Camper Renovation Steps
. We lucked out here…our neighbor one day decided to sell this Vintage 1976 GO-Tag-a-long Camper. My husband and I jumped on the opportunity as soon as we saw it out on her front lawn – we bought it for the amazing price of $600. SO, I don’t have that much information on where to find a camper for a decent price but I have heard there are several different apps, craigslist is always an option, or I would recommend word of mouth. You’d be surprised how many people know someone selling exactly what you’re looking for! Finding the camper
was figuring out what the main issues were with our camper. We had water damage on the ceiling, a few tiny holes throughout the camper that needed to be filled, a new water heater needed to be installed and there was an intense smell of mildew which means MOLD. So I deep cleaned the entire camper and we got to work the next day. First step
1. Remove all doors, shelves, knobs, handles, tables, light fixtures, outlets and the counter top. Sand down everything you want to paint over. While sanding is not required for every paint project, rough spots on walls, whether they have been previously painted or not, need to be sanded before they are painted to ensure the paint goes on smoothly. I used mostly this handheld sander pictured above but if you are trying to get into smaller space a fine-grit block works great.
2. Paint all areas you want covered with two layers of primer before applying your actual paint color. We were covering old dark wood so two layers of primer was necessary before paint, but that may not be the case for all! Painting is the longest and most tedious part of the whole renovation process (if you ask me) – so get it done first for the sake of your sanity and also so you don’t get paint splatters all over your new flooring. The primer we used was Kilz and the paint was Valspar.
3. All items you plan to refurbish make sure to remove and deep clean. If you’re renovating a vintage model it’s important to remember that a lot of the door knobs, locks and light fixtures are out-dated + hard to find! Holding onto these pieces is a great way to save your money and time! More information on how I refurbished these is under the “DIY Hacks“ section.
4. Once you’re done painting start to install all hardware…kitchen drawer pulls, door knobs, shelving units. Next, install refurbished lights and replace all old outlets with new ones – we bought the USB Dual Port Outlets so it’s easier to charge our phones/laptops. We also replaced our old electrical box with a new one just to be safe. We watched several YouTube videos on how to install everything but if we were unsure about something we called our friend who is professional electrician to come help – do not do anything yourself that you’re not comfortable doing!
5. Get started on the bathroom! This process was pretty easy for us – the toilet, window and light fixture were all in good shape so we really just needed to install a new shower head + water heater and figure out a way to cover up the 70’s wallpaper. Head to “DIY Hacks” to read how we tackled the wall or go to “Decor and Appliances“ to find where we found this self-adhesive brick set + major appliances.
6. Butcher Block! Our best friend. Someone suggested we use butcher block and we’re so happy we did. Not only is it cheap and easy to find but it looks stunning as a counter top or table. We measured everything accordingly and got to work – make sure to follow the instructions for butcher block – it’s important to oil it almost immediately after cutting and then continue to do so every month. The piece we bought was large and we had a lot leftover to get creative with! You can find details under “ DIY hacks”
7. Tile and Flooring. While installing the tile make sure to protect the butcher block with some form of coverage. We watched a YouTube video on how to tile and it turned out beautiful! YouTube for the win. We used vinyl flooring which was super easy to install and looks gorgeous – another great way to save money!
8. Sealing the roof. As I mentioned above, we had water damage on the ceiling of our camper. The water damage wasn’t severe enough to where we would have to replace it, so we bought waterproof Rubber Roof Sealer and it worked great. We haven’t had any issues since applying it. On the inside we also primed and painted the ceiling… where there were random water marks we doubled the primer and used ceiling paint dedicated to extra coverage. While fixing the roof we also filled all the small random holes throughout the camper with spray foam – worked like a charm!
9. Onto the cushions. Chances are, if you’re renovating an old vintage camper you’ll have some mold growth in the camper cushions…we do NOT want this. It often gives off a strong mildew smell which is a big red flag that the cushions need to be swapped out. This was one of the more expensive tasks we had to tackle but absolutely worth every penny. JOANN Fabric, Lowes, or Amazon all have cushion foam inserts available for purchase. The specific fabric I chose was also from JOANN Fabric. Details on all of this you can find under both “DIY. Hacks” and “Decor and Appliances”
10. Decorate! Make this space cozy and get creative with your style! It’s so fun to mess around with different pieces and colors. Something I’m so happy I ended up doing towards the end of the renovation was creating a black accent wall – It really pulled together the space by tying in the bathroom appliances/curtain + random black tones throughout the camper. Head to “Decor and Appliances” to see where we found our favorite decorative items.