How We Stay Organized in Our Pop Up Camper

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Pop Up Camping can be a lot fun and a great way to create memories with your family. Pop up camping is one of my favorite things to do with my family, as it allots a way to travel, with our family of six, for significantly cheaper than even renting from VRBO or a hotel. Our family invested in a 1996 Coleman Pop Up Camper for $500 from Facebook Marketplace, two years ago, this month! You can see how we renovated our pop up here.

Here is a before of our Pop Up Camper on the day we brought her home!

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Staying Organized

Staying organized in your PUC is key to functionality in a small space being able to enjoy yourself while on vacation! We have several trips under our belt now and sometimes it’s trial and error to see what works best for your family. 

Below is  picture of our four daughters in St. Augustine! Stunning beach! 

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Organizing Our Clothing

When we went on our first few trips in our pop up, we had six people traveling in our camper. (We have since had one daughter get married, so we now have five.) When we first began began traveling, we used two seperate sections of our bench seating for clothing storage for myself, husband and two oldest daughters. It works, as we travel only in the warmer months, not taking a lot of bulking clothing or shoes. 

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T-shirt’s, shorts, swimsuits and flip flops! Now that we are minus one, we use that one storage compartment to store  a convection oven. Folding compactly does matter in the amount of space you have in the area you are storing clothes and that you keep that space neat, while on vacation.

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For our youngest two girls, we use the cabinet by the entry, as their clothing storage. We can even slide their add their flip flops, sandals and a pair of tennis shoes in their cabinet on the bottom far left! We have  good week’s worth of clothing on each child’s shelf! Now, who would have ever thought that we could cram so much clothing in our pop up camper?! Pretty awesome!

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How We Organize Our Food 

We keep the bulk of our food, along with paper items like plates, in our middle bench seating. I use metal and woven farmhouse baskets to help keep things confined to their spaces. I try to keep like items together like paper plates, plastic cutlery and cups.

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I have a couple seperate baskets for things like cans, noodles, sauces, juice,  rice, extra condiments and coffee. The other basket has dried goods like sugars, flours teas and mostly baking items. 

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In our “kitchen” cabinets, the first set of cabinets, we keep more food items. I have a plastic  storage basket from Target and a metal farmhouse basket in the cabinet on the left. Those baskets hold spices, oils and measuring cups. 

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On the right hand side of the cabinets, I keep more oils, Thieves cleaner, rubbing alcohol (for cleaning), peroxide (for getting out stains on clothing), plastic storage bags, foil, dog treats and scrubber pads for washing dishes. 

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After we had camped a few times, we realized pretty quickly that we would need some type of overhead storage for more regularly used food items and that they would be easy to access like cereal bars, bread, coffee, apple sauce pouches and vitamins.

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I bought a small coffee pot for our camper, beside it I store salt, pepper and sugar for coffee. Again, these are items that we use on a regular basis.

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Target had the best plastic storage bins and all for under $3.00. I use them in our home and all througout our pop up camper!

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I placed two more metal farmhouse baskets on the bottom shelf. The first one holds forks, spoons, bowls, cups and plates. It also holds our yeti’s that we drink coffee from each morning. The second metal basket holds fruits and veggies. 

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Organizing Our Small Appliances

Bench seating storage is amazing! We literally have almost any appliance you can think of on this side of our bench seating storage! To the far left, I keep three, 6 quart rubbermaid containters. In these containers, I keep first aide, vitamins and allergy meds. I made the labels with my Silhouette.  I also have my waffl maker, blender and apple sauce pouches. 

In the middle of the bench storage, I keep my Ninja Foodie, accessories, my recipe box and a couple mason jars.

The far right storage area has my Ninja Foodie with a couple mason jars and a tupperware container. See how much it holds?!

How We Organize Pots, Pans and Cooking Utensils

In our “kitchen” cabinets, on the bottom of the cabinets, I keep a pots and pans set, along with a mixing bowl, cheese grater and a few cooking utensils.  Nothing fancy here!

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We even have a convection oven in one of our bench seat storage area’s and it has been so nice because it’s like a mini oven. We bake cookies, homemade breads, toast things, warm things like left overs, ect. 

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A Space to Organize Bath Towels, Washcloths and Kitchen Towels Along with Bath Products

When we bought our PUC, it was in very poor condition. In fact, it was almost complete gut job.

