We did it! We finally completed the caravan renovation of our Jayco. It took a good two months, and we worked on it a little bit each day. Check out the video above to see the final result!
What did we do?
We did four major things to the caravan to modernise its look. First up was the painting. The existing caravan was an ugly brown laminate wood colour, so we painted it white. I had no idea how much was involved in painting!
Painting the interior as part of our caravan renovation
Firstly, we had to clean all the surfaces, then sand them, then paint with primer, then paint the first coat, then sand again, then paint a second coat and finish with a light sand. It took ages and I never want to paint anything ever again.
We painted all the doors separately which meant taking them off their hinges and then screwing them back in once they were done.
New floors throughout
Next, we laid new flooring throughout the caravan. The old floor was an ugly (and filthy!) lino, which we ripped up. We purchased new lino with a grey wood effect, which was both modern and fresh. It has a sticky back so it was easy enough to lay down, although Dave and his dad spent awhile cutting it to fit into the right shapes for the different areas.
Modern curtains to replace the old
The old curtains were a ‘90s blue and quite grubby. We took them all down and bought floral fabric from Spotlight for the new ones. Before you think it looks too feminine, Dave actually chose the pattern.
My mum sewed the curtains on to the existing curtain tape to save us some money. Unfortunately, we weren’t paying attention and we sewed the curtain tape the wrong way round the first time, so I had to go back and unpick it all so we could do it again.
Very frustrating but worth it for the end result.
I stapled the fabric on to the top of all the pelmets using a staple gun, which is how they were originally covered by Jayco.
New purple upholstery as part of the caravan renovation
The existing couch covers were a blue and beige colour and super ugly. We took them off, unpicked the fabric and then copied the pattern to create new ones in a purple fabric, which matches the curtains.
For the backs of the couches, we could staple the fabric over the top of the existing fabric.
My mother-in-law sewed the couch bottoms and did a great job!
Finishing touches to our caravan renovation
We decided we wanted to add a bit of texture to the interior, to move away from the flat white walls everywhere, and so I ordered some textured wallpaper off eBay for $40. We stuck this on to the splashback, fridge and lower skirting areas.
It adds a modern twist to the finishes and also helps keep scuff marks off some of the furniture.
My mother-in-law also sewed cushions from the leftover fabric, to match the décor, and then I bought a few more cushions in white from Kmart.
Cutting down on costs
We tried to save money wherever we could. For example, my mother-in-law had a leftover duvet / doona cover, which she gave us for the large partitioning curtain, which separates Ruby’s space from ours.
If we were to buy that as curtain fabric, it would’ve cost more than $60 or so. But with the old doona cover, which matched our décor in a textured white, we could sew it on to the existing curtain lining and voila – we had a new privacy curtain for the space.
How much did everything cost?
Thankfully, we could borrow tools from our parents, and my in-laws also had paintbrushes and rollers we could use. This cut down on our equipment costs.
Our most expensive purchase was the paint – we ended up needing three cans of paint and two cans of primer, and at $50 a pop this came to around $250.
Anyway, all of our materials from Bunnings came to $725.
Thankfully, the fabric was on sale when we bought it, so we ended up paying about $14 a metre, rather than $20. All up, the fabric cost $180.
So all up, our reno cost us $900! That’s $100 under our budget of $1000.
A HUGE thanks to our parents
There’s no way we could’ve done without our parents’ help for this reno. Dave’s dad assisted in the painting and flooring, Dave’s mum sewed the couches, my mum did the curtains and my dad hung hooks and a towel rail.
Hats off to our parents and a HUGE thank you!
Overall thoughts about our caravan renovation
I’m not sure whether we’ve invested in the caravan and improved its value, but we don’t really care. The main thing is that it really feels like our little home on wheels now, and we’ve truly adapted it to make it ours.
It’s the perfect place for us to live during our adventures around Australia.