My Very First Camper!

Well - this is the beginning! I've always wanted a travel trailer/camper. I've always wanted one from the 1960's era. Here's how it began. I ended up at my mother's house down in Louisiana for the Xmas holidays. While I was there, I was cruising the listings on Craigslist and I saw this 1964 camper for sale. I got to thinking. First of all, I was really between places in my life and wanted to start on a whole new beginning. Second of all, there is over a hundred thousand homeless people in the country for one reason or another. Hurricanes, tornadoes, financial crisis, or whatever. I didn't want to ever be homeless, and I knew that if I was to get a good camper, I would never be homeless now or ever in the future. Also, if I had one, I would never really be tied down to one physical place. Time to move? Just hook up my little house and go! So, I looked at the Ad for days. It really looked rough, but I really really liked it. The size was perfect! So we went and looked at it.

Well, it was rough. It had been sitting for years. I immediately fell in love with it though. It was what I've always wanted! The carpets were worn and dirty. The curtains were pretty much rotten. The bed cushion was worn. There had been leaks in the past that were fixed at some point and had left a little damage, but overall not too bad. There was a small leak in the back window and a leak in the front where the front glass had been cracked, but other than that the condition on that aspect wasn't too bad and workable.

The appliances were all gas, couldn't say for sure if they really worked or not, but I figured they probably did, and if they didn't, I'd just slowly convert everything over to electric as time went by and the funds came available. The owner said that the water lines needed to be replaced. He tried to patch them before, but they were leaking at the present time. OK - I can do that!

So we went and picked it up the next day and brought it home! Parked it in the driveway and I went to work! There was a terrible mess to clean up. There was pine needles, leaves, dirt, spiders, and everything else in it. I took out everything I could and put it all in the driveway and then I took the garden hose and sprayed out the entire interior. What a mess! On top of that, it rained for 3 days and I thought it would never dry out. Boy I was anxious though! I really wanted to make this thing work. There was no smell of mold or mildew though so that kept me with a positive outlook on the whole thing.

I hooked the hose to the bottom of the camper and sure enough, the water lines needed to be replaced. It took several trips to the hardware store and a lot of advice and instruction from the people that worked there, but in the end, I was finally able to get them working with no leaks.

OK. So far so good. Hooked the gas bottle up to the front and got the stove to light. Smelled all around and didn't smell any gas, so I figured the gas lines were OK. I had no clue as to how to fire up the hot water heater or the refrigerator or the oven, but I knew I could deal with that later.

Rain rain rain! Spent a lot of time inside of it during the rains trying to isolate and determine just where any leaks were and only found a few. Soon as it started drying outside I went to work on the outside.

Where to start? Walmart of course! I got 2 tubes of caulk, a gallon of Kilz 2 primer, a roller, and a brush. Got a little sandpaper also and went to work on the outside skin. Caulked every possible place I could think of and then went around and caulked again. Had to let that dry and then put the first coat of primer on. Well it rained, of course, but it wasn't in too bad shape. First dry day after that I put another coat of primer on it and the whole thing dried really well. Well, it rained again and I checked and check and inspected and inspected. NO LEAKS! Hooray!

OK. Now it was time to go back to Walmart and decide on the paint. I got a gallon of beige for the top and a gallon of "Buffalo" for the bottom. After many trials and tribulations I was finally able to get two coats of paint on, dry, and nice and neat - and after all that - finally - I have a camper!

The next day - we hooked it up to the van and pulled it to an RV park in Mississippi and that's where it is now - still a work in progress - still has some problems, but I'm working them out and step by step, little by little, I'll have it up to par with the best of them.....Stay tuned!