Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Scamp Update

{What Two Coats of Paint Can Do}

Our 1978 Scamp was structurally sound when we bought her off Craigslist in April, but she needed a lot of work. She was upholstered from top to bottom in plush carpeting and midnight blue velvet, and the water tank, water lines, and all the electric needed replacing. She's finally starting to come together and I'm happy to report that she no longer smells like mothballs and disco.

Here she is the day we brought her home. More pics of the ensuing deconstruction here.



Fast-forward two months and the carpeting has been removed, the evil spray-glue sanded away, and she's beaming white after two fresh coats of paint. There are four large screw holes between the cabinets we'd love to cover up with something fun and slightly uncouth, like this. Any other ideas?



Provided it actually works, our electrical system is pretty rad: the Scamp can run off a 120 volt external power source using an extension cord, or off a 12 volt system that charges from the truck as we drive. AC, fridge, lights and sound system can run off either, thanks to a tricky converter/inverter system that P. figured out under the close supervision of the Hound of Love.



The yellowed fiberglass counters and cabinets all needed a few coats of melamine paint, which is nasty stuff to work with but worth the trouble; the kitchenette looks so much fresher now.



While the huz installed a giant subwoofer I defrocked the disgusting cabinets and drawers of their velvet death shrouds. A little sanding and repair with liquid wood filler seemed to do the trick.



Plus two coats of Urban Safari acrylic paint and they looked as good as new.



Measure twice, cut once. Time for new floors.



We measured out the floor plan and cut the footprint out of blue plastic moisture guard, which prevents moisture in the plywood base from seeping into the new floor.



After some research we decided to go with a synthetic bamboo "floating" floor that is scratch-resistant and incredibly flexible. A real hardwood floor would have buckled and cracked as the Scamp bumped and shifted along the road, but these boards interlock with each other and don't actually attach to the floor of the Scamp. Plus they're totally indestructible. It was surprisingly painless and quick to install; we locked the bendable boards together and trimmed them to the footprint of the moisture guard using a box-cutter.



We lay them down inside the Scamp and voilĂ ; the upstairs and downstairs floors fit perfectly.



We're picking up the cushions from Steve's marvelous middle-of-nowhere desert upholstery shop this afternoon, and hopefully we'll cut the bamboo molding to finish the floors tonight. The movers were supposed to come today but we put them off until tomorrow, praise the lord. One more day to work on the Scamp, one more day to pack. Madness, I tell you, but such a hoot!

31 comments:

  1. You guys are AMAZING. The next time I need to redecorate an awesome camper van (one of life's necessaries, to be sure), I'm definitely calling you!

    (And I'm SO glad my card got there in time. I was afraid it would be late, only to be found a year later, post adventures...)

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  2. WOWZA. A wonderful adventure awaits.

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  3. It looks HUGE! Who knew that carpet could be so space consuming? If you're reading this, you should be packing. Go away!

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  4. Awesome! You guys are pretty amazing. I would a hard time doing all that work in the comfort of a garage...much less in the desert heat. So, you're pretty much my remodeling hero right now.

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  5. this is so awesome! happy trails! and i want lots of pictures!... please :)

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  6. wow! so impressive! definitely looking forward to seeing the progress :)

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  7. Love the horns, they make great hat racks, hold the fishing rod holders and are just way cool to look at, besides covering up screw holes, and they're cheap, or err...inexpensive. Wonderful adventures await dear peeps. Happy trails!

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  8. Oooh, look at you go! Rachel's right--the lack of velvet and florals makes it look so much bigger!

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  9. Scamp is shaping up to be a fine lil' abode! And I think you should save that teeny space for some great find you discover along the way ~ who knows what will cover up those 4 screw holes, but I just know it will be good!

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  10. Oh my goodness!!! I am so so excited for you!! What awesome work and Lily you are the coolest woman I know :) XO!!

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  11. melamine paint - - - who knew? i know i shouldn't admit this, but i miss all the blue chinese pile. but....it is your scamp, and not mine. so i'll just. let go.

    you two have way too much fun and this is just a beginning of many. oh and GREAT WORK! WELL DONE!

    so no - all that garden was not mine at all (except for the pink hydrangeas which grow in my back yard and which i would not have chosen or planted - not that i don't love hydrangeas but pink ones are not my first choice!) all the rest is the garden that is my neighborhood, other peoples' gardens a scant quarter mile from chez moi and of course, the trader joe's! (for the peonies).

    and soon it will be time to say...happy trails lily and family!

