Thursday, July 20, 2017

1966 Kit Companion Renovation: Reveal Day

The moment you've all been waiting for. Here is the remodel of our  1967 Kit Companion camper (Kit)

The first thing we did was a lot of research. We looked up remodel after remodel of campers that we could find in order to get ideas. Honestly, I couldn't find a really great article of any kind about a 1967 Kit Companion. I found lots of pictures of before and afters, and lots of finished products but not many tips. But after doing a ton of research, we got to work. The first thing we started working on was the upholstery. I hated the brown, that's not a secret, but it would be a lot easier and cheaper to keep the upholstery. So we took it off the cushions and washed it. There was a lot of some kind of pet hair on it and since I'm allergic to cats and horses we wanted to be sure to get it all off. After 3 washes and still lots of hair on it, I took a lint roller to it and went through something like 20 pieces of stick paper that were covered in hair.  Then I ran it through my mom's washer because her's has a sanitation cycle. No hair left!

Next, we assessed the water damage and came up with our options for fixing it before we could paint. We came down to two options 1. Glue it, sand it, patch it, paint it. Or 2. Replace the whole wall of paneling. So we went with the first option since that seemed easier and then if that didn't work, we had a backup plan. Thankfully it worked pretty well. We used Elmer's wood glue and squeezed it down in between the paneling and the camper wall and then we propped a block of wood up on it to hold it on the wall while it dried (I wish I got a picture of this, but I didn't).

We had a couple places that looked like this

This is what it looked like after patching them.

After deciding it looked good enough to try and paint it, we picked a paint color and started patching what needed to be patched with some spackling. I feel like prepping the camper to paint it was the most time consuming, and frustrating part. It took several days of spackling, drying, sanding and doing it again to finish this part. We even second guessed ourselves and almost decided to buy some beadboard to mount on the dining area walls to look kind of like shiplap. But we couldn't find the size we were looking for so we kept at it. Before you start priming, Make sure you wipe everything down again. We ended up borrowing a shop vac from our neighbor to make sure we got every little bit of dust.

My dad came down for a day and replaced all the broken pieces of trim.  I would have more information on this, but I was watching the kids and Trevon was at work so I'm not much help on that part. But it did make things look much nicer and finished.

Then the priming started. This made it feel like we were actually making progress. It took almost two full gallons of primer. We used every single last drop in this can. (The other can was some my dad had left over that was 3/4 of the way full). We did three coats of primer with this.  Remember: When you prime--- or paint-- do all the corners and sides first. When you're painting a normal room, it doesn't seem like that big of a deal. But priming seemed like it also took a FOREVER because there were so many edges that we kept forgetting to paint first. We did all of the priming at night after the kids had gone to bed. It worked, but it's easier in natural light.

All primed

Once we had it primed and had our paint picked out and bought, we spent an evening painting the first coat after putting the kids to bed. We decided to keep the ceiling white and the walls and all the cupboards gray. We did all the walls first in a divide and conquer sort of way. I did the edges while Trevon started the walls behind me. We saved all the cupboard doors and drawers for the end. That way we would have enough paint to at least cover the walls and then we could get a smaller can if needed for the doors. We used one whole gallon of paint. Again, we used every drop. (This is a 16 ft camper)  We ended up getting a small sample can for touch ups where needed.

Once we got the camper all painted, it really seemed like we were starting to finally make some progress. The next project was the floor.  One of my dad's really good friends growing up now owns a flooring business and we were able to get a good deal on some remnants of flooring.  If you're in the Utah area, and you're looking for some flooring, I would definitely suggest Pyne Flooring.  I'm not just saying that because I know them. They are some of the nicest and most honest people I've ever known. And they have some great choices in flooring, and, if you want them to, they will install for you.

We went with some Coretec.  It looks and feels like real wood, but it's so much more durable. It's 100% waterproof, it won't warp or swell if it gets wet. It's durable, and it has a cork backing that naturally resists mold and mildew. It's really the perfect choice for the camper floor. And as soon as we got the floor in, I felt like the project was coming along perfectly.  It was really easy to install (according to my dad and Trevon), it only took 2-3 hours to install.

With the main projects were done, we started working on the not-so-major projects. We spray painted the appliances using High Heat glossy paint. For some reason, it didn't come out all that glossy, but it still looks good and we are happy with it.

We decided on a peel and stick tile for the back splash.  I really love the look of it, but honestly, it was a harder job than both Trevon and I thought it would be. There is a right and a wrong way to stick these things on.  I might do a whole post on the things we learned from this project later.

We wanted (I so badly wanted) to change the cushions.  I don't like the color, they are smaller than the original cushions would have been, and besides that, they smell musty and old and who knows what's been on them. Even after we washed the upholstery, I just really wanted it to look better.  We had it left in the budget to do them, but at this point, we were really short on time (we were going on a camp out within 2 weeks of deciding to do this). So we decided to dye them with RIT dye.  The material was right, but because they are outdoor cushions, they had, at some point, been treated with waterproofing.  So that means that we went to dye them, and nothing happened. I mean, there's one little spot where it looks like maybe some blue got on. But they are the same color. The upholstery will be done at some point, and when that time comes, I'll post more pictures.

Then we got some peel and stick counter tops too. We were going to go with granite, but we couldn't agree on one we both wanted. And then we found this wood and we both liked it. And I'm really glad that we chose that one.

When we filled the water tank to test the plumbing, we ended up running into some issues that we didn't expect. At first, it was just the sink and it was an easy fix, but once that was fixed and we filled the tank again, all the sudden we had a much bigger leak by the toilet. Lucky for us, we weren't really planning on using the toilet. So for the time being, we just drained the tank and left it alone.

And that was it! We got the whole project done in about 2 months.  I don't know the exact amount that we spent on it because Trevon's list that was on his phone got deleted on accident. But we are estimating somewhere around $1500, including the camper.

Before Sitting Area:

After Sitting Area:

Before Kitchenette:

After Kitchenette:

Before Dining Area:

After Dining Area:

Pano Before:

Pano After:

Above the door, we printed a little picture that I made of a saying that my Grandma Ann (she passed away a couple of months ago) used to tell me when I would mess up on a quilt. There were several times that this quote came up during this project. A lot of times we said it to each other, and a few times I heard her telling it to me. We wanted it there as a reminder of her, and of all the work that we put into the camper.

We still have some things that aren't done, or that we need to work on. First, the heater needs a cover on it. Unfortunately, this brand of heater (duo-therm) doesn't exist anymore and we are having a hard time finding something that will work. I've heard that Suburban and possibly Atwood will work so eventually that will be taken care of.

We will decide what to do about the leak ( fix the leak and use the bathroom or take the toilet out and make the bathroom into a big storage closet).

We will also, eventually, will fix the upholstery. We just ran out of time for our deadline.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask them! We are by no means professionals but we would love to help where we can!

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