Glamper/Camper Renovation Part 1

IMG_3431_web_camper1That’s right. It says Part 1 up there in the title. That’s because I can tell, this is going to be a long project.

A few weeks back I started thinking about getting a camper. I had all sorts of fabulous dreams about what a camper could do for us…family outings, quilt shop stoppings, glamping in style…you know, all the usual stuff you think about when getting a camper.

I did a lot of looking on google and my local classifieds.  I have an obsession for Airstreams and have been eying them for five years now but felt they were out of my price range. So I turned to looking for a more retro design.

So what was I looking for? Here was my list of must-haves:
+ sleeps 5-6
+single axle (for those of you who, like me, had no idea what that means, it’s just one set of wheels)
+ smallish (as in-not hard on my car)
+1950s-1960s design
+functional equipment and tanks

Did I mention this was a dream list? Because I wasn’t about to find something in my price range with all of these things.


I happened upon an ad for the camper above on a local news website from a couple of guys named Chad and John. They find and sell used trailers and will even LOOK for one that matches your needs and price range. I am waiting on the Facebook Page and will post a link to it for those of you in the Utah area. They have been awesome to work with.

Anyway, I fell in love with the layout of this camper. It is a 1969 Jet Airway (barely in my date range!) and is 17 feet long. I walked through a couple of their 12 foot trailers. I loved the small size but felt the lack of bathrooms (rare in a 12 foot camper) was not a negotiable feature (who wants to take their kids to the campsite bathroom at midnight?). Other pluses, this camper had a single axel and my car could easily tow it.

Another bonus was that it has a couch that pulls out into a queen bed, dinette that turns into a bed, and then a bunk that slides back above the dinette. Sleeping space, check!


Obviously, this old girl needed some work. The problem is, I didn’t know HOW MUCH work I was in for. I took the camper to a local restoration shop. Brandon (his website will also be in the next post) tore the thing apart  and, well, let’s say, it wasn’t pretty what he found. Cut lines, broken floors, water damage, and more.

This is where I took a deep breath.


I would love to say I’m a DIYer, but I’m not. I like to make things pretty (designer, remember?) so if it has to do with electricity and plumbing, I’m not your girl. What originally looked like a 2 week quick fix has turned into a several week renovation.I guess no trip to St. George for UEAA weekend. Sigh.


These last few pictures are from today when I went over to verify everything that has to be done. Maybe I’ll give you the list, if you think it will be fun or useful. Tell me in the comments. Either way, it’s ALOT of stuff. Brandon will be working on the technical while I will be painting, sewing, and tiling (okay, well, I will do cosmetic DIY stuff).

In the meantime, I will be sewing curtains and cushions. I will also be picking out lighting fixtures, colors for the exterior and inside, and choosing wallpaper and tile. I’ll show you my project sheet soon. I think you will like. Think white, aqua, red, black, pink, and polka dot. It’s going to be fun!

Dreaming of going glamping (while kids dream of glamping late-overs),


  1. Eve Johnson

    Carina, I’m interested in knowing if it was still within in your budget after all the redo. So excited to see what it looks like when it’s all done!

  2. Sara

    I would love to see the renovation list from Brandon. I’m sure you will be pleased with the finished project. What a cool thing to do!

  3. Lucy

    Sounds like a nightmare rebuild but with a lot of heart & hard work. I’m sure it will be pretty awesome to do the lovely decoration part to create a beautiful home a way from home 🙂 Good Luck with it all 🙂

  4. Amy

    I have no doubt Its going to be FABULOUS when you’re done! We won’t even recognize it! I’m already jealous!!!

  5. Stefanie Gruenig

    Wow! Good for you! We just refurbished a 1967 Aristocrat, and it was similar to yours in water damage. I can tell you after looking at I don’t know how many, (seriously double digits) that yours looks pretty strait forward, minimal water damage, and looks so promising! My husband worked on all the structural, technical, and gas related, while I did the fun. Re-upholstering, painting, etc… We LOVE it. It is so perfect for our family to just up and go at a moment’s notice. Congrats on a great find!

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