Fixin’ that lean

When finding these diamonds in the rough, they are never a pretty sight. Most the time they are in a field, with trees and weeds growing under and around them. They are always filthy, so first things first, we took our little Rancho to visit the car wash to give her a little sponge bath!

Rancho get's a bath

When pulling the Rancho for the first time, we noticed it was leaning to one side. We suspected the leaf springs needed to be fixed. Sure enough one of the leaf springs was about 1.5 inches flatter than the other side.

REMOVING THE AXLE AND SPRINGS

In order to fix this problem I first needed to remove the axle and springs. To do this, start with a flat level surface; pull the trailer up on blocks making sure that they are very secure.

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Have you ever heard of the Berenstain Bears book called The Bike Lesson? Well in this book the father give his son a new bike but wants to teach him some lessons about safe practices, six in total…well most of the lessons end up being the dad crashing and him telling his son, “This is what you must never do. Now let this be a lesson to you.” 

 

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So this is my lesson to you. Don’t do as I do. Block your camper with safer things than I did.

Luckily everything turned out alright and I still have all my appendages!

With some persuasion fluid, good ole’ WD-40, I was able to work the rusted bolts loose.

Removal of the axle and leaf springs:

  1. LIFT TRAILER AND SUPPORT
  2. REMOVE WHEELS
  3. REMOVE EYE BOLTS FROM LEAF SPRINGS ON FRAME(Check for any wear on the shackles that may need to be replaced too.)
  4. PULL OUT AXLE FROM UNDER CAMPER
  5. REMOVE UBOLTS HOLDING LEAF SPRINGS TO AXLE

Luckily I had just had a conversation with Tiara’s cousin about him having to replace his leaf springs on his trailer and he recommended a place in Salt Lake called AAA Springs Specialists. All I can say is WOW! that is the best customer service I have had in a long time!

From the moment I walked in the door they were there to help! They listened and then found exactly what I needed! I didn’t really know what to expect as far as cost but it was better than I thought. As they were helping me I watched the interaction of everyone and thought this is a well run business. If I ever got into a business I hope I could have it run like they do! So if you live in Utah or any surrounding areas and need your leaf springs done, take them here and you won’t regret it!

I originally thought I would just have them bend back my springs into the correct arch but for a few more bucks I could get a whole new set. Considering they are 48ish years old, I went ahead and replaced both sides with brand new leaf springs, and new u-bolts. I have heard that it is very important to not reuse your u-bolts, just get new ones. With our first camper, the original owner had flipped the axles and while driving down the road a u-bolt broke and the whole axle slid back into the wheel well. SCARY!

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PUTTING THE SPRINGS AND AXLE BACK TOGETHER

New leaf springs? Check! Now it was time to put it all back together.

First thing I did was showed a little love to the axle. I washed the axle, took some steel wool to get rid of some rough spots and rust and then painted it black.

While I had the wheels off I also took apart the brake drum and repacked the bearings with grease.There were two bearings that came out fairly easy with a light tap tap tappity roo. I then put some grease on my palm and packed the grease into the grooves by continuously tapping the bearing against my palm until the grease came out the other side.

 

Installation of leaf springs and axle:

  1. Put axle back under trailer
  2. Install eye bolt into front of leaf spring
  3. join Ubolts on leaf springs to axle, torque to manufactures specs
  4. lift leaf spring into place and bolt other eye bolt to shackle
  5. repeat on other side
  6. Put wheels back on
  7. GO CAMPING!

Everything fit back together nice and she sits level and pulls perfectly now! Wahoo!

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Results are in, so why not a GIVEAWAY?!!

The people have voted and the Verdict is….Guilty..uh I mean…

We decided to share our two design boards for our 1969 Rancho El Rae aka “Blanche” and let the majority decide what fashionista personality Blanche needed. A design board worked great for us with our first camper Tilly; it really helped us in seeing the vision and making a decision when out shopping for supplies.

You guys had some great ideas and great feedback!

Thank you all for voting!

Drum roll please….

The winner is…

Yellin' Yellow

Rancho Vision Board yellow

NOW ON TO THE GIVEAWAY!!!

We wanted to make someone’s day, ok, two someone’s day and give Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 11.38.39 AMaway some cool stuff!

