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beve's BIG Project: A Vintage Camper Studio

Lauren Boggs Meslar

I am very excited to announce that in a few months time, we will have a new, just-down-the-hill-from-my-house beve studio - a renovated vintage camper!

beve vintage camper studio

For years, even before beve "hq" moved out of our home, I have thought about other possibilities for its location. One of my brother's rentals? A shipping container? Nothing seemed to fit my needs or my budget. I finally rented two small rooms about ten miles away when we were trying for our second child and needed our third bedroom. I don't know why it took so long to realize, but a camper is a wonderful solution for beve's studio and storage needs.

I'm so excited that after nearly two and a half years of trekking to and from "bhq," we are moving back home!! It has been great to have somewhere separate from home to go and work; but with naps, pre-school drop offs and pick ups in the opposite direction, and my issues time management (always having to race off to pick someone up, etc, as soon as something is complete leaving no time to tidy or optimize), it is definitely a good thing to bring our inventory a little closer to home. As alluded to in my last blog post, this is the move, "to make life a bit easier and more efficient, and, hopefully, more creative."

VIntage Camper on Craigslist

I started checking out Craigslist and, of course, started a Pinterest board (be warned: my boards are not particularly organized). I found the gorgeous camper above quickly. I was smitten! Next step, I had one of my brothers over to help assess if we could actually GET the camper to our house and where we could put it. My driveway is two tenths of a mile long and has a hairpin turn that the 25' moving truck has serious issue with when we moved in way back when. Michael T. gave me the go-ahead for up to 30', acknowledging that we'd likely need a tractor to pull it up and need to winch the rear axles against a tree to get it around the curb. He sounded up for the challenge and even a little excited, so that should be an adventure!! We'll also need to be careful when towing it down our "yard"/field/hill so we don't damage our drain field. Being who I am, I'd even mocked up what the camper would look like painted and in place to see if it was going to be an eyesore or overpowering, etc. Pretty cute!

beve vintage camper studio mock up

Sadly, the very night the length was approved, I got an e-mail it had sold. Sigh. So, back to Craigslist and searching from Deleware to Tennessee to South Carolina for that perfect camper. 

I kept my eye out for 25-30' pull-behind campers, primarily looking for 1970s campers as they often seemed to have a bay of windows at one end that would be perfect for a studio area.

beve vintage camper studio windows

They also often have linoleum throughout which could have new flooring applied over it instead of tearing any old stuff up (especially carpet, yuck!) - score! They also were more likely to be in my price range. I came across a few possibilities, even a cute local camper, but the best one was about two hours away and seemed to be in really good condition for its age.

vintage camper craiglist photo

Unfortunately, I'd be tearing out a lot of the parts that were still working well, but - it is what it is. I got the feeling that the owner had taken really good care of the camper over the years which appears to be the case. Good job, gut! I also got an idea on pricing prior to my making the trek out to see it. I wanted the entire camper and renovations to cost less than a full year's rent in my current space. So, after a year, I should be making money on this move. Sweet! After the holidays, I orchestrated a trip to see it with the intent to purchase. I'll say here that this purchase and renovation has been and will continue to be a family effort and I'm so appreciative! One of my sisters went with me with her big truck and she towed the 25', 7000lb. camper like it was nothing. Go, Catherine! Here we are looking at it at the pick up location:

beve vintage camper studio pick up

We parked it at the bottom of my long driveway for now as getting the demo'ed materials out and to the nearby landfill will be much easier from here than when it's in place - and it'll be lighter for towing up our driveway post-demo. Let's hope it warms up a bit soon so we can get in there and get to work!

beve vintage camper studio snow

Want to see inside? Feel free to take a peek in the video below!

Stay tuned to see the renovation process!

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