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  • FIRST POST
    • Lucyeff
    • By Lucyeff 26th Sep 08, 7:32 PM
    • 839Posts
    • 785Thanks
    Lucyeff
    Pimp my caravan old stylie!
    • #1
    • 26th Sep 08, 7:32 PM
    Pimp my caravan old stylie! 26th Sep 08 at 7:32 PM
    Hi everyone!

    I hope that this is in the right place, I feel like it's more old style help I'm after.

    We've just bought a 1990 touring caravan to get out and about with our 2 toddlers and make some memories, and it's all exciting! We're on a really tight budget (we used his gran's inheritance money to buy it) but I would dearly love to get it a bit more cosy.

    The stuff you seem to be able to buy for caravans doesn't exactly seem funky, but I know it's probably not easy to get stuff cheaply as everything is specially made for caravans! I'd love to do it all out Cath Kidston stylie (but on the cheap!) and paint the inside and maybe even outside! But there seems to be very little info about going down this route for caravans, especially on the cheap.

    We're very much starting from scratch with it - it comes with a starter set but no awning, etc, it has very old cushions which I'm conscious may be a bit minging esp worrying as our kids'll be sleeping on them. We don't have the spare pots adn pans and stuff either cos I gave ours away on freecycle, lol!

    All advice would be gratefully received. I have my fingers crossed that it's been done on the cheap as I'd love to get it looking more us!

    Tia,
    Luce
Page 1
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 26th Sep 08, 7:53 PM
    • 13,159 Posts
    • 225,101 Thanks
    greenbee
    • #2
    • 26th Sep 08, 7:53 PM
    • #2
    • 26th Sep 08, 7:53 PM
    I have had old caravans in the past, and I've found that it's a good idea to replace the cushions/mattresses, so buy new foam for those (I measured for it, then had it cut to size at a local supplier). Then make curtains/seat covers from calico & fabric remnants (add a few throw cushions to make it cozy). Make the covers removable by elasticating them all the way round. It's worth making a removable cover under the nice one so that you can take the nice ones off when converting to beds and then either adapt old sheets to fit, or just have sleeping bags on the boring underneath covers rather than the pretty ones.

    I redid the floors using second-hand carpet tiles and self-adhesive vinyl tiles, and used wallpaper border to liven up the walls inside (they didn't need repainting). Try freecycle for the tiles, and pots & pans (and the fabric possibly). Painting the outside is more of a problem as you have to use special paint (avoid getting it on your skin, it doesn't come off easily ) and has to be done very carefully. Only do this if it needs it. If the roof leaks (common problem), use heavy duty tape such as that used for gutters etc.

    Hope this helps!
    Last edited by greenbee; 26-09-2008 at 9:51 PM.
  • bertiebots
    • #3
    • 26th Sep 08, 8:11 PM
    • #3
    • 26th Sep 08, 8:11 PM
    You might get some good ideas and help from this site....its great for first time campers, loads of info on bargains and what you really need when camping. And it also has reviews on great family sites ! you can search the map to find one.... enjoy!
    http://www.ukcampsite.co.uk/
    JAN GC- £155.77 out of £200 FEB GC £197.31 out of £180. MARCH GC - out of £200
    • Lucyeff
    • By Lucyeff 27th Sep 08, 9:18 AM
    • 839 Posts
    • 785 Thanks
    Lucyeff
    • #4
    • 27th Sep 08, 9:18 AM
    • #4
    • 27th Sep 08, 9:18 AM
    Thanks! Is it quite easy to get the foam to fit? I know that the cushions are an odd shape as they change into a mattress and pillows with the pillow bit being the back rest for the settee, I'm just a bit worried about getting the right shape, etc.

    I'll have to get my mum to make the covers, she's a dab hand with the sewing machine! I'll have to watch and pick up some tips. Can't sew but probably now is a good time to learn by the sounds!

    Any tips on decorating the walls inside? It's a shame that painting the outside is such a specialist job. I have visions of doing it like the Daisy Bus on Balamory (yup, our kids are both under 3..yellow with huge white Daisy's for those not in the know, lol!) but then wondered if we might not get in some sites if it was too extreme? :confused:

    I have subscribed to the UK Campsite forums, I'm plucking up the courage to ask about pimping, lol! Not sure if it's everyone's cup of tea, but seeing as the caravan is a cheap one it seems worth having a go.

    It's all very old lady at the mo (not in a cool way), I'm looking forward to getting it home and getting cracking. Still quite daunting though.
    Luce
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 27th Sep 08, 12:31 PM
    • 13,159 Posts
    • 225,101 Thanks
    greenbee
    • #5
    • 27th Sep 08, 12:31 PM
    • #5
    • 27th Sep 08, 12:31 PM
    I'm not quite sure why, but orange and brown tend to be popular colours for caravans!