Item #1 Tropical Pink LED Flamingo

Every vintage camper needs to have a Flamingo and the best part is that it lights up! Nothing like the soft glow of Electric Flamingo Sex in the window!

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It stands at 11.8 inches tall. You can place this bad boy on your mantelpiece or on your table to brighten up your glamping celebrations. Or you can hang it on the wall! 

Item #2  Ultralight Portable Camping Hammock!

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No campsite or backyard is complete without a hammock! The comfort of a soft swing mixed with the mountain or beach air while relaxing is something everyone deserves to enjoy! This particular hammock is awesome. It’s super soft & comfortable! Light weight and super strong too, It can hold up to 600lbs!

It’s 105 inches long and 65 inches wide fitting two adults comfortably! It is very portable only weighing 17 ounces.

It is ideal for hiking, camping or traveling. It can be used wherever your journey takes you!

How can you win?!

  1. Visit and LIKE our page: facebook.com/TheVintageJourney
  2. Share our Facebook page with all your friends!
  3. Comment on our FB page with which item you want to win the most!

**Bonus entries for each person you tag**

Winner will be announced THURSDAY, May 18th 2017!!

We Need Your Votes!

OK everyone…

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As you might remember, while renovating Tilly I created a design board (find it here) to give us direction with her vision.

Well now Blanche is ready for her makeover ambush and we need help in deciding what direction we should go; and since I got carried away when making blanches design board… boards… we are going to let YOU decide!!

Rancho Vision Board Red

OR

Rancho Vision Board yellow

 

Leave us a comment below or on Facebook with your favorite of the two.

To announce the “People’s Choice” of the design board that we will be going with; we will kickoff a GIVEAWAY starting Monday, May 15th 2017 and ending Thursday, May 18th, 2017! 

So tell us your favorite design, then watch for our announcement Monday for details about our GIVEAWAY!

**Winner of the GIVEAWAY will be announced Thursday, May 18th, 2017**

Best of camping…so far

Hey everybody this is Brett and I told Tiara I never wanted to write but she always gets me to do something new…eventually!

We have loved The Journey of restoring our first Glamper “Tilly”, but have loved even more actually getting out and using her! Here are a few of our favorite Glampouts…so far!

Miller Flat Campground– 39°34’36.9″N 111°14’40.7″W

This was our trial run for Tilly, we wanted to make sure there were no big surprises before we took our big trip the following month. Everything was perfect and we had a great time in our little Tilly Glamper!

And of course I had to pull out the famous lariat (the one I used to rope Tiara with many years ago to get her to notice me) to chase the kids around the campsite.

Yellowstone– 44°38’41.8″N 110°52’01.9″W

The time for the big trip had arrived. We were going to pull our little vintage trailer all the way to Yellowstone. 451 miles up through Idaho Falls and 501 miles back through Jackson Hole. 952 miles of trouble free pulling our awesome little Glamper!

We stopped at Buckaroo Bill’s BBQ Grill in West Yellowstone. Cute little place where you can sit in covered wagons and they have it staged with an outdoor scenery. Yummy burgers with a little branding iron on your bun.

Our campsite in Yellowstone was awesome, we stayed at Madison Junction campground that is just inside of the national park west entrance! So pretty! And so much wildlife!

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Tiara even got to witness tourists getting stupidly close to Buffalo(bison)!

It’s rutting season in late September so the whole time we were there we could hear the elk bugling.

We also were pretty sure we met a famous country star. Our little girl Azure started playing with another little kid from the neighboring campsite and then the family came over and invited us to sit around their campfire for some guitar playing that evening. We did and we were flabbergasted when this guy started belting out these amazing songs. It was dark, but pretty sure it was Eric Church or Luke Bryan or Keith Urban or someone big…other than if it would have been Luke Bryan, Tiara would have abandoned us and left with him for the rest of the trip!

Our little Tilly looked so awesome in Yellowstone. It always turns heads!

The time of year we went most of the facilities that had showers were closed for the year; and since we were camping for 8 days, and kids do not stay clean… we had to get a little creative on giving the kids baths!

We warmed water on the stove and used a cooler for a bathtub!

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Our Granny gave the kids an awesome camping chair when Little man was born, and man it makes camping with a baby soooo much easier.
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It’s a camping high Chair!!! You can find them here.

