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Turning a Rotten Lemon Around, or, My Mom Warned Me About Days Like These…..


It’s over, it’s done.

At least we ended up with something after all the blood, sweat and tears…LemonDrop!
Some of you may have noticed, most probably not, but we added a camper to our SoDamnLuckyGlamping rental business at Mussel Beach.

Danielle and I had been thinking of doing some road tripping in the future and we thought… “hell, why don’t we get a camper?” Really. We thought that… So, after making a well researched and informed decision (Like we do..), we found one. It was owned by a nice guy with a nice family, and we hit it off immediately. We chatted, and he promised it had no leaks and was a great buy – he just needed something larger for his growing family. What a nice guy!!
Now, Danielle and I have done a lot of buying and selling (mostly buying) on Craigslist and FB Marketplace. Never had a problem – there are a lot of nice people out there. So, we (I) are very trusting.

We bought the camper, shook the nice man’s hand and drove away grinning all the way to Mussel Beach with our new, in fantastic shape, camper. Then the walls fell off.
Not actually off, more like flapping in the wind, like Dumbo’s ears. To others at Mussel Beach, this became the name of our new purchase – Dumbo.


If you aren’t bored yet, you might be soon.

SHIT SHIT SHIT! I remember thinking. Well, I’m going to call the nice guy and get my money back!
“Ohhh, I already spent it…” Came the reply. “You should have checked it more” came the justification. “There’s nothing I can do!” came the excuse.
Everybody had an opinion… baseball bats, Molotov cocktails, Hell’s Angels, everyone had a solution to the problem. My favourite was dumping it on his front lawn and setting fire to it…
Our solution was to chalk another one up for experiences, and also, our strong belief in karma. I did write a letter to the nice guy and tell him to make sure he teaches his children better.

And so The Camper Reno of 2019 started.

I had never done anything like this, so I started at the top.

I was sure the roof had to be replaced. What’s hard about putting on a rubber roof??

….and I was sure only the front had to be replaced.


….ok, maybe the front sides too.
….the back I’m sure is fine. (Danielle was shaking her head) Why is she always right?
….oh hell, just strip it down and start fresh.

At this point, I feel I have to share some interesting info. The biggest concern about Campers is that they need to be light. People need to check out their GVWR on their vehicle. Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. How much your vehicle/truck can carry – the maximum! The GVWR, minus the GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight, or the weight of your truck) and this is how much you can legally carry. A LOT of trucks with campers are overweight… get it weighed people!

So, how they make a lot of campers – check out the photos. They take a piece of 1″ styrofoam and sandwich it between two 1/8″ sheets of Lauan (thin, mahogany plywood) – think ice cream sandwich. Then they cut out the shape and size of the camper sides. Wherever they want a window, They stamp that little sucker out. Very little support and integrity. It’s all about the weight…..

But that doesn’t really matter now does it?? All I know is that I have this pile of… you know, and it all has to come apart.

In a nutshell, we stripped it right down to styro and stuff; took out all the windows, door, hatch covers; peeled off the roof and stripped it down; cut out the rotten supports; replace the supports with 1″ plywood (now that some skookum stuff!); glued on some 1/4″ ply and sealed it with marine grade primer. Easy as pie…

.       .            


We felt that Aluminum Sheeting was the coolest cover ever! Got it from Metal Supermarket in Nanaimo. Nice guys… and cheap. It nicely covered all my imperfections in caulking, sanding and gluing.







Basically, that’s it. A lot of work, a lot of brain drain, and a lot of stainless screws. We got a lot of help and advice from local businesses. Arbutus RV in Port Alberni, Courtenay RV, Windsor Plywood in Ucluelet.

Well, meet Lemondrop, our newest rental in Mussel Beach Campground on Barkley Sound near Ucluelet.  She’s a beauty, isn’t she?


Thanks for reading…and no, I won’t renovate your trailer…..



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