    I found a place that cut foam to size, which didn't seem to be a problem. Make sure you measure carefully. It's important to do the mattresses first. If you can't afford to do everything at once, make sure you take the old covers off and give the old foam a really good hoover. I found it was dusty and musty-smelling. If your children are small it may be worth getting some waterproof covers for their beds, just in case, as it may be difficult to get things dry if there are any accidents.

    When I made the covers, I used calico to make a strong base, then something pretty over the top. Try to use fairly tough fabric on the seats, but something like gingham dress fabric works well for curtains. You can get some amazing coloured curtain linings as well! Just make sure it's all washable (calico should be washed before making up, as it shrinks), as caravans get damp and mouldy.

    I don't see any problem with painting the outside, but you do need to use the right kind of paint. You can probably use spray car paint, so as long as you prepare the surface properly you can do what you like. Don't worry about what other people think - most of them (or at least their children!) will be jealous.

    I got an awning for about £100 from the local paper, so keep your eyes peeled, and you may well find one for next year. Try freecycle too - there's no harm in asking, just make sure you're clear about the size you need. Then you've got somewhere to keep a few folding chairs & picnic table, plus damp stuff (it won't dry, but at least you won't be bringing it in with you!

    I'm almost feeling nostalgic...
    • elliewild
    • By elliewild 13th Apr 11, 7:39 AM
    • 107 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    elliewild
    • #6
    • 13th Apr 11, 7:39 AM
    • #6
    • 13th Apr 11, 7:39 AM
    i bought a caravan yesterday - i have no ideas about how they work and have been researching on the net. our van is also dated and its gonna have a major 'pimp' up. i'm planning on doing it in black and red. Black seats (black curtains with red flowers and cushions to match) gonna paint the inside white and the cupboards red. gonna try and do i on a mass budget - bring on the carboots!

    however i am confused about what paint to use. i dont fancy wallpapering (i hate it) and the paper seems fine. but when i researched it kept talking about all different paints i'd never heard of. i was wondering if you could just use interior matt wall paint? (and maybe red gloss for wooden cupboards?) is this viable?

    i think more caravans should be more modern - why stick with beige when you have an imagination?

    i've also seen some black with red flowers cutlery at wilkos but whether they have plastic versions, i dont know!
    Now living within my means!
  • welshcamper
    • #7
    • 13th Apr 11, 7:49 AM
    • #7
    • 13th Apr 11, 7:49 AM
    congratulations on getting your caravan

    http://www.ukcampsite.co.uk/chatter/display_topic_threads.asp?ForumID=8&TopicID=236808 &SearchPagePosition=1&search=makeover&searchMode=p hrase&searchIn=Topic&forum=8&searchSort=dateDESC&R eturnPage=Search

    here is a direct link to some makeovers on ukcs which might give you a few ideas.
    • valentina
    • By valentina 13th Apr 11, 7:54 AM
    • 984 Posts
    • 1,730 Thanks
    valentina
    • #8
    • 13th Apr 11, 7:54 AM
    • #8
    • 13th Apr 11, 7:54 AM
    And if you like shabby chic...
    http://www.happylovesrosie.com/2009/08/vintage-caravan-done.html
  • jcr16
    • #9
    • 13th Apr 11, 8:07 AM
    • #9
    • 13th Apr 11, 8:07 AM
    Wow congrats hun, how exciting. were thinking about buying a camper van ( i think thats what they called the type that is all in one, not the caravan type which you pull, i'm very techinal aren't i, ) as thought it be fab for family holidays and beach trips.

    When my parents had a vw camper the cushions were grim, my mum took the old covers off and copied them to make new covers which would fit. i'm sure she also made two covers, bit like a pillow case, one stayed on closest to the padding and the outer one was able to remove so it could be washed. and then for the curtains again, she used the old ones as a pattern. It worked really well. and the cupboard doors they used a white gloss on them. the camper was blue, so they gave it a blue and white interior. it had an awful orange and brown one when they got it. but my dad couldn't see what was wrong with it

    mum and dad had a set of plastic plates and cups to keep in there. i can't remember what cooking equpiment was in there. i was only about 10.
    Once you get going it is amazing how many ideas will suddenly flow and your really enjoy pimping it , even on a tight budget.
    Very proud mummy to 4 wonderful children aged 8,7 and 4 and 1 months. And our beautiful little angel in heaven she will never be forgotten .My children and Husband are my world.I'm a sahm and enjoying every minute to the full even if sometimes it can seem a bit tough x
    • GreyQueen
    • By GreyQueen 13th Apr 11, 8:07 AM
    • 12,490 Posts
    • 240,524 Thanks
    GreyQueen
    Pimping the caravan
    What a fantastic idea to get a touring caravan to get you and the kids out and about. Hope you have lots and lots of lovely times.

