Well, once again I have been MIA for quite some time. I couldn’t believe it when I logged in today and realized it had been over a year since I had last posted anything. Yeesh.
Update: this is the second time I have started an “I’m back” type of post. I just can’t seem to get it going! But I figured this is as good a time as any to revitalize my blog, as we just bought a vintage camper!! This is something we have talked about doing for a long time, but really in the last few months got serious about. I say it’s a good time to get the blog back up and running because this camper is going to be quite the project. Like, serious project.
(Update: this is the third time…Today I will post!!)
The camper is a 1977 Serro Scotty Sportsman Hilander. (I originally thought the Sportsman and Hilander were two different models, but apparently I was wrong). It is 15 feet long and boy does it need a lot of work. Thankfully the aluminum outside and windows seem to be in pretty good condition (replacing windows can be pricy we have heard) other than needing a damn good cleaning. It looks like someone painted over the original aqua stripes with a navy blue. As much as I love navy, I believe we’re going to be repainting her back to the original colors.
The inside, however, is a different story. There is a lot of mold and rotted wood/water damage. This thing is truly in pretty horrible shape. We’re most likely going to be replacing everything in the interior, including the electrical. Actually, we’re pretty sure we’re going to be doing what they call a “frame off” rebuild, where you literally tear it all the way down to the chassis – yes, the metal frame that it all rides on.
I’m crossing my fingers that after we tear out all the old walls, the frame will miraculously still be in great condition, and we can just rebuild from there (replacing insulation, walls, ceiling and the floor, are going to be really important to do no matter what). However, I think the husband really wants to do some work on the chassis, so we’ll probably end up doing the total rebuild. EEEK.
We picked her up in Westminster, SC from a nice guy who had bought it off his neighbor. The camper belonged to the neighbor’s brother who had recently passed away. I think he was selling some of his things to pay for funeral costs. Sad situation, but we hope to give her new life, in such a way the original owner would be proud! (Update: it has been weeks since I wrote this original post. In hindsight, we’re now not sure this is the actual story, but that’s neither here nor there…)
The day after buying her, Tim drove back down to SC to meet our friends Walt and Ashly to haul her back to Asheville. Walter owns a roll back tow truck and they were nice enough to tow the camper all the way back up to Asheville, unload it right into the spot we needed, hang out for pizza and a beer, then drive back down to SC. We have awesome friends. We’re really not sure how the camper would have pulled behind a truck at this point, so we were incredibly happy to have a way to put it on a roll back.
Funny story: during the almost two hour drive back to Asheville, as Tim is driving behind the tow truck, he starts to see small pieces of wood and lots of screws just flying out of the bottom of the thing. Not good, and he was pretty worried. When they got to our house, Walt collected all the screws from his truck and put them in a bag for us. Lovely. The next day, as Tim is going back through, poking around the interior, he lifts up the back bed and discovers a little TupperWear container full of screws and bolts, nuts, etc. HA! All of those little suckers were finding their way out a little hole at the back of the camper. We’re just glad he wasn’t watching it follow apart in front of his eyes!
Next we had to figure out where we were going to put her while working on her. We don’t have a garage and “renting” one from a friend or family didn’t seem like the most convenient plan either, so Tim bought a large tent thing at Harbor Freight. We put it up in our back yard and lined it with globe lights leftover from our wedding. It actually looks very pretty and we’ll be keeping it up after this project for get togethers. But for now, it’s our makeshift garage. We’ll still have to be very careful about water getting in, and will most likely be hanging tarp “walls” at the point everything is most exposed, but we think it’ll work just fine. My cousin came over today and helped us move it from the front yard to the back, using his truck then pure man-power to physically move it under the tent. (Again, we have awesome friends, and family.)
So, that’s where we are now. Like I said, this is going to be quite the project, and a lengthy one at that. More than I have ever done before. It’ll be a learning experience, I’m sure they’re will be a lot of blood, sweat and tears (quite literally) but it’s going to be pretty awesome when it’s finished and we can show it off and take it too so many cool new places. Our little home on wheels.
(Since writing this original post, we have done some more work, like taking out all the windows, but I’ll save that for the next post!)
Last but definitely not least, some of the photos we have taken so far. I have a ton more photos of the real nitty gritty, (like the fire damage…) on my phone, so maybe I’ll post those in the next post. Also, every now and then I’ll post a picture on my Instagram. Follow me – user name @letter47, if you want to see those!
Can’t wait to update as everything gets more underway!