Tuesday, September 25, 2012


You may recall that when we brought our new (to us) camper van home back in July, I mentioned that I would keep you all up to date on the renos we were planning.

BOY! We had some big fancy ideas then!

Well, we've gone on without you -- sorry!

Here is the update - AFTER they are done. We are now on to FILLING the van.

To say that our plans have been scaled back would be an understatement. As it stands now - we hardly did any renos at all. But we did do a few - one being a MAJOR CHANGE.

The two things that most bothered us about the van were a) the window treatments - we just weren't fans of all the blue curtains and white lace blinds and b) the dusty rose velour fabric on EVERYTHING!

BOTH - GONE (pretty much)!

All the curtains have been removed except for the long one that divides the main living space from the 'bathroom' at the back.

Most of the velour fabric is gone except for that on the cushions which will have to be a work in progress and that in behind the upper cabinets - yes, you read correct BEHIND THE KITCHEN CABINETS - I did say that it was EVERYWHERE - right!

The velour.....glued onto the interior of the fiberglass shell.

With the velour removed! Not so nice - Cassia was not overly impressed with her bunk at this point. 'To scary'..... she certainly had a point.

Scary indeed.

Once the velour was off we had to decide exactly what to do with the fiberglass. Derek spent a lot of time on the internet - in the end we decided just to paint it. Particular products are suggested for fiberglass but it does depend on the use - since most boats are fiberglass that was the application we were finding. In the end the company we called recommend an acrylic paint. Because we are rather limited around here - one of our campers actually purchased the paint and brought it up to us from the Vancouver area - if you can believe that! Ahhhh - there are some generous people in the world. 

The worker working. Derek put a lot of hours in for the sanding, cleaning and painting of the shell.

And after all that and four coats a much improved bunk area. We ordered the paint white since we didn't have any samples. It's good - nice and bright - but looks a bit to much like primer. So - while Cassia and I are vacationing at my mom's next week Derek is going to be doing what again - yup - painting.

The velour was also ALL OVER the interior of the doors....

Once stripped, we were planning to paint the wood panels and reinstall but have since decided to leave the metal - not as fancy but clean.

So - those are the big changes. We've pretty much stopped there. I had dreams of painting all of the cabinetry - recovering all of the cushions. But - a few issues with those thoughts. First, all those changes cost money - are they really worth it? We've decided no - or - not now anyway. And second, since we don't leave the park often and when we do just go to Merritt we were very limited with getting our hands on stuff. Therefore, any further changes or additions will have to take place once we leave here and are able to hit some stores and thrift shops.

We have a neat little bunk over the toilet. 
A great place for more STUFF. 
Here my designer self is having it out with my frugal self. 
Nice, new, fancy - matching - baskets?...... OR free - good enough - cardboard boxes? 

Fingers crossed that one day I can find a set of new baskets for 50¢ each - so that they are both happy.

Ok - you may laugh - but this drawer liner HAD to go! 

Ahhhhhh - much better - right!?
If you can believe it's already completely filled. If you don't know where to start loading - start with the cutlery drawer....

Of course in a small space like this you need to make use of ALL the space you have. Over the large dining room window was a long - covered with velour - valance. Once the velour was removed the frame remained - and has to since it holds up the bunk. There's another one on the other side. Our first thought was to recover it - but LOOK! 
More storage space. 
I found this clear container in the cutlery drawer and it fits perfectly. Now we just need a bunch more and a good way to hold them in place.
Hard to believe that something small like that has got me feeling pretty good about things.

And last but not least - not a reno - but a really good storage device. This blue hanger comes from the trailer where it was very helpful. I'm glad that it works in our one and only closet in the van. I also reinstalled our hanger shelf. I'm not really a fan of this one - it doesn't work very well - so it's days are numbered to when I can find a stand of plastic drawers.

Well, those are the van renovations to date. 

There will be more for sure - I'll keep you updated. I'm really hoping that along the way I'll be able to make adjustments here and there. Ultimately I'd be pretty happy if the whole interior could be painted but that's a tall order for this year. 

A trip to the thrift store anyone? Sharon are you with me?!


TODAY'S INTERESTING LINK: I see that we are not the only ones working on fixing or redecorating our home. Check out fellow traveler and blogger - Teri over at The Zen of Sweeping. Although with a bit larger area to work with Teri and her husband are working on renos themselves. While you are over at Teri's site also give their travel blog a visit Flip Flop Vector. Yaaaa another travel blog to get hooked on! 


  1. Thrift store? How fast can I get there....and the funny thing is, the minute I read the line about the baskets, my thoughts went like this....."I'll run by my favorite thrift stores today and see if I can find any baskets. But how would I get them to her?? How much would that cost?? Maybe I could just TAKE them to her (any excuse to drive across the country and see the aspens in Colorado right now). Finally realized I better just enjoy your creativity right now and let you find your own baskets!! It's a long way from TN to where you are. LOL!

    1. Too funny Sharon! I would have thought the EXACT same thing! Nothing like having an excuse to go to the thrift store - right!?

      Even funnier is that Derek and I had JUST been talking about Colorado and how beautiful it would be to see - but sadly we are always just a little to late in our leaving to take that route.

      I almost wrote the other day when you posted this comment that if you left right away we'd still be here - only 3 or 4 days if you really gun it - right?! Sure hope we can get to TN one day!

  2. Thanks for the mention! I'm excited to see your renos in your new home! It looks great! I struggle with pretty vs. practical too! And I'm excited for you to get on the road! Love reading about y'alls experiences! I'm sure you'll find some great organization pieces at the thrift stores along your way!

    1. Thank you for the mention! :) It should all be interesting - you have lots of ideas linked that I like too! Some bold colour and patterns would be nice.

  3. Nice job of cleaning things up. We had our van for 7 years and loved it, but was time to go a bit bigger with living in it fulltime.
    Compact and fun and yes you doo need every bit of storage you can get. We actually had a carrier made for the trailer hitch with a waterproof plastic box for etra storage , worked great.
    Have fun and you will soon be on the road.

    1. Derek and I had to laugh since we are full timing it too since we won't have this cabin to live in next year and are not sure where we'll be.....

      Thankfully - and one of the reasons we bought our van - is that it came with the back rack AND they gave us a heavy duty storage container for it! Great for all the 'outdoor' stuff.

  4. I did 'crawl' back a bit (from Aug 21, 2013) and found this of your early reno job. Looking forward to seeing it all finished. I am definitely with you as far as using every bit of storage space you can. I love that you found a spot above the windows - what a bonus. I need something a tad bigger which is why we bought a little 22 ft bus (http://robbiebago.blogspot.com) and that is for just the 2 of us. LOL

  5. It's amazing how you have all found so many ways to use your interior space of your van. Very impressive!


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