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Technical help: Giving your 'van a retrim


Cutting a dash

Your motorhome is a cosy home from home and has served you well. If you love the layout, why change it? You don’t have to trade it in to update to a refreshed interior and several companies offer a bespoke retrimming service to refurbish your motorhome on the inside. It doesn’t have to be a complete refurbish either; if only the cushion foams are tired, they can be replaced, while those dated covers can be modernised with the latest fabrics.

Over time we’ve visited two long-established family businesses, Regal Furnishings and Premier Furnishings (its refurbishing department is called Reluxe). Both of these firms are situated close to the M1 motorway in Ilkeston, Derbyshire. They also supply the major UK manufacturers and converters with full interiors for new motorhomes and campervans, so they know their stuff! Reluxe, together with CareAvan, also offer bespoke mattresses (including memory foam) and carpeting if you want to treat your motorhome to a complete makeover.

Regal, with original upholsteryThe Regal with new furnishings

Retrimming a motorhome usually takes a full day. Work starts by stripping the interior on the day of the appointment. The team then get to work, while the customers go sightseeing or shopping locally. The choice of upholstery is decided beforehand from an extensive stock, together with the grades of foam and the shaping of seat bases. Dual density foam is often used to give the best balance of durable seating and a comfortable bed.

A professionally-upholstered interior would also be a benefit for those self-building, adding value to the finished product that may well seal the deal when selling or trading on later. Kustom Sport will even produce multi-piece removable interior carpets to your pattern, along with shaped cab carpets. It, too, supplies major manufacturers. We also spotted that it offers Friedola matting, which is ideal for protecting a shower tray (not all models come with a protection mat).

More dated furnishings in the RegalAnd now with a snazzy new look

A popular motorhome layout is the fixed or French bed. Be it nearside or offside, or sumptuous island, if the bathroom is positioned adjacent it necessitates a cut-off or angled mattress. Standard rectangular bed linen and duvets cascade over the mattress edge making access to the bathroom difficult, as the door can foul on the surplus bedding.

Even twin single beds in motorhomes tend to be different sizes to domestic beds, as do drop-down beds. Seeing a need for bespoke tailored bedding, several companies have sprung up. We visited one such company: Midlands-based Freedom Is… Ltd. The company was formed as it believed there should be a better solution than sleeping bags in motorhomes. It soon found a way of making tailored single or double duvet covers. The company now specialises in shaped bespoke bed linen.

The original fabric in the PremierAnd now with a new cover and cushions

There’s no doubt retrimming your motorhome’s interior can transform the look of it and give tired trim a new lease of life. Spending a few thousand pounds on a retrim can be far more cost-effective than losing thousands in depreciation by trading up to a new motorhome. Even if you don’t want a full retrim, updating seating fabric, or getting some curtains or new scatter cushions can rejuvenate an interior.

MMM has published many articles on improving motorhome interiors, here are a few:
Matching door trims (Dec 2007)
Home-made mattress (July 2009)
Re-upholster interiors (Jan 2009, Aug 2009 and Jan 2012)
Extra storage pockets (Sept 2011).

This is an abridged version of an article that appears in the December 2014 issue of MMM magazine, available in either print or digital formats.

Buy the digital version of MMM

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12/11/2014 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

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