Friday, October 5, 2012

Shelby Demolition

Last weekend, Matt and I hauled Shelby over to our friend's workshop, where we gutted the interior, almost completely, with the exception of the kitchen area. Day one of demo was quite successful. And it's always mighty handy to have a friend that has his own giant dumpster! (Fun fact: my hammer was the hammer my mother used when my parents built a house together, that's right, just the two of em, and the tool belt belonged to my late stepfather. I love that it has his initials T.A.M. written on it, and I'll always use it when working on Shelby. Thinking about how proud Tom would be, and my mom and dad are, of my handy work!)

As is. How we bought it. The interior is quite small, with two benches that served as twin sized beds, with storage beneath each bench, a fold down double bed up top, and a table on the back side of the camper. We saved the table and metal strip it sits upon, and we will reuse this in the 'new' renovated camper. 

Here I am ripping out a door to the water closet / toilet / shower. The whole demolition was much easier than we'd previously thought. Together, we got a sense of the construction of the camper, which will help us to rebuild the interior to our liking. I can't wait to start drawing up the plans!

The shower head. Camper specific things are so strange. We are ripping out all of these facilities, as it's too much work to rebuild and maintain these, especially since this is our first camper, and we are not knowledgeable on what to do. Plus, anywhere we camp with Shelby, there will be a nearby bathroom or a tree. I've never been seriously camping and roughed it for more than a day. Maybe someday I'll get the chance to. I was quite spoiled as a kid, in that the best state park was a few blocks from our house, so we'd just go home at the end of the day, or camp in our backyard. Life was grand with Lake Michigan 1/4 mile away from our house.

Presumably, the last time our little lady was on the road. 1987. I want to clean this up and mount it in the camper. I saved a few souvenirs from the kitchenette drawers, that I want to keep. Matt thinks I should toss most of it, but we both agreed on keeping the license plate. If only Georgia allowed vintage plates on RVs, we'd get a really awesome one from the DMV when we're finished. But from my understanding, we'll have a boring new one. Nothing new is fun. Vintage all the way.

I wrote about this little detail earlier in the week, but we discovered by this accidentally broken mirror (I threw the closet door and missed the dumpster, bad luck for 7 years!) that the camper is actually a 1973 Shasta Compact, not a 1971 like we'd previously thought. Strange though, it looks like the 1972 models, and not the 1973 models, from the tiny bit of online research I've done. The only thing I can possibly think of, was that back when it was made, they still have some shells left over from 1972, and in the first quarter of 1973, they made this one like the previous years model, and still called it a '73. There were a few different plants in the United States where Shastas were made, and ours was made in South Carolina. 

My big strong man. We're having the best time working on this project together. Sometimes I think he's more excited about it than I am! 

We totally threw these things specifically for photography sake. But still. We're tough. I had a blast hitting things with a hammer and ripping them from their place. As we were in the middle of demo time, my friend, Trent, showed up to his building, scared the bejesus out of me, and we took a stroll through the inside of his shop. We looked at our choices for wood in the interior. We're going to have to completely redo the ceiling and back wall due to water damage. But the longer side walls are in great shape, and there is no electrical behind them, so we are going to simply put the wood over the existing walls, not having to mess with the braces and insulation. The easier the better. Why make more work for ourselves, right?

What is left to remove. The kitchen cabinets and appliances. Also the upper bunk bed from the back side of the camper. In the above photo, I'm standing at the back of the camper. We're considering placing an AC unit/heater in the window, to regulate the temperature in all seasons, but I'd hate to lose more light. Decisions, decisions.

All-in-all, a good day's work. Next demo day is Sunday. I can't wait! Shelby is back in the backyard now, appliances listed on Craigslist, and we're drawing up plans for the benches we'll use to cover the wheel wells and how we'll light the camper. Woo hoo! My goal is to have this lady finished by the end of the year. I think it's quite possible. 

So whatcha think? Plans for Shelby: beautiful wood walls, floor, ceiling, inlaid LED lights (lower on electricity), solar panel on the roof, wired in stereo system, iPod/iPhone dock for stereo, removeable clothing racks, changing area, etc. Suggestions on renovations for the new Shelby? 

Happy Friday everyone!

Related Articles


  1. Wow, impressive work! I bet it will be absolutely gorgeous once you've finished with it.

    1. Thanks! Stay tuned for more progress :)

  2. You guys are going to make it look amazing, I know it. This is SO awesome Sally. I can't wait to see the magic you do with it when it's done!!!

    1. I can't wait until it's done. Then I figure it'll be a great mobile boutique when we move to a big city. I won't have to bother with selling things in someone ELSE'S store :)

  3. What a fun adventure! I have an old Airstream that is desperately in need of a remodel. I can't wait to see it when you're done.

    1. WHOA! An Airstream! you should renovate it! I'm so jealous you have one. They are so amazing!

  4. so. jealous. I've always wanted a camper, but it's not realistic for me right now. I'm going to have to live vicariously through you!! I can't wait to see what you do with it.

    I actually pinned this the other day, and it isn't a camper, but the inside of this bus is killer: