Throughout my childhood, my parents took us on many camping trips and those trips were always some of the best memories. We would camp by the lake at Chester Frost Park, drove to the Florida Keys every Spring Break and tent camped at the KOA campground in Sugarloaf Key, and many times we would camp in my dad’s camper at his hunting camp. We would cook dinners, play cards together, hike through the woods, play in the creek, and have campfires. I have so many fun memories in the “hunting camper,” that when my dad said he might sell it, I insisted we fix it up.
I admit I had a somewhat romanticized idea of things and I was determined to recreate some of this childhood fun for my kids. It started out as my grandfather’s camper, then my dad’s, and it sat at his hunting camp for many years. It has twin bunk beds and a separate twin bed, and somehow my parents, and my two sisters and I would pile in and make it work.
I decided we needed to improve on it a little bit, and make it a little bit more “glamping” and a little less hunting camper.
It was showing its age, but I knew it still held some magic. It was a slow process, and took a lot of help from my dad. Somehow him selling his camper turned into him putting in a lot of work to keep it and beautify it, but that was all part of the fun! Luckily, my cousin helped with the first steps of getting it back to its former beauty. He worked hard to bring the metal exterior back to shiny and new, pressure washed the outside, and painted the interior white with some blue accents on the cabinets. He painted a turquoise stripe on the outside that really made it pop.
When we moved onto the interior decor, and I turned to my favorite spot for all the things: Target. Their Opalhouse line was the perfect look for everything I was going for with the camper. I picked up some other fun accents and camper themed goodies from Hobby Lobby. My dad built a new wood table to replace the old one. It clips onto a spot on the inside, and you can move it to the outside when you need an outside table. I added a backsplash from Home Depot that was easy to stick to the wall. We pulled up all the old linoleum flooring, and cleaned and sanded the floor, then replaced it with hardwood looking luxury vinyl tile. I had the custom cushions recovered with a neutral beige fabric, and added accent pillows and some artwork to make it feel like home.
We love making vintage things new again, and this isn’t the first project that we have done.
We have a vintage Coke machine that my husband and I traveled to pick up when we were dating, repainted and fixed all the lights and coin machine, and it is still one of my favorite purchases of all time. They really just don’t make things like they used to. There is also something to say about having a project and feeling like you did it yourself. My husband and I love that Coke machine, and will always remember the drive to pick it up and how much work we put into cleaning it up and making it pretty again. An ice cold glass bottle Coke out of this machine is still my very favorite.
I had so much fun with our camper and working with my dad to fix it up into something great. We sweated and worked and reminisced about all the fun memories we made in it as kids. During the quarantine, all my camping dreams came true as we got to spend time as a family at the lake in the camper. We had campfires, played in the woods, and stayed up late talking all piled into our beds just like we used to do when we were little.