Friday, April 18, 2014

Meet the Camper

I've been sitting on this dream for a long time, and finally got the nerve to bring it up with Josh's Mamaw and Papaw.

See, they have an old camper that sits in their driveway. Since joining the family, I've heard stories of how they used to take it camping with Josh's mom and uncle, and of how later on Josh's parents would take him and his sister, Jessi, camping in it. Jessi even had a sleepover in it in the driveway for (I think) her 12th birthday.

But that sweet camper has been sitting unused for about the last 15 years.

As Jude's gotten a little older, we've learned that he loves to walk/hike trails. This has fired up in both of us a desire to go camping and hiking as a family. The problem is, we don't really think he'd do well in a tent. And with our crazy diet and the insane amount of cooking I do for us, we really can't do without a kitchen. And let's be honest, I'd just rather have a real bathroom.

So when I finally asked them what they thought about us fixing it up and using it again, we were excited that they were on board with the idea! I think they like the idea of it getting a second chance at adventure. Mamaw let us in to look around when we were there last, and I took several pictures on my phone. So without further ado, meet the camper:

She's a 1974 (probably, Papaw said they bought it new in 1974) Midas Volunteer. She still has the original everything, even down to the tires. That fiberglass rock guard on the front folds up to reveal a big window. As you walk in the door, this is your view:

That white thing on the wall by the stove is a table that folds out. If you look to your left (below), you'll see the dining area. There's a place in the floor for a good sized collapsable table that can be taken in and out for meals. The bench also folds down into a full-sized bed (Mamaw would kill me if she knew that she and her cluttered camper were on the internet, but isn't she such a cute Mamaw?):

Across from the dining bench is the kitchen, with a 4-burner gas stove, oven, and double basin sink, plus tons of storage space. I couldn't believe how much storage this little camper has all over:

A little bit better view of the kitchen area:

To the left of the sink is a fridge and heater. The camper has heat, but no air, so I see us using it the most in spring and fall!

If you turn around from there and look the other way, you'll see another couch that folds down into a bed, and a twin bunk folds down on top, too. I was also impressed by the number of windows the camper has. Even with most of the curtains pulled closed, it was pretty bright in there:

Turning back around to the back of the camper, I was shocked by how big this bathroom was! It's the whole width of the camper:

Looking left inside the bathroom, there is a huge closet, and you can see in there the pop-up table I mentioned earlier:

And looking to the right, you can see the decent sized shower and tub. A tub is such a huge plus for us, because Jude doesn't like showers at all:

And that's the full tour! Josh's plan is to spiff her up just enough to be able to take her camping a few times before putting more time and money into all of the fun stuff like painting, new couch covers and curtains (as sweet as Mamaw's homemade towel curtains are, I'm eager to continue the homemade curtain legacy with a slightly updated look), and other aesthetic updates. But as you can tell, just getting her back in camping shape will take a good bit of work.

 I'm so excited about this and its potential for new adventures for us! Please feel free to share any camping or renovation tips you might have. I've got a Pinterest board for renovation inspiration and tips, if you're interested, and I've been reading up a lot on vintage camper restoration forums, but we have SO much to learn!


  1. Matt-Ashley McCartneyApril 21, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    Girl, I totally feel you. You are not alone in your struggles. I am right there with you. It is just so hard for me to give it up completely while living overseas, but I am sure there are other ways that I could stay in touch with my friends and family who really want to stay in touch. AHHH!!!!

  2. The comment box says "Start the discussion" Ok. No you are not the only one. Before FB it was GCM for me. Honestly, I've spent 10 years mired in the same mess you just described. I have felt convicted just like you described. I wish I could say I'd responded with the faithfulness that you've described. I wish I could say I haven't already mourned the days i've sacrificed. I love the Orthodox Paschal Troparion for the Truth it reals: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life! Those days I've sacrificed can be redeemed if my life is restored by Christ living in me, and I in Him. You are very sweet Stacey. I have always really liked and admired you. The reality is that I need to bloom where I'm planted, in the community God has given me, even if it means that people I like and admire maybe aren't so big a part of it. I hope that doesn't sound weird or mean or whatever. I respect your dedication to living what you believe, I admire your courage in talking about it openly, and I seek to emulate your commitment to doing it for real, I think is whay I'm trying to say. Christ is Risen!

  3. I have this exact camper. Spent a few years camping and taking it out to our cabin up north. Even slept in it in our drive way for a summer (I slid a king size mattress through the front window. Was hard not to stay in there haha) but since we have bought a new fifth wheel. And I just couldn't get rid of it I had already completely rebuilt the roof put new axles sewer tanks plumbing lights. EVERYTHING.. so I have gutted the interior over the passed few weeks, redid the electrical system to run off of an inverter and solar panels with 2 semi batteries. Slipped a hand pump onto the sink that i can run lake water into and drain it back into lake for cleaning fish. Kept the kitchenette for the gas stove but everything else is gone. I figure I put it into its new stage of life hahaha. Gave it a new paint job bottom half is a soft mint with a 3" sunset orange strip dividing the white top. I should have taken some more photos! I have never seen another model of this before so it's really cool to see. Mine is located near Regina SK. Cheers!