A couple and their dog live full-time in a 200-square-foot RV that they transformed into a modern dream home

  • Trent and Keely Bergeron have been living in an RV full-time with their dog since 2019.
  • The Bergerons renovated the RV themselves, updating and customizing every part of their tiny space for about $5,000.
  • Before-and-after photos show the stunning transformation the couple created in the RV over six months, and they told Insider they plan to renovate motor homes for others moving forward. 
  • "It's been nice realizing that you don't have to have a whole lot to be happy with your life," Keely said of their lifestyle.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Trent and Keely Bergeron decided to buy an RV in 2019.

Keely was in physical therapy school in 2019, while Trent was working remotely. She was preparing to graduate from school in December and started to dream of a non-traditional career.

"I would love to do travel PT and make some extra money to pay off loans. And because he works from home, he could go with me," Keely told Insider of herself and her husband.

"We decided that the most fun way to do that would be to renovate a camper and travel around the country in that," she said. 

The Bergerons bought a 200-square-foot RV for $20,000 in April of 2019.

They spent six months renovating their RV on weekends while Keely finished school and Trent worked full-time.

Neither Trent nor Keely had taken on a project like this before, so they had to learn how to renovate as they went along. 

"We just decided, 'Hey, that'll be a fun, different thing to do,'" Keely said. "And so we just kind of jumped into it and figured it out along the way."

By December, the Bergerons' work had paid off, and they moved into the RV full-time with their dog, Murphy.

When you walk into the home, you're greeted by the kitchen.

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“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”- {Mark Twain} • And that’s exactly what we plan to do. We’re the Bergeron’s, and we have no intention of living an ordinary life. So we’re taking our first feeble steps in the direction of adventure! • • We’ll soon be trading in our cozy, beautiful 2,000 sq ft home for full time living in our new #fifthwheel, Jolie. I’ll be working as a #TravelPT , my hubs is lucky enough to #workremotely, and our #pitbull Murphy will just be along for the ride! • • For the next few months, we’ll be documenting our #renovation of JoJo…she’s got good bones, but man does she need a facelift! 🤭 we’re gonna be stripping her down to nothing and starting from scratch, and……………………we’ve N E V E R D O N E T H I S B E F O R E! This is either going to be the best thing we’ve ever done, or a total disaster 😂 either way, it’s sure to be an adventure • • We’ll be giving tips for #firsttimerenovators and soon, for #physicaltherapists interested in #travelwork {{particularly you #NewGrads…we gotta stick together!}} Maybe even advice for married couples forced to share less than 300sqft together? 😬 • • please follow #jojothecamper and watch this insanity unfold! We’re determined to make our lives together an adventure from start to finish… click that blue button and watch us attempt to live #outsidethebox ❤️ • #rvlife #rvadventures #fifthwheelrenovation #traveling #camperlife #fulltimerv #letsdothis #beginners #prayforus #makelifeanadventure #rv #camper #fifthwheel #reno #marriage #livingsimply #newchapter #travelphysicaltherapylife #travelphysicaltherapy #camperlife

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Before the renovation, the kitchen featured heavy brown cabinetry and dark counters.

The Bergerons removed the cabinets above the counters, making the space feel more open. They also painted the kitchen cabinets and walls white to make everything brighter.

Open shelving makes the room feel even bigger.

Keely and Trent invested in new countertops for their home.

The fresh color elevates the space and makes it feel less crowded.

The kitchen also features a stove, oven, microwave, and refrigerator, so the couple has all the comforts of a larger space in their tiny home.

The kitchen connects to the living room.

The basic layout of the living room stayed consistent, but white paint and new furniture make the space look modern and inviting.

The couple also updated the light fixtures in the living room.

Removing the carpet in the RV was one of the most difficult parts of the renovation, according to Keely.

"We realized that the camper had a lot of water damage from previous years of being used" after the carpet was removed, Keely told Insider. "And since we didn't know what we were doing, we had to take a lot of time to research how to fix it."

The couple replaced the floor and a couple of walls, which made the RV look brand-new inside. 

"We did a peel-and-stick floor because it was a really budget-friendly option, and it looks real," Keely said of the faux hardwood floors.

"I definitely wanted a light and airy and open feeling since it is such a small space," Keely said of her vision for the RV.

"I like lots of white, and lots of neutral colors," Keely said. She describes the overall vibe of the RV as "boho meets farmhouse."

You can see the meeting of the styles with the architectural touches, like the archway above the TV with the funkier rug and plants.

The cabinets under the TV also match those in the kitchen, creating a cohesive feel.

The couple also has an office nook in the living area.

"It's kind of our shared office space," Keely said of the corner. "He has his desk and I have a large table for my work."

The couple's bedroom is at the back of the home, with a statement sliding door marking the entrance.

"We have a sliding barn door that I'm so proud of because I made it myself," Keely said, adding that the door has a herringbone detail. 

The sliding mechanism of the door also ensures it doesn't take up more space in the home when it's open. 

The bed is tucked into the wall.

"Even though it's a small room, it feels very open and cozy, and there's a lot of natural light," Keely said of the bedroom.

The couple removed the heavy cabinetry above the bed and put shiplap on the wall to give it character.

The black and patterned pillows add contrast to the space, as do the green bedside tables.

The couple has a large closet next to their bed.

The mirror door adds to the open feel of the room, which Keely says is her favorite part of her tiny home.

"It's just so pretty and comfortable," she said. "And this was the space that I did a lot of work in."

The bedroom also features a vanity area with a gold mirror.

The bedroom is filled with storage. It has a large cubby unit, as well as floating shelves.

The bathroom in the RV got a major revamp.

The couple painted the walls white, added a peel-and-stick backsplash to the sink area and in the shower, removed the shower door, and replaced the showerhead. 

They also put in a new, modern sink and countertops, and removed the built-in vanity mirror, replacing it with a round piece.

They also painted the cabinet and added art to the wall.

The bathroom features decorative tile as well.

In total, the RV renovation cost about $5,000. The couple enjoyed the process so much that they're making a business out of renovating other people's RVs in the Dallas area.

Keely told Insider that their lifestyle saves her family money.

Currently, the couple is parked permanently in Dallas, Texas, so they don't have to budget for travel.

"I think the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment would be about $1,800, and that doesn't include utilities," Keely said of the cost of living in the Dallas area. "But we only pay $600 a month to rent out our space." 

They have an additional $100 monthly expense in utilities, but they're still only paying a fraction of the cost they would for an apartment or home. 

"We still are just as happy," she said of living in a smaller space. "We have everything we need, and we get to just kind of pick up and move wherever we want for a fraction of the price."

Keely said the upkeep of an RV can be a bit challenging.

"You have your water hookups and your sewage hookups, and if there's a leak, which can happen sometimes, you have to go find out what's going on," she said. "A lot of stuff can go wrong."

"It just takes a lot of upkeep on our end to make sure that the camper is in tip-top shape and everything's working correctly," she added.

But the freedom their lifestyle gives them and the closeness it brings to their relationship makes RV life worth it to the Bergerons.

"We had to get rid of some of the stuff that we owned in order to fit into the camper, but we don't miss it," Keely said. "It's been nice realizing that you don't have to have a whole lot to be happy with your life."

The close proximity has also brought the couple closer together. "We're always within 10 feet of each other living in the camper, and it's been honestly great for just our relationship and our marriage," she said. "It's fun seeing each other all the time and not having a whole lot of space between ourselves."

You can learn more about the Bergerons and their RV renovation business here.

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