Our Camper Story

At some point, in the future, I had planned on buying a camper and some land.  If DH and I are still together, we’d live in it while building our final home on this earth.   He is adamant about building.  If not, then I’d live in it while I got my life back together.  We’d buy an older one that needed a bit of fixing up, because that’s just what we tend to buy.   We also like the idea of renovating a camper.  However, this was a “future” plan and not a “now” plan.

Back in the spring my eldest son came home one day and said, “My ex tells me Australia won’t renew the girls’ visas, so they may be deported.”   I asked how that was even possible, since his ex’s father has dual citizenship in the USA and Australia, and his ex wasn’t being deported.   His son was born there so doesn’t have to mess with a visa.  DS1 said he didn’t understand it, was going to look into it and would let me know.

We had 6 of our immediate family plus 2 young grandchildren already living in a 4 bedroom house that is about 1000 sq. ft.  How were we going to make this work?  I knew I’d find a way to make it work whether it was rearrange the rooms, rearrange the people in the rooms or whatever.  My granddaughters would not go homeless.

DS1 came to me and related his ex said that she would most likely leave Australia as well.  She wouldn’t be separated from her girls, so now I was looking at 4 extra people: the ex and 3 kids.   After much discussion, we decided the easiest thing to do was to move up the purchase date of the camper.   It was warm enough that they could live in it, maintain some semblance of privacy and a home, and be able to have a place to stay while apartment hunting.

It took a little over a week to find a camper that was suitable and in our budget range which, honestly, wasn’t much.   It needed a lot of work, but we were confident we could get it done in time.  Ex was appealing the visa decision, and she said it would take 30 days to get an answer.

 

The 34' Cobra Sierra Project

The 34′ Cobra Sierra Project

 

The other side - duh.

The other side – duh.

 

"Master bedroom" from outside the back door.   The previous owners wife LOVED butterflies and pink.

“Master bedroom” from outside the back door. The previous owner’s wife LOVED butterflies and pink. Btw, it’s a running joke in my house about how much I do NOT like pink.

 

From the back bedroom to the front.  The door on the left is the bathroom; on the right is a wardrobe/closet.

From the back bedroom to the front. The door on the left is the bathroom; on the right is a wardrobe/closet.

 

Kind of obvious what this is.

Kind of obvious what this is.

 

Shelf above the toilet.

Shelf above the toilet.

Shower - just in case you couldn't figure it out.

Shower – just in case you couldn’t figure it out.

GS1 testing his DS playing capabilities at the dining room table.

GS1 testing his DS playing capabilities at the dining room table.

Do I need to say it?  Okay, this is the "kitchen".

Do I need to say it? Okay, this is the “kitchen”.

The "living room" along with outside step, leveling cement blocks and flooring the owner left in it.  In fact, they left a lot of stuff in it like pots and pans, dishes, silverware, etc.

The “living room” along with outside step, leveling cement blocks and flooring the owner left in it. In fact, they left a lot of stuff in it like pots and pans, dishes, silverware, etc.

Bedroom at the other end of the camper with two beds.  Bed 1

Bedroom at the other end of the camper with two beds. Bed 1

Bed 2

Bed 2

Water damaged ceiling.  Once the outside is repaired, we will tear apart the room and renovate it.

Water damaged ceiling and wall. Once the outside is repaired, we will tear apart the room and renovate it. This was the first room to do on our list. The ex could sleep on the jack-knife couch while we worked on the master bedroom.

Close up of the damage due to an improperly repaired outside corner.

Close up of the damage due to an improperly repaired outside corner.

 

The plan was to do the outside first, because whoever put the broken corner back together did it completely wrong and it was separating.

Who does this?  Bolts?  Seriously?

Who does this? Bolts? Seriously?

 

 

It currently has a tarp covering it to block water from going in, but it’s a weak fix.    Step 2 was to completely rip out the front bedroom, paint or resurface the cabinets, repair any structural damage, insulation, etc.   Then we would’ve moved to the other bedroom.

Unfortunately, DS1 came down about a week after purchasing the camper and said, “I have no idea what is going on.  I think she lied about their visas.”   We worked on the mini-barn while we waited to find out what was going on with his ex, because it was a mandatory project that couldn’t wait. In the end, it turns out she did lie thinking he might pay for them to stay in Australia or something.  I don’t quite get it, but the girl is not the brightest light on the stand, so who knows what she was up to.

In the end, I now have a camper I didn’t want yet, but it’s the right size and set-up.   It was also cheap due to the damage, so I really can’t complain other than it takes up a ton of freaking driveway space.   When it was warmer, I was known for disappearing into it for some thinking time.  When my eldest daughter came to pick up her boys, she and her husband slept in it.   DS1 had a friend who had to hide from an abusive ex, and she stayed in it for a bit.  She is now in the house, sleeping on the couch,  because it’s not a good idea for her to be in the camper in winter.

We hope to get a tarp over the top before serious snow hits.  In the Spring, we will start the remodel.  I suck at interior design, so we’ll see what I come up with.   I have been researching ideas and put some up on Pinterest.

 

 

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