Cart 0

beve studio vintage camper renovation: The Rebuild Part II - Very Late Update!

Lauren Boggs Meslar

Goodness. It's been about five years since I last updated this blog. I've had a number of folks ask if we finished renovating the camper - and we did! I just got behind in posting about it, then Covid happened, and I never really got pretty pictures of the completed camper before it was in use (and, therefore, messy.. because I am me). So - five years later, I'll try to catch up with a post or two showing the completed renovation :)

Imagine you're back in the pre-masking era of summer to fall of 2019

So, at this point, we'd fixed some of the framing at the rear, but most of the original interior still looked like this:

View of mid-renovation camper front

Time to buy some luan! Luan is that thin wood veneer that old, 1970s style hollow doors are made of. It seemed like an inexpensive-, durable-, and flexible-enough option for our needs.

Cart of lots of luan and pegboard at Lowes

On to cutting! (Note my son covering his ears in the background. Cute!)

Man cutting luan board, child in background

At some point in this process, I tried out the electricity which HAD worked before demo. Alas, even though I'd purchased new switches and plates and had tried to connect them, they did not work. I ended up calling in an electrician that had done some work in our home and he got everything wired and ready to go.

Messy camper renovation interior

You can see the little groove I had to cut into the floor to keep wiring flush from where it'd gone to an appliance. 

groove in floor for wiring

 I also built frames around the wheel wells and attempted to insulate those.

framed and boarded extended wheel well with insulation and space for power cord

 The ceiling was a pain - and it ended up being a bit wonky in places. You can see on the walls where we used 3/4" adhesive wood veneer at the seams of the luan boards. This had to be ironed on. Ironing this on the ceiling seams was especially not fun (having grown up watching Home Alone!).

luan boards on camper interior, open airy

Progress, right?! But what about that one dark wall??

rear view interior of camper with luan walls and wires from walls

Oh, HELLO THERE PEGBOARD! Swoon! I know I'm not the only one who loves pegboard! We put wood behind it in areas to bump it out enough for hooks to catch behind the wall.

rear interior view of camper with luan walls and pegboard wall

Now, full disclosure: at some point post most luan and pre-pegboard, the camper sat idle for a good four to six months. I had fallen hard for presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg in the spring and, by fall 2019, I was heading up Virginia's (giant!) fifth congressional district in the grassroots Virginia For Pete group. So, instead of working on the camper, I was out getting hundreds of signatures to get him on the ballot in Virginia, coordinating volunteers to do the same (we got THOUSANDS more than were required!), hosting Pete Ups and debate watch parties, going to democratic committee meetings to speak about him, and more. I'll probably do a post on it sometime and will then link it here. March 2020 was a tough month with Pete bowing out of the race and Covid hitting hard. My son had *just* bumped up to being at "preschool" two days a week + one day with Grandbob when he and my daughter were home again, full-time. We were incredibly lucky that I already worked from home and we had enough space that the kids could still get outside and play safely. We essentially started summer break early. And with being stuck at home came more time to finally finish the camper and stop paying rent for my studio/storage space (and, bonus: not have to go out during a pandemic to get orders together!).

First order of business: dealing with pesky leaks!

water damage on luan wall

Time to fix up the roof! This is where the vent was in the bathroom, near the back of the camper. But there were also leaks around some of the skylights that we had to patch up too - just not as extensive of patches. And we had thought we were done with butyl tape!

hair dryer softening butyl tape at camper roof for repair

There we go - aluminum plate plus Eternabond tape on a freshly cleaned roof.

camper roof repair exterior

We taped up a few other areas and coated the roof with Henry Dura-Brite Roof Coating.

fresh coat of camper roof sealant

Oh no! Pooled water and a tiny bump in the tape. Back at it to seal it up better!

small hole at sealant and tape on roof

And then, at last, it was time to prime!

primed interior view of camper

Hm, decisions, decisions!

luan wall with paint samples

 Check back in to see which was the winner!



Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published