Camping Cavaliers

 Something about getting away for a weekend with my loves is both rejuvenating and relaxing. 

(Branson Ridge Resort, we LOVE staying here in Brason! Everybody is so friendly, and they have so many fun events for the whole family… bingo, cookouts, crafts.. you name it!) 

Even if it’s a bit chaotic trying to get a baby to sleep in a camper… it brings us together. 

Some have asked how we sleep in the Shasta! A little cozy is the answer! 

In the back of Sharon is a pull out “gaucho” style bed. It’s plenty large for Chase and I to sleep comfortably! 

Up front is the dinette that folds into a very large twin size bed! The kids sleep there. At first when Penelope was very small, we built a crib slat to section off a portion of the bed for her and then Connor slept on the other side. 

Oh those sweet memories!!

  She was such a little thing!!

My sweet sleeping P. 

 

Connor loves waking up and waking up P! They were SO sweet at this age.

Now they both sleep head to toe and it seems to work just fine!

We have camped at some truly amazing places! My favorites are pretty close to home so we can get there quickly and enjoy a long weekend. We look for clean bathrooms because we don’t have facilities in our camper (just running water in the sink). We did that intentionally to lighten the camper, and also because we didn’t want to sleep in such close quarters to a bathroom, ha! 

(Natural Falls State Park- a close favorite for us!) 

Something about watching a football game over a campfire is magical and perfect. Even though the Hogs lost that day, we sure enjoyed our view! 

But my FAVORITE part about camping (aside from relaxing and slowing down) is exploring and finding pretty little scenes like these. 

I might have helped this scene a little…. that dark black shale was just calling for a pretty heart rock! (this was a quiet morning at Bluff Landing Campgrounds outside of Broken Arrow, OK)

and this sweet scene on a dewy, cool morning… happy little dewy webs!

But the happiest times are when we’re together! Connor loves building fires with Chase. We are SO excited to take him to the Buffalo River this weekend to camp, explore and hopefully canoe the river. (weather pending)

(outside Harrison at a small campground called Shady Oaks)

 

(the fish hatchery in Branson)

Camp meals are totally my jam… especially fall camp meals. Sigh!

and camp coffee… always. <3 
We are always on the lookout for new, cozy spots to frequent. 

Our top 10 to try are:
Withrow Springs
Lake Fort Smith (for kids mainly- pool and splash pad)
Lost Bridge- Buffalo River
Lake Ouachita
Petit Jean
Mt. Magazine
Mt. Nebo
Long Pool
Blanchard Springs

Leave me a comment below and tell me your favorite camp sites!

Hope you all have a beautiful Wednesday!

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Sharon the Shasta: The Reveal!

I never dreamed Sharon would come out looking as she does now….

 

I’m SO SO proud of our little family for sticking it out. Now we have so many precious memories in our camper, and many more on the horizon. 

 

So, if you remember, here’s where we started in 2014.  

(this is the photo from the Craiglist ad!) 

 

 

Whew… bringing back some painful memories of mouse droppings and carcasses, STENCH like you wouldn’t believe, and so much sweat. 

 

AND HERE is what Sharon looks like today.

We still have a few things we’d like to do (new vent cover, door repair, trimming door… but for now, we are content to just enjoy!

Hope you guys had fun seeing the transformation!!

<3 

 

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Sharon the Shasta

 

So I realize when I stopped blogging, I never did a full reveal of our sweet little camper, Sharon.

We’ve had two full springs and summers of trips in her, and while it’s sometimes close quarters, we sure do love getting away and enjoying the beauty around us!

When I last blogged, we were just beginning to put up the walls on the camper.

Oh my word how far we have come since then!

(I had a LITTLE too much fun organizing our tools and workspace… don’t worry, it didn’t stay this nice for long). 

This is how she looked when we finally unloaded her into the workspace. 

We reattached the walls, and slowly started piecing her back together. 

(Connor helping Chase work on the front framing)

 

This roof now…. it was a DOOZY! It was probably the most dreaded task because we just weren’t quite sure how to make it work. But Chase did a beautiful job on it. 

Next we insulated and dry fit windows and skins to make sure it would all sort of fit back together.

(That beautiful window is my pride and joy. I’m so proud of how they all turned out! ) 

Next we moved inside.

So at one point we had saved the pre-existing pieces to measure new ones off of; however, when you rebuild completely from the ground up, things change. SO we decided to design our own inside to what would work best for our family. Chase drew it up and made it happen.

Have I mentioned how cool he is? 

This part was so tedious and very taxing, but it turned out super cool! 


Next came vinyl plank flooring and trim! We filled nail and staple holes and prepped her for paint inside.

At this point, Chase did all of the plumbing, electrical, and wiring for all of the lights! 

