A New Home On Wheels

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Pardon this brief intermission. Life has become crazy!

As you may remember from this post, we had purchased a 2004 Keystone Outback and had just signed the papers to sell our house. We were moving fulltime into Babette (that’s her name) and were going to be hitting the road.

Renovating our 1982 Silver Streak

Well, that didn’t last long.

About one week into living fulltime in Babette, I stopped hanging the clean clothes up. Why? Because there simply wasn’t enough room for our clothing! We had downsized our belongings A LOT – and still couldn’t find the space we needed. My clothing was crammed into a closet, stuffed under the guest bed, and flowing into Adam’s tiny closet. Being a neat-freak, I just couldn’t handle it!

Our guest beds were suffocating in camera equipment, spare pillows, extra bedding, tools, and shoes. Why even have the guest beds if our friends would have to cuddle with the toolbox named Bert? I decided we needed a change already.

The Hunt

I began searching the internet and forcing Adam to go to RV stores. We browsed. We debated. We went back and forward. What would be the most beneficial for us? Should we buy? Should we just keep Babette? A Class C or a Class A looked really good, plus we already had the tiny Fiat we were making payments on, so shouldn’t we find a way to incorporate her into our travels?

Class A VS Class C

For those who aren’t ‘campers’, Class A is like a bus, and Class C is more like the typical RV you think of when I say the word “Winnebago”.

After viewing a few Class A’s, we came to the conclusion that they were just too BIG. There was too much space, too much upkeep, too much height. We didn’t want to feel limited by what roads we could journey down because of bridge heights. This also easily ruled out 5th Wheels for us. While space and the layouts inside are fabulous, we just weren’t feeling it, plus we didn’t have a truck that could pull a 5th Wheel. Buying a truck was something on our list to do, but we didn’t want to commit to a 5th Wheel and then not be able to find a truck within budget to pull it.

The Class C’s looked really good to us. We loved the idea of being able to pull off the road and just walk back to the bathroom or the kitchen as needed. PLUS being able to have the pets roam around while we were driving instead of being in my lap sounded like a great option! The more we got to thinking about it though, the more we decided against it. We didn’t want to have to deal with the upkeep of two different engines. Not to mention, all the Class C’s we looked in our budget were still at the higher end of what we could spend, plus they were still gas instead of diesel, and our mileage wouldn’t increase by much.

Finding Deals

I felt a little defeated by this point. Another two weeks had passed and I just wasn’t feeling Babette anymore. We were too cramped for my comfort. For a single person, her space would have been perfect! However, for two people, living fulltime in her and both having equipment we need for our jobs, it was tight.

I began emailing everyone who had a decent looking camper on Craigslist. My husband began emailing about a few diesel trucks he found. We knew we were going to need to upgrade our truck to get better mileage with whatever we decided to pull behind us. Finally, we managed to find a well-cared-for diesel truck out of Austin for a great price and were fortunate to be able to pay cash for it, meaning it would be one less thing we would have to make monthly payments on. We named the truck ‘Dank’.

Love At First Sight – Not.

My family was gathered around the table at our favorite Mexican restaurant in Cleburne, Texas- La Fiesta – one evening when my sister-in-law shared a few campers with me from the Facebook Marketplace. Though they were a bit out of the budget, I took a look. A gorgeously old camper caught my eye, but I brushed it aside to eat my cheese tacos. I was intrigued, but the price was a bit much and there was only one photo. What I had originally thought it was an Airstream, I would soon realize wasn’t.

That night as I lay in bed doing my normal Craigslist and Facebook hunt, I came across the camper again. It was located not too far from where we were staying, so I convinced Adam that it would be worth the look. There were no pictures of it other than a single photo of the outside. The photo showed an aluminum framed camper with beautiful front windows and a gorgeous gold stripe running her length. Plus, I could tell that it already some upgrades we were planning to do such as having a solar panel installed and an automatic hitch system.

