Most teenagers are supposed to spend their summer vacations playing at a camp, blowing off their bussing jobs, or getting into trouble with their friends. Let’s face it: high school is a stressful time, so who could blame them for taking advantage of their one big break?
Yet some ambitious teens out there aren’t content to simply sit around playing video games or sitting by the pool. In fact, one youth in particular felt the irrepressible urge to do something few others would dare attempt: build her own camper! Would you live in there?
Most American teenagers these days are all too happy to spend their summer breaks vacationing with their families or cannonballing into pools with their friends. Who can blame them for enjoying their time off?
Others might be more inclined to earn a little money of their own courtesy of a summer job. Sure, it’s not exactly glamorous, but it does teach them the value of a hard-earned dollar!
Ellie Yeater, on the other hand, wasn’t your average teen. After saving up $500, she discovered a camper for sale online for the scant cost of $200. Just like that, the 14-year-old decided to buy it.
Ellie Yeater / Facebook
Once Ellie purchased the little camper, she got ready to completely transform it from the ground up. The vehicle had originally been used for camping and hunting, and it was in pretty rough shape. Ever the ambitious teenager, she had big plans for this old thing.
It was fair to say that Ellie had her work cut out for her. Still, she was excited by the challenge. She knew that with a little hard work and some determination, it was all going to pay off for her!
Ellie first felt the initial wave of inspiration to renovate the dusty camper after her older brother, Isaiah, built a tiny cabin on their family’s own property. But would it all be worth giving up her precious summer of free time?
Absolutely! Ellie wanted to create her own hangout spot, though she preferred to make something that she felt could be “cuter,” as well as closer to her parents’ house. That way, she could utilize the electricity and WiFi.
Ellie’s father, Larry, was happy to help his daughter with the crucial carpentry for the ambitious project. Her grandmother even made curtains for Ellie to hang inside the soon-to-be-renovated camper.
Instead of trying to follow her brother’s lead, Ellie saw the camper as an opportunity to let her own quirky personality shine through with her own design choices. That meant it was off to the supplies store!
Ellie decided to paint the inside of the camper a striking peach color and fill it with polka dots and stripes. It suggested the kind of fun and laid-back kind of setting that she was going for…
Considering how small Ellie’s temporary living space was going to be, there was a surprising amount of windows to cover. This worked in her favor, since during the day, she planned to let in a lot of natural light.
Many other components of the camper, which Ellie speculated was from the 1970s, were outdated. The original tiled floor featured a peculiar green pattern, so Ellie decided to replace them with new ones that had a more modern aesthetic.
Ellie collected items that she could use to decorate the camper, too. She wanted to make sure it reflected her own personality, like this chic dress form. She even made sure to construct a winding path to her new hideaway.
Ellie hoped to save up for a window air conditioning unit to install the very next summer. That way, she could enjoy sleepovers with her friends without worrying about them becoming uncomfortable and overheating.
You can see just how much work went into Ellie’s camper by comparing the “before” and “after” photos. Just look at all that dark wood paneling and icky green accents! Literally anything would have been an improvement…
It looked like the once-underestimated camper was finally ready for its blockbuster premiere! You can see that Ellie took every possible detail into consideration; can you believe that this was the same corner as that hideous kitchen table?
Not only did Ellie spend a great deal of time making the inside of the breathtaking camper look brand-new, but she applied the same kind of sensibility to the exterior, as well. The wood paneling was a sort of nod to the 1970s motif of the original camper.
This might’ve taken any other procrastinating teen forever to complete, but it was all just part of a summer’s work for Ellie! It all goes to shows that, with a little creativity and a lot of elbow grease, you can turn anything into your very own awesome hangout space…
Considering that Ellie was only 14 years old and just barely starting high school at that point, it’s even more impressive that she was determined and forward-thinking enough to put time and money into something like this.
Ellie wasn’t going to have any trouble finding excuses to spend time in her renovated camper. Sure, she had to give up a few months of her summer to make her dream come true, but it was so worth it!
Not too shabby for a 14-year-old, right? Makes you wish you’d done stuff like that on your summer vacations.
Share this DIY camper with your friends below!