Vintage Camper Remodel
We have been campers for years.
Every year Jeff’s family goes camping in Noel, Missouri.
So, when I married into the family, we kept up the tradition!
After we had kids, Jeff built us a homemade camper. Really, all it was was an insulated box with a little window unit and enough room to throw a mattress on the floor and a tiny bunk area for the twins.
That camper served us for ten good years. It was pretty redneck looking, but we didn’t care! All we wanted was a comfortable place to sleep.
Fast forward those ten years…. we added another kid to the family and they all grew to adult size and became teenagers! (Well, the twins did- Lindy is still a kid at twelve, lol.)
Jeff added on to the homemade camper, but it just wasn’t going to work for the long term.
So, one day in July a few years ago, he calls me from work and tells me that we were going to look at a camper!
Being the cheapskate I am and the fact that we only camped once a year, I was a bit skeptical of our need for an actual camper.
But, after I looked at it, I knew we could turn it into something super cool and it would serve our family for a very long time!
So, meet our 1971 Layton camper!
She wasn’t much to look at in the beginning.
She was faded and worn out. The dark 70’s paneling was something to behold and the previous owners had obviously been chain smokers. Plus, she was dirty.
We paid $1,000 for her, but she looked good underneath and the air conditioner worked, so we figured the rest was cosmetic and we could fix her up and give her new life!
$500 later we had our own totally awesome vintage camper! We get lots of compliments on her and you can spot her from the bridge in the fairgrounds when we camp at the fair every year. (Yeah, since we have a nice camper, that once a year camping trip morphed into three camping excursions a year!)
Let me give you the grand tour and tell you all what we did.
Here are some before pictures-
One of the first things we did was completely take out the kitchen. Nothing in it worked and when we camp, we like to cook outside on grills, fires, and camping stoves. We also needed additional sleeping area for Reece. So, we ripped out the kitchen and built this couch there-
Jeff built a platform and I ordered 4 inch foam to fit the space. I then covered it with fabric and Reece had his couch!
See how he built the platform?
We also took out the furnace and put this in instead-
We had a Primo water dispenser from our previous house (we had bad water there) and it fit perfectly in this space! We fill up two of the water bottles for it and it’s always more than enough drinking water for any of our trips. Jeff built shelves in the extra space above it and that’s where we stash our drinking cups (we each use a cup a day with our names on them) and things like sunglasses, sunblock, etc.
We left the table as it was, but we painted the seat platforms and I recovered the cushions. I left the original fabric on them, but made covers that I can easily take off and wash. This folds into a double bed.
Here’s the before-
We also redid the floor. We went a cheap and easy route and just did stick on vinyl planks. We figure for the amount of traffic, they would hold reasonably well and the price was right 🙂 This will be the fourth summer for this camper and other than a couple of the tiles slightly unsticking, it’s been perfectly fine!
Since we took out the kitchen completely, we did add a space for a large dorm fridge. Jeff put some boards in the walls to make a kind of bracket to hold it in place. When you’re only camping for a max of 5 days, this little fridge is perfectly sufficient!
We also added a spot to mount a small TV in our sleeping area. This has been great for Reece! If he gets too overwhelmed with whatever is happening outside, then he can come in here and veg out and decompress. The girls like it also- especially when it rains at the fair and you’re stuck inside!
We also redid the bathroom! Jeff put new plumbing in under the camper. We completely removed the shower and turned that tiny area into a closet where we store our canopies and water bottles. We kept the original sink and counter, but got a new toilet (from Amazon!).
As you have probably noticed from the pictures, we painted pretty much everything white!!
And you may have noticed my very cheery yellow polka dot curtains! I love them 🙂
We also put in a tension shower rod and shower curtain to separate our “bedroom” from everything else so people can have a place to change privately.
The other thing we did when we painted everything white, was spray painted the air conditioner.
We kept all the original light fixtures and cabinet hardware so we didn’t totally lose that “vintage” feel.
On the outside, Jeff painted it (he has a fancy paint gun that you would use for vehicles), polished up the wheels, put on new tires, and resealed the top. Here’s a rather bad picture of the outside, but you can get the idea 🙂
We were in the middle of the interior remodel, hence the mess outside!
And that is our very own vintage camper remodel story!
Any questions?? Have you ever done a camper remodel?