Last week we drove to a town a couple hours away to see a 1970 Boler camper. The people selling it were lovely, but the camper needed the kind of work we aren’t terribly interested in doing. We mulled it over, but decided to see if we could find a better option, especially because we knew of another camper we could see over the weekend.
Trillium made campers very similar to Bolers in the ’70s – small, fiberglass, nearly identical configuration. Bolers are a little cuter from the outside, and there’s quite an avid community of Boler enthusiasts. But Trilliums are almost the same, with two added bonuses: 1) Their floors are fiberglass, whereas the bottom part of a Boler is wood. In a forty-year-old camper in a wet climate, there’s a good chance a Boler’s foundation will need to be replaced if it hasn’t been already. And 2) Trilliums are back in production with similar parts and dimensions, so it’s not as tough to find parts for it. And the Trillium has a couple extra inches of ceiling height, which Greg really loves.
I assume you’ve already skipped to the pictures and have accurately deduced that we totally bought a Trillium. It’s a ’74, and we’re pretty sure we’re only the third owners! The man Greg bought it from last night (while I stayed home and put Owen to bed – I know! I so wish I could have been there, but we’ve been living and breathing this for weeks, and there was no more discussion to be had) had the camper for twenty years, and he took great care of it. It’s in outstanding near-original shape – the inside hasn’t been painted, the outside has been kept clean and maintained. I’m not sure if the upholstery and curtains are original, but the sink, fridge and stovetop are (I’m sure the curtains are newer, actually).
It’s in such great shape that we’d only need to put a couple hours into it to get it into full working order for this summer. But of course we’re going to do more. In no particular order we will (ok, maybe not by this summer but over the next year):
- Thoroughly clean the inside (though I honestly don’t think we could have found a cleaner forty-year-old camper)
- Replace the foam cushions
- Upholster new foam cushions
- Sew new curtains
- Make blankets (I plan to quilt, kids. Oh yes.)
- Work some on the electrical
- Put in a bunk bed so the camper will sleep four instead of three
- Replace the table with one Greg will make
- Figure out a great awning for the outside
- Redo the closet storage
- Replace the flooring
- Replace and/or paint the cabinet doors
I’ve gone into more detail in the photo captions, below.
Greg and I were so excited last night that neither of us slept well. When we all got up this morning, we immediately layered up and took Owen out to see it.
We named the Pathfinder Serenity, so we’re calling the Trillium The Shuttle, like Inara’s shuttle. Because we’re embracing being insane geeks and I could go into more detail about why this combination of names is totally fitting, but I won’t.
Click to embiggen: