We did it! We bought ourselves a little 29 ft. Camper-Trailer (We looked it up dear momma, this is the official name on the title!) And Blake, me, two toddlers, a golden retriever, and a massively hairy cat, are all living in this small 200-something sq. foot paradise (to us!). We bought this puppy a couple of months ago and I didn’t really have any plans to change anything, as we were so busy with packing and selling basically all of our stuff, then one afternoon as my boys snoozed, and much to my poor husbands dismay, I sat in the camper which was parked in our driveway, and saw the potential all around me.
This thing was in awesome condition, but the wallpaper and floral cushions/curtains were nagging at me, saying, “I DON’T MATCH ANYTHING YOU OWN.”
My OCD kicked in big time, and by the next day I had read/researched every camper renovation guide/blog there was. A new sheet of wallpaper would be easier but WAY too expensive, but painting would be massively time consuming, and pretty darn cheap. I knew Blake had way too much on his plate to put any new projects on there, so I only took on what I knew I could attempt and handle. I chose the paint route, and set straight at it. I had no specific color palate in mind, but a pretty little neutral green caught my eye at the paint store. I carried around the sample and thought it through for about a day while I cleaned/prepped the camper, then committed the next day, also buying the tiny set of rollers and paint brushed. Painting this thing was the hardest most time consuming DIY I have ever done, but it was also one of the most rewarding! I had to start with two full coats of a special primer that bonded to wallpaper, then follow that up with three coats of paint to fully cover everything! It took me about a week and a half of working day in and day out, most nights till 1 or 2am in the morning.
During this awesome task, we had a bear visiting our house every night, so after this big fella poked his little head in the camper to check on my progress late one evening and nearly scared me to death, Blake made sure I was armed with his favorite pistol and his favorite pup, who barked and chased off the bear almost every night after this. I was beyond happy to finish painting! Imagine the smallest, hard-to-reach spots in any house that just take a ton of time/squeezing into tiny back-breaking spaces. That was this whole project.
My back and neck took a while to recover. Sorry guys. We then had our quick trip up to Denver for appointments, so I got some tiny living inspired furniture from IKEA (I love you dearly) and we stopped by JoAnnes for some fabric to reupholster the benches/couch with. This, I knew would be the most expensive part of our renovation, and I was trying my hardest to stay within my budget, the budget being basically whatever furniture we sold, I could use the cash for the camper.
I was heading to checkout with a big fat roll of brown faux leather thinking how on earth I was gonna wing this, when Blake walked over with a big old grin on his face and showed me a coupon he had on his phone for 60% off fabric at this store. He won the day, and was pretty darn attractive holding that crafting coupon all the way up to the register. Saved our skin! When we got home, we only had a couple more weeks to pack the entire house, finish renovating the camper, and selling everything we could at a big garage sale the day after we were out of the ranch house. Busy didn’t even begin to cover our lives through the entire month of May. It passed in an exhausted blur. I reupholstered the bench seats, My first attempt at any reupholstering before (Thanks for the tips Syd!) And I’m pretty happy with how they turned out! They also clean off incredibly, which we found out after Titus overturned his entire cereal bowl on our first morning in the trailer. I also had to make curtains for all the little windows, so I used the curtains I had in my living room which I adore, and camped out at my sisters sewing machine for a few days.
The only “doors” we have for our room and the boys little bunks are curtains I got at IKEA which were about 4 feet too long, so I had to hem those as well. This was my first attempt at hemming curtains too, and, well, they all work! Just don’t look too close! I hung all my new treasures and decorated the whole place with our very favorite decorations from the house. Awesome thing about moving into a tiny space is that you can keep the best/nicest things you own, and start fresh again someday down the road (punny) with whatever you’d like! When I first started the renovation, I tried peeling up the border wallpaper at the top of the wall, but that thing wasn’t going without a fight, a fight which it won. It was actually tearing the wall off with it so I threw together a plan B and we went with a wood border instead. I did need Blake’s help with this one as I don’t know how to run a saw and I think he was fine with this. He knocked it out in one afternoon and we loved the way it turned out! We moved our things in and spent our first night in the camper on May 25th! That was a particularly windy night and the camper slightly rocked, which had Ezra squeaking, “It’s gonna fall! Mommy, the camper’s tipping!” After I calmed him down we all got a great nights sleep and woke up bright and early to finish packing and cleaning the house.
My mom and brother-in-laws came to help and there is no way we could’ve finished without their help! At 7pm, we turned our beautiful ranch home over to it’s new family and breathed for about 3.5 seconds before we headed over to my sister’s house where we were setting up for our garage sale the next morning.We worked late into that night, and were back at it at 6am the next morning.
The garage sale went great! We were able to sell all our big items and then some! We had some left over to donate to the thrift store and only a small load to take to the dump. We are so tired. I have probably said that ten thousand times over the last month and it is just now starting to wear off. I haven’t regretted taking on a complete remodel of our little camper the month we had to move, because every morning I wake up and love where I get to live now. I enjoy expressing my creativity whenever and wherever I can, and this was a huge opportunity I may not get again. I had way too much fun with it, and it’s a great warm up for the Spec house Blake and I are currently designing, a house that my Husband has given me a budget and almost no other limits on! I think I’m slowly proving myself to him, I hope so at least 😉