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How to Replace Worn-out Camper Cushions

How to Replace Worn-out Camper Cushions

Experienced campers know that the great outdoors can be hard on camping equipment, and camper cushions are no exception. Whether your kids have spilled one too many times, your dog has clawed the fabric in excitement, or you’re just sick of looking at the same faded old print: it might be time for a change. Here’s how you can replace old camper cushions. 

Options for Replacing or Updating Worn-out Camper Cushions

Before you decide exactly how to replace your cushions, ask yourself this question: Is the cushion bad, or is it just the cover? 

tattered camper cushions
Tattered camper cushions can make your RV look drab instead of fab.

You may need entirely new cushions and have to go through the process of finding the right ones. Or you might be able to find some fabric on sale and throw something together–easy peasy. 

In any case, it all comes down to how much love your furniture needs and whether you’re leaning towards a new home project or a fun shopping spree. 

Doing a full RV renovation? Check out our budget-friendly tips here: 9 Fabulous RV Renovation Ideas

Buy New Cushions

Buying used RVs can help you save some money, but sometimes you might want to use that extra money to replace the furniture. Cushions can wear out over time. They may be torn or stained or even develop indents from being someone’s favorite spot. If you’re considering buying new cushions for your camper, consider these options. 

Used RVs
Buying a used RV can save you money but expect to do some renovations along the way.

How to Measure for Camper Cushions

Cushions have general sizes that you can follow to speed up this process: small ​​cushions are 20in x 18in, medium are 35in x 16in, large are 38in x 24in, and extra-large are 48in x 16in. 

However, you can also measure the cushions yourself just to double-check. We recommend using a firm carpenter’s measuring tape instead of a flexible tailor’s measuring tape, which will give you more accurate numbers. Remove the cushion from its place to measure it, noting the height, width, and depth. Consider measuring twice, just to make sure you got the correct numbers. 

Where to Buy New Cushions

There are many places you can acquire new cushions, but we like RecPro.com. The Charles RV Dinette Booth Cushions with Memory Foam are an excellent product for your RV. The soft fabric is resistant to UV light to keep the seat nice and cool. It’s durable, easy to clean, and resistant to tears and stains, which is especially helpful when camping. It’s a bargain at $259.95 and worth every penny. 

PS: Use coupon code “ONTHEMOVE5” on RecPro.com for 5% off your entire order!

RecPro dinette cushions
RecPro Charles RV Dinette Booth Cushions with Memory Foam
Source: recpro.com

Cushion Source is also a great company for camping cushions, especially if you have unusual measurements. This company does standard and custom-made cushions, from seats to benches to vinyl. The price depends on the level you choose: standard, deluxe, or optimal. You can choose the cushion’s color, design, and thickness depending on your style. This brand is a good choice if you have something very specific in mind for your replacement cushions. 

Reupholster Camper Cushions

More often than not, the desire to change a cushion stems from outdated designs or worn-out fabric. If the cushion is perfectly usable but not attractive, reupholstering the covers is a good choice. 

sewing camper cushion covers
If you have a sewing machine, you can sew your own cushion covers for a fraction of the cost of paying for professional reupholstering.

How Much Does It Cost to Reupholster Camper Cushions?

Hiring a professional for reupholstering cushions may cost more, but it’s less work for you. The prices will vary depending on the company. If you’re hiring a professional to do the work, prices will range from $50 per cushion to $2,000. It all depends on the complexity of the job and the type of fabric. 

If you trust your sewing and upholstery abilities enough to DIY the project, you’ll only have the cost of fabric and materials to worry about. Fabric prices range from $10 to $200 per yard, but you can usually find a good quality fabric for $30 or less.

The best way to know the costs of reupholstering your cushions is to get quotes and shop specific fabric prices yourself. 

What Fabric Is Best for Camper Cushions?

You might be more interested in a nicer fabric that feels soft and looks great, in which case upholstery fabric is best. The only downside is upholstery fabric may be dry-clean-only, and if you’re a messy camper, you might want to go with midweight denim or microsuede. 

upholstery fabric
You can find upholstery fabric in every color imaginable.

Make DIY Cushion Covers

For those who don’t know, DIY means do it yourself. If you own a used RV, chances are you feel pretty confident with a paintbrush in your hand. In this situation, though, you’ll need either sewing supplies or a staple gun. 

How Do You Make an RV Cushion Cover?

Making an RV cushion cover is pretty simple, even for people new to crafting! Just measure the cushions, choose your fabric, and either sew a cover or staple the edges of the material to a piece of hardboard tucked underneath the cushions. Depending on the amount and size of the cushions, it should be a one-day project. 

