“Ever since I was a little girl I’ve dreamed of building a vintage camper photo booth!”
“Ever since I was a little boy I’ve dreamed of marrying a girl who wanted to build a vintage camper photo booth!”
Said no one. Ever. But here we are and we cannot be more excited to be here! When we tow Pippen around to different venues we get so many questions, and the answers to most of them can be found in our FAQ. But the one question we are asked the most is, “Did you build this yourselves?” And the answer is yes! From top to bottom, left to right, inside and out, my husband and I built Pippen with our own four hands, lots of creative and helpful input from our 5-year-old daughter, and a few assists from our wonderful family.
Pippen the day we towed her home
Check out all the places she had been! There is a 100% chance we will be visiting 'Spud Island' one day.
Although she seemed to be in decent shape, having been garaged since her last road-worthy glory days, we could see some water damage in the front corner and she smelled pretty rough despite the dozen air fresheners someone had stuck in various places. Although we are serious DIYers, even this seemed intimidating as we started to peel away the very first layers. We slowly started to disassemble her from the inside out, knowing we would be replacing the interior with a U shaped bench where the bed, cupboards, oven and refrigerator had been. As we began taking those pieces out, she started to, well…wobble? Shimmy? You probably get the idea. It turned out that those large, heavy parts we were removing were essentially structural for the camper, and taking them out left us with only one option… to complete rebuild her. So in July 2017 we took her apart piece by piece, all the way down to the frame, which along with the windows and door, are the only original parts left on Pippen!
Just starting to disassemble the exterior.
The original plywood. As soon as it was exposed it started to disintegrate.
Ground zero. It takes a brave man to put the tools to a 40 year old used camper toilet.
The original skins. Although we didn't reuse them we kept them to draw out the template for the new plywood and aluminum siding.
By September, we had some walls! I was unwilling to part with the front and back roof curves, so manipulating and bending plywood around them was not a simple task, but slowly and carefully, we put it together. Around this time our daughter, then 4, was heavily into an artistic phase and Pippen’s plywood made the perfect canvas. She was actually involved through the whole process, always providing helpful insight and never distracting us with incessant requests for snacks. Kidding aside she was very willing to help, which isn’t surprising considering her hands-down favorite store is Home Depot.
Framing complete and walls taking shape.
Also Jonathan contemplating how life has come to this...
Working hard on the roof! Finally convinced her to put down the drills and do a little drawing.
World's youngest vintage camper enthusiast! And the real boss around here.
By November Pippen had brand new aluminum siding and was starting to ever so slightly more look like a vintage camper again. In December we cleaned and installed the original windows, and in February the door was put on, new exterior lights were mounted and we were ready to finish the interior!
Finally starting to look like a camper again. The aluminum siding came all the way from California! That tear drop wheel well is everything.
The original windows and door, cleaned up and reinstalled.
In March we temporarily halted work to rescue Dottie, our 1967 Serro Scotty Tonga who we have recently have begun to rebuild as well, and dodged interventions by concerned family and friends.
Meeting Dottie and making sure she is roadworthy. One of us anyway. The other one is scrolling Instagram to see if "vintagecamperselfie" is a hashtag.
By April the walls and the floors were complete, and we turned to my father-in-law who built by hand the beautiful custom wood U-shaped bench.
Finally my mom helped build the photo backdrop support, and the camper itself was complete! We custom built the equipment enclosure and the stunning “PHOTOS” sign ourselves, and immediately Pippen was up and running at our first events!
Love this sign. We had a bunch of different ideas but I'm glad we settled on this one.
Photo equipment enclosure inside the booth.
Building this photo booth was truly a labor of love and a testament to our attention to detail, which shows through not just with the camper, but also in the design of the custom photo strips, the collection of unique props, the outdoor décor, and most of all the care that each of our clients receive during the process. We’re so excited to be a part of so many special events and grateful for all the opportunities that are coming our way!
Pippen's first photoshoot!