 

 

Teton(Shadow Mountain)- 43°41’51.0″N 110°35’31.4″W

I can’t even believe I am revealing where this campsite is. It’s a gem amongst the Tetons, and is my favorite camping spot! It is directly across from the Tetons near Jackson, WY. We stopped here on our way home from Yellowstone. I discovered this gem when I worked a summer job in Jackson Hole while in college. But of course, I didn’t quite remember the road to get up there and my trusty Google maps lady kind of lead me astray. The road coming from the north was not the way to get to it. Go in from the south! After my bumpy shortcut turned into an hour and half extra long shortcut we finally made it to our camping spot for the night!

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We did have to sneak away and of course visit the Bar J Wranglers for a show while we were close to Jackson.

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Have you ever been to Disney’s California Adventure and rode the Cars ride!? I am pretty sure they made that ride based off of the canyon drive going down into Zions National Park. It was awesome and our little Vintage camper was able to go though all the Tunnels without any restrictions!

We thought it would be way easy to get a campsite going on a Wednesday by just showing up…Oh boy were we wrong. We stopped at every campsite even if it said it was full and asked if there were any cancelations. Luckily the Watchman Campground had someone that left a day early so we were able to take their spot! We were able to do some awesome hiking and exploring in the area.

Bryce Canyon-37°44’35.9″N 112°18’48.1″W

Our last camping trip for this post; but just the start of so many more we have and will go on with our Tilly.

This trip we visited Bryce Canyon and stayed at Red Rock Campground a few miles west of Bryce canyon. This was another location that I worked at for a summer job during college. I was so excited to go back and see it and wow the little city had changed so much. But Bryce Canyon was still amazing and the rumor of casting a spell on you is true!

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If you’re Lucky enough to be in the mountains you are Lucky enough!

On our way home we stopped in Fruita near Capital Reef National park and picked our own apricots at an open orchard.

The view above was amazing! 😉

Happy Camping!

5 best tips for DIY Camper Curtains

There are so many “easy” or “cheap” routes to take for any project, and though I am all about cheap and easy; I am also about quality. So here are my 5 best tips for DIY Camper Curtains.

Growing up my mom was always sewing. She sewed everything from barbie clothes to swimsuits. She even made a formal dance dress for me in high school. I designed it of course!

If I close my eyes I can still hear the sound of her sewing machine. However, when it came time for me to learn how to sew in middle school Home Ec. my seamstress skills were far below par…far…really far.

Despite my C average pillow case that turned out to be more the shape of a lopsided hour glass… my desire to learn to sew always lingered.

Well I am still not an amazing sewer, but I have a great sewing machine that takes the intimidation out of all my projects; and I feel like I have gotten pretty good over the last few years.

1. Quality Fabric is Key

When finding inspiration for Tilly, I scoured the internet for ideas and I never really found what I was looking for. So I made myself a little vision board.

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It helped to organize my thoughts and made it much easier to make decisions when out shopping; though I still tortured Brett and the kids by staring at fabric for hours.

But if you ever find yourself in the Draper, Utah area there is the most adorable fabric boutique that you have to visit! Thimbles and Threads has the cutest fabric, with soooo many choices that you can’t find at the Big Box stores; and all of it is great quality. They have some things online, but you really need to visit their store to appreciate their stock! This is where I found my fabric for Tilly’s curtains.

2. Reuse and Revive

When making the decision to reupholster the cushions, I was a little frightened of doing them myself. I wanted great quality that would stand up against kids and primitive backwoods camping.

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Sorry for the bad quality photo

So we bit the bullet and purchased a bolt of heavy-weight upholstery fabric and took it to a professional in Logan, Ut.

I LOVE the way they turned out! He was able to clean and salvage the old cushions which saved us a lot of money; foam cushions can be one of the most expensive purchases you can make when remodeling a vintage camper…one of the

A good way of knowing whether or not you need to purchase new foam is if there are mouse droppings between the fabric and cushion, the foam is crumbling or if there are black mold stains on the foam.

If you do decide to do them yourself, I suggest sewing covers with zippers so that they can be removed and washed. I’ve seen the hot glue method for cushions, or safety pins, but I just don’t see that lasting through any kind of use. But make sure to prewash your fabric. Nothings worse than trying to stuff a cushion back into the cover after it shrunk in the wash.

