Fabric and Insta Granite are your friends


Going back to the original camper, some of the worst parts were the horrid fabric, and it was everywhere. Some type of polyester beige with a plant of some sorts, sprinkled with dusty blue and mauve. Never a good combination. Again I urge the camper makers to hire someone, maybe like David Bromstad or Nate Berkus. So if you are looking for quick update don’t be afraid to change the fabrics.

I started with the cushions for the table area. I didn’t want to sew new slip covers, instead I used the method found on YouTube. I took thin wood and made a backer for lack of better words for each pillow. Then I wrapped the pillows like a present and stapled the fabric on the back with a staple gun. Now is this washable, no, but here is the thing, I have about $10 in it, if they get stained, rip them off and do again. Which judging by my track record it will probably happen stain or no stain, just cause I like change. Also took down the dark wood “screen” for lack of a better description. Replaced with a fabric silver chevron shower curtain. Curtains I made with fabric I  found at Joanne Fabrics, then lined with thermal backing. This is important in keeping the summer heat out of the camper!

The counter tops in the camper weren’t terrible, I have seen worse. They were a light pink almost, but not exactly my style either. Replacing countertops is terrible, been there done that. So I was off to find another update solution. Cant paint them, no tile, oh how I want the marble look…..then I found it! There is a new product called Instant Granite. They are endorsed by Rachel Ray, what did I have to lose. Hopped on the website (http://www.instant-granite.com/) and there it was marble. So I ordered a bunch and hoped for the best. It was awesome. It is a heavy almost contact paper looking product that looks awesome. Marble for me!  We ordered enough to do all the countertops in the camper, so the look continues into the bathroom as well.

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Love the progress we have made with camper. It is honestly starting to look better than some of the places the husband and I lived when we were younger! Keep following, we aren’t even done with this little redo yet!


And the paint must go on


I left you last with priming, painting, and bears oh my, sorry reverted back to Wizard of Oz, one of my all time favorite movies. Anyhow Alyssa and I are deep into the painting and priming of cabinets and walls. Here is where I would like to address the camper makers, as I am sure that they are reading this.

Dear Camper Makers, I think you need to hire some women or at least some men with design taste. See you are actually building campers for two different sections of the population. The ones who want to be rugged, and have a hunting man cave, and those who want the look of their house on wheels. I would like to be the spoke person for the second group. The 70s have called and they want their bad fake dark wood, paneling, and terrible fabrics back, and while we are talking please stop using any type of bisque or off white toilets, tubs and sinks. These are terrible, terrible. Um on second thought, continue as it will give me loads of business when it comes to redoing all of your mistakes, but if you want to expand your customer base, I would be more than happy to help, for a small fee or a brand new camper!

Ok so here is my camper progress update: Cabinets painted. The completed project ends up taking two coats of Zinsser primer, the three coats of Sherwin Williams high gloss white in Pro Classic. Really think they should start paying me for all these product drops. Keep in mind when using Zinsser, if you want it to be durable, you have to let it cure for 3/7 days before paint. We also put wood putty in the original handle holes, so we could start with a blank canvas. We went with cup pulls for the drawers. The ones shown here are left over from my kitchen redo from about 8 years ago. Score, love reusing items, and it means $0.00 to the budget. For the doors we went with classic circle stainless pulls. Notice the white rectangle on the cabinet doors? Those are left over from the original pulls. Campers have special cabinet hardware that keep the doors closed when traveling. We had to keep them for the doors to stay closed, so we improvised and just spray painted them white. They blend in well I think, and overall look I wanted was still able to be achieved.

I want to talk about the stove. Remember my rant above about bisque color being used. Well the same was with the stove.  The color could not stay, everything else in the camper was going white and light. Armed with tape and spray paint we fixed it. I took it apart and sprayed with Rust-Oleum High Heat in White. The dark pieces were brown and rusty, so we sanded those down, and sprayed with same spray paint product in black. The handle was tricky. I didn’t want to paint all of it, so we just wrapped in jute twine for now, and spray the end of the handles with white Plastic grade Spray paint.



