Our 1984 Yellowstone Camper Renovation

This post was a long time coming and honestly, one of the most requested blog posts I’ve ever received. A lot of people want to see our camper renovation, so I’m excited to show you that today!

One of the most exciting things Taylor and I have done during this pandemic (besides give birth to a perfect baby girl) is renovate a 1984 Yellowstone Camper together. Neither of us had done anything like this before, but we were PUMPED. We purchased the camper in Pennsylvania back in June when we saw it on Facebook Marketplace. We replaced the tires right away and drove it down to South Carolina. When we arrived, we jumped in and spent the next month gutting it and making it into something more esthetically pleasing and functional for our family of 3.

The previous owner of the camper did a wonderful job at taking care of it. It was clean and in great shape when we bought it, but there was a lot of wood and it was very brown. It felt dark and dysfunctional. Before we made any changes, Taylor and I spent time talking about what we wanted to do and if we could make it happen. We each had individual things that were really important to us in order to feel comfortable in the camper, so we wanted to make sure we could make those changes possible.

Our number one priority was making it functional for our family with a newborn. Joanne was only 2 months old when we purchased the camper, so she wasn’t able to sleep on the pull-out couch and she was still sleeping in her pack-and-play. We also agreed that it needed to be brightened up! After priming, we used the color, Going to The Chapel by Benjamin Moore on all the walls. We chose this color because it was a warmer shade of white. It still brightened up the space without feeling sterile.

The pull out couch wasn’t functional for us and it was HEAVY. We decided to rip it out and Taylor built a U-shaped bench for seating instead. We have plans to install a table in the middle one day, which will fold down to make a full bed. For now, Joanne’s pac-and-play fits perfectly into this spot, so we’re leaving it open. In the picture above, you’ll notice cabinet space above the bench. The whole front face of that cabinet folds down to form a single person bed. There’s a ladder that isn’t pictured and a mattress topper that fits over the cabinet holes. A small child would love this space! As for us, we’re leaving it as storage.

We ordered thick foam off of Amazon and cut it to fit the measurements of our bench. Then, I bought fabric and upholstered it to the foam! The back pieces of our bench are specifically cut into sections, because they will fit onto the future table when it drops down to make the bed later on. (I hope that makes sense!)

All the old laminate floors were ripped out and Taylor installed brand new hardwoods. They’re waterproof and really heavy duty!

Along with the couch, we decided to remove the large dresser to the left of the bed and the cabinet hanging above the foot of the bed. There’s already a ton of storage in the camper, so we didn’t feel like these two were necessary. Removing the dresser beside the bed also gave us room for Joanne’s pack-and-play, so she could sleep beside the bed too! I’m really thankful that we took this dresser out, because there was a lot of water damage underneath. Thankfully, Taylor was able to remove all the wet wood and repair it. When we removed the cabinet at the foot of the bed, it revealed the breaker, which was an eyesore, but it made the space feel much more open and breathable. We also added shiplap paneling behind the bed to add more texture.

There was a rip in the ceiling wallpaper, so we racked our brains on how to fix it. We opted on cedar planks, which was one of the best decisions we made. Not only do they smell good, but they’re warm and cozy and a really unique feature! We found the cedar planks at Home Depot. They’re 1/4 inch thick and super lightweight.

We found a two pack of wooden shelves on Amazon and installed one in the bedroom and one in the kitchen. We specifically placed the shelf at the end of the bed because our iPad can hang off, and we can watch movies from bed! I also painted the arch around the shelf to give the space more character!

As for the windows, I made custom curtains out of a dowel from Home Depot. I took black hooks, black clips, and linen napkins from Amazon and assembled the curtains! I think they turned out pretty good! To keep the sun and heat out, we custom cut, double reflective polyethylene to fit each window. We can velcro them on when needed, and they fold and store easily.

A lot of changes happened in the kitchen! We painted the lower cabinets green (April Arbor by Valspar), added new hardware, painted the stove top and hood black, installed new countertops, and added a peel-and-stick backsplash. We lost one of the cabinet doors to water during the renovation, so I’m on the hunt for two matching baskets to fill the space! All the hardware and backsplash can be found on Amazon! (I have it all linked below)

The bathroom took a lot of work, but I think it has one of the biggest transformations!

We ripped out all the wallpaper, added new shower walls, added peel-and-stick backsplash, new flooring, new countertops, and installed a brand new toilette. Originally, we were going to leave the toilette that came with the camper, but near the end of the renovation, we agreed that it would look better with a new one. I’m so glad we spent the extra money on this, because I think it makes a huge difference! We left the original bathtub because it was in great shape, but Taylor and I don’t ever use the shower in the camper. We always use the bathhouse at the campground, so the tub is really only used by Joanne. Realistically, we store our clothing hamper in here. 🙂

Because we had the free time, the renovation only took about a month to get it to a point where it was “campable.” Then, we spent another month casually adding the finishing touches. We poured a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this camper, but it was worth it. Our only regret is not doing it sooner! We’ve had a blast traveling around in this little camper together, and we’ve really shared a love for camping. Joanne really enjoys it too!

Besides adding the table to the living area, the camper could really use a good coat of paint on the outside! Taylor and I are still going back and forth on whether or not to invest in this! Let us know what you think! Do you like the current paint job or should we update it to match the inside?

Links to some of the products we used:

What was your favorite part of the renovation?!

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