Couple spend £1,500 transforming run-down caravan – after buying it for £800

A couple from Newcastle have been busy giving an old-fashioned caravan a new lease of life.

Candice Elrod and her fiancé Darren Francis bought the run-down vehicle for £800 in August 2020.

And – after seeing a few caravan renovations on social media – the pair decided to have a go themselves.

‘We decided to try to do the renovation ourselves to keep costs down. Since it was during the height of lockdown, professionals were booked months in advance, and I’m someone who wants things done yesterday. It was all exciting,’ 35-year-old Candice told 

The pair started by ripping out the yellow bathroom and completely scrubbing the vehicle down from top to bottom. They then sanded all the surfaces ready for paint.

They also used a stick-on wallpaper in a dotty effect to fill in the insert of the cupboards and recovered the fabric seats in a faux leather material – in the hope they would be easier to clean with two dogs.

As for the bathroom, they added marble PVC cladding for £115, a sink for £40 and the mixer tap for £35 – all from ebay. They also painted the old and discoloured toilet seat black.

Then, in the kitchen, they used four tins of heat resistant stove paint to spray the cooker – which cost £20 from ebay – and stick-on tiles from Home Bargains, which came to £15.

In terms of finishing touches throughout, the couple hung window drapes in a dusky blush colour and bought £130 of cushions from Primark, George and B&M – as well as rugs, lamps and mirrors. 

Candice adds that the black kettle, toaster and microwave from George all came to £100.

In total, the pair spent about £1,500 on the renovations and are thrilled with how their project turned out. They are now advising others to try it themselves.

‘It’s hard work but so rewarding knowing that you’ve done it all yourself,’ adds Candice.

And now, they are enjoying caravan life.

Candice says: ‘Since we’ve completed the caravan and had a few trips away, we now know what we’re doing. 

‘I’ve joined a few caravan help sites on social media and people are so helpful and recommend good sites they’ve visited. 

‘For our first trip away we booked in overnight somewhere local so we could get used to setting up and towing. As total newbies, we forgot our water barrel so had to use bottled water. It’s all part of the learning process.

‘It’s brilliant, other campers and caravanners are so friendly and it’s lovely being able to get away and see new places. To be honest, I’m sad when it’s time to come home.’

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