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  12. ooh, so exciting! loving the bamboo floor, that stuff is amazing. good luck with packing, i can't wait to see what adventures await you on your trip!

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  13. Hooray for the scamp, and hooray for you two! A hoot is the perfect way to describe your adventures right now. Todd and I are embarking on some crazy ones of our own. I'm freaking out, but having fun, and it was good to come visit you today and get some perspective.

    Those golden antlers are wild, woman! Can't wait to see the final results of all your hard work. The scamp will be the coolest rolling home on the road! xo Gigi

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  14. WAIT YOU ARE LEAVING TOMORROW????

    wow. wow. wow.

    You know what I want to see? A map of your route. (I want to see one so bad that if you sent me a google map of your stops, I would turn it into a pretty one for posting. Just sayin.)

    did you get the cactus wall paper? either way it is lookin SLAMMIN.

    i am so pissed i never made it to the same time same place. i wll stop going on and on now, but wow.

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  15. i am sooo impressed! (but i can't believe you de-carpeted it...that must have been hard).

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  16. the scamp is so rad. and those photos of biscuit and the tank with the desert views in the background make me seriously question why i spent the last four days taking orders from crazy editors who are obsessed with this russian spy story. ugh, i need a vacation.

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  17. I told you already how much I loved the idea of scamping, right? Anyway... I was just dropping in to wish you and yours the happiest Independence Day. May your day be full! May you enjoy laughter shared with family, great food shared with friends, fireworks to make you gasp, a lump in your throat at the anthem, and a full and grateful heart at all we have been given. Happy Fourth of July, my friend!

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  18. when i was camping last weekend i saw someone with a camper called "Skamper" and then I understood a little better why you call yours the Scamp :-) have fun with the journey. you better keep us posted!

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  19. Great thoughts you got there, believe I may possibly try just some of it throughout my daily life.
    camper vans sales

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  20. interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you

    camper vans

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  21. Bala & Ajayan- thanks for stopping by! I'm puting together a more comprehensive step-by-step account of the Scamp restoration and will post it sometime this fall. My husband and I really relied on other people's blogs and flickr to help us with our project, so if there's any way our account of our restoration can help others that would be wonderful. Happy trails!

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  22. Did you put a larger Flexible Sewer Hose container on the front - larger than the 26" standard? If so, what size did you go with that still looks OK? I want a longer hose - so need larger storage.

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  23. Hi Eurain- we don't have any sewage system in our lil' Scamp. The newer, larger models might have them, though. Check with the Scamp website maybe?

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  24. Hi Lily, I've been checking out your blog and it's so amazing and inspiring!! My husband and I just purchased a '76 dodge motorhome with grand roadtrip plans for the future and I was wondering about your bamboo flooring - you said it thin enough to cut with a box cutter?! Where did you buy it / what brand(?) was it? 'Cause our minnie-winnie needs some easy fixer-uppers!
    ps. I now want to go to India SO badly!
    pps. Your photos are gorgeous. I want to wallpaper the rv with them. Seriously.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Hunkate.. Did you ever get the information on the flooring? I wanted to put it in my Scamp as well...

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  25. congrats! keep up the good work/this is a great presentation. Campervans Sale

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  26. Looks great! Hoping ours looks that good when we get finished. We are wanting to put in an air conditioner and yours looks like the exact size we need. Do you know the measurements or could you tell me where you got it? Thank you!

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  27. Thanks Angie! The previous owner custom-installed that A/C himself. I don't know what the measurements are, but you'd probably want to measure your own window for the retrofit anyway. I live in Brooklyn and the Scamp is parked for the winter at my parents' place on the farm, but next time I visit I can measure for you. Sorry I can't be more helpful!

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  28. Recently found your blog and got very excited to see it can all be done yourself. (And still look good!) Do you remember the name of the "bamboo" flooring you used? Thinking this would be a great option, how has it been holding up for you? Thanks!

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  29. Hi. I'm wondering if you could tell I'm wondering if you could tell me where you found the 12 volt power source that runs the fridge? We're getting ready to convert a conversion van into a camper, so there's not pre-existing electric, and hooking a battery to the alternator seems tricky. Plus I've read they can give off fumes...Any advice would be welcome. Your reno looks awesome!

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