This is my new love. A 1975 Pathfinder trailer. Isn’t she sweet? I am joining a group of wild women who are buying vintage trailers and fixing them up and taking to the open road to join like-minded gals all across the nation. It’s called, “Glamping” which is glamorous camping. The founder of this movement is the one and only Mary Jane Butters. (Google her, she is amazing!) She wrote a book called, “Glamping” and I was hooked from the first page. Years ago I had read an article about a group of women who had these funky little campers that they had restored and they would gather to go fly fishing and I wished back then that I had a little camper to fix up. The desire never went away but it was always just a’simmerin on the back burner until I saw some photos on Pinterest of vintage campers and this glamping movement.
I expressed my desire to my husband to get a vintage camper (the man is the definition of “long-suffering and patient”) and he told me he had seen a couple of old campers close by just sitting in fields. I had been looking high and low on my trips into Duluth, hoping I would see one for sale so I was really excited that he knew where some were. I had assumed they were for sale and when he showed me this little cutie, I was crushed it didn’t have a For Sale sign on it. And it was next to a truck just a few yards away from a house. As we drove by, we saw a woman in the yard and my man pulls into the driveway as I am yelling, “No, don’t stop. It’s not for sale”. He says everything is for sale if the price is right! He gets out and goes looking for the woman and i am crouched down in the front seat. I am never comfortable just popping in and chatting up some stranger. My husband thinks nothing of driving up and looking at things. I always try to hide when he does that.
What’s that? She is letting him look at the trailer. He is looking in the trailer. My hopes start to rise a bit. Surely if they weren’t interested in selling she wouldn’t let him look at it. Hubby gets back into car and says that the woman will have her husband call us if he is interested in selling it. Well, that ain’t gonna happen I think. Later that night, the phone rings and he will sell it for what I think is a super good price. So we make arrangements for me to see it the next night. I am so excited I can barely stand it.
Wake up the next day and it’s raining. Will he still let me come and check it out in the rain? On and off all day it rains. Part of me thinks this is a good sign as I will surely be able to see if it leaks now that it has rained but maybe he won’t be too happy to be standing out in the rain while I go thru my check list of things my Glamping books tells me to look for before buying. I am a wreck by the time it is to go. At least the rain has stopped. We take two vehicles since I will go directly to work from his place.
And did I mention I only had half the money he wanted? Hubby says we can give him some down and the rest in two weeks but I am afraid he won’t take the deal. What if we need all the cash now? How much blood can I sell? Too bad they don’t need fat. I’d be rolling in dough!
We pull up and he comes out and we walk to the field and hubby checks out the exterior and looks underneath and the man tells us what doesn’t work and what he has fixed. No deal breakers are seen from the outside. Now it’s my turn. I go inside and immediately fall in love. I can see that she has good bones and my decorating ideas are coming fast and furious. I smell no mold and see no mice poop (very unusual as our fifth-wheel is a mouse mansion). I want this trailer and say so (ya, I know. You shouldn’t seem eager when wheeling and dealing but I am willing to give him what he wants! Do not take me with you if you want a good deal on something. I have been known to give MORE than the asking price just to be nice…..) so I leave hubby to do the negotiating and I go to my job expecting hubby to text me the moment he gets into the car. One hour goes by….no word. Two hours go by…no word. I text him. Three hours go by and I am a nut case. Did we get it or not. Finally the text I have been waiting for. But wait….why does hubby start off with an apology? Oh no, this can’t end well. My heart falls to the ground. I read further…..hubby is sorry he could only get him down $100!!!! What????? I was ready to give him the full amount and he got him to drop the already really cheap price by $100 AND he will deliver it to our house before he gets the balance of the payment. What a nice guy. What a wonderful husband. What a lucky girl I am.
Of course my first thought was, “What can I buy to put in it”. I must be getting wiser in my aged life as I stopped myself since I have to tear down half of the ceiling and replace it. I also decided to remove the couch/bed and the storage area in the rear and take out the heater. I want to use an antique small bed I have and to replace the propane heater with an electric hearth stove. And I will rip up and replace the linoleum and all the curtains and the cushions on the benches by the table. And then I will paint the whole inside and decorate it to my heart’s desire as my husband has given his OK (actually what he said was, “Do what you want.” “I’ll never go in it”. But it was in a nice tone).
Now HOW I am going to decorate it is a big problem as I want to do it in five different “themes”. (Those of you on Pinterest, search vintage travel trailers and you will see countless different themed campers and will understand my dilemma!) My first inclination was to do it “retro 50s” as I love that era. Lots of aqua and pink or red and white.
But alot of the Glampers have retro so my next thought was “retro cowboy”. Lots of red and brown and gold and white. Vintage cowboy boot lamps. Camp blankets. Olive green canvass. Some retro lodge thrown in for good measure. Paint the outside the same colors as my new funky cowgirl boots.
Ya, but I saw some campers all done in retro pink. So fun. So perky. Throw in some flamingos to add whimsy. But would I feel like I was living inside a Pepto Bismol bottle?
How about a Dr. Seuss colored camper. I love, love, love bright and vivid colors. Tangerine and lime and lemon yellow and purple and blue and red and raspberry. Paint the outside white with multi-colored polkadots…..ya but with my polkadot hair, I might be mistaken for a lost clown and instead of a little car, I’m in a little camper.
So I am thinking of serene cottage. A few favorite retro metal toys. My antique bed. Using my vintage pink floral bark cloth curtains on the windows. My old, old, old, cream colored cotton thread crocheted bedspread that my grandma Tillie bought at an estate sale back in the 60’s. My vintage chenille bedspreads on the benches at the table. A long, sheer lacy curtain to close off the little sitting/bedroom area. Old suitcases stacked on the upper bunkbed to hold all my extras. A little chandelier and vintage hankie covered lampshades. A hooked rug on the floor. Repro tin ceiling tiles. Maybe even old wallpaper on one wall. Sounds good doesn’t it…
BUT what about Gypsy/Bohemian? Lots of velvet and tassels and beading and jewel colors…..royal blues, eggplant, burgundy, claret, emerald green, gold filigree, deep pinks, lots of layers, lots of scarves and shawls draping this and that. Paint the outside a dark lime green and purple and black with splashes of red and yellow and fuchia.
Ahhhhhhh, see my dilemma? Too many choices. What would you do? How would you decorate your own little playhouse on wheels? Your sanctuary from the chaotic world. Your Glamper?
I shall be posting my progress on my little dream with lots of photos so I hope you will stay with me for the duration and maybe at the end, I will have an open glamper party and everyone will be invited to view my work of “heart”!