Thursday, July 19, 2012

Camper Love...the re-do of my 73 Atco trailer

Where it all day on my commute to work, I spotted a travel trailer with a for sale sign in the window.  It was a 17' 1973 Atco pull behind that I immediately knew I had to have.  For the past several years, my husband and I have been camping in a tent.  Now, if you've ever slept in a tent on the ground, I am sure you already really don't get a good nights sleep.  Even by adding an inflatable air mattress, "good sleep" was still a difficult achievement.  So.....when I arrived at work, my first call was to the proprietor of the establishment where this gem was proudly parked.  I said, "Jeff, hi it's Gail.  I need you to do something for me....take that for sale sign out of the camper window and call the owner to tell him it is sold."  He obliged and the deal was sealed.  Now, as my car at the time was a 1995 Nissan Sentra, I knew I had other arrangements to make in order to tow my new diamond in the rough home.  I called the hubby and told him, "You need to switch vehicles with me at lunchtime, but before you do, make sure the 1 5/8" tow hitch is on the truck."  He replied, "What did you buy?", to which I said, "Nevermind, it's going to be a big surprise when you see it."  I can only imagine he was probably expecting me to tow home an old Mustang in need of restoring, or perhaps a boat with more needed attention than I could possibly give it.  Anyway, the vehicle swap was made and I was beaming with delight at the upcoming surprised look on his face when I pulled into the driveway.   It was a surprise alright, along with a slap on his forehead and shaking his head back and forth in disbelief.  I didn't was a "diamond in the rough", and I knew I could clean her up and we'd enjoy her for years to come!  Was I ever right!

More later....

Well, I looked into my photo archives and sadly, I could not put my fingers on one photo of the day I brought her home.  But I will post what few photos I did find.

I decided I wanted a southwestern flair and took this pattern from a swatch of cloth I had.  I did enjoy painting this strip.  It isn't quite finished in this picture.  It has many more colors now.

Here she is under cover of a lean-to we built to protect her from heavy snows.

5/8" plywood to strengthen the floor.

Before and after the southwestern decor.

I have to give inspirational credit where it is due.  In searching the internet for ideas on decorating my camper, I came across the Nora Pearl.  She is a beautiful palate of soft hues and lots of whites. 

July 23rd, 2012

Well, I haven't started the remodel on the Atco yet due to the other irons in the fire.  I did, however, manage to get inside and do a bit of cooking.  I have a stove in the cabin which I adore, but it was so unbearably hot up there that I really didn't want to heat it up more by having the oven going.  Next best thing....the camper stove.  And, it has been quite a while since the stove and oven have been in use.  I am happy to report they worked just fine.  And dinner was delicious!  Roasted root vegetables, fresh veggies from the neighbors garden (thanks Jayne!), and burgers and dogs.  Food always tastes better when it is cooked at camp!  Until next time...

July 24th, 2012

I dug through some more photos and found a couple of the outside of the camper....

I painted a dream catcher over the pilgrim on the side and from a distance, it doesn't look half bad!  Although it is difficult to juggle many irons in a fire, I am anxious to get her cleaned up and prepped for paint.

August 6th, 2012

Nothing new on the camper....but, then again did I really have any time??  No.  Too busy putting hand sawn lumber up on the cabin.  One thing I did do was an inspection for any smells that may be lingering in the camper.  I, and probably many other campers, know the wrath of the mice!  Well, last month I tackled sealing any holes that those nasty critters could possibly squeeze into.  It was a huge job.  But, I really think I sealed it up good.  Only, the residual odor is my ongoing struggle to conquer.  I thought I had it...with a bleach water and soap cleaning, then disinfecting then deodorizing.  Everything was smelling quite pleasant.  Until I opened the cupboard under the sink......ick.....that smell!  Ugh.  So, in my never ending research on the subject (thanks to the internet), I found that good ole charcoal is a great smell soaker upper.  That being the only thing I did this w/e, we shall see or should I say smell the efforts put forth....

Until then...

August 15th, 2012

Update on the seems to be working.  I opened the cupboard, and I could tell the charcoal was absorbing the odors.  Cheap and easy fix.  Take note my camping friends!

September 2, 2012

Another positive presence of mice!  Oh happy day!!!!!  Mom took a nap after lunch on the bed I adorned with a beautiful cotton popcorn stitched bedspread that my friend Jayne gave me. 

Every time I go in the camper, I am filled with all the re-decorating ideas I find.  And, I am anxious to get going on that project.

A side note on the camper;  The refrigerator does not work, and during my search for a new replacement I decided to use it as an "ice box".  I froze three 1/2 gallon milk containers with water at home, put all my cold and frozen food in a cooler with the blocks of ice for the trek up.  Once at camp, I put the blocks of ice on the top wire shelf which was covered with a hand towel to catch any condensation from melting.  I then put all my food on the next two shelves below that.  I had a thermometer in there, and to my surprise, the inside temperature stayed at a cool 40 degrees for two entire days.  Impressive, very impressive.

Until next time...

September 17, 2012

More ideas on the upcoming renovation of the camper...I think it was my sister who suggested a faux tin tile ceiling for above the dining table.  I love it!!!  Home renovation stores sell plastic 24"x24" sheets of tin look for ceilings that are installed with either double sided tape or tacks.

Until next time...☼

September 22, 2012

This morning I made three curtain panels for the camper.  I will hang them either this evening or tomorrow.  I think they are adorable.  They are white sheer style panels with little tiny stars and moons stitched in them.  And you know I'll be taking a picture for you!

Until then...♥

  September 24, 2012

I got the curtains hung and I love how there's so much more light in that space now!  Next on the fabric list is new pillow covers for sure.  I picked up a free (my favorite price) knit throw for the camper too.  It is simply sweet.  Check it out...

It reminds me of my grandmother with the pink and white daisies.  So cute, huh?

Go to Camper Love page to see what's new.....
Click on the chandelier photo above to see what's new in Camper Love.....


Kat said...

can you hear me now?

Gail Mitchell said...

Oh yes, yes I can! Thank you very much.

glenn fuller said...

I think i have aquired a ATCO camper myself. Do you have any idea where i could find info on them?

Gail said...

Hi Glenn,
That's a good question! When I got my Atco trailer, I searched online and the only thing I could come up with is that they were briefly manufactured in Mass. to be used on construction sites as offices. I have yet to find another like mine. I'd love to see pictures of yours. I do have the owners manuals in the trailer, which was a plus. But, as far as seeing another like camper....I have not. Mine tows like a dream!
Thank you for commenting.