3. Keep It Simple Stupid

I took a simple approach to making these curtains. Double sided with a double stitched hem. We used the exsisting curtain rods and ring clips because they were still in great shape.

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When planning I really wanted to put up a curtain so that Azure could sleep without the glow of the camper lights bothering her.

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The problem was that the width of the camper is about 6 ft. I didn’t want a rod that would make the roof sag. I also wanted something small and out of the way since the bunk height is not much bigger than my forearm.

I finally found this and it works great! I chose not to use the clips it came with because I didn’t want a gap between the ceiling and the curtain. I simply made a rod loop on the fabric for this curtain and it slides really smoothly on the cable.

4. Light Blocking

If you have kids, then you know there is something about camping that makes them wake up way earlier than necessary. My kids don’t know how to sleep in past 7am and when camping they always wake up an hour earlier.

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First time sleeping in Tilly

If you are like me and like your sleep, I suggest using thicker fabric to help block out that morning sun. You can buy black-out fabric, Duck cloth or canvas, or do what I did and make cotton curtains double sided.

It doesn’t black out the camper, but it keeps it dim enough in the mornings that the sun isn’t beating down on us. I actually like mornings while camping; that fresh mountain air is the only aphrodisiac I need.

5. Sun Prevention

The only thing I wish I could go back and change about my adorable curtains is I wish I would have treated them with Aeronautical Protectant before hanging them up. After almost two years the back sides of the curtains have sun faded a little bit. If I would have used this stuff from the beginning I could have prevented that. Ooops. Shhh… don’t tell my mom.

 

How a family of 4 stays organized in a 16ft space

We get asked all of the time how we stay organized and sane in such a tiny space. So while I was spring cleaning Tilly and packing her up for our first voyage of the season; I decided I would give you a run down on how our family of 4 stays organized in a 16ft space.

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I look at this mess and I see a page from an I spy book…too much stuff! So what do we do with all this stuff? Where does it go?

Command hooks are a great way to utilize space without compromising the structure of the walls. A hook next to the door provides easy access to keys and sunglasses. Along with these cute original magazine racks that we refreshed; they hold coloring books, notepads for the kids, national parks maps and the original owners manuals that we love showing off!

There is a cupboard right as you walk in the door and here is where we keep simple supplies like tools, flashlights, duct tape etc.

Now trying to get a wiggly little baby to sleep without the comforts and confinement of their crib is like… trying to get a greased pig into its pen.

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The first summer camping in Tilly we tried everything for a bed for our little raptor and no matter what we did, I still spent my nights back and forth getting in and out of bed trying to make sure the raptor was sleeping ok; and co-sleeping wasn’t an option because the raptor turns into a large facial wrap with jagged edges that pierce your back and jugular.

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But alas we discovered that the pack-n-play fit perfectly when placed on-top of the folded down dinette bed without the cushions.

He sleeps so much better like this because it’s familiar and I don’t worry that he is going to fall off the bed and land on the heater.

It’s also great for nap time; if it is too hot in the camper in the middle of the day, I find a nice shady spot outside, cover it with a light weight blanket to keep the bugs, sunlight and noise out and I don’t feel tied to staying in the camper or try to go in and out without waking him.

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Something that I thought was a waste of money, but that Brett thought we just absolutely needed was this mini fan that is powered off of the 12 volt socket. I really wanted a cute little vintage fan, but seeing that we were actually going to use this, I didn’t want a fire hazard lurking in the night.

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Turns out this was one of the best $13 spent! Did I mention that Tilly is small?! Like 16ft small? So it doesn’t take much for her to cool off, it also doesn’t take much for her to heat up on a hot July’s day either.

This is all the A/C we need. And because it is oscillating, we can clip it out of the kids reach and have it rotating and directing the air throughout the entire camper.

Now the fridge in our Deville is not an actual fridge but an icebox. So in order to keep food cold you have to treat it like a cooler and keep blocks of ice in the top part of it; and because of the size of the icebox, the block of ice eats up a lot of space. However, I do put food on the top shelf too when needed. Here I was packing for a 3 day camping trip and I didn’t need too much of the food refrigerated.

