Update On Beatrice AKA My Vintage Camper/She Shed

Mild temps helped to get some more work done on Beatrice

With the Deer Hunting season over and mild temps up until this week, we were able to make more progress on the Beatrice renovation project. A big hurdle we had was the new window in the front leaking after we installed it. The first issue we had, being inexperienced, we discovered that the window we bought was a vertical window.  The main problem with this, which we didn’t realize, was the vent holes ended up on the side and not on the bottom like they should have been. Who said the first project was going to be easy. We had no choice but to use the window horizontally anyway. After taking the window back out and drying it off (we had a heavy rain the previous night), we sealed up the vent holes and reinstalled the window drilling new vent holes at the bottom of the window. A day later, we found the window to still leak and after some close inspection found another hole in the outside shell that was not easy to see since the inside frame was in the way.

After sealing that hole up, Rick did another water test and that did the trick! No leaks anywhere around the new window. Whew. Another problem solved.

The next major fix was the door. We tried to fix the door by bending the shell back into shape. The door still would not seal when it closed and we knew there was probably major rotting on the inside.  We took the door off and took it to the basement to take it apart to see what we were dealing with. We carefully removed the aluminum shell, which was in 2 pieces with one side interlocking with the inside piece. It took time to bend the metal, but once that was done, we could remove the inside piece.

The inside frame of the door was not a pretty sight!

About 75% of the frame was rotted and the cardboard insert (why that was used was beyond us) was soaking wet.  I’m not talking damp, I mean soaking wet! It was awful! And so began the total rebuilding of the door. It took some time and luckily we could use the old door’s measurements to ensure a proper fit..  Once the frame was built, we decided to use some of the birch we had from a panel to nail to the frame to make it sturdy, but yet it would stay relatively lightweight. Next came putting the 2 pieces of aluminum frame on the wood frame, bend the outside end around the inside piece to finish it off and put the window back in. This ended up to be a challenge and we had to cut the hole a tiny bit to make it fit. The old window was not in perfect shape and we figured it was missing a top shield to keep the rain out. That was a minor fix, we just hoped the door would fit just right in the door frame.

And we have a newly built door

I must say that once we put the door back on the hinges and screwed in a couple of screws to make sure it was all good, we both breathed a sigh of relief.  The door fit perfectly!  There was only one spot that we could see light come through and that was taken care of by weatherstripping. We installed a new door handle (the old one didn’t have a key) and another step completed.

By now Rick had spent countless hours working on Beatrice and I tried to be out there as much as possible. I admit, I have not been able to help too much, but I think he is just happy when I’m there to be his retriever and assistant.

With most of the major outside things done, we have started to focus our attention on the inside wiring and layout. I had been searching for lights and came across some vintage look reading lights to mount to the sides where the sleeping/lounging area was going to be. I was undecided if I wanted to go with a vintage look or a clean modern look. At the time we were thinking of running off of 110 currency versus 12 volt which made a difference in the kinds of lights I could have. After spending a couple of days trying to decide about lights, we decided to go check out some recessed LEDs at our local building center. I would still get reading lights especially in the back area, but will probably go with recessed LEDs in the ceiling for the rest of the camper. I swear I think picking out lights in our house when we built it was easier!! The problem is, I have a hard time trying to visualize how things will work. That is the point where we are at right now. Other things got in the way and we have yet to take that trip to Menard’s to check out lights.

Even Zoe loves Beatrice!

So that’s an update on Beatrice’s progress.  She’s coming along. If you see her, it may not look like it, but we can tell. It’s been a challenge, but I think Rick is enjoying it. So much so that he has found 2 other campers to tinker with when Beatrice is finished. In fact he’s going to pick one up tomorrow in Northern Michigan.  I’d say he has caught the bug.

Yesterday we talked about how I think we should decorate Beatice for Christmas as she is sitting in our driveway. I have a lighted 7 foot Eiffel Tour Rick surprised me with a few years ago that I could set outside the front door.  Rick went to Fleet Farm and bought a few lights for the outside.  I just need to dig up my evergreen wreath for the door and she will be decorated for the season!

Every time I look out my front window I can’t help but smile.  She may not look pretty yet, but I love her all the same just as she is! My little Beatrice


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