Tours
Kid purchases 1988 camper for $400 and turns it into super cozy tiny home
This is such an inspirational project, I can't believe what an amazing job she did!
Alissa Gaskell
08.02.22

If you’re stumped about what 11-year-old girls are interested in these days, here’s a story that will give you a glimpse of their impressive foresight and determination.

Laura Nelson defies stereotypes with a recent winning investment.

YouTube - WKBW TV | Buffalo, NY
Source:
YouTube - WKBW TV | Buffalo, NY

She was browsing through a magazine one day and came across a photo of an American Girl doll bus with quite a high price. Unsurprisingly, her father responded with an irrefutable fact. Aimee Nelson, Lauren’s mother, shared with WKBW-TV,

“She showed us a $650 little VW bus. My husband was like, ‘That’s ridiculous! You could buy your own camper for that price.'”

YouTube - WKBW TV | Buffalo, NY
Source:
YouTube - WKBW TV | Buffalo, NY

Laura’s parents didn’t think much of the conversation, but the preteen already had wheels turning in her head. With that idea in mind, she decided to save up and keep her eyes open for a camper she could someday call her own. As luck would have it, Lauren discovered a “For Sale” sign on one of their neighbors’ RV. Her mom shares how excited the young girl was when she spotted the sign. Lauren didn’t take long to reach out and get the details.

With $400 saved up from a garage sale, Lauren almost had enough for the beat-up 1988 camper, which was being sold for $500.

YouTube - WKBW TV | Buffalo, NY
Source:
YouTube - WKBW TV | Buffalo, NY

The 11-year-old didn’t turn back and sulk about not having enough money. Nor did she think of asking her mom and dad to cover the remaining amount.

She decided to negotiate and ended up buying the RV.

YouTube - WKBW TV | Buffalo, NY
Source:
YouTube - WKBW TV | Buffalo, NY

“It wasn’t very hard. He said, ‘$500,’ and I said, ‘$400’ because that was the money I had in my bank account. And he said, ‘Sold!'”

Now that it was officially hers, Lauren took the next step – begin renovating. Of course, this meant taking on the daunting task of thoroughly cleaning it.

YouTube - WKBW TV | Buffalo, NY
Source:
YouTube - WKBW TV | Buffalo, NY

Lauren didn’t let the mess discourage her from pushing forward. Instead, she made another smart move: accept help from her family and friends.

YouTube - WKBW TV | Buffalo, NY
Source:
YouTube - WKBW TV | Buffalo, NY

Lauren found her inspiration from the show Tiny House Hunters on HGTV.

She also did a lot of research on Pinterest, taking note of frugal and sustainable design ideas for the camper. Lauren also gathered some birthday gifts like pillows, sheets, rugs, and throws and used them as decor. Her mom was beyond proud.

YouTube - WKBW TV | Buffalo, NY
Source:
YouTube - WKBW TV | Buffalo, NY

With decorative and functional pieces completing the camper, it was a renovation project that didn’t break the bank – it cost around $400 (so, $800 total).

Think $20 decals for kitchen backsplash, $20 worth of cushion covers, cute, inexpensive bed pillows, wall stickers, paint, and succulents.

YouTube - WKBW TV | Buffalo, NY
Source:
YouTube - WKBW TV | Buffalo, NY

It was surreal for Lauren to see all her ideas coming to fruition. She was so thrilled with the result that coming up with a name for it proved easy.

Appropriately called “Camp Hygge,” the interiors and the overall vibe promise restful coziness.

All-white, with touches of teal and bright colors from decorative accents like pillows and flowers, Camp Hygge was the preteen’s official haven.

YouTube - WKBW TV | Buffalo, NY
Source:
YouTube - WKBW TV | Buffalo, NY

More than the charming appeal of the camper, Lauren put a lot of thought into functionality, too. There are bunk beds, a kitchen, and a brilliant idea to host up to four girls while the moms get to relax and wait together on the deck. It may just be a playhouse to most people, but the possibilities keep coming for Lauren.

Watch the video below and let Lauren’s brilliant idea inspire you!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Alissa Gaskell
hi@sbly.com
Alissa Gaskell is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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