Caravanning has a significant place in Australian road touring history: before the days of affordable air travel, a caravan presented a flexible, economical way to explore the country. Pre-1970's vintage caravans date back to a time before mass production, when the Australian-based industry employed master craftsmen to make vehicles of exceptional quality. These unique caravans have enjoyed a renaissance among travellers. For those looking to restore their vintage caravan whilst maintaining the overall aesthetic, there are many resources, from local caravan events and online forums, to sites like eBay, where users can find a wide range of listings for accessories. Shoppers can look for authentic vintage items, or choose new items that complement the caravan's look.
One of the draws of a vintage caravan is its well-crafted interior. Many caravans come with original furnishings and appliances: depending on their condition, owners may choose to restore or replace them, either with another vintage piece or a suitable new one. In order to maintain the vintage aesthetic, it is important to select furnishings and accessories that blend with the existing style.
Where space is at a premium, caravan interiors feature clever designs to maximise storage, sleeping, and lounging areas. But furnishings also play a prominent role in the overall décor, so keep in mind things like fabric patterns and woodwork. The following section outlines several common vintage caravan furnishings.
These provide storage for larger items, including coats, bedding, and more and may include shelving for flexible storage.
The centre of activity in a caravan for meals and socialising is the table and seating area. Folding tables help maximise space when not in use, and the seating often convert into bedding. Look for solid wood, veneer tops, or laminate pieces to work with the rest of the décor scheme. The seating area should be roomy enough to seat everyone comfortably and storage areas under the seating are a boon.
Consider restoring original furnishings rather than replacing them, as they are an integral part of the caravan's uniqueness. When replacing items, pay close attention to dimensions, so new pieces fit into the available space. Flooring should withstand regular use and be easy to clean.
Décor details like curtains or a set of vintage mugs can bring the interior of a caravan to life. In many cases, these are the things that need replacement, and shoppers have plenty of options when it comes to choosing new items that work with their vintage interior. Take time and think about how you want the interior to look. Often, inspiration can come from a single feature of the original interior, like a lamp or tile patterns. Other décor options include the following
Vintage or new, curtains are a major element of the interior décor and provide different levels of privacy, depending on style. Tablecloths should match or be a close complement to the curtains and cushion covers Look for cheerful patterns or solid colours and a washable fabric like oilcloth, which wipes clean instantly. As original foam cushions often require replacement, vintage caravanners should pay attention to cover designs as these are a major feature of the décor. For bedding,patchwork quilts, crochet blankets, delicate floral patterns, and bright colours tend to work with vintage interiors.
Vintage plates, bowls, and mugs are functional and unique, attractive options for kitchen crockery. Do not forget to also include small kitchen appliances, such as an electric kettle and toaster, and a portable digital radio. These can often be found in vintage-inspired designs, like a Dualit toaster, which adds warmth and entertainment to your setup.
In a small space, every decorative element counts. Prevent clutter by selecting a few items that complement each other in colour and style. Pick up several fabric samples and bring them into the caravan, noting how they match the other furnishings and overall space.
Having a space outside the caravan to sit lets you relax outdoors in the natural setting, and also enjoy the charm of your caravan's vintage exterior. Extend the functional space of your camp with vintage-friendly accessories such as an awning, a folding table and chairs, and a lantern in a vintage-inspired design to illuminate the exterior of the caravan. Many awnings are a poor match to vintage caravans. Look for vintage-style pole-and-rope awnings with vertical stripes or a solid colour which matches the exterior. Vintage folding chairs with vertical stripes are a another classic choice.
Keep in mind that vintage style does not end at the door: extending your decorative scheme to the outdoor area completes the vintage caravanning experience.
You can find accessories for your vintage caravan at a number of places. Local vintage caravanning clubs may advertise items for sale in print and online; caravanning events can also be a good place to pick up accessories. eBay's website is an excellent resource, with great deals on range of camping-related items. You can search for accessories by entering keywords like "vintage camping plates " into the search bar of any eBay page. Before you finalise your purchase, be certain to read the item description thoroughly. Also, check the seller's feedback score and verify terms of sale and shipping. With patience and planning, you can realise your dream of a beautiful vintage caravan.