motorhome
Renovated by: Matt & Kristen Gray (@_gray_co_) / Photography by: @cassnealeighphoto
Timeline: 4 weeks / Budget: 7k
I was instantly smitten when I came across the photos of this renovated Class-C motorhome from the Gray family. Maybe even obsessed. It felt so creative and cozy, and so different from most RV renovations. It instantly stood out, but my favorite design feature is the preserved moss wall in the bathroom. It’s such a beautiful way to incorporate nature and elevate the space. And before you start wondering how a moss wall can survive on an interior wall, especially one in an RV, rest assured it’s safe and not as messy as you think.
“Preserved moss wall surfaces are completely maintenance free! They are constructed from real moss that has been treated with a 100% natural emulsion made of glycerin to keep their quality, as well as freshness, for at least five years without water or plant food. Interestingly, moss represents one of the oldest plants on Earth; scientists have found fossilized moss from over 400 million years ago. Preserved moss wall surfaces are created for interior spaces since they are best kept inside.” – Naturalist.co
This isn’t Kristen Gray’s first preserved moss wall. They’ve had one in their home for two years and haven’t had any moss fall off the wall. And that’s with five kids and hosting over 70 events! Their home, by the way, just so happens to be a renovated church, which was also the inspiration for their moody RV interior. I highly encourage you to explore the stunning photos on her Instagram page, as I’m sure you’ll be blown away by the transformation.
When they’re not taking this renovated RV on family vacations, they’re renting it out to the public. If you want to learn more, you can send Kristen a DM on Instagram.
And if you live in Ohio, you’ll especially want to follow The Grays, as they have an incredible venue opening up in the small village of Pleasant Hill. It’s called The Exchange and will include an ice cream and coffee shop, a community garden, and activities like sand volleyball, rock climbing, and axe throwing!
Okay, now let’s get to the tour!
What inspired you to renovate an RV?
We absolutely love to travel! Momma doesn’t actually just love to camp, however, the rest of the family does. After 2 cross-country RV trips during Covid, we decided to take a little bit older RV and design it as if it were our home on wheels, so that’s exactly what we did!
What made you choose this specific class-C motorhome to renovate?
Our first 2 cross country trips were in a Class-A. While we absolutely loved the space, we did not love the drive. So that kind of turned us on to the Class-C. While it is smaller, it is a lot easier for me (the mom) & our 16-year-old son to be able to drive on long trips. Our kids also loved the above the cab loft & we loved the idea of not having the maintenance of the slides…seeing as we are totally new to the whole RV thing & basically have no clue what we are doing.
Was this renovation inspired by anything or anyone specific?
Absolutely 1000% by our home in Ohio. While we love to travel more than anything, we also love to be home, so it made perfect sense to take things from our Ohio home that we love and add them to our home on wheels.
How would you describe your decorating style?
Industrial Chic, Cozy, Practical.
What’s your favorite aspect of interior design?
I’m totally obsessed with the dark warmth, I love that all the pictures used throughout the RV are pictures we’ve taken on our family road trips….moss walls such as the one in the RV bathroom will always be a favorite of mine as well…we love bringing the outdoors inside.
What are your favorite places to source products and decor?
We absolutely love to pick up unique items on every road trip we take! We love flea markets & thrift store. Facebook marketplace is always a go-to when we are looking for something as well!!
What’s the most meaningful or splurge-worthy item you incorporated into your RV interior?
Bedding & mattresses. There’s no better way to make a place feel like home then the beds, so that’s exactly what we did…we will probably totally regret going white with it, but that’s what we did.
What was most challenging about this rv remodel?
Absolutely everything! We renovated the house quite a bit and thought the RV would be a breeze, however, the small spaces and thin walls made it more difficult than I expected.
What project made the most difference?
Definitely the use of black paint & the undeniable sweet moss wall in the bathroom!
How did you attach the preserved moss to the wall?
Liquid nails out of a caulk gun and cover the wall, then stick up the moss.
What piece of advice would you give someone about to start an RV renovation?
Go dark if you love dark! Do you & have fun doing it! Travel often.
Do you take on custom renovation projects or offer design consulting?
Most asked about product sources:
• Durabak paint was used on the exterior
• Behr Scuff Defense In Tricorn Black and Snowbound on the interior
• Amazon has amazing 12V RV lights