So we bought a camper trailer…
I grew up tent camping. Trailers and RVs were for those who couldn’t hack it in the wilderness. Now as an adult with four kids I get it. Campers are for those who like warm places to sleep, easy Sunday exits back home, and the occasional use of technology in the woods. Does that make me weak? Maybe. But it also extends our camping season quite a bit and eases the travel with four little kids in tow.
When I first met my now husband, we each had kids already. We both grew up backpacking and camping and wanted to expose our big blended family to the same lifestyle. But after a handful of tent camping trips in the heat, the rain and the cold I can tell you my backpacking dreams faded rather quickly. Where we live the true camping season is short. Our summers are hot and smoke filled, our springs are rainy and our falls have a crisp evening feel that will chill you to the bone. Someday I may backpack with my kids, when they are older, and when I can figure out how to hike in an electric blanket. But until then we bought a trailer. Not just any trailer but a Vintage 1972 Roadrunner. And she is gorgeous. In almost mint condition. My husband bought it for a mere $2300 on Craigslist from a sweet couple who just didn’t want to fix it up or store it in their tiny driveway.
The Roadrunner is perfect for us, at least at this stage in our life. There’s no bathroom, but that keeps it light and easy to winterize. There are two full beds and a pull-down bunk. The wood work is all original except where a past owner hit a tree in the back and replaced some paneling. The original color of the appliances is 1970 Sunflower and the counter tops and back splash match. The wood is all dark and the fixtures are brass. None of the light fixtures match and the windows could use a re-caulk and some trim. My dream is to spend the winter fixing her up so she is ready to go next season. I call it a “her” but lets be honest this thing is a tank, its 8ft wide and 17ft long and built with ‘70s craftsmanship. It doesn’t have a name yet but something like Roscoe or Hank come to mind. Someone called it our Brady Bunch Wagon so at the moment we call it the B&B.
Goals and dreams I have to fix up the Roadrunner this winter…
New curtains that slide and move easier.
Paint some but not all of the dark wood paneling.
Darker stain the remaining paneling.
Wallpaper the inside of the cabinets and drawers for a pop of color and easier to clean.
Figure out the best solutions for storage.
Add solar panels to the top or mobile ones for better battery efficiency.
Replace the cabinet hardware or repaint them (maybe leave them if they look better with new cabinet paint).
Paint the cabinets.
Tile the backsplash.
Caulk the exterior of the windows.
Add some baseboard trim to floor and interior of windows.
Figure out how best to carry our bikes.
And the biggest of all is give the exterior a fresh coat of paint.
This list is daunting and not all inclusive, every time I walk inside I discover something new that we need or could be better. We also have 4 kids, 4 chickens, 1 dog, 2 full time careers and live in a fixer upper house that we are always working on. But I’ve learned to follow my heart and right now this sweet old camper parked in my yard is calling to me. Besides, it’s already become a part of our family, so there’s no looking back now.