Annie - A 1977 11ft Millard York @my_tiny_caravan
Well it couldn't hurt to get a few quotes ?
No-one was interested. Capenters built decks and pergolas, Kitchen people built kitchens, Caravan places only fixed caravans they didn't renovate them. Hmm what does a Joiner do ? Join in ?
They do a bit of all of the above. And so we found Peter who had renovated his own caravan and udated a couple of others during his 37 odd years in the business.
After much deliberation on whether to keep her original look or change her completely , I decided to leap head on into the world of Vintage Caravan Remodelling.
Peter measured her up for 2 cupboards, some shelving and replacement doors. We spent the weekend prior to the "dismantling ceremony" taking down the curtain rails and packing up her bits and pieces. I left quite a few things in the upper cupboards (I figured they could stay) and covered them with freezer wrap to keep out the dirt and the gremlins. It was a bit sad knowing that she was going in for a "caravan hysterectomy". I even spent the night in her on the Saturday night just for the memory. She smelled wonderful . . . . for a caravan.
Peter arrived on the Monday morning and began to break up the cupboards. We kept the sink and the cook top aside for possible re-sale. They are in very good nick.
* Cooktop sold on Ebay for $130 and Sink for $35
It took him 4 hours to complete the task. He instructed us on what needed to be done before he could assemble the new cupboards.
She would need all the staples (about 200 of them) removed or pushed back into the wall panelling and roof lining. She needed to be painted and new flooring layed.
That sounded like a simple task, so I started on the staples and Shane started on removing the flooring or should I say floorings. There were 3 layers of different floor coverings and all needed to be scraped off. It was a hot day and the sun was shining through onto the floor. Things were hotting up in there. What we hadn't bargained on was the heat from the sun melting the glue on the first two layers of flooring and as we pulled them of , our shoes stuck to the floor ! This slowed down the process considerably and we found ourselves heaving each other out of the way.
This floor removal became quite a task and the more floor we removed the more history we uncovered.
It looked as though originally the bed was a 4 seater dinette that folded down to a bed and the dinette was double bunks. Cosy for a family of 4. The original laminated wood grain walls were still visible under the bed and the original dinette table top had been used to remodel the under bed storage. There was a date stamp of 2006 on some of the other pieces of timber so we guessed it's last remodel was about 10 years ago, with a few paint jobs inbetween then and now.
So what else did we find ? Either end, behind the dinette and the bed was white textured wallpaper. It was discoloured in some areas so we decided to remove it and maybe replace it or just paint the wall.
And so it happened that all four of her lower corners were rotting. The back and front walls , half the dinette and half the bed would need to be rebuilt. Peter would be waiting a while for his flooring to be layed.
Shane spent an entire day assembling new frames and tops for the bed and the dinette. He removed the old standard issue 240v/12v ceiling lights and patched up the holes. He went over the walls and peeled off and filled the water damaged and bubbly areas and filled the holes left by picture hooks and the 2.3 million staples !
All that was left to do was to sand down the walls and floors, paint the walls and lay the new flooring.
And then . . . . it rained. And kept raining. Then it rained some more. It was looking like being the wettest March in Sydney's history .
We were all set for a weekend of hard work when disaster struck early Saturday morning with Shane falling (literally) victim to a nasty bout of Vertigo. He was out of action for the entire weekend. All I could do without a degree in Painting Tin Cans was to sand down the walls and the framework, give them a dusting off and vacuum up all the residue..
And so it was that Shane partially recovered from his recurring attacks of Vertigo, well long enough to be able to start working on the van again. Every project needs a Project Manager (that's me) and reliable, knowledgable tradesmen (that's Shane)
Our driveway became an assembly line with me in charge of painting the framework while Shane cut out the wall panels and re-sanded the walls. I thought I had done so well the previous weekend 🤔 The rain came and went as did our dismantling of our assembly line only to reassemble minutes later. We got a lot done and it was great fun working together. Roll on next weekend
An early start on Saturday morning with the installation of the front and rear walls. We knew it was going to be tricky. The measure twice cut once rule was broken many times over during the day. Finally, mid afternoon both walls were in place and the floor was sanded back and vacuumed to remove every speck of dust and residue. The side walls needed repatching and glueing in the corners and another coat of paint. That plywood is like flaky pastry, it just crumbles under pressure !
Back onto the driveway with some serious measuring, dotting, scribbling and line drawing happening.
We wanted to make the small amount of floor area look as spacious as possible so we took the flooring right to both ends and left off the storage door on the bed end. We had reworked the panelling on either side of the cupboards.
The bed and dinette frames were then attached to the walls and floor. This of course did not happen without incident. The re made frames were constructed based on the measurement of the old rotten ones. Once in the van, they did not line up with the new more structured walls and it took a few goes unscrewing and re screwing and in some cases, pulling the whole thing apart and starting over. This meant re sanding and re painting. She was starting to look like a caravan again.
With the walls and floor sorted we moved to the roof. We knew where the water was coming in so out came the silicone sealant . . . . Lots of it. Tall men on tall ladders - gotta love 'em 😋 Ain't no water getting into this here Tiny Caravan
12.12 | 01:04
love your trailer- I'm currently in the middle of a renovation, might have to steal the little shelf on the outside
17.09 | 21:12
Hi Emma. I have a post devoted to Annie's Awning. Check it out in the Menu 👍
14.09 | 21:39
Where did you get your lovely fabric for the annex? Did you make these yourself?
13.07 | 14:48
What a wonderful story and pictures to wake up to. The camper is wonderful and the park is perfect! Love the spoiled little doggy too. Keep making memories!
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