After years of dreaming and only about two weeks of searching, Mack and I bought a vintage camper. Our new-to-us camper (yet to be named, suggestions welcomed) is a 1980 Triple E 1700 Comfort-series. We bought it from a cool young woman on a ranch just outside Sherwood Park, AB. She believed it was a 1979 Triple E, and owning a 70s camper was really exciting for us, but when we registered it, the registries agent bluntly informed us that “oh, by the way, your camper is a 1980.” It took me a few days to come to terms with the fact that it’s from the Eighties, which are iconically and substantially different from the Seventies. But we still love it.
After realizing that the camper was built in 1980, the aesthetic of the exterior made a lot more sense– a whole lot of beige. While it might not look like a unique or interesting exterior, we were thrilled about the lack of dents and rust and good sealing job on all the joins. We’ve learned that water damage is like cancer for vintage campers, and thankfully, ours has very little. It’s 17 feet long and has a dual-axle. It’s light and easy to tow.
We have a lot of big plans for this camper, so consider this post our official log of the ‘before pictures’.
When you first enter the camper, immediately to the right is a table with bench seating. This becomes one of three beds and has substantial storage underneath. There are three cabinets and an open shelf above the table area and a window that extends the width of the camper (facing the hitch). The lamp in the pictures above is screwed onto the shelf and wired into the camper. Funny story: when we bought the camper, the previous owner had all kinds of stuff left in there, including two cute fake plants. We drove all the way home (2 hours on bumpy back highways) and the plants didn’t tip over so we assumed they were also screwed on. Nope, they just have an amazing center of gravity apparently!
Immediately to the left is a small peninsula-style counter space with a cabinet above and space for the furnace below. This is one of my favourite areas inside the camper and gives it so much character.
The kitchen features a stove/oven with a range hood, fridge, sink, and hot water heater as well as plenty of storage. All the appliances, including the furnace, run on propane. The lights and outlets work by electricity, either from a battery or plugging in. We love the subway tile backsplash (also present in the bathroom) installed by the previous owner and plan to keep it.
Immediately past the kitchen pantry, in the back right of the camper, is the small bathroom. The bathroom ceiling has a minor amount of water damage which we will repair. Other than that, all the bathroom needs is a coat of paint and a good scrub.
In the last corner of the camper is the couch/extra sleeping area. The couch pulls out into a bed and there is a bunk that comes down from the ceiling. We are very impressed by how much sleeping space is available in such a small camper, however, the bunk is certainly not sturdy enough for an adult. The camper came with cushions that are upholstered with really high-quality fabric and craftsmanship, but not in my favourite colours or patterns. We haven’t decided if we’re keeping them as they are or having them re-done. When these photos were taken, they were in our bathtub having years of grime soaked out of them.
We plan to paint, swap some hardware, do the minor repairs, and put down new flooring as our first steps with the camper and have lots of other plans for the future. Follow along here on the blog as we post in-depth accounts of our projects and adventures; and follow @twowildtides on Instagram for lots more fun camper content. We’re new to this, so we’d love any suggestions you might have. Comment, DM us, email us, or tag us in your posts to let us know what you think. We’re so excited.