SINCE 2016, THERE HAS BEEN A RISE IN THE RENOVATION OF CAMPERS FROM DIYERS AROUND THE WORLD. WHEN CONSULTANT DIETITIAN JOCELYN JOHNSON AND HER HUSBAND QUINTEN, AN AIR NATIONAL GUARDSMAN, BOUGHT THEIR SECOND CAMPER IN MARCH OF 2019, THEY WERE READY FOR A PROJECT.
Having previously owned a smaller (and older) camper, the two decided to take their Instagram inspiration to the entirety of their new purchase, set on making something that would work for them and their three daughters.
“We started ripping stuff out of the camper the same day we bought it,” said Jocelyn. “I was eight months pregnant, so we really wanted to get a head start on the renovations.”
The restoration began with removing most of the built-in cabinets in the master bedroom and the main living space. The Johnsons also tore out the short queen bed that is native to most campers in order to comfortably fit Quinten’s height.
“We bought the camper in mid-March, had Ruthie on April 15, and had it finished by the beginning of June.”
“My husband is very tall,” Jocelyn laughed. “Like, six foot, six inches.”
Now a blank canvas, the Johnsons built a regular queen bed frame with storage underneath in an effort to maximize the limited square footage. Instead of keeping the wallpaper that Jocelyn said is common for campers, she painted all of the interior white, accenting the one master bedroom wall with a black stencil.
“I think a lot of people would think doing black and white would be a bad idea in a camper because it would get dirty. But if I can see the dirt, I can clean it,” said Jocelyn. “Honestly, I just love a neutral palette, that way I can switch up the accent colors when I get sick of the current ones.”
Continuing with the black and white color scheme, the Johnsons painted the kitchen cabinets black, replaced the floors with peel-and-stick flooring, and even installed butcher block in place of the countertops. Small (and sometimes challenging) details like these are what Jocelyn says make her camper feel like an extension of their home.
“I love this kitchen. We decided to use subway tile wallpaper to get a more sophisticated look,” said Jocelyn. “Once Quinten installed the butcher block, the kitchen felt like something you would find in an actual home.”
Walking toward the back of the camper where their daughters sleep, the Johnsons explained how they turned a typical camper living/sleeping space into a fully functioning family room.
“Most campers have a dinette that folds out, as well as a fold-down bed, but since we had the bunk beds, we didn’t need it,” said Jocelyn. “We replaced the dinette and jackknife sofa with a couch and skinny table to give us more room and storage.”
Having only painted in the bathroom, the last major renovation came when the Johnsons needed a room for their two older girls, Rhetta and Hadley.
“We thought bunk beds would be a fun addition for them,” said Jocelyn. “Unfortunately there was some water damage, which we have found is common in cheaper campers. Once Quinten rebuilt that portion of the wall, we covered it in shiplap and now it’s one of our favorite spots.”
With a completed camper, three girls, and a need for summer adventures, the Johnsons spent the summer of 2019 traveling in their newly refurbished home on wheels, ready to camp and explore.
“The best part of having this camper is it feels like home.”