Hey, Internet. It’s been awhile. Like, 2 years awhile. How ya been?😉
So, I’m on a new adventure. Because I needed one more thing to do on top of the garden, the house, the kids, the job, the boyfriend, the boyfriend’s boat… now seems like a great time to start a giant renovation project on something I know absolutely nothing about. For the moment, anyway.
In case you didn’t know, on pretty much the spur of the moment, I bought a vintage camper, a 1960 Trotwood Cub, and promptly named her Gracie. She’s one of the original “canned ham” variety travel trailers (more on her history later). I’ve been wanting a cute little camper for awhile now, even though the kids kept saying, “But Mom, you don’t camp.” To which I replied, “But I WOULD if I had a cute little camper.” That’s my logic, and I’m sticking to it. But just think! Music festivals. Weekend getaways at the lake (Home Away From Sailboat). Trips to visit the relatives in far away places we’ve always wanted to go. Or close places, even. But in a cute little camper.
I wasn’t planning on doing this right now. I was just window (Craigslist) shopping and day dreaming. And then the seemingly perfect lady just fell in my lap. So I ran out right away to see her and fell in love. And then panicked. And then bought her anyway.
So this weekend, I am finally going to bring her home. Hopefully. She’s got a seriously flat (and possibly rotted) tire that is causing her to list heavily to one side, so I am having her flat-bedded to a tire store, and then towing her back to my house with a rented truck for the holiday weekend for a more thorough examination of her insides. I am biting my nails in anticipation of all the things that can go wrong with this plan.
You guys, I am so scared. Who knows if the guy who sold her to me was truthful in anything he said about her not leaking (I already know that’s not true) and being road-worthy with just a new tire. Or that the electric works. Or that the tail lights work. Or that the propane is hooked up right. Or that the frame is in good condition. Or…I don’t even know. That’s the problem, isn’t it? I don’t even know what I don’t know yet. And it’s really just me. This is my project, and my baby, so I don’t expect anyone else to jump in (unless they want to).
And then… I read all these blogs with these amazing renovations, many of them done by single women. And I think “I can so do this.” And so I will do this. Slowly. Painfully. Joyfully. Incrementally. I will do this.
I have been lobbied hard to document this endeavor in a blog, and since I already have one, Bird Uncaged seemed like a logical place to start. I don’t know about the vlogging thing, though. Holding a camera with one hand while I pull rusty screws out with the other seems unlikely. But I will do the best I can to let you come along on my adventure. That way, I will have someone to cry with when I get overwhelmed and in over my head. And you will bring me wine out of pity.
One note to all the vintage camper purists out there (I had no idea of their fervor until I entered this world)…
I am not you. I love what you do, but I don’t have that kind of money or skill set. And I want to use Gracie, not just look at her in my driveway for the next 2 years. So as much I would love to completely overhaul her in the way she deserves, that level of restoration might not be in the cards just now. My short-term goal is to get her water-tight and resealed, maybe painted, and take care of any safety issues. And then just do the best I can for the rest. It might mean getting a paint job over some dents and bruises. It might mean fixing up some interior panels I will have to replace again at some point in the future. And I hope to someday have the means to really do her proud. But for right now, I am willing to forego my Vintage Camper Trailer Magazine spread so that I can round up the people I love and head out onto the road with Gracie in tow, sooner rather than later. I hope you understand. If you don’t, that’s ok too. Just keep your scoffing to yourself, because I already love her, bumps and bruises and all. I saw a camper blog recently that said “I’m a rescuer, not a restorer.” Yes, that.😉
And now that I have unburdened myself of that expectation, I feel my anxiety begin to subside. A little.
So here we go. Somebody please say whatever prayers you have to whatever God you think cares about vintage campers, because we’re about to get this party started. This bird is uncaged. Again.