How Much Fabric Do You Need?

The amount of fabric you need depends on how much you want to cover. If you’re just covering the fabric showing and tucking it under the sides, you’ll need less than if you’re doing a full cushion cover. 

Easy RV Camper Cushion Covers

No one likes running out of supplies halfway through a project, so measure and re-measure! Use these recommendations as a guide: a 20in x 18in cushion needs 1 yard, a 38in x 24in needs 2 yards, and a 48in x 24in needs 3 yards. 

You could also measure the height, width, and depth to double-check the math. Factor in piping and zippers as well, and add a little wiggle room for the seams.  

Can You Cover Camper Cushions Without Sewing?

If you absolutely don’t sew but still want to fix up your camping cushions yourself, you have options. Use a heavy-duty staple gun to attach the fabric to the backing (hardboard works well with this project), and you’re good to go. 

Staple gun and fabric
Not proficient with a needle and thread? Try a staple gun instead!

You can also use a glue gun if you don’t want to deal with staples. Keep in mind the job might need repairs more often since the glue isn’t as sturdy as staples.   

Can You Dye Camper Cushions?

Dyeing fabric is pretty simple. All you need is color remover, salt, and fabric dye. You can use a pot on a stove or even a washing machine to help the dye stick. Playing with different colors is a fun way to change up your cushions without shelling out for completely new covers. 

Dyeing fabric
Dyeing fabric is easier than you think and can save you a lot of money if your cushion covers are in good condition.

Can You Paint Camper Cushions?

Did you know you can paint camper cushions? It might be the perfect alternative to replacing them. You can buy paint, chalk paint, and even spray paint specifically formulated to stick to the fabric as long as it’s clean and wet when painted. 

On the downside, the painted fabric will take on a rougher texture, more like standard outdoor furniture. On the plus side, it’s super easy to clean. 

Did you know you can paint the walls of your camper too? Check out our favorite techniques: 5 Easy RV Interior Painting Ideas to Spruce Up Your Camper

Buy New, Reupholster, or DIY: What Is Best?

Depending on your skill and creativity (and budget), you might be unsure whether to do the work yourself or hire someone. Some days, the money might be worth more than the stress of learning a new skill; however, learning how to revamp your living space adds a personal touch. But again, it all comes down to the price. 

Painting ugly cushions instead of reupholstering

Price

Buying all new cushions can be as cheap as $200 or as expensive as $2,000; it just depends on the quality you want. The larger the cushion, the pricier it will be. Doing it yourself will clearly be the cheapest, but sometimes cheapest isn’t best–consider quality over cost if possible. 

Time

Obviously, buying new furniture will take the least amount of time, whether it’s couch covers, cushions, or new seats. The amount of time it takes for a professional to reupholster your cushions can vary. Doing it yourself might take the longest, especially if crafting isn’t something you’re comfortable with. 

Thinking about replacing your RV furniture altogether? Read this first: 5 Questions You Need to Ask When You Replace Old RV Furniture

For many, time is a more valuable commodity than money. If that’s you, consider biting the bullet and paying someone to handle the update for you. If all you have is time, grab your sewing machine and enjoy the process. 

Woman sewing fabric with sewing machine
Sewing your own cushion covers takes time, but the payoff is worth it!

Creativity

It can be fun to shop for what you need, especially when you stumble on something you never expected to love. But there’s a certain satisfaction in creating something and putting your own stamp on it. If you consider yourself creative and don’t mind a little extra work and mess, DIY might be worth it to save some money. 

It Might Be Time to Replace Your Camper Cushions 

Sometimes admitting that it’s time for a change is the biggest step in the whole process. With the help of many enthusiastic campers and renovators online, this project should feel much more doable, even if you’re just researching and ordering new cushions. Chairs should be comfortable, and hopefully, your cushions will show off your sense of style as you give your RV some TLC.

new camper cushions with throw pillows
New camper cushions and a few throw pillows can make an old camper feel modern and bright.

If you’ve ever replaced or reupholstered your camper cushions, tell us about your experience in the comments below. 

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Curt Passafume Jr

Monday 23rd of August 2021

Any thoughts or sources on replacement foam for cushions? Our material is holding up well but the compressed spots in the foam seats are wanting us to replace the foam and keep the covers.

Mortons on the Move

Wednesday 25th of August 2021

Search "upholstery foam cushion" on Amazon, and you'll find several options. :)

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