Brittany & Jordan's Cozy, Modernized, DIY Cross-Country Camper

Brittany & Jordan's Cozy, Modernized, DIY Cross-Country Camper

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Hayley Lawrence
Jan 26, 2016
(Image credit: Hayley Lawrence)

Name: Jordan and Brittany Griggs
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina—but currently traveling the country!
Size: 276 square feet
Years lived in: Owned since December 2015

Brittany, a newborn/family photographer and business coach, and Jordan, a banker-turned-aspiring golf pro, traded in their Charlotte, North Carolina home for life on the road to chase Jordan's dreams. Brittany's office lease ended just in time to make the move, so she sold off her photography props and will focus on business coaching while they're traveling for the next six months.

(Image credit: Hayley Lawrence)

The couple searched for months for a camper that would accommodate Jordan's 6'5" height with the layout they desired—most campers max out at 6' 3". With their generously proportioned camper's extended side, Brittany and Jordan have extra space to spread out in when they're able to park for a while.

(Image credit: Hayley Lawrence)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Clean and cozy

Inspiration: We wanted to create a small space that was really functional for life on the road. We were inspired by the tiny house movement but didn't have the time or budget to build one. Tiny homes are also much heavier than campers, so we decided to find a travel trailer, renovate it to fit our lifestyle, and make it feel more like a home.

Favorite Element: My [Brittany] favorite element is our work space with the double desk and big window. I knew I would be spending a lot of time there working on the road and really wanted to feel inspired, organized, and motivated to get to work.

Biggest Challenge: The biggest challenge was making sure we had enough storage and a space that resembled the main areas of our home in Charlotte: kitchen, living space, dining, office, bedroom, and bathroom. I wanted to have distinguished areas for work and home life, so we weren't eating/working/sleeping in the exact same spot every day. We also had to downsize from a two-bedroom/two-bathroom condo to a 28-foot travel trailer—it was a big transition. We got rid of so much stuff and realized we didn't really need it all anyway. Now, we have just what we need on a daily basis. It's a simpler way of life that I'm really looking forward to.

What Friends Say: Some say we are crazy while others want to get rid of everything and hit the road, too. When they see the renovation, most people say, “It looks so pretty. I can't believe this is a camper. This must have taken so much time and effort.”

Biggest Embarrassment: Neither of us had ever stayed in a camper. We didn't even figure out how all the systems—water, electric, gas, bathroom—worked until we were almost done with the renovation. That should have probably been first on the list. We've since learned a lot about how it all works, including how to empty the bathroom contents...

Proudest DIY: We did the entire reno ourselves, so the whole project was a huge DIY effort. My proudest DIY is the storage futon. Over the last seven years, my dad has taught me how to use a decent amount of power tools in his shop. I love working in the shop with him—building, creating, designing. It's one of my happy places. When I couldn't find the right futon/couch/storage solution for the camper, I decided I would build one myself. I came up with a design on my own, cut all the pieces, assembled, reworked, and reassembled the structure all by myself. My dad did give me some advice on a few things but never laid a hand on building it. Jordan also helped hold the back piece up while I screwed it to the base. That would've been a challenge alone. And my mom sewed the navy cushion cover. Besides that, I did everything myself. It's not perfect, by any means, but it is a huge accomplishment for me. It's cozy and very functional as it serves as our couch, guest bed (folds down into a double), and has three large drawers underneath for storage.

Biggest Indulgence: Probably our mattress! Factory camper mattresses aren't super comfortable or long enough for Jordan who is 6'5” so we invested in a memory foam normal queen mattress. We have to sleep well on the road.

Best Advice: If you are thinking about renovating a camper, make sure you either have a ton of extra time or a lot of people willing to help you. It took way more time than I thought it would to get it ready. One of the biggest pains was painting. You wouldn't thinking painting such a small space would be so time consuming but there are so many cabinets and nooks and crannies. If we went back and did it again, I would have hired someone to paint. It would have made the rest of the process much more fun.

Dream Sources: Of course, Pinterest!

Resources

PAINT & COLORS

  • Walls and cabinets: HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams Cotton White
  • Counters and tabletop: Rust-Oleum textured spray paint
(Image credit: Hayley Lawrence)

ENTRY

  • Wipe Your Paws Rug: Walmart
(Image credit: Hayley Lawrence)

LIVING ROOM

  • Futon: DIY project
  • Curtains: sewn by mom with fabrics from Hancock
  • Pillows: sewn by mom with fabrics from Hancock
  • Storage ottoman/reversible coffee table: Marshalls
  • G pillow: Etsy
  • Blue and white throw blanket: Target
(Image credit: Hayley Lawrence)

DINING ROOM

  • Pillows: sewn by mom with fabrics from Hancock
  • Placemats: IKEA
  • Decorative napkins: Target
  • Plant: IKEA
  • Seating/cushions: DIY
  • Tabletop: painted and sealed with textured paint
(Image credit: Hayley Lawrence)

KITCHEN

  • Wine rack: IKEA
  • Wine glasses: IKEA
  • Hanging rack behind stove: IKEA
  • Wooden Africa painting: Grace & Salt
  • Countertops: spray painted with textured paint and sealed
(Image credit: Hayley Lawrence)

BEDROOM

  • Navy comforter: IKEA
  • G pillow: Target
  • Other pillow: sewn by mom with fabrics from Hancock
  • Hanging picture wires and hooks: IKEA
  • Tan quilt throw: IKEA
  • Plant: IKEA
  • Bedside frames: Target
  • Watercolor map: Happy Place Art, customized with states names and quote in Photoshop
(Image credit: Hayley Lawrence)

BATHROOM

  • Heart print: Rifle Paper Co.
  • Green compartment shelves: Michaels
  • Baskets: Target
  • Over-sink rack: IKEA
  • Shower curtain: Target
(Image credit: Hayley Lawrence)

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Thanks, Brittany & Jordan!

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