1965 Irwin's Kamper--weird little vintage PUP Restoration

Discussion in 'Camper Restoration Projects' started by k-t-did, Jan 31, 2020.

  1. k-t-did

    k-t-did Active Member

    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    76
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    So, I picked up this strange little pop up this week, and have already started restoring it. It's a 1965 Irwin's Kamper....nothing to be found online about it at all, but a similar one called the Koch Kamper was made around the same time, and there's some info on there.

    It's in really good shape, structurally. This is the "casita" of pop ups...all fiberglass except the floor. I found one small (maybe 8"x3") spot of rot at the rear right corner. Going to look for the leak today and decide if I want to cut out that small area, or repair it with that epoxy stuff.

    Tenting came off yesterday, and was shipped to Canvas Replacements. Little disappointed in the pricing, honestly, as this project is WAY simpler than a traditional PUP, but not much price difference. Guess that's how it goes. I actually have access to industrial sewing machines in my husband's parachute loft, and am a good seamstress....but I always weigh the value of my time in hiring people to do things vs. me working the same amount of hours to pay a pro to do it. In other words, as a nurse, I can pick up one extra shift and earn enough to pay these guys to do the canvas. They do their job they are good at, I do mine. LOL. Of course, some DIY things are fun, and the rule doesn't apply. Sewing all those zippers and screens? Doesn't sound like fun.

    It's cold here for Texas....it was actually a bonus yesterday when I pried up the peel and stick tiles. They were brittle and mostly popped right off with a screwdriver. I also swept and ran a shop-vac yesterday, then my hubby drug it into the garage so I can heat it enough to start painting the inside. Think I'm going to stick with white. We have gallons of oil based white left over from a house remodel last year, so, save some money. Going to get some flooring today too.

    I need to troubleshoot wiring, and while carpentry and sewing are my really strong skills, electrics, not so much. The tail lights work, but the left blinker doesn't. All of the wires are just strung along in the inside shell. Easy access, but I will have to secure them somehow. They dangle right near the bunks.

    That's all so far. I'll attach some pics in another post.
     
  2. k-t-did

    k-t-did Active Member

    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    76
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Here are some pics!
     

    Attached Files:

    Mende, megcabra and hq308 like this.
  3. k-t-did

    k-t-did Active Member

    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    76
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    A few more.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. fourhallatts

    fourhallatts Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,108
    Likes Received:
    411
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2015
    Location:
    North Syracuse, New York
    That is one cute little camper! Can't wait to see it's transformation. Good luck!
     
    k-t-did likes this.
  5. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

    Messages:
    17,006
    Likes Received:
    2,590
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Location:
    Waterford, Ct
    Congratulations
     
    k-t-did likes this.
  6. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,658
    Likes Received:
    5,022
    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Location:
    Nj
    Some wire wrap would help the wires, then maybe a stick on hook and a small wire tie. The blinker might just be the bulb
     
    k-t-did likes this.
  7. akriot

    akriot Active Member Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    117
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2019
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Pretty damn cool. I will follow along. I love a good project! :D Im restoring a small MC pup..have had it a couple of months. Minor stuff to fix. Will have to wait til the weather is warmer. 20191230_080106.jpg
     
  8. FARfetched

    FARfetched Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    744
    Likes Received:
    420
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2018
    Location:
    Sector 706, Planet Georgia
    It has a raised bunk??? Awesome! I hope you continue to post pics as you work on this.

    Wiring isn't terribly difficult, especially for trailers. You said you're a nurse? Think of it as delivering fluids… corroded connections = kinked IV lines. You're not being paranoid about wires running along the bunks. You can get automotive "conduit" which is basically ribbed, flexible plastic tubing that's slit long-ways. Push the wires into that, and they're protected. If the wires are good, and the connections at each end are clean, you shouldn't have any problems.

    Personally, I'd be more concerned about the wheels. How old are those tires? How long since the bearings have been serviced? Check those things out while you're waiting on the new canvas.
     
