Our New Camper: The Before Tour

Before Tour Graphic

So we’d bought a camper! We now had our very own 1991 Holiday Rambler Alumalite.  We were so excited, and had tons of plans and ideas to renovate and update it. We’re really excited to show you what we did, but to truly appreciate the after photos, you have to see the befores! A quick disclaimer — these are the photos I took with my old phone just for our own reference as we were looking at different campers, so they’re not the greatest, but they do tell the story.

So here goes! Let’s start with the outside…

Rambler Before - Front-Back

Pretty straightforward: on the left is the view from the front, and on the right is the view from the back. Both pictures show the rock guards up, so you can get a feel for the window situation. All those windows open, which is one of the things we love!

Rambler CL pics

These are the side views, so you can the layout, and get a feel for the length (26 feet long and 8 feet wide). Every window except the one in the door opens, and there are three opening skylights on top — one in the living room, one in the bathroom for light and ventilation, and one in the bedroom. Our Rambler has TONS of natural light.

Rambler Before - Living Room 1

Moving inside, here’s the view when you first open the door. I stitched these two pictures together so you can get a feel for the space. Lots of early-90s sunbleached wood, which obviously matched the faded pink carpets perfectly ;-D. The original couch that came with the camper had unfortunately been pulled out, and replaced with a cheap metal trundle bed. You can see the dated stained glass mirrors in the cabinet doors, and the aftermarket CD player surround the previous owner had put in–doesn’t exactly scream “home.”

2.1 Living Room (2)

And the valances … yikes. 5 inches deep and covered in faded upholstery that I can’t imagine looked good even when it was brand new, much less 24 years later. But when we’d first toured the Rambler, we fell in love with how many windows it had and how much natural light made it in, even with all those terrible drapes and blinds and valances. All we could think was how bright it would be if we pulled out that out!

Rambler Before - Hallway

If you turn left inside the door, you get the view straight back. On the left is the kitchen and a closet; on the right is the refrigerator and the bathroom. At the very end is the bedroom. The picture on the right gives the opposite view, from the bedroom looking back towards the front. The linoleum wasn’t awful, but was pretty dirty and beat up, and you can see how only the bedroom and living room were carpeted. And how about that gorgeous wallpaper?!

Rambler Before - Kitchen Collage

The kitchen, while small, had a lot to offer: a Dometic refrigerator (the most respected name in RV refrigerators) and freezer, a double sink, some counter space, a 4 burner stove top with oven, a hood with exhaust fan, and a microwave! After some of the tiny apartments we’ve lived in, Rebecca wasn’t even remotely fazed by the size of the kitchen.

Rambler Before - Closet

Continuing down the hall on the left is our one closet, with double doors and a hanging bar across the top. So much space! Plus, there are drawers below, and some space below them as well. To be honest, it was a lot more room than we’d expected, and I immediately began having visions of dividing the closet space and building Rebecca a pantry in there.

Rambler Before - Bathroom

And across from the kitchen/closet area is our new bathroom! We liked the bathroom immediately when we first saw the camper — it was out of the way, well laid out, the shower was tall enough for us to stand comfortably without hitting our heads, it had natural light through the skylight and a ventilation fan to help with moisture, a big, well-lit mirror, plenty of counter space, and a surprising amount of storage! In fact, this little bathroom had more storage than the apartment we were living in at the time, so we were thrilled.

6.1 Bedroom

And finally, our favorite room in the camper: the bedroom. With its own skylight and four-foot windows on three sides, it was by far the best-lit area of the camper. And look at all that storage! Not only do those uppers wrap around three sides, there was a nightstand and under-bed storage! We knew that with this camper, we could both avoid feeling closed in despite the small space, and have enough room for our stuff. And we’d create even more storage as we renovated!

So there you have it — our new little home on wheels, ready to be brought into the 21st century! Stay tuned!

I grew up in New Jersey, went to college in Virginia, and married a girl from New Hampshire, so I can drive the East Coast in my sleep. I love exploring, jumping out of airplanes, whitewater rafting, fast cars, comic books, and generally refusing to act my age. More practically, I love budgeting and financial planning, renovating and updating older homes (and now campers), and learning to make our family as self-sustaining as possible.


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