Share Your Vintage Camper Story

Pink Paradise 2014

Since hubby and I remodeled the Pink Paradise I’ve gotten several emails from other vintage camper enthusiasts.  Let me just say how much that I love hearing from people that share my passion for these old beauties like I do.

My camper is about 90% finished and I’m already looking forward to warm spring days when I can get back to working on her. 

In the meantime, it’s going to be quite some time before spring arrives here in the Finger Lakes, so I’m looking for other vintage camper stories to feature here at The Joy of Caking.

If you have a great vintage camper story that you’d like to share then I’d love to hear it! 

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Before and After – 1972 Frolic Camper Remodel – Bathroom Door

If you’ve been following my 1972 Frolic camper restoration project then you’ve seen a lot of our before and after pictures here.   And at one point I even said that you’ve probably seen the last of the inside work, but there was one last project that had to be dealt with in the Pink Paradise.  The bathroom doorway and door.

The door was heavy, ugly, and to be honest, I just didn’t like it.  Not to mention that both had been chewed on by rodents..  I saved the door project for last hoping that as the rest of the remodel came together I’d know exactly what I wanted to do about the door.  Hubby and I were discussing what we were going to do with it one day and I told him I’d like a Dutch door, and nearly at the same time he suggested building a French Door. 

And here is what we created after putting our two heads together.

Hubby made the trim and the doors; I painted them.  I  just love the cottage look it gives the camper.  Plus, we can still see all the hard work we did remodeling the bathroom.

I’m now in search for some old door latches that will work on the doors.  Always another adventure!

Coming soon – pictures of her new paint job!

1972 Frolic Camper Restoration Project

I’ve been tracking down (affordable) paint for the exterior of the Pink Paradise and as soon as she’s painted I’ll be sure to share her new coat with you.  I’m pretty certain that this will be the last post you will see about her interior restoration.  It’s been a long haul; and she took more time, money, and determination than I originally expected to put forth to finish her up, but I’m so happy with the “new” her.

I couldn’t resist sharing a few before and after pictures of her with you before I close out this chapter of the Pink Paradise.

Tell me, from the pictures below do you like her made into a kitchen or a bedroom better?

As I’ve mentioned before, the bathroom was the biggest challenge since it required a complete tear out, new plumbing and electric, and a remodel.

And what do you think of her new bathroom?  The cedar was hubby’s idea and I absolutely love it.  Smells great and looks so cute!  I’m still looking for the perfect mirror to put in the bathroom. Any ideas?

Thanks for all of your interest in the transformation of the Pink Paradise.  She is a celebrity in her own right.

I’m thinking of turning my love for these old campers into a small business.  If you’re in the market for your very own glamper then please contact me and let’s talk!

The 72 Frolic Bathroom Remodel Is Nearing Completion!

Today I told my husband that I had been thinking back to that day last May when I had him pull the “72” Frolic Camper, now known as the Pink Paradise, out of the weeds.  You remember that day – right?  It was the day that I seriously questioned my sanity.  He admits he clearly remembers.

I suppose that what I never confessed to anyone was the pang of guilt that washed over me as I looked at this poor neglected camper and thought (for a minute, or thirty plus) about abandoning it. 

The thing is, I couldn’t stop thinking about this little camper’s past.  I was certain it had once seen it’s share of  fun and adventures.  I was also certain it provided a lot of good times and lasting memories to it’s former owner’s.  And here I was selling it short, just because it was filthy, rodent infested, and in need of some serious repairs.  Guilt is a powerful thing!

From that point forward it was full steam ahead, but don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been easy.  There have definitely been many more hours and dollars spent on the Paradise than what I had originally planned.   And there were days that we had to think, and  rethink our remodeling options.  Now that the inside of the Frolic is nearly finished we are beginning to think ahead to what needs to be done to the outside.  I’ve ordered new tires for her (I’ve decided she is a she) but she still needs new fenders, an awning, and a shiny new paint job.  More work, yes.  More money, yes.  Lingering guilt, no.  Still questioning my sanity, umm – yes.

