Old Camper Restore Homesteading

Old Camper Homesteading

A friend of ours gave us their old camper. It had been sitting in the same place for about 30 years. They did not have the time to fix it up and knew we wanted one.

2020 gave us the opportunity to really focus on getting it fixed up. I was not able to completely finish everything I wanted to before going back to, but it is in usable shape now. And I like my job so I was happy to go back to work.

Although I didn’t have time to edit any videos last year, due to how busy I was, I did try to take pictures and videos. The editing I did for this video was done on a laptop I just bought. I forgot to load some of my video editing files onto it before leaving home, so it may be a little different than many of my other videos. 

This camper had been sitting the same place for about 30 years. There was mold and leak damage, tires were dry rotten, there was a old 'repair' where the vent was sealed and paneling was placed over it, and it had a 'funny smell'. Structurally, it seemed sound.
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Before doing any repairs inside, the camper either needs to be covered or any leaks stopped. The vent that was on the camper was dented badly and hastily sealed during a previous repair. We replace it with a new vent. However, to do this, we had to work on the structural integrity of the ceiling supports at the same time. Pulling down old stringers and banging around on the inside would cause more leaks to form.
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Old Camper Homesteading

The ceiling and roof had to be completed at the same time. Due to past leak issues, there were many rotten support beams. I made several new stringer and replaced all the soft (rotten) wood. Ripping the Douglas Fir boards myself saved a ton of money on wood. Because we did not want to pull everything apart, as so many others have done and then didn't finish, I did most of the work in sections.
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The fridge that was in the camper was old and very small. Since we purchased a new larger propane fridge, I tore out and custom built the entire closet/ fridge area. While doing this, I extended the space several inches to make a pantry. The shelves are adjustable and lock into place so as not to fall out while traveling.
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Old Camper Homesteading

Since I custom built the closet area, that meant custom size drawers. To make the box joints for them, I first build a jig for it. Then I cut all the pieces and finally assembled them.
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One window had rotten wood that needed replacing due to leaks. Many of the screens had holes in them. Several frames were also damaged. There was no matching trim wood at the local store so we decided to redo all of the windows (except the bathroom one). The bathroom looked unused and was not in need of any repairs. Since that window would usually be concealed behind a door, this was a small way to save some time and money.
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Old Camper Homesteading

The top bunk/ storage had to be completely remade. I changed the style some. I made a new table top and install new hardware for the table/ bed.
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The area under the main bed also contains the water tank. Due to several previous leaks, this floor area was the worse to fix. It took awhile to be sure I had removed all of the rotten wood. Some of the wood left may be discolored, but was very solid as I was cutting through it.
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Old Camper Homesteading

To save some money, the cabinets and counter was repainted with paint we had left over from a different project. We did purchase a special enamel high heat paint for the stove and heater. I also do a lot of cooking and wanted a butcher's block countertop. To save money, we purchased a few 4" x 8' strips of butcher's block that was on sale for about 40% off. I was then able to calculate what I needed without the stove and sink holes and glue in that shape. This saved us A LOT of money.
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All the fabric items in the camper had to be tossed. This was an expense. I purchased all new foam, fabric, and curtain rods for this project. Although I was able to soak most of the old rusty hinges in a vinegar/ salt bath and reuse them, I wasn't able to reuse any of the curtain rods. I am planning on editing and posting the sewing videos as soon as I can.
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Old Camper Homesteading

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