so here is something a little different on our blog! i’m starting a series about our newest family member… winona. we have started calling her “nona” for short. we have wanted a camper for some time now. richie has always tent camped and he took me once last year and i Loved it, but sleeping on the ground is a little too much for me. i’m delicate and i like a sheltered environment (notice the pun here, lol). so we chatted about getting a camper. we discussed pull behinds and class c campers (that you drive). both have pros and cons. i stalked craigslist for what seemed like Way too much of a part of my days. just when we thought we found one, it would be sold. i kept thinking god has a bigger plan for us. i continued being patient. then one day this camper posted and i saw it and my heart said “oh i like this camper!”. its a 1978 wilderness camper, 15 feet long. small, but not Too small. sleeps six and thats fine with us because if many kids go, they will be in a Tent outside! ha! we went that day to look at it and met the sweetest people who had it for sale. everything looked good to us novice camper people. some people came while we were there to buy it and we were like, oh no. this girl is going home with Us! here we are at the first meeting:
i can NOW tell you that there was a very clear sign of what was coming very visible in the picture above… see the siding dented in above the metal joists in the back of the trailer?? that means the weight of the back of the camper isnt being supported properly and usually that reason is ROT. we were oblivious at this point. like happy little innocent kids. but we Loved her and the next day we brought her “home”… home being to the storage unit. **a special THANK YOU to the mruks who let us borrow their truck to get this sweet thing and transport her an hour back to wake forest** (yes, we bought a camper and we have nothing that can pull it. more on that later.)
here are her insides when we bought her:
you’d Never know what was behind those walls and under the floor!!!! look how pretty she looks! the front corners had buckled paneling (a tell tale sign theres water damage) so i got nosey and pulled it back. yup, rot. so at this point we knew…. she’s Probably gunna have to be gutted. let the demo begin…. (pics below are the front corners. oh and there was an ant infestation in the right front section.)
see that sagging roof in the cabinet?? hello rotted roof.
i carted nona’s insides crate by crate to the dump! the dump is an extremely interesting place, by the way. people throw away the craziest stuff!
i am INCREDIBLY lucky to have married a “fix it” man. he’s so talented and brave and smart. so i worry far less knowing he’s able to do about anything. he’s awesome at demo and i’m awesome at cleaning it all up, so it works out very well. ha! we could only work on nona about 2-3 hours a day during the week because richie works, so after a couple days of demo, this is what the back of the camper (where the bathroom area is) looked like:
one word…. bad. bad bad bad rot. the back was basically only held together by the aluminum siding and the bathroom cabinet. all the wood back there was completely rotted out and just crumbling. most joints weren’t even touching anymore. there was evidence of some “more recent” wood repairs but even the “new” wood was rotted… meaning the LEAKS weren’t fixed. pretty much every corner of the camper leaked. and the water in the bathroom didn’t help anything. that floor is completely rotted out. the joists on the edges and completely crumbled. the roof is totally rotted as an added bonus. i really don’t know how this camper pulled to our house without falling apart. i will thank the cabinets for that. ha!
heres the Good news (yes there is good news)…. campers aren’t really That complicated to fix. if we knew what we know now, would we have bought nona?? ABSOLUTELY! i don’t for a minute think the sellers knew the extent of the rot. but she’s a Total rebuild. and once she’s all rebuilt (and rewired and replumbed), she will be AMAZING and strong and healthy and able to create wonderful memories for us! we are IN LOVE with this lil lady! i will continue to post updates to her progress here! we are excited for whats to come!!