Welcome to my happy place of DIY, homemade, homegrown, handmade, nourished & crafted, whole hearted living. Finding magic in the mundane & growing some roots in the process.
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If you’re following along with my Instagram stories then you’ve met Meg, our camp trailer. I thought I had introduced her here, but I guess I haven’t, so I figured I better get on that.
Prepare yourself for a bunch of ugly before photos!
Meg is a 23-foot 2007 Mega-Lite toy-hauler. We bought her “as is” at an auction which meant she was perfect for our budget, but not exactly perfect condition. She had been through a gnarly hailstorm, had broken cabinets, a water leak, and her tub surround was ripped out of the walls, among other things. Plus, she came with no keys.
But, you know how much I like a good project so I was happy as a clam driving her home.
The first thing we did was seal the roof to stop any further water damage. Then I got to work rebuilding cabinets and drawers. We ended up having to fix some electrical with the batteries, buy propane tanks with a new cover and had keys made. Then we scrubbed, scrubbed, scrubbed! This thing was naaasty gross.
We also replaced broken lights, table hardware, levels, outside storage clips, and pipe caps. Plus we installed a new smoke detector and fire extinguisher because, you know, safety first.
We went to take Meg out for her maiden voyage last fall, only to find out that the old owners had flipped the axle over, which destroyed not only the breaks but also all the tires. Cha-ching! Most axels can be flipped to allow for more ground clearance, but Meg just happens to be built with the one kind of axel that you can’t do that with. Yeah, that one hurt the wallet. We ended up having to leave Meg at the repair shop and changed up our plans. Back to the tents and hammocks.
There was an early snow which made winterizing a real bear. I was feeling pretty down closing Meg up for the winter when we hadn’t even gotten to go camping yet. But, that’s how projects go sometimes, especially when you are on a budget. So, we said goodbye for the winter.
For Spring Break, a couple of weeks ago, we finally got to take Meg out on our first family trip! And, because nothing with Meg has gone right so far… two days before we left we filled up the freshwater tanks and turned on the pump only to discover that the toilet was leaking. We replaced a part on the back of the toilet and thought we were good to go. Nope, the big freshwater tank underneath the trailer had two holes in it, draining the tank in a matter of hours. Sigh. Instead of scrapping our plans yet again, we filled up some water jugs and went anyway. It was a pain in the rear to haul water, but we had a great time. Sometimes you just have to roll with it, right?
While on our trip, we pulled out the awning and were pleasantly surprised to find it was in great condition. Yay for a win! We need some practice setting it up so it doesn’t take so long but we’ll get there. Oh, and remember how she came with no keys? Well, while putting food up in the cupboards, low and behold, I found the original set of keys shoved up in an out of the way secret hole. So there’s that. Facepalm.
I have to say, it was incredibly helpful for me to stay in the camper for a few straight days while on that trip. It gave me a better feel of what was going to work and what wasn’t, along with what we need and don’t. I came home really excited about future adventures!
I have slowly been working on the tub surround. My original plans were to rip out the broken tub/surround and replace with a shiny new one. Unfortunately, between the unexpected cost of the new brakes, tires, and now the water tank, a new tub is out of the question.
Instead, I’m doing my best to rehab the old one.
I hammered in new rivets, have started caulking around the edges, and I’ve got some special tub & tile paint waiting for a nice warm day. Plus, this new showerhead is in the mail.
The tub’s original faucet is in good shape, just yellowed with age, so I’m going to spray paint it to match the rest of the trailer hardware.
The floor is in good shape. The hardware, though it isn’t my favorite, is solid and functional. The oak cabinets might feel dated to some, but I love the natural feel they bring so they are staying. Once I do some updates, I think peeps might be surprised by how great they look. Maybe I’m a little rebellious but just because everyone else is painting their oak white, doesn’t mean you have to too.
Before I go any further with my plans, I feel like I have to warn you about something. I’m sure you’ve seen those amazing trailer remodels all over Pinterest and Instagram. They give me all sorts of happy thoughts, too. Sadly, those formulas and designs aren’t going to work for this girl. One, because I have a tight budget. And two, because Meg is a toy-hauler. A toy-hauler = dust, grime, four wheelers, and dirt bikes. Making everything white, bright, and delicate looks fantastic in a vintage Airstream but just isn’t going to fly for a tom-boy like Meg.
Don’t get me wrong, she’s still gonna be pretty, just a little rough and tumble too. But let’s be honest, that’s how we grow girls around here anyway.
In all of the remodels I’ve seen the ugly tan vinyl walls have been painted. I’d love to paint because the tan makes everything feel so dark but I’m waffling back and forth on whether to do this or not. Like I said before, a toy-hauler means dirt. I need the walls to be wipe-able and easy to clean. So unless I get a wild hair, I think the walls are going to stay.
The biggest extra I’d like to tackle is replacing the microwave with a real oven. From what I’m seeing online, that’s going to cost somewhere around $500. You guys, I am bound and determined to get Meg an oven! She and I are just going to have to be patient and wait a bit until I’ve saved up.
The other fun extra has to do with the large wall next to our bed in the very front of the trailer. A lot of remodelers install shiplap there but I’m bucking the trend.
I’m thinking a forest mural would be rad. There are some way cool peel and stick wallpaper murals on Etsy and Amazon. Maybe that’ll be my Christmas present this year? Hmmm, we’ll see.
In the future, I’ll probably have to recover the upholstery as it wears out but for now, it’s just fine. Ugly, but fine. In a perfect world, I’d rip it all out and do it now but I’d rather have cash for actually going camping. Go figure, huh? 😉 Priorities. Running water and an oven are way more important to me than the fabric on the sofa.
Meg isn’t going to be fresh and new all at once. This is going to be an ongoing project. She’s like one of those meandering mountain adventures where there are ups and downs all along the way. Meg keeps reminding me to slow down and see the magic in the journey.
And I’m okay with that.
If you’d like to follow along with the process, head over to Instagram and check out my highlight stories saved to the top of my account under Mountain Meg.
Very well scripted article. I hope to read more articles from you.