Camper update #2

One crazy week since my last update. It feels as if I haven’t stopped moving. A couple times a day I break for food and watch an episode of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and then get right back to work. I’d like to be on the road by the end of April and there’s so much that needs to be done between then and now. I’m in a much better mind set now than when I was writing my last update. I’m extremely excited by our plans and I’m looking forward to the next few weeks of working to make everything come together.

We continued to gut the inside. Nothing comes out easy. Blake and I managed to get the kitchenette out and then Blake and my brother got the benches and shelves out. I harvested the stove and the sink. I won’t be using them for this project but they’re too dang cute to toss. And even though the “refrigerator” had a cute door it was worthless and so it had to be thrown out. I also kept some of the hardware. We filled my dad’s entire truck bed with camper guts. My dad, Randy, had handyman Randy come over and take the floor out. I wish I could do all these steps myself but when I tell my dad I want to he just tells me I’m being hard headed and why not let someone do it who knows what they’re doing. And he’s right but I just want to make sure that I’m taking note and learning so in the future I could do these things myself. It was better for Randy to take the floor out because we needed to keep the stringers (2x4s supporting the floor) intact and he knew about where they’d be placed and cut around them. I bought a couple wire brush drill attachments to get some of the rust off the outside and make the aluminum look better. The bits work well but it’s going to be a long day doing all the trim. We only practiced on a small section but I’ll get out there and do the whole thing in a couple days. I thought that I was going to sand the curved walls and ceiling and paint them but when I started sanding I noticed that there was damage on every panel so we may as well replace all of them. We found wood at home depot that’s flexible enough to use in it’s place. So in order to replace the walls that meant the existing walls had to come out. I under estimated how difficult it would be, not realizing these walls were tucked behind the adjacent walls, and I went out there sort of unprepared but determined. Even though it was hot out I should have worn sleeves because my skin did not like the insulation that was hiding behind those walls. There were a couple times that big sheets of the insulation would fall on top of me after ripping a wood panel from the ceiling. And I wore a dust mask but I should have coughed up the money for a better quality one because after getting those walls out my throat was itchy and sore. But ripping all that out was extremely satisfying. And the biggest plus to taking those walls out is now we know where our support boards are so we won’t have any problems making sure the new furniture is secured in place. We also have to take the other two walls out which I’ll probably do tomorrow. This also gives us access to the electric which allows us to move any light fixtures if I want to. I have to have all the walls and any lingering debris out of the way by Tuesday because Randy is coming back over to put in the new walls. Hopefully he won’t mind if I assist him and learn. The two walls that have rounded corners but don’t actually curve, those are going to become reclaimed wood walls! After Randy puts new wood on I’ll paint them a dark color to prep them for pallet wood. Yesterday my brother and I spent a couple hours tearing apart some pallets. It was so much harder than I thought it would be. All the nails are threaded and rusty which makes them extremely difficult to pry out without splitting the wood. We were able to salvage about 60 boards. We figure I’ll need about 100 but I’ll fill in the rest with wood from Home Depot and I think I’ll still get the same effect, if not we can salvage some more boards. Before working on the pallets with my brother, my dad and I dropped the trailer off at David’s Trailers to get a new axle and electric brakes installed. It was hopefully my biggest expense (besides the trailer) but one that wasn’t optional and I’ll feel so much better towing the camper knowing we have that. I just noticed I spelled brakes wrong 5 times in my previous post?! Breaks!? Ugh. Anyway, we were able to pick the camper up today and so it’s back in my driveway ready for more work.

I’ve also spent a ton of time this week shopping for supplies. Even though I’m not leaving for 6-8 weeks I want to have everything ready to go as soon as possible. In order for me to be able to really focus on art for the camper I need everything else out of the way otherwise it’s going to clutter my mind and distract me. I think I’ll be able to store a majority of my supplies in my Outback which is exciting because that means the camper will be able to have a more open floor plan. I’ve been buying different storage containers and testing them out to see which ones are the best fit. I referenced an RV packing list online and I’ve been buying everything from tissues to lighters to pots and pans. I’ve still got quite a bit more to pick up but it’s a good start. My to-do list for this weekend includes ripping out the final two walls, sanding and staining all the pallet wood and buying the rest of my packing list and organizing it. I’m going to hold off on packing clothes and toiletries until the end but it’s not too early to have everything else organized and ready to load into the car and camper.

I’ve got plans for the layout of the inside but I’m going to hold off on sharing those since my sketches are sloppy and there are some elements that I want to keep a surprise. I’ll still be posting plenty though 🙂

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Walking through the garden department for inspiration is a must.

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Organizing/packing all my art supplies for craft meet ups!

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Thanks for reading these update posts. I know they don’t flow very well, it’s not very easy for me to explain and recap everything. Hopefully these posts will get more interesting as the renovations continue.

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10 thoughts on “Camper update #2

  1. I’m honestly so excited to see all the work that’s been done so far! I know it all seems so daunting, but after it’s done it’ll be that much more rewarding. I know how discouraging it feels when things aren’t going the way you imagined, but I hope it helps you to hear that I get so inspired reading these posts of yours. I went to school to become an art major for two years and because of money issues I kind of gave up on it. I haven’t created art in over a year and have pretty much abandoned the idea of ever returning to it. Seeing someone (you) work so hard, and be so filled with many amazing, ambitious ideas gives me hope and inspiration that maybe I can still make this whole artist thing work. Being an artist is probably one of the most difficult paths to take, but it’s so encouraging to know there are so many other amazing, talented people with the same hopes and dreams and struggles. I want to see you succeed so much, and I have every confidence that you will, no matter how many falls and scrapped knees it takes in the process. You always have such beautiful ideas and I can’t wait to see this completed project!
    Also, if you happen to visit New York (the state, not the city), I know about a hundred and one beautiful hiking/camping spots that I think you might enjoy!

  2. Hi Vail!
    It’s so great to see your progress. Please be careful when gutting the camper! I know it’s pretty old and my head went straight to the thought of asbestos. Stay safe and have fun. 🙂

  3. I’m so glad you’re keeping us updated! Please try not to be too har on yourself when problems arise — you’re so capable and creative, plus you’ve got some great people helping you out. It looks like you’re making incredible progress!! Keep on keeping on, and remember to take breaks sometimes to rest/recoup. I can’t wait to read your next update. ❤

  4. So cool to see someone with big ideas and big motivation do these big projects and have them come to beautiful fruition! You sound like you’re working hard, learning a lot and hopefully having fun!!

  5. That’s so exciting to see the support system you have with your family and having them help you achieve your dream. ❤ really inspiring about all the progress so far and I can't wait to see how awesome it's going to be when its finished! :3

  6. Taking a camper and ripping everything out and making it your own is not only an awesome thing to do, but totally motivating and it gives you a reason to wake up and work hard. I can’t wait until you start traveling and I’m also happy to say I finally ordered one of your beanies today! You’re an amazing and inspiring person, and I can’t wait for your next update. 👍✌💗

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