Almost back together and dried in for winter, almost…

After several weekends trying to repair/replace the framing on the front driver’s side corner of this camper and having the entire front end covered in plastic and having to stare at a gaping hole for many weeks…this old camper is completely framed in, repaired, and ready for a new piece of aluminum on the front end.

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I am hoping that I can get this exterior sealed up by next weekend.  I placed a smaller piece of plastic over the bottom of the front end: I secured the trim with one screw on each side: and I caulked both sides to keep water out.  It was difficult to get the trim back in place on the repaired side.  For a moment, I thought I was going to have to redo part of it; but with a little force, it all came together.

I was so elated that I layed back on my driveway and breathed a sigh of relief.  Then looking up, I spotted a small rainbow–it felt like a positive omen. Considering it has not rained in a few days, it was bizarre that a rainbow appeared as soon as I succeeded in putting my front end back together.  So many weeks it has been in pieces.  I could not be more pleased.  🙂

Come to think of it, an upside down, quarter of a rainbow–very strange.  Hmmm.

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As an aside…tiny camper, tiny camper, tiny camper…

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Something has happened to me in the process of renovating this 40 year old camper—I have acquired some new skills. Woot!

I have always wanted to get into woodworking—to get into any kind of building medium, for that matter. And now, I’m really diggin’ it! For the past three months, I find myself revamping this old camper and learning so much that I never knew before.

In the beginning of this process, my intentions were simply to establish a transitional tiny home for myself from this old camper and to dramatically reduce my living expenses. However, an unintended result has occurred—I have learned how to build a camper from the ground up. I guess when you de-construct something and then put it back together, the design process becomes pretty obvious. Turns out, campers are rather simple. My mind craves more…

Another thing…funny thing happened when I bought this old girl—my first camper—I got hooked and now I want another one. I figure—this old camper has been around for forty years and is still going strong—why not borrow the design and go ahead and create a smaller version of it—while I am on fire and am feeling very creative!

I will need to buy some more tools.

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Fall update on the camper renovation…

Latest video update here:

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1196928490397702&id=100002416879566

Almost three months into this restoration—I thought I was done with the demolition. Not quite. After removing the refrigerator, the stove, the bathroom, the ceiling, all upper cabinets, most of the built-ins, and all the rotten framing in the front left corner, I decided to go ahead and remove the old propane furnace. I feel safer knowing that there are zero propane appliances that can pose a risk to my dog and cat when I am not home. So, boom! I ripped out the propane heater and by the way, the pile of dirt that was trapped underneath that sixty-five pound heater—pretty disgusting. Good riddance. I am looking at an electric fireplace heater to replace it.


At this point (thanks in part to taking a very short vacation), I have been able to install a new sub-floor with insulation. I also built a second interior frame along all four walls (to be lined with foam board insulation). The walls are ready for new electrical outlets, new switches, new light fixtures, thicker insulation, and new plywood for a fresh start. My brother is re-vamping the electric to be sure it is safe.


I have picked up a few things for the camper that I think are worth sharing. I found electrical outlets at Lowe’s that have USB ports in them—very cool. I also found some very beautiful painted metal outlet covers that I could not resist buying for the camper.

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Electricity concerns–because I am converting this camper over to electric, I feel it is a good idea to minimize use of electricity, as it runs on 35 amps total. So, I found some pretty neat battery powered overhead lights for my kitchen area and also for under the bunk bed area.  One set runs on AA batteries, just like a wall clock–the other runs on AAA batteries. Pretty cool product. I am also getting ready to refinish a set of two 1940s kitchen chairs that I acquired for free a few years ago—I found some amazing elephant fabric that I am going to use to re-upholster the chairs once I refinish the woodgrain.

Nearing the completion of this demolition and complicated frame repair, I am feeling pretty accomplished. There was a moment that I doubted whether I could fix this camper. Over the hump now. I am looking forward to the really fun part-creating a warm living space.  I hope this post is helpful.  🙂