We love to feature vintage camper renovations and we especially love to feature an affordable DIY vintage camper renovation like this 1958 Shasta Airflyte Deluxe camper.
Most camper remodels you find online are done by professionals and cost a ton of money. Seeing someone tackle an affordable DIY vintage camper renovation with a realistic budget makes my day. I don’t have $20,000 to spend on a camper. Heck, I don’t have $20,000 to spend on my full-time permanent home.
Finding Shana the Shasta
When Matt Burgess asked if we would like to share his affordable DIY vintage camper renovation of a 1958 Shasta Airflyte Deluxe, lovingly named “Shana,” we jumped at the chance. We are only sharing the highlights but you can read Matt’s entire affordable vintage camper renovation story on his blog at Shana the Shasta.
Matt and his family are from Georgia and started tent camping in 2014. They decided to upgrade their camping digs in 2015 and were lucky enough to adopt their 1958 Shasta Airflyte Deluxe from a local church. It was just meant to be!
The Shasta had already been restored on the outside but the inside had been partially gutted. A full interior build in a small vintage camper is a lot of work but Matt and his family were ready to meet the challenge.
The Beginning of an Affordable DIY Vintage Camper Renovation
Matt and his wife began their affordable DIY vintage camper renovation with one main goal: to make sure the camper could accommodate their family’s modern needs without losing its original charm.
The first step in this affordable DIY vintage camper renovation was to remove the remaining rotted wood within the camper. Next, a thin layer of fiberglass and foam insulation were installed before re-framing the camper.
Once the 1958 Shasta was re-framed they tackled the cabinets. Thankfully, the cabinets were in decent shape and they were able to salvage most of them. Only one section had to be rebuilt.
You can see more of this affordable DIY vintage camper renovation here, on Matt’s blog.
Cooking for a family with small children while camping isn’t easy. Every inch of the kitchen needed to be versatile and work double time. It also had to fit within the restraints of the camper’s structure.
They needed something that would work around the wheel well of the camper yet still but functional. So, they went with a craftsman 52″ 8 drawer tool chest. It is red which matches the awesome red of “Shana” and it includes electrical and USB outlets built right into the cabinet. With the adding convenience of locking drawers which are a must when traveling, this was a great choice! You can see the entire process here and read more about the kitchen upgrade.
Butcher block countertops are especially versatile and durable.
This Affordable DIY Vintage Camper Renovation was Actually Affordable!
I’ve seen a few ‘affordable DIY vintage camper renovation’ articles that weren’t so affordable – at least not to me. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that, I wish I could spend a ton of money on my 1965 Airstream restoration. The word affordable just means different things to different people.
This affordable DIY vintage camper renovation was actually affordable! So far the project has cost around $500. That’s amazing!
Many families are jumping at the chance to join the Vintage Camper Fad that is going on right now, we even talked about it in a recent article, The Vintage Camper Fad is Awesome! So far, Matt and his family have taken “Shana” on over a dozen adventures since their affordable DIY vintage camper renovation.
We asked Matt what their favorite memory has been so far with the Shasta. His reply was that first night they all camped together in the Shasta. He said watching his son test out the top bunk, to make sure it was to his liking, was a great memory.
In the last few years, many new families have started to camp. Camping, whether with a tent or a camper, is a perfect way for a family to spend time together and explore new places. Nature is a perfect backdrop for creating lasting memories. Read the 2017 North American Camping Report here.
Matt has one last piece of advice to offer. He says if you want a camper then go ahead and buy one, don’t be afraid! Get creative with your solutions that match what you and your family are looking for but try to keep it within your budget.
Have your own affordable DIY vintage camper renovation you can share? Comment below or shoot us an email, we would love to share your success stories with our readers.
As always, thanks for reading Mobile Home Living!