But a trick to saving space is to put condiments in small containers and snacking items like veggies into portioned baggies. It also makes it easy to throw a picnic together incase you are going to be away from camp all day but don’t have time to make sandwiches before heading out on your adventure. In our case, most the time its a lengthy jeep ride.

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The “pantry” is very narrow and only supplied me with 2 shelves and a lot of empty floor space.

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Luckily I had one of these on hand and it just so happened to fit perfectly and give me more storage capacity.

The blue basket contains any kitchen utensils I might need while cooking inside Tilly. Our outdoor cooking gear we keep separate in our “camp box”. Watch for a post to come about our favorite outdoor cooking recipes.

The wicker basket is similar to this one, and holds all my disposable plates and dinnerware. That way I can easily grab everything and take it outside with me without having to dig dirty forks out of the dirt and chase down the napkins that were swept away by the “gentle” breeze.

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I keep this closet stocked all camp season long, so that it makes packing easier.

So you can get a feel for how much stuff we are actually able to stuff in the camper; here is a list of everything that is in the white drawer container:

1st Drawer:

  • 2 boxes of packaged Crackers
  • 2 boxes Granola Bars (or monkey bars as my kids call them)
  • 1 box Fruit snacks
  • 12 Fruit leather strips
  • 8 Fig Newton bars

2nd Drawer:

  • 24 Individual Sized Chips

Something that is not rocket science, is how much I am able to pack and bring with us if I get rid of the bulky boxes and packaging that everything comes in. I only have 2 cupboards and this “pantry” for food. There is no way I could fit half of the things I bring if I didn’t take the time to break stuff down and organize it.

Not to mention afterwards we have plenty of kindling from all of the cardboard flats for our campfires.

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3rd Drawer:

  • 2 Tin Foils (too long to fit next to the ziplock bags)
  • 1 Table Cloth for campground picnic tables
  • 2 Plastic Table Cloths. Makes for easy clean up with finger paints or nature art that my daughter creates.
  • 2 Soda Can Sleeves
  • 1 Dish Drying Mat

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Screw hooks to hang any items that I might need a little more convenience in finding. Everything also travels very nicely. I never have to worry about cupboard contents flying all over the place as we are driving on a dirt road.

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The bottom half of the pantry is still a work in progress. I want to put in more shelves but I also want to be able to access the very bottom space without a problem. So for now, more hooks to hang the broom, portable hand held vacuum (yes, I bring a vacuum!), and a few other items.SpringCleaning_18

We then have the outdoor rinse bin, fan, fire extinguisher, small propane bottles and another plastic bin that holds our collapsible water jug, portable shower and also serves as a second outdoor dishwashing bin.

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A few other handy items that help us stay clutter free and organized:

You can find this space saving spice rack here. I can’t imagine camping without it. 18 spices without taking up an entire cupboard!

*Note that this was while I was spring cleaning and before I had stocked these cabinets with food for the whole season. We do not survive on just beans and syrup!

Hanging a dollar store dry erase board up in one of the cupboards allows us to jot down items when we run out of something, or have an idea of what we need or should do to the camper while we are out in the wilderness, I can write it down here. That way when I am cleaning out the camper after a trip I can see it and have a better reminder of what I need. It’s also nice to write down campground information incase of an emergency.

If you haven’t noticed, I use bins for everything! Brett and I both hate opening a cupboard and having everything surprise you by falling onto your toes and smacking you in the face on the way down.

This is my medicine and first aid cabinet. I have everything from allergy medicine to flushable wipes in here! We also keep these in each of our vehicles at all times just to make sure we are always prepared.

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The cupboard next to the medicine cabinet is where mom and dad keep their underwear, pajamas and socks. I did not include a stocked photo of that though… You’re welcome!

Tilly has no actual bathroom. In the 1968 owners manual it is labeled as an optional bathroom where you can have a portable toilet. We, but really I, chose storage over the pooper… I’m not ashamed to be one with nature. Now girls listen up… if you don’t have a Go Girl, you NEED one of these! I don’t know if it’s because it fulfills my childhood desire to pee like my brothers or what, but this was one of the best Christmas gifts Brett has ever gotten me!

