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Rallies and Raindrops

Rallies and Raindrops

Once again, I’m overdue for a post.  I think I got a little burned out after taking Junebug to her first vintage camper rally.  As much as I love my beautiful camper, I needed to take a break and focus on other things for a few weeks.  I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to have full days on the weekend with nothing to do.  Even though working on Junebug was fun for me, it was also very tiring (as any obsession can be I guess), so I hardly relaxed at all for a whole nine months.  I have been sitting around all morning in my pajamas, drinking coffee, talking to my mom on the phone, and browsing the internet.  Sometimes you just need to have a lazy day. smile

The weekend of October 11-12, Junebug, Baxter, and I went to our first vintage camper rally at the Leisure RV Resort near Fentress, Texas.  It was being held by the Texas Vintage Trailer Club.  I like the Texas Vintage Trailer Club because there are no dues or rules, you just “like” their page on Facebook and you’re in.   I wasn’t sure what to expect out of a vintage camper rally.  I didn’t know if there would be people my age there or if it would be mostly older couples and retirees who enjoy camping in vintage trailers.

I took Friday, October 10th off work so that I could finish packing that morning and get on the road early, in order to avoid the horrendous Friday Houston traffic.  I’m so glad I did that because we made it out of town without any trouble.  The drive should have been about 2 1/2 hours driving west down I-10, however it took me a little over 3 hours because I didn’t want to drive over 65 mph.  I decided that it was really not safe to go any faster than that with the trailer.   It’s interesting to be on the interstate and have every single car and 18 wheeler pass you, going much faster.  It’s a very different experience than what I’m used to driving down the highway (I may or may not have a lead foot wink).

Once we arrived at the Leisure Resort, I was immediately annoyed because someone was blocking the entrance with their oversized, newer RV.  I just don’t like the newer RVs, they are excessively large and ugly (in my opinion).  They have no character at all.  I had to park behind this monstrosity for about 10 minutes until he moved so that little Junebug could make her way to her spot for the weekend.  After checking in, a nice gentleman on a golf cart escorted us to our spot and then he helped guide me so I could back her up properly.  It took a little while, but it was much easier with someone standing behind me and telling me which way to turn.  I think maybe with a little more practice, I could get the hang of backing the trailer in and won’t need to use my castor wheel every time.

I realized very quickly after parking that my neighbors were Marc and Paige, a couple who I recognized from Vintage Trailer Talk, the forum that I frequented when looking for advice.  I was excited to at least recognize some names even though we’d never met, it made me feel a little less alone there.  They were very nice and excited to see Junebug.  Their trailer, Sparky, was also super cute and it was fun to see it in person after seeing the pictures online.


This is Sparky, a 1957 Siesta, owned by Marc and Paige who are also from the Houston area.  You can see Junebug in the background. 

After getting everything all set up and plugged in, I went for a walk around the grounds to check out the other trailers that were there.  It was so exciting to see so many trailers in one place!  I had died and gone to vintage trailer heaven.biggrin

I noticed that most of the other attendees were indeed a bit older than me and mostly couples.  That was ok though, the age difference wasn’t really an issue, especially when we have the love of vintage trailers in common!


Pretty neat to see all the vintage campers lined up! (one of these is not like the others unfortunately)


Junebug is in her element. You don’t even notice the little blemish on her from when I messed up the skin on this side.


Baxter loves camping. Junebug was looking so shiny next to all of the other campers. Everyone just assumed I spent hours polishing her. haha


I took Baxter down to the river right next to our campsite. It was such a beautiful location! I will definitely camp here again in the future.


I found a cute solution for the lighting in the closet/bathroom.


Junebug was positively glowing at night.

Friday night, the hosts of the event cooked a big pot of taco soup (yummy) and we all ate together under the pavilion.  It was a little awkward at first because I didn’t know anyone and wasn’t sure who to sit with.  I ended up sitting with a really nice, elderly couple who were retired English teachers.  After dinner, I ended up joining a big group sitting in a circle around a campfire and just visited for a while before retiring to my camper for the night.

I slept really well that first night, but I woke up super early the next morning from excitement I guess.  Shortly after taking Baxter for a walk around the campground, it started raining.  And it rained and rained and rained.  It didn’t stop for about three hours.  I just sat inside Junebug and listened to the pitter patter of the raindrops on the aluminum roof.  I couldn’t really relax the whole time because I kept thinking she was going to leak somewhere.  This was the first time she really got soaked for a long duration.  A little after noon, the rain stopped and the temperature had dropped about 15 degrees.  Good thing I brought some pants and a jacket!  Everything was soaked, and the ground was muddy.  That night, we were having an open house for the public and other rally attendees to tour the trailers.  We were also have a potluck dinner, and I hadn’t planned ahead and didn’t have anything to bring.  I had to make a trip into San Marcos to the local Wal-Mart “cringe”.  I picked up an additional rug and towel as well as some random foods that didn’t need to be cooked so I wouldn’t show up empty handed.

The open house went really well, and I think around 50 -100 people came by and toured Junebug.  It was so fun to show her off and get compliments on my handiwork from total strangers.  A few guys literally couldn’t believe I did all the work myself and kept asking if I had some help from a boyfriend or husband.  I could have been offended, but I just laughed.  I’m surprised that in this day and age, some people are still so sexist!  A woman can do just as much as a man, gender really has nothing to do with the ability to fix things!  I decided that for my next rally, I’m going to get some little business cards printed with my blog address so that I can hand them out.  I think some of the people who came to look would have liked to check out my blog but didn’t have any way to write down the address.

There were some interesting characters at the rally. There was an uncomfortable moment when I got grilled by a guy about the oil and gas business since I worked for a large oil company.  I told him that he couldn’t criticize my industry while he was driving around a suburban and towing a big Airstream, and I think he realized he was being a little bit of a hypocrite and changed the subject to football.  haha

My neighbor on the other side was a really nice girl named Heather.  Heather came to the rally with her three year old son, Max.  I was happy to see another girl there kind of by herself (at least not with another adult).  And she also has a blog!  We agreed to let each other know if and when we were going to another rally since she just lives in San Antonio, so not far from me.

