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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Our Canopy has arrived!

We ordered a canopy from Vintage Trailer Supply.  The folks there were very nice to work with.  I wanted to order one of the "classic awning stripe" canopies and they let me special order it in a discontinued pink/white color combo.

We love it!

the top of the canopy is pink and white stripe and the underside is pink

the color of the canopy matched perfectly

Making the bed in a Shasta Compact

Well, some of you may be wondering how anyone can sleep in a teeny Shasta Compact.  I went across country with 3 children, ages 16, 14 and 10 and we all fit!  However, when my husband joined us, it was a tight squeeze.  I purchased a one minute set-up tent at Target and the boys (my two oldest) slept in it for the remainder of the trip.  To see our travel blog:

Below are some photos of how we made up the bed.  The original design of the bed included slide out benches that do not meet in the middle (they remain two separate beds).  We wanted the option to pull the benches together to make one large bed.  The solution below is a temporary one, because we were running out of summer before we finished the Pearl, at some point we will work on making a more elegant and permanent solution.

For now though...

When the bench seat and back cushions are laid flat, there is a gap of a few inches which we fill with the decorative pillows so that the flat cushions will stay tightly together.

This makes a fairly large bed - king size sheets are needed.

Under the cushions are 1/2" thick plywood sheets.

Here is what it looks like under the cushions

The plywood is supported by slats which fit into the existing slots on the benches.

There are three slats, we store the table under the bed at night.

Each plywood sheet is stored under the bench cushions during the day.    Being only 1/2" thick, you can't feel them through the cushions (the cushions are 5" thick.

bench cushion back in place

as you can see, my back cushion overlaps the window trim a bit.

Dave is storing the slats in the bench.

Sometimes, we would put the back cushions on the floor, between the two benches and I would put the decorative pillow in the gap between the back cushions and the benches to hold them tightly together.  This way, we had 3 small beds.  Bella slept in the canvas bunk that suspends above the bed.  


Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Yay!  She's done.  We finished her on Sunday - the last thing I did was shorten the curtains.  Then we packed our clothes in the car and headed off for a cross country trip.  Right now it is just me and the 3 kids, but Dave will join us in San Francisco.  Our plan is to travel the lower states across to California, travel up the California coast and head back along the upper states.  We traveled through the Shenandoah National Park yesterday - today on to Knoxville.  It is so wonderful to be able to use Pearl!
Here are some pics:

Our friend Anita hand knit the beautiful dish rag and towel hanging from range

Thursday, July 28, 2011


We painted the Pearl in Spinnaker White and 1956 Ford Sunset Coral.

I really like the way she came out.  We'll be adding the running lights, break lights, wings, etc. tomorrow.  I'll post more then.  Exhausted....

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Prep and Primer

Yesterday we finished sanding the body with 220 grit sandpaper and cleaned it all down with TSP substitute and water.  Next I worked on polishing the aluminum stripe.  After that I taped off the polished aluminum stripe (with frogtape) and washed off the Pearl with the TSP substitute and water mixture again to get rid of any waxy residue that would interfere with the paint adhesion.

Today we applied bondo to a few areas that needed it and sanded that with 80 grit sandpaper.  We went over the whole body with a tack cloth.  The primer we applied is a mixture of Rustoleum primer with Rustoleum Reducer (one to one ratio).  This was applied with a compressor and spray gun (at 35 psi).  Thanks to Kevin for lending us his compressor and sprayer :)

This was my husband's first time using a spray gun and he did a great job!  It looks really great.  He applied 2 light coats.  By this time it was getting late, so we'll put on the white and pink colors tomorrow.  The only problem was that we don't have a garage to work in, so we had to spray outside.  The sprayer has a lot of overspray which wafted into the air and into the street.  The kids held up a tarp to try to stem the flow of paint.

I can't wait until tomorrow to see her painted!  The weather is supposed to be nice.  Cross your fingers!

The Frog tape is supposed to leave a clean line - we'll see tomorrow

Stripped and ready for bondo

Joshua giving the thumbs up.

David applying the primer (it is a light gray color)

Christian holding up the tarp with an oar

Joshua with the other oar

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Stripped to bare metal

I visited MDC RV Center in Hyannis to purchase supplies for our plumbing.  We don't have a bathroom, but have a sink so we needed a new fresh water tank, hoses, city water connection and a gray water tank.  Dana at MDC was such an amazing help!  He told me exactly what I needed to buy and suggested an external gray water rolling tote which I think will work wonderfully.  Thanks Dana!

We worked on preparing the Pearl for priming and painting yesterday.  Dave installed the wheel well trim, the drip edge and the awning rail.  This was no easy feat because each had bends and dings that needed to be smoothed out.

I stripped the trim pieces with Strip-eze chemical stripper.  That worked so well that I decided to see if I could strip the top coat of paint on the Pearl.  One of the previous owners had painted it with a brush over the factory paint.  This had been done some years ago and the paint showed brush marks, drips and paint chipping in places.  So I applied the stripper and it immediately started to bubble the paint.  What I didn't expect is that it took the paint off, right down to the bare metal!  So now I was committed - I stripped the whole thing.

stripped - the z stripe still shows because it has oxidation

trim around wheel well

Butyl tape installed under awning rail and drip edge
Dave and Christian would like to leave it the bare metal.  Not me though, I miss the pink.

Today Dave will work on the electrical, installing the tops of the bench seats and the countertop.  I'll work on polishing the z-stripe, taping it off, sanding the bare metal, polishing the tulip shaped original propane light and running for more supplies.

We may get more rain today so we may not be able to paint :(
I purchased automotive paint online at TCP global:

The pink under the z stripe will be a 1956 Ford Sunset Coral.  The cost of the paint for all supplies, white paint for the top and the custom Ford paint for the bottom was $446.  The customer service was great.  This isn't like buying house paint, there are hardeners and reducers and such that I didn't know anything about.  They helped me choose just what I need.  I can't wait to see it painted!

Our neighbor, Kevin, loaned us his compressor and paint sprayer. Thanks Kevin!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Kitchen cabinets installed!

We are getting achingly close to the decorating stage.  My husband and son, Christian, built the cabinets and the drawers yesterday.  They re-used the drawer fronts (with some tweaking) and the sink cabinet door.  However, all the framework had to be rebuilt as did the drawer boxes.  The range still has the plastic protective covering on the door and door handle

Upper cabinet with frosted acrylic panels

Aqua retro hex knob

Boomerang pulls - ours were missing, but purchased original pulls from someone who parted out their Shasta

Refrigerator magnet

I lined drawers with super grip shelf liner from Target

Here are some of my finds from "Savers"

I decided to use a basket under the range to hold kitchen towels and pots/pans.  I'll sew a liner for it to prevent the pots and pans from getting scratched up.  The kids and I went to "Savers", which is a big second hand store.  I scored a white enamel pot with black trim for $2.99 and bakelite handled flatware for 4 for a dollar.  We also got many kitchen utensils, some of which were vintage pink.

This week we will install the tops of the gaucho benches, the countertop, sink and the lights.  Dave will also be putting in the new water tank and the electrical panel, battery etc.  I have MORE aluminum to polish, some more painting and I need to prep the outside of the trailer for her paint job (this weekend).  I purchased automotive paint online in Ford's 1956 Sunset Coral for the bottom.  Can't wait to see it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

More inspiration - flooring from Cath Kidston

I love my Tarkett bubble fun flooring, but I was looking for flooring for my kitchen and bath and came acrosss vinyl tiles from Cath Kidston that are seriously cute!  I think they would be great in a vintage camper.  Below is a sampling - see other colors at: