Toy haulers or sport utility trailers are a popular choice of RV for outdoor hobbyists with larger pieces of equipment, namely, those who like to ATV, bike, or partake in watersports. The choice of a toy hauler is due to its large garage space, making it easy to store these “toys” indoors. The garage is connected to the living space of the RV.
Yet toy haulers aren’t reserved just for those who want to transport toys. RV garages hold a lot of potential to become additional living space. A blank slate.
Let’s begin by explaining this blank slate. An RV garage already has lighting and electrical outlets. Apart from adding more lights or plugs, you won’t need to do any electrical work. Plumbing may be another story. Some RV garages come equipped with a sink or hose hookup for cleaning, but many units do not. If your grand scheme includes running water, then this may be an investment you have to make.
As for flooring, most units have durable material such as rubber, though the flooring may also be a simple extension of what is in the living space of your RV. Depending on the current wear, durability, and appearance of the existing flooring, you may not need to install new flooring. Also located on the floor of most toy haulers are anchors for helping to keep items in place during transport. These likely will have to be removed as they are a hazard for tripping.
The best part about an RV garage, apart from the expansive space, is that the rear wall is a folding ramp that is the full width and height of the wall. With a simple curtain of fine-mesh netting separating the garage from outside, you can have a three-season room that is full of natural light. Some folks incorporate the folding ramp into their master plan, using it as patio space when it’s folded down.
Ah, the possibilities. Are the wheels turning?
Now, time to dream up a remodel. Once you know your space, you can start piecing together a concept of what to do with it. RVers have turned garages into guest suites, playrooms, offices, art studios, or entertainment spaces, to name a few ideas. Visit Instagram and Pinterest for a plethora of ideas for uses and decorations. What do you really need, or want? Which portions can be utilized, what may need to be removed, what may need to be added to transform this space from dream to reality? How will things be laid out? Walk around the space and try to visualize the result. Write down your plan.
Then, it’s time to get working. First things first, electrical and plumbing. These utilities are hidden behind walls and ceilings, so reaching them may require opening or cutting. If you need more light but don’t want to do electrical work or hire an electrician, then a battery-powered LED can be an easy way to add lumens – and you won’t draw on your RV battery. Any new plumbing will have to be connected to existing supply and drain lines. Again, hiring a certified plumber may be your best bet. Often the supplies needed for RV plumbing can’t be found at your average hardware store.
If the flooring needs to be repaired or you simply want a different look, then you can run to the local hardware store. There are hundreds of DIY flooring options available today in practically any aesthetic. Laminate and vinyl and interlocking foam tiles are the most popular choices for RV flooring because of their durability and appearance. Just keep weight and thickness in mind as you make your selection.
Did your plan include adding wall storage space? Some RV garages already have cabinets installed. However, if you’re installing new cabinets or shelves, you need to find the studs to be able to mount the pieces securely. Look for lightweight pre-manufactured cabinets. Freestanding cabinets are another option; just make sure they are secured to the wall or floor so that they don’t tip over during travel.
Add pieces of furniture and cozy accents such as area rugs to fulfill the decorating aspect of your plan. Consider furniture sizes carefully and take the time to measure both available space and the size of the piece you’re considering adding.
Finally, use your space! Whether the RV garage has transformed into a spot to entertain friends, a safe place for the kids to play, or a personal master suite, you can now enjoy the fruits of your labor and increase the value of your RV space.