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Hot and Sticky…Very Sticky

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It’s that time of year again in Houston, the time when you must be crazy to work outside all day.  It was ONLY 90 degrees today, and by Houston standards that’s not too bad, however I was sweating bullets most of the day and my neighbor stopped by to inquire how in the world I could stand to be outside.  What can I say, I’m not going to let a little heat get in the way of my camper obsession!  I even had a random guy stop by today to ask what I was doing.  The first thing he says is, “What is that, an Airstream?”  Why is it that the only vintage camper most people can think of is an Airstream??  I love Airstreams, don’t get me wrong, but I am getting rather tired of people asking me if Junebug is an Airstream.  She looks nothing like an Airstream.  Geez.  I know I’m being unreasonable, I guess one of my vices is that I get annoyed too easily.  I’m now on a mission to educate the world of people who don’t know about vintage campers one person at a time. haha

I thought it was going to rain today, but I lucked out and it was nice and sunny all day.  I was able to lay the tile today as well as continue repairing some of the exterior framing.  I also had fun painting the wheel wells and part of the closet purple, my favorite color!  I think I’m going to use the same shade for the lower half of the exterior of Junebug later down the road.


Before putting down the tile adhesive, I had to fill in a few cracks around the edges with this sealant.


After filling in the cracks, I painted the wheel wells purple. They look so much prettier now! It doesn’t matter that no one will see them. haha



I had some paint leftover in my little pan so I started painting the closet (bathroom) as well. Eventually I will paint all of it and then add some silver starburst accents. 🙂



Tiling in progress. I had already cut the edges to size, so I layed those down first. It took me a minute to remember the order I had gone in, and I was a little worried at first that I would mess it up!

I got some adhesive on my fingers and shoes during this process and then I was sticking to everything!  I finally got the adhesive off using some denatured alcohol and then washing my hands with soap.


In the end, I had to trim the last tile because it was slightly too large due to a slight misalignment. I don’t think anyone will notice though. They turned out quite nice!


Another view. Next step will be to secure the rear wall panel now that the tile is in place.

After laying the tiles, I decided to spray some primer on the frame.  I will later paint it silver, but I didn’t get to that part today.




After primer

Next, I got out my trim router that I bought for only $30 at Harbor Freight.  I didn’t want to get a more expensive one because I wasn’t sure if I would ever use it again after this project.  The drill bit I had to buy to go with it cost half of that!  After at least 30 minutes of messing with it, I finally figured out how to use it.  This tool is awesome!  I can’t wait to see what other things I can cut with it.  I didn’t get to trim the laminate today, but that’s what I’ll be using the router for when I get ready.  I did manage to find one use for it today, I used it to trim the last piece of vinyl tile.  I should have used it when I was cutting the tile a few weeks ago, it was so easy!


Trim Router

My last task of the day was to cut some curved pieces of wood to replace the rotted plywood around the edges of the roof frame.


Old rotted edges


I decided that I would use a solid piece of wood and trace the line around the curve so that it would be sturdier.  I then used my jigsaw to cut it to 1″ thickness.  My jigsaw vibrated a LOT trying to cut through this wood, I think it’s poplar.  It must be very dense, or maybe I just didn’t have it secured as tightly as I should have while cutting.  Either way, I was quite happy with the result!  I’m still using plywood strips for most of the edges but this edge piece will hold up nicely. smile


One piece cut and one to go for the other side.




Next weekend is my Friday off, so I’m hoping to make some more good progress.  Next steps will be to secure and trim the laminate and start to install plumbing.  I have a new plastic fresh water tank that will need to be installed with pipes leading to the hand pump.  I also need to install the city water connection with a hose that will go to the faucet for the sink as well as another outlet for the tankless hot water heater that will be installed in the bathroom.  I’m hoping the PEX pipe will be as easy to install as it looks in other people’s videos…

Here’s a list of everything left to do that I can recall at the moment:

