Travel: Winter Project / Pop-Up Camper

Recently I bought a Subaru Outback. It has a decent tow capacity and would be able to pull a (very) small camping unit.  I decided to go with a pop up camper because they are ultra light.  While researching possibilities, one of our skydive kids reached out to me to let me know he was selling his.  I purchased his Coleman Cedar Destiny pop-up (tent) camper for a really reasonable price. It will be my project to work on over the winter. I now have three campers in my name and have never been more proud. Ha!

This camper was in great shape. The flooring had been recently replaced.  The cabinets were painted white. Their reason for selling was that they did not use it as anticipated. I was PLEASANTLY surprised that it did not smell old, moldy or nasty (like some older tents and campers tend to do).

I had never heard them called “Tent Campers” until researching video to get an idea of what I need to remodel on the inside. A few things that I will have to think about:

  • I will weigh the options of patching the canopy or replacing it. The videos I have watched make it seem easy to replace. A new canopy is not horribly expensive and might be the way to go.
  • One of the mattress pads has a little mouse chewing on it. It is not horrible. I will probably purchase toppers for each of the mattresses and then put them in a protective cover so it really does not matter overall.
  • I want to incorporate LED lighting. From what I can tell, it is only a matter of replacing bulbs.  There are only two lights on the ceiling, this will not be a huge undertaking.
  • Will work with Husband on a tongue-box to enclose a propane tank and possibly a battery for a potential solar kit. It has the hose that runs from the tongue to the stove inside (along with an additional hose that allows an outside hookup of a grill at the entrance).  I have picked up rechargeable lanterns (usb port style). I believe they will work well to hang on the poles over the beds that hold the canopy in place. I am researching whether I want a suitcase-style solar option or one that will be a permanent fix to the ceiling.  That will take a little more thought.
  • The current table must go. I am considering making a u-shaped seating area there which would open up more floor space. I have two small folding tables (think TV dinner table sized from the 60s). I can carry those in the event weather would force meals to be inside. Either way, the cushions will be recovered.
  • One corner of the ceiling seems like it might have either a tad bit of old water damage or maybe some dry-rot under the laminate covering. I am considering removing the laminate, cleaning out the area and giving the roof a good patch (from the inside).  That way there is a good seal and leaks will be prevented.  The roof needs a clean/paint. I may consider a thin layer of insulation of some sort (need to research further) and then to make it aesthetically pleasing – there is a relatively inexpensive option online which is a product that is similar to peel and put wall paper. The company will print a map on the product.  I was considering an astrological map of some sort (the stars above our heads). If I do move forward with that, I want to find a creative way to cover the cabinet doors with maps (maybe from literature, maybe from bucket lists – haven’t completed that train of thought yet).
  • I will want to carry 2-3 units of water beneath the sink with the marine pump and a grey water unit to catch waste. It looks like that will be easily doable.
  • There is not a ton of storage so I want to explore what other pop up users have in place. If I do go with a u-shaped seating area, it might allow for additional storage beneath.
  • It has a canopy in the bag that hangs above the entrance (which is a plus). The canopy material looks to be a vinyl maybe? I am hoping all it needs is a good scrub to put in good order.
  • Privacy curtains would be nice for each sleeping area.  Also curtains for the window behind the stove/fridge and next to the door. The design will depend on what I decide for the cabinet doors / ceiling.
  • There is a cabinet next to the entrance that has a door which swings out from the side. I will explore the possibility of a cassette toilet for this cabinet. I have one already. Just not sure if it will fit.
  • The roof unfurls (would that be what I call it, unfurling? cranking up? opens up?) unevenly. When we work on the ceiling (whatever is chosen to be done to it) Husband will help me to then level out the roof.
  • When in storage mode, the door hangs from inside the roof. There needs to be work done to the brackets so it does not boink me in the head.

That is my initial evaluation of work needing performed.  That might all change or might be exactly all I do. Time will only tell.  I am so excited to work on this, especially as a project with Husband.  Not sure that HE is as excited.  I will post updates along the way.

Here are some pictures as it looks now.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.