Camper Renovation for Summer Fun

Camper Renovation for Summer Fun

Summer is a time for vacation travel, however, many people are concerned for their safety this year due to the coronavirus.  Fears about flying and staying at hotels/Airbnbs are causing people to reevaluate how they approach summer vacation this year.  As a result, camping and travel by RV is gaining popularity, and offers the ability to get away from it all while also enjoying the safety of your own surroundings.

RV/Camper Popularity

It seems that RV travel popularity is showing really big gains this year due to the effects of the coronavirus.  The RV Industry Association shared research that shows 46 million Americans plan to take an RV trip in the next 12 months. Marathon Coach, an RV maker, predicts its sales will be 30% higher this year compared to last year, and Airstream saw an 11% increase in RV sales in May compared to the same period last year. 

Those are some impressive stats, and makes me think RV vacations are something to consider.

Buy New or Used?

Not shopped for an RV in a while (or at all!)?  You may be shocked when you see the prices.  Expect to pay at least $15,000 for a small travel trailer or $50,000 – 200,000 for a motorhome.  If that does not bother you, great!  For those of us who are more careful with their spending, a used trailer or motorhome is the way to go.

If you are like me, the thought of a used camper conjures up thoughts of green shag carpet and dark wood walls and cabinets.  Don’t let that visual stop you from pursuing your vacation dream –it is not that hard to renovate and update a camper interior on the cheap. You definitely do not need to travel like Cousin Eddie from Christmas Vacation in order to get into camping!

interior of vintage camper before and after renovation
Vintage camper interior before and after renovation

Renovate!

I saw a news feature last summer about a local mom, Sarah Lemp, who renovates campers.  She originally did it to create a fun, habitable camper for her family of 7, but turned it into a side business of buying and flipping old RVs.  

Essentially, Sarah buys older campers on Facebook Marketplace and gives them a modern update on a budget.  She makes sure they are road ready, and gives the interior a good cleaning, performs needed repairs and paints as needed.  Those old, drab interiors are turned into light and airy spaces.  Pretty clever!

Her story is pretty interesting, and you can read more on her blog site All Things With Purpose

The full video from the news feature can be seen HERE

A friend of mine, Paul, just bought a used motorhome this week.  His camper does not require that much work, so he can begin enjoying it soon. He has bought and sold several over the years, and seems to recover the cost of purchase and repairs when he sells them.  I’m not so sure you could do the same with a new camper, as they depreciate pretty quickly after purchase.

I want to tackle one of these camper renovations, however, I do not have the right space to take on this project.  If you do, then you should be able to find a decent camper for under $2,000 and perform the interior renovation for under $500 (maybe even less).  

Take a look at Sarah’s blog for inspiration, then let me know if you are interested in a camper renovation.  If you are in the metro Detroit area, I would love to help!

Any thoughts or questions?  Please leave them in the comment section below OR at Ask the Nanny.

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