I never dreamed I’d do a popup camper remodel. But ever since I was young I’ve daydreamed about owning a VINTAGE camper and hauling it around the country for photoshoot roadtrips. Think Pinterest worthy Airstreams…etc.
I’ve been shopping around for a while and: 1) Couldn’t find anything I could afford that wasn’t a dump and wouldn’t take a TON of work to get it on the road. 2) Nothing small enough (and cheap enough) to pull with my Buick Enclave was really conducive to fitting a family of 4.
When Nelson said, “What you need is a popup camper.” I said, “Nooooooo! They are ugly!”
And then…One fateful day I was in bed with a stomach flu…scrolling…and came across this a gorgeous “Remodeled Popup ” by Zevy Joy. It was love at first sight. So I searched the internet…”Popup Camper Remodel”, “Popup Camper Mods”, “Popup Campers For Sale”, “Popup Camper Facebook Groups”…I saw it all. I even looked up every variation of #popupcamper on Instagram.
I online shopped for one for weeks, checking craigslists and market-places in surrounding states. Most of what I could find were cheap/trashed or newer/expensive. There just didn’t seem to be much in the middle. I ended up posting to my personal facebook asking if anyone knew anyone selling one. Some friends in our little community responded that they’d been talking about selling there’s and it was EXACTLY what I’d been searching near and far for.
Also…for those who’ve been following this whole process through my Instagram stories…WE HAVE A NAME!
Meet my “Rolling Teepee” (#rollingteepee on Instagram)
Kinda corny but I’m a wife, mama of two little kids, and run a full-time business…no sleep was lost in the naming of this popup camper. I wanted something whitty or adorable but heck…it’s just an upgrade from my faithful cowboy-teepee I’ve been traveling with for a few years. And really a popup camper is just a glorified tent on wheels. No toilet or shower. Has a sink big enough to wash a spoon in. Ok. The little fridge is nice. Mainly not sleeping on the ground is the biggest perk.
It is a 1999 Palomino “Yearling”, well taken care of and in AMAZING condition for it’s age. Which was perfect for my Popup Camper Remodel project, since I’d decided to start this obsession in the middle of wedding-season and DID NOT have time to do much of anything to it.
The style was just…well…really old. I’d love new floor and to paint the cabinets but just not right now. I just needed some quick, easy and cheap ways to give it a Stage #1 “Facelift” before heading out on the first trip.
The Cushions were hideous and changing that was a real dilemma for me. I HATE sewing. HATE IT. I got quoted $70 per cushion to have them redone professionally…and I have 11-sh cushions. So I went to good old Amazon. With some digging (and reading a million reviews) I found these awesome, made in China, dirt cheap, 17 different colors to choose from…*Love Seat Cushion Covers
I chose Ivory White cushion covers to stress out my mama, but I’m not worried because on the 8th day God made bleach.
Unlike the various mini crib sheet covers I tried first…these are stretchy so it’s a SNUG fit. Works on all the different sizes of seat cushions. I did buy some *Sheet Clips (to use for the actual sheets) and decided to use some on the smaller cushions. Not necessary, but I stuck it on there for good measure.
There were some odd shaped corner pillows and smaller pillows I pulled out of the camper and stored because they take up a LOT of space and I decided we didn’t need them.
The next “had to go” thing was the valances and curtains. And again with the sewing. Bleh.
In my search for cheap cushion covers, I’d stumbled across a DIY blog (couldn’t find it again sorry) where a gal used painting drop cloths to re-upholster furniture. In a related article to that, I saw someone had used them for curtains so I went back to Amazon and found these *4×12 Canvas Drop Cloths. WHICH was awesome because 1) cheap 2) I only had to sew a few side seams and didn’t have to hem all 4 edges!
Annnnddd…confession. My mama did the sewing, I only had to do the cutting/ironing. She loves me.
The popup’s original curtains hung on little *curtain tabs/runners. I was able to remove the tabs from the old curtains and hot glue them to the new canvas curtains but had to order some to replace the ones I broke…really old plastic folks. The hot glued tab would come off if you really wanted it too but my kiddo has been playing “house” in the camper every day and opening/closing the curtains 1000x and so far the hot glue gun method is holding up perfectly.
(UPDATE: I take it back. Hot glue gun option didn’t work so great. After our first 17 day, 4000+ mile road trip about 25% of them had pulled apart. I stapled them back together but will have to find a better fix. Like maybe sitting my lazy butt down and actually sewing them. Bleh.)
I did only THREE things. Curtains, Cushion Covers & Sheets. No paint. No new flooring. (Yet anyway.) Now here’s some fun before/afters.
With the curtains, cushions and sheets installed, I “glamped” my popup camper in the most impractical way just so that I could take pinterest worthy pictures of it.
As much as I love it…now I’ve got to empty it all back out and fill it with real camper stuff. It will never be this fancy again. We are about to head out on a 17 day, 5000ish mile photoshoot-road trip and we are going to be popping up and down every night and morning. Besides the fact that I don’t want to hassle with hanging plants…I am going to need the precious storage space for things other than canvas prints, glass bottles, magazine baskets, great-grandma’s gold deer and macramé decor (which I found on clearance at Target for like $3 once).
I really loved how the style pulled together. I brought miscellaneous pieces out from my house/storage. And oh how I love my little fake plant collection.
Canvas Print is a shot of our horse “Shotgun” taken by yours truly. My fake plants, ceramic hanger and geometric frame are from World Market >>> literally my favorite place to shop home decor. Ooooold Spanish style spurs are some I hijacked from Nelson a long time ago. And then my Canty Boots also turned into a perfect extra.
When I have time (LOL) I hope to put in new flooring, repaint the cabinets and repaint the entire outside as well. But that’s another day, another post. For now I am TICKLED at how awesome it looks/feels with just a few changes!
Update! See it all in action on this blog: Popup Camper Roadtip
Popup Camper Remodel | Rolling Teepee | Copyright Lyndsey Garber Photography
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