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Since it was missing one of the cabinets on the right hand side of our entryway, we decided not to rebuild and grab a metal, collapsible dog kennel, since we knew our family pet(s) would be traveling with us. On top of the dog kennel, we added a piece of plywood and set a three drawer rubbermaid storage on top of it. In the top storage drawer, we keep bath towels, wash cloths, kitchen flour sack towels and Norwex cloths in the top drawer. We also have a collapsible laundry basket for dirty clothes and towels. 

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The middle drawer houses bath towels! In the top two drawers, we store twelve bathtowels and two dozen washcloths plus a dozen flour sack kitchen towels and several Norwex cloths.

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The bottom drawer contains bath products. I even used some of the Target plastic containers to help organize the drawer space to help it be as effecient as it can be with space! 

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We also keep a metal farmhouse basket on top of the three drawer basket. In this basket, I keep more bath products. I also have a woven basket that I keep tissue rolls in. I like to keep a couple plants, well more than a couple, in the camper, as it helps purify the air and give a more homey feel in our camper.

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To the left of the three drawer storage, I keep a medium sized woven basket on the bed that holds our hair dryer, flat iron, curling iron and a few hair scruncie’s. I even have a mini heater stored in the woven basket! Sometimes other things can get thrown into here! 

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When we were renovating our camper, I wanted to paint chalk paint on half of the inside of the door, so I could use it as a menu board. It is another way to help me stay organized with food and groceries, when we are traveling. I usually use a chalk pen but you can also use a regular piece of chalk too!

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And that is about it folks! Staying organized is key in such a small space.  I don’t think we would be able to function in here without organization! If yall have any questions, please reach out! 

Love~Shae

Below is a picture of my husband and I on St. George Island! One of our most fav places on earth!!

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Pop Up Camper Remodel

Pop Up Camper Remodel

Last year, February to be exact, we bought a 22 year old pop up camper for $500 on Facebook Marketplace. 7232F62F-38D2-4DBB-8DEF-BF3B247FD681We knew this camper was a diamond in the rough! We dreamt of all the family vacations we could take in this little pop up. 

FIRST THINGS FIRST-INSPECTION 

We took the pop up home and popped it up.D24D2384-69E4-4B61-8579-724ED8458C12We knew initially that it had some water damage and after some research, found out that these types of campers with ABS roofs, leaked.
67475424-8AA2-480F-AAC8-AF5D48D0B3DDThe roof  leaked because of the weight of the AC unit on top of the roof.
79088843-12EF-478A-9FA9-9D2050470CE0So right out of the gate, it looked like we needed to find a solution to help the roof not sag, plus we would need to replace the entire roof. 

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ABS CEILING & ROOF REPAIR

CEILING:

My husband found a solution for the sagging roof and it was going to be by placing two, 2 inch u-channels on the interior of the roof.

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We then left the camper popped up on a day when it was raining to make sure it would not leak! It worked! No leaks!

ROOF REPAIR WITH FIBER GLASS:

Next step was to replace the roof. We tore off the ABS roof then replaced it with a fiberglass top and painted it with marine paint. You can find that you tube video HERE . In this picture, you can see two coats of the fiber glass roof material on the roof.

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INTERIER REPAIRS-REPAIRING ROTTED WOOD

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For the interior, my husband needed to replace several sections of rotted wood. One was the top on the small cabinet by the entryway, part of the floor at the entrance, a section of wood beneath the bed, by the shower plus a small section on the seated area.

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PAINTING-INTERIOR

After replacing the wood, it was finally time to paint the entire inside of the camper!

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We painted everything, including the ceiling, in Ibis White  from Sherwin Williams. We took off all of the cabinet doors to make the painting go a little easier. I decided to spray paint all of the hardware and knobs to save cost.

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REPLACING CUSHION COVERS-HOW I SEWED COVERS

Next was making all of the cushion covers for the camper. I decided to use the existing cushions & zippers, since they were in good shape.

5C5AC292-ECB3-4349-9698-3156F055B44FI did use the attachment to my carpet cleaner to clean the cushions and let them dry in the sun. I found all of my fabric on sale at Joanne’s for $50. I used two coupons! I did not have a pattern for the cushions, so I used the existing cushions as my pattern, by laying the fabric on top of the cushions and left about an inch for seam allowance on all sides.
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REPLACING OLD MATRESSES

We could not use the old mattresses that came with the camper but we did find some mattresses at a local discount store for $19.99 each! We bought plastic mattresses covers to protect them at Home Depot for $8 each.