One other notable event was that I plugged my hair dryer into the camper outlet, and it worked like a charm with no electrical issues whatsoever!  (The guys at RV Masters had told me not to do this.)  I think having the camper plugged into the 30 amp power source made a difference.  I plugged the hair dryer into the exterior outlet on Junebug since it was on its own 15 amp breaker, just to be safe.


All dressed up and ready for the open house on Saturday night.


I loved this woman’s Native American metal light hanging on the side, I thought it was a quirky touch and went well with her theme.


Baxter loves to sit on the bed inside Junebug because the height is just right for him to look out the window and see passers by.


Cool tow vehicle!

I didn’t want to post all of the photos I took at the rally on this blog post since there were so many, so if you’d like to see photos of all of the cute campers at the rally, please click on the link below to the official Facebook photo album.  The album is public, so you should be able to view them.

Fentress 2014 Fall Rally – Facebook Photo Album

When I was packing up to leave, it started raining again, of course.  Everything got all muddy, which was annoying.  When I got home, Junebug was covered in dirt, so I quickly gave her a shower and dried her off before putting the cover on her again.  At that point, she didn’t appear to have any leaks inside.

Fast forward three weeks….

I got inside Junebug last weekend to check things out and get her ready in case I decided to take her to the Texas Renaissance Festival for a night.  Much to my dismay, I saw a bit of water damage along the edge of the back wall on one side.  cry

This was my worst nightmare come true!  I don’t know if it was from the rain or from the shower I gave her when we got home, but clearly some water had seeped in and caused some black discoloration along the corner.  ugh


I can see where the water came in on the outside, so I think I’m going to go around the outer edges with some additional Sikaflex since I only sealed underneath the j-rail previously because some of my seams were exposed after folding the roof over a little too far.  I think what happened was that the water seeped in through the top of the seam and because I had sealed the underside of the seam with the Sikaflex, it just sat there and slowly seeped in through the cracks in the metal.  I also think I may have drilled a hole in the skin through the j-rail for one of the screws that was going to hold the wing, then drilled another in a different spot to straighten it out and forgot to seal the first hole.  oops  I need to pick up some more Sikaflex before I tackle this repair, and I just haven’t felt like doing it yet. I will have to fix this before I take Junebug to my grandma’s house for Thanksgiving.   Overall the damage wasn’t that bad and could have been much worse.  It was still really disappointing to find that Junebug had a chink in her armor after I had worked so hard.  Hopefully when I seal her up this time, she won’t leak again.  I wish I lived in a drier climate!

I think it’s time to close and get outside to enjoy the beautiful, cool weather!  It’s starting to feel like fall, my favorite time of year.  I will write another update after I complete the resealing of Junebug’s seams.  Until next time!

Maiden Voyage

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Maiden Voyage

Last weekend, I took Junebug on her maiden voyage to Austin.  I was going for a friend’s baby shower, and my friend, James, who lives in Austin offered to let me park the camper in his driveway for the weekend.  I figured this would be a safe test run environment, just in case I got there and my electricity didn’t work or some other disaster happened.   My friend, Jennifer, rode with me to Austin.   I was super nervous as we set out on the highway.  After all this time and money that I’ve now invested in Junebug, I didn’t want anything bad to happen!  I realized shortly after we left Houston that I hadn’t increased the insurance coverage on the camper since I bought it.  I called my insurance company while driving and added $10K more coverage, just in case!  Luckily, I didn’t need it this time, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry!

IMG_2547I noticed Junebug was swaying from side to side a bit when a big truck passed or a gust of wind hit us.  I was pretty sure the new bumper and off center spare tire attached to it were partly to blame because she didn’t do that when I first drove her home from New Mexico.  Even still, we made it to Austin in one piece and I parked her (with some difficulty) in James’ driveway.  Unfortunately, James has a gravel driveway with a slight incline and then a steep drop off  behind it that leads to his beautiful backyard with a little stream and waterfall.  The last thing I wanted was for Junebug to become some yard art suspended over his waterfall.   eek  I usually have no trouble rolling Junebug into my own paved driveway using the castor wheel attached to the jack.  Unfortunately, due to the slight incline and gravel in James’ driveway, it took Jennifer pushing and me pulling just to get her turned around.  After turning her around so that the front door faced the house, I gave up and decided she was good where she was.  She was tilting a bit to one side, so I felt like I was in the fun house when I stepped inside. haha

Filled with anxiety, I went to plug her in for the first time since getting off the highway.  Much to my relief, everything worked!  I touched all of the metal with the voltage meter before touching it with my hand, just in case something had come loose.  Luckily, that was not the case.  I even plugged in the fridge, and it works great too! biggrin

I hung the little camper lights that a friend from work gave me.  They look so cute hanging on Junebug at night and during the day!




These are the cute little hand towels that my coworker Alyssa gave me for a “camper warming” gift. I love them!

Saturday morning, I plugged in the cappuccino machine to make my first cup of coffee in Junebug.  Since I wasn’t plugged into a 30 amp outlet (I was using my adaptor and plugging into a normal household outlet), I decided it was best to unplug the fridge while running the coffee maker, just in case.   The coffee came out great and no electrical issues!


Camping in style with a cappuccino. My mom gave me the cute little mug.

I finally got all the letters in the mail to spell Junebug, so they got to go with me on the maiden voyage.  So cute!  I got those as well as several other camper-themed items from  They have the cutest camper stuff!


After a fun-filled weekend, it was time to head home.  On the way home, I got stuck behind a huge semi hauling some big piece of equipment.  I tried to pass, but Junebug started swaying so much from the wind displacement that I freaked out and had to slow way down.  We then decided to stop at Buc-ee’s for gas, and I removed the spare tire from the bumper and put it inside my car.  I noticed this helped quite a bit the rest of the trip.  I got a few honks and a few guys who stopped by while we were at the gas station, wanting a look inside.  Junebug is quite the head-turner!

