Monday, July 21, 2014

The Vintage/Retro Restoration of Grandpa's Camper


 Oh have we been having fun with this project camper! This was my Grandpa Fay's camper. It was in the process of being restored when we got it, we are finishing the job. This is what it looked like when we first brought it home about a month ago. The screen needed replaced in the upper side window and many of the window knobs inside were old and brittle, so we replaced those.  Michael sealed the roof, and I sanded all that green and white paint off the bottom and put sealer on it as well. Eventually, we're thinking of rhino-lining  the entire outside to seal it up permanently.
 One of the jacks in the back didn't work at all and it took quite a feat to get the camper on our very tall truck. It was scary indeed. We managed to get it on the truck just in time for our trip to the coast, but we stressed them trying to get the camper on and it blew the o rings out of jacks. Now we need new jacks (these are too old to rebuild), which will be our biggest expense. Before the jack problem, we had spent less than $100 getting this camper sealed and improved cosmetically. Now the camper is stuck on the truck until we can hopefully find some good used jacks. Jacks are expensive, especially when you need four of them!
This is a pic of the inside of the camper when we got it. The previous owner had been working on putting this cute ceiling in, and painted most of the interior. We liked the colors since we knew they would go well with our decorating ideas, so we kept it. 

The back wall was the roughest. The corner had dry rot in it and the paneling was peeling off by layers, so we replaced the whole back corner around the window, down to the floor. I didn't care for the fabric safety-pinned around the cushions. It didn't go with the paint.
Here is a pic after Michael replaced the back panel and trimmed out the window. We took the blue upholstery fabric off the cushions and discovered that they were in great shape, especially for being 42 years old! Hailey sleeps comfortably on these cushions when the table is folded down and Josiah is old enough for his own tent outside. It is wonderful!

Yep, it is a wild, retro print, but it works for what we're doing. I'm going to get some cute solid retro-colored pillows for these. Know I'll find some at yard sales eventually. Michael wants to resurface the table with a fun fermica top and then put chrome trim around the edge.

Here is a pic of the ceiling all done! Michael and I finished putting it in and stained it. Michael trimmed it out and I can't tell you how cute it is! We really did not like the flooring. It wasn't in good shape and always looked dirty, even when it was clean. 
While we were at the beach, Michael brought a remnant piece of linoleum left over from our bathroom project in our trailer house. There was just enough to do this piece and when we do the other bathroom floor in our double-wide this winter, there should be enough left over to put under the camper table. I like this stuff so much better! Doesn't show the dirt and lightened it up in there.

While we were at the beach we began searching the vintage stores for some cute (inexpensive) decorations to make it more fun and homey. We searched high and low and found a tin match box holder that we secured between the cupboards, covering up some unsightly holes where there used to be a light. We were very excited to have found one for less than $5! Since then, we've found 2 more which we are using in our double wide and Michael's shop now that we have two wood stoves. Michael found that cute sign, too. It says, "Coffee! You can sleep when you're dead!" PERFECT for my coffee-addicted hubby. 
We also found this ceramic trivet (very retro) with the scene of George Washington crossing the Delaware River. This appealed to our sense of patriotism AND it perfectly covered up a huge hole where a light fixture used to be. This camper is very simple. No electricity, an icebox and a small water pump. Perfect for us. We like to rough it, and to us this is a palace since we are used to tent camping. There wasn't a bed in it, so we cut one out of a foam mattress that came off a hide-a-bed. The crazy quilt was from my Grandpa's estate as well. It is a little old and tattered around the edges, but it reminds me of him and I love it! Plus it goes perfectly with the decor.  


 Well, we're not done yet. We still have 4 jacks to replace and we need to seal the outside completely and a bit more trim work, but we are well on our way. Can't wait to use it again soon. Pics of our beach trip coming up next.

Hope you're all having a fun July and beating this heat.  These summer days sure do go by fast!

God Bless,
Jackie


6 comments:

magnoliasntea said...

Hi there! I've been reading and enjoying your posts for a while and wanted to say that I love the camper re-do. I also especially like that you're a bonafide homesteading clan. :) Have a great week!

The Vintage Housewife... said...

Hello old friend! This is awesome!!!!! What a great camper!!!!! So excited you stopped by! Hugs cat

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

It is awesome and I love that it is Grandpas!

Anonymous said...

Looks like your going to be having lots of camping fun. Very cool looking camper.


erika

magnoliasntea said...

As I was adding one of my blog posts to a homesteading hop today I thought of your nifty blog and wondered if you would like to add this post to a hop. (If not, that's perfectly fine, but you may enjoy reading some posts by other homesteaders.:) I find your posts good reading, and I think this one, especially, would be very inspiring to other homesteaders (and gain you a larger reader base as well.) If you're interested in that, here are a few that I like to participate in:
http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/2014/07/the-homeacre-hop-80.html
http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2014/07/homestead-barn-hop-168.html
Just thought I'd extend the invitation in case you weren't aware of the homesteading blog party linkups. Have a great day!

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Thank you, I will check that those sites out. I appreciate you thinking of me :)

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