Camping Tips & Tricks

Caravan DIY Project

We are proud owners of a 1989 Gypsey Caravette 6. Although this is our first caravan and the old lady has only given us wonderful mileage and great memories, I often find myself dreaming about that luxurious new van with a beautiful interior, amazing cupboard space, an outside kitchen, a new tent, and everything imaginable that can open and close. We all follow multiple camping groups and equipment pages on Facebook spoiling us with choices of new and previously loved tents, caravans and off-road trailers. For us, the bottom-line consideration was: What we are able (or willing) to invest in an item we already own and love? It’s then when we decided to stop looking at all the ads on Facebook and rather investigate ways to update what we have. And what a great decision!

Our journey began with just a few minor interior changes. My handy- hubby and dad assisted with removing old wall-paper and giving the wood a new life with a coat of matt-varnish. I wanted to remove the unused kitchen top items like the wash-basin and stove. We replaced it with a plain top. New bedding and a few décor items – I was set! She looked good as new.

As our kids were originally inside, with mom and dad in the add-a-room the time came for the switch. The kids are older now and my mommy-heart felt ready to move them into the tent. Phase two initiates. Various discussions and design ideas finally led to a double-bed at the back, a kitchen-nook in the front, 2 x add-a-rooms and 3 x stretchers. Again, my happy-helper-dad (also the mastermind behind The Handyman Pretoria East) did the fitment inside for us. He built a beautiful “small-double” for us at the back. Removed a few redundant cupboards and for fun added a small storage compartment to cover the exposed wheel casing. For extras, I sourced a new custom size mattress from Foam Factory in Centurion and the services from Montana Caravans to assist with some tent repair work, zip replacements and the refurbishing of the kitchen-nook cushions. While we were at it we decided to seal the caravan to ensure another 30 years of wood-rot-free camping!

All this came at a surprisingly reasonable cost. The best part, we did it ourselves and we love this old lady even more!

This is a list of our spending:

Item Price
Kitchen Top R200
Bedding & Curtains R2000
Extra add-a-room R2000
3 x Stretchers R1800
30 D Foam Mattress R1468.32
Double Bed Build & Materials R600
Tent Repairs R950
Cushion Fabric R2000
Cushion upholstery R1400
Labour R600
Total R 13 018.32

For me personally, the spend was well worthwhile. We were able to do everything cash over a period of time and I can sleep sound knowing I do not have a new loan to worry about!
I’m happy to share some renovation pictures with you!

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