IMG_2571 IMG_2572

This weekend, I decided to go back to Master Hitch and get a sway bar installed on the hitch.  I will probably still travel with the spare tire inside the camper instead of on the bumper,  but I wanted the sway bar for added protection when trucks are passing.  It really makes a difference, and only cost $100 with installation!  Totally worth the money in my opinion.


This is a sway bar. It attaches to two different balls, one that is bolted to the side of the hitch, and another little ball that is welded onto the side of the main ball that the hitch is locked into. It creates tension between the car and the hitch, keeping it from swaying side to side as much.

My first vintage camper rally is next weekend, so this weekend I wanted to build my new screen door so that I would have it for the rally.  It took me a few days because I could only work on it a little at a time.  I just finished and installed it this evening and I’m very pleased with the result!


I picked up the birch a few weeks ago from Houston Hardwoods, but unfortunately it was too wide (I had gotten 1″x4″). I took it back this weekend and they cut it for me so that I had thinner pieces. It worked much better this size.


Frame is all ready to go. I used 3″ screws to hold it together.


I put several coats of amber shellac on it Friday and Saturday. Today, I started installing the screen. I used tinted aluminum screen material.


I folded the aluminum screen over once at the edges and then used my crown stapler to attach it to the frame. I tried to get it as tight as I could.


One half done!


To cover the staples, I cut 1/2″ strips of birch paneling and nailed them down using twist nails.



Next, I cut two identical pieces of birch paneling to be sandwiched together to fill in the center of the door.


I used a couple of trim pieces to finish off the center of the door.  It will be cut in half with hinges so that half of it opens to make room for the door handle when both doors are open or closed.


You can see the little hinges I installed on the interior so that the center of the door opens to the side.


Here’s the front! I used the same drawer pull that I used on the interior drawer for the handle. I think it turned out pretty nice!


All ready for the rally!

I’m getting excited for the rally next weekend!  I still have a lot of work to get done this week, but hopefully I’ll be able to get everything done and relax this weekend.

Party Time!

Party Time!

I’m a little overdue for this post, sorry!  I had my unveiling party last Friday, and I think it was a huge success!  The next day, I ran a 5K (Wicked Wine Run, 5K and then wine tasting at the end haha) and then on Sunday, I rested.  I had a pretty busy week at work, so I am just now getting around to writing an update on here about the festivities.  I will start by sharing some photos of Junebug after I got her all ready for the party.  I was very pleased with how she turned out, even though I still have a few more things to complete (screen door, baggage door, trim around bottom edge of exterior).  The day of the party, I hopped out of bed at 6am, eager to finish making all of the preparations.  I think that’s the first time in my adult life that I’ve ever gotten up that early on my own for something non-work related.  haha


View of the tongue with my custom painted tank. I still need to take it to a propane place to see if they’ll actually service this tank. If not, I guess I’ll have to resort to getting a new one. Fingers crossed they’ll accept this one since I put so much work into it!


I think she looks quite pretty with my roses in the foreground. 🙂



Another view.


She had to have these little twinkle lights.



Street side. The new 30 amp stainless inlet looks pretty good here I think.


The wind chime hanging on the door was a gift from a coworker that she picked up in Alaska. My coworkers have been so supportive throughout this project!


Little measuring spoon set that a coworker gave me. They have owls on them!


A little more decor for the kitchen.


I added some magnets to the fridge and a larger magnet on the stove. Of course, it has an owl on it. 🙂



I think the starburst patterns on the benches turned out pretty cool.


The framed hipster owl. I also have a couple of fun books on glamping and trailer history.



A better view of the bed and benches. So cozy!



Little bathroom complete with vintage trailer reading material (not that I’ll be spending a lot of time in here). haha

I had about 40 people show up for the party, and it was a great time!  Everyone was very excited to see the finished product.  I asked everyone to dress up in 1950s/60s outfits to get in the mood.  I ordered my dress, shoes, and petticoat from  I love that site!  They have the cutest pin up clothes, and the quality is great.


My best friend, Jennifer, and I all dressed up for the party!


My coworker, Natalie, and her husband, Kevin.


This is my friend and stylist, Josafatt. He did my hair! I wish I could do it this way every day, it was so fun!


Jennifer and her boyfriend, Ayk.


Everyone is gathered around for the big unveiling!


I had the tarp over Junebug so that I wouldn’t spoil the surprise.


And here she is!!


I’m about to open the door to let everyone take a peek inside!


My friend, Thomas, spared no expense and brought multiple bottles of Veuve Clicquot to celebrate the big event!


Cheers!! I’m overjoyed to be done (almost) with this big project!!


I tried to give a speech here but it wasn’t the best since I didn’t prepare ahead of time, oh well, hoepfully no one cared. haha


Here I am about to christen Junebug. I didn’t want to waste any Veuve Clicquot, so I used a bottle of beer instead. 🙂 To be safe, I wore my cut resistant gloves donated to me by my neighbor, Jarred.


Baxter loves a good party!

I was supposed to go to the TCT vintage camper rally in Lake Charles, Louisiana this weekend.  Unfortunately, I am having problems with my tail lights and I decided I couldn’t go.  I didn’t wire them myself, I had Oscar do that, and now they don’t work properly.  confused  The weird part is that they work fine when they’re plugged into Oscar’s Ford Explorer.  For some reason, they don’t work right when connected to my VW Tiguan.  I’m sure it’s some kind of compatibility issue, but I don’t know how to fix it.  I’m taking Junebug to the place that installed my wiring and hitch on the Tiguan either tomorrow or Saturday morning, depending on the weather.  I even ordered new tail lights from and that didn’t fix the problem.

My plan for the weekend is to hopefully get the tail lights fixed, then finish building the new screen door.  I also borrowed a soldering iron from my friend Casey’s boyfriend, so that I could solder all of the wire connections together in the camper.  I am still a little nervous they might come loose while I’m towing the camper somewhere and then become hazardous when I’m camping due to exposed wires.  I thought if I really wanted to be on the safe side, I could solder the wires together and melt some shrink wrap over them to ensure they don’t come apart.

I am planning to go to Austin next weekend for a baby sprinkle, so I’m thinking I may take Junebug there for the first big trip since the restoration.  We’ll see, it all depends on the tail lights!  Either way, I’m definitely taking her to her first vintage camper rally the weekend of October 10-11 to join the Texas Vintage Trailer Club’s rally in Fentress, TX.  Can’t wait!





The Home Stretch, Part 3

The Home Stretch, Part 3

I had a rough weekend.  I didn’t even want to write a post yesterday because I was so frustrated, I just had to get away from it all.  I tried for a good part of Saturday to get the electrical system to work, and I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere.  I didn’t want to get too far off track even though I couldn’t get the electrical system to work, so I still managed to cross a few other things off my list.

I had to run a few errands first.  I needed to pick up some Dicor lap leveling sealant to go around the seams on the Fantastic Vent on the roof.  Even though I sealed it first with putty tape, you still have to go over the top of that with the Dicor sealant to ensure it’s water tight.  I also had some seams that were exposed because my j-rail wasn’t covering them all the way so I got some Sikaflex sealant to cover those.  I don’t think it’s technically the way you’re supposed to do it, but I wanted the added protection since there were some areas exposed.  I got it in grey, so it doesn’t look too bad.  I still need to trim it in a few places where it got a little goopy.


Here’s a pic before adding the Dicor. It’s just got the putty tape between the vent and the roof.


I made this barrier to go around the vent because I wasn’t sure how much the sealant was going to spread and I didn’t want it going all over the place.


Turns out I didn’t need the barrier. Oh well, better safe than sorry!


Here’s a pic of the Sikaflex sealant I applied in the cracks of the j-rail. The top of the j-rail had a better seal because it was completely covering the seams. It was just on this side in some places where I had folded the roof over too far. I think I’ll trim it a little but it doesn’t look too bad.

It poured down rain today and I let Junebug get rained on for the first time in a long time.  I guess I figured I needed to test her seals out to see if anything leaked.  From what I could tell, everything stayed bone dry, so that was awesome!

I decided yesterday that maybe I wanted to put the old light fixtures back in the camper instead of the new crappy ones I bought.  I needed to clean up one of them because it had gotten rusty, probably due to getting wet because it was the one above the kitchenette.  While I was messing with the rusty fixture, the neutral wire broke off of the light socket.  ugh  Rather than throw out this fixture, which I still think is better than the new one, I decided to buy a new light socket and install it in the old fixture.  It worked great!


Both old fixtures. The one on the right is rusted because it had been in the kitchen.


One of the fixtures now has a new light socket.

I thought maybe my ground wire wasn’t getting a good connection with the frame of the camper, so I removed it and used my wire brush attachment for my drill to scrape off all of the paint from the frame.  I then reattached the ground to the frame and it didn’t help.  I decided to give up on the electrical after that and try again on Sunday.

Today, the first thing I did was go to Home Depot to buy a multimeter so I could start testing every connection of the electrical system to find the problem.  I didn’t want a really expensive one since this was probably the only time I would use it.  I ended up getting a Klein



When I got home, I first tested the outlet in the garage that I was plugging the camper into.  It tested 120v which was the right voltage.  Then I went inside the camper and turned off both breakers inside the breaker box and tested the main power coming into the breaker box.  It also tested 120v, so I knew it wasn’t the power inlet or the cord I was using.  Since I have two circuits in the camper, one for the exterior plug and one for all of the interior wiring, I turned just the exterior plug breaker on first.  It was simpler since it’s only one plug for the entire circuit.  I did this on purpose because the AC will plug into this and it draws more power than anything else I will be using.  I tested the exterior plug and it worked great, showing 120v.  Next, I turned off that breaker and turned on the second breaker that powers the circuit for three outlets and two lights inside the camper.  I knew the problem was somewhere along this circuit.  I slowly went through the connections, one at a time, disconnecting the wires further down the circuit so I could isolate each one.  About halfway through, my stupid multimeter broke!!   At first I thought the outlet wasn’t working correctly, then I realized it was just the multimeter.  ugh.  I decided it was time for a lunch break so I could try to destress.  After that, I went back to Home Depot and returned the Klein multimeter and bought an even cheaper one made by Commercial Electric.  It worked just fine to finish the job.


After disconnecting and reconnecting everything, the lights worked!!  I still don’t know exactly where the problem was.  It could have been the cheap fixtures I had in the camper before.  Or, it could have been a loose connection somewhere that I fixed when I reconnected everything.   Either way, I was just so relieved that it finally worked!!

After that, I knew I still needed to do a few more things.  I wanted to make a new garnish to go around the Fantastic Vent on the interior because I had done a crappy job trimming the plastic garnish that it came with.  I think my new custom garnish turned out much nicer than the plastic one anyway!



I bought some nice birch wood for the screen door on Saturday, but I just didn’t have enough time to build it thanks to the stupid electric issues.  Oh well, I can always get to that later.

I also wanted to polish the wings today and install those, but I didn’t have time before dark.  Instead, I added a few more decorative items inside and then sat on the bed and had a glass of wine to celebrate.


These owl glasses are actually from the 1960s, I picked them up at a vintage shop and love them!


Owl never lose my keys again with this handy hook. 🙂



This came on the vintage camper mug that my mom gave me for Christmas. I thought it was cute too so I saved it so that it could have a permanent home inside Junebug.


I got this little sign when I was living in France. Since this is the bathroom (well…port-o-potty for nighttime emergencies only), I thought it was a cute little addition.


I added some purple star twinkle lights above the bed. It’s so cozy now! I can’t wait to spend the night in it.

Only a few more days until my big reveal party!!  After that, I will post more pictures of the entire exterior and interior.  I can’t wait to show off all of my hard work! biggrin


The Home Stretch, Part 2

I had a pretty productive day!  Unfortunately, I also discovered today that my stupid light fixtures inside the camper still don’t work!  I don’t know what is the problem this time.  There seems to be power going to them and the outlets on the same circuit work when I plug in the main power inlet, so who knows.  I called the guy from RV Masters, and he’s going to come by tomorrow to have a look at them.  He’d better fix it!

