Winter/Spring Project – The BEFORE

I love, love, LOVE projects…there’s something so fun and magical about taking something and making it new again.

Mr. Big and I have been planning on getting a camper this year for some time. We camped almost every weekend last spring/summer – and in a tent…so we figured that was commitment enough to warrant a camper purchase.

I am the cheapest person alive…so naturally, I wanted to find the most inexpensive yet functional camper possible – so, knowing that would take a while, I have been browsing Kiji.ji for the last month in hopes of finding someone really inexpensive that we could fix up.

And I found it!


It’s a 12.5 ft by 7ft by 6.5 ft camper with four beds – a king and a queen slide out, and two table areas that fold down into a queen and a twin bed. There is no plumbing in it, but that’s fine with us – we’re coming from a tent so that’s an improvement.

The King slideout is missing because the canvas ripped…so just the queen slideout is there. The rest of the canvas is in good condition, but needs a good clean. The frame is solid and the tires are brand new – really, we got it for a steal all because the bed we wouldn’t use anyway is broken.

Our Plans:

  • Tear out the small table area and cabinet (see last pic).
  • Remove Queen slide out and sew canvas up on both slideout ends so there are just four walls – no slideouts.
  • Clean and repair canvas
  • Build Queen frame where small table area and cabinet used to be – include storage underneath for three long rubbermaid bins (1 for clothes, 1 for food and supplies, 1 for kitchenware)
  • Lay down wood flooring (it will be inexpensive┬ábecause its hardly any area to cover)
  • Paint all the wood a light colour
  • Reupholster cushions on U shaped seating area
  • Add colourful curtains
  • Build small foldable shelving system in the space between bed and seating area on far wall – include space for a small bar fridge
  • Repaint the outside of the camper
  • Add an awning with screened in room

We will only have to buy some fabric, flooring, paint, lumber and a bar fridge – everything else we already have. We will do the labour ourselves (although, I’ve never repaired/replaced canvas so this should be interesting!!) so we will save costs there too. And, if all goes well, we will be ready for the May Long weekend!

I know it sounds crazy to remove the slideouts and cut a 4 bed camper down to 2 beds – and we did hum and haw about that – but, in the end, we wanted to make it work for our family. We’re not interested in reselling it one day but we didn’t pay much for it anyway so even if we do, we will still get back more than we paid.

For us that meant removing the slide outs so the bed is a permanent fixture, adding additional storage (at the cost of floor space, but we’re OK with that) and making a mosquito free outdoor space that is connected to the camper.

We’re very excited about this camper – a purchase we have wanted to make for so long and we got it for a price better than even we expected.

Keep your eyes open for the after posts as we go along!