    Ahem, about 20 years ago I used to run with the new age traveller set and have pimped a few caravans on the cheap.

    Painting them; the best thing we found was Hammerite. They do a smooth version of their paint which is the one you want. Any DIY or hardware store will have it. Definately keep the outside of the van esp the roof WHITE or you'll discover the joys of solar gain (once painted one dark blue and it heated up like an oven. ) You'll need to give it a damned good scrub if its been stored outside and possibly a light sanding with a fine grade wet-and dry paper to help "key" the paint.

    Greenbee is very right about the foam, I'd think about replacing that ASAP. It's a pig of a job to wrestle with huge chunks so get the mattress sized bits pre-cut by the supplier. If you look in the phone book for a company on a trading estate you'll likely get it at a better price than in a shop. If you have more fiddly bits to do you might want to buy the foam and cut it to size in situ. You can mark the shapes onto the foam with felt tip and cut it easily and smoothly, even in curves, with an ELECTRIC CARVING KNIFE.

    I know that sounds bonkers but it's the way to do it. If you try to cut foam with scissors or any kind of knife you'll get very cross very quickly and well as a result that looks like rats chewed it.

    I always found that wipable floors were a lot more sensible than carpetted ones as you'll constantly track stuff in from the outside.

    Re the decor/ accesories, I know what you mean about the Cath Kidson stuff but it's not cheap, is it? Perhaps you can go looky-likey. A sucessful interior pimp of mine involved a lot of old enamel ware from bootsales in old-fashioned candy colours; teapots, plates and pans in yellows, pale blues and peppermint greens. As it'll all be under your nose, choose things you love to look at.

    If you feel you must have some CK textiles, you could limit the expense by having a cushion cover or two, or perhaps buying a little fabric and inserting it as a border or motif onto plain curtains? Easy job if you've got a sewing machine, not impossible by hand either.

    I'd scour the jumble sales and bootfairs and Freecycle for paint and the other bits and bobs. We equipped a whole caravan kitchen with change from a tenner at a booter in a single morning and it looked ace.

    Oooohh, wish it was my caravan! Enjoy it, lots.
    Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness.
    John Ruskin
    Veni, vidi, eradici
    (I came, I saw, I kondo'd)

    • FatVonD
    • By FatVonD 13th Apr 11, 8:09 AM
    • 5,125 Posts
    • 20,692 Thanks
    FatVonD
    Ooh, lucky you, I love caravans!

    I saw some lovely fabric in a shop the other day covered in liquorice allsorts, I'd go for something like that or why not just pick a colour scheme and buy up remnants in those colours and mix and match? (I saw an armchair upholstered in a mix of fabrics on ebay the other day that sold for hundreds!)

    Is there no chance of washing the foam on a sunny day and letting it dry in the garden? If you really need to replace it I'm sure you could take the old ones along for them to use as a template.
    Last edited by FatVonD; 13-04-2011 at 8:14 AM.
    Make £25 a day in April £0/£750 (March £584, February £602, January £883.66)

    December £361.54, November £322.28, October £288.52, September £374.30, August £223.95, July £71.45, June £251.22, May£119.33, April £236.24, March £106.74, Feb £40.99, Jan £98.54) Total for 2017 - £2,495.10
    • FatVonD
    • By FatVonD 13th Apr 11, 8:13 AM
    • 5,125 Posts
    • 20,692 Thanks
    FatVonD

    mum and dad had a set of plastic plates and cups to keep in there.
    Originally posted by jcr16
    I love picnicware almost as much as I love caravans! The pound shop sell plastic cups and plates and stuff. Debenhams sometimes have the Ella Doran melamine stuff in the sale which is lovely.
    Make £25 a day in April £0/£750 (March £584, February £602, January £883.66)

    December £361.54, November £322.28, October £288.52, September £374.30, August £223.95, July £71.45, June £251.22, May£119.33, April £236.24, March £106.74, Feb £40.99, Jan £98.54) Total for 2017 - £2,495.10
  • jcr16
    same here. i even really love the melamine set's. some are so pretty.

    i'm planning on buying one of those old fashioned wicker basket picnice sets , you know the type with the red gingham material inside. as there is something so comforting about having a picnic and opening up a wikcer basket.

    i really hope our plans for getting a camper work out. although with 4 children and maybe havign more, i think we might need a tour bus,lol.
    Very proud mummy to 4 wonderful children aged 8,7 and 4 and 1 months. And our beautiful little angel in heaven she will never be forgotten .My children and Husband are my world.I'm a sahm and enjoying every minute to the full even if sometimes it can seem a bit tough x
    • FatVonD
    • By FatVonD 13th Apr 11, 8:33 AM
    • 5,125 Posts
    • 20,692 Thanks
    FatVonD
    Just had another thought (damn you all and your caravans, I'm *supposed* to be getting ready for work!)