The first thing I did today was paint the wheels.   The thing I hate about painting is all of the preparation that it takes.  It took me much longer to prep the area for painting than it did to do the actual painting.  Oh well, in the end, it was worth it!  I think they look pretty.  smile


First, I had to clean the wheels with degreaser.


All clean!


Taped off and ready for paint (this part took a while)


After a coat of primer


Three coats of purple


Street side after 3 coats of purple


All done!


You can see my reflection in the baby moon hubcap 🙂

While I was in the process of painting the wheels, I finished painting the closet too.

Later, after the paint was dry, I installed the vinyl wall map of the US on the closet wall.  I think it looks pretty cool!


I also finished moving the exterior outlet and patching the previous hole.  I added some flexible duct work to lead to the vent for the AC on the interior of the camper.  I still haven’t added a vent cover, I’m not sure if I will, or if I’ll just attach another piece of duct work when I’m inside the camper to make the air flow upward toward the bed area.




I added another piece of paneling in front of the AC duct to cover it when it’s not in use. I can remove that piece to reveal another piece of paneling with a hole in it so that the air can flow out from the AC duct when I’m using it.

After finishing those things, I finished securing the drawer under the bed and added some support to the beams that hold up the bed cushions.  I also hung some pictures and installed the closet door.  I don’t want to show a picture of the entire interior until after my big reveal party next weekend, but I’ll share one of the street side, just to give you an idea.  biggrin


So, if I look at my list again, here’s what I still have left for this weekend:

  • Install interior crown around Fantastic Vent (I think I may make one instead of using the plastic one it came with)
  • Install two emblems (Trailer Coach Association & small Shasta emblem)
  • Seal cracks and staples on exterior as well as vent on roof with sealant (need to pick this up from RV Masters)
  • Polish WINGS and reinstall (This will be my favorite part!)

If there’s time:

  • Build new screen door (forgot this in my last post)
  • Install baggage door
  • Install trim around bottom edge of exterior

I’m getting so close!!


Sigh of Relief

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Today went much better than yesterday, all I had to do was stay AWAY from the electrical wiring.  haha  I went back to doing some other things in Junebug that I’m much better at.  I feel like I got a lot done and am feeling pretty good about how things are looking!

It was raining this morning, so I decided to run some errands before getting started.  I needed to return some things to Lowe’s and pick up some new items, plus go grocery shopping.  I finally found the other matching mirror at Target that I had been searching for so that I could install it behind the star cutout in my bench.  I already had one and needed another one.

When I got home, I started working on finishing the benches.  I also bought some spray foam gap filler so I could fill in the holes in the closet where the drains used to be.   I thought about closing the holes some other way, but this seemed like the easiest.   It worked great!  Later I will sand it down and paint over it.


Here’s the hole where the power inlet used to be.


These holes were for the sink drain and vent. There were galvanized pipes here, and I promptly did away with those. They were taking up way too much space!


The hole after spraying some foam into it. It expanded into a bubble, it was kind of funny.


After it dried, I cut the excess off with a kitchen knife. This stuff works great!

After installing the mirrors behind the star cutouts in my benches, I noticed the mirror was reflecting the backside of the wood, and it wasn’t pretty.  I decided to remove the mirrors and paint the backside purple so it would look better.  Then I reinstalled the mirrors and secured the benches to the floor.


While the purple paint was drying, I decided to hang the curtains.  You can see them in the above photo, but I’ll post another one here at a different angle.  I think they look so nice against the shellacked wood!


I also finished adding some wood trim around the window in the kitchen.



My friend, Tracy, gave me this doormat with a J on it.  I’ve been using it for the house, but now I can also use it for Junebug, how perfect!  biggrin



Next, I needed to add some vinyl welt in the seams between the walls and the ceiling.  I was supposed to do this before I attached the ceiling panels, but I totally forgot.  oops  My cutouts for the wall panels weren’t exactly the right size, so I needed to add the welt (similar to the original design) to cover up the gap.  I nailed it in using tiny nails so they weren’t too noticeable.  It isn’t perfect, but I think it looks pretty good and it covers the gap.   I actually found this welt through a boat supplier.  It’s meant for marine upholstery, but it works great for this purpose too!







Street side – after

I also added some trim pieces to the door frame.


Here’s a picture of the exterior street side.  Can you spot the mistake I made cutting the new skin and had to cover up?  I don’t think it looks too bad.  You can see it, but it’s not a glaring mistake at least.



While I was at Target, I picked up a couple of frames for my owl art that I plan to hang in Junebug.  Oh yeah, in case I didn’t mention it before, I’m obsessed with owls and plan to have an owl theme in Junebug. smile



I was really hungry after doing all of the things I just mentioned, so I took a break and made myself a filet mignon with grilled okra and portabella mushroom.  I burned my filet a little because the grill’s fire was too hot.  Luckily, the flavor was still awesome and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  After eating, I got back to work.  I wanted to finish making the bench seats today.

In order to make the seats, I had to take apart the seat backs that I had made back in December.  I wanted to reuse the foam and material since it was so expensive.   I also removed the material from the long seat cushions since I didn’t need those to be purple anyway because they’ll be covered up with bedding.  The foam wasn’t the right size, so I had to cut it and piece together a couple of different sizes to get it to work.   Once wrapped with the batting and material, I don’t think the seam in the foam will be noticeable.




Foam cut and ready for the batting.

I discovered that my good serrated kitchen knife worked great to cut through the foam!  I wish I would have discovered that the first time I was making these seat cushions.   Live and learn I guess.


Batting is stapled down and the cushion is ready for the material.



Adding the material.



Seat cushion is complete!



All the seat cushions and seat backs are now complete! The black cushions in back are the original ones from the camper and will be used for the bed. They are actually pretty comfortable!


Seat on curb side. I added my Shasta pillow for the full effect. It looks pretty cute!


