The interior walls of any RV are usually made out of one of three materials. These materials are composite plywood, medium-density fibreboard (MDF), or vinyl. Each of these materials has advantages and disadvantages that will assist you in choosing the right option for your project.
While the interior walls of an RV are very thin, measuring around 2 inches thick, they play a very important role in ensuring a comfortable environment within the RV. This applies to thermal comfort as well as aesthetic comfort.
Whether you are purchasing a new RV or you are renovating an existing one, the interior walls are an important feature for a multitude of reasons. If you are replacing or repairing the interior walls, it’s important that you understand what they are made from in order to move forward with your project.
Whether you’re purchasing a new RV or refurbishing an old one, it’s important that you understand how the RV has been built and how the materials used in its construction interact with one another. By understanding how the RV has been put together, you will know how best to go about making repairs to the RV, as well as where the restrictions lie in terms of decorating and customizing the space.
Plywood, medium density fiberboard, and vinyl are all viable options for the interior walls of an RV, but you will need to weigh up the options for yourself in terms of cost, aesthetics, longevity, and customizability to determine which type of interior wall will be best suited for your purposes.
This article will discuss the materials from which RV interior walls are made, as well as the purpose for the existence of RV interior walls. Each of the three main materials will be discussed in detail, along with the advantages and disadvantages of using each.
There is also a short discussion on wall finishes for the interior walls of RVs. This is an important aspect of your RV because it allows you to express yourself and your individuality within the limited confines of your RV.
What Are RV Interior Walls Made Of?
While the exterior walls of RVs can be made up of aluminum, fiberglass, or one of a number of composite materials, the interior walls differ completely in terms of materials and purpose. As with any materials or objects that are added to an RV, weight is an extremely important factor.
The weight of all materials should always be kept as low as possible to ensure that the RV itself does not become too heavy. This translates to the thickness of the walls as well, as thinner walls do not only help keep the weight down but are also space-saving – an important consideration for an RV.
As such, the walls of RVs usually consist of one of a small selection of materials that have been chosen specifically for their lightness and their ability to be used in small spaces.
Plywood (usually the composite type), medium-density fiberboard (MDF), and vinyl are usually your only three options when it comes to the interior walls of an RV.
This is due not only to their lightness in weight and the fact that they are inherently not thick materials but also due to their ease of use and installation, as well as their relatively low price point.
The Purpose Of RV Interior Walls
RV interior walls are an essential part of an RV’s construction as they help to ensure a comfortable, well-insulated environment while simultaneously providing an aesthetically pleasing interior surface that can be customized and decorated however the owner sees fit.
Sandwiched between the outer wall and the interior wall is a layer of insulation that helps to keep the environment comfortable at all times.
This insulation usually consists of fiberglass, rigid foam, or spray foam, and different types of insulation can be used depending on the weather conditions in which you plan to use your RV, as well as your requirements in terms of soundproofing.
Plywood Interior Walls For An RV
Plywood composite is often used for RV interior walls. This is manufactured using different types of wood pressed together, with the inner layers usually made of cheaper wood. This is used in mid-range to upper-range RVs due to its slightly higher price, and it can be finished in wallpaper, veneer, or paint.
Plywood has multiple benefits, including high tensile strength, which enables it to resist impact. It is an extremely strong and durable material that does not tend to warp in most circumstances.
While plywood is quite a good-looking natural material as it is, it is also easily painted or covered with wallpaper, making it a great option in terms of customizing your space.
The main issue with plywood is that it does not tolerate water very well, and it is highly prone to mold if exposed to moisture.
Because it is essentially made of sheets of solid wood, this material is far heavier than the other options for interior RV walls.
MDF Interior Walls For An RV
Medium-density fiberboard (MDF) has a lower price than plywood, making it an attractive option in terms of affordability. It is also lower in weight than plywood as it is not made of solid timber, but it is essentially made of sawdust that is mixed with a type of resin or wax and then pressed at an extreme heated pressure between veneer.
MDF is strong, durable, and lightweight; however, it does not have a very long lifespan, and it is not as strong as plywood. It is, however, a far cheaper option that is easy to work with, versatile, and easily accepts paint and finishes.
Vinyl Interior Walls For An RV
Vinyl interior walls are by far the most affordable option for your RV while remaining lightweight and relatively durable. The vinyl used for interior RV walls is essentially a durable type of plastic that is available in numerous colors, shapes, and textures.
The material is extremely light and easy to install. A simple craft knife is all you need to cut and shape the vinyl to suit your needs, meaning that there is also less need to hire a professional to do the job.
While vinyl has a far shorter lifespan than the other alternatives, showing wear after only two years and being prone to denting, its low price point makes it viable to replace it as often as required without too much of a financial burden.
RV Interior Wall Finishes
The typical wall finishes for interior RV walls are usually wallpaper or paint. This is because these finishes are lightweight, fully customizable, and easy to change, and create an affordable way to give the space a homey feel.
One should be careful of using wallpaper in extremely humid environments, however, as it is possible that this can cause the glue to denature, resulting in peeling wallpaper.
Best of luck, and happy camping!
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