Camper Makeover: The Auction


Ever thought about redoing a camper? For yourself, or to flip it? I’m gonna give you the numbers!

This is our 1984 13-foot Scotty camper.

This is what it looked like before.

This is how it looked after the remodel.

You can see all the “before” pictures here and all the demo pictures here and here. See the full makeover reveal post here.

So, how did this work out for us? We didn’t really want to use the camper. We are not campers. Rodney bought this camper maybe around 6-ish years ago. At that time, he paid $400 for the camper. The only time the camper was ever used was in his back yard when his son lived in it for about six months or so. We put the remodeled camper up for auction on eBay.

This is Aimee! The happy winner of the eBay auction. She came 3 1/2 hours from Ohio to pick up the camper yesterday.

Back to the numbers–

If you are a handy person and can do the work yourself, you can deduct the cost of labor. We hired a professional contractor to do the work for us. What did we do ourselves? We cleaned the camper inside and out, from power washing the exterior and recaulking to sealing the roof. Inside we supercleaned every inch of it. We also painted trim. And we shopped–a LOT. But we hired a contractor for all the heavy lifting on the interior remodel.

Along with purchasing new tires and roof coat and caulk outside, we bought all the new interior flooring and ceiling and wall materials. We bought a new sewer kit, a new fridge, new faucets for both the kitchen and bathroom, all new upholstery and foam, new thermostat, new wall decor and shelving, new trim, and a lot of paint, along with decorative items, and other stuff I’ve forgotten by now.

Numbers! We spent $2000 on all the materials and supplies and decor and tires, etc. We spent $1000 for a week’s contractor labor. The auction fees on eBay added up to $160, which made our total costs $3160. We sold the camper for $5300, which made a profit of $2140. If you count off the original $400 cost of the camper, that’s a profit of $1740, though we didn’t really consider the original $400 too much since that was long ago water under the bridge and the camper was used (at least by Rodney’s son) during that time. Either way you look at it, we made a nice little profit. So there’s how it worked out for us on our big fat camper flip. Got a camper? Want to try it?

So first, Rodney paid himself back the money he spent on the camper, and THEN. Today, we went shopping and bought a new 65-inch TV and a big new comfy couch with our camper flip profit. We don’t miss the camper a bit!

Camper Makeover: The Reveal


It’s the big fat camper makeover reveal!

This is our 1984 13-foot Scotty camper.

Its amenities include a bathroom with potty, sink, and shower, a dinette area with benches and a table that convert to a double bed, a refrigerator, furnace, window a/c, and kitchen with sink, four burner stovetop, and oven. Of course, its amenities left something to be desired due to being a 30-something-year-old camper.

You could reasonably sleep two adults in this camper, or two adults with a small child in the overhead bunk area. I envision the overhead bunk more as a storage area, however. In my opinion, a camper this size is best suited for an individual, man or woman, or a couple.

I’ve seen a lot of camper remodels that are very feminine, and gorgeous, such as the ones you can see here. I love that! (I’m a girly girl, what can I say.) But I didn’t want to go too far in a feminine direction with our camper as I wanted to create a design that was beautiful enough to appeal to a woman without being so girly it would make a man feel uncomfortable. I also wanted the camper to be truly functional for recreational living with a clean, efficient design, ready to take on the road.

You can see all the “before” pictures here and all the demo pictures here and here. Rodney bought this camper about six or seven years ago, and has never used it. He’d never even transferred the title. We went to the DMV several weeks ago and got the title in his name, and got to work on the camper. Ready to see what we did?

Walking down memory lane… Here is the old dinette/sleeper area with the outdated upholstery. (Old gas fridge is to the left.)

This is the old kitchen. (Bathroom door is to the right.)

View toward the kitchen from the dinette area with the old large (dysfunctional) cabinet (to the left) that made the space feel closed in.

Now on to the new! Brand new kitchen!

The stove and oven are in perfect working order, so all it took to get this fixed up was some white appliance paint to say goodbye to the outdated almond on the stovetop and vent hood.

The sink was taken out and scrubbed clean, and put back in with a new, pretty, taller, swivel faucet.

The camper-size dish drainer comes from here. The countertop was replaced with a custom torched wood counter made by Brandon Barnhouse, one of our contractors. I have a big torched wood countertop in my kitchen in the house, just like it, also hand-crafted by Brandon.

The original cabinets were painted white. New hinges and knobs were put on. New sturdy shelves were installed inside, with a pretty shelf liner.

