A family of 5 renovated a 2-story RV that’s complete with a secret doorway, hidden projector, and fireplace

The Garcia family in front of their RV.@weplusthreee/TikTok

  • In January 2020, the Garcia family purchased their second RV, a 400-square-foot fifth wheel.

  • Since the purchase, they’ve spent about $13,500 on renovations in their tiny home on wheels.

  • They’ve added some unusual elements to their RV like a hidden projector and secret safe.

When Molly and Jaren Garcia purchased their newest RV, it was drab and filled with unutilized space. So they renovated it. Today, it’s complete with secret storage, a hidden doorway, and a drop-down projector.

The Garcia family made some unusual renovations to their 400-square-foot RV.

The Garcia family made some unusual renovations to their 400-square-foot RV.@weplusthreee/TikTok

Speaking with Insider, Molly and Jaren Gracia said that by the beginning of 2020 they were ready to upgrade their home.

They had been living in an older RV for about a year, they said, and while the RV had plenty of bedrooms, it lacked the kitchen and living space the family of five desired.

So, for $55,000, they bought a 400-square-foot Heritage Glen 378FL. Then, Molly and Jaren got to work transforming it into a home where they could live with their three children, Lillie, 13, Jaxton, 9, and Willow, 4.

Over the last couple of years, the family has added both fun and essential elements to their home all while sharing their adventures on their WePlusThreee TikTok and Instagram accounts (their TikTok account has 54,000 followers; on Instagram, it’s 57,000).

Now, their home has everything from a doorway disguised as a bookcase to an entirely new loft. Take a look inside.

Over three years ago, the family of five decided to sell everything and swap their suburban home for an RV.

The Garcia family on a hike.

The Garcia family on a hike.@weplusthreee/TikTok

Molly said her pre-RV life was like being “a single mother.” Jaren was working a 9-to-5 outside of their home state of Texas, so Molly was taking care of their three children and juggling school, dance lessons, and activities.

“I was wanting to be with him instead of having a house with the kids and surviving on my own,” she said of her partner.

Meanwhile, Jaren came home as often as possible. But when he was living out of state, he was doing it in a tiny RV.

One day, the couple discussed the idea of buying a larger RV to live in as a family.

Beyond being together, the couple said they realized an RV would allow them to travel and explore new states.

They agreed to give it a shot. They sold their house, everything in it, and purchased an RV.

“We literally sold it all, all the way down to the silverware drawer,” Jaren said.

After a year in their first RV, the family was ready for a new living layout.

The exterior of their RV.

The exterior of their RV.@weplusthreee/TikTok

After a year of living in a three-bedroom, two-bathroom RV, Molly said her family decided they needed a new layout that would maximize living space and minimize bedroom space.

Having three bedrooms was nice but it didn’t give the family their desired floor plan, Molly said.

So, in January 2020, the family traded in their RV for a 400-square-foot one, which had a bedroom, loft, bathroom, living room, and kitchen.

“It doesn’t feel like a cramped, little RV anymore,” Molly said of their current space.

Jaren and Molly said the moment they got their new home, they started brainstorming ways to renovate the space.

The couple estimates they spent around $12,000 on  renovations.

The couple estimates they spent around $13,500 on renovations.@weplusthreee/TikTok

After they purchased their new RV, the couple said they sat down and drafted what they wanted to change.

“We asked, ‘What would work best for us?'” Jaren said. “And then we just got to work.”

Since Jaren is a contract-based insurance adjuster, he said he has free time between contracts. During that spare time, he said he works on renovations.

Since buying the RV, Jaren estimates that their renovations have cost them around $13,500.

The couple started with a small update in the primary bedroom where they added decorative backing to the headboard and affordable lights.

One of the couple's first projects was adding a decorative headboard.

One of the couple’s first projects was adding a decorative headboard.@weplusthreee/TikTok

Molly and Jaren mounted thin panels of natural wood to their headboard, creating a more earthy environment in the bedroom.

The headboard space also had two ceiling lights.

