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



  1. Your Vintage Camper looks fantastic. I would love to meet you guys somewhere between us and
    camp together some time...lets work on that.

  2. Hi there,
    I ran across your blog while searching foor flooring for our vintage camper!What a great looking camper you have! We also live in WI (Rhinelander) and are trying to figure out what to put in our 1962 Avion. I wanted to do lino tile but the maufacturer says that it will fail in our cold winters and pop up...what did you guys use and how did you lay it?

  3. Hi Michelle.

    I am sorry for the delay in responding, I just saw your comment. We used Armstrong Vinyl Composition Tile. We installed it three years ago and have no issue with it popping up. But we do store our camper during the winter months in an indoor storage place that maintains 50 degrees. But the previous owners had some older VCT in there and they did not store it indoors and it never popped up. We laid it down with regular VCT off the shelf mastic glue from Home Depot. Let me know if you have any other questions. Rebecca

  4. Hi there!

    Just stumbled across this and found your post really inspiring! I'm picking up a 1968 Shasta LoFlyte with an..uhm..."interesting colored" stripe. Was considering just painting that pale blue or perhaps a sagey green. Love the way yours turned out. We're just outside Chicago, so maybe I'll see you at a vintage camper rally sometime!

    I'm adding a link to your blog on mine so I keep you in my "actively reading" list. Take care!


  5. Hi I ran across your blog, while searching for Vintage Kencraft trailers. I too have one and am looking for other owners out there" I love your "Aqua Betty"..was the stove and sink original? I have "Petunia" she is 1962 (I think) 16' with all her original Pink appliances..including her fridge. Like you we need to replace her toilet, install a holding tank and get her water running. We replaced her mattress and have been filling her with vintage camping gear. I'm glad I found you..look forward to reading about your adventures. Blessings...

  6. Oh, here is the link to my blog. I need to get it updated with a new photo shoot of the interior, but you can at least see her...

  7. Sorry for the delay in responding, I just saw your comments today. Yes the stove and sink were original. The whole kitchen area was the featured pic on ebay and we just fell in love with it. I saw Petunia and what a find. She is awesome. I am also a lover of all things pink so I understand your obsession. Thanks for checking out the blog and leaving a comment.

  8. Your living the life I dream about every day :)

    Your lives sounds like a lot fun and your vintage beauty is fantastic!!


  9. I just bought a 1962 Ken Craft. She also has an aqua stove and I would love to find an aqua refrigerator to replace the newer one in it. Do you have a good source for vintage trailer appliances? I can't wait to get her all ready to go next spring.

  10. We just adopted "Kenny", a 1966 Kencraft. I love these trailers. Ordered new drapery fabric today and can't wait to get started on them.