Home on wheels

You don’t need a lot of space to feel at home, you just need to do what it takes to make your little abode feel homely.

Sitting in soggy clothes, in a leaky tent, in the middle of a rainy campground, Heather Liddell and her husband Clancy Cummins decided it was probably time to invest in something a bit more waterproof. Then, while ravelling back to Auckland on the last day of this ‘summer’ holiday, the couple passed a caravan sales lot where they spotted a 60s Crusader Munro despondently awaiting a new owner. “It was like passing a bundle of puppies,” says Heather. “We couldn’t help but pick it up on the spot.”
Only 2.1 metres wide, just over three metres long, and smelling like mould and mothballs, the caravan was in a less than glorious state. But it had a cute shape and lots of windows, so the interior felt more open and wide than the diminutive frame would suggest. The determined couple felt sure that they could make it into something both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

homestyle and Resene teamed up to offer some practical advice for those of you who are inspired to renovate a caranvan of your own. Get a note pad out, here are all the tips you need. or for mor on paint go to

When Heather and Clancy bought the caravan, the exterior paint was worn and flaking. It had been painted several times over the years, meaning a lot of stripping and sanding had to be done before they could achieve a smooth finish. Particularly rough areas were sandblasted. Dings and dents were filled with JB Water Weld. Then the newly exposed aluminium was primed with Resene Vinyl Etch, before being painted in Resene Half Orchid White and Fountain Blue. If the exterior of your caravan is aluminium, then you have two main options when it comes to painting it. The most durable one is Resene Armourcote 221 and Resene Uracryl – or, for an easier option, use Resene Galvo-Prime and Resene Summit Roof. Then, once the painting is done, clean out your Resene bucket and use it to haul your beach finds back to your little home away from home.

When it comes to decorating a caravan, the key concern is the limited space. This means it’s often best to focus on one feature shade inside and complement it with a few other touches of colour. You can use all the normal paint finishes you would use in your home in your caravan. Heather and Clancy applied Resene Double Alabaster with a sprayer unit. The result is an interior with a fresh and open feel. If you’re doing up a caravan yourself and feel stuck with smooth surfaces that you can’t afford to change, you can give them a new lease of life with the help of Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer. This will grip onto the surface so you can topcoat it in your favourite colour – a handy way to get a new look without having to completely replace things. Finally, if you feel bright hues are too overpowering in a small space, consider painting your outdoor furniture in sunny colours instead.

Words Sammy-Rose Scapens
Photography Heather Liddell & Jonny Davis


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