Hooray! My little vintage caravan is back from the workshop and her transformation has really began. Whilst she was away she had rotten timber framing replaced in the front and down the sides, the front widow resealed and the rotten ply surrounding it replaced, all new window locks and stayz, a new aluminium panel on the back, new aluminium trim down each side where it was missing, and of course her biggest change of all, a lovely timber bifold installed in place of the old smashed back window! She’d been gone for almost three months (due to the christmas break and a delay on the bifold window) so I was so excited for her to come home.
She’s looking great right? Of course there’s still a huge amount of work to do before my vintage caravan makeover is complete, but we’ll get there. The next job on my list was to fix the holes in the floor. This began with removing the old higgledy piggledy kitchen. My original plan was to keep as much of the original kitchen framing as possible, but, in trying to remove the unwanted bits and having to remove one side to patch the floor, it all ended up quite a mess! It was anything but charming, it had an assortment of not so pretty modifications and was coated in years of grease and fat. So, we decided to completely remove it, and replace it with new cabinetry once the floor was patched. Here’s how my little caravan looked once the kitchen had been removed, pretty ugly!
To patch up the floor I enlisted the help of my dad and husband as they’re much handier on the tools than I am. We patched the hole on the right by undermounting a piece of 12mm ply to the frame and then filled the patch with a piece of 12mm ply the same size as the hole so that it was level with the existing floor. We secured it in place with liquid nails and screws which were countersunk.
For all the holes on the left we secured a patch over the top of the existing floor. Our rationale was that perhaps screwing and gluing one piece of ply over multiple holes would be stronger given it would be supporting cabinetry and visually the difference in floor level wouldn’t be noticeable as it would be hidden inside the new cabinetry. However, I now regret not making it level to the existing floor as it has had a domino effect of problems. Note to self, uneven flooring is never a good idea as it can make each little job afterwards so much trickier, even if it is hidden inside a cupboard. But more on that later. In the end the cost to patch the caravan floor cost less than $15, definitely worth the time in DIY.
As you’ll see from the photos, we also replaced the side of the chair on the right with a new full chair side, this was to make it easier to fit cabinetry. We used the opposite chair as a template to trace the curve onto ply, cut it out with a jigsaw, and gave it a light sand before nailing it on. It was actually the easiest DIY so far.
On the next part of my makeover I’ll be sanding, filling holes, painting and hopefully sharing my new cabinetry. Until then you can pop back and see Part 1 and Part 2 of my vintage caravan makeover or check out my post on how she looked the day we brought her home.