Interior angles

Sammy Faircloth looks at how your tourer can be given a new lease of life

When considering buying a caravan or motorhome, whether new or second-hand, one of the first things we look at is the furnishing and fabrics. For better or worse, the upholstery makes an immediate impact. 

Appearances are certainly important, but so is comfort. During the day, a seat needs to be a pleasure to use, whether you’re out on the road (in the case of a motorhome) or set up on-site. And the expectations don’t end there: quite often those daytime seats transform into beds at night.

Upholstery is about much more than seat covers and curtains. The filling inside cushions-cum-mattresses, though largely unseen, has different grades and qualities – some types of foam can stay comfortable for years whereas cheaper products soon lose their resilience. 

Another consideration is whether you have children and pets who will join you on your travels. An expensive leather cover might not be suitable for dog and cat owners, for example; likewise, a white fabric might not be ideal if you have young kids with crayons!


Upholstery can be upgraded, repaired or replaced. Although you can tackle this job yourself, many seek professional assistance. Upholstery specialists can offer a huge variety of fabrics and leathers, and other products such as complementary curtains. And, of course, they are likely to make faster work of it. One such company (and there are several to choose from), Regal Furnishings Limited in Derbyshire, kindly shared their process with me. The photos on these pages were taken at Regal Furnishings and show upholstery from different vehicles.

1 Fabric selection 

The customer selects a fabric, either in advance or when they arrive at the workshop.

2 Measurements 

The customer’s requirements are discussed, including any amendments to sizes or shapes. 

3 Foam selection 

Various densities of foam are available, so customers are given the opportunity to test out different cushions before making a decision. 

4 Dismantling 

Staff disassemble and/or remove the furniture and fittings that are to be reupholstered. 

5 Fabric cutting 

The fabric is cut to size. Different patterns are available for different vehicle elements – for example, seating. 

6 Foam cutting 

Foam is cut to the required measurements. If necessary, the ‘knee roll’ (the slightly elevated part at the front of a cushion) is carefully gluedinto position. 

7 Stitching 

Each piece of fabric is attached to a thin layer of foam for extra comfort. 

8 Stapling and glueing 

Pelmets, door cards and head rests are carefully glued or stapled using the customer’s choice of fabric. 

9 Filling 

The replacement foam is inserted into the newly made seat covers. 

10 motorhome Cab seats 

These are re-covered, ensuring that they are a secure fit. 

11 Reassembly 

Cushions, cab seats, pelmets and door cards are all carefully refitted. 

12 Inspection 

The finished work is inspected before hand-over to the customer.. 

Foam replacement

Although a fabric cover can remain in good condition for a long time, foam will often degrade. When restoring a classic caravan, for example, there can be good reason to preserve the original style. New foam pieces can be cut to size and inserted into the existing covers with minimal damage to the fabric. 


Accidents happen – spilled red wine, coffee and melted chocolate can all leave marks on cushions. The golden rule is: deal with the matter at once, using a product designed to battle that specific stain. Carefully follow the instructions on the product container (carrying out a patch test beforehand). Apply the treatment with a completely clean, white cloth (the dyes in coloured cloths can run and cause further damage to the fabric). Look out for an article dedicated to cleaning and fabric protection in a future magazine...

Final thoughts … 

Comfort in a leisure vehicle is paramount, and it’s great that there are companies out there that can help you with fabric replacements or foam upgrades. 

Of course, you can often refresh the inside of your vehicle without reupholstering – for example, plain fabrics can be given a lift with the addition of brightly coloured cushions.

With thanks to:

Regal Furnishings, Unit 4 Merlin Way, Quarry Hill Industrial Estate, Ilkeston DE7 4RA 

Contact:, 01159 329988 

Additional thanks to the customers who allowed Sammy to observe their refurbishments.

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