REPLACING BEDDING

We purchased our bedding from Beddy’s and they are an absolute dream! Absolutely perfect for campers! Ours is the Modern Gray All Cotton. Beddy’s has given me a coupon code for y’all to use! If you use SSG20 at check out, you can get 20% off your purchase! Thank you Beddy’s!

CURTAIN ALTERNATIVES

We have not replaced our pop up camper curtains with the typical camper curtains.

8177E0D1-EFF8-49AE-B934-78F300E0225DWe did use a few sheers from Wal-Mart that we attached with double sided adhesive strips, just to give a more “at home” feel to the camper. I bought two sets, as each set came with two.
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CAMPER BATHROOM-SHOWER REPAIRS

The shower only needed a cleaning and a new faucet.

3FF31442-B55B-4DF2-A637-A682E598EEFASome of our paint has chipped by the shower area but it’s not a huge deal to us since this is a camper.

F1E1A5C9-4E17-49DD-8C69-9035F7D6FF51We ordered the new shower faucet from Coleman Pop Up Parts.

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REPLACING FLOORS

4D5039D0-85D1-4F1D-AAE9-F68A9EF38AE7I decided to use stick down floor “hardwood” vinyl “planks”. I even staggered it to make it look like hardwoods. I bought two boxes for $15 each, at a local discount store called Ollie’s.

REPLACING CANVASES

F06D3A41-E0B3-414A-B776-2E5CAC539A8FOur biggest expense in our makeover was new canvases but we felt like it was a must have! We ordered them from Bear Creek Canvas . Their site is so easy to use! All you have to do is select the camper manufacturer, ours is Coleman, select the model year, 1997 for us, select if you want a complete canvas replacement or partial canvas replacement, ours was a complete replacement, then select your camper style, such as a no wing model, 1-4 wing model or a pickupper, ours was a 2-wing model. Once you have all of that selected, it will give you your price for the replacement. Our total was $1,050.00. The customer service was also wonderful!

CHALKBOARD PAINTED MENU BOARD

9172C203-98C6-4DC5-A985-9FBA13113C9CI even painted the inside of the door with half of black chalkboard paint so we could have a menu board. We already had this paint on hand!

PAINTING-EXTERIOR 

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The exterior also got a paint job from head to toe! We painted the exterior with a marine paint in Repose Gray  from Sherwin Williams. (We only use SW for all of our painting needs!) We had lots of helpers that wanted to help remove the old vinyl from the exterior of the camper and help paint!

FIRST TRIP

Leaving out for our first trip in the camper! 

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REPLACING CAMPER TIRES & SPARE TIRE 

We also replaced the tires on the pop up and purchased a new spare tire. The old tires were in good shape but we just wanted to make sure we had new tires, since we were driving so far away on our first trip. The best deal we found on tires were at Wal-Mart on sale for $26.99 each.

THE SUNSHINE STATE

Fort De Soto, FL

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ACCESSORIZE 

Most all of our accessories for our pop up came from a local Five and Below store- from our little stool, to the rug, to our outdoor mat.

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TROUBLE BEFORE PARADISE 

About 3 weeks before our first camping trip, our pop-up would not stay popped up so we had to order a Coleman Wiffle Tree Alternate. We were praying it would come in before our trip and that it would be the only issue and be resolved quickly with this new part! Thank God it worked and in just about 3 days before our trip! We purchased that part from Popuppaarts.com .

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TALLY UP

We spent a total of around $2,300 on our pop up makeover. Here is a breakdown of the costs:

$500-Pop Up Purchase Price

$1,050-Canvases

$80-Paint

$45-Mattresses

$60-Wood

$125-U-Channels

$125-Fiberglass Roof

$81-Tires

$20-Shower Faucet

$50-Fabric for Cushions

$30-Vinyl Flooring

$5-Wood Colored Caulk for floors

$144-Wiffle Tree Alternate-Part for lifting camper up

EGMONT KEY, FL

Wesley & I in Egmont Key at the lighthouse.

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SUMMARY


It was a lot of work but we are so glad to have little pop up to travel in! Definitely a bucket list item! Our two adult daughters helped us so much and we could not have done it without them! Definitely a family effort! You can read about some of our travels here . If you have any questions, please email me! What is your favorite thing about our renovation of the camper?

❤️-Shae

Beddy’s  Bedding COUPON CODE: Use SSG20 at check out for 20% off your purchase! Perfect bedding for a camper, bunk beds or any bed really!!