This next is my favorite part of the transformation (paint!). It always makes things look SO different.  We chose white for the inside because it’s so clean, makes everything so seamless and bright and it bring the brightness from outside IN! (also, I’m obsessed with white…) 

(this beauty is the screen door Chase built for our AC closet)

Chase also built all of the countertops and table top and stained and trimmed them…. I love the unique vibe it gives the camper. 

So after paint… 

(y’all writing it out so quickly like this TOTALLY makes it seem way easier than it was….. this project took 2+ years, and countless hours juggling everything to make it happen. We sold everything we owned, sold our house, moved into a 5th wheel, moved two more times, built a house and had a baby in the time we built this camper!!!) 

Ahem, ok, so after paint on the inside, we started reattaching skins and working on prepping the outside for paint. 

(Sanded) 

 

(Primed) 

The poor skins were just in rough shape to begin with, but replacing all of the skins were FAR outside of our budget… so we made do! 

All of her bumps and bruises tell a story, and we love her that way. (and it saved us bokoos of $) 


(color coat with silver stripe!)

(SHINY!!!!) 

So the roof skin was ROUGH, and didn’t quite fit back just right…. that’s totally to be expected. So we patched in areas to make it fit and it works! 

 

(SO shiny… I LOVED seeing this transformation.) 

Once the paint cured, we went to work putting her back together completely. This included finishing repairing and cleaning all of the trim, windows and door! The door is a HOT mess, and some day we are going to have to replace the skin on it and rework the body and lock. Because… holy moly, it’s crinkled and weird. 

Seeing the inside finishing off was amazing… I finished sewing all of the cushions and curtains and we set out for HOME so we could start loading her up for our first adventure. 

Sharon’s first night home, I got to work revamping curtains, fluffing the nest and packing her up for our first trip…. 


So, I’ll end this post here with a final reveal of Sharon fluffed up in the next post!! 

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions!! This is a super watered down process of the build, but we are an open book! 

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Shasta Revisited!

When we left her last, Sharon the Shasta was in our side yard. After we sold our last home, we disassembled the walls and put her in a storage unit until we could find a covered workspace to finish her.

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(where she was last time we worked on her, before storage)

 

We waited, sometimes not-so-patiently (me), and had an amazingly sweet offer from a sweet friend to use part of their yard to set up our tent and get to work.
and then the rains came. and they came… and kept coming! For the entire month of June it seemed to rain. So in the storage until Sharon stayed.

 

Then, the heavens opened up, the rain stopped (and the heat set in!) and Chase had a friend with a warehouse space available offer us the unit for an incredible deal. Jackpot.

and here is what has happened since!

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(we put the walls back up!)

 

 

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(then built the front in)

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(framed in my favorite window in the whole camper… cannot wait to sit here sipping my cuppa and just gaze!)

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(framed in, minus the back and roof- intentionally!) 

IMG_4947(started building interior furniture… my beautiful cushions are so excited to have a place to go!) 


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 (Boxed in the frame! Storage underneath on both sides. We aren’t purists, and want the interior furniture to be white, so we are building the interior furniture with plywood. Less expensive, too!)

 

So that’s where we are right now! We plan to finish the dinette this weekend, and the kitchenette and bed area. Then we can frame in the back and the roof, and move to electrical! Whew.

 

Stay tuned!

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Powder Coat Me!

Before starting this project, I never imagined all of the great craftsmen I would meet in our town… from welders, metal workers, glass cutters, automotive paint guys, to powder coating professionals.

It’s been amazing seeing how our community has it all! We’ve been able to source all of our needs locally, and affordably. 

My favorite transformation (because it’s been the most instant!) has been powder coating. I know once we get the paint on the Shasta, and the glass in the windows, and the new panels of aluminum up and the lock reassembled, those will all quickly become my favorite, too.  But today- it’s the powder coat!

Unfortunately, I’m a goofball with a really awesome camera who forgot to take before/after pics of the process. When you’re in the midst of a crazy-town project, sometimes these details slip your mind. But I did snap a few photos with my iphone.  before stairs kinda Below the floor, next to the wheel, you can somewhat see the state of the stairs before. They had about 15 coats of miscellaneous paint, rust, and pitting. Our friends at Custom Powder Coating Services were unsure of how deep the pitting/damage was so they made no guarantees, but I had camper good juju faith.   powdercoatstairsAnd it worked!! They look brand spanking new! I showed them off on Tin Can Tourists FB page, and a few thought they were actually new! Next came the wheels.  Which were also scary… which you can also kinda see in that first photo.   but now.. they look sharp! powdercoatwheelsWe left the spare in it’s original state for budgeting reasons (and because we hadn’t planned on it being seen. We may now mount it under the tongue, and may need to have it coated.. but we’ll see!  powdercoathubcaps   And with our snazzy (and lacquered in clear coat) cone hub caps from Vintage Trailer Supply. (Swoooon) Enough trailer talk for today! Feel free to comment with questions/comments/you’re crazy! Would love to hear from ya.      

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Trim, Trimminey….

