Sheldon Kitzul and Nathaniel Poole have a knack for transforming things that are old into something new again.
For the past few years, the Victoria residents have dedicated hours of their spare time to restoring old Volkswagen camper vans and selling them. It’s something the two have been doing as a hobby since they both have day jobs — Kitzul is a social worker and Poole is an author.
Now, the duo are turning to an even bigger project — restoring three camper trailers that people can rent, hook on to the back of their cars and take on a unique camping experience, dubbed Time Travelers Vintage RV Rentals.
It’s an idea that originated a few years ago after seeing the reaction they received from people who purchased the restored Volkswagen vans. It was a reaction they both hoped to spread to a wider audience.
“People love the nostalgia of it. There’s sort of a mystique about having these older things and it was always great to see people, they’d purchase these things and they’d be so excited and looked forward to getting out in them,” Kitzul said.
“One of the things we thought was how can we make this more available and accessible to more people . . . We wanted more people to try out camping in an older, vintage vehicle.”
Shortly after, they began looking online at website such as Craigslist, Used Victoria and eBay for old camper trailers that people were getting rid of or were on their way to the landfill.
The first one they came across was a 1973 trillium, a 13-foot fibre glass trailer that took Kitzul and Poole roughly three to four weeks to restore into a nautical-themed trailer, with some of the trim, cupboard doors and rope coming from a 1939 boat that used to take logging crews up and down the west coast of Vancouver Island.
They also have three other trailers — a 1961 Shasta Alrfyte, which they found in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. It will be their flagship trailer and is roughly 14 feet long and around 1,800 pounds. They also have a silver 1963 lil’ loafer and a 1971 Estavilla, both of which they found in the Interior.
All the trailers are small and light enough to be towed behind almost any car with a trailer hitch.
Each are in various states of repair and Kitzul and Poole have been working in a storage facility in Central Saanich to restore them, often finding things in thrift stores and second-hand shops that can be used to add to the vintage feel of the campers.
So far, the trillium has been rented out a few times and Kitzul and Poole have had positive responses. They have already had people inquiring and booking the trailers for next summer.
“Folks love it, they talk about how it’s so cozy and fun to be in something that’s been recycled,” Kitzul said. “It’s a lot of fun to see the thrill that people get out of these things.”
They hope to restore the three campers over the winter and have them ready to go by March in time for the camping season.
For more information about Time Travelers Vintage RV Rentals visit timetravelersrv.com.