is what I hear every time I step inside of Pearl the Camper.
I am so proud, beyond excited, and incredibly grateful for all the hard work that my parents and I have put into her.
We've made my tour-bus dream come true. Please see photos below & feel inspired by the finished product of my vintage camper / home-on-wheels / tour bus / personal dressing room / loveofmylife!
The idea of travelling on the open road with a vintage camper has always been on the top of my bucket list. I would spend hours every day, just dreaming about finding a tiny home, and fixing it up so that I could finally call something my own.
I searched high and low for Pearl.
Day in and day out, I'd check Kijiji, facebook marketplace, RVs For Sale website postings with no luck. I looked at online ads across Canada and even in the farthest corners of the USA. I was desperate. Every time I took a drive ANYWHERE, I'd be scouring driveways, backyards, empty fields and old parking lots for rusted old campers that were waiting for a new owner and a face lift. I even once found an adorable little pink vintage tear drop camper in somebody's driveway and I actually knocked on their door to ask them about it. They didn't want to sell it to me obvs LOL. I was probably too creepy and eager and scared them away!
And all of that is GREAT!
It was all meant to happen that way, because after my incessant 2 year search, I finally found the perfect camper, in all it's glory. Not more than a couple hours drive from where I was staying, Pearl was on Kijiji for several weeks before I discovered the buried listing.
She was waiting for me.
SEE THE TRANSFORMATION!
I get sooo many questions on this. Unfortunately I do NOT have a toilet... YET!
If there is ONE THING I would do differently when I designed Pearl The Camper, I would have included a toilet. Honestly, I didn't expect to do any 'off-griding' with Pearl, and planned to always stay at state parks to use their facilities. But I've found that even while camping, the last thing I want to do at 3 a.m. is dart across a super dark open field, to the nearest public loo. What if the wild animals get me?! That is not very romantic. LOL Not to mention, seeing other peoples doodoo's in park bathrooms and showers.
It can get pretty gross!
As of now, I am trying to work a toilet into the design, but haven't had any success. I haven't quite found the perfect model just yet... But I am searching, near and far, and will keep you up to date as soon as I find one that's appropriate
I needed to fit in quite a few different kinds of spaces in my teeny tiny 13' camper. I decided the best way to utilize the space and get exactly what I need is to custom build. My parents and I worked on this for several weeks, and came up with a couch area which can double as a second bed. This area ALSO converts to a dinner table for two AND home office. Voila! Four spaces in one!
Thetford Norcold RV Refrigerator
Flamineta 2 Burner RV Stove
1. Along with a 2 burner stove & oven fuelled by the propane tank on the tongue of my camper, I had a custom countertop made of Corian, with a built in sink. Since this space was teeny-tiny, I actually could NOT find a sink that was small enough. (when in doubt, make it custom!) I also added a beautiful wooden tray to add extra counter space when the stove is not in use.
2. A three-way refrigerator was a must in my camper, since I need to make sure all my food remains cold during long stretches on the road. While driving, this Thetford Norcold fridge is powered by 12v battery (connected to my car battery). When off grid, I can kick the propane on to keep my goods cold. And when camping at a state park, 120V is my go-to power of choice.
Double Under Bed Storage
3. There is a LOT of storage in this camper - and I wouldn't have it any other way. Not only is there a large rounded pantry, a wardrobe, plenty of cupboard space and hidden storage under the seating area, my bed is a double threat!
In addition to the bins below the bed, we added 2 separate layers of plywood above the bins and below the bed, that acts kind of like hatch storage. So, this is where I stow longer items (like a foam topper for the 2nd bed), shoes and nice dresses that can't be folded for my shows. All I have to do is lift the plywood that the bed is sitting on, and wedge a piece of sturdy wood to hold it upright and open. This reveals a whole new tier or storage space that is hidden from view. Super useful and highly recommended!
Thanks for hanging out with me on this crazy journey called life. I hope this page on Pearl The Camper has been very helpful!
Please share your camping tips or toilet ideas by commenting below! I am always looking for new need ideas, so anything you think might be a good fit to add to
Pearl the Camper, please let me know!
When I found Pearl in on online ad, the seller was on the fence about selling. He and his wife got it from the original owner where it sat for years, collecting dust (and rust) in his driveway. Once the new owners bought her, they gutted her with the intention of giving her a complete reno. It sat in their driveway collecting MORE dust and rust for 2 more years, until they decided the job was going to be too big and costly. They put it up on Kijiji for $2000 without getting any bites for about 10 days, until I happened to stumble upon the buried ad.
The moment I saw her picture, I knew she was the one.
I called him immediately and asked if I could buy the 1969 vintage Bailey Mikado, because she was exactly what I was looking for. At that point, he was unsure about selling and letting go of his beloved dream to own a vintage camper. But I told him what I had in mind for her - all the travel plans, and converting her to a solo tour bus on wheels. I reassured that I would take great care of her and she'd get to travel North America, just like she should be.
He finally agreed, and I took her home the next day.
This story proves that manifesting WORKS! Cause I definitely manifested the crap out of her and it came true LOL. 😍
The renovation costs exceeded $10 000 CAD, that includes fixtures, furnishings, appliances, paint, decor, etc., but I did NOT have to pay for any of the labour. My parents and I did so much of the work ourselves. It truly was a labour of love. If I had to pay for labour costs, it would have easily double the renovation price tag.