To add some interest to the area, they bought two extra-small Allen + Roth lampshades from Lowe’s. Molly and Jaren used the wiring of the shades and mounted them into the ceiling. The whole project cost them $14, the couple said in an Instagram video showing the upgrade.

Then, the couple realized they weren’t using their pullout couches, so they decided to swap them for leather sofas. While they were at it, they redid the RV’s slides.

Before-and-after images of the family's living room.

Before-and-after images of the family’s living room.@weplusthreee/TikTok

The RV came with built-in furniture, which included two pullout couches. Jaren said the couches were adding a ton of weight to their vehicle, plus the family didn’t use the sleeper feature.

So, they got rid of them.

With the couches gone, Jaren also decided to renovate the slides. He redid the flooring and removed the heavy wood that was bolted around the slides. Finally, the couple painted the interior black and green to match the rest of the colors in their living space.

One day while showering, Jaren said he noticed the bathroom’s ceilings were unnecessarily high. So he lowered them and built a loft above the bathroom.

The family lowered the bathroom ceiling and added in a second loft.

The family lowered the bathroom ceiling and added in a second loft.@weplusthreee/TikTok

Originally, the family’s three kids were sharing one loft. One day, Jaren found a solution to give them more space.

He said he was in the shower when he looked up and noticed “all this wasted space.”

So he decided to lower the ceiling and add a loft above the RV’s bathroom.

The shower pan was sitting nine inches above the floor, Jaren said. He dropped that and moved the plumbing into the floor of the RV. Jaren said this created more room and more depth in the bathroom so the ceiling could be lowered.

Above, the couple built a loft to match the RV’s other lofted bedroom.

Molly said she asked for a black door to the couple’s bedroom. Jaren said he decided to go one step further, and transformed the space into a hidden bookcase door.

The secret bookcase doorway.

The secret bookcase doorway.The secret bookcase doorway.

“I’ve always been a fan of the hidden rooms and hidden doors,” Jaren said. So when Molly asked for a black door to their bedroom, Jaren decided to deliver something even more unusual.

He transformed the door into a functioning bookshelf with five shelves.

It’s not the only hidden door in their RV. Jaren said their fireplace area also opens to secret storage.

The Garcia family has a secret storage place behind their fireplace.

The Garcia family has a secret storage place behind their fireplace.@weplusthreee/TikTok

“One day I just started cutting and sure enough, our fireplace opens up on a secret hinge,” Jaren said.

Behind that, the couple said they added a safe where they store valuables.

The Garcias are a family of movie lovers, so they built a drop-down projector.

Jaren Garcia added a drop-down projector to the living room.

Jaren Garcia added a drop-down projector to the living room.@weplusthreee/TikTok

Before 2020, Jaren said his family was going to movie theaters twice a week. So when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Jaren brainstormed a way to bring the theater to his home.

He decided to add a projector screen that can be stored seamlessly in the ceiling.

Jaren said he cut out a pocket for the screen and mounted the projector to a beam in their living room. Using a remote, the family can drop down the screen.

“Now every Friday we drop the movie screen, and we all get to pick a movie,” he said.

The kitchen got some major upgrades, like a new oven.

Before-and-after images of the kitchen.

Before-and-after images of the kitchen.@weplusthreee/TikTok

With a large family, the Garcias said the kitchen needed some renovation and upgrades. The biggest change was replacing the RV’s oven.

“With the old oven, you couldn’t even fit a pizza in there if you wanted to,” Jaren said.

So they purchased a condo-sized oven and a range hood for the stove. The couple also transformed the backsplash, island, and hardware throughout the space.

Jaren said his creative mind will probably never stop coming up with ways to update their home. In the meantime, they’re finished with renovations and are enjoying life on the road.

The family in front of the RV.

The family in front of their RV.@weplusthreee/TikTok

Every few months the family relocates to a new state, which means new adventures and places to see.

Jaren and Molly agree that ditching their house for an RV was one of the best decisions they’ve made.

“Your home always stays the same on the inside, but once you open that door, the outside is always changing,” Jaren said. “And that’s what we love.”

Read the original article on Insider