While caravans often leave a lot to be desired in their looks, and most of the furnishings and space inside a caravan have practical purposes, if you buy a second hand caravan there is no reason not to renovate it.

You can create a thoroughly modern standard making it feel like a hotel apartment, retro-fit it to better than its original glory, create a practical craft room, or even a mobile business.

It really is up to your imagination, and even when on a tight budget, it’s possible to give a decent facelift without a lot of expense.

Top Tips to Enhance Your Space Visually

Caravans are not known for their roominess and have a lot of facilities to put into the available space. However there are effective ways to make the inside of your van seem bigger than it actually is. modern van interior

  • Brighten with lighter shades
  • Paint or reclad the brown interior
  • Replace old doors with new ones
  • Update the upholstery
  • Install new flooring
  • Buy modern appliances
  • New kitchen bench tops

This image is from a van that was redecorated by a couple in Victoria and they have some helpful tips including methods of painting and being careful about the weight of the replacement items, to make sure you keep the van balanced on the road for safety.

Make Use of Available Space

Modern Caravan RenovationThis renovation makes an old van beautiful inside and out.

To make use of the limited space, there is a long skinny table that can be tucked away when not in use, and see through chairs to lesson visual interruption.

The whole van interior is modern with use of mirrors to increase space and feature wallpaper to add interest.

They have clever solutions for space throughout the van, with added kitchen shelving, wall racks, an extendable mirror in the bathroom and have kept the overhead cupboards from the original van.

The exterior they hardly touched, but adding those few decals with matching shades and deck chairs brightens it up immensely.

Caravan Renovating – Modernising The Kitchen

Modern Amelia VanCan you believe this is the kitchen of a caravan?

Amelia the Airstream received a full overhaul to make a modern glamour camping vehicle from a 1972 Globetrotter Land yacht.

The kitchen has a convection oven / microwave combination to save space, which means you can still do your baking.

The sink has a chopping board which can be placed on top when not is use and the tap extends for full functionality.

The touches of matching the wallpaper with the towel adds a fun element and ties the whole space together.

Again the cupboards are painted white to make the space seem as big as possible. Clever, practical solutions.


Create a Crafty Retreat

Modern Craft VanThis stunning caravan to a craft cottage was purely to give additional space for craft and sewing projects, it’s not intended to be used on the road, or for living, and so a lot of the original fit out was able to be removed to make extra useable space.

The space around the original bunks were cleverly repurposed for craft storage and one sleeping area was revamped, with a little desk and some tubs on the wall for colouring in. Even the kids can craft in the space she has made from an old van.

BeckyKay has a list of her before and after photos on her blog along with the timeframe to completion, which was around a year. She has further plans to build a deck around it improving an already wonderful space.

Making Interesting Exteriors

Caravan Painted Tea ShopThis van is actually a mobile business for a unique tea shop that frequents food markets on weekends.

With lots of special touches that add character both inside and out, we can see that an exterior can also be freshened up and made to look more interesting than the original van.

She has some hanging plants, on lovely decorative hooks, a string of pennants and some decorative touches of paint.

What a great way to make the outside of your van just as interesting as the inside.

How Much Can it Cost?

It all depends on how you go about the renovation.

If you are working to a budget and willing to get into some of the work yourself there are lots of ways you can save money.

modern van table legConsider doing the following:

  • Removal work
  • The interior painting
  • Wallpapering
  • Recovering the upholstery
  • Buying and building flat pack furniture
  • Cleaning and removing rust from the old metal table legs

While you will still need professionals to attend to any plumbing or electrical requirements if needed, by shopping around you can get some bargains for furnishings which all save money overall.

This blog post gives a great break down of the expenses involved to create something fresh and useable from something old, along with before and after photos.

If a new van seems out of reach financially, perhaps renovating and restyling an old one is a more practical way for you to still get into the great outdoors, have a mobile business solution or make an extra room without the major cost of building an extension onto your house.