The bathroom has proven to be the most time consuming part of the entire project.  It needed to be completely torn out out due to rodent and water damage.   This meant it needed new studs, insulation, wall and ceiling coverings, a counter and sink base, plumbing (drains, water lines, and faucets) and electric.

I haven’t posted much about the bathroom remodel because progress was slow and tedious.  Now, that it’s finally starting to look like a bathroom I thought I’d let you have a peek.

The two pictures above are of the bathroom BEFORE we tore everything out. 

The wall and ceiling were soft and spongy.  After we removed the paper (above) you can see why.

Here is a picture of the bathroom being (carefully) torn apart so we could reuse the original shower insert, toilet, and stainless steel sink.

This is the shower insert and the holding tank that sat under the toilet that we had to remove to work in there. 

Above is a picture of the bathroom floor and walls after the tank and shower insert were taken out.

This picture above shows the new insulation we installed. 

We installed Luan plywood on the exterior wall.  We will be finishing it off with tongue and groove cedar.  The cedar was hubby’s idea.  I was sold on it because It will withstand moisture and it  looks nice.

The insulation in the ceiling was installed after each cedar board was secured.

Hubby made a new counter using the old one as a template.  I landed a remnant of white Formica at Lowes for dirt cheap.  There is white (washable) wall board below the counter and behind the toilet.  Here the sink and the holding tank have been reinstalled.

I opted for wainscoting (that I painted pink) on the inside wall of the bathroom.

I applied Danish oil to the cedar to provide a water resistant finish.  The light fixture was a reuse from our house and it saved us from having to buy one.

Yes, we have water!

The original toilet has been reinstalled. And yes, it works! Notice the nice and neat plumbing job hubby did?

The old shower floor insert was in need of repair just as you walk into the bathroom. Hubby fixed it with fiberglass and Bondo – it looks great now. I spray painted the insert with a sand paint by Rust-Oleum. This covers the old discolored floor and also provides an anti-slip surface. I will put one final coat on the floor once we are completely done installing the cedar, the base cabinet for the sink, the shower faucet, curtain rod, and trim work.

And there you have it, a glimpse at the Pink Paradise’s (almost finished) bathroom. 

Stay tuned because I will be sharing more updates as we progress.

Vintage Camper Bathroom Remodeling Challenges

The bathroom in the Pink Paradise (1972 Frolic) was in horrible shape and it has required (almost) a complete tear out and rebuild.  It needed some new studs, insulation, wallboard, plumbing, and electrical work.  Some of which we are still in progress of finishing.  But in the meantime, I thought I’d give you a little glimpse of before and during.

Frolic bathroom (above) before cleaning.

Frolic bathroom (above) after cleaning.

Frolic bathroom (above) during tear out.

Frolic bathroom (above) after tear out.

Frolic bathroom (above) with new insulation.

Frolic bathroom (above) with new studs, Luan plywood, electrical work, and insulation.

Working in there hasn’t been what I’d call a real joy either. For starters, it was so dirty and nasty that I was initially leery about going in there to clean it.  Yes, that bad!  We’ve since been faced with the dilemma of what kind of materials use in it too.  There are very limited choices of building materials available for use in a camper where there will be a functioning shower in use in a very small space.  No nice fiberglass shower kits to choose from…  And while we did think about using tile and grout, we decided against it since the camper will be moving and shifting as it is pulled down the road.

Originally, I thought we were going to end up using a waterproof white plastic wallboard that I felt was quite utilitarian looking and I wasn’t particularly excited about.  Instead, we have spent some time looking for another option – which we’ve found and I’m very happy with.

As soon as the bathroom is finished I’ll be posting pictures of it, and won’t you be surprised!

Tips For Buying A Vintage Camper That Needs Renovating, And The Chandelier

A couple of posts ago I told you I was finally back working in the Pink Paradise (1972 Frolic Camper) and I promised to post regular updates on our progress.   With this renovation process I feel (at times) like we are moving at what seems like a snails pace.  Sometimes we take two steps forward only to take three steps backwards.

