Renovating a caravan


Kathie Baker writes:-

Make your Caravan Renovation work for you!

There are so many choices out there when it comes to caravans, tents, swags. The price of course is reflected in the age and the features of the set up.

I hate setting up the caravan camping site

Gone are the days when I have the energy to drive to the camp and spend the next hour or two setting up camp, blowing up mattresses and lighting the fire.  My early camping days were in a tent. I don’t need to go on….

I am now a grandmother and with that comes certain privileges.  When the kids were really young, we’d pack up the trailer with the tent, bikes, fishing rods and all the other camping stuff and with the unlimited energy I had at that time, we’d set up camp. The me of that time would laugh at the stupidity of trying to connect the wrong poles.  Lesson 1 in camping, put little marks on poles.

A few years later, the kids became teens and we opted for the Jayco deal, camper trailer.  True bliss as I no longer woke up on a flat air mattress.  The boys would pitch in with setting up camp and it all just worked.

Caravan Renovation
Our caravan renovation – out with the kitchen, new paint job and outside awning.

Grandma camping

And then I became the “lazy camper”.  The appeal of the camper trailer no longer worked, and we bought a very old caravan that pops up.  Now this suits me down to the ground.  We pretty much stop, and we are nearly ready to settle in.  Our caravan, affectionately labelled Lotti by the previous owner is old, but she doesn’t feel it.   The configuration of Lotti was– the double bed at one end and the table at the other end, that converted into another bed if needed.  It had an oven, fridge, and the sink finished off this perfect space.

After a few trips in the van, we worked out what is important to us as campers.  We have a fridge and esky, so do we really need a fridge in the van?  No.  We never cook inside the van, nor prepare food in the van.  If we camp at a caravan park, we use the camp kitchen or cook on the BBQ.  Clean-up is always outside, so do I need a kitchen sink in the van? No.

The Caravan Renovation

What matters to us is KISS – keep it simple stupid.  We don’t want duplication and getting rid of unnecessary “stuff” seemed like a great idea.  Out with the inside fridge, oven and sink.  More space!

Looks are important and fortunately, when Lotti sits amongst the new generation of vans, she can hold her head high as other campers (our experience), show a degree of delight in seeing these old vans coming back into use.  Lotti has a new lick of paint and all the leaks have been professionally fixed.  A dry van!

What about the Re-Sale Value?

Out with the kitchen – yes, I hear you, the resale value!  For us it comes down to the same argument we have in houses having baths.  We don’t use the kitchen in the van, so we have added extra seating and thrown in a coffee table.   The new awning gives us an undercover area out of the sun.  We never use the annex, but really wanted an awning that is easy to set up.  The new awning takes no time at all to set up.

Testing out the “New” Caravan Renovation

We wanted to test our new upgrade, so headed to Smythesdale Victoria for the test run.  By way of donation to the camping area, we had access to toilets and shower.  Smythesdale is a nice little town with its own history. Smythesdale – Read more.

Over time, as our needs change, we will consider further modifications, but for now we have the perfect van!  BBQ outside, shade and loads more space inside if the sky opens up and it begins to pour.

Camping – you gotta love it!

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