If your holiday caravan is looking a little tired it might be time to plan a caravan makeover for the summer and there are many things you can do without breaking the bank. Here the insurance experts at Adrian Flux offer some cheap and cheerful caravan makeover ideas to tackle before you hit the road.
1. Give the caravan a deep clean
If you’re planning to get away in your caravan but you’re a little embarrassed by its appearance it’s a good idea to give it a thorough clean, inside and out. It’s amazing how much better it will look after a little spit and polish. Some caravan makeover ideas will cost you no more than a little hard work!
If it has developed a bit of a whiff during its long break in service run removable soft furnishings through the washing machine. Any carpeting or rugs may need to be taken up too for a good airing and possible replacement. Off-cuts and remnants of carpet from your home may do the job and that’ll keep costs down.
When you return furnishings be generous with the air freshener and potpourri and keep the van well ventilated before your trip. Try to keep it ventilated when you use the shower or cook during your holiday, this will help reduce lingering smells.
2. Upholstery and soft furnishings
No caravan makeover is complete without giving your upholstery and furnishings a little TLC. Upholstery can take a real bashing, especially if you have a young family bouncing around with excitement.
Invest in some new covers and new foam if yours has been left sagging a little after lots of wear. A new mattress might make all the difference for your holiday slumbers too. If your budget doesn’t run to the cost of reupholstering, invest in some new scatter cushions and throws which will transform the look at a fraction of the cost.
While you’re working on your caravan makeover, swap the curtains or blinds with something that will complement the cozy feel of your van and think about deploying a smart rug which will feel good under foot, look cool and give your van an extra layer of insulation.
3. Replace your old bulbs with LED lights
Dump your old light bulbs for LED replacements which have greater luminosity, a longer life and use less power. These have the added benefit of providing softer, more ambient lighting – far less harsh than overhead lights that tend to come pre-installed in caravans. LED strips tend to look good under high cabinets and display units. Many come in a massive range of colours, and some even change colour, adapting to the time of day or your mood.
An easy way to quite literally brighten up an ageing caravan.
4. Make your caravan bigger
A new awning can double the size of your holiday floor space and is perfect for storing all those holiday must-haves like sun loungers, picnic tables, barbecues and surf boards. Most caravans have bespoke awnings and they are relatively inexpensive and easy to fit.
You might also want to consider an inflatable awning. These don’t include the metal poles that tend to come with other tents and awnings, meaning they usually take up less space than their traditional variants.
A new awning will give you the best of both worlds — the freedom and fresh air of camping, and the protection and comfort of caravanning.
5. Beef up security as part of your caravan makeover
Hitch locks and wheel clamps could prevent your van from being stolen (Halfords have a good selection), while window and door alarms and PIR lighting can help stop people stealing from it or vandalising it. And the cost of your added security devices could lead to a generous discount on your annual premium with Adrian Flux – so that’s a caravan makeover idea worth investing in.
Many caravans are targeted when in the safety of a private driveway at home so think about investing in security posts that can be locked into place to block the van’s removal without your permission.
It’s also a good idea to invest in a tracker device which will help you recover your vehicle if it is actually stolen. You can find more tips on keeping your caravan secure here.
6. Make your caravan feel just like home, but better
Pack your caravan with some of your favourite elements from home. The odd picture, vase of flowers, lampshade or ornament will lift your spirits. But don’t go mad with your caravan makeover, take some of your favourite items, but avoid anything too valuable or fragile.
7. Don’t forget your creature comforts
Most touring sites have electric hook-ups so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t pack a few creature comforts for your getaway. Nowadays TV’s are flatscreen and don’t take up too much room. You could also pack a mini hifi system as part of your caravan makeover and even a microwave for a quick meal when the weather is not quite up to barbecue standards.
8. Consider upgrading to smart glass
If smart glass isn’t like something pulled straight from science fiction, we don’t know what is.
At the touch of a button, panes of glass – as windows or doors – can switch from clear to opaque, usually either becoming tinted or frosted. Though commonly used in offices or bathrooms, we think smart glass would be equally at home in the caravan of tomorrow.
Imagine having smart glass windows in your bedroom, ideal for letting in light but allowing privacy when needed, or a smart glass ceiling above your bed to look out at the stars at night, but turned tinted during the day.