    Strawhouse and k-t-did like this.
  9. theseus

    theseus Centerville, OH

    Messages:
    2,896
    Likes Received:
    441
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Location:
    Centerville, OH
    Reminds me a bit of my first pup, a 66 Nimrod, though yours has more features. Very nice!
     
    k-t-did likes this.
  10. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

    Messages:
    12,405
    Likes Received:
    1,393
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    Having Canvas Replacements do the new tenting is not a bad thing. We actually had planned to make new tenting for our first, tiny pup. In fact, we bought all the fabric, window vinyl, screening, zippers, Velcro, etc. In the end, we lost our drawings, the original canvas had long gone to the landfill, and we opted for CR.
    We had spend over half of what it cost us for the CR tenting on all those supplies, so really, it was cost effective to have them do it, and we didn't have to reinvent the wheel. I'm a long time sew-er, we do quilts, and we have an old Singer 201 that would have handled the job well - my cranky neck and shoulders may not have. Not to fear, all those materials came in handy, I used them to make cushion covers, for new door screens (incl one at home), and such. I think all we have left is some of the window vinyl and a bit of the zipper tape.
     
    k-t-did likes this.
  11. k-t-did

    k-t-did Active Member

    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    76
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Found the blinker problem! The bulb had fallen out of its socket. Really lucky!
     
    Strawhouse, FARfetched and Sjm9911 like this.
  12. k-t-did

    k-t-did Active Member

    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    76
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Raised bunk, yep. Full over full.

    will get the wire wrap.

    tires were purchased new 7 years ago and never used. So, may or may not need replacing, but no road wear...just maybe damage from sitting/dry rot.
     
  13. k-t-did

    k-t-did Active Member

    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    76
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Pulled it out into the sunshine today to scrub everything down and scrape loose stuff for painting. Also cleaning out the aluminum channel really well so the new canvas won’t get gunked up. It’s a tedious job! Little bit is helping me today.
     

    Attached Files:

    Kamp-craftMel, Strawhouse and hq308 like this.
  14. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,504
    Likes Received:
    922
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    Location:
    NW Arkansas
    Very cool camper, looks like it is a solid base to fix up. Looking forward to the end result.
     
    k-t-did likes this.
  15. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,658
    Likes Received:
    5,022
    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Location:
    Nj
    Get new tires, they say 5 to 6 years max then they blow up no matter how they look. Worth the 150 to not have to fix anything else.
     
    momofEAP and k-t-did like this.
  16. k-t-did

    k-t-did Active Member

    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    76
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Decided to go with Canvas Replacements for my camper renovation. The original was a thin, vinyl-ized canvas type stuff....like a rubbery tarp. Their vinyl has the fabric backing, so I don’t want that. I like the feel of the aqualon, but it’s an unknown. .It’s only sides, no bunk end roofing at all.
    Bear creek said they only do canvas. But don’t know if that’s truly because it’s better or bc that’s just what they do. I got a better vibe from CR, so going with them.

    also, anyone have a preference with clear vs tinted window vinyl? Pros/cons I might not have thought about?
    Thanks!
     
    akriot likes this.
  17. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

    Messages:
    12,405
    Likes Received:
    1,393
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    When we had the canvas made by CR for our first, tiny, pup, we asked for clear vinyl windows. That was on the theory that if we were inside during the day, it was likely to be raining, so every bit of light would help. It had good window flaps, so heat gain from sun was well reduced when they were closed. Since the replacement canvas was not as translucent as the original Evolution, it did seem to help.
    Our second popup had a tinted windows, and it wasn't as bad as I'd feared. For me, it was pretty much as wash for tinted versus not.
    Last season, we did add window film to the dinette window in the TT, all the other windows are tinted. That one is large and adding the film really helped heat gain.
     
    k-t-did likes this.
  18. Strawhouse

    Strawhouse Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,616
    Likes Received:
    637
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2015
    Location:
    Muskoka, Ontario
    Nice find! Thanks for sharing the pics. Looking forward to following your restoration!
     
    k-t-did likes this.
  19. k-t-did

    k-t-did Active Member

    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    76
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Working on priming and painting interior today. Decided to go with rattle-can spray inside on the ceiling and fiberglass walls. I’ll use oil based interior on the wood benches and bunks. Loving the color...it’s a vintage-feeling teal. I had to go with grey tenting, so wanted to use some of the original teal color in the restoration. (I went with the Aqualon, btw, with clear vinyl. I wanted light.)

    I don’t think the original jack can be fixed. I worked on it a while. Ground down pretty bad in the gears. Will buy a bolt on tongue jack.

    Thinking about sanding the exterior box to remove the crazing and waxing it. Instead of painting.

    Headed to store to get wire wrap and more spray paint. Also going to replace the dangling power cord to the interior outlet. It fell apart in my hands when I tested it. Wiring still works!
     

    Attached Files:

    Strawhouse and hq308 like this.
  20. Strawhouse

    Strawhouse Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,616
    Likes Received:
    637
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2015
    Location:
    Muskoka, Ontario
    Great colour choice!
     
    k-t-did likes this.

Share This Page