I already had one of these and bought some canvas shoe bins from the dollar store and this is how I store everyone’s

  • shirts
  • pants
  • shorts
  • pajamas
  • shoes
  • kids underwear

Everything for 4 people! Our longest camping trip so far in Tilly has been 8 days and we have yet to feel crowded and cluttered.

I keep baby wipes beneath the closet organizer with a small bin that holds diapers and helps keeps them clean.

Toiletry bags are kept in the camper all year long and are always stocked with what we need. That way no one ever forgets their toothbrush! Speaking of which… probably time to replace them with new ones.

Still plenty of room to hang bulky jackets and hoodies; and the laundry basket hangs on a hook that is screwed to the wall. All bedding is stored on the bunk with the cute curtain hiding it all!

We love our little Tilly and we love the time we get to spend camping together; and staying organized helps keep us playing and enjoying the great outdoors!

Six more weeks of winter?!

I’ve got the madness! Do you?!

Is anyone else feeling like the Muppets and suffering from cabin fever?!

I am ready for winter to be over, I’m ready for sunshine and campfires. But instead I have to listen to an unpredictable rodent tell me I will be suffering for another 6 weeks! Why? Why?!

Now, we live in Utah, known for its “4 seasons in one day” kind of weather, so snow isn’t a big deal and we usually get tons of it. But the particular part of Utah that we live in is the desert…. Where snow is very rare and when it does snow it only hangs around for a day or so before it melts and feels like spring again. But this winter has been loooooonnnnnngggggg!

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As you can see by this photo, the snow came down so fast and so hard that we had to try and keep it off our babies’ roofs so they didn’t cave in! Yes… that is the roof of one of our Glampers. And when I say we… I mean Brett…. Shorts, Cowboy boots and all.

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Needless to say, I’m over winter! That’s it. I’m done. Rant over.

Since we can’t go camping, we have been devising our plans for the spring and for the reno of Blanche, and while life is a little up in the air for us at the moment, we are excited to get going on finishing Blanche.

We purchased a new emblem similar to this one (but brand new) emblemand I can’t wait to hand paint it and to then slap Blanche’s fresh tramp stamp back up in its rightful spot!

 

 

 

What projects are y’all working on this winter? We would love to hear from you!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone had a great thanksgiving! We sure did! We enjoyed some smoked turkey on a Pellet Smoker Grill. It was awesome!

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Be careful out there black Friday shopping and maybe get yourself a new grill!

Or a Vintage Trailer Doll house

Or some Vintage Trailer Jewelry!

Spoil Yourself!

We are grateful for camping and vintage trailers!

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The 1hr backsplash

In the last post I mentioned my 3 methods of going about a project. While the countertops turned out surprisingly amazing for an experiment. I knew that a backsplash was going to be a little harder to achieve.

I had searched for ideas that would be inexpensive, durable and that wouldn’t take a lot of time. But each idea I came across posed a little problem.

I loved the look of wallpaper, but it wouldn’t work because it’s too close to the stove and the heat of it may ruin the wallpapers adhesive. Tiles would add more weight to the trailer and we wanted to keep it light, and the time it would take in grouting tile was more than what our goal of finishing the camper would allow.

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I really wanted to use those faux metal tiles that you can find here at Home Depot. But I didn’t feel like they flowed with my decor. So maybe another little vintage camper down the road will get the pleasure of them. So I kept up my search when I stumbled upon these…

 

$24.99 on Amazon

 

Crystiles® Peel and Stick Self-Adhesive Vinyl Wall Tiles, Hexagon White

It was love at first sight! As soon as I laid my eyes on them, I wanted it! And with Amazon’s Buy Now button… It was hard not to resist. So I held myself back and researched them a little more. Looking at reviews and life quality, and they fit all of the requirements “the tiles are resistant to the heat of stovetops and the humidity of bathrooms (do not use in shower)…” 

Though you can buy these on amazon, and I am sure they would have been just as great, I decided to go with these ones from Home Depot.

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$44.97 at The Home Depot

Peel and Stick Mosaic Decorative Tile Backsplash Hexagon in White

Despite these ones being significantly more expensive; I loved the gel coating, which made them look a little more realistic, because it gave them more of a dimension.

