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! 

In the Pink–No More Ugly Duckling!

The day has finally arrived to unveil the Pink Paradises’ (Pinkie for short) new paint job – yea!!!

Do you remember the ugly duckling before?

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And here are pictures showing our work in progress.

Take a look at her after!

There are still some things that we need to do to finish her up, but what’s a little more work at this point – right?  I’m very happy with how she looks.  She turned out exactly how I envisioned she would – BEAUTIFUL! 

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!

My First Night of Glamping!

Ready or not – glamping here I come!

Just so you know, I’m writing this post from the Pink Paradise!

With today being the last day of July, I was slightly discouraged because the camper remodel isn’t completely done.  Of course there are a number of legitimate reasons for this.  The extreme heat this summer has slowed us down, family emergencies, illness, broken down vehicles, and lack of money are just a few of the things that have kept us from finishing her up.  Hey, it happens.

And then I had an epiphany… Why does she have to be completely finished to enjoy her?

With that thought bouncing around in my head I quickly tracked down some bedding that would fit the camper bed.  I then asked hubby for a few minutes of his time so we could convert the dining table into the bed; he graciously obliged.  As he disappeared to work on another project that was calling his name, I lit my new Yankee Camping Out candle, poured a glass of wine, cranked the tunes, and hopped up on the bed with my computer to write.  Yep, it’s just me and PInky.

Between the smell of the fresh linens and fresh air I am in heaven. The temperature inside is perfect, the dimmed lights in the camper project a warm and cozy feeling, and looking outside all I see is darkness.

I  remind myself that one of these days soon we will finish this project.

In the meantime, I will sit back, relax, and enjoy using her just the way she is.

I only wish that all of you could be here glamping with me.  What fun we’d have!

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Camping without the C, just add a G!

Stick with me as you read this post because there is a fun giveaway involved.  But first, let give you a little background.

I got my first taste of camping, not to be confused with glamping, when I was a Girl Scout.  I can still remember my mother helping me compile all of the gear that she thought I was going to need before sending me out the door to some God forsaken place in the middle of nowhere.  The place where I’d live for a week without running water, my nice comfy bed, less than average meals, and my younger sister to antagonize, or vice versa.

It always seemed like the planned group camping trips were like living nightmares.  Too many bugs and humidity, what seemed like never-ending rain storms, burnt marshmallows (and food), and back aches from sleeping on the ground for one too many days in a row.

It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I realized that camping could be fun.  Especially, if you were the one planning the adventure.  A few of us girls would occasionally load up our backpacks and hike into the wooded hills behind my house.  Once we located the perfect spot to set up camp, we would build temporary shelters, start our own campfires, cook our own meals, share ghost stories,  and experience our first real taste of independence.  Looking back, I’m surprised our parents let us go, but I am so glad that they did.

Now, fast forward about thirty plus years.  One of these days (soon) I hope to experience my first taste of glamping.  Camping without the C, just add a G!  To glamp means that you don’t have to live without some of the comforts of home. When I glamp it will be in the Pink Paradise.  I’ll have bed with comfy warm blankets to cuddle in, a small kitchen to cook in, a table to play cards and games at, a stereo to rock and roll too, lot’s of wine in the fridge, and yes – even a flushing toilet.  Running water – yea!

So, what does a girl (like me) that wants to glamp do to prepare for her first glamping trip?  She seeks out expert advise on the subject, more specifically – advise from the popular MaryJane Butters.

Most of you are probably very familiar with MaryJane Butters.  She is a very impressive and successful lady.  I was amazed as I read about her life and all of her accomplishments.  So, trust me when I tell you that she is the authority on glamping.   And I know this because I just finished reading her book – Glamping with MaryJane!

MaryJane’s book covers (pretty much) everything you will ever need to know if you want to glamp – seriously!  She will tell you how to buy and restore a camper, hitch one up, and winterize it to boot.  If you don’t have a camper, don’t shy away, she also has a section on backyard and tent glamping too.  And if you’re looking for tips on housekeeping, laundry, bathing, decorating, crafting, what to pack, safety, mechanics, cooking, recipes, entertainment,  junktiquing, places to glamp, and traveling with kids and dogs you will find it in this 224 page book.  Need I say more?

MaryJane recently sent me a signed copy of her book to scour through.  I am so grateful for the chance to have read it.  As part of our agreement, I am ready to pass this book on to one of my lucky readers.  While I’m sad that I will be parting with it; I’m as equally excited that I will be passing it on to one of you.  And I know the lucky winner will appreciate it as much as I have.

To enter this giveaway simply tell me this…  What is the one thing you could not live without if/when you camp or glamp?

This giveaway is open to US residents only.  The giveaway will end on Sunday, July 28, 2013.  The lucky winner will be announced sometime thereafter.  Spam comments will not be published. Good Luck!

*Please note that when I opened the box that this book was packaged in, I found slight shipping damage had occurred to the top right corner of the book.  I just wanted to let you know this so there isn’t any misunderstanding when you open the package that I send to you,  you find the same damage, and want to scream at me.  Just saying…

I received this book to review and giveaway.  I was not compensated for this post, and the opinions herein are all mine.

Comments are closed, and this contest is officially over.  The lucky winner is Wrangler Mama.  Congratulations!!!

Baby’s Got A New Pair Of Shoes! And…

With the interior of the Pink Paradise (nearly) done (I feel like I’ve said that before!) we have started to work on the outside.  The other day I spent a couple hours (no exaggeration) scraping old bumper stickers off of the siding. 

Side note: Gradually, I’ve been picking up vintage items for the camper. I’m a thrifty shopper and nearly everything I’ve bought so far has come from auctions, estate sales, thrift stores and the dollar store.

The new cedar bathroom below smells so good!

The first thing we replaced on the exterior of the camper was the tires.  The old ones were seriously dry rotted and there was no way they were going to take us very far from home.  And besides the tires, we had to replace the jack and install the propane tanks and holder. 

It does seem that some days the work on the Paradise will never end.  Yet to come, exterior lights, prep and painting, awning, and God only knows what else…

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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.

Kahlua Chocolate Chip Cake – A Vintage Style Dessert for Glamping

When we finally get to go glamping (soon I hope) I’m going to make vintage style desserts and fresh perked coffee on our adventures.  

This dessert is perfect for glamping because it’s quick and easy to throw together, calls for common ingredients, and bakes in less than 30 minutes.  I’m so excited that one of these days I’ll be able to bake in my little gold vintage oven.

This recipe calls for 4 tablespoons of one of my favorite liquors – Kahlua.   I promise the flavor is subtle and it won’t overwhelm you. 

Kahlua Chocolate Chip Cake

Grease a 9×13 pan.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

1 c. margarine, softened

1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. brown sugar

2 eggs

1tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. vanilla extract

4 tbsp. Kahlua

2 c. all-purpose flour

1 1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl,  cream together margarine, sugars, and eggs.  Beat in baking soda, salt, vanilla extract, Kahlua, and flour.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.  Allow to cool before cutting.

This cake is moist and doesn’t crumble easily.  You really don’t even need a fork for it.  That’s a good quality if you want to cozy up in front of a campfire and eat your dessert. 

Do you have a favorite dessert you like to make when you’re camping (glamping)?  How about crockpot desserts, ever tried one of those?   Also, I’d love to know what you consider a good vintage style dessert.

FV

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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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