In the vintage RV community there are purists – and then there are glampers. A purist spends weeks researching the exact shade their camper was originally painted, and then paints it to be as close to the original scheme as possible.
A purist keeps the all-original wood on the cabinets, recovers the cushions in the same color of fabric, and even installs look-alike curtains.
A glamper however chooses a theme and lets their imagination run wild. Original exteriors are abandoned for artistic murals, and interiors become whimsical doll houses where anything goes.
This graphic designer makes your custom exterior dream a reality.
Artist Cathy Salm, known as “Cathy Mango” in glamping circles, was a corporate graphic designer for 16 years before a sudden illness made it impossible for her to work.
Suddenly she was unable to keep up with her house payments and utility bills, and made a huge decision – she decided to purchase a vintage 1971 Volunteer camper and live in it full-time.
Downsizing took some getting used to, but soon she embraced the “less is more” philosophy, and the freedom that came with it. It was a move that changed her life, and allowed her to pursue art as a full-time career.
Her passion for glamping became her inspiration, and led to one of the more unique camper-related businesses around – she designs camper exteriors for glampers looking to customize their vintage campers!
An owner will provide a photo of their camper, and an idea for the exterior color scheme or theme. Here is a before shot.
Cathy then takes the photo, and transforms it into concept art the owner can see before they commit to a paint scheme. The after shot with her recommended design.
Her virtual transformations help owners visualize their concepts before tackling the expensive and time consuming task of painting a vintage trailer.
For someone who isn’t sure what they want, Cathy provides a wide range of designs and colors to help them see what possibilities exist.
After a gentle nudge from a glamper friend, and author of several glamper books and magazines, I decided to put my 16 years of graphic design work to use by offering virtual camper make-overs for people who are ready to paint their campers, but have no idea where to begin. My service gives them a chance to see how it will look before they ever buy the paint! I have “colored” campers from Australia to the UK to Russia and everywhere in between!
Owners can have their trailers painted using Cathy’s designs as a template, ensuring that their end product turns out exactly the way they envisioned it. It’s not only a valuable service, her client’s find it to be a fun experience.
Some even purchase design packages for friends as gifts, sort of like “playing dress-up” for vintage campers.
Glamping wives even use Cathy’s design photos to help convince their husbands that their creative ideas will look great before painting commences.
Another before shot of a drab camper before Cathy’s expertise spruces it up.
Her after design shows an adorable cherry-themed camper ready for glamping rallies and Pinterest worthy photo-shoots.
Cathy’s camper designs recently earned her national recognition as well, when she won a nationwide contest hosted by Duck Tape Brand duct tape.
Her “Happy Camper” glamping design was the winner out of over 3,000 entries, and is now available for purchase on official Duck Brand tapes. Cathy’s glamping themed artwork is also available on jewelry and other items under her brand name “Swag Mango.”
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