Now as public school educators in different districts, it's rare that both Lance and I have the same week off for Spring Break, and this year was no exception. So a couple of weeks ago, on the first day of Lance's break, I got a text from him that said "Well, I didn't buy Ellie a pony, but I did buy her a Palomino!" It turns out he and Ellie had taken a road trip to Appleton and purchased a 1996 Palomino Colt from someone on Craigslist**. Of course I wondered if he bought a pop up camper on the first day of break, what kinds of things would the two of them be coming home with by Friday!?
Because it was cold and rainy for the rest of the week, I didn't actually see it until the following weekend when we were able to set it up out in the driveway:
It came with an outside canopy, which is pretty nice, and while the inside is in decent shape (if it were a house I'd say it has "good bones") but definitely very dated and in need of a deep cleaning. The previous owner(s) had added a sound system (as in, put in a car stereo and hooked up some of those speakers that EVERYONE had in the late 90's). I can't imagine why you'd want such huge speakers taking up valuable space in a pop-up, but who knows. Maybe this guy just really liked to crank up some Ace of Base and rock out in there, I'm not here to judge.
The camper has a sink, heater, and fridge, but was missing the stove that hooks onto the outside. I was ok with this, because I'd rather just use a Coleman stove that is smaller, lighter and more portable anyway. I'm ok with keeping the fridge, as we have a small child and I think it could come in really handy in that regard, but I feel like the counter/sink combo really just takes up a TON of space and weight and is really unnecessary. It's like the sink is really large enough to wash dishes in, and I would much rather have room for storing clothes and supplies rather than a huge water jug.
Originally I had planned to just clean the whole thing from top to bottom, replace a couple of worn parts, and patch a few thin spots in the canvas. But then Lance alerted me to the fact that apparently pop-up re-do's are a big thing nowadays (rookie mistake!). And once I started looking at Pinterest and various blogs and getting way too many ideas, there was no turning back.
There are a couple of things getting in the way of the visions of a fun project dancing in my head, though. One, there is road construction on our street that is SUPPOSED to start on our block July 1, but it appears they've already started. So the street is torn up and the end of our driveway is a narrow dirt mound with deep ditches and orange barrels on either side. Not exactly ideal for getting a camper in and out. And once the street gets closed, we will have to park on side streets for a while and will have no way to access the camper with a vehicle. So we're kind of in a time crunch to get this renovation done. Secondly, let's not forget we have an almost-toddler. And she isn't exactly the type to sit patiently in a playpen in the yard while we toil away on a project. We don't really have a lot of babysitting options, either, so finding large chunks of time for both of us to work is going to be a little bit of a challenge.
So right now, here's our to-do list:
1. Clean (obviously), patch canvas, and replace a few small parts
2. Take out sink and plumbing
3. Paint cabinets
4. Re-cover cushions and add foam mattress toppers to bunks
5. Replace curtains
6. Replace flooring
7. Replace table top and counter tops
Stay tuned for project updates!
**Now to be fair, he had been talking about and researching pop-ups for quite a while, and I knew he was likely going to buy one that week, but the story is way funnier if it sounds like he just showed up at home with a random camper.