Here’s the street side seat. I sat on it to try it out and it’s quite comfy!

Tomorrow, I’m planning to finish the bed and closet, then install the Fantastic Vent if it’s not raining.  If it’s raining, I may only be able to do interior work.  I also need to finish moving the hole in the floor leading to the exterior plug underneath the camper.  This wasn’t an urgent item, but it needs to be done, especially with the electrician coming on Tuesday.

I’m feeling pretty excited now that everything is coming together!  I can’t wait to get more done tomorrow.  smile


Light at the End of the Tunnel

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I’m finally able to see the finish line!  I still have quite a few things to do before I’m totally done, but I can finally look at the list of things left and not feel overwhelmed.

I took last weekend off because I went to my grandma’s near Austin and spent time with my family.  My brother and sister in law drove down from Kansas with their two kids and my parents were there as well. I don’t get to see all of my immediate family together very often, so I really enjoyed spending time with them.  The picture below is the morning sun rising over the lake from my grandma’s boat dock.  Pretty nice scenery to wake up to!


IMG_2006I came back from my grandma’s feeling refreshed and rested.  I had a busy Monday and Tuesday at work, but toward Tuesday afternoon I starting feeling a little sick.  By Wednesday lunchtime, I had to go home and was stuck there for the rest of the week thanks to whatever illness I had contracted.  I don’t know how I managed to get sick right after a nice relaxing weekend.  confused emoticon

By this weekend, I was finally feeling better, so I slowly got back to work on Junebug.  Even though I got off to a slow start, I did finally end up making quite a lot of progress.

First, I went by a metal fabricator in town to see if they could make some new pieces for the door frame out of my pre-polished aluminum skin I had leftover.  They said that they could, but unfortunately it would cost me around $400.   Yikes!  I decided I would pass.  I then spent several hours trying to fabricate my own pieces.  They looked pretty good, but today I made up my mind that I’m just going to strip the paint off the old pieces and polish them.  It was too hard for me to get the new pieces to look exactly how I wanted.  Oh well..

I finished the wood part of the new door this weekend.  First, I needed to glue a few more support pieces to the frame.



I then shellacked the interior part of the door.  It’s going to look so pretty!


Natural without shellac


After one coat of amber shellac


After 3 coats of amber shellac and 3 coats of clear shellac

I then stripped the paint off of the hinges to the door and screen door.  I still need to polish them so they shine like the new skin.

While I was stripping paint, I also started stripping the paint off of the drip rails and the baggage door.  I had to pull all of the old skin out of the garage so that I could actually find the stupid drip rails.  They were buried under all of the crap in my garage.  I can’t wait until I can clear it all out and actually park my car in it again!


Pile of old skin. I think I’ll take this to the metal salvage place when I’m done to see how much money I can get for it. Some of the pieces are still good but others, not so much. There’s no way I could sell it to someone for their camper.


I chopped up some of the old pieces of wood I won’t be reusing and am putting them in the garbage. I had to get rid of some of the clutter in the garage.


Here are the drip rails – paint stripping in progress

I will have to coat the drip rails again with more paint stripper next weekend and scrub them.  I’m hoping one more coat will do the trick.


Still a little paint left but I got most of it.


It was hard to get the paint out of the awning rail so I might end up just leaving a little there. I don’t think it will be that noticeable.


There were already some scratches on the baggage door, so I went ahead and scratched it some more with my wire brush while I was getting the paint off. It will just have a nice brushed aluminum look!


Next, I cleaned the jalousie windows, polished them, and then installed.  They turned out really nice!

It was so hot outside, I decided to do the window cleaning inside.  I turned my bathtub into the cleaning area.  It made quite a mess, but I cleaned it all up later.  I got most of the grime off but the window screens are still rusty.  I figured I can replace those at some point if it bothers me.




I was really pleased with how shiny I was able to get the jalousie windows!



Before installing the window, you have to apply putty tape around the back edge of the window to seal it water tight.  After screwing it down, I came back and cut the excess with a razor blade.  Fingers crossed it sealed properly!  I don’t want any leaks in my “new” camper!





I also started peeling back a little more of the protective film.  I needed to remove it from the window before installing and then I guess I got carried away.  smile emoticon  I also finished installing the taillights.  I haven’t checked them again to make sure they work.  I hope one of the wires didn’t come loose when I was securing the covers or something horrible like that.




After installing the windows, I moved inside and finished making the bed and benches (mainly the benches).


Finished making the frames for the benches.

I already did one cutout a while back, so I just needed to finish the cutout for the other bench.  I used my oscillating tool to cut out the shape after tracing it onto the wood.


And after applying 3 coats of amber and 3 coats of clear shellac, they’re all done!  Now, I just need to finish making the cushions for the tops and secure the benches to the floor.   I laid down on the bed today to see what it felt like and it was pretty comfortable!  I can’t wait to spend the night in Junebug again!


I still need to add the mirror behind the starburst cut out.



Next weekend, I will be connecting all the new wiring and hopefully hooking it up to some electricity!  I really hope I don’t burn down my camper in the process.  I will be doing quite a bit of studying online before connecting anything to a power source, that’s for sure!

I’ll leave you with a cute picture of my cousin Anderson and Baxter.  He loves Baxter so much and tells everyone that Baxter is his dog that I just keep for him.  He’s such a sweet kid. smile  I’ve promised him that we will camp out together in Junebug as soon as she’s finished.  He’s excited and so am I!







Working Vacation – Day Two

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I almost didn’t post an update today because it was such a disaster.  But then I thought, maybe it would make me feel better to air my frustrations about today so I can move on from it and start fresh tomorrow. I go.

