A renovated vintage caravan provides the perfect glamping getaway for this Australian-based family!
One step inside this 16-foot vintage caravan, and you’ll feel instantly transported to a tiny vacation getaway. The colors are soothing, the textures are inviting, and the vintage design details add a quirkiness that makes it feel oh-so-special.
This tiny caravan, also known as “Millie”, provides the perfect glamping getaway for this Australian-based family. I love this renovation so much because it goes to show you don’t need a massive camper to travel in style or comfort.
Vintage Caravan Renovation
Type of RV
An Australian 16 foot,1975 Vintage Millard
Tell us a little about you, and those you travel with.
I’m Jen, the one who came up with this crazy idea of renovating a vintage caravan. I run my own business as a photographer in-between ‘mum-life’ and have always had a passion for creating and DIY since I was young. There’s also my hubby Tony and our two children, Isaac (12) and Cheyenne (10) who are just as loud, crazy, and adventurous!
What inspired you to buy and renovate a vintage caravan?
My father owned a pop-top camper van when I was young. I can still remember its smell, the rainbow door curtain, and playing shops in its large brown annexe; and although we only went on a few camping trips in it, I still reminisce about those fun times…exploring, freedom; the simple things. I wanted to give that to our kids.
How would you describe your decorating style?
It’s calming and warm and I’ve been told it hits that vintage coastal vibe.
Did you draw inspiration from anything or anyone specific?
I wanted a fresh, calm feel. From all the research and pinning I had done, I was initially inspired by Michael and Carlene Duffy’s very first caravan renovation on Vonnie the Viscount back in November 2017. I also felt it was important to preserve any unique features of the van, like its vintage door handles and hinges, cabinetry, and light fittings.
I loved the idea of bringing in all the natural elements of nature into the van by using a soft green sea glass palette for the cabinetry, pops of gold for the vintage door handles and hinges and hints of timber, rattan, and macrame throughout to hopefully create a warm coastal vintage vibe…….almost like you’re in holiday mode as soon as you step inside.
What was the most challenging aspect of your caravan renovation?
During the renovation, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into! Jobs like cleaning up the chassis, removal of the water damaged panel, removing and resealing the j rails, and windows were all new to us and was a two-person job that hubby and I tackled together. They each would have been the worst part of the renovation. It was very time consuming, tolling on the body, repetitive and it felt like we were never going to have a beautiful caravan! There was a lot of time spent watching YouTube tutorials and also just looking at what others had done on Instagram helped with this process. After this process, the ball just rolled quite easily…finally!
What is something you’ve learned about yourself from #RVlife?
Millie gives us family time, the freedom to travel, go on exciting adventures, and a whole new outlook on life. She allows us to get out even if it’s only for the weekend or short trip. She’s an affordable holiday option! In this fast-paced, digital world revolving around work, school, rushing to and from after school sports and activities, homework, dinner, reading; we crave to reconnect as a family and enjoy the simple things in life. Millie teaches our little family to slow down a bit and appreciate the simple things in life. We are always bound to have a great experience and there’s something about staying in a caravan that allows us to disconnect from our fast-paced everyday life. It gives us a chance to really reconnect as a family and give us moments that belong to us, even if it’s only for a few days. We live in such a beautiful country and are yet to experience and explore destinations right at our doorstep. In the past 18 months, we’ve managed to venture to eleven different destinations within this area.
Connecting with people and nature is a life skill some kids are truly missing out on, so these little adventures give us the opportunity to really be present and experience serenity and happiness, which is something that can be really hard to do in a normal busy lifestyle. Millie has been the perfect addition to our family.
Most asked about product sources:
The paint colour of our cabinets! No specific paint colour, just that I matched it with sea glass.
Follow Jen over on Instagram to learn more about their caravan renovation and see where this Australian family is headed next! Don’t forget to check out her stories to view a tour of Millie, and learn more about the renovation process and projects she created!