From Rough to Ready
Taos, our 2008 Fleetwood pop up camper, came to us with great bones: no rips in the canvas, perfect vinyl, and a solid floor. But we wanted to update him and add a few comfy elements that would better fit our style. We plan to spend a lot of time with Taos and the reno was a perfect pandemic winter project.
Remodel and Upgrades
Curtains and seat covers
Taos’ original decor left a little something to be desired, plus there were some stains and rips on the seat cushions. We found so much helpful info on pop up remodels and sewing instructions online. We reused the original foam couch cushions and zippers and several sewing- filled weekends later, the curtains and cushions were all done, with a few throw pillows covers made just for fun.
Below are a few of our favorite sites:
This was an excellent site with super fast shipping- the teal is beautiful and since it’s an outdoor fabric it feels like it will hold up really well.
Working with blackout fabric was the biggest challenge but so worth it for the little extra bit of privacy in the pop up.
The hopsack linen in Papyrus was a beautiful fabric, it shrinks a LOT. Be sure to wash and dry prior to cutting and take into account shrinkage when buying your yardage.
Indoor Primer and Paint
Painting the cabinets, walls and adding a few finishing touches like the new fire extinguisher was definitely a big bang for the buck. Even though this detail work took many hours and required cleaning, a coat of primer, two coats of paint, and two coats of polyurethane it was a huge change and made things feel so clean and bright.
We started with a coat of Zinsser Primer and Sealer. This is what you see in the picture. Because we were needing to cover up the fake wood grain that's all too common in campers we needed a good primer.
We chose BEHR 7800 Satin paint for the interior and went with a soft gray. Once the remodel was finished we noticed it had a hint of purple that we ended up liking a lot. We applied two coats to all painted surfaces including the cabinet doors.
Finally, we applied two coats of polyurethane. After some reading we decided it was a good idea to add the clear coat to protect against inevitable wear and tear.
The painting process was fairly straight forward save for the polyurethane. Emily has a lot of experience with wood refinishing...I, however, do not. For those of you that don't know polyurethane is STICKY and I spent a lot of time trying to get tiny hairs and dirt off of the walls. And just when I thought I'd finished I'd notice large areas dripping with poly. I was rolling it on and found that using this method meant rolling and rerolling for quite a while until the dripping stopped. Also, the areas I didn't stop the dripping you can see very faint brown drips. I should have done a lot more research before this step.
We were very excited for the flooring. We purchased the flooring during the original trip to Home Depot and since we needed to finalize the painting first we were left to imagine what it would look like for weeks.
We used Traffic Master's Peel & Stick Vinyl planking. We picked Ember Grey and much like the paint once the remodel was finished the color was different than we'd thought but we were still very happy with the outcome.
We only needed one box which was 36 sq. ft. and cost $34.92. It took an after noon and was easily the biggest improvement. Visually beautiful and made the camper feel so clean and new. An immediate shoes off rule was implemented.
What we wish we'd known: For basic cuts use the method outlined with a razor and straight edge. For more complicated shapes we ended up using a (very) sharp pair of scissors which was a lot easier.
One thing we agreed on right away was buying new mattresses for the pop up. This turned out to be a bit of a challenge as the beds are not a standard size, the mattresses can’t be too tall (or we couldn’t get the pop up closed) and we didn’t want to break the bank. After much online research and pricing different options we settled on mattresses made for hide away couches. They are a perfect fit for the area and super comfortable. We lined the space under the mattresses with foam interlocking blocks for some extra cushion support and to help keep heat in.
Water and Plumbing