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. 

The Chocoholic Cupcake: Another Valentine’s Day Dessert

A couple weeks ago I announced that I was going to make a few  treats in an effort to pick the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert.   The only requirement for the dessert; it must have chocolate in it.  And as you might imagine, this is becoming a harder chore than I originally thought.

The first recipe I presented was for Strawberry Kiss Cheesecakes.  They definitely hit the spot, and after making them I had to wonder if I would be able to top them.

Well… now I present the Chocoholic Cupcake.  The cake is dark, moist, and less sweet than a lot of chocolate cupcake recipes.  I like to top them off with either  vanilla or chocolate buttercream frosting which is sweet and buttery and compliments the dark chocolate cake.

I have to say that it is nearly impossible to choose a favorite between the two desserts I’ve made so far.  I have at least one more dessert to make before picking a favorite, but now I’m wondering if we should celebrate Valentine’s Day with just desserts and wine!

Chocoholic Cupcakes

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1 c. brown sugar, not packed

2 eggs, room temperature

1/2 c. olive oil

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 c. cocoa

1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. skim milk

1 c. boiling water

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Makes 1 1/2 dozen cupcakes. 

Prepare cupcake tins by placing paper liners in each cup.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, add sugars, eggs, skim milk, and oil.  With an electric mixer beat ingredients for 2 minutes.  Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa; mix again until completely blended.  Add boiling water and flour; beat until smooth and creamy.  Stir in vanilla extract. 

Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean.

Cool completely before frosting.

I couldn’t resist decorating these cupcakes with bright gumballs from SweetWorks candy, along with Hershey’s creamy milk chocolate hearts and kisses.  Both are so festive!

And drum roll please…. 

TheMaryJaneFam blog, Raising Jane Journal, featured photos of my one and only Pink Paradise today.  They also shared a link to my Tin Can Tourist post as well.   I feel so honored!  If you have a minute,  please hop on over there and check it out.

Also, an important reminder all you glampers  –  the International Glamping Weekend is scheduled for  June 1-2, 2013.  Follow the link above to find out more.

I shared this recipe at:

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Tin Can Tourist Vintage Camper Rally

So, the day I’ve  long anticipated finally arrived.  A Tin Can Tourist Rally right here in the Finger Lakes.

When Bill and Denise Fletcher of Fletcher’s Vintage Trailer Sales told us about a camper rally they had planned for our area we had just started remodeling our 1972 Frolic Camper – aka – the Pink Paradise

And while we knew there was no way we would be ready to show off the Frolic, we graciously accepted an invitation to tour the fifty plus campers that were slated to be part of this years event. 

Fortunately for us, and everyone involved, the heavy rain our area was hit with the night before had ceased, the sun made it’s way out, and vintage camper doors were opened.

Many of the camper owners are do-it yourselfers just like hubby and I.  Like us, they have invested sweat equity into their vintage trailer projects and they seemed to enjoy sharing their stories with us as much as we enjoyed listening to them. 

As usual, I had my camera in hand, and here are just a few of the pictures I took.

It’s time to finish up the Frolic so we can show her off too! 

And yes, I’ve changed my blog theme again.  Like I said before, trying to find the right fit…

Vintage Camper – Pink Paradise – Update #3

I’ve been updating you on our progress in the Frolic – AKA – the Pink Paradise, and it may not look like we’ve made huge strides since my last posting, but believe me, we have.  There are so many small details that we’ve tended to.

A reminder of what the Frolic looked like before.

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Frolic – main living space nearly done.

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New covered seats and lot’s of new trim work.  I picked up two awesome rag rugs for a dollar each at the dollar store.  They fit in perfectly!

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If you’ve been following along, then you know that when I decided to start remodeling our vintage Frolic camper I had my work cut out for me.  I wanted to salvage as much of the original camper as I could, while sprucing her up with a bit of my own style.  I think I’ve done a fairly good job at both.

Instead of ripping out and replacing appliances, dark cabinets, the table and booths,  and the counter top, I have managed to work with them, and around them. 

Part of the ceiling that had already been torn out prior to starting this project left us no choice but to replace it .  Opting for the wainscoting added a touch of my tastes.  And using scraps of building materials we had on hand has helped immensely with remodeling costs. 

There has been a lot of trim work to contend with.  And lot’s of  other not so obvious details – for example,  the installation of several new (white) light switch/outlet covers to replace the originals that were dark brown, painting the table leg, cabinet hardware,  heater cover, and outside edge of the fridge – just to name a few.

I still have some decisions to make concerning the interior lights.  And I still have to decide on what to build to hide the ugly wheel well.  A good neighbor will be helping me make the curtains this week or next, and of course the decorating is yet to be done. 

