So it’s Summer time and we’ve been busting our butts to get our caravan to the point where she is comfortable and ready enough for a trial trip for a few nights. She’s flaunting a sweet new paint colour and she has a name. She also has most of her interior finished. Figured it’s time to stop teasing you all and show you all our vintage caravan renovation!
I’m not going to lie and say it’s been all happy times completing this renovation. Mostly because we bit off more than we could chew with renovating a kitchen and caravan at the same time, plus keeping on top of a thriving home business. It isn’t so easy. Throw in the children and it’s chaos haha! We became so beat down by the end of the kitchen renovation that we couldn’t bare to think about completing the caravan. We needed a break. Plus we were financially knee deep in renovations from our own back pocket that it at one point felt as though something had to give. So we did list our girl on gumtree and almost sold her. We will be forever thankful to our brothers, family and friends for knocking sense into us at a time we were vulnerable and exhausted. They pleaded with us to ride the wave out and let time do it’s thing. Which it did. Thank the heavens! We continued having a break for a while longer, then those summer vibes were coming over us and that feeling for escape. So out came the tools and the motivation to almost complete the reno!
When it’s came to the paint choice, it took us quiet some time to decide together on a colour. Hubby wanted a two tone white and duck egg Blue look, but I didn’t want to stand out. I love a subtle look, an earthy and peaceful look. So after many weeks of doing my best to convince Mann that an earthy colour will be nice, I won haha! I compared colour charts and explained why we should do an earthy tone and he was sold. The colour suits what our adventures are about. Being with nature, being peaceful, living simple and getting back to basics. We ummed and arghed over whether or not to spray the exterior or to roll it. We didn’t want over spray going on our house or our neighbours. We are in a facebook campers forum so we reached out for recommendations and many said to roll with a high gloss enamel for a brush and streak free finish. We spoke to the professionals at the paint shop and they agreed too. So we purchased a 4L tin of paint in a dusty beige shade and were set! We opted to not paint the top half a fresh white just yet as we thought keeping some of that vintage look would keep her true to her bones. She’s an old girl, and we don’t want to turn her into something she isn’t, her original vintage bones and interior will be treasured and valued for so many years to come. Plus all the interior is in amazing condition so we got very lucky with not having to do a full demo!
Now to the name. Another decision that has taken us months and months, plus a whole lot of research. I didn’t want a name that has no meaning behind it. Just like the paint colour, I wanted her name to suit what our intentions are. We made a list over the months and every time we thought of one, we would write it down. It came to the point where we just had to make a decision so we culled the list over and over again until we had our final two choices. Then we went over the meanings to them and the way they sound when pronounced. My first choice was Eleuthoramania, meaning an intense and irresistible desire for freedom. But we both agreeed its a too long of a name and doesn’t easily roll off the tongue. So choice two was the winner, Tenalach, an Irish word meaning, the relationship one has with the land, air, water; a deep connection that allows one to literally hear the earth sing. Again, with our adventure intentions, this meaning suited exactly what we are wanting – plus added freedom. We keep thinking won’t it be cool to think of all the cars that drive past us, or all the campers to see the name and wonder what it means! I know I’d jump straight on to google to find out haha!
One of our biggest challenges was the part we thought would be easiest. Obtaining that blue slip to get her registered. There was so much back and forth and many hassles had at the rta because of how old she is, but thankfully after a few days of it, we had the new number plates in our hands and registration papers! It was like a weight off our shoulders having that process completed.
We still have so many things to do to Tenalach which will be a work in progress over time. Our hardest part will be finding the parts because of her being vintage age. Things like a new door, annex, windscreen visors, the list goes on! We hope to find all original parts. Let’s hope it’s possible. Otherwise we’ve spoken to our local caravan dealers who are more than happy to custom make these parts for us.
We booked our first venture to our favourite local place, Nelson Bay with our besties to spend a few nights testing Tenalach out and seeing what things we need to add or prepare for next time. All four kids are coming along for the adventure and Mumma and Dadda are proud as punch to be cruising the freeway with all our babies in tow. Round one of adventures, come at us! We are craving a back to basics, hippyish lifestyle in our caravan so bad. It feels so right, and it feels so good.
Come March, we have planned a trip to our favourite slice of Australia – Byron Bay! I have a feeling it’s going to be the best trip we’ve done to date!