Today was T-Day. (trim day)

It included lots of mineral spirits, a few ten steel wool pads, and loads of time and elbow grease.

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Last week, after cleaning windows for a week straight with only my work gloves on, I developed a wonky chemical burn on the backs of my fingers. So dear ol’ sweet hubs bought me chemical gloves. They pretty much made my work go 3x faster and better!

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Progress!! Wheel well trim, eyebrows, and not pictured are 2 more eyebrows, and 8 window trim, 4 huge j-rail pieces and a partridge in a pear tree

photo 1But really… check out the difference! The item on the left had even been cleaned once! (so imagine how bad it looked before THAT!)

 

While I got to sit and scrub trim, hubs had the rough part. Grinding off rust… 49 years of it.

But he did amazing. 

photo 2

 

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After knocking off the years of rust, he sprayed on Rust-Oleoum Rust Reformer

Tomorrow… we paint. The frame is going in for a little TLC on Tuesday morning to have brakes worked on, and to get an overall well check! Better safe than sorry when hauling!

After working super hard all morning, we took a break to play with sparklers and pop-its with Nana and Connor. (did I mention Nana rocks and spent the day with C playing, making sand castles, and being awesome)

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Our sweet neighbors even came over and joined in on the fun. Connor has so much fun with them. 

and icing on the cake….

disassembled the door and found that the original lock IS in fact working… which saves us a whopper of a replacement cost!

photo 2(the original Bargman L-66 Low Profile Lock)

So yeah… tomorrow… TP-Day (trailer paint day..)

 

 

 

 

 

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Hardworking Date Nights – Our Shasta Story

So hubs and I try to have date night weekly/a couple times a month. But WHO would have thought that restoring/remodeling and old vintage camper would be such an awesome date night?

I love watching how absolutely amazing he is at adapting, and overcoming all sorts of tough decisions and problems. My dude can pretty much build/demo/do anything, and it rocks my world. 
Not only is he super smart and handy, but he’s so much fun to work with. We have the best time grabbing a couple beers after C’s bedtime, and heading out to work on the camper together. 

 A friend said it best that there is nothing quite like the high of a physically labor intensive project to make you feel alive!

Last week was productive, here’s what we did:

before:after sink

 

Cleaned the original sink with Barkeeper’s Friend (aka, my bff). We have a new drain, but are waiting to attach until we are ready to install. 
before:after windows

Half of the windows (almost) have been cleaned/shined up and are awaiting a final buffing/polishing from the hubs. (did I mention he can do just about anything?) Pretty amazing what some elbow grease, mineral spirits, and a #00 steel wool pad can do! 

siding off

We removed the aluminum siding (so we can strip paint and bondo some areas) and also because the walls are coming down so we can repaint the frame and put down new plywood floors. walls coming down

Hubs basically took down the walls by himself… because I fell asleep doing bedtime with the little dude. Oops. demo

Walls taken down, stored, and more demo about to ensue!frameand THIS was the fun part. Ripping up old rotted, mouse pee soaked, icky gross floor… 

My dad came up to watch little C while we did this part. Super productive day!!

This next week my goal is:
– finish cleaning/polising windows
– polish trim pieces
– strip paint from siding
– weld on extra channel steel to frame
– remove rust from frame
– paint

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Vintage Camper!

So a couple months ago, I got a crazy, hairbrained idea that we needed a camper.

 

(as if we NEED more projects around here)

 

Even crazier is the time limit we have put ourselves to finish the first major rounds of renovations!

 

She also needs a name.. but before we get too far ahead of ourselves, here she is!

 

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This was at the previous owner’s home. We bought sight unseen (egads.. I know…) but knew we would be gutting it probably anyway.

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Picking up outside Springfield!!
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We were told it’s a 1965 Shasta 16sc, but I have only found this flyer that matches…. so many of these are similar/close in style. I THINK that this is correct, but I’ll try to match the VIN someday when we are less crazy over our head in projects. 

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Original plates!
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and original bargman lock! We’ll see if it’s salvageable though…
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So far we have removed all the windows/fixtures/insides, and have managed to take off the skin. We are working on taking down the frame and refinishing the trailer, then replacing the floors.

 

From there, we plan to reframe rotted wood, shine up the original windows and screen door, rebuild the inside (can we say mouse pee, ewwww) because none of the original is really salvageable sadly, and putting back on the skins. Also on the agenda is to rebuild the door, sandblast a few things, strip old paint off the aluminum shell, repaint, new tires, and a new window! 

 

Our main goal is to get the outside complete and water sealed as quickly as possible. We want to take her to Durango, Colorado in July with my dad!

Here’s how she looked as of last night!

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So when I call and ask if you can babysit, it’s probably because we are freaking out about our deadline… which is July 18th! (have a good laugh now, we know we are crazy!!)

 

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I'm Kalyn

love music. love the outdoors. love life.

Following life around with a camera is my passion; along with mama-ing, beauty-ing, DIY-ing, cooking, and exploring.