Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Arrival...

September 26, 2008

"I found one!" These are the words that greeted me upon answering my phone that afternoon.

My wife had spotted an old camper somewhere, while I was innocently at work, and had accepted it as her own the moment she laid eyes upon it. "We're going to look at it when you get home..." I took this to mean that it was for sale, and having spoken to someone, she had agreed upon a time to look at it. This was quickly dispelled as she coached me on what to say, when I was to blindly knock on a stranger's door to inquire about the camper that lay dormant on their property.

After striking a deal with the owner, and coercing my friend (on his wedding anniversary) to help me tow the camper from it's resting place, at night, in the pouring rain, we finally cut down the tree that that had grown around the camper, with a chainsaw borrowed from the owner. The estimated number of years that it had been sitting there, rotting in the shadows? Ten. Ten years. Just imagine.

We then dragged it home behind my friend's dump truck, in the cover of darkness, with no license plate. Did I mention that is was pouring rain?

The scene that first arrival night is a great representation of what was yet to come for us, over the 12 months (and still counting) that were to follow, during the resurrection of this poor, forgotten camper.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fools Rush In

Here are some pictures of the camper's condition when it arrived. For many moldy, mildewed, rotten and soiled reasons, the gutting promptly began that same evening...

We inherited all the previous owner's inventory...

Crib mattress, television, toilet & waste tank and lawn chair cushions included.

Really, it was a well appointed interior, don't you think?

This was a particularly cozy area, the back bed... such a shame that scent can't be transmitted through the computer. The smell of this thing is something that will never leave our memory. Ever. Can you imagine sleeping here?!?

Fortunately, or unfortunately, however you choose to view it, we could imagine sleeping here. One day. One day, far away from now, in a faraway campground....and under very different interior design circumstances.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Opening night...

Just in case you hadn't seen enough, behold a few more lively views of the camper's condition on the morning after it arrived.

By that evening, a trailer load of rubble and debris had been removed from the camper. The face mask? 100% necessary, really. If not for the dust, for smell protection alone.

This roof area was already caving in, and the rest of it came down like butter. Very gratifying really.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Act I

By the end of day 2, there was a large pile of debris blocking the entrance to the camper. The only entrance.

As we tore the rubble out, we found more and more deterioration, rot and filth.

Did I mention that it was still pouring rain? Ever handled wet pink fiberglass insulation? 40 year old insulation? Good times for all.

Sadly, some of the artwork is no longer with us.

This may be the floor being torn out, but by then, all of the surfaces had begun to look (and smell) the same.

This is the trailer that we loaded, only to unload in the rain because the trailer needed to be taken back by the man we borrowed it from. In the rain.

When the sun came up the next morning, the rain had slowed and what was left behind was a sad reminder of what we had endured the night before. And a sign that the neighborhood was quickly going down the tubes.

Yep, this was our front yard view.

For a few days until we could get it cleaned up.

And then we continued to demolish the interior.

In the rain.

Right down to the aluminum skin.

When we had to employ the crow bar on the old linoleum floor, we learned that the sub floor was a total loss.

At that point, to our fortune, or misfortune, depending on how you look at it, we didn't realize or accept that the entire camper was a total loss. It might have been right around this time that we created the 4 week plan to total renovation. Ha!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Act II

Now we had the thing stripped to the bare metal, and the entire outer shell had to be removed and lifted off the base in order to completely replace the rotten floor.

The black poles are holding up the entier outer shell so that the floor can be worked on in sections.

Once the new floor was braced in, we filled the spaces with insulation before laying new subfloor.

This was a big feat and took weeks, working in the sub zero temperatures outside in the Maine winter..are you getting the feeling of how FUN this was?!?