It’s been about a month since our last update on our renovation of our 1980 Triple E Camper. While it’s definitely still a work-in-progress and active construction zone, we’re so pleased with how everything is coming together and we hope to get our first trip in next weekend. In case you missed our introductory post and first update, here they are:
While painting was definitely a huge project that made a big visual impact, I feel like we’ve done the hardest work so far between the first update and this one. In summary, we reframed most of the sections with water damage and rotten wood, we done the majority of the work in the bathroom, we started flooring, and we finished the window trimmings and curtains. I’ll break down each project throughout this post.
You may remember from the first update that the front and back walls of the camper weren’t painted because there was water damage that needed repair. We waited for some good weather and removed the window in one of the affected areas, tore out the rotten wood in both sections, and replaced it with precisely cut pieces of 3/4-inch plywood. We used wood filler to fill in the cracks for a smooth finish, sanded it all down, and painted our same shade of white. Mack repeated this same process on sections of the floor by the door and underneath the toilet where some water had seeped in over the years. He filled everything up with caulking and spray foam to insulate and seal everything up to prevent future damage.
The bathroom was a big project. Mack started by removing the original toilet, a mustard-yellow plastic one from the 1970s. It was in alright shape, but after getting it up, Mack realized there was some dry-rot and cracking. We didn’t anticipate replacing the toilet, but we both agreed that it’s not something you want to break when you’re camping in the middle of nowhere. Plus, it was kinda gross after 40 years of use by total strangers. When he tried to remove it from the camper he realized something bizarre– it didn’t fit through the bathroom door. The toilet must have been installed before the walls were put up when the camper was built. Mack ended up having to chop the toilet in half with a saw, which he admits was pretty cathartic.
When he got the old toilet out, he realized there was some rotting in the floor, and like I mentioned above, he had to do some repairs. Once the floor was fixed, I went in and painted the whole thing over a two-day stretch. For now, we’ve decided to keep the marble contact-paper countertop, peel-and-stick subway tile, and original sink, because it all looks pretty good. When I finished with the painting, he laid down our new vinyl flooring and installed our new toilet from Canadian Tire. We put on the cabinet door as a finishing touch, but we still have to put up some trim to tidy up the unpolished corners, as well as cap off the exposed pipe from the old toilet. I absolutely love how modern, clean, and sleek the bathroom looks now.
We have two small sections of flooring down but the main area is yet to be done. Stay tuned for the next update for more about the floor.
Our windows were another huge project. We had removed the window frames, which were plain silver metal, when we started to paint the interior. We didn’t have a clear vision at the time, but it came together for us pretty quickly. We decided to spray paint the window frames a flat black using spray paint suitable for metal surfaces. The black looks so much more elegant than the metal did and complements the new hardware on our cabinets.
We based our curtains off of this tutorial by Sawdust2Stitches.com but didn’t follow their directions much (although the way they did it was great!) and mainly used their ideas for inspiration. Mack’s talented Mom graciously made our curtains and had them sent all the way to Alberta from Newfoundland. We are so happy to have her handmade touch in our camper. We purchased a few pieces of 2×4 and wooden dowels, cut them to size, and stained the ends. We took care to match our stain to the few original wooden accents we maintained, such as the piece on the island and the small strip in the kitchen. I went to Home Hardware and asked an associate for “pretty bronze screws” and he found me these rustic-looking ones after having a good laugh. I considered making the straps myself as they did in the Sawdust2Stitches post, but I found that was going to be really expensive, time-consuming, and have a wide margin for error. After doing some research, I ordered these from Etsy and sent a private message to the seller asking for one clip and one D-ring, rather than clips on both ends. He delivered spectacularly!
We absolutely love how our windows look now and we’re really proud of accomplishing this project. I was glad to bring some earthy tones back to the camper as things were starting to get super monochromatic.
We’ve also began to do small finishing-touches here and there, such as putting the range hood back, adding a register (vent) where the drawer used to be in the island to maximize heat from our furnace, putting faceplates back on outlets and switches, filling holes with white putty, and buffing out marks with a magic eraser. We can’t wait to unveil the finished product and start decorating! Stay tuned!
For questions on specific products we used, comment or send us a message on social media, @twowildtides. We’re happy to answer any questions and make recommendations! We also gladly accept advice, as we are learning as we go.