This past Summer we took on a little project. Okay, a BIG project with a capital B. The munchkin is an outdoors girl, and we all like a little adventure, so we thought why not take it on the road?
Our bright idea? Camping! But with an ingenious little girl and a plan to add to the family in the future, we decided we need a camper. As Heidi Klum says “One day you’re in, and the next day you’re OUT.” And, sorry tents. You’re OUT!
The big question was which camper to buy. Realistically, we know we’ll be camping on small weekend trips when we have the time, during the warm months. We’ll keep it close-by, and no cross-country adventures for us just yet. Keeping that in mind, we are NOT in the market for a house-on-wheels for 10’s of thousands. No, no, not us at all.
This got our DIY juices flowing a little bit. Our conversations often began with “what if we…!”. And, our evenings combing through craigslist and kijiji began. Then, we found this little beauty for about 500 beans.
I know, I know… hard to contain your excitement right? Insert “what have we gotten ourselves into” moment here.
But as with any big project, we had to break it down, and start chipping away at the to-do list. Step one, clean her up a little bit.
Hey now! We’re getting somewhere.
And then… we got to the part where we discovered rotten wood in the frame and had to take out some, y’know, walls and structure-type stuff (ack!) to fix it up. At this point, the little “honeymoon suite” isn’t looking so cute.
The interior, at this point, is down to the frame, 35 year old cabinets and flooring removed.
New lumber was added to the frame, and the panels replaced. Now to focus back to the exterior — we used aircraft aluminum paint remover, with a scraper and pressure washer.
And I will quote Steven as saying “I would NEVER do that again.” If we were to ever do this again, it would get a good sanding before primer and call it a day. All those little bits of left-over paint created ridges to deal with, but… after a healthy dose of primer, it all worked out in the end.
Here, the primer getting started. This is when it started getting exciting. We borrowed an automotive paint sprayer (and a pair of extra hands – thanks D), and spent around $300 on auto-body primer and paint.
It’s all coming together. After the primer was dry, we moved right along to a simple coat of cream paint. (I should mention we were able to use the huge garage bays where my husband works — made avoiding a horrible mess so much easier!) She’s starting to look pretty fresh now…
Next came the “pretty.” This is the most fun part. As soon as I laid eyes on that dirty old beat up trailer I had visions of a chevron stripe. I fumbled my way through some basic math, mapped it out, and I think it turned out quite nice.
Next up was a hit of this gorgeous happy blue…
Of course, I was dying to peel off the tape!! The very last step (other than popping the windows back in). And, all you DIY’ers know, nothing feels quite like peeling off your painters tape…
Very relieved to find no bleeding underneath. And, there she is. What a cutie!