Roughin’ It

We purchased on older model pop-up camper this week.  Honeyman wants to travel an hour or two for hunting purposes, and we like to go to the beach or mountains for short weekend get-a-ways.  So I expect it will get a lot of use.  We have been looking at campers for sale for several weeks and it is amazing the prices these things still sell for.  They hold their value much better than a car does.  We saw some that were 10-15 years old and people wanted $3000-$4000 for them.

We found an ’81 Coleman for a much better price.  Overall, we were looking for a good deal with solid bones and a good top — and this one fit that perfectly.   It doesn’t have a microwave, or a porta-potty (I think I’m ok with that), and the other little extras that the newer pop-up campers have.  But, I’m good with that.  There are two areas of the canvas that are unraveling and need to be restitched — good thing I’m pretty handy with a needle and thread.  Also, the board under the sink area is rotted out and will need to be replaced.

The tires however, may take a little more work.  Not 10 minutes into the drive last night, one of the tires blew (that is how the dent in the side panel got there).  Not to worry though — it came with a spare.  I’m not sure in which decade the tires were last changed, but whenever it was, it was too long ago — they are permanently rusted in place now!  The lug nuts will not budge.  So honeyman was driving home with the left side of the truck and camper on the road, and the right side on the grassy edge.  It was a sight to see.  That worked until he got into town and then the grassy edge became concrete curbs and sidewalks, so that wasn’t going to work any more.  He pulled off at the first tire center he found and left it in the parking lot overnight.  Bright and early this morning, we drove back up there when they opened.  Surely, they could get the tire off with their impact wrench… Wrong!  They couldn’t get it off either.  The lug nuts really are stuck!  So we had to tow it home.  Golly geez, that was expensive!  The tow cost a 1/3 of what we paid for the camper itself.  Not sure how we’re going to get the tires off and replaced, but hopefully it won’t be too bad on the pocketbook.

The inside is something ugly though (hope it didn’t overhear me say that).  What was it about the 70’s and early 80’s that made designers think that gold, orange, and brown were the choice decorating colors?  Ewww!  So, while honeyman works on the wheels, I’ll be doing my magic on the inside.  A trip to the fabric store is at the top of the list.  Yippee!  And then a trip to the hardware store for paint. I love to sew and paint so this is right up my alley. I’m not sure I’ll be adding curtains or fluffy pillows, but a color change in the cushions and laminate is definitely on the list.  And maybe curtains if I can find some tracks to hang up on the inside.  I haven’t completely ruled them out yet.

As if we didn’t already have a lot to keep us busy, we have another project now.  I love taking something old and ugly and making it beautiful again.  It’s so much fun to dig in, work with my hands, watch the progress, and then end up with a nice finished project.  I think that’s why I like quilting and sewing so much.  Although I typically start with nice, not ugly, fabric, it is still nothing more than a flat 44″ by something inch panel that has no real use.  But throw together a little designing, a little cutting, and a little sewing and you end up with really nice usable items — quilts, aprons, clothes, curtains, bags, etc.  It’s amazing all the things you can make with fabric, and it’s ‘sew’ much fun!  It’s the enjoyment and the feeling of achievement – a job well done.

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2 thoughts on “Roughin’ It

  1. Oh. My. Gosh. Greg and I have been discussing inexpensive ways to live while we potentially build a home on future land. When we get the land it’ll probably be bare, and I want to build a cob house (which takes a lot of time) and finding an on-site temporary living situation that’s cheap is hard. Mobile homes are costly and prefabs are equally bad. And yet, I think I may have just found it! Incredible! How have I never seen these before?

    • Something like this certainly would work for short-term living arrangements. I would probably splurge on a newer version or probably even a hard sided travel trailer. Good luck on building a cob house — that looks challenging.

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