Vintage Camper Project – Part One

Summer is finally here and once again it’s time to head up north and enjoy our PURE MICHIGAN! You’ve seen Jill’s adorable cottage, now it’s time to show you the Deimling’s summer home.

Vintage Camper Project The story of our vintage camper project began approximately 3 years ago when I went to a local auction to pick up furniture for the store and came home with this beauty.  Brian and I have always been campers but our version of camping usually includes 5th wheel campers, diesel trucks and toy haulers.  Now that our children have grown, we’ve decided to downsize into something a little cozier. With a family camping trip rapidly approaching, we realized we better get busy transforming it into something that would function for the two of us and was more our style. This is part one of our vintage #camperproject transformation.


First things first, DEMO DAY! We gutted the entire thing to remove the old cabinets, benches and layers upon layers of various flooring.

Vintage Camper Project

Next, we lined the walls with beadboard that we could paint and distress.

Vintage Camper Project

After conducting a quick Instagram poll of what color the walls should be painted, we decided  on Junk Gypsy™ Paint Dreamcatcher (white) for the curved walls and ceiling and Junk Gypsy™ Paint Wanderlust (turquoise) for the opposite walls. We painted everything and distressed it with a fine grit sandpaper.

Vintage Camper Project

Once the walls were done, we turned our attention to the floor. After shopping the selection at Home Depot we determined we needed a thicker floor (due to the uneven surface in the camper) and picked up a truck load of pallet wood. The price was right (free) but it did require a little more work to prep the boards.

Vintage Camper Project

The boards were full of nails that needed to be pulled, was uneven and different thicknesses. We pulled the nails, put them through the planer and then ran them through the jointer giving them a more finished look.

Vintage Camper Project

Once the floor was down, it was stained and finished with Junk Gypsy™ Clear Coat finish.

Vintage Camper Project

We also added a few other little details to the shell remodel. This adorable light fixture came from our local Habitat for Humanity store and the rope trim was a perfect solution for edging in the round contours of the camper.

Vintage Camper Project

Vintage Camper Project

Now that the shell is done. It’s time to add the bed, refrigerator and other decor to complete our camper project. Stay tuned for part two of #camperproject.

Thanks for stopping by,


Junk Gypsy™ Paint

Products used during part one of our vintage camper project include Junk Gypsy™ Paint Dreamcatcher, Wanderlust and Junk Gypsy™ Paint Clear Coat finish.

Vintage Camper Project

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  1. Awesome! Looking forward to seeing the finished product.

  2. Last Minute Lynn says:

    I can’t believe you turned pallet wood into such a beautiful floor. I look forward to part 2 .

  3. Teresa Wood says:

    Great renovation!!!! Thank you for sharing it with us. Love the flooring for sure. Teresa

  4. Brian & Chantelle,
    it’s a little dream of mine to do what you two are doing. This project is very cool.


  5. Pati Lambert says:

    Hi Chantelle,

    Love, Love, Love, the camper!!! I have always wanted an airstream, but this is just adorable……my husband is really nervous!!!! This could be our next project (like we need another one)!!! I can’t wait to see the progress!!!! What a great idea to use the rope to edge the contours!! Keep sending those great ideas!!


  6. Anne marie says:

    I love this! It must feel rewarding after a lot of hard work. And I cannot wait for part two. …we are renovating a trailer as well and stuck on figuring out what all to gut.

  7. Absolutely Love this!! We are currently restoring a 1960 Shasta so thank you for the great ideas! I think we will definitely put bead board on the walls/ceilings. I also love how your corners were a rope!

  8. That is awesome! This gives me inspiration for my own vintage camper! Was the outside always silver or did you paint it? Was there any water damage you had to deal with?

  9. Bungalow 47 says:

    Holly, So glad we could offer you some inspiration! The camper was always silver, just needed to be polished. There was no significant water damage to deal with. Thanks for following along with us!

  10. Brenda Bailey says:

    Can I ask what product you used on the rounded ends of the camper for wood? Also, did you go over existing paneling?

  11. Bungalow 47 says:

    The walls were paneled using bead board trimmed out with rope. The bead board was nailed to existing paneling.

  12. Where’s part two?!?!?

  13. Can I use the before pic in an article I am writing. Would like to give you full credit and a link.

  14. Catherine says:

    I am having problems getting the paneling to bend at the curve. Do you have any suggestions?

  15. Bungalow 47 says:

    Yes, thanks for sharing!

  16. Bungalow 47 says:

    Hi Catherine, Thanks for your inquiry. We actually didn’t use paneling, we used the individual wood bead board strips that are approximately 4″ wide and 8 feet long, so there wasn’t a problem with bending. Thanks, Chantelle

  17. Cathy Adams says:

    Is the part 2 on the camper available yet? 🙂

  18. Bungalow 47 says:

    The part 2 will be published on Thursday, October 27. Wait until you see it, it’s sooooo cute!

