Taking two steps forward, turning around and reevaluating

An Introduction

Being a graphic designer/marketing professional in my day job, I was excited to buy the finishing touches for my camper, bringing the vision in my head to life. A little fun fact: I have the fabric for the future cushions and even a color-coordinated dish set, but I haven’t yet got the camper reattached to the frame.

Quick Facts

Step 1: Fabric & Dishes
Step 1: Fiberglass
Step 1: Mechanics
Step 1: Reattach the Frame

Finishing touches

Only my third post and I’m already onto finishing touches for the camper! Sounds too good to be true, right? It is.

When I bought the camper I spent a lot of time on Pinterest searching for the perfect décor, color scheme, etc. I was excited to get those things rolling. I decided I wanted denim cushions, so I grabbed 10+ yards of denim at a local discount fabric store, and on a trip to the Crate & Barrel outlet in Kittery I found the perfect dishes and glasses, so I just had to get those too. My last “finishing touch” purchase for the time being was a modern style Woolwich blanket from L.L. Bean.

Though I realize now just how far I am from using these things, I don’t regret buying them when I did. They serve as inspiration pieces for the entire project, and they constantly remind me just how great the camper will be once it’s finished.

Step 1: Not what I thought

Perhaps I’m in the minority here, but my assumption when I got the camper was that the first step on my restoration/remodel journey would be to get it weather tight. The most pressing issue (I thought) was the fiberglass roof, which had significant cracks around the moor light (which wasn’t attached to anything at all) and had caved somewhat on one side.

After calling around, I found a boat repair shop about an hour away from me that could take on the project. That lead to the first reevaluation: the camper had to be roadworthy (to get to the boat shop) before it could be weather tight.

Given that new epiphany, I called the local trailer shop and asked them to take a look at the frame and tell me what needed to be replaced mechanically to get it back on the road. They agreed to check it over, so after new tires and newly sandblasted and painted rims, we made the sub-20mph trip 4 miles to the trailer shop.

Though the frame looked good, they couldn’t fix any of the mechanical elements until the body was resecured to the frame. This lead to the second reevaluation, and brings us almost up to date on the camper right now.

Step 1: For real this time

So the real step 1, reattaching the body of the camper to the frame, is in progress right now. I’ve found someone locally who has agreed to help me get going on this project. His name is James Robertson. I have very limited carpentry skills myself, but I’m excited to learn from James and finally see some progress, nearly two years to the day after I first brought the camper home.

We spent the first day evaluating the current state of the wood in the camper, most importantly the wood keeping the body on the frame, and putting together a list of supplies and materials for me to pick before next weekend. I tore out the remaining paneling and insulation, and carefully removed the kitchen section in the rear of the camper.

It’s easy to be overwhelmed when starting a project this size, but sometimes the universe gives you a sign that it was meant to be. On the fiberglass wall behind the kitchen, the numbers 207 were painted unmistakably large. This might not mean much to most people, but 207 happens to be the phone area code for the state of Maine. Someone back in 1967 put those numbers there, foreshadowing this camper’s journey across the pond to me. I think that’s pretty special.


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Nicolette Hashey