Slaves to the weather and time itself . . . . . .

Going into winter on the Central Coast with dewey mornings and frosty nights and no daylight saving time makes for a damp caravan exterior. Getting Annie painted was taking forever.

We opted for hand painting as spraying was not an option with our driveway being so close to both our home and our neighbours and being near the beach we get every puff of coastal air that breezes by.

We gave her one coat of white Dulux Primer Sealer Undercoat then another tinted coat of the same then a top coat of Dulux Weathershield Gloss.

Taping her up for the striping was a challenge with all 4 panels not matching up at the joins. We went through quite a few rolls of blue painters tape getting it right.

I was so excited when the first coat of blue was being applied.  It had been 4 long months.

So excited that we got a bit of the green undercoat on just to be sure we had made the right colour choices.  I think we got it right.

So as you can see our interior and exterior are the same colour.

After each coat we checked that there werenโ€™t any colour runs and after each peel there was always at least one section where the paint peeled off.  Lots of touch ups to do at the end.

Dad's little helper "Claire"

Sometimes it was just all too much for the tradie !

The driving lights . . . .

Well wasn't this just a saga of it's own.  The lights all worked when we drove her home in January. All the lights were replaced as they were very old, probably not as old as the van but they had had their time.

The wiring setup had not changed.  It took three full days over 3 weekends to finally get them up and running.  Shane would get them all working and the next day, they were totally confused and stopped working.

I was all for calling an auto electrician but Shane was determined.

Finally, the planets must all have been in alignment because all the lights got their acts together  and we were able to hitch her up.


The lower front of the van had quite a lot of stone chips and dents. I wanted some stoneguard but not the chrissy crossy type you see on work utes.  Something a little more fancy.

We ended up purchasing a full sheet of Stucco Aluminium sheeting and getting it cut to size. 

The other half is FOR SALE.  Make an offer !!!!!!

The unexpected maiden voyage

Unfinished Exterior

Unfinished Exterior

Launch date was to be my birthday in July.  I wanted EVERYTHING finished down to the re paint on the pull down step.

This did not happen as Shane accepted a 4 day job 2 hrs away and didn't want to commute.

So we packed all her bits and pieces away, stripped naked she was and off he drove into the sunset . . . .  well late afternoon. She towed beautifully and was the topic of conversation in the caravan park, with many folks wanting a sticky beak inside.


I'd seen lots of pictures of vintage vans with ever so fancy white walled tyres, coloured rims and bedazzled hubcaps.

Unfortunately the budget for my dream reno is practically zero at this point so I had to make do with what I had.  Sandpaper and paint and 3 hubcaps in fairly good condition which I purchased on ebay a few months ago.  The existing hubcaps were 9.5" in diameter.  The ones I purchased were advertised as 9.5" but are probably 9.7"  and unfortunately they are too big.

When I got to sanding down the rims, I found they were extremely rusty and that rust had been painted over previously.

It would have taken me hours to sand them back to raw metal.

Enter "Rustguard" which I left overnight to dry.  The next morning . . . . it rained 

The following weekend after executing some radical yoga positions underneath the wheel arches I was able to add that much needed touch of colour.  The hubcaps I got on ebay were too big, but with a soft cloth wrapped around a pair of plyers we managed to bend them into shape.  Her wheels are now ready to roll.

Now . . . . back to those doors

Why won't anyone play with me ?

Why won't anyone play with me ?

With so much else going on, I put the spraying of the doors on the backburner for a few weeks. We had a sunny, not too  breezy weekend ahead so the doors were on my to do list. After a light sanding down and clean, 1 coat of primer and 2 coats of paint should do it.  We were ready.  The primer went on with a few runs but they sanded off with wet and dry.  The paint went on beautifully, both coats. I got a bit too keen to reveal the end result when one of those pesky coastal breezes blew up just as I was peeling off the tape.  The photos are self explanatory. *sigh*

I was getting over my door obsession after we sprayed the inside of the door and the overspray ended up down the side of the van despite taping up and holding up all forms of overspray inhibitors like drop sheets, newspaper and cardboard - coastal breezes, can't predict them  (hence the reason why we didn't spray the entire van) and decided on Plan B -

Stickers . . . . . .


You can see the Y drooping down on the front.

You can see the Y drooping down on the front.

In retrospect this was hillarious.  At the time it wasn't so funny. It should have been easy.  Line up the logo dead centre, peel off the backing and smooth it on.  Fortunately we started with the front and the Y went on crooked and we couldn't peel it back off the van. It was like fly paper and the two of us wrestling with the sticker in a space maybe 18 inches wide.

We had to tear away from the Y, the remaining letters which were now starting to stick to our fingers.  I stayed calm, Shane did not ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

Eventually we got the front logo applied, learned from our mistakes and had the rear logo on straight within 10 minutes.

Making her beautiful on the outside

New locks and a funky key chain

New locks and a funky key chain

Welcome to

Welcome to "The Beach"

The AFrame

"Don't you get that paint on the driveway !!!"

Lots of rust eating away at this solid piece of workmanship.  It was back into the yoga positions for this job with my trusty drill and fuzzy wire attachment plus some hard grit sandpaper.

It was really fiddly and the blood was rushing to my head while poised over the frame.  It needed 4 coats . .  . "how many coats ??" you say . . . . 4  with an hour drying time inbetween . . . .  on a warm day.  It was 15 deg over the weekend.  It took all weekend. The step was easy, just a quick sand and 2 coats.

But just look at it now - it looks like a relative of the Tin Man from The Wizard Of Oz

"Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man, that he didn't, didn't already have"

So . . . .  what's left to do ?

I am going to try my hand at making an awning.  I have spent $200 on "Weatherproof Canvas", cotton bias binding,  thread,  rope and lots of hope ๐Ÿค” Keep posted for that one, it should be interesting.  I am also going to introduce Red into her interior.  With the warmer weather due in a few months she will enjoy some shock therapy. I managed to score 5 metres of red fabric on a clearance table at Lincraft for $8.00, so maybe some new curtains will make their way out of it.

 Annie has 2 cracked window panes that need replacing, all the aluminium window frames need rustguard painted on them to stop the oxidisation, the Louvre Window Frame Rubber and the Louvre Window Bubble Seal Rubber needs replacing on all the windows. But apart from that, after 6 months and 10 days . . . .



Chris Willis

11.11.2018 08:14

Oh, Iโ€™m green with envy. Itโ€™s a dream if mine to hit the road, but it looks like I have to do it through peopleโ€™s adventures. I love to make old things new again...what a wonderful job. Congrats ๐Ÿค—


02.02.2018 04:10

Love your vintage caravan story, saw you parked at Huskission and spoke briefly as you were leaving , thanks for the tour of your van. Look forward to following your blog

Latest comments

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 ๐Ÿ‘

14.09 | 21:39

Hi there
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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