The major “pop” in the kitchen comes from the vinyl self-adhesive wall tiles. For those considering a camper makeover (or even using some of these ideas in your home), I’m including links to where some of the materials we used can be found. The vinyl wall tiles can be found here. We loved these so much, we carried them all the way to the shelf nook above.

In fact, we loved them SO much, we ordered more and used them to set off the bunk/shelf nook in the dinette area, too. Speaking of the dinette area! Remember the old (ugly) upholstery? Gone!

What a change!

The upholstery is in a “wilderness” pattern with bears, deer, leaves, cabins, paw prints, etc.

We bought all new 4-inch foam for the cushions. The upholstery was custom made by Vstar Buttons, a fellow Etsy seller.

The floors, benches, and walls were covered in vinyl planking from Lowes, in “driftwood” color.

The ceiling was covered in a woven grasscloth patterned wallpaper from Walmart.

The wire storage baskets on the shelf come from here.

I wanted to create a rich, textured design using a variety of coordinating materials, which are all pulled together by the white trim. I hauled back trim THREE times for this project–there is an amazing amount of trim in this 13-foot camper. We kept thinking we had enough, then kept running out!

(We do have a set of custom-made curtains for the camper, but we haven’t installed them yet. We like the light without them, though I can see how they would be needed at a campground for privacy.)

The table in the dinette area is the original table.

It’s in very good condition, so we kept it as is.

The new refrigerator is quite a bit larger than the old refrigerator. It’s a 3.3 cubic feet stainless steel Midea. There used to be a drawer beneath the old fridge. We removed the drawer to make room for a taller fridge, with a new sturdy shelf built to hold the fridge.

It’s really roomy inside (for a camper fridge) and includes a small freezer compartment.

To replace the storage we took out by removing the cabinet, we built up a small table over the wheel well. This was an area that took me by surprise because I didn’t realize the wheel well was there. We had to build something up over the wheel well, so we built it up to table height so that it can act as a little side table to the bench.

It has a hinged top, though, so it can also be used for storage. No wasting space here!

Over the little table, we installed wall-mounted storage bins. (You can find them here.) I love these storage bins–I have two sets exactly like them in my house.

Last but not least, the bathroom got some love with new walls and ceiling, shelves, and new faucet and shower set.

We also purchased a complete brand new sewer kit. (The box on the floor.)

We put a Camp Hair Don’t Care sign in here. Because, seriously, you’re not fixing your hair in this bathroom.

The bathroom door was painted white to match the cabinets. This pop-a-towel dispenser was mounted on the exterior of the bathroom door. It’s a paper towel holder that folds down out of the way (as shown in the picture) when not in use.

The cute decor and other items that we put in– The vintage Route 66 gas station filling pump salt and pepper shaker set.

The battery-operated star string lights.

This Is My Happy Place sign.

The Home Is Where We Park It sign.

The Route 66 sign.

The Happy Camper sign.

The Weekend Forecast: Camping with a Chance of Drinking sign. Shouldn’t that be Drinking with a Chance of Camping? That would be more me.

This black walnut charcuterie board makes added workspace when only using one or two burners on the stove. Making the kitchen as functional as possible was really important to me.

We even got an adorable key ring to celebrate the brand new camper front door knob.

While we had Mason Barnhouse (our contractor who did the heavy lifting on the remodel–all the major construction and installation) here, we had him test the electric, the gas, the water lines and hot water heater, and also install a new thermostat on the furnace. Everything works perfectly! (The furnace warmed up the camper so fast, it ran us out. We were testing the furnace on a 90-degree day! We were happy to turn it off and get the air conditioner back on. The air conditioner also works great and keeps the camper very cool even on a 90-degree day.)

We had a lot of fun bringing this vintage camper back to life. And to think–it all started with a knob falling off in my hand and I said, “We have to get new knobs before we sell it….” Look where that went!

We just added brand new tires, too.

And a spare, which still needs mounted.

P.S. We are still planning to sell the camper. If you’re interested, feel free to contact me. Please don’t expect it to be cheap. (All the shelving, wall decorations, Route 66 shaker set, and other goodies bought for the camper will go with it. You see it in the photos? It goes with it.) Our current plans are to auction the camper.

Or take it to the beach. Ha.

Update: How’d we do? See the final results from the eBay auction here.

August 7, 2018 - Camper Makeover: Demolition

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July 30, 2018 - Camper Makeover: Before Pictures

Here it is, our big fat camper project! This is a 1984 13-foot Scotty, a classic “canned ham”-style camper. (Because, like, it looks like the shape of a canned ham.) Rodney had told me about this camper for years, but I’d never seen it. Sleeps at least two, maybe three with the upper bunk, and...
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