Sunday, August 16, 2009

Adventures in Vintage Camping

We are going to kick off our blog with Aqua Betty, our vintage camper. Aqua Betty started her life with us as Ugly Betty. We got her on eBay from a couple in PA in 2007. We live in WI so we had to travel about 900 miles to pick her up.

She is a 1968 Ken Craft and is 26ft long. She has had a pretty interesting life. She spent a good portion of her early years traveling throughout Mexico and the Southwest as home to a preacher and his family. They lived in her 24/7. She was then sold to the couple in PA and they used her as a weekend camper for many years.

When we got her she had a big brown stripe and horrible green indoor/outdoor carpet. The biggest issue was that the wife of the couple decided the camper smelled musty and put an entire box of moth balls in her about 2 days before we picked her. Then shut her up tight as a drum. She even went as far as to crush the mothballs and sprinkle them in every conceivable place in the camper. When we went to pick her up we about choked on the smell. The husband said that he told his wife "not to do it". We wish she would have listened to him. They told us everything worked so we took her to the camp ground near their home and camped in her that very first night.

Our first evening of camping in her was not a pleasant experience. First off, things did not work as they told us. We could not get running water, the toilet didn't work and the smell, oh the smell. Luckily there are windows by each of the twin beds so we both slept with our noses pressed against the window screens just to get through the night. The next morning we called ahead to our next stop and made hotel reservations.
We had her stripe painted aqua, replaced the floor, got new mattresses, new foam and fabric on the benches, new window treatments, a new toilet installed, and all her plumbing redone. But most importantly we removed every stinking bit and piece of the moth balls. They were everywhere. We had to rip out all of the insulation because it was full of moth balls. Honestly it took us almost a year to get all the smell out. It seemed to finally go away when we ripped up the old vinyl floor and installed the new floor.

Now she is Aqua Betty. We took her to the Vintage Trailer show in Montello, WI last year. It was fun to drive in and hear the positive comments. It was a real treat to visit with other enthusiasts and to show her off.

We still have work to do on her. She does not have the original Aqua frig so we want to get one that we can make look vintage. We need to fix a couple of spots in the wood that got wet and damaged before we got her and we want to have her white part repainted. But for now she is one sassy vintage camper and we enjoy camping in her very much.

Livin' the vintage life in our vintage camper