If you’ve seen the price of caravan rentals, you’ll quickly begin to change your idea of what constitutes an affordable holiday. After all, who can afford to throw thousands of dollars at houses on wheels year after year? Why not do it once and own it at the end of the investment? That’s what Danielle and Brad Symes did.
Found a 1982 Windsor Statesman
Every year, the family of three goes on a holiday by hiring a campervan. In 2017, they discussed the idea of driving from Adelaide to Byron Bay, a significant trip. When they realized how much it was going to cost, they thought there must be a better way.
After scouring Gumtree, they stumbled upon a 1982 Windsor Statesman with solid bones, priced at 5,000 AUD ($3,300), and immediately set to work transforming it into a spectacular and inviting space.
Without too many DIY bones in their body, they made sure the camper they bought only needed the basics. They could paint and sand, but structural work was out of the question.
They wisely left the plumbing and electrics to the experts, recognizing that these were areas where they lacked the necessary skills and experience. This is an important reminder that DIY projects can be incredibly rewarding, but it’s crucial to know your limits and seek help when needed.
Before: The Symes’ were lucky enough to have good flooring that they could leave as is, which saved them a significant amount of time and money.
White Paint Scheme
After: The Stateman’s interior was dark and dull, so they added a fresh, white paint scheme with contrasting black handles and accents. They then matched it with beautiful wood counters, benching, and a beautiful bedroom area with earthy hues. The Symes spent close to $1300 US on interior renovations which includes all appliances, linen, upholstery
Both the kitchen and bedroom underwent the most significant changes. The drab splashback in the kitchen was thrown away, with a stick-on subway tile one taking its place.
Dark and Dingy
Before: Before undergoing the transformation, the interior of the 1982 Windsor Statesman was nothing short of gloomy and uninviting. With a dark and dingy color scheme, the space felt cramped and unwelcoming.
Light and Bright
The new white color scheme lightens and brightens the 1982 Windsor Statesman.
Custom King Bed Frame
Danielle’s father skillfully welded together the family’s fold-out bed, which included a pull-out cot for Charlie. And the best part? They only had to pay him in beers!
One of the standout features of the caravan is the custom king bed frame that Danielle’s dad built. This piece not only saves the family money but also adds a unique touch to the space.
The total cost for their holiday home came to 11,000 AUD (that’s about $7,700). For the price of a few family holidays, The Symes’ family now has something that will take them on many holidays for years to come.