First thing..  the electrician was supposed to arrive at 8am this morning.  I am on vacation, and I didn’t want to get up too early, so I hit snooze a few times, then finally rolled out of bed around 7:45am.  I figured that would give me time to get dressed and take the covers off of Junebug to show the electrician…or NOT.  As soon as I rolled out of bed, the doorbell rang.  Normally being early is a good thing but not at 7:45am!!  I had to tell him to hang on so I could get dressed.  Then, when I walked outside, he apologized for waking me up and made a joke about how I woke up with makeup on.  I told him that I wasn’t wearing any makeup, and he said he knew that.  It was obvious that I wasn’t wearing makeup (which I rarely do around others because I feel weird and naked haha), so I’m not sure how in the world that was supposed to be funny, and it felt like an insult.  So, the day was already off to a bad start.  I then proceeded to remove the covers from Junebug to show him what I had been doing and what I needed done.  I basically told him I just wanted him to run some wiring and install a new plug for my mini fridge in the kitchenette.  He hesitated and took quite a bit of time inspecting the whole camper, not saying a word.  Then he asked, “what are you going to put around the outside of the camper?”  Geez.  He obviously doesn’t know a thing about campers, which he admitted openly.  The way vintage campers were wired was around the outside of the wall panels, through the support beams, yet underneath the insulation and aluminum outer skin.  He didn’t like this setup AT ALL.  He said that if it was his camper, he would rewire the whole thing and put all the wires on the interior.  ugh  I was quite frustrated at this point and told him that wasn’t an option.  He said I should do some research.  I told him I had already done my research.  Then he told me he couldn’t do the job and left.  I felt pretty deflated.  This just might stand in the way of finishing the camper by the end of July.  One positive was that he came and went pretty quickly, so it didn’t interfere with my trip to the zoo with my sweet cousin, Anderson.

Here we are in front of the giant tarantula.  We both had a great time despite the 100 degree heat so at least this was a bright spot in my otherwise crappy day.



After we were done at the zoo, I dropped Anderson off at home and decided to head over to RV Masters to ask them about my electrical issue.  They were very nice and even quite impressed with what I had done so far on the camper.  In fact, they offered me a job. hahaha  I guess at least I have that as a backup in case I get tired of HR.  They told me that all I needed to do was run a “piggy back” wire off the kitchen light fixture to the new outlet for the fridge.  Since that would only be two lights and three outlets on the same circuit, it shouldn’t overload it and trip it.  I will probably need to update the circuit breaker and plug with new ones as well as replace the wires with new wiring just to be on the safe side.  So, I changed my mind and decided that maybe I could do this job myself too.

When I got home, I felt a bit better, but I was pretty exhausted and wasn’t sure I could tackle that project today.  I decided to do some reading online about electrical circuits instead.

In the meantime, I thought about the fact that I hadn’t heard from the shipping company to schedule a time to deliver the new skin yet.  I decided to call Hemet Valley RV for an update.  They gave me the shipping company’s number and I called them.  Long story short, I got transferred a few times and then spoke to someone in Houston who was completely surprised that it was  residential delivery even though the order was supposed to indicate that it was based on the order I placed with Hemet.  She gave me a really hard time and said her driver wasn’t lifting anything.  Once again, I was disappointed and stressed because I wondered how am I supposed to lift two 100 pound boxes myself?  I called Hemet again, and he assured me that with a helper, we could move the boxes ourselves.  So I guess that problem is solved, I’ve enlisted the help of my friend, Jennifer, to come over when they arrive to help unload.  I’m still a little nervous about it though, those boxes will be big and bulky and not exactly lightweight.  Guess I will find out soon enough!  They were supposed to call me back today to schedule the delivery and they didn’t.  Big. Surprise.  Hopefully I’ll hear from them tomorrow while I’m at work, or they’ll be hearing from me!

I later decided I would try to clean the windows since that’s something that will need to be done eventually.  I started on the project, then decided I needed a tasty beverage because it was so hot outside.  My blender was dirty in the sink, so I started washing it to get it ready to make another frozen treat.  I realize that the blades on my Ninja blender are really sharp because I cut myself once before.  I must have gotten careless today because the next thing I knew, I had sliced my thumb open!  It was cut so deep it was purple.  Ouch!  After that, I gave up on the window cleaning.  The last thing I need is some 50 year old grime in my fresh cut.  Now, if I could just get the cut to stop bleeding four hours later, I would be in good shape.  I do not want to go to the doctor for a silly cut from trying to make myself a frozen drink!

So… now you can see why my day was not the best day ever.  I have to work tomorrow, but then Thursday I will be back at it again.  Hopefully it will go better than today.  It’s probably best for me to be working tomorrow anyway so that I’m forced into taking a break and can truly start fresh on Thursday.  I know that all of these problems are first world problems and I should think of the much bigger problems that some people have to put things into perspective.  I think I will remind myself of all the reasons I have to feel grateful tonight rather than wallowing in my sorrows about today.  Ok, it’s true, writing this post made me feel better.  Good night all and I will be back on Thursday. smile

Working Vacation – Day One

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So, I decided to take this week off work (well almost all of the week, I have a meeting on Wednesday that I couldn’t reschedule).  Most people would go to the beach or relax somewhere nice with their feet up, but not me, I must admit that my little addiction means I plan to spend my entire vacation working on Junebug. lol   I know, I’m hopeless.  I swear I will relax and go camping once I am done with this project!  I like a challenge, and my new goal is to finish Junebug (or get as close as possible) by the last week of July (i.e. two weeks from now eek).  My family is coming down to my grandma’s in Austin to visit, and I would love to take Junebug to her house again to show how changed she is!

Early last week, I called Steve at Hemet Valley RV and ordered my new pre-polished aluminum siding for Junebug.  I sent him the “lovely” drawing below to help explain my order.  I think it’s pretty clear that my sketching abilities are rudimentary at best. haha

new skin 1


In order the measure the size of the roof/rear/front of Junebug, I actually tied a piece of twine to the tongue and then threw the rest over the top of the camper until it fell on the other side.  After that, I removed the twine and measured how long it was.  I don’t know if this was the best method, but it was sure a lot easier than trying to use the measuring tape!  IMG_4640


After discussing the sizes I needed with Steve for a few minutes, we settled on one long piece with factory seams to cover the roof, rear, and front of the camper that would be 84″ wide by 24′ long.  He wanted it to be 24′ feet long vs 20′ feet long since that would probably be cutting it too close and it comes in 4′ pieces.  I will also be getting four side pieces, two for each side.  Each will be 10′ long and 4′ tall, with the bottom piece already bent at the bottom so I can easily fit it to the bottom of the sides.  The top piece will have an S lock seam in it so that it will easily slide into the bottom piece, creating a water-tight seal.  I figured it would take a few weeks for me to get my siding, but Steve told me that it should arrive by this Thursday, July 10th!  I was so pleasantly surprised that it would be ready and shipped so quickly!  I have already enlisted the help of three friends next weekend to help me put it on Junebug in exchange for beer, food, and swimming in the pool after.  smile  I can’t wait!