I just started working in the bathroom which has been on my remodel list.  I’ve found some water damage on one wall and the wall will need to be torn out and rebuilt.  We have also moved outside to start some roof coating too.

My dollar store gingham wallpaper helps tie in the gold vintage stove/oven.

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The heater before painting.

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The heater after painting – more trim work still needed on the wall to the left.

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Other side of the camper (upper) – before painting.

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Other side of the camper (upper) – after painting.  The gas light has to be reinstalled in the center of the cabinet but some gas line work has to be done first.

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This was the clothes/storage closet – before modification.

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This will now serve as our TV/storage center – after modification.

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My handsome man helping patch the roof.

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We were  honored to receive an invitation to a vintage camper rally in Vermont this month from Mariah of The Comet Camper.  Mariah is a girl after my own heart.  She’s redoing an old camper and she’s incorporating a lot green technology into her project .   She wants The Comet to be off the grid. Go check it out!

As for the invitation, unfortunately we had to decline because the Pink Paradise isn’t near ready.  But there is always next year!

I promise to continue to keep you updated on the Pink Paradise and I’m anxious to present a completely finished project to you.

So, are you a retro travel trailer kind of guy or gal?  Or do you prefer all the luxuries of modern-day campers?

If you missed my other posts on the Frolic – AKA – Pink Paradise, check them out here.  The posts below start from the beginning and take you up to most current work that has been done on the Paradise.

My Vintage Travel Trailer; The Beginning

The Pink Paradise – Update #1

Pink Paradise – Update #2

We’ve Finally Made Friends

Vintage Camper Re-Plumbing – Not for the Faint Hearted

Frolic Travel Trailer – Pink Paradise Update – 2013

Tips for Buying a Vintage Camper that Needs Renovating, and the Chandelier

The 72 Frolic Bathroom Remodel Is Nearing Completion!

Baby’s Got  A New Pair of Shoes! And…

Can’t get enough of these campers?  Check out all of vintage campers I photographed at the Finger Lakes Tin Can Tourist Rally last September.

If you’re looking for a customized glamper let’s talk!  And if you are looking for a parts (new & used) for your camper then check out Fletcher’s Vintage Trailer Sales. Please make sure to mention that you found them through my blog.

My Vintage Travel Trailer; The Beginning

With my flower beds all spruced up, freshly mulched, and looking like something out of an issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine – okay, maybe I’m exaggerating just a little, I announced to my hubby that I needed a project.

Little did he know what I had in mind, or should I say in store.  In fact, I had been hashing this (not so) little project over in my head for quite awhile.

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For years now, this little diamond in the rough has been sitting out back waiting for someone’s undivided attention.  That someone, as it turns out, is me.

I love just about anything vintage, retro, and antique, so when I started looking on-line and saw how people are re-doing vintage travel trailers and making them into the coolest, hippest, tiny spaces on wheels, of course I wanted in.

Armed with bee spray, a shop vacuum, and massive cleaning supplies, I dug in.  A couple of hours into the start of this project I wondered if I had suddenly, without any warning, become insane.  There’s always that chance you know. 

Apparently, the chipmunks, mice, bees and ants take vacations too because  I found chew holes in the walls and cabinets, along with mouse droppings and  black walnuts that had been stashed in every drawer and crevice. I even found an abandoned honey comb under a seat, and the ants still visit daily.

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Since I’m not a fan of inexpensive dark wood paneling, which is pretty much what this whole travel trailer is made up of, I am painting  the inside of it, as well as the outside.   And my color of choice?  Hold on to your coffee cups, PINK!  Of course, out of consideration for my hubby I asked him if he’d mind the color pink and he (being the loving and supporting) husband that he always is, said “No, this is your project, you paint it any color you want.”  Hence, he has already come up for a name for her “Pink Paradise”.

My objective; beautify this relic on a shoestring budget, and use as much recycled material as I can come up with.  I’ve got a pretty good start on that  since I have some scraps of laminate flooring and lumber on hand.  I am going to use some wallpaper that I bought at a dollar store a few years ago and never  put to good use, and with  a few modifications I might be able to recycle some old curtains I’ve been storing for Lord only knows why. 

Follow along as I  take you on my journey of transforming this beast, into a beauty. 

Click here to see (lot’s of pictures) of our work in progress.   Also, at the bottom of this post are pingback links that you can follow to see our restoration work too.

And here she is close to finished!  

Mission nearly accomplished!

Still want to see more??  Click here to see the  Before & After – 1972 Frolic Camper Remodel – Bathroom Door or here to see Table for Two in The Pink Paradise.