And just so you know, the Pink Paradise has become quite the celebrity.  She’s become popular on my blog, as well as on Pinterest.  I’ve even been asked if I’d be willing to sell her. This makes me a little nervous, and quite proud, all at the same time.

I thought I’d take this opportunity and share what I feel are some important tips with you – just in case you’re thinking of buying and renovating a vintage camper.  If you’ve never scouted out vintage campers (which are usually found in the rough and need quite extensive rehab) then you might have a hard time appreciating the sweat and tears that actually go into a renovation.  There are a lot of things to consider when you are thinking about purchasing a camper that needs renovating.

As with any purchase, the first thing to consider is your budget.  How much are you willing to spend on a camper and it’s renovation?  Once you decide that, let your search begin!  After you’ve located a camper you should consider the following: What is the overall condition of the camper?  Is the floor solid?  Are there signs of water damage?  Has the roof been coated and maintained properly?    Is there any indication of bug or rodent infestation?  Dry rot?  What is the condition of the windows, screens and doors? Are the appliances working or non-working?  Are the plumbing, heating, electrical service, and gas lines working and safe?  Has the camper been winterized when necessary? Are the cushions all there? Do they need re-upholstered? How about the curtains, can they be washed and rehung, or do they need replaced? Does the camper have any offensive odors? Will you need a carpenter for any of the work, or will a fresh coat of paint or refinishing simply do the trick?  How about the underbelly, are the axels and springs safe and intact?  What is the condition of the tires?  Have the wheel hub bearing been packed?  How about the exterior siding?  Is it missing, dented, need patching, or painting?  Is the tongue and hitch in good shape? Do the exterior lights work like they should?   Is there a clean title for easy ownership transfer?  Does the current owner have any of the original paperwork concerning the make and model?  And lastly, do you have a supplier where you can purchase the replacement parts that you’ll need for project like this.

These tips can be applied to purchasing a vintage camper, or any used camper for that matter.  The bottom line… You are the only one that can decide if you have the time, skills, budget, and know how to undertake such a project.

Now for the very best part of this post.  The showing off of the most adorable chandelier I had my hubby hang for me over the dining table.  I just love it!

I also found a cute light to replace the wall light behind the kitchen sink.  The old fixture was missing it’s original cover and I haven’t had any luck finding another one.  The only option I had at this point was to use what was readily available.  I’m still looking…

Would you feel comfortable renovating a vintage camper?  Or, would you rather buy one that is done and ready to use?

Sharing this post with BeBetsy – one of my favorite on-line lifestyle magazines.  Check out, or join in on their Linky Party!

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Frolic Travel Trailer -Pink Paradise Update – 2013

At last, I’ve made my way back to the Pink Paradise!

If you’re new to my blog,  you might be wondering what the Pink Paradise is.  The Pink Paradise is a 1972 Frolic Travel Trailer that I decided to rehab early last summer.  When this little travel trailer is finished, it will be all that I expected, and then some.  The best part is knowing that I salvaged a camper that might have otherwise ended up in the scrap yard.

When I buttoned the camper up last Fall it was plagued with a nasty leak in the bathroom.  My husband and I have tracked the leak and we hope we’ve gotten to the bottom of it.  Now, it’s time to proceed with the bathroom rehab, finish a few things on the punch list that still need to be done inside, and then outside here we come!

I am so excited to finish her up and go glamping.  Today, I hung curtains (that I made) and started the decorating process.  I’m also sharing a picture of the bench seat that hubby built.  The bench hides the ugly wheel well and still allows for some practical storage and more seating.  My father in-law is going to make a cushion for the bench seat that will match the booth cushions.

There is a lot more in-store for the Pink Paradise.  So,  subscribe to my blog, or follow me on Pinterest or Twitter to stay updated.

If you want to read more about the transformation of the Pink Paradise CLICK HERE

What color would you paint the inside of a camper that you were going to rehab?  If you’re re-doing a camper then we’d love to see your handy work too – be sure to leave a link to your latest post in the comments section on this post.