Call it old school, vintage, nostalgic or classic – retro campers are some of the most unique and eye-catching RVs you’ll see on the road today. RVs like the Airstream or the Riverside Retro are proof that good quality and design never go out of style.
The vintage RV look reminds us of cross-country travel as America’s highways system experienced a golden age. It’s a style that transcends time while also connecting with history. New, modern-day RVs can still hold onto the old soul and style of a retro RV while embracing the amenities and contemporary look of a new RV. Some might say retro and modern styles are a match made in RV heaven.
Here are some retro decor ideas for your new RV:
Wallpaper has already made its comeback so why not follow the trend while paying homage to the 50s and 60s with retro wallpaper. It can be done subtly with abstract patterns, florals, or a Scandinavian style pattern like a chevron. Make a big statement with neon block prints, a black and white checkered pattern, a houndstooth, or even a mural. Go with something kitsch for a fun retro theme that’s unique and reminiscent of the hippy days.
Wallpaper is as easy as peel-and-stick. Just apply it on a clean, dry service. If you’re ready to change things up, just peel off the old wallpaper. No sticky residue will be left behind. Check out some of the wallpaper options available at Camping World.
Give your windows, chairs, and bed the throwback textile treatment it deserves. Home and RV decor enthusiasts know that a stylish throw pillow or blanket can tie a room together. The most helpful tip when choosing textiles is to keep them cohesive in both style and color.
Start with your windows by choosing a fabric with a kitschy pattern or a solid tone like teal or red, reminiscent of a 70s diner, or something pastel. Then find throw pillows that work well with the curtains whether it’s a similar pattern or color. If you want to go all out, choose a custom upholstery for your dinette seating or chairs. And finally, a vintage quilt or pastel bed-in-a-bag comforter and sheet set from Camping World will tie it all together.
Throwback Appliances & Electronics
You know retro is in style when today’s appliance and electronics companies are selling new products made to look vintage. From retro refrigerators to toasters, coffeemakers and turntables, old school is trendy. Pay Ode to the past with smaller gadgets you can use and display throughout your RV kitchen, like this retro electric kettle.
Back when air conditioning wasn’t around, fans kept RVers cool on a hot summer day. You can do the same and circulate the air in your RV with these vintage fans that come in antique green.
Outdoor RV living is just as important as indoor RV living. One of the easiest ways to deck out your basecamp with retro flair is with throwback coolers. These picnic basket style coolers in teal, pink and yellow look like they’re straight out of the 80s while this classic red vintage steel cooler is reminiscent of spending time outdoors in memories past.
And while turntables are a true shoutout to music’s past, they take up a lot of space in an RV. Thankfully, this retro-style Bluetooth clock radio not only looks cool but also provides wireless charging, Bluetooth or SD card connection for music, and also the basic clock and alarm system.
Out with the New, In with the Old
One easy way to bring elements of retro decor into your RV is by replacing some of the new furniture with old furniture. Swap out a jackknife sofa for a similar-sized sofa with floral patterns or a velvet material that you might find at a thrift store. Take out a newer dinette table and replace it with a Formica table from a yard sale. Formica of the 1950s usually come in fun hues like yellow, pink, red, or teal. You can even replace a dinette tabletop with a Formica tabletop. Another simple way to make a big statement is by changing out your interior RV lights for a classic industrial-style ceiling light or an Edison-style light bulb pendant.
There are so many ways to incorporate retro decor into your new RV. When in doubt, choose decor with classic retro color pallets which range from muted pastel tones to bright firecracker red and vibrant teal hues. You can also add retro vibes to your RV with canned-ham camper-shaped decor from Camping World like this napkin holder, retro-style dish set, and retro travel trailer string lights.
For more ideas and help in achieving the retro-style of your dreams, stop by Camping World’s Design Center. With over 46 locations nationwide, Camping World Design Centers have Design Specialists that help RVers plan and create custom interior design projects unique to their RV. Explore what options might be perfect for your throwback aesthetic.
What design elements from the past do you hope to include in your new RV? Tell us in the comments below.
Jenny Anderson is an outdoor content creator, best known as the Girl of 10,000 Lakes. As someone who didn’t grow up “outdoorsy,” she believes it’s never too late to fall in love with the great outdoors. Prior to becoming an outdoor content creator, Anderson was a news anchor and reporter in western Wisconsin. She now uses her passion for storytelling to inspire families of all experience levels to get outdoors. Anderson is a published children’s book author and shares her love for nature, fishing, and the outdoor life with her husband, two children, and their yorkie named Kiwi.