Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Loretta: Travel Trailer Reno



A few months back Noah and I were discussing things we can and can't do with Finn. Because of his disabilities, we are limited with the kinds of activities we can do with him. As he gets older it will probably become even more difficult. One thing we can and love to do with Finn is travel. But because traveling can get expensive we thought a little camper might be a good investment so we can take Finn on adventures without spending all the money on hotels and lodging. After a few weeks of stalking Craigslist we finally found the perfect little 13 foot Scotsman trailer from 1975. The moment I saw her I was in love. We named her Loretta after the sweet little old lady we bought her from. I wasn't there for the trailer purchase but she told Noah story after story about her family's adventures in this little trailer. We can't wait to add to those adventures.


She was in rough shape when we first got her. The exterior isn't terrible so we will probably wait until next spring to dive into sprucing that up. The interior was super outdated and dingy but her bones were strong and in pretty decent shape. And I might add, the whole trailer had a sunflower theme, clearly 70's right? It all had to go. Here's the low down of the updates and renovations:


  • We started out with replacing the ceiling. It had some water damage and was old and brittle. 
  • We then repainted the walls and ceiling white (Great White Way at Lowe's) to give it a nice clean feeling.
  • We also repainted the kitchen and storage cabinets white.
  • The floors were a greenish vinyl and we covered them with a vinyl wood plank flooring from Home Depot, it's inexpensive but looks like laminate and is super resilient, perfect for a camper! We used Traffic master allure in Dark Walnut
  • For the front walls we wanted to add some wood paneling as an accent wall, we threw around a lot of ideas to do this but ended up using the same vinyl plank flooring we used on the floors except did a lighter wood color, called Pacific Pine. I am super happy with how it turned out. Real wood would have been super bulky and heavy but these thin planks went up super easy and it looks real and natural.
  • For the kitchen we wanted to keep it simple and clean. We used peel and stick subway wall tile (Smart Tiles purchased from homedepot.com) for the backsplash which was super easy and looks like real subway tiles. 
  • We replaced the drawer knobs in the kitchen with some simple mid-century brass pull handles, purchased from Etsy.
  • The sink, stove and hood were a dark green and we spray painted them with Rustoleum High Heat enamel spray in copper, I absolutely love the copper look.
  • We kept putting off the counters because we didn't know what to do with them. We finally decided to do a cement overlay. We followed this tutorial and I love how it turned out, super clean, modern and industrial. 
  • The seat cushions I was totally dreading. I was not feeling sewing all those covers so I didn't. We bought new pads from Home Depot and I recovered them with an upholstery fabric from Fabric.com (got a great deal). We got a thin board backing to put behind the foam pad then wrapped the fabric around (kinda like wrapping a present) and then stapled the fabric to the wood backing. I don't think it will last forever but by the time they're worn out I'll probably be ready to change the fabric anyway. 
  • For the final details: southwest pillows were purchased on Ebay, Squirrel pillow from Ikea, and skull head pillow from Home Depot. The long body pillow I made from a southwest style saddle blanket. I made the furry seat pads on the two ends of the couch from fur fabric and cushions from Ikea. We put up pull shades purchased from Ikea. The wall shelves are actually Ikea's spice racks we stained and then put in faux greenery. The rug on the back wall is from Urban Outfitters. The floor rug is from Ikea ($3.99!!!) We purchased the deer head, vintage first aid kit and Pendleton hat from Ebay. Lighting is from Home Depot.


It took us about 2 months to renovate little Loretta. We (mostly Noah) put so much time and effort into updating her in a way that felt like us. We mixed a lot of different styles but we love how it turned out and it feels like our mini home. We can't wait to take her out and make many memories with our little family. And most of all we hope this is something we will be able to share with Finn for many years to come.





























23 comments:

  1. I love it!!!! It's a lovely little camper trailer!

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  2. wow you guys did an amazing job! It looks so great!!

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  3. It looks great! I have been pouring over photos and articles about vintage camper remakes and nothing really spoke to me until this. I love the clean simplicity. I'm going to follow your lead on most everything.

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  4. You have such a great sense of home decor style, and I LOVE this!!!!

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  5. Beautifull! I'm in the middle of a caravan renovation myself and I want to paint the stove and sink as well. But for the sink: How easily does the heat-paint scratch? I'm a bit wary for that. :-)

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    1. Hi Lydia! So we actually haven't really used the sink, we decided to not hook up our water the few times we've taken it out so
      i'm not entirely sure how the paint will hold up. I'll definitely keep you posted though!

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  6. Thanks for detailing your renovations! I love your little camper....I bought an old 1971 camper I am renovating for my kids and myself....in looking at all the renovations on Pinterest yours is one of my favs! I want to look at the cement layer, Rustoleum High Heat enamel spray paint and also the peel and stick subway wall tiles! Love the modern touches in making an old gem new! Happy travels to you all!

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    1. Thank you so much! Good luck with your renovations!

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  7. I just stumbled on your blog and reno while cruising pinterest because I recently bought a 1972 Airstream that I'll be redoing on a budget. Coincidentally, I've named it Fenn. Anyway, I love what you did with your Loretta, but am wondering how the spray paint on the appliances, specifically the sink has held up. I'm considering going this route as well. Was the sink stainless steel prior to painting?

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    1. Hi Jen! The paint holds great for us be we don't use the sink. We may use it down the road but so far have tried to keep it simple and haven't had a need to run water through the trailer. The heat from the stove does not effect the paint at all and we use that every time we go camping. Sorry for the delayed answer, good luck!

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  8. How did you apply the planKS to the walls?? Over the panel or??

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    1. They are vinyl flooring panels with sticky backs (link is above). We re enforced them with some nails here and there for extra stability!

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  9. Does it have a potty? I'm wondering about that . Found an old camper but it's stripped completely and wondering about that

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  10. Does it have a potty? I'm wondering about that . Found an old camper but it's stripped completely and wondering about that

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  11. I'm wondering how the wall planks have held up. I'm considering a similar product for the "ceiling" of my aframe but am concerned they might fall down with the heat and possible moisture exposure.

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  12. I'm wondering how the wall planks have held up. I'm considering a similar product for the "ceiling" of my aframe but am concerned they might fall down with the heat and possible moisture exposure.

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  13. Gorgeous! I too am doing a renovation but mine is more spread out in time. Yours is a positive inspiration!

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  15. What lovely inspiration - thank u for sharing- I have a 65 viscount valiant that I want to convert to my studio space- great ideas - Cairns -Australia potter ;)

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  16. Hi I was wondering how you replaced the ceiling. What did you put up?

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