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Progressive Dairy Editor Emily Gwin Published on 20 September 2021
Motorhome

Last month, my husband, Scott, and I made a big purchase – a 1987 Mallard Class A Motorhome. It’s pretty much ceiling to floor carpet (including the bathroom, which grosses me out a bit).

It maxes out at 60 miles per hour. It doesn’t have slide-outs, and we’re going to spend a fortune in gas. We’re still figuring out how to get everything working. But we’re head over heels in love with it. The previous owner kept it in pristine condition so, despite its age, it’s in great shape.

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When we first went to look it over, some of Scott’s favorite childhood memories came rushing back to him. His family had a dated Winnebago they took camping a few weekends a year and spent a week in at the local county fair. He told me he slept in the loft above the driver’s seat. With no A/C, they’d open the windows, and he’d fall asleep listening to the sounds of the fair, complete with the various 4-H animal noises.

I didn’t grow up camping and came to appreciate the great outdoors after college. When I first stepped foot in the camper, my focus was not the past but the future. I could see the potential for family adventures – the promising possibility for Scott to finally take a Saturday off in the summer. I daydreamed about how I’d pack our belongings and be able to hit the road with little notice. I imagined us sitting around a campfire and talking about the fun day we’d had. I thought about where our girls would sleep and the matching sleeping bags I’d buy for them.

When things were in motion for us to purchase it, I even started a Pinterest board of the projects I wanted to take on – starting with ripping out the carpet. By this point, I had already spent many hours reading blogs and scouring Instagram posts of RV owners who had completed makeovers. Their posts assured me “It’s not that hard” and I could easily redo the bathroom on my own. I know – this is big talk from the same gal who hated every step of our house remodel process five years ago.

After we got it home, Scott reined me in a bit (at least for now). We’ll need to fork over some funds just to get it road-worthy, including purchasing new tires. We’ll be lucky to have it ready and take it out once before our third baby comes along in November, and then we’ll need to winterize it. I could see, reluctantly, that my renovation goals were not the best use of our time or money right now. Instead, I’ve made myself useful by searching our house for things we have on hand and can repurpose in the camper. So far, I’ve come up with a set of curtains for the kitchen window and some bedding.

I’ll also take credit for naming our new rig. A mallard is a duck, obviously, and we watch a lot of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, so “Daisy” seemed like a good fit. While our oldest is anxious to take it camping and has suggested Disney World as a potential location a few times, both girls seem to enjoy just hanging out while Scott and I work on it.

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For now, we’ll all keep dreaming about the possibilities for our family and concentrate on the memories we’re making – even if that means not leaving our driveway for a little while. end mark

PHOTO: Photo by Emily Gwin.

Feel free to send me your favorite RV-makeover-on-a-budget tips or your treasured camper memories.

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