This week’s Reader Feature makes me smile every time I see it. Brenda caught the pop up camper remodel bug from her sister Shannon, whose remodel was featured here on the blog last year. Brenda and Shannon and their families had been camping together in their PUPs all year when Shannon decided to give hers a little facelift. It wasn’t long before Brenda was itching to do the same. Here she is to tell us all about it…
Brenda’s Pop Up Camper Makeover
My husband and I started camping in 1985. Our first camper was a 1969 Forrester, which we purchased for $2,000.00. I glammed it up with wallpaper and new upholstery. It was a great camper, and I still miss it to this day! As the family grew and we acquired more “stuff,” we moved up to a larger and more cumbersome camper. We eventually decided it was too much to haul around, and it became a stationary camper at a lake near our hometown. By the time our son turned 16, he didn’t seem to want to “hang” with Mom and Dad, so we sold the camper and stopped camping for the next 18 years.
Last year my sister, Shannon, and her family moved back to Minnesota after 20+ years in California. They love to camp and wanted to take advantage of all of our state parks and spend time with family. They bought their first camper–a pop up–so they could camp in relative comfort.
We started the search for something modest, so we could camp with them. I was hesitant about going camping again and wasn’t convinced I would still enjoy it. We located a 1994 StarCraft Star Flyer on Craigslist. It was close to our hometown, so we drove over to check it out. I was a bit apprehensive as the camper had been used for several years as a base station for a hunter and his friends. The seller had it popped up for us inside his shed when we arrived. The cold temps did nothing to camouflage the residual smells of cooking grease and cigar smoke, which was a definite turn off for me. 🙂 But it was in good shape structurally for its age, and the canvas was in great shape, too. It was in desperate need of a deep cleaning and updating. Shannon assured me that this was a gem in the rough. “It has good bones,” she said and persuaded me that it had great potential. We purchased the PUP and towed it home—in the Minnesota snow and wind—in February of last year.
We used our PUP for the first year without making any interior improvements. My husband, a practical man, replaced both tires and installed a new battery. He scrubbed down the roof, but as he saw it, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” So we left it alone. Then Shannon and her husband decided to remodel their pop up camper. In fact, Shannon’s camper was actually featured here on this blog last year.
Shannon and her husband worked through the winter months and transformed their PUP into a warm and welcoming retreat. After seeing their camper’s transformation, I was bit by the bug. The three of us persuaded my husband to let us run with a few ideas. Before he knew it, we were into it big time. There was no reason to turn back, so we began a full-scale remodel on our PUP.
My brother-in-law, a painter by trade, removed all the cupboard doors, drawers, and hardware with my hubby. He primed with one coat of Zinsser’s Bull’s Eye 1-2-3 interior exterior primer. He then painted the cabinets with two coats of Dutch Boy cabinet trim and door paint in high gloss Gray Marble.
Then my husband installed the new flooring. I cannot express how much of a difference this makes. I absolutely can’t say enough about it! I love it! We selected a click-lock plank vinyl in Dovetail Gray from Menards. My husband laid it right over the old generic rust-stained vinyl, and it looks fabulous.
Next we moved on to the countertops. We used the same process Shannon did in her makeover. We painted the countertops with the Gray Marble paint from the cabinets, and while it was still wet, we dropped Rustoleum garage floor sprinkles into the wet coat of paint. This was the fun part! 😀 To finish it off, we sealed the counter tops with two coats of Minwax 3X gloss latex polyurethane.
Shannon and I sewed all of the curtains. I ordered the fabric online from JoAnn Fabrics and used discounts and coupons. I purchased 16 yards for just under $100.00. I bought ten yards of a fabric named “Keepsake Calico Cotton – Gray Birds on Branches” for the main curtains. I wanted something nostalgic that is reminiscent of the 1940’s and 50’s but found that era fabric to be extremely expensive. I actually like this fabric much better. I calculated my yardage carefully–almost too carefully, as I had no room for error and could have easily run out. The end bunks are black flat sheets from Wal-Mart that I trimmed out with two yards of “Merry Go Round-Home Essentials,” also from JoAnn Fabrics.
Our dinette cushions were taken to the local upholstery shop. I decided on the Alexander Heath bone black fabric, mostly because we have a little Chihuahua whose fur happens to be the same colors. 😉 The upholstery shop charged me $80.00, but it was well worth it, as I didn’t have to mess with the zippers. The vinyl on the cushions was still in great shape, so I had the upholstery shop leave it on the covers. I only needed four yards for the tops of the cushions, and the vinyl side comes in handy when our grandchild camps with us.
We are so very excited to camp this season in our newly designed PUP. The color scheme is very calming to me, and I love the pops of yellow. We also added a few conveniences such as a high-rise cassette toilet, which slides in and out of a side cabinet.
We are thankful we found The Pop Up Princess blog, as it has been such a huge influence on our decision making. And we couldn’t have done it without my sister, Shannon, and her husband. They were such a big help and support during our makeover. Now we are all ready for some family camping!
Isn’t Brenda’s makeover gorgeous? I absolutely love that the remodel was a family affair, too. Great job, Brenda… and Shannon! (And of course, the hubbies, too. 😉 ) Thank you so much for sharing the transformation with us.
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