If you are like me and love the outdoors and camping in general, there comes a time when age and convenience demand a comfortable camping venue. If you are the type of person who has enough money to purchase a new camper this article will not interest you. But like myself, others cannot afford these beautiful and luxurious RV's.
Fortunately there are many older campers for sale and you can sometimes buy one for an extremely low cost. Yeah, they are outdated as far as modern conveniences are concerned, but if you choose a smaller version of one of these classic RV's, the towing cost as well as renovation costs will enable you to camp just as well as the new ones.
The great thing about these old campers is the cost of materials needed to update their original materials and appliances. Window A/C's and electric heaters are very inexpensive and will replace the old system with a more energy efficient and safe operating system. A few sheets of paneling will cover the entire inside to give it a new look and style.
When looking to buy a used camper be sure to check for leaks and under the camper itself for structural support and weak floors. My friends and I helped each other to redesign and modernize several of these old beauties and the enjoyment of repairing and using them is satisfying indeed.
If the outside is intact the interior can be custom designed to your own particular specifications. If a window or door is damaged beyond repair and you can't find an exact replacement new ones can usually be adapted for satisfactory results.
Preplanning is an important part of this procedure. Many of these older campers didn't require many outlets for the times. With microwave ovens being used today, as well as other electric conveniences, a good electrical system should be included in the update. Once again the size of these campers allow you to improve the wiring and breaker box to handle any usage without major cost.
Install all new receptacles, switches, lighting, cable hookup, computer terminals, and new plumbing first. The new paneling or other wall covering will make this look great. Be sure to put the microwave on a circuit different from the A/C or other high amp appliances.
New flexible water lines are available to replace the copper lines if you need them. New sinks and toilets are available but scrounging in some used auto parts junkyards can save you a ton of money with very nice replacements to be found at bargain prices.
New carpet remnants can often be had from carpet dealers for a great price. Since dirt and sand is a common problem while camping, changing the carpet is not difficult or particularly expensive. The same can be said for vinyl flooring is you would rather have this type.
Unless the owner can vouch for the tires and spare, I would suggest replacing them for worry free traveling especially for the maiden voyage. Electric brakes, if used, should be tested for proper working conditions and safe handling characteristics. Usually by the time you pull the camper home you can tell if any towing problems exist.
A roll of Peel-N-Stick, aluminum with a thick sticky base should be placed over the seams on the roof to guarantee against leaks. This ten inch wide material should be used on a clean surface on a very warm day. Keeping some of this in the camper is great for emergency leaks.
The exterior can be improved by painting or polishing. New popular colors give the outside a modern look as well as awnings and window tinting. If you are worried about appearances you can look at the new models and copy those.
One of the items I installed in my own little beauty was a surround sound system. It's amazing how a sixty dollar system, including DVD and surround sound speakers,will make this small area sound. Electronics are cheap these days and on those rainy or cold outings a drawer full of movies to watch is wonderful.
If you are a hands on type of person then you will discover most of the repairs are similar to a house or auto. A complete new turn signal and brake light system is often more reliable and adapts easier than the old one but the choice is yours. Like many trailers a bad ground wire can cause a lot of trouble.
Before you take it out for the first trip, set it up as you would at the camp site. You will discover if you need more stabilizing jacks or blocks and this will allow you to buy and find out where to store these necessary items. The main jack on the front of the RV needs to work smoothly and replacement is usually inexpensive. Towing chains and other safety factor should be inspected closely at this time.
With gasoline prices soaring some people are camping instead of spending their money on places to stay while on vacation. Large motor homes and tow behind campers require a lot of fuel to transport. A smaller pull behind camper is easier and more efficient to use and own.
Another aspect of this method of acquiring a camper is the ability to repair and maintain your particular model and since you rebuilt it you will know how to repair and maintain it for many years. Camp in peace and enjoy nature.