When I read Melissa’s makeover story, I could instantly relate. We camped very infrequently when my kids were little. I just didn’t feel I was up for the task of setting up camp and sleeping on the ground with three kids in tow. Of course, that is something I regret now. The summer before we purchased our pop up camper, we had taken a ten day trip up the California coast, tent camping along the way. We had none of the trouble Melissa had on her first camping trip, but we had fallen victim to such circumstances in the past. For this trip, I was well prepared, but that meant that our setup took forever. We actually had a fabulous time on our California trip, but I remember setting up my tent campsite, which was admittedly pretty glamorous, and wishing for a pop up camper. We bought our Santa Fe a few months later and haven’t looked back. For those of you with little ones, yes, camping is more difficult, but absolutely worth it. Melissa is living proof. Did I mention she has six kids? Yep! I’ll let her tell you all about her story.
Melissa’s Pop Up Camper Makeover
We were so excited! We took our first camping trip to a local campground a few miles from home. We wanted to be close to home, just in case anything went wrong. It turned out to be a great weekend, and all the kids loved the pop up. We were in the mountains of Northern California, where even in summer, the overnight temperatures can dip down to near freezing. The heater kept us so cozy! We were officially hooked.
I purchased all the fabric for the cushions, valances, and tie-backs from JoAnn Fabrics. It is an outdoor fabric, because I wanted something sturdy that could withstand my family’s abuse. It was a bit more expensive than I had wanted, but I had tons of coupons, which brought the price down significantly. I sewed all the cushion covers myself, adding an extra layer of batting over the foam for comfort and Velcro closures on the covers for easy removal. I had hoped to re-use the zippers from the original cushions, but they were too small so I went with Velcro instead. I like that I can easily pull off the covers to clean if they get too dirty.It was quite a project to undertake but so fun to do. The whole project took us about two months to complete, but only because we were camping nearly every weekend. We’ve really enjoyed our summer. I love how our little pop up turned out and how much fun camping has become for our family. We’ve already been to some beautiful spots in Northern California and look forward to more adventures this fall. In fact, we are already planning where we will head next summer!
I never get tired of hearing stories like that. My oldest is not so little anymore, and as we prepare to send him off to college next year, I wonder where our summers went. He was just a little boy not long ago, and I desperately wish we would have dig in our heels and packed up the family for summer camping trips much, much sooner. Kudos to you, Melissa, for taking on a daunting remodel project and an even more intimidating summer of camping with six kids. I’m sure you and the kids will have lovely memories to think back on when they are older.