Adding a new dimension to our road trip experience, we plan to delve into the vintage camper world with the restoration of a Compact Jr. Similar to the camper restoration project documented by the Tin Can Tourists, we’re planning a complete gutting of our lime “Green Bean”.
Given to us by a friend, our initial investment in this project is a whopping zero dollars. As you can see, the interior is in rough shape. Our first project will be to completely gut the interior and line the walls with an insulation foam. We’ll reinforce the both the floor and pop up trolley (which currently sags and collects standing water) with cross braces and plywood.
Ultimately the goal is to keep the towing weight as low as possible and use as many reclaimed and repurposed materials in the process. I’ll be pulling the Green Bean with my 2017 Subaru Outback, and secured a used trailer receiver from a local auto salvage yard for $65.
Exposed to the elements for many years, we spent some time hand-scrubbing the fiber glass exterior with a power drill brush attachment kit from Amazon.com. As you can see from the feature photo, the brush attachment was gentle enough to not damage the surface but powerful enough to speed up the cleaning process.
Next up is coming up with a plan for electricity – we plan to camp in the shoulder seasons and will need a small heating element that can (ideally) run with an electrical hookup or small solar-powered battery. The interior re-design will center around storage and a comfortable sleeping arrangement at least 75 inches long.
Thankfully the internet is full of inspiration for tiny homes and vintage camper redesign – follow along as we work on this fun project over the winter.