Monday, 4 June 2012

Month 1 - June 2012

My husband (Pete) and I (Tanya) ...

have just purchased this lovely 1970's Elldis Tornado Caravan (my husband more by duress than free choice!).We have been thinking for some time about buying a caravan.

We first got into camping 18 months ago, pitching a tent in our back garden and thoroughly enjoying the experience. We then decided to start spending some of our weekends at different sites around the country with our golden Labrador puppy, Winter, in a Trailer Tent we bought also as a project.

Although we have enjoyed this experience, we hit three snags:

1 - there isn't a great deal you can do to a Trailer Tent in terms of a project other than change the curtains!!
2 - The thing is so damn heavy to fold out that with my spindly arms I have no chance.
3 - Winter can hear everything through the canvas and will jump up in preparation to bark a number of times a night.

So after getting married in May 2011, we decided we would get a caravan in the near future. We have used the "TT" again a few times this year but have now been fortunate enough to find Morris.

We have bought Morris for £300. You will see from the photos that there are two benches down the front of the caravan which convert into a double bed. There is then a wardrobe on the left and a kitchen area on the right complete with sink and cold water tap, 4 gas hobs, a gas grill and a gas oven (the latter we are struggling to get working at the mo). Then it has a 3 way Electrolux fridge which seems to work fine. There is then a single bench / bed at the back of the van with a loo compartment.

We have given ourselves until our second wedding anniversary (28th May 2013) to get the refurb mainly complete. This will consist of the following:

1 - Eradicating the three areas of damp - one by the door caused by a screw being drilled into the outside and not sealed, some in the corner under the right side of the double bed caused by some trim on the front falling off, and some damp in the corner under the single bed caused by an aerial fixture drilled into the outside again and not sealed. We will then remove all the trim and clean, give the outside a coat of exterior acryllic paint in a rich cream and paint the stripe in duck egg blue (removing the underneath layers first). We then want to replace the exterior lights with retro chrome fittings.

2 - Replace damaged internal walls and re-paper all walls with scrubbable industrial paper in light cream. Replace light fittings with chrome fittings and LED downlighters. Paint the background fixtures in cream and replace the cupboard doors in wood / boat effect with cute ceramic handles. Replace floor with new wood effect lino. Add water pump and boiler and fold-out sink in loo with new portapotty.

3- Re-upholster cushions in biscuit coloured hard wearing material. Add duck egg curtains and navy blue cushions, with cream blinds for a general nautical feel e.g. by. adding bunting to give it that homely feel.

Please follow these links for my inspiration:

So, I know what you're thinking, easy right? Probably not, what with most of the work that needs to be done completely new to both of us who have no previous experience or qualifications in DIY. But we are going to take it one step at a time and use it as a way to spend time enjoying each-others company (we are going to try not to fall out too much!). So we will keep our progress updated on here. Any tips and advice would be grately received!

Thanks for reading

Tanya and Pete :)


  1. Oh no what have I gotten myself in for?!

  2. Hi ive just bought a elddis 1980 shamal caravan for restoration and it needs lots of work inside & out like you iam a complete novice. I have dampness around the windows any tips that you have will be greatly appreciated Thanks Tommy