As if being a full time, single parent wasn’t hard enough- last summer, I decided to rebuild a 1983 Fleet, Four Wheel Camper. I was really fortunate to have a few hours of help with the baby from my mom, cousin and friends. My dad taught me how to use many tools, and he and my uncle helped with a few things on the camper. But, for the most part it was like having a single mom daycare on a construction site. I DON’T ADVISE IT!
As some of you know from my earlier post, a week after I bought the camper, it flew off my truck as I was driving down the freeway. After a week of determination and figuring out how, I got it back and put it in my family’s backyard to work on! It was a rough six months. But, I completed my vision! I’m proud of myself and everything I accomplished!
Here’s what I did:
Repaired door (help from my uncle and dad):
Painted the interior:
And after I did all that work painting, I listened to friends’ advice to fully replace the rotted wood… and I completely gutted it…
Removed all of the insulation to lay in the sun and check for mold, bleached some areas:
Replaced almost all of the floor pack:
Removed parts of the exterior siding and reinforced the bent frame (the best I could do since I didn’t have access to welding equipment to cut and weld). JB Weld (click to purchase) and a ton of angle brackets worked like a charm! :
Replaced all of the exterior screws mostly with these 1″ roofing screws with the rubber washer:
Removed old putty and resealed all exterior edges with this butyl tape:
Replaced the 1″ vinyl inserts:
Painted the exterior with this primer, this silver (they don’t have the exact silver, but the link is for grey) and this blue. And rebuilt side storage compartments:
Patched several holes in the roof several times, because I tried everything except roofing cement, which I should’ve used first. I started with silicone (which would have probably been fine if I had a bucket of it) and aluminum tape, which is amazing for everything else (not the exterior part of the roof). I kept finding leaks every time it rained, and that was frustrating! So, then I tried putting heavy duty 4″ Flex Tape over the aluminum tape and silicone. Still found leaks…. again. So, I finally grabbed a bucket of roofing cement. It did the job, but when I was applying, it kept raining and it wouldn’t properly seal. Took me a few rains before it finally sealed! :
Replaced the roof vent with one from the junkyard:
Replaced the Insulation and re did the headliner fabric (I had to do it with gravity against me b/c I didn’t have the ability to remove the roof- what a headache!) The aluminum tape was a life saver! Also re-installed the walls. :
Replaced the wooden ceiling strips with ones I hand cut with a razor blade from veneer:
Removed the fridge and sealed up the side opening of the camper:
Added an extra board to each top bench for added thickness to hold the anchors in place :
Painted the interior (again):
Built a new counter using scrap wood from the floor boards:
Put new carpet in:
Made cute curtains!
Refinished the stove:
Hooked up a new gas line (Had some leaks, so I didn’t use it):
Time to load up and hit the road!
Stay tuned for what happens next… You’re gonna laugh!