- Sarah Lemp renovated her first camper in 2014.
- Since then, the family of seven has flipped nine RVs and made nearly $60,000 in profit.
- The family puts the money towards trips to Disney World and the kids’ college funds.
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Over the years, Sarah Lemp has renovated campers from various decades in a range of styles, from a classic Airstreamer to a 1950s trailer.
What started in 2014 as an affordable way to vacation for Lemp’s family of seven turned into a business when Sarah sold their first RV in 2017.
Four years later, Sarah told Insider she’s finished 10 renovations — which she documents on her blog All Things With Purpose — and made a total profit of nearly $60,000. With the money, the family is able to vacation at Disney World and save for their children’s education.
In search of an affordable vacation, Sarah Lemp’s family started traveling in RVs
The Lemp family, made up of Sarah, 37, and Jason, 40, and their five children, Natalie, 14, Carissa, 14, Taylor, 12, Olivia, 10, and Asher, 3, was eager to go on vacations, but hotel rooms and plane tickets quickly added up for such a large family.
“As our family was growing, we started outgrowing a lot of the hotel rooms, and I knew that camping was a more budget way of traveling,” Sarah told Insider.
Sarah and her family started searching for RVs and campers, and found their first vintage camper for about $1,700 in 2014.
The 1956 vintage needed a lot of work. The camper had gaping holes in its ceiling, water damage, and a dark, musty interior.
While an RV in that condition would turn away most, Sarah said she immediately saw the vehicle’s potential.
“It was terrible, it was hideous, it was disgusting, and that just made it all the better because I was so excited about what it could be transformed into,” she said.
Sarah said her family spent about $3,000 on renovations, and, within six months, they were out camping in the renovated RV.
The Lemp family enjoyed the RV for a few years, but they wanted something bigger. In 2017, Sarah listed the camper on Facebook Marketplace, where it sold for $8,900.
That’s when Sarah realized this could be more than just a way to vacation — it could be a business.
The Lemp family renovates campers, takes them on vacation, then sells them
Since the first RV transformation, Sarah and her family — her kids help with tasks in exchange for pocket money — have completed 10 renovations and sold nine campers.
Once they’ve finished a renovation, the Lemp family will go on a few trips in their camper to appreciate their hard work. Once they’re ready for a new project, they’ll sell the camper, and find a new one to work on.
The cheapest camper cost the Lemps $500, and the family’s largest purchase was a new 2019 Keystone Bullet travel trailer, which they sold for $39,900.
The profits go towards Disney trips and college funds
Part of the Lemps’ profit money goes towards buying the next RV and some goes to their next vacation — either a camping or Disney trip. They’ll go to a campground in their home state, Michigan, or travel to Florida to enjoy Disney’s Fort Wilderness campgrounds and Disney World’s parks.
A percentage of their profits also goes toward college savings accounts. Sarah told Insider she didn’t fully understand the value of money until she was swamped with debt post-graduation, so she hopes to contribute to her kids’ tuition and teach them about finances from an early age.
The experience has taught the Lemp kids valuable life lessons
Sarah said the whole family pitches in from start to finish of a renovation.
Before purchasing a camper, the children help look for campers, inspect the vehicles, and help negotiate a price.
Once they’ve purchased the RV, the children can earn money by completing different parts of the renovation. For example, removing all the curtains and blinds might be worth $10, while scrubbing out the fridge might be $5.
Sarah said flipping RVs has taught her children about hard work and money. They’ve also gained skills, like learning how to sand or use a drill.
At the end of the day, Sarah said she’s happy that they get to share their work with another family.
“When you’re working on a project like that, a lot of heart goes into it,” Sarah said. “To see the families go on to create so many wonderful memories with their families makes me so happy.”