So I measured the area in the kitchen of Tilly that I wanted covered.  And determined that I was going to need 2 packages of the peel and stick tiles that came in packs of 6. I only needed 7 or 8 of the tiles. I could have easily changed my surface area to save money;

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but I wanted to go a little higher up the wall so that the backsplash made more of a statement. It turned out that having all the extra tiles made it so that I could make a mistake with the first tile I tried to install, not saying that happened or anything (shhh).

I prepped my surface by wiping them down with lysol wipes (because of the alcohol) and making sure all debris was gone. I peeled back only a small part of the protective backing to align the tile straight and make sure that my placement was right. Once I would get it where I wanted it I would slowly peel the backing and rub it on as I went. This prevented air bubbles and wrinkles from getting under the tiles. And if I did need to reposition , it was ok, I could just peel it off and try it again.

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And thanks to my loving and confidence building husband this is the only photo that was taken of the process. I think I will now put down my Dr. Pepper and my homemade mac n cheese and go do some squats and lunges….

Let’s hope that image is not burned into your mind forever.

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Anyways, here is a close up of the finished product. In just a little over an hour, the kitchen was dramatically transformed. No grout needed, no special tools required (except an xacto knife), and no mess!

I used the original metal trim to finish the edges and I just love how they turned out! This is easily one of the features of our 1968 Deville Camper that gets the most compliments and questions of “Oh my, where did you get those?”

A year later, they are still looking fabulous! They withstand the heat of the summer, the cold of the winter, water and humidity; with no yellowing or discoloring.

So yes I did end up spending more than I originally hoped for, but I don’t regret it one tiny bit. Totally worth it for this project!

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The only flaw in these adorable peel and stick tiles is that if you look really closely, you can see some of the seems. But I think that is more of operator error than the product itself. I didn’t get into a seamless method until I already had a few tiles up, then I realized I needed to go in a little tighter on the grouts seems. The lighting in this photo definitely accentuates the lines, but in person you can’t tell as much.

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BEFORE  &  AFTER

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Easy and Inexpensive Countertops

I think most can agree with me that whenever faced with a project there are two paths to choose from to get it done. Path #1 Money. Path #2 Time. Well if you ask Brett, he would add a third path to MY methods of getting things done… Experiment.

As I starred in disgust at the horribly green and faded, stained, and did I mention puke green countertops?! I wanted to cry because I really had no idea what I could do (that wouldn’t rob my wallet) besides replacing the laminate or purchasing an expensive countertop painting kit. So I did some searching and thought I would take a chance and combine a couple methods to create my own. And a year later, they are as perfect as the day I finished them!

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Don’t get me wrong, Original is always great and sometimes best, but in the case of Tilly if the walls were getting fresh updates, then everything needed fresh updates.

Brett removed all the counter tops and the table so that I could prep them for paint. I first cleaned them really well with lysol wipes to get the decades of dirt and grime off to get a smooth clean surface.

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Then I taped off the metal trim using scotch blue painters tape. I don’t know what I would do without this stuff!

I started with a base coat of gray to hide any of the green that might want to play peek-a-boo. I gave each piece 2 good coats and let them dry overnight.

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I used Rustoleum’s Satin Graphite Spray Paint found here. This paint went on seamless and I debated just leaving it at that because I loved the smooth color. But you know when you have a craving for an Oreo , but you just can’t stop at one, and the next thing you know all 3 rows are gone. No?! Just Me?!

Never mind my overeating sweet tooth.

I found this Krylon stone textured paint and I really liked the speckled pattern. I figured I had nothing to loose by giving this a try, I could always peel up the laminate from the wood and start new if the spray paint method for countertops backfired. The thing I was concerned about was wether spray paint was durable enough for countertops and camping.

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I gave each countertop about 3 coats of the Krylon stone paint, sanding lightly in-between coats to lesson the actual rough texture but still maintaining the look of the stone. In order to resolve my concerns of durability, I applied 3 coats of Minwax Polyurethane to create a water resistant and hardshell barrier. I lightly sanded between these coats as well to prevent and remove any bubbles.

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Not only do I love how it turned out but I am really surprised with how well it is holding up. I have dropped canned food, used a knife, and left a soaking rag for 2 days on the countertop and not a smidgen of damage! The only thing that I have not accidentally tested was a hot pan, I might be blonde but I ain’t dumb! hehe

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Let us know what you think or if you have a secret to redoing countertops. We would love to see what you have to say!

 

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