A renovation project, being a rather noteworthy life experience, can teach you a lot about wood working, using power tools, intentional design, etc. but more importantly it can also teach you a lot about yourself. Below are three lessons I gained through Dale’s renovation with an abundance of photos of the process.

1. I am more impatient than I originally realized. Remodeling will test your patience, and I was not prepared for that level of patience. With very minimal construction experience, limited help, and limited resources, I needed to do research before taking any steps. Very quickly I found myself wondering “Are we there yet? Will this sh*t ever be finished?”. Then once the 416Fire started and the summer rush began, I fell into a whirlwind anxiety with a single track mindset of getting the project done.

2. My relationship can (probably) weather any storm. While renovating Dale, my partner was in the process of buying his first home, moving into the home, etc., yet even though we were both overwhelmingly busy and stressed we focused on day-by-day todo’s and eventually found “that light” at the end of the tunnel. Some say remodeling is a stress-test on relationships, and I’m happy to say that Cliff and I passed!

3. Dreams don’t work unless you do. I learned that hard work is worth the headache because now I have a dream studio/travel home on wheels to enjoy for years to come. It took sacrifice, compromise, and communication to get there, but now that it is all said and done, I’m a little bit stronger and so thankful that I faced my fears and went for it!

The Transformation of a 1965 Red Dale Camper From Old to Functional


After Blog post #1 of Dale Gets a Facelift, I moved Dale to a beautiful home called the Farmette in the Animas Valley. They have goats, dogs, a beautiful garden, and to top it off LOTS of useful tools. Cliff (my partner) and I completed most of the rebuilding at the Farmette. We worked long days on the weekend, then enjoyed homemade food and wine when the work was done. While it was hard work, it was amazing being around good friends throughout the second phase of the renovation process. Here are some pictures from our time there.

Project #1 at the Farmette was to replace the roof vent. I accidentally cracked the original roof vent when pulling snow off the roof in the middle of a February snow storm. While duct tape sufficed for months, I wanted a fancy roof vent that could pull and push air to assist me in ventilating fumes when soldering.

Project #2 was to remove the old and build the new. We removed the old stove, which was so precious but was not functional for my needs. I removed the old sink and remainder of the plumbing. Then built a custom jewelry and tool bench.

**Huge thanks to Patrick and Colleen for the beautiful space you are creating and for sharing it with friends!!

Once the 416Fire started, about 1/2 mile from the Farmette, Dale was moved back to my parent’s house. Their driveway was where the remainder of the renovations took place in. Little did we know the fire would last for two months.

Project #3: Paint the newly built benches & install birch countertops.

Project 4 was a test of patience. We installed the plumbing and sink. The sink was the easy part, the plumbing was the more difficult part. It took me 3 trips to Home Depot and final trip to Ace to get it right.

Project 5: Instal some really cute vintage LED the light fixtures. Cliff and our friend Charlie, who helps build tiny homes, helped us to install the light fixtures. Unfortunately the wiring was very jankety and took us a few times to finally get it right (about 4 weeks to be precise). The key was using a voltmeter! But once the lights turned on, boy was I a happy girl!!

Project 6: My favorite project in the renovation process: decorating and moving in. I repainted the door, installed fairy lights, moved in artwork, and began enjoying the space.

Stay tuned for the next blog post & first episode of Dale’s great adventures! 

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