Hey everyone and welcome to our blog! We’re Sarah and Andrew and we are so excited to start the journey of renovating our camper, and hope you will follow along and share some tips and tricks with us!
One of my favourite memories as a kid was when our neighbours would come home after a weekend of camping and have to air out their tent trailer. They’d set it up in the driveway, and it would become our own little play house until the next time they went camping.
Andrew was even more fortunate in that they actually had one of these tent trailers and went on frequent camping trips in it. He grew up in Muskoka, which is the absolute perfect place to get outdoors and explore.
A few years back he moved out to beautiful Western Canada where he worked in the oil and gas industry for a couple years. Lots of (mostly) men here do that since the money is good and that amount of work means you can save a lot in a little time.
Unfortunately, when the industry slowed down, lots of workers were laid off and ended up having to sell all the toys they’d purchased with the money they had been making. The camper was one of those things, and Andrew purchased it from a coworker for only $5000 (Canadian – so currently about 3750USD). It was in good shape besides being outdated like every camper seems to be – in a later post I’ll show you some of the only ‘before’ pictures I have since Andrew and I hadn’t met at this point!
Not long later, he used it to haul all his things across the country when he decided to move back to Ontario (where he met me!)
The camper is a 24ft, 2002 Fleetwood ‘North West’ Edition. I’d like to say that it’s in great shape, but we’re realizing as we go along that there may be more damage than we thought.
In Spring of this year, as we were getting it prepped for the camp season, we noticed a panel had been pulled out and there seemed to be some water dripping from it. So we knew we had some water damage. We could also have a propane leak, and something seems to be draining our batteries faster than they should – so these are all projects we’ll be working on fixing over the summer.
The interior was perfect though, although as I mentioned, very outdated. We also don’t have AC (we do have heating though), which isn’t really a problem here as most nights get cooler, even if the days are insanely hot.
Unlike many people who choose to reno their camper/RV/fifth wheel, we are not planning on being full-timers! We are doing this purely for us (ie. for me) as a fun project. We are considering renting it out on weekends when we aren’t using it, but aren’t completely set on that yet.
We take the camper on the majority of our camping trips in the spring, summer and fall, although sometimes we like to camp out in a tent just for fun. It also acts as a bunkie at my family cottage on occasions, when the cottage is too small to sleep everyone inside!
We’ve got a few planned trips with it this summer:
May: Awenda Provincial Park
June: Bon Echo Provincial Park
June: Fanshawe Conservation Area (for a music festival)
July: Killbear Provincial Park
August: Bruce Peninsula National Park
September: Pinery Provincial Park
September: Restoule Provincial Park
As you can tell, we haven’t mastered the art of boondocking yet, but perhaps in the future! For now, we’re trying to check every Provincial Park in Ontario off our list – there’s a lot! They also aren’t all close, and don’t come cheap (think $50-$60 a night), so we’ll be doing a lot of driving!
If any Canadians (or Americans who have travelled here) are reading this and have experience with boondocking around Ontario, please share your tips and great locations!
I’ll leave you with some photos of how the camper looks in its (almost) original state. By this time I had gotten tired of the floral wallpaper border and the tacky blue velcro curtains – so they had already been ripped down.
Anyone else just starting this journey? Would love to hear from you and follow your progress! 😃