Meeting Our New Love

An hour later, we were pulling down a long gravel driveway towards a 1982 Silver Streak 3411 Supreme. I had NEVER heard of a Silver Streak before, and as it turns out, they’re kind of rare! During production, the Silver Streak company made a maximum of only 6 campers during a single week, and a total of only 4000 ever existed!

We hemmed and hawed over the camper for a bit. It was in rough shape, that was for sure. We are talking water damage, holes in the undercarriage of the aluminum, broken windows, you name it! But the bones of it were SO good. We finally decided that we couldn’t just walk away from it. While it was going to be A LOT, and I do mean A LOT, of work, it was going to be completely worth it for us. With some quick math in our heads, we decided that we could either buy this camper and remodel it and really make it ours, or we could buy a new one that was not unique and would be made crappily and just settle. Well, I am not one to ever just settle.

Going for the Silver

This Silver Streak camper would be our next home, and since it was longer than Babette, it would give us the extra space we needed AND we could actually make it our own. We could tear into her, fix all her problems, and have whatever floor plan we wanted. Already, the perfect floor plan came to mind. The seller budged a wee bit and gave us a good price on her, not as low as we had wanted, but a good price none the less. We cut him a check and headed off!

Our beautiful new/old Silver Streak, Dabby

The Living Room

Living room of a 1982 Silver Streak Camper

Before: Someone had already started ripping out the lower walls which had been covered in metal.

The current living room situation. I’m picturing a nice LoveSac sectional against the wall and a little tv mounted on the wall on the left. Board games and blankets will fill the storage bins, and a small fireplace/stove will sit on the other side of the doorway.

The Kitchen and Bedroom

Kitchen of a 1982 Silver Streak Camper

Before: How Dabby looked when we bought her. Someone had taken our beautiful 80’s model camper and turned it into a very rough 50’s themed space. Not to mention, we are not Ricky and Lucy and we like to share a bed! This layout would just not do. I’m envisioning butcher block countertops, a deep sink, subway tiles, and gorgeous colors!

Renovating our 1982 Silver Streak

The kitchen/bedroom/bathroom area now. This is actually just past the kitchen, but you can still see the cupboard door on the right. The bedroom will feature a hallway running down the left side with a built-in dresser, and a platform bed with storage on the right side.

The Bathroom

Before: Someone had gone decal crazy on the mirrors, DIY’d the cabinet doors, and there was serious wood rot on the floor, plus an entire dead hive of honey bees.

Renovating our 1982 Silver Streak

The bathroom area now!

The Uncovering

Renovating our 1982 Silver Streak

Uncovering an entire honeycomb under our floorboards!

Renovating our 1982 Silver Streak

Cutting the floors out because the bolts are too rusted to unscrew.

Renovating our 1982 Silver Streak

The things you find when renovating! I found these dentures and thought I stumbled upon a crime scene! haha

Home Sweet Home

1982 Silver Streak Camper, NessieOutOfWater.com

Adam raising Dabby up to hook her to the truck hitch.

Our Silver Streak Home Behind Us

That evening we pulled away from the seller’s house with our new home on our tow hitch. We named her Dabby and instantly began planning floorplans and remodel ideas. Since purchasing Dabby, we have sold Babette for the amount we paid for her and have gotten rid of the loan we had on her. More travel money, YAY!

Follow us on INSTAGRAM to stay up to date on our remodel on our Silver Streak, Dabby! It’s been an event so far!

So, now you know why I’ve been so quiet lately! Renovating this old gal is tough work! We are hoping to be done before we go to Australia in October so we can return to our home and hit the road! I’ll be hopefully getting some new posts out to yousguys soon though! XOXO

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Renovating our 1982 Silver Streak

My life has been a collage of airlines and exhaustion, and I wouldn't change a thing! I'm a budget traveler, and I adore exploring the world one plane or train ticket at a time!

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