  19. Cathy Adams says:

    Thanks…can’t wait. I have a 1965 RECO canned ham camper and I just can’t seem to get started With the refurb. Hoping your progress will get me going. 🙂

  20. I am remodeling my camper right now and have been throwing around the idea of putting reclaimed lumber down for the flooring and was wondering how you did it? Did you just nail or screw the pallet boards to the existing plywood or did you have to use a flooring adhesive or liquid nails? I was also wondering what you used for a finish that wolud be able to handle the vibrations from towing it places and the temperature changes without damaging the finish. Thanks for posting your article and pictyres it’s given me some great ideas

  21. Bungalow 47 says:

    We used pallet wood from over sized pallets. We cut them to length and put them through a planer to make sure they were the same thickness. We glued and nailed them to the subfloor of the camper. The boards were then stained with a minwax color and sealed using the Bungalow 47 Matte Finish product we carry. Good luck with your project. Tiny campers are the best!!!

  22. You can score the backside with a utility knife to get it to flex!

  23. Hey guys, great project. Because my partner and me are renovating a caravan which also has an aluminum shell, I am wondering how you got yours so well polished. Any tips for us?
    Kind regards,

  24. Thanks for the great inspo!! We are currently renovating an old caravan and are just getting to the part where we can add the trim. Any tips for how to stick the rope up??
    Cheers, Christie & Tara ????

  25. My husband and I are refinishing a 1967 Playmor camper about the size of yours. We’re just putting the last of the beadboard paneling up. I’d like to catalog our progress on Pinterest, but I haven’t figured out how to upload it yet.

  26. Love it. We are trying to fix 69 forrester. Where do we get the bead board boards 4 in x 8 ft
    Menards. Is it called exactly that. Do we screw or nail or glue it to the 2 x 2s on the wall.

  27. Hi. Great job I love the look. Did you use individual beadboard planks or larger like 4’x8′ boards? If you used the larger boards, how did you curve them round the curve of the camper.

  28. That looks awesome! It’s giving me hope that I can actually re-do one!

  29. Holly Barber says:

    Where can I view the second part? I can’t find a link. Thanks

  30. I love the rope trim. How was it attached?

  31. Bungalow 47 says:

    Hi Tanya, The rope was attached with glue and some brads. Thanks so much for checking this out.

  32. Shannon Heifort says:

    Love, love it!! What color of minwax stain did you use?

  33. Bungalow 47 says:

    Not really sure, this project was done a few years back.

  34. JEANNETTE Manchester says:

    I wish I could afford
    Several reclaimed
    Caravans, so they
    Could give homeless people a chance of home of there own,
    Wherever they stay

  35. Bungalow 47 says:

    That sounds great Jeannette, what a nice idea!

  36. Your rope idea for trim was the BEST idea ever. We totally had to redo the ceiling in a 1964 Nomad and we could not think of anything that would bend easy to do the trim. I saw this and this was the winner. Thank you so much for sharing it. It turned out so dang cute and super easy to do. We used glue and screws to hold it and it’s PERFECT. Thank you again for a great idea.

  37. Bungalow 47 says:

    So glad it worked out for you!

  38. Christine says:

    Your camper is just adorable!! I have a question about the walls.. when you say you used individual pieces of beadboard, do you mean 4ft×8ft sheets of beadboard paneling? If you meant individual pieces, what size pieces and where did you find them? I’m also confused about how you were able to follow the contour of the camper without having to bend your wood? I realize this was posted years ago, any resources you might have would be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much for sharing your renovation, you have given me ideas I never would have thought of!

  39. Bungalow 47 says:

    Hi Christine, the bead board used comes in long strips, about 3″ wide x 8 feet long. It is tongue and groove. Because it is thin, it was more pliable. I don’t recall if this was done for this one, but in the past I have done other projects using thinner wood like that that needed to bend slightly, In those projects, the wood was soaked in water first to make it more bendable. We are able to find the bead board strips at our local Home Depot, but we do know, products are very different based on geographical needs. Hope this helps!

  40. I have quite literally combed through the entirety of the internet for ideas to remodel my old camper I bought last summer. There’s not a single picture out there I have not at least looked at. lol. Yet, this is what I come back to. I absolutely LOVE everything about this. So many ideas I go back and forth on but this one remains constant. My camper isn’t quite the same shape but this will be my main reference when I start my project. Beautifully done!! These would not have been colors I’d have considered, but the end result is balanced so perfect.

  41. Bungalow 47 says:

    So glad you like it. The colors are fun and bright, and when you do your project I’m sure you will choose the ones right for you. But don’t forget to be a little bold, color certainly can make a difference in your mood!

  42. I am currently restoring a 1968 shasta camper. Were you worried about asbestos? We are wearing masks and suits but wondering if it crossed your mind.

  43. Hmmm, don’t really know. This was done a few years ago, but the guys are always careful, so I would guess YES.

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