As we get ready for our first long distance trip in our remodeled camper, I thought I’d share how she turned out, where we got all the goods, and some tips if you want to tackle your own camper remodel project some day. (Check out before pictures of Betsy Ross here.)
I can’t tell you how many hours it took to paint the inside. It’s only 19 feet long, but it took FOREVER to paint. I lost track of how many coats of paint I did. And once I got done painting all the cabinets (which I did in our basement) and hung them up, I feel like they could use another one or two coats, but I just finally had to be okay with less than perfect.
We’ve been out with her twice, and I’ve also had to come to terms with scuffs and scraped paint. Painting the inside of a camper makes it look clean and crisp and relaxing. Actually living in a camper in the wilderness with a couple kids and a dog (and a husband) means it doesn’t stay clean and crisp. I’ve accepted that at the end of every camping season, I’ll have to do some touch-up painting, but while we’re using it, it’s just going to get dinged up and dirty. It’s a camper for goodness sake. (Talking to myself right now…)
-We used Valspar Lilac Muse from Lowes for the walls and cabinets; I bought cabinet paint for the cabinets but I don’t think it was necessary and probably wouldn’t spend the extra money if I had to do it over. I would recommend getting the added primer, semi-gloss paint made for bathrooms so it’s good with the extra moisture that comes with having a camper. All the cabinet hardware also came from Lowes.
-These stick-on subway tiles for the kitchen area were easy to use and might be my favorite part of the remodel. They just make me happy. (Also, I was one sheet short when I did the backsplash and while I’ve bought the extra sheet, I just can’t find the strength to actually put it up. I don’t know what my problem is.)
-The wall behind our bed is wallpapered with faux wood contact paper. Because we don’t want to add extra weight to the trailer, I went with the contact paper instead of fake wood slates you can put on walls and floors. I’m really happy with how it turned out and it was easily removed and re-positioned as many times as I needed it to be. (It took two rolls to do the wall.)
-When we bought the camper, it had a swivel chair in the corner by the door, but we got rid of that and bought two white folding chairs to use at the dining table. They’re from Amazon, lightweight, and easily stored in the closet by the fridge so we can bring them out when we need to eat indoors. The table also has an extra leaf in the closet and our family of four can all fit around it for meals or for games.
-My mom helped me pick out an indoor/outdoor fabric for the couch re-upholstery. It’s Linea Paramount Caspian from the Nate Berkus line at JoAnn Fabrics. The first night we camped, Ellie brought in five pounds of sand in her shorts, sat on the couch, and ground sand into one of the seats. It all brushed off easily, and I didn’t have to kill any of my children. (Curtain fabrics also came from JoAnns.)
–Magnetic spice holders on the oven hood are from Amazon and are the perfect size for kitchen supplies or random odds and ends.
-Wall hangings, fake plants in gold pots, window stickers (that Chris HATES), and kitchen towels are from Target.
-Teal cart and our bedspread are from IKEA.
-Vintage Indiana map is from an Etsy shop.
-Rugs and the throw pillow on the bed are from Wal-Mart.
-Blankets, fitted sheet on the girls’ bed, and kitchen plates/cups are thrifted.
-I didn’t really share the bathroom because it’s not exciting. I painted the walls and cleaned it and we put in a new shower head/nozzle, but other than than, it’s the same as before. Currently, we have a laundry basket in the shower because it’s just so much easier to shower everyone in the shower house at a campground than in our shower. Of course, if we’re staying somewhere shady, we’ll use it, but most bathhouses are clean and it’s just more convenient to shower there. But going from tent to camper with our own toilet is like winning the lottery. No late night walks to the bathroom; no holding it because it’s just too far; I have never loved a toilet more than the one in our camper. *insert camper toilet hug here*
-We still have plans to redo the floor with dark vinyl wood planks, replace the collapsible table, and update the hardware on both the sinks, but those will happen sometime in the future.
When we bought the camper in March, I was so excited to get started on projects. It was still winter in Indiana and too cold to paint which drove me crazy. But once we got started, I also realized how in over my head I was. Everything cost more than I planned. Even small, easy projects weren’t that small or easy. I’m all for DIY, but we still spent a lot more money than I planned to.
If you’re wanting to do this, go for it, but also, be prepared to spend more than you really want. We’re lucky we didn’t have to fix things like the fridge, water heater, or the water pump, but we also just couldn’t fathom how much it actually cost to do all the stuff we wanted to. Going from no camper to camper takes a lot of things you don’t even think about (where to store it, setting up your vehicle to pull it, getting an anti-sway kit installed, adding insurance, filling a camper with household stuff, and a million other little things we just didn’t think about).
I don’t regret for one moment buying Betsy Ross. The adventures we’ve already had and the ones coming up are worth all the blood, sweat, and tears. But my goodness, I was naive when it came to owning a camper. It’s not for the faint of heart or really cheap 34 years olds who hate spending money.