Meet Me in Perris–or Palm Springs!

At the very end of 2012, we bought our first vintage camper: A 1988 Perris Pacer fiberglass “egg” camper. I first fell in love with these lightweight trailers after reading about them on the blog of the peripatetic artist Lily Stockman at BigBangStudio. After months of scouring Craigslist, Ebay and other sources, and driving all over Southern California to check out used egg trailers, we finally found one we loved.

This is what it looked like when we first brought it home from San Diego. Yes, it was cute even then. The awnings were a nice touch. But the photo flatters it. The shell was covered with rivet holes, and it had an overall dingy feel about it. The interior was unbearable.

Get the picture? (Here are more “before” shots.) We spent the first half of 2013 fixing up the interior, and found advice and support from the generous community of fellow egg owners at the online site, FiberglassRv. One man, Robert Johans, who restores these eggs professionally at The Egg Plant in Oregon, was the most inspiring and helpful, offering tips on every step, down to where to buy certain light fixtures and types of paint.

Weekend after weekend, my husband, Charlie, and I worked on it. We put in a new floor, replaced the cabinet covers and fixtures, made curtains, had new seat cushions made, added new lights, painted the entire interior, and a lot of other little improvements. My husband is handy, and the small scale of the projects made it all doable.

 

But how much of this can you take? So by the time we finished sprucing up the inside, we were ready for someone else to take over.

Then we found these nice guys. Jerry and Armando from Pacific RV Body Shop in Garden Grove, California–about 40 minutes from our house.

 

They mostly paint the giant campers, but took great care and pride in our little Pacer. They did an amazing job, painting the exterior, upgrading the lights, replacing the frig, and building a custom storage box. (If you liked it better before, keep it to yourself!)

 

Here are some shots of the inside (taken with my cell phone). We took out the bunk bed option and made the bottom bunk into a permanent couch, or bunk for one.

The two-burner gas stove and sink are still original and work great. It’s all very simple and utilitarian, but we love it that way. (Pillow fabric by silkscreen master Harwood Steiger.)

If you aren’t familiar with these campers, this little table comes off the support pole and drops down to make a platform for a small double bed. The seat cushions cover the surface, and are comfortable when you add a topping of memory foam. We learned the most about the trailer and what we need to do next when we finally took it camping…

So far, we have taken it out to the desert near Palm Springs, twice. This shot is from a visit to Joshua Tree, where we camped next to a house some friends were renting. They also had this amazing vintage trailer up on blocks. We have also camped at Crystal Cove State Park in Orange County (about ten minutes from our home in Laguna Beach) and at San Onofre State Park (about a half hour south in San Diego County.) My goal is to test out all the campgrounds in Orange County and publish a little local guide (just another one of those projects!).

Camping at Caspers Regional Park in Orange County

 

I’ve saved the most exciting news for last. We have been invited to be part of the Vintage Trailer Show in Palm Springs during Modernism Week. How cool is that? We went to the see the show last year and it was so much fun! I noticed, however, that they didn’t have any of the “egg” style of campers featured, and thought I would offer ours if they were interested. The director of the show, Mona Heath, was enthusiastic and said they already plan to include two other “egg” style campers this year, a Scamp and a Boler, and would love to have our Perris Pacer there as well. Wow!!!

Available to Rent for Photo Shoots! Email: J9Robinsonlb@yahoo.com

 

Ours is nothing like almost all of the other vintage trailers, many of which have been professionally restored inside and out. But Mona liked the idea of featuring campers like ours to demonstrate what people can do with these little gems–even newbies like us with no real rehab experience and working on a DIY budget.

The Vintage Trailer Show is the weekend of February 22 and 23. Tickets are $15  and kids are free. So please come and say hi!

7 thoughts on “Meet Me in Perris–or Palm Springs!

  1. I just love this post. I have been entertaining the idea of buying/renting a teardrop trailer, which I first saw in Sunset. I was not aware of the “eggs.” So cool!

  2. Hi Linda,

    Glad you enjoyed it. They are going to include a teardrop trailer at the Vintage Trailer Show this year, too. I love seeing all the different types. Janine

  3. Thanks so much for your update…looks like a lot of work, but camping is such a joy!! I love the area you live/camp in–and my dream is to bring our 21′ FunFinder out west and take a year (or two) to investigate and discover everything I’ve never seen of the US…(we live in St. Augustine, FL), but we also have some nice places around here to camp too…Bahia Honda in the FL Keys is our favorite place to camp so far…all the best to you and your little egg!!

  4. Hi Janine – What a great job on your “egg! We are in north San Diego county and have a Scamp. Would love to know where you camp near Palm Springs. We go to Borrego often and love it there. Joshua Tree is next on our list. My husband has also gotten lots of good advice and suggestions from Fiberglass RV – what a nice group of people they are.

  5. Wowza, Janine, I love your egg so much! I grew up in Perris, and went to community college in San Jacinto in the ’70s — where I read these trailers were made — and somehow never saw one until now. I love its rounded edges and the shiny, plastic-y look of it, reminds me of those oval, squishy little advertising change purse-deals we had as kids, the ones you squeezed to get at your coins. Paul and I may have to make the trip to PS to see it. I hope I’ll be allowed to run my hands over it; I just know I won’t be able to stop myself … Great restoration job!

  6. Nice job on the remodel of your Perris Pacer trailer! I just found a PP and I am in the middle of stripping it down to the bare bones and bringing it back to life. Seeing what you did to yours really gets me fired up for putting mine back together. I live in the foothills outside of Sacramento and after I get finished with mine, I think it would be fun to have a Perris Pacer rally somewhere in California! Again, very nice job!!!
    All the best

  7. Hi Guys! Love the paint job and color. I’ll be reaching out to Pacific RV Body Shop to have them paint my 16ft Scamp soon. Have you had any problems with the paint since having it done or any other notes? I’m admittedly nervous about diving in. Thanks. Micah

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