  • Glue down laminate countertop and trim edges.
  • Install fresh water tank and pipes for hand pump, city water, and hot water heater.
  • Finish installing stainless steel backsplash once my trim pieces come in the mail.
  • Install shelf along rear wall and secure rear wall panel.
  • Reinstall oven, then replace front wall panel (waiting to do this until all plumbing is installed but need to remember to put oven back in its place first because it’s too big to fit through the doorway)
  • Finish rebuilding shelves along side walls then install.
  • Purchase mini fridge that is the right size, might need to adjust the cabinets a bit.
  • Call electrician to come out and check wiring for lights, run new wires for additional plugs.  Thinking of adding a plug on exterior under camper to run strings of lights as well as additional plug for fridge.
  • Use leftover laminate to cover doors that go in shelf over kitchenette
  • Paint undercarriage with fence paint or other type of sealant.
  • Build new frame for bed and benches.
  • Build table and use leftover laminate for table top.
  • Modify old cushions to fit new layout – full size bed across rear and two single seats in front of it.
  • Order air conditioner ( and figure out how to install air vents in the appropriate locations.
  • Order new pre-polished aluminum skin from Hemet Valley RV.
  • Install new skin (this is a big one, will definitely need to call in reinforcements for this task)
  • Re-install windows with new putty tape and stainless steel screws as well as j-rail and eyebrows.
  • Rebuild door and re-install.  At some point I’d like to build a new screen door out of birch, but depending on time, I might save that for a later date.
  • Add finishing touches on interior like hanging curtains, pictures, add mattress and bedding, etc.
  • Have unveiling party for Junebug and invite all of my friends and family who wonder where I’ve been all this time and are starting to worry about my obsession.
  • Go to first vintage camper rally in Lake Charles, LA the weekend of September 20-21!!

Phew, that’s a lot to do in the next three months.  I’m getting exhausted just looking at that list.  I think I’ll go to bed now..


Some Days are Better than Others

Some Days are Better than Others

It is a beautiful Sunday here in Houston, so I took Baxter to the dog park this morning, and I soaked up some sun while Baxter soaked up some other dogs’ spit and who knows what.  I had hoped to make some more progress on Junebug today, but I don’t think it was meant to be.

First, I got out the paint stripper and tried it on my cabinet door.  It seemed like it took something off, but there’s still a lot of varnish or stain on the wood, meaning I’ll either need to strip again and then sand, or maybe I can get the rest just sanding.  I’m going to borrow a sander from one of my friends soon so that I don’t have to buy one.

You can’t even tell that I did anything to the door from this picture.  The only thing that seems to be different is the texture of the wood since the drawer is still smooth with a slight sheen to it and the door is rough to the touch.  The color doesn’t seem to have changed at all.


While the stripper was doing its thing, I decided to remove the oven.  That wasn’t actually that hard, however I quickly realized that the oven would have to stay in the camper because it wouldn’t fit through the door frame. confused  If I want to take it out, I’ll have to wait until I remove some of the paneling.  I wanted to remove the cabinets and laminate from the countertop today, but even though I thought I got all the screws out, the cabinet wasn’t budging.  I also tried prying loose the laminate countertop and it kept breaking off so I gave up on that task for now.

no stove

Since none of my other projects seemed to be going well, I decided to get back to work removing the carpet glue from my tiles.  I thought that I could at least make some progress there for today.   I thought the acetone was working well before, but this time since I was working with a larger area, I realized that the acetone was also removing a thin layer of the tile itself.  Now I don’t know what to do about the tile once again.  I could try some different kinds of remover to see if something else works.  I really wish the previous owners hadn’t put that carpet down!

So, it’s 3pm and I’m not really any further along than I was yesterday.  I decided that maybe today was just an off day.  I am going to find something else to do instead, in hopes that next weekend will be better.   Sorry for the frustrated and negative post today.  Hopefully I’ll be back to my usual Pollyanna self next weekend.  (My stepdad used to call me Pollyanna because I was always in a good mood and so optimistic).

I will leave you with this cute picture of Baxter to lighten the mood.  I caught him sunning himself last weekend in one of my lounge chairs by the pool.  He’s so photogenic.



A few hours later…

I found a cool idea online for Junebug for the dinette/bed area, and I got re-energized a bit. smile emoticon  I really like how this camper has a permanent bed and a small dinette so you don’t have to constantly make the bed up everyday and find a spot to store the linens.  This will work great for Junebug! (Downloaded from

Cool idea


I also forgot to give credit to Larry at for adding a link to my blog on his site!  I’ve learned so much watching Larry’s videos online and that’s what gave me the courage to start my own renovation.  I was honored that he added the link to this blog on his site.  Hopefully I will make him proud!

I started to shellac one of the birch panels tonight with my renewed energy.  It is already looking beautiful after only two coats!  I noticed there are some green streaks in the wood though and I don’t think those are supposed to be there.  I’m going to call Houston Hardwoods tomorrow to see if they’ll replace it with a better one.  I can probably still use this one in a less noticeable spot like above the kitchenette.


Notice the greenish streak in the wood.  HmmIMG_4030

Ok, I’d better get to bed soon.  Good night everyone!