    It might be worth asking at a posh fabric shop if they have any old sample books they're throwing out, Harlequin/Designer's Guild/Sanderson etc all do them (Sanderson's Dandelion Clocks pattern is fabulously fifties!) The samples are easily large enough for scatter cushions (sometimes bigger) and you could sew them together patchwork style for the bigger cushions and being from the same range they would all coordinate.
    Last edited by FatVonD; 13-04-2011 at 8:35 AM.
    Make £25 a day in April £0/£750 (March £584, February £602, January £883.66)

    December £361.54, November £322.28, October £288.52, September £374.30, August £223.95, July £71.45, June £251.22, May£119.33, April £236.24, March £106.74, Feb £40.99, Jan £98.54) Total for 2017 - £2,495.10
    • Gigervamp
    • By Gigervamp 13th Apr 11, 9:40 AM
    • 6,379 Posts
    • 20,396 Thanks
    Gigervamp
    Dunelm sell fabrics and oil cloth in designs similar to Cath Kidston, but a lot cheaper! They also sell foam for cushions.
  • jackieglasgow
    Completely off topic, but I love the Sanderson Dandelion Clocks, and when I finally get my livingroom done this year, that's what I am having for wallpaper and cushions, you've made me daydream about it again, FatvonD
    It's what is inside your head that matters in life - not what's outside your window
    Originally posted by mardatha
    Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory. - Ghandi
    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 13th Apr 11, 10:02 AM
    • 17,431 Posts
    • 40,365 Thanks
    Pink.
    same here. i even really love the melamine set's. some are so pretty.

    i'm planning on buying one of those old fashioned wicker basket picnice sets , you know the type with the red gingham material inside. as there is something so comforting about having a picnic and opening up a wikcer basket.

    i really hope our plans for getting a camper work out. although with 4 children and maybe havign more, i think we might need a tour bus,lol.
    Originally posted by jcr16
    Hi jcr,

    Not that I'm encouraging you to spend money, but I bought a gorgeous four person picnic basket last year when BHS had a sale on. I've checked just now and they have some on offer at the moment. Linky and there are some discount codes here. I can highly recommend them... good quality and we've had lots of use out of ours.

    Pink
    • mioliere
    • By mioliere 13th Apr 11, 10:02 AM
    • 6,827 Posts
    • 71,655 Thanks
    mioliere
    For those with caravans that they want to 'cosy up', have a look at the gorgeous campers here http://www.snailtrail.co.uk/ The photos of the interiors are lovely!
    KNIT YOUR SQUARE TOTALS:

    Squares: 11, Animal blankets: 2
  • jcr16
    Hi jcr,

    Not that I'm encouraging you to spend money, but I bought a gorgeous four person picnic basket last year when BHS had a sale on. I've checked just now and they have some on offer at the moment. Linky and there are some discount codes here. I can highly recommend them... good quality and we've had lots of use out of ours.

    Pink
    Originally posted by Pink-winged
    oh wow they are gorgeous. but unfortualty not big enough for us. were a family of 5 already with baby on the way. but they are the type i was thinking about.

    i just thinking there is something very romantic and dreamy about having a caravan or camper van for family holidays by the beach. i appreciate it not always the case. a family member has a stunning camper it is huge cost around £40k i think and although it is really really nice, it doesn't inspire me as much as the older ones with the cozy shabby chic twist.
    Very proud mummy to 4 wonderful children aged 8,7 and 4 and 1 months. And our beautiful little angel in heaven she will never be forgotten .My children and Husband are my world.I'm a sahm and enjoying every minute to the full even if sometimes it can seem a bit tough x
    • FatVonD
    • By FatVonD 13th Apr 11, 12:16 PM
    • 5,125 Posts
    • 20,692 Thanks
    FatVonD
    If money were no object I would LOVE to stay in one of these

    http://www.theshadydell.com/

    They had some gorgeous vintage caravans at Vintage at Goodwood last year too that you could have a nosey around in *insert envious green smilie*
    Make £25 a day in April £0/£750 (March £584, February £602, January £883.66)

    December £361.54, November £322.28, October £288.52, September £374.30, August £223.95, July £71.45, June £251.22, May£119.33, April £236.24, March £106.74, Feb £40.99, Jan £98.54) Total for 2017 - £2,495.10
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