1987 Camper Renovation - "Clover" The Camper
Updated: May 16, 2021
What do you do when a worldwide pandemic forces you to cancel your vacation plans and quarantine for months on end?
Answer: Renovate a 1987 Camper Trailer that has been abandoned for decades, and bring it back to life!
Here's the story:
Covid-19 changed everything for us, and very quickly. Our plans for the year involved a trip down south, and another to Australia - but the hope for travel came crashing down and we were forced to stay in Canada in hopes of staying safe and healthy. For several months, we had been eyeballing a 12-foot 1987 Camper Trailer that had been sitting on a relatives farm lot for over 2 decades - the same farm lot that Woody keeps his utility trailer. Every time we would drop something off at the utility trailer, this little camper would call our names. This little thing needed some love, but we were informed that nothing in it worked and it may be a lost cause due to all the water damage and broken parts. Curiosity got the best of us, and we decided to investigate! When we first inspected her, the electrical had issues, the plumbing was clogged and the pipes were leaking, the gas stove wouldn't turn on etc. so we decided to take a day to see if we could get any of the essential components working and figure out if this camper was worthwhile. That day, while doing our inspections - we found not one, but two 4-leaf-clovers in the field where she had been sitting! Turns out, this camper was EXTRA lucky; EVERYTHING worked with a little tweaking. We got the plumbing/pump working, the electrical was fixed, the gas stove worked like a charm, the furnace was pumping out heat, the fridge was keeping things cold, and the battery even had some juice left. So - we decided to do a major overhaul, rip out all the water damage, re-seal the entire camper, give it some paint, some new finishes, and shine her up like a new penny. This is our process of renovating this classic 1987 Camper Trailer !
First things first - we started ripping out the portions of the camper that were water-damaged... and that was MOST of it. Don't even get me started on the smell of it when we first started haha. We sanded and primed all of the walls, the cabinet doors, and cleaned/disinfected the camper as much as we could so we could start the restoration process. We scraped out every last bit of old caulking and re-sealed every crack we could to prevent from future water damage; we also covered the top with Flex-Seal before installing a 100W solar panel and all the 12 Volt plugs / LED light switches.
- For finishes, we added a peel-and-stick tile from Amazon, vinyl plank flooring, peel-and-stick wallpaper for a feature wall, and new hardware for all the cabinet doors. We went with a solid blue paint for the interior cabinets, and Woody (being the talented carpenter that he is) custom made a brand new counter top and table for this cute camper.
We also added some finishing touches which included a 12 volt fan that can run off solar power, we spray painted the stove top, toilet, hood fan, fridge and windows, and we pressed & framed the 2 clovers we found in the field the day we inspected her.
Here are a few "BEFORE" photos:
This little camper was a much bigger project than we expected, but it was worth every minute. We just returned from a cross-country road-trip where she kept us safe and cozy the whole way, and apart from some minor fixes along the way. (See my blog about all of the unique Canadian attractions we visited along the way!)
A special thanks to Woody's Aunt Margaret and Uncle Brian for letting us restore this cute little camper and give it a second chance!
Here are the "After" photos!
Check out the full renovation video below to see all the steps that went into creating a new life for this 1987 camper trailer: