Monday, October 28, 2013

Hello, Beatrice! {the beginnings of a vintage camper adventure}

Ladies and gentlemen, new adventures are about to begin.

Meet Beatrice.

Yes, Beatrice. Or Bea. Miss Bea is a 'vintage' travel trailer from some time in the late-ish 1970s. (Some may say she's just old. It's all in the wording, and she deserves the title vintage.) Isn't she just beautiful?!

Alright, I understand if you don't think she's particularly gorgeous, but think about all her incredible potential! It's endless, my friends. Endless.

You may be wondering why on earth we would decide to add a camper to the mix. It's a pretty simple answer, really. We want more time away together as a family. I grew up camping. Tents, pop-up campers, travel trailers. I have some really great memories playing tag in the woods with my siblings and swimming with other kids who were camping around us. I want our family to have that while we're still here in the States. I adore the idea of tossing our stuff in the camper, hitching it up to the Jeep, and heading up the shore for a weekend. No distractions like house chores or work calls. Just the fam & the camper in the great outdoors. Yes, please.

Pete & I cautiously approached a delicate topic a few months ago that eventually led to the purchase of this beauty. I'm not kidding when I say delicate, either. We started to tip toe around the idea of...deep breath...selling our motorcycles. I know, I know. It wasn't easy for us to even whisper the words.

with my beautiful bike in Bayfield on our 1 year anniversary - 2008

How many times have I ridden my bike in the last two summers? Two. Yes, two. It's just hard to make it happen with the kids. How many places do I go without them? And now that Pete is working further away, he can't ride his to the hospital. He's too tired to have the necessary focus to ride home after a shift. Thinking ahead, we'll be selling nearly everything in two or three years when we pack up for Africa. Bikes included.

After praying and talking and letting some time go by, we decided that we would be okay selling the bikes. Then we started exploring an idea. I had been dreaming of someday buying an old camper and fixing it up a bit. We asked why it had to be someday and started looking on Craigs List for a camper with a little potential.

It wasn't long before we came across an ad for our Beatrice. A couple simple pictures were included with the ad, which looked exactly like what we were looking for, so Pete called the owner for a negotiating chat.

The ad didn't list a price but mentioned he would be interested in trading for it. What did we have to trade? Our bikes. That was about it, so Pete mentioned one. The seller wasn't interested in a motorcycle but asked if we had guns for a swap. Well, no. No guns. Cash? How much cash would he want for it?

You won't believe how much he wanted. Apparently he had inherited this little camper but already had a really nice fifth wheel camper, so he just wanted to be rid of it. A thousand bucks. A thousand bucks? Done. We'll take it.

Two days later we were planning to drive to my parents' house, and the camper was on the way. We swung through to take a look, crossing our fingers and praying she would be right for us.

Just look at her! We couldn't resist her captivating beauty and incredible price. Yes, there are a few things that will need to be addressed, but we can handle that. We'll be using the money from the sale of our bikes to cover the remodeling. That's the part I can't wait to do. I have so many ideas!

Basically, we'll begin with fixing the roof and outside lights at a local camper shop. Then we'll have the ouside painted. We're thinking a powder blue with a white stripe, perhaps. Then, we'll move inside. The walls will be panted a very pale yellow (which is also the color throughout most of our house), the cushions will all be recovered in red, and we may go with new curtains in teal or a really pretty blue. We're basically going for a 1950s or 1960s feel.

I'm so looking forward to hitting up a few antique stores to decorate. I want vintage postcards around the beds, an old map or two of Lake Superior, cozy quilts, little salt and pepper shakers, and durable plates and cups. I won't go overboard and make it feel cluttered, since that's not our style anyway, but I do want to make it cute. 

Can you see my vision? It's going to be adorable! And completely campable, of course. We're already making camping plans with my parents and many friends for next summer. I plan to be in this baby as much as possible, even if it's just parked in the driveway. Ella already thinks of Beatrice as her very own playhouse. She's going to be great!

Oh, you're probably wondering how we came up with the name Beatrice. Pete thought of it! Ella & I agreed that it sounded just right. We plan to have her name scrawled across the back, like you see on the back of sail boats. 

Duluth, Minnesota

How grand.

Oh Ella, I feel the same way, my love. So many camping (and redecorating!) adventures await.

Did you go camping growing up? Did you use a tent or a camper? Do you have any memories that really stand out? I'd love to hear in the comment section below!


  1. Oh I LOVE this! I love so much about this camper, but those floral designs are the best! Can't wait to see how you guys charm it up a bit :)

    1. Thanks, Gillian! We can't wait to get started on it!


  2. Can't wait for spring so we can go camping together! DAD

    1. Ella talks about it quite a bit. She even colored a picture today of all of us going camping & fishing!

  3. I love your trailer.....what make is it? You are a beautiful family.....Good bless


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