Although this work was done last month, just writing about it has been exhausting! Check back soon for the continued journey. Feel free to shoot me questions, or comments! Would love to hear from you, and you too camper makers.

Journey, no not the band


The journey begins of our little camper rehab. Oh, sorry if you thought it was a band review, however, please feel free to sing, “Don’t stop believing at anytime.” Trust me I have had to sing that to myself a couple of times during this project.

So last we left you with the delivery of the camper. Again, I had to get over the TERRIBLE DECOR, and remember its solid other wise…right? How does one purchase a solid camper when they know nothing about them? Please allow me to introduce you to a couple of my friends that have answered all of these “umm what is this, can I take this out?” questions. Kail and Amy Knapp took lots of phone calls and pictures to diagnosis without laughing at me too much, and a forum of wonderful helpful people at http://www.rvforum.net pitched in as well. As the song goes “I get by with a little help from my friends.”

Camper delivered on a Friday night, oh yeah forgot to mention that we do not own a truck, so the nice person we purchased it from delivered it to our house! Love nice people! Saturday morning at 8am my sidekick helper Alyssa and I set out for DEMO DAY! Geesh is that a lot of paneling or what!!! Holy Panel!

So the game plan had hatched! Anything and everything  with paneling in the main camper area was being painted flat Grey Clouds, Sherwin Williams, Emerald ( left over from bathroom redo) and all cabinets were going gloss white ( 17 of them to be exact). Here is where I tell you I am a paint snob, won’t paint with anything but Sherwin Williams. Needless to say, that store LOVES ME!  So in the photos above we took everything down and got down to business of priming with Zesinger primer. Wow that was a lot of primer !!! Every thing was dark panel or wood or nasty wall paper!

All was well in the world until we attempted to remove the bunk mattresses. While wrangling the mattress out,  I put my hand clear through the paneling…..um what, previous owner said no water damage…..insert string of curse words that I won’t post here, but anyone who knows me, knows what that rant sounded like in person.


Pick up the phone and text Amy and Kail my discovery, then my father, and then the previous owner. I am in a panic, we are having a 911 camper crises!  After reassuring from the Knaps it was not expensive to repair and the previous owner assuring us he had no idea, and giving us some money back ( again yea for nice and honest people). We decided to press on with the rest and deal with the “but end” disaster later.

So the journey has begun, and at this point have had to sing, don’t stop believing a couple of times… Whoa!

The Camper that could…..


Welcome! I am a married mother to two teenagers that is at a constant personal battle between my two selves. The one who loves stats, ROI and leading, and the other  who loves to create, build, and DIY. I imagine the battle between my two selves in my head looks something like  Darth Vader in an epic battle against Martha Stewart.

Oh and might I add, that I have champagne taste on a beer budget, always have, as my father will tell you. Very early I figured out that I could recreate, tear down and copy just about any look myself for half the money, also insert dragging along my father in most of these  “projects”.  I have never seen something that I didn’t think,” umm, yeah I can do that”.

While sitting at home one evening, it hit me that my dear husband was not going to let me redo a room in our house again. I average a complete room redo about every 6 months. How was I going to use all these wonderful ideas in my head….paint colors, fabrics I couldn’t resist, my need to build things out of reclaimed items….then the solution smacked me in my little face. A CAMPER< yep that’s right a “mini house”. I could unleash all those ideas swirling around in my head for every room in the house. Problem, I have never camped and I know nothing about campers. Oh well, my search began, insert husband rolling eyes when I told him my fabulous idea!

Where do bargain hunters go….Craigslist. After a couple of days searching there she was, a 1988 camper 24 ft Fleetwood travel trailer screaming to come home with me and be rescued from the drab paneling, Americana décor, and horrible camper fabric ( we will talk more about that décor later) and be made dramatic. Price was right and after purchasing for under $3000, she was delivered at our house! Now the journey begins.