|Set Up In My Yard|
Your basic pop-up has a very small awning, no shelving whatsoever, and the beds are darned uncomfortable So I set to work to make ours more livable. I should also mention, when you buy a 16 year old camper, no matter how well it has been taken care of (and it was in great shape for its age), there are problems. I'll tell you about those and what to look out for.
First off, it's not easy to buy a camper off of E-bay because most of the sellers live far, far away -- Arizona, California, New Hampshire. And you have to arrange to pick it up. I lucked out and found one for sale in Greenwell Springs, LA, about 30 minutes away. We went, the guy set it up for us, and even brought it to us because we didn't have a hitch yet and he wanted his $2,500.
|Kitchen shelves over the sink and stove|
Next, as to bedding, we spent the first night in it and discovered the mattress was too hard. So I purchased a queen 2" memory foam mattress, cut it to size, and the master bed is now almost as comfortable as our big king size bed at home. Trying to save money wherever possible, I went to Family Thrift and purchased some lovely matching sheets sets, and blankets for both beds for just a few bucks. They look like new.
|Armrest, Plastic Drawers that stack on|
the floor while travelling, and plexiglass
screen cover that lets light in while keeping
in the A/C or heat.
Fourth, we found the 6x9 awning a joke! The slightest breeze and the rain comes right under it, and the sun is rarely right overhead, and when it rains it fills up with water and sags. I used PVC pipe to build a frame to keep it from sagging, and designed two awning extensions that tripple the awning size, look good, and fit in the camper when packing up. That took a long time to design, but I persevered and finally made it work.
Lastly, I hated how, when it's hot or cold out and you run the A/C, you have to zip up all the canvas bedroom window covers and the screen door needs to be closed. You can't see out anymore. The tent caves in visually and becomes a very tiny space. It's claustrophobic.
"With the windows open to view, the whole great outdoors is your living room, and the scenery is your framed artwork."
So in addition to the awning extensions covering the side windows so you can leave them open during a rain, I designed a plexiglass plate for the door to replace the opaque panel, which keeps the cold or hot air in, but lets you see out. Now I just love it. I can feel "outdoors" in all weather.
There are a whole lot of steps to "popping up" your camper, so after I practiced putting it up and down a few times, I generated a detailed TO DO list, 3 typewritten pages long, of which steps to follow and when. It's a lot easier to do if you sequence your steps properly.
I was warned that there are always hidden problems when buying an old house or old RV and the same is true of the camper. First, within days the door lock broke and had to be replaced. Then the sink pump broke and had to be replaced. Then, when I brought it back from Hattiesburg and set it back up to dry, a cable broke that lifts the roof up and down. That had to be professionally replaced. I had to fix several other problems as well, like the A/C condensation dripping off the roof and wetting the side canvas by the bed. So I cut a piece of tarp just the right size, clamp it on, and the water drains safely to the ground. The LP gas tank was on the wrong side, so I moved it to the easier side to reach. We had to replace the crank handle for the wheel. I built 2 insulator boards so when it's really cold out or wet, your feet and head don't freeze when you're in bed.
Other purchases: port-a-pottie, pedestal fan, 2 x 4 outdoor plastic table, 3 folding chairs, 2 folding wooden tables for inside, 2 25' hoses, pots, pans, flatware, electric cords and plugs, fuses, bulbs, trays, outdoor carpet, outdoor lamp, assorted rope, clamps, tools, all bedding, linens, a cooler that fits perfect in the door well. Most of this from Wal-Mart at reasonable prices. This puppy came stripped bare, as do all new campers! If I ever sell it, I will save someone many, many hours of shopping and agony to resolve all the issues. That will make me happy!
Also, we needed a hitch, and lighting harness for the car -- another $250.
Adding it all up, we now have about $4000 in our camper and are ready to ride in style. A new pop-up runs around $16,000, and they are stripped bare too! And I've heard they also have problems right out of the gate. So all in all, we got a great deal.