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Well, we are now the owners of a beautiful retro 1975 Wilderness Camper Trailer. We now get to embark on the journey of our vintage camper restoration in order to get it camp worthy for next summer. It is going to be a journey, so make sure you follow along on our vintage camper restoration journey.
When my husband and I first started dating, he let me know that his family goes camping every year for almost an entire week for the Annual LaGrange Engine Show and he would love that the boys and I started going with him. It was new to the boys but not new to me as I have gone camping many times growing up, but my exes were not exactly the camping types, so we never took the boys when they were younger. So when I met my husband, we went at least once a year and the boys had a blast.
My husband's parents had a camper, his grandparents had campers, but we had a tent. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with tent camping (my husband still rather tent camp), I can no longer camp that way since I have hip & knee issues. Even with having an air mattress cot while going camping. Hell, sometimes I just struggle with being able to get out of our regular bed some days. I am actually writing this article from bed today because I am having a really off day.
A few weeks ago a friend of my husband let us know that a farm he was buying some equipment from had a smaller camper that they were going to sell and it would be perfect for us. It is quite the fixer-upper, but it has a really solid frame & such. We went out to see it, fell in love, and pretty much paid the guy on the spot.
What In The Vintage Camper Restoration Is Going On?
The vintage camper restoration that we have to do is going to be long, tedious, but overall I think it is going to be absolutely perfect for us when we are done. We are not looking to turn it into a camper that will grace the front of Better Homes & Gardens magazine, but we are trying to make sure that it is functional and liveable while we are using it to camp.
We have a lot of things we are going to have to do in order to make it functional. The first thing we are going to do is take out all of the cushions, bedding, curtains, open cabinets, bathroom, etc and start looking for water damage, soft spots, etc. We are almost certain that we will have to repair some of the walls, the electrical, etc.
I mean, look at these cushions! While some may like the “retro” feel of the camper, my husband and I have agreed that we are going to completely update and give the inside a more modern and cleaner look. We are thinking of doing a black, gray, and white color scheme, similar to what All Things With a Purpose did with a camper. We are not entirely sure if that is the route we are going to end up going. Either way, whatever color scheme we come up with, it is going to be gorgeous on the inside.
There used to be a stove and oven in the camper at one point in time, but the previous owners removed it. It looks like they were trying to do their very own vintage camper restoration, but stopped for whatever reason. So we are probably going to add more cabinet space and utilize an induction plate for the most part. We grill more than anything and we will have a designated slow cooker and electric skillet, both of which can be taken outside to use.
To keep the table or Toss it? that is the question.
We have not entirely decided on if we are going to keep this booth or get a jackknife couch in its place instead. On one hand, I like the idea of having a table for when I want to do some blog work and extra bedding for when our youngest is with us, but on the other hand, we want to primarily eat outside and not live in the camper while we're camping. So we are kind of torn. Either way, we are going to have enough bedding for at least 3 people one way or another. We also need to make sure we can make a kennel for our Loki dog because we do not want to leave him home alone.
The flooring looks to be in decent shape and recently updated by the previous owners within the last 5 or 6 years. We may end up leaving the flooring, though we may have to rip it out if we decide to rip out the table and adjust the seating and eating area during the vintage camper restoration. We do know we are going to have to most likely rip out the wall and ceiling and insulate the camper more since we are looking at possibly doing some winter camping in the future. We may replace the current furnace system with an electric fireplace since we do not really need anything huge since the camper is less than 20 feet long.
We are also going to get rid of the current refrigerator and put in a larger fridge so that we have both a freezer and fridge for our extended camping trips that we plan on doing after the whole vintage camper restoration is completed.
We are redoing the sink, piping, counters, and bathroom as well. The husband and I talked it over, we are probably going to get rid of the shower and turn the bathroom into an all in one shower, sink, toilet combo so that we save on space and what is currently the shower area, we will turn that into a closet and kennel combo so that we can extend our back bed out and have two night stands on each side of the bed in the back. Under the bed, we plan on having storage for our clothing, shoes, etc. Overhead, we talked about completely getting rid of or turning it into a shelf for added storage.
I may come to regret purchasing this camper, or I may end up falling in love with camping all over again after this Vintage Camper Restoration.
Only Time Will Tell!
My husband and I both know that this vintage camper restoration is going to take time, money and a lot of hard work to get it exactly how we need and want it to be. In the end, I think it is going to be perfect for us. We only have a few more years that our youngest will be living under our roof and he rather sleep in a tent anyway, which is one of the major reasons we are not sold on the idea of having the seating and eating area. Plus, when we are camping for extended periods of time, I will be able to take work with me if we just have at least a couch and a folding table or two.