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If you’re lucky enough to own a caravan, chances are you’ve been hitting the road! 

We chatted with Kylie Wiffen of ‘Honey I Bought A Caravan’ instagram fame about how she renovated her own van, which she named ‘Sunny’, giving it that gorgeous ‘summery’ feel all year round.

Here’s how she did it – and you can too:

1. Give the van’s exterior a complete once over

Before you hit the road, get your caravan looking its sparkling best. This might mean applying a bit of elbow grease – and a whole lot of Turtle Wax Max Power.

“A really good clean is the best start,” says Kylie, who enlisted her dad, husband and the kids to help get her van renovated, road-ready and cute-as-heck.

“Get the hose out and give the exterior a good wash with soapy water so the paintwork shines.”

Selleys Sugar Soap, which also works well for interiors, is the best way to remove dirt and stubborn grime from surfaces. Follow the dilution rates on the bottle and use a broom or brush to scrub that stubborn dirt!

2. Make sure your van is watertight.

After purchasing Sunny, Kylie and her family gave the van a thorough overhaul, pulling out old timber and replacing anything that had been damaged.

“To get rid of the wood rot, we got rid of the rotten frame, replacing it with new treated pine,” says Kylie of her van’s interior. “To keep it at bay, we were absolutely fanatical about sealing to keep the water out. It's a 40-plus year-old van, so leaks are going to happen, so the key is maintaining the water-tight seals.”

Selleys Roof and Gutter Silicone is ideal for doing this. It’s UV and weather resistant and perfect for sealing around most building surfaces. If the seals are old, chances are you’ll need to replace them and start again.

Kylie says she knew only too well the importance of keeping her van watertight and protected from the elements. “Keeping the water out is SO IMPORTANT and maintenance is the key,” she says,

who found out the hard way just how devastating a water leak can be when they began stripping back their van, only to find wood rot had set in and mould was an issue.

 “We check the van year-round for leaks and put a stop to them immediately with silicone.”

For exteriors, Selleys Roof and Gutter Silicone is ideal, protecting your home-on-wheels from the elements and taking care of any mould issues.

“After seeing the damage that water causes we are a little paranoid, but you have to be with these old vans,” says Kylie.

You heard her – get sealing!

“For the new walls, we used 3mm plywood and fixed it to the new framing using Selleys Liquid Nails,” says Kylie, who made sure her van was well ventilated when doing this. “My husband is obsessed with this product and has a green Liquid Nails t-shirt he got with a pack 16 years ago! He still wears it ALL the time!”

3. Give your interior a summery makeover:

You’ve got your exterior looking brand spanking, now it’s time to show the interior a bit of TLC! Kylie and her family spent time renovating the kitchen in their van – a complete “gut and rebuild” – replacing old fittings and bringing existing retro features back to their best.

“We used Selleys silicone around the kitchen sink to keep the water out of the benchtop,” says Kylie.

Selleys No Mould is perfect for this task, for its mould inhibiting properties – plus it comes in a tube format, so very easy to use.

“And we also used Selleys Liquid Nails throughout the van – my husband loves any excuse to use that stuff!” Kylie adds.

Consider utilising your wall space for storage. Selleys Hold Up is great for affixing things like spice racks and towel holders.

 

4. Think about a fresh coat of paint:

Giving your van an instant summer refresh is as easy as applying a quick coat of paint.

“The interior colour (of our van) is antique white, which is clean but not too stark,” says Kylie, who prepared her walls before she began. If you’re doing something similar, Selleys ‘3-Step Paint Prep Process’ is the easiest way to make sure everything’s good to go – start by washing the walls with Selleys Sugar Soap, filling any dings or dents and then giving those unsightly gaps a seeing-to with Selleys No More Gaps Multipurpose.

Gaps not only look awful but are also an entryway for cold air – and no one wants that!

Then you’re ready to paint!

“We tried a cool white to begin with (Lexicon), but it was way too cold, and clashed with the vintage accessories. We needed to work with the warm tones and our vintage pieces, so we settled on Antique White USA – all Dulux.”

 

5. Refresh your awnings and annexes

During the summer months your van can easily overheat – that’s where awnings come into their own. These additions help keep temperatures cool, and allow for a much larger living space outdoors.

“Awnings are a great way to really add personality to the exterior and nothing says ‘summer’ like a yellow and white stripe,” says Kylie. “Our large awning was a very lucky gumtree find, and the front window awning was from vida-xl.com.au and we customised it to fit.”

If you’re purchasing online, chances are your secondhand offerings may need a jolly good clean. Give them a scrub with Selleys Sugar Soap (in a weak, diluted solution – half a cup, into half a bucket, or five litres, of water), using a broom or brush. Hose off afterwards with plenty of water before it dries – and don’t forget to test on a small inconspicuous patch first.

 

6. Pay some attention to your floors

Everything else is looking fabulous – now it’s time to turn your attention to your floors. If you’re doing a thorough overhaul, chances are you’ll be required to relay any old vinyl flooring. This is far simpler than it might seem, and is an easy DIY job for the weekend.

Selleys Kwik Grip Horizontal is more than up to the task as it's perfect for bonding flat surfaces together. It’s also heat resistant (up to 130°, and water resistant too), so it’s perfect for the rigours of van life.

Choose a good quality vinyl floor covering, then test on an offcut (very soft or thin sheeting can be damaged by the solvents in Kwik Grip.) Ensure the Kwik Grip is allowed to become properly “Touch Dry” on both surfaces, before bringing them together. This may take up to 40 minutes depending on conditions, but it’s worth the wait – your new floor will look sensational!

7. Include some summer accessories

Hitting the road? Don’t forget to pack some fun accessories. “A fave fun inflatable would be a colourful striped icypole or pineapple (because, yellow!), but anything that makes you feel happy will do,” says Kylie who packs her van with summery fun before hitting the road for her hols.

She also added more colour with some cute vintage lawn chairs.

“Sunny's outdoor chairs were found on FB marketplace and eBay,” she says. “They are a firm favourite with guests because they bring back memories! And they're actually really comfortable too, which is most important.”

 

8. Refresh bed linen

Kylie’s gorgeous bed linen is a real focal point in the van and you can’t help but feel cheery when you see those bright, colourful cushions.

“I love vintage linens in soft florals. You can nab some nice ones on ETSY or at your local thrift store,” she says.


Products

Selleys No More Gaps Exterior

Selleys No More Gaps Exterior is a specially formulated flexible gap filler designed to protect against harsh external elements such as rain, wind and UV rays.

Selleys No More Gaps Interior Multipurpose

Selleys No More Gaps Interior Multipurpose gap filler delivers a smooth finish and because of its superior flexibility and low shrinkage, those unsightly gaps and cracks won’t re-appear.


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