A member of our family since 2013, our renovated vintage caravan (nicknamed Frankie) has earned a special place in our hearts. It all started as a daydreaming session during a summer road trip, and ended in the creation of our tiny holiday home.
Driving home from a family holiday in January 2013, the conversation turned to our reflections on the year past, and our hopes and dreams for the coming year. We joked about buying an old (cheap) caravan, renovating it, and then doing one of the following: a. Sell it for a profit (a mini flip), b. Rent it out (before the days of Camplify), c. Use it ourselves.
The seed started to take root later that same month, when I came across a copy of Country Style magazine, with Kara Rosenlund and her vintage caravan (umm, also called Frankie, nervous laugh) on the front cover. The magazine showed glossy images of the beautiful white interior, the collection of curated curiosities, the understated navy exterior … I was ready to get myself some of that. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? So, the search for a similar caravan to renovate commenced.
Our Franklin caravan was purchased via eBay in April 2013 and transported via tilt tray truck to our apartment block, over 1000km from its original destination. Getting the caravan from the tilt tray truck into our single car space is a story for another day… let’s just say we can see the humour in it now.
And so, we began the process of restoration. Step by step over the next 7 months, we removed the rotten frame, cleaned it up, added insulation, rebuilt all the frames and furniture, painted, and made cushion covers and curtains. In the process, we also changed it from a 3 berth to a 4 berth; rearranging the original dining area design to convert into bunk beds, and creating a 4-seater dining option at the back, which converts into a double bed… not bad for a 10ft caravan.
In the end, I had to modify my proposed Rosenlund interior styling to suit two little boys (less white), and Daniel’s industrial taste (he loves that aluminium exterior). But otherwise that little idea has bloomed, and we now have our very own sweet holiday home on wheels.
… Oh, and yes, we went with option c.