Before and after photos show how a woman transformed a 1970s camper trailer into her 'perfect little house'

Joey Hadden
·4 min read
tiny home on wheels camper renovation
Andrea Heap restored a camper trailer and turned it into her dream tiny home on wheels. Courtesy of Andrea Heap
  • Andrea Heap spotted a camper trailer for sale in Colorado and bought it for $3,000.

  • She spent $2,000 and a year and a half renovating the tiny home on wheels with her dad, Paul Heap.

  • Andrea lives and works in her camper trailer, which has a bed, bathroom, kitchen, and work table.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Andrea Heap admired a camper trailer that she drove by daily in Denver, Colorado, for a year. As soon as she saw it was for sale, she bought it.

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Andrea Heap sits outside her 1979 Fleetwood Wilderness Camper. Courtesy of Andrea Heap

"I was drawn to it," Andrea said of the 1979 Fleetwood Wilderness Camper. "I loved that it was old, it looked to be in pretty decent condition, and I liked the size of it."

While she was drawn to the exterior and feel of the trailer, the inside wasn't quite suitable for living. It was full of water damage and ill-equipped for winter in Colorado.

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Water damage is seen on the ceiling of the trailer. Courtesy of Andrea Heap

Andrea bought the camper for $3,000 and spent another $2,000 on renovations.

Read more: A woman bought a $3,000 camper trailer from the 1970s and spent $2,000 transforming it into her 'perfect little house'

So Andrea and her dad Paul Heap turned the vintage camper into a modern tiny home on wheels, and the transformation is impressive.

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Andrea's camper is seen post-renovation. Courtesy of Andrea Heap

Andrea and Paul spent the next year and a half restoring and renovating the camper.

"My dad is extremely patient and methodical," Andrea said. "Anytime we'd run into these mishaps, he said, 'here's a chance that we can make this better.' And we ended up making it better every time."

Open the door and the first thing you'll see is her workspace.

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Before and after photos show the camper's workspace. Courtesy of Andrea Heap

A friend of Andrea's made new coverings for the trailer's original cushions, and Andrea and her friend who makes furniture installed the new tabletop together.

Read more: How a couple turned the $40,000 van where they live full-time into a tiny home office

A closer look shows that Andrea and Paul repaired some water damage on the ceiling before reboarding, sanding, and painting the walls.

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A close up of the water damage and repair is seen on Andrea's ceiling. Courtesy of Andrea Heap

Andrea said they had to restore the entire corner of the ceiling.

"One thing always turned into something else," she said of the renovation.

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The kitchen has new curtains, countertops, and a brighter backsplash for a more modern look.

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Before and after photos show Andrea's renovated kitchen. Courtesy of Andrea Heap

Andrea kept the camper's original cabinetry.

But Andrea kept the camper's original stove, oven, sink, and refrigerator.

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New countertops are seen in Andrea's kitchen. Courtesy of Andrea Heap

Andrea said she preserved everything she could from the original camper.

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Across from the kitchen, the bathroom got a makeover, too, with a new toilet, backsplash, and countertops.

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Before and after photos show Andrea's renovated bathroom. Courtesy of Andrea Heap

Andrea painted the cabinets pink.

Andrea renovated the shower by removing the old wallpaper, adding a new shower curtain, and adding a sliding barn door to provide privacy while saving space.

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Before and after photos show how Andrea updated the bathroom. Courtesy of Andrea Heap

Andrea said the wallpaper that was in the shower wasn't waterproof, so she and Paul added fiberglass to the shower.

Andrea sleeps in the back of the camper, which has a bed and updated curtains.

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Before and after photos show Andrea's renovated bedroom. Courtesy of Andrea Heap

Andrea put in a custom mattress made to fit the space.

Also in the bedroom, Andrea restored her closet from water damage.

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Andrea's closet is seen damaged and in use. Courtesy of Andrea Heap

Throughout the camper, Andrea rescreened all the windows and updated all the outlets.

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Before and after photos of Andrea's bathroom wall show updates. Courtesy of Andrea Heap

She left the outside of the trailer as it was and named it Fern, inspired by the green stripes.

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Fern's exterior was not renovated, aside from getting new tires. Courtesy of Andrea Heap

"I always refer to my camper as Fern, and everyone in my family refers to my camper as Fern," Andrea told Insider. "It's become like a person."

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