When One Camper Door Closes…

It was 11am and it took all I had to get out of the bed. What is wrong with me? This is not like me, the ‘early-to-bed-early-to-rise’ gal that I am. I was disappointed. I was defeated. It may be safe to say I was depressed. For those of you who have told me, “Wow! I wish I could do what you do. It’s so much fun!” or “Oh, you’re so lucky! You are living the DREAM!” Well, let me tell you a little something about this DREAM I am living… it’s not always sunshine and roses!!

Turquoise Vintage Scottie Camper Door  #RustedRoots

For those fellow junkers out there… you know this gig we have is hard work! I mean, we work hard!! We lift heavy furniture. We scrub dirty junk with heaven knows what on it! We work in our hot garages in the summer and our freezing garages in the winter. Let me tell you, it’s no walk in the park! We wonder from month to month if we will make the money we need for our families. And sometimes we don’t.

But we do it… because WE LOVE IT!!

Vintage Camper {Travelling Shop} #RustedRoots

This past weekend… I found the next big thing for my little business… a vintage camper! And I. WAS. STOKED!! I found this little doll on Saturday and could not believe it when I heard the price! Totally within our budget! I have been shopping for months for a truck and a camper so we can take our little shop on the road. So, to find one that was already gutted and in great condition, in our budget, was AMAZING!!

A Look Inside Serro Scottie Vintage Camper #RustedRoots

The problem with this little baby… no title. Hmmm. I knew we would need a title to take her on the road. The seller had it sitting in a field for years so there was never a need for a title or tags. I knew I had to chat with the DMV. As fate would have it, I couldn’t call on a Saturday or Sunday… and Monday, well, it was Labor Day! Go figure, right! But I didn’t let that stop me! I was determined this ‘lil gal would be mine!!

I was out of town most of the day Saturday, which allowed for a day of dreamin’! I laid out the camper in my head. I’ll hang a banner here and a wooden sign there. I’ll get a canopy to go there. That’d be nice and provide some shade. Oh! And I’ll paint the walls pink… no red… red and turquoise are always cute together. And I’ll stain the floors. Aren’t they pretty?

New Wood Floors in Camper #RustedRoots

I’ll make some little steps so people can easily get in and out of my travelling shop! And it will take no time to fix the one little window that’s a tad off track…

Vintage Camper Window Repair #RustedRoots

The camper needed tires so I called my dad. What d’ya know… he had four tires on hand that were the perfect size!! I had a place to park her… and I was ready to go!! But it was only Saturday night!! I still had two days before I could even call the DMV.

I spent allllll day Sunday doing research online. How do I get a title in NC? Indemnity bond.. what’s that? Bill of sale. Inspection. Paperwork out the wazoo. But I didn’t care. I was willing to do the work, because it was the only way we would be able to get a camper at this price. In doing my research, I learned that I would need the VIN off the camper. Shoot! I didn’t get that!

Vintage Camper Makeover #RustedRoots


Out of respect for the seller, I didn’t want to call her on a Sunday. I wanted to wait until she was back at work on Monday. So, I patiently waited.

Monday morning, first thing, I called the seller and asked for the VIN so I could contact the DMV on Tuesday. She looked but said she couldn’t read it. She would try the ‘ol rubbing trick to see if she could get it that way and would get back to me. So I waited more. Waiting is really hard for me. But I had no choice.

Turquoise Vintage Camper #RustedRoots

I never heard from the seller on Monday, but as soon as my feet hit the floor Tuesday morning, I was on the phone with the DMV. I sent a message to the seller asking again for the VIN. I was finding I couldn’t get anywhere with the DMV without it. Chances are the camper had likely fallen out of the system since it hadn’t been registered in over five years… more like eight or nine. But I just wanted to dot my i’s before I handed over the cash.

I faced a lot of pessimism from the DMV. Don’t buy it!! You’ll regret it!! It will be years before you can get a title!! But, I had been advised to call numerous DMV offices and that’s exactly what I did… until I came across one lady who was willing to help me. She really took a vested interest in what I was doing and commended me for being a female entreprenuer! But although she was nice… she still needed that VIN.

Serro Scottie Sportsman Vintage Camper #RustedRoots

I waited and waited, but never heard back from the seller on Tuesday either. I called one last time right before 5pm, hoping to chat with the DMV before they closed but to no avail. I let the seller know that we were coming on Wednesday so my husband could see the camper. We wanted to check the electrical and I told her we could get the VIN then. I waited and waited. But no response, after a trip to my dad’s to get the tires, we hit the sack, and set our alarms for the BIG DAY!! Wednesday!! The day I would get my dream camper!!

Serro Scottie Sportsman Camper #RustedRoots

Well, the alarm never went off. Instead a text message at 8am that read…

“Candace. The woman that was looking at the camper for a playhouse called last night. She wants it. She does not need the title or the lights because it is going to be a playhouse… Sorry but she was first. I just thought she had decided against it because it had been a couple of weeks.”

Whhhhaaaaaaaaat?! Noooooo….. my dream crumbled right before my eyes! I had it all figured out. I made a trip at 9pm to pick up tires from my dad. I had the paint colors picked out! I knew where I would hang my banner! I even checked on an October Barn Sale just down the road from me!! Nooooooo…..

