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Remodeled 50s-era RV on display in Kalamazoo, and at vintage camper show at Turkeyville

A team from SKP Design in Kalamazoo rescued a 1956 Spartan Imperial Mansion, gutted it and put it back together with all the original features they could muster. (WWMT/SKP Design)

Call Thursday a lucky day for anyone experiencing nostalgia for a 1950s-era recreational vehicle. A Kalamazoo interior design firm has one open for public touring Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018.

Think “The Long, Long Trailer,” the 1953 vacation movie starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.

A team from SKP Design in Kalamazoo rescued a 1956 Spartan Imperial Mansion, gutted it and put it back together with all the original features they could muster. The 42-foot-long camper has 315 square feet of living space that includes a kitchen, bedroom with a wall of original closets and a queen-sized bed, and the living-dining area. The renovation was based on the original layout, and includes such vintage elements as an orange chenille bedspread from the Netherlands, a Westing house refrigerator from the 1950’s, an antique typewriter cart, and the original Spartan serial number tag.

SKP Design staff members will be providing public tours of the Spartan, from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday, behind the company's office at 8240 Stadium Drive.

The team tackled the project as part of the company's new business line, called “Ready to Roll Interiors,” for both commercial and residential clients. The business expansion is in line with the tiny house movement, the company said, and the staff’s fascination with creating mobile environments.

After the public tours Thursday, SKP Design will be taking the Spartan to the Vintage Camping Show at Turkeyville, near Marshall, Michigan, over the weekend. Running Sept. 21-23, the event includes a flea market and antique show.


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