Photo courtesy of Sandy Davis
A local couple renovates a 13-foot camper, named Roadie the Boler, into a dreamy, on-the-go vacation home retaining its retro appeal.
What do a 215-pound Newfoundland named Tyson and more than 1,000 Instagram have in common? None of them can get enough of Roadie the Boler, a charming 13-foot camper. Last April, Pennsylvania resident and Delaware native Sandy Davis had a fateful chat with a co-worker who described her first date with her now-husband. They’d spent the weekend camping—and the 1970 Boler trailer they’d taken had been benched in their barn ever since.
Davis was seeking a vintage camper and jumped at the opportunity to take the Boler off her hands. The co-worker took her up on the offer, and Davis and her husband Ed set about transforming Roadie into a cozy “home away from home.”
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Over the next three months, they gave the camper a complete overhaul, putting in new wiring and plumbing, reupholstering the cushions and daubing on a fresh coat of paint. Ed’s skills as an electrician smoothed the process, and when the pair was stumped, they turned to YouTube. Through it all, though, they made sure Roadie retained her retro charm.
“We wanted to keep as much original as possible,” Davis says. The couple’s daughter, Chelsey, of Wilmington, encouraged them to share their journey on social media, drawing hundreds of followers eager to keep up with the renovations.
Once Roadie was ready to see the world, she earned some real-life fans at a campground in Bethany Beach that the Davises frequent. “People stopped and asked if they could look inside,” Sandy recalls. “They were saying how adorable it was.” Folks especially love Roadie’s boho décor, which the couple changes seasonally. In summer, they pop up an awning, adding twinkle lights and an ivy-filled birdcage. At Christmastime, the camper is topped with tinsel.
Roadie is as comfortable as she is cute, thanks to clever use of space. The dining table folds out into a full-sized bed, and there’s another spot in front that flips into a sofa or bunk. While there’s no bathroom, there is a sink and even air conditioning. And the Davises appreciate that the trailer’s diminutive size encourages them to spend more time in the fresh air.
“Roadie is as comfortable as she is cute, thanks to clever use of space. The dining table folds out into a full-sized bed, and there’s another spot in front that flips into a sofa or bunk.”
“The whole reason we bought it was to be outside and enjoy nature and unplug, disconnect,” Sandy affirms. “It provides just what we need it to.”
At home, Roadie lives in the backyard, where she serves as a backdrop for Sandy’s photography and a hangout for the whole family—though one member may take more than his share of space. “Tyson just walks in and sits down like he owns it,” she shares with a laugh. “He thinks it’s his doghouse.”