before and after

1971 Shasta Camper Makeover

by Grace Bonney

Perhaps it’s their small size or their easy transportation, but it feels like camper makeovers are on the rise. We get emails about campers and RVs being made over on a regular basis and it makes me wonder if petite campers might start to come back into production more if this demand keeps up. Until then, I love seeing people that give these older campers a new life with a little bit of hard work and paint. This cheerful 1971 Shasta Compact Camper makeover comes from Paul and Kim Fuelling of Mabel Studios. They recently finished remodeling this camper for a client on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and the final result is pretty darn adorable.

Sam Harriss of Camp Cocktail Events was looking for a lightweight trailer to use as a mobile cocktail bar for weddings, festivals and parties, but the little caravan she found had seen better days. Paul and Kim saved the day by totally gutting the trailer, taking it off the wheels, reframing it and giving it a new paint job. I love how sweet the final camper looks and hope to bump into this in person one day when visiting family in North Carolina. Until then, click through to read about Paul and Kim’s makeover process! [Additional sourcing below] xo, grace


Lighting & Hardware: Town Home Studio (stockist of color cord lighting)

Handmade Bark Tanned Leather for Bench: Appalachian Knife and Fur

Fabric for Curtains (Sewn by Kim): Miss Matatabi

Heart Pine reclaimed from old pickle factory used throughout remodel

The little Shasta trailer, before & after. Read on for the full makeover story.
The trailer before. The past 30 years had left the trailer in bad shape and in need of a facelift inside and out.
The interior was covered in paneling and felt dark. It needed to be opened up and replanned to work for the mobile event bar purpose.
So Kim and Paul stripped the trailer down to its frame, took it off the wheels and go to work.
Paul and Kim (pictured here) designed the new floor plan based on fitting three full-sized kegs, a draught tower, two under-mount sinks for champagne and beer display, and finally a large roll-around ice sink that the bartender could access at will.
The new trailer is now picture-perfect and ready for parties across the state.
Paul and Kim used reclaimed heart pine for the countertops and the large service windows; they added warmth and depth to the bar itself. They also built custom cabinetry and a super cute new wooden door.
The trailer in action...
The trailer, ready for guests.
That little wing is the cutest thing I've seen in a long time.

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  • I remodeled a trailer just like this about 15 years ago. It was adorable but after taking it on one trip I sold it. It was sooooo heavy; 30 mph top speed across Kansas in a headwind is no fun.

  • OMG. One of our bucket list things is to buy one to go camping with and use as a travelling boutique. One day… Thanks for this post. It renewed the dream in my mind.

  • The details on the window trim is just amazing. The neon stripes and the rounded corners, not to mention the overlapping wing. Great job!

  • Thank you so, so much Design Sponge for featuring the amazing work of Kim+Paul Fuelling of Mabel Studios! Excited to see Camp Cocktail into the future!

  • I am actually in the process of renovating a 1966 Shasta myself but will be acting as a mobile vintage and handmade clothing boutique. It’s been a tall order so far but I cannot wait until it’s finished! This article is definitely an inspiration, their Shasta is a dream!

  • This little camper is adorable! I appreciate the hard work and creativity that went into it. My hubby and I remodeled 72 Frolic which is now a glamper. It was a labor of love. We are taking it camping for the first time this fall – I can’t wait! If you want a peek at her she’s on my blog :)

  • My wife and I are in the process of remodeling a 1962 Traveleze trailer. We were wondering if you had the windows custom made or if you bought them made like that in the picture? We really love the style & look of it!

  • Love!! Redoing a 67 Cardinal right now.. Where did you get your window to serve out of?

  • Hi there, We are restoring completely a 1953 Aljoa in hopes to use as the same type of business venture…we are at day 4 and excited to complete this….Ill post to Pinterest after completion….Love your ideas!

  • i love this.
    Did you get professional help with the makeover, was it expensive to make the caravan like this? I want to build my own food trailer too :)

  • Hi. Were you concerned about not keeping the original layout with cabinets, etc? I understand that the engineering of these is a unibody. They are designed to stay together at extreme speeds and road conditions, by the way they are connected inside and out. Please advise. Thanks.

  • Absolutely love this reno! Would you by chance have plan details on the windows? We are renovating a travel camper and would love to mimic these windows if possible!