In preparation for the new skin, I decided I had better look into what type of aluminum shears I should get.  I already have a multi-purpose hand-held set, but they don’t really work that well, so I wanted something better.  Today, I decided to buy a pair of electric metal shears from Northern Tool.  I tried them on my stainless steel backsplash, which is harder to cut than aluminum, and they worked great!  I am hoping they will make cutting the aluminum siding a cinch.



My pool party for the 4th of July went well.  I was slightly hungover on Saturday, but that didn’t stop me from getting a few things done on Junebug after cleaning up the mess in my house.

I decided that I wanted to put a bit of metal flashing around the rear to add some protection from water that might get under the skin while driving on wet roads.  I thought the old siding would be put to good use for this purpose!


piece of old siding before cutting a section off


After attaching the aluminum and adding a piece of wood for extra support. Still not finished though..

I still need to add another piece of wood across the rear for the siding to attach to.  I’m trying to figure out the best way to do this since the new steel beams are in the way of attaching a piece of wood all the way across.  I may have to attach some pieces in sections.  I’m also planning to put some sealant around the flashing where it meets the wood.  I will be painting the undercarriage with Black Beauty Fence Post Paint as well.  I just picked up a huge 5 gallon drum of it from Home Depot.  I wanted less, but apparently they don’t sell it in smaller quantities.  If anyone wants some fence post paint, you know who to call!

I had the same welder I hired a while ago come back to help me fix the taillight wiring.  Initially, he was just going to help me prepare to connect the taillights again once the skin is on, but upon closer inspection, he thought it would be best to replace the wiring.  I thought that was probably a good idea seeing as how it was pretty old.  He added all new wiring and took some measurements and is planning to come back again soon to attach the bumper, repair my propane tank holder, and add a spare tire mount to the propane tank holder.  All of that is going to cost me $300 which is more than I wanted to spend, but I figured I might as well just get it done now and not have to worry about it later.


New wiring – all different colors than the old wiring. Not sure if the colors have changed over time, or if the Shasta factory didn’t care. I’m guessing the latter based on experience…

It started raining later on Saturday, so I changed course and started building a drawer to go under the bed.  I used some pieces of pine for the frame then attached leftover pieces of birch as the bottom, sides, and front.  It’s a good sized drawer, it measures 35″ wide x 24″ deep, x 10″ tall.  I thought it would be easier to access than lifting up the bed to get things. IMG_4644


IMG_4648 I screwed in the first drawer face, and then this one is going to be glued to the other face so that no screws are showing.




I was able to use a leftover piece of birch that already had shellac applied to it so it made my life a little easier.  The drawer pull is from Anthropologie, they have the best hardware!

Yesterday, I finally got the drain installed in the floor and sealed properly.  I attached a water hose attachment underneath, just to divert the water so that it wasn’t too close to the subfloor.  Now that I finally finished that task, I could install the final piece of paneling on the front wall. smile emoticon


Newly installed final panel.  I hadn’t added the cross beam on the bottom yet in the pic below, but you get the idea.



Next, I added some pieces of wood to hold the tail light wires as well as add something for the tail lights to screw into.  I wanted to put them slightly higher, but the welder didn’t leave me enough wires to reach that far.  Hopefully this will still look ok.   I lost a bit of time today because I had to redo the window framing.  It wasn’t quite the right size the way I had screwed it in before.  Oh well, this just means it will be less frustrating when I get ready to re-install the windows later. In the pic below, I have run the tail light wires to the support boards, but I still need to run an extra piece to lead to the license plate light as well as the side running lights.  Luckily, my welder taught me that the brown wire is the “hot wire”, i.e. the one I need to connect the running and plate lights to. smileIMG_4665

After finishing this task, I decided it was time to finish laminating the last remaining pieces of wood that I needed to install for the countertop around the stove as well as the pieces for the sliding doors above the kitchen.


Laminate is cut and ready for contact cement.


Contact cement is on!


After 20 minutes, I attached the laminate and applied pressure. I will wait a day before using the router to trim the edges.


Today, I used the router to trim the edges and then added the cute owl hardware I picked up at Anthropologie. I think they turned out pretty nice!


Today, I finished up the drawer project.  I added some pieces of wood under the drawer to keep it aligned and make sure it is supported once it is full of stuff. IMG_4680



In this pic, you can see the additional pieces of countertop I added today now that the laminate has been applied.

I also attached the stainless steel backsplash with contact cement.  All it needs now is some trim and it will be ready to go!  In the picture below, you can also see how the new sliding doors look in the cabinet.  IMG_4672

And here’s how the drawer will look under the bed.  Obviously I still need to add the benches, etc. but this gives you an idea.

IMG_4685 IMG_4684

Tomorrow, I have an electrician coming over at 8am to look at the wiring in the camper and add an outlet for my mini fridge.  Hopefully it won’t take him very long because I have an important date to take my 5 year old cousin to the zoo at 10am.  I will resume my restoration activities in the afternoon once we are done looking at the giant bugs at the zoo. biggrin

Stay tuned for day two updates tomorrow….


Third Time’s a Charm!

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Plumbing is apparently not one of my fortes.   After installing the PEX pipe and then replacing the faucet with a brand new “vintage style” faucet, my fitting was still leaking!  If you want to laugh at my many failed attempts, you can watch the video below.  I just about gave up on this endeavor […]