So, there I laid… from 8am to 11am contemplating what this is all about? Should I give up? Why can’t I catch a break? I need a truck. I need a way to get my stuff from place to place. I need this!! But today wasn’t the day!

So where to go from here??

Well, I’ve always heard “Just when the catepillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.” So I will keep chugging along. I will keep my eyes open for a truck, a trailer, a camper, anything that will help us grow this little business. And I sure hope that little girl that is out there with a new playhouse knows… it truly is a DREAM playhouse. My dream. Her playhouse.

Vintage Turquoise Camper #RustedRoots

Until next time, let us remember..

Beauty Stems from Rusted Roots

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  1. Oh that camper is too cute! I am also the kind of person who plans the whole she-bang out in my head before I should. But I guess this means there’s another, cuter camper just waiting for you to come along and rescue it!

    • So true, Emily!! It’s hard not to get excited about a find like that… but I just know there will be something better down the road! In the mean time, I bet the smile on that little girls face was from ear to ear!! Can you imagine!!??

  2. Karen Lewis says:

    Oh Candace I am so sorry. I know how heartbreaking it is when this happens. Maybe, just maybe, you might be able to get the name and phone number of the playhouse lady and let her know you are interested in the unit if she decides her project becomes to overwhelming for them. Some people, as you know, have big ideas but when it comes to pulling the trigger, they don’t realize how much time, effort and money goes into it. They may become frustrated and decide they would rather sell it. At least it’s worth a try while you continue to look for something else. Good luck.

    • Good idea, Karen! And believe me, I know all to well about having big ideas and it becoming waaaaay too much work!! I’ve done that one to many times! Ha ha!! I think I will sit tight for now. I believe if it was meant for me to have that camper it would have worked out. I don’t want to force it. So, I’ll just sit back and see what the future has in store!! Thanks for the sweet note!! And believe me, my eyes are peeled for the next BIG DREAM!! 🙂

      • Karen Lewis says:

        We have a small 70’s Shasta that could use some TLC but I currently use it to store my restaurant equipment in it. I think its a 12 footer but feels bigger. I love that little guy. If I ever decide I want to get rid of it, you are first on my list because she is just a happy little camper and you could make her very pretty!

  3. Oh, I’m so sorry! I know what it’s like to have your heart (and head) set on something and have it fall through. I’m sure this means that there is an even better one out there for you. Here’s to finding it.

  4. BUMMER!
    Wasn’t very nice of that gal!

  5. Hi Candace-Patience and perseverance…I hounded my husband for over a year that I/we NEEDED a vintage camper/glamper for me to fix up and turn into our bunkhouse up at our cottage for our overflow company. This past spring HE found an ad for a sweet little 13 foot camper on Craigslist at a great price-I was the first to call and we got it! You have to be quick with these, we have been watching these sell as quick as they are posted all summer long. Also, go to SearchTempest and you could get lucky that way also, not to mention knocking on some stranger’s door like I did to see if they would sell the cute little camper that looks like it needs a home in their back forty (no, that didn’t work for me, I did get a laugh out of the guy that answered the door though).
    You can check out my sweet little “Betty Lou” that my hubby and I spent the summer fixing up…I was “featured” on atthepicketfence.com Our Readers Strut Their Stuff a few weeks ago, I was so excited and honored to be featured on a blog I can’t tell you.
    Good luck on your quest, I know you will find the PERFECT GEM that is waiting just for you! Hey, that could be the name of next project!

  6. Well, phooey!

    Such a fun word to type, but never for a fun reason! Hugs from Missouri and love that you dream, even though this one didn’t come through for you.

  7. Hey sweetie I know it’s so hard not to get pre-excited. I do believe that many things happen for a reason, and it sounds like you do too. I know when the right thing comes along, you’ll realize this was not it. Keep your chin-up 😉

  8. I’m a fairly new follower of Rusted Roots. I feel so bad for you to lose the cute little trailer. I hope you find a better one real soon.
    We have a little Shasta that we have had since the early 60’s. it has the little wings that stick out. We have used and loved it for all these many years. now are children are grown and have families of their own. So my little shasta is now my craft room at our summer lake place.
    Its too bad you live so far from us as my daughter has a little old trailer sitting in our yard that she started stripping out. She would probably sell it to you. In our area trailers are abundant it seems.

  9. No loss, I bet the axle and bearing’ went bad and that’s the reason she parked it. This is perfect for a play house. Hold your head high, and something else will come up.

  10. Fonda Rush says:

    Gosh, I feel for you. I couldn’t afford this vintage/antique birdhouse with stand that I saw on Craig’s List, so I asked if the price could be lowered. A few days later, I felt our finances were better. So, I contacted the owner, and found that the item was sold. Disappointment. Snooze. Lose. I know…your situation is a little different, but still… Let’s commiserate. I know we won’t feel better, but we will have company. We can only hope we can find another. The world is large and (usually) generous. It won’t usually give us the thing we lost, but maybe there is another with our names etched into it.

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