A DIY couple have transformed a vintage caravan into a spectacular holiday home on wheels dubbed ‘Vinnie’ – complete with beds, dining space and a modern kitchenette.
Mother-of-two Jade Adams and her partner Patrick, from the Central Coast in New South Wales, purchased the old 1980s Viscount in December 2018 after they wanted a family caravan for their adventurous road trips.
‘We brought Vinnie from Mudgee in original condition, she was charming, but tired. So, we brought her back to life,’ Jade, an interior designer, told Daily Mail Australia.
‘With a lot of DIY, trial and error, tantrums and Bunnings snags, we have ourselves a little memory maker.’
Jade said the family spent an estimate of just $2,500 converting their humble 14-ft van into ‘Vinnie the Viscount’ after her carpenter partner Patrick became a ‘YouTube-trained plumber, electrician, painter and tiler’.
‘The reality is the more you’re able to do yourself without outsourcing trades, the more you’ll save,’ she said.
‘With it being so rare to find a vintage van like Vinnie in such great condition, we decided to keep her original layout and just give her a much-needed face lift, I really enjoyed the challenge of working with existing features to retain her sense of charm.’
Jade Adams and her partner Patrick, from New South Wales, transformed a vintage caravan into a spectacular holiday home on wheels dubbed ‘Vinnie’ – complete with beds, dining space and a modern kitchenette (pictured with their kids – three-year-old son Charlie and five-month-old baby daughter April)
Jade said the family spent an estimate of just $2,500 converting their humble van into ‘ Vinnie the Viscount ‘ after her carpenter partner Patrick became a ‘YouTube-trained plumber, electrician, painter and tiler’
She said her caravan has a ‘cosy coastal vibe’ with a ‘crisp white’ and ‘muted green interior with touches of brass elements’ and the ‘softness of linen’.
‘And that’s Vinnie in a nut shell,’ Jade said.
‘She’s practical, super cute and all you need to have a relaxing family holiday. Her transformation was hugely satisfying and we can’t wait to see where she takes us.
‘Vinnie also gives us the freedom to hitch up the van and explore and create special memories for the kids. Getting out of town on a whim and with little expense.’
The parents, aged in their 20s, purchased the old caravan from the previous owners who initially used the vehicle for their road trips between Mudgee and Adelaide after they spotted the ad on Facebook Marketplace.
‘They did the hard work, then decided it was easier to fly. We went and viewed it, with no expectations and it was perfect. Lucky us,’ Jade said.
The couple, aged in their late 20s, purchased the old caravan from the previous owners who initially used the vehicle for their road trips between Mudgee and Adelaide after they spotted the ad on Facebook Marketplace
Vinnie now features a double bed, dining space that transforms into a bed for their children and a kitchenette (pictured)
Before and after: The pair gave the caravan a new lease of life with a lick of paint, new curtains and a range of modern décor
How the couple styled Vinnie on a budget
Styling really doesn’t need to be expensive, especially when it comes to styling such a small space.
We used items from our home which helped create a homely and familiar space for the kids.
With Vinnie, we kept it pretty minimal, light stripe linen bedding, a few too many cushions and of course some dried flowers were essential.
Just being selective and using stylish essential items defiantly makes a statement on their own.
The great thing about working with such a small space is that you can really splurge with finishes as you only need a small amount, it’s still affordable.
Despite buying the van nearly two years ago, the pair only completed the renovations in August 2020.
‘We completed the renovations in August but in that time, we moved house twice, had a second child and poor Vinnie was sitting not so pretty on my grandparent’s property until we brought her to the coast and got stuck into it,’ she said.
Keeping its original layout, the pair gave the caravan a new lease of life with a lick of paint, new curtains and a budget range of modern home décor.
‘We chose to paint all the laminate cabinetry, walls and ceiling crisp white and added a splash of minty green to the wardrobe and front and end walls… Anything that was able to be reused instead of being replaced saved a lot, you’d be surprised what a spray of paint can do,’ she said.
‘To break up the paint and add some texture, we replaced the kitchen bench with a concrete-look laminate top and a penny round marble tile on our table top.
‘Vinnie had black carpet, which we removed and laid self-adhesive vinyl planks in an oak timber look. We installed linen sheer curtains to soften the space and let in some filtered light which hung in front of aluminium blinds.
‘She had a few original brass elements which worked perfectly with our colour scheme so we added some brass edging to our dining table, brass tapware and cabinetry.’
Vinnie the Viscount now features a double bed, dining space that transforms into a bed for their children and a kitchenette
The young couple share two kids together – three-year-old son Charlie and five-months-old baby daughter April
‘We decided to keep her original layout and just give her a much-needed face lift,’ Jade said, as she revealed how a spray of paint made a huge difference to the vintage caravan
Jade said the exterior was still in ‘good condition’ so they restored the old paint.
‘The exterior was the last project we tackled, but it was pretty straight forward,’ she explained.
‘To kept some of the vintage charm, we colour matched the minty green lightning bolt that she came with and painted her in two tone colours – half white and half minty green. We cleaned up and repainted the drawbar and added new towel racks.
‘Once the exterior was done it really pulled everything together and we no longer had a rusty tin can in our driveway.’
The family were able to save a fortune on renovations after taking on the project themselves.
‘It really pays to shop around,’ she said.
Vinnie now features a double bed, dining space that transforms into a bed for their children and a kitchenette.
‘With Vinnie, we kept it pretty minimal, light stripe linen bedding, a few too many cushions and of course some dried flowers were essential,’ Jade explained
Since transforming their caravan into the ultimate space for their family, Jade said stepping into Vinnie feels ‘so calming and uplifting’
Some of their biggest savings included $16 aluminium blinds, sheer curtains made from Spotlight’s linen fabric, awning and DIY paint after they were intially quoted more than $3,000 for the exterior.
‘The biggest saver, was our Awning. It was something we hadn’t thought about until the end of the renovations and we didn’t want to spend a small fortune on one, plus I couldn’t find one to compliment Vinnie. With a bit of sourcing, risk and help of a local canvas repairer, we threw one together for under $300 and it’s unreal,’ she said.
‘A quote to paint the exterior alone was $3,000. We brought the second cheapest spray gun from Bunnings, quality White Knight Paint and it cost us less than $500.’
Since transforming their caravan into the ultimate space for their family, Jade said stepping into Vinnie feels ‘so calming and uplifting’.
‘When we aren’t travelling, she spends her days in our driveway, I often find myself just lying in the caravan while the kids sleep and the house cleans itself, it’s so relaxing,’ she said.
‘For now, we are just planning small long weekend trips in Vinnie. We are lucky enough to live on the Central Coast so there are many great caravan and holiday locations within a few hours from home.
She added: ‘We renovated with the intention to offer Vinnie for hire, this is still something we are trying to get our heads around but hopefully in the near future you will be able to stay with Vinnie.’