Home renovations have been a craze for years. Throw tiny homes on wheels into the mix, and you can take creativity to a whole new level. Old camper remodels are on-trend, and people are willing to travel far to get their hands on one.
Keep reading to learn more about old campers and how much it costs to remodel one. We’ll also show you five old camper remodels that will blow your mind. Let’s dig in!
What Is Considered an Old Camper?
A camper is vintage if it’s 25 years or older. For a trailer to be old, it could be ten years old or older. But just because a camper is old doesn’t mean it’s not usable. People typically use trailers less than an old car, so you can get more longevity out of a tiny home on wheels.
While not quite vintage, we remodeled and travel in a 2000 Bigfoot truck camper. Check out the renovation in the video below.
Can You Remodel an Old Camper?
An old camper remodel is possible, and it is actually quite popular to do! There are some awesome vintage campers that, when fixed up and renovated, make awesome RVs.
It can be a lot of work, depending on what kind of wear and tear you find under the surface, but it can also be fun. Renovating a camper is similar to a traditional house regarding working around plumbing and electrical. Overall, it’s much easier than a house, mainly due to the project’s small scale.
How Much Do Old Camper Remodels Cost?
The cost of an old camper remodel will depend mainly on the size and scope of the renovation. You also need to factor in the fluctuating price of supplies such as lumber. The more features and luxuries you add, the more expensive the project will become. Remodels can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 or more.
Pro Tip: Need some inspiration for your RV remodel? Check out these 9 Fabulous RV Renovation Ideas.
What Do You Need to Consider When Starting an Old Camper Remodel?
Before you begin an old camper remodel, consider these five essential factors for every renovation project.
Determine what kind of condition the camper is in from the start. Is there water damage, mold, or electrical issues? Strip back as many layers as possible to see what you’re working with for the project. If the old camper is mechanically sound and just needs some interior renovations, you’re looking at a much easier remodel.
It can be risky to start a remodel project before realizing a floor is water-damaged. Remember, campers and RVs tend to have cheaper materials such as particleboards, so if there’s water damage, there’s a big problem.
Figure out what your maximum budget is before starting the project. If your budget is limited, you may want to consider doing the remodel in stages. That way, you’ll be able to budget over time rather than one lump sum upfront.
Weight capacity and distribution in an old camper remodel are critical. First, find out what the GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) is for the trailer. Then, carefully calculate the weight of new features and appliances you’ll be adding during the renovation.
Make sure you don’t go over the GVWR and compensate for cargo that you will add when camping. Also, be sure to distribute weight properly for safe transportation.
One of the best parts about old camper remodels is that you can customize the functionality of the space. Is the remodel for you? Think through how you travel and camp.
Build storage, the kitchen, sleeping area, and more around your needs. If you’re doing the remodel for someone else, discuss how they will function in the space and customize it around them.
Modern upgrades are a big draw, but do they all work for old campers? Determine if you have the correct components for what you’re adding, whether it’s tied into electrical systems, propane, plumbing, or overall construction.
These 5 Old Camper Remodels Will Blow Your Mind
Are you ready to check out some examples of old camper remodels? We’ve found five that will blow your mind!
1. 1977 Gold Coast Camper Trailer Rebuild
Jesse Mullen from the Mullen Maker YouTube channel rebuilt a 1977 Gold Coast Camper. It only cost $2,000, plus $1,500 for the trailer. The project took a little over a month to complete.
Jesse went with a modern look with black and white paint on the inside. He also replaced the refrigerator with a retro-looking one. On the outside, he removed the ugly fiberglass sunshade on the front and added some cedar tongue and groove. He resealed and treated the roof due to a leak and installed new insulation. Jesse also needed to replace some of the plumbing components.
One of the most complicated parts of the remodel was sanding and painting the exterior. He went with a modern black stripe while the rest of the camper is white.
Like the modern look? Check out these Mid-Century Modern RV Renovations.
2. Fleetwood Terry LE 320DB Remodel
Adaline’s Home is a DIY and everything-mom vlog on Youtube. She renovated an old Fleetwood Terry LE 320DB that she now lives in. The transformation of her tiny home is something she thought would be easy but cost her more time and money than she anticipated. For example, taking apart cupboards and the overall demo took her a long time.
The results of this old camper remodel made her weeks of hard work worth it. The trailer has a gorgeous, modern white look. Like the tile backsplash in the kitchen, she added touches to transform the camper into a home. She also implemented creative organization to maximize storage and space.
3. 1969 Shasta Compact Remodel
All Signs Point West remodeled a compact 1969 Shasta. The vintage camper gets five stars from us on the cute factor. They did an exceptional job of giving the trailer modern features while maintaining the vintage vibe.
The YouTubers put a little over $5,000 into the camper and renovation. The project included fixing water damage, framing walls, creating a custom bed, adding new flooring, repairing and painting cabinets, installing new plumbing and a toilet, and painting the interior and exterior. They also implemented a battery to run lights and the water pump when not hooked up to electricity.
Find out more: Does Shasta still make campers?
4. 1968 Airstream Remodel
Old Airstream renovations are pretty standard, and this 1968 Airstream Caravan remodel is on par. The YouTube channel Living Big In A Tiny House provides a camper tour. An interior designer who inherited the Airstream was responsible for the remodel of the old camper. After about two months into the build, he fell in love with it and decided to live in it. The entire remodel cost him approximately $25,000.
Making the space beautiful, functional, and modern was his goal, and he achieved it. The window treatments are a favorite feature. Because of the curved Airstream walls, he placed magnets on the bottom of the curtains, so they don’t hang away from the wall. In addition, he added a walnut countertop in the kitchen as the centerpiece of the camper.
5. 1969 Winnebago Remodel
The Heights remodeled a 1969 Winnebago camper over 12 months. It came with a rotted roof and more, so they replaced almost everything in the unit, and every screw is brand new. The vintage camper also has new lighting and electrical. Most importantly, the design fits their needs and travel style.
They kept a vintage look on the interior, and they built it with the understanding that they could always customize more. It has the main bed and a bench that converts into an extra bed, as well as a spacious kitchen and a toilet. The Heights did a great job at rebuilding the Winnebago to keep the look and vibe of what it would have been in the 60s.
Pro Tip: Simple upgrades can be game-changers when improving the ease of use of your RV, but not every RV hack works. Check out these 9 RV Hacks That Aren’t Worth the Effort.
Is It Worth It to Do An Old Camper Remodel?
Doing an old camper remodel can be a lot of fun, but as you’ve seen in the videos, it’s also work. Before starting a renovation, you’ll want to know what you’re getting into. First, inspect the camper well to see if there are leaks or more. Then, set realistic expectations for the budget and the time it will take to complete the project.
If you’re doing an old camper remodel, we would love to hear about it! Tag us in photos on social media or leave a comment below!
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