I met an incredible person at the Canton First Monday Trade Days in Canton, TX. This monthly meeting brings out the most fascinating entrepreneurs.
C.B. Williams is an artist who sells scarves and hand forged and annealed scarf buckles. Her shop at Canton is inviting not only because of all her beautiful creations but the centerpiece of the display: Betty Sue.
Betty Sue is a 1957 Shasta Vintage Camper that C.B. researched online, bought, and restored. She is something to see!
My interview with C.B. is below.
What hobby are you good at?
Camping and Vintage Camper Restoration
How long have you been doing it?
Camping only about 2 1/2 years other than when we were kids. I’ve had my camper for 3 years and I worked on restoring Betty Sue while I turned a barn into an apartment so I had a lot going on at the time.
How did you get good at it?
There are so many great websites like VintageCampers.com that will talk you through the “Dos” and “Don’ts” and conversations there that will help.
The beauty of doing a project like this is that all the projects are tiny – 1/2 day or a day to complete.
What advice would you give to beginners? What shortcuts or secrets can you share?
Evaluate whether you want to build a camper out or do you want a finished one and just start having fun right away. Some ladies prefer to get an RV without the DIY projects.
There is so much interest in vintage campers now that it’s getting more difficult to find them. For me, I wanted a good skin (outer) so I wouldn’t have to redo that and she needed a good floor underneath. I redid the electric in Betty Sue and put a new floor on the inside.
When looking for a camper you have to make sure the undercarriage is sound. You take a piece of cardboard with you and slide underneath the camper to check it out yourself. Look for critter holes and a straight axle. Axles can be fixed but if you have a lot of holes you have to take everything down and start from scratch.
I thought electricity would be the hardest thing to do but it was the easiest. You just follow the cord, put black to black and white to white. I think men have pulled the wool over our eyes but when you learn to do it yourself, you will find that it is nothing.
Are you a member of any local or national organization/club related to your hobby? If yes, please share the name and benefits of belonging.
The Sisters on the Fly organization really put us on the map. They offer a lot of activities like cooking (Dutch Oven), kayaking, fly fishing, horseback riding and more. Every state has local organizations to plug into also.
Rules are No Men, No Kids, No Pets and No Bad Attitudes. Some of the local organizations will allow pets and sometimes horses. There are also some events that men are invited to but it is rare.
Sisters on the Fly have a “tech” camp-out several times during the year to teach the technical aspects of pulling a camper, backing up, parking, changing a tire, etc. and learning how to be safe.
We have a “throw down” where everyone brings a dish. When there are 70 campers, there is a lot of great food!
It’s perfectly normal to enter into the camping event and not know a single soul. But you will leave having great friends.
Do you have a website, Etsy store, Facebook page, etc. that you have created and would like to share?
I don’t have a website but I encourage everyone to visit Sisters on the Fly for more information.
Any other information that you would like to share?
I love building them even more than camping and I LOVE camping. Each person is different so they have to decide if that would be part of their journey.
My advice is to learn how to do everything yourself so you will have a procedure for setting up and taking down the trailer. Don’t accept help. It deviates from your checklist. You can do it.
Also, the Parks and Wildlife in Texas are really good about promoting our national parks.
If you would like to share your hobby, go to Get Interviewed and complete the form and submit. I am always on the lookout for experts to share their story. Are YOU next?
Be Like C.B.
Just as C.B. has turned her love of camping into a passion for building out vintage campers, you can too.
What did you like most about C.B’s story? Let us know in the comments below.