Logan and I have always wanted to buy an old camper and fix it up. We have casually trolled Craigslist, window shopped at our local RV dealerships, and definitely stopped a time or two when we saw one on the side of the road with a big FOR SALE sign in the window, but we never actually pulled the trigger. We came close to it last summer when we looked at a 1957 Streamline trailer, but decided against it for a few reasons.
One night, on a whim, Logan decided to take a look on Craigslist and happened to find Spaceballs posted just a few hours before he came across it. He showed me the post and I said to call about it in the morning just to find out a little more. He called at 9am the next morning and found out it was owned by a mechanic in Watertown, WI. He had done quite a bit of work on it and from the pictures, it looked like it was in excellent condition. So we packed up the kids and headed to Watertown.
Long story short - we looked at it, took it for a test drive, asked the guy who owned it a bajillion questions, basically looked at each other and said "Are we crazy?!!!" and figured, well... if not now, then when? We have always wanted to do this, so WE DID! We both get a bit nervous about this stuff. I mean who really knows? The transmission could have gone out on the ride home and there we would have been with a big mustard yellow bus that we needed to pour thousands of dollars into. A mean 'Buyer Beware" is a real thing, and neither of us know the first thing about fixing up old vehicles. We were way more excited about renovating the inside. That being said, we felt much better about our purchase knowing it was perviously owned by a mechanic who did the following:
- Swapped and rebuilt Chrysler/Dodge 440 V8 Engine with performance headers (5 years ago) with about 2,000-3,000 miles on it
- Transmission rebuilt last year
- Performance Overdrive added last year (auto and manual switches)
- 2 new fuel tanks (55 gallon in the front, 25 gallon in the back)
- 2 new fuel pumps
- 7 new tires (including 1 spare)
- 2 new batteries
- New clean water holding tank
- New black/grey water tank
- All new brakes
- All new brake lines
- Newer Generator with only 80 hours on it
- New A/C unit
- New Refrigerator
- New easy flush toilet
- 2 new MaxxAir ZERO-LEAK Rain or Shine Vent Covers and Fans
- LCD Flatscreen TV and Mount
Our camper is currently at Camping World getting all of the windows professionally resealed and we should have it back next week. We had it's 45 point safety inspection done and all we had to do was replace two lightbulbs. I CANNOT wait to get it back so we can start renovating and post some pictures of the inside. The interior is pretty much a time capsule - untouched since the 70s. Our first job on the list is to rip out the shag carpeting and replace it with some other type of flooring. We are currently researching all different flooring options. We want something lightweight, somewhat flexible, durable, and of course, completely unique. That last one is my request. Most of the really cool vinyl flooring is either unavailable in the U.S., extremely expensive, or the companies only sell to businesses. We have yet to land on the perfect flooring option. Our renovation goal is to find a good balance between style and function.
Stay tuned for interior pictures and updates as we go. My guess is it will cost more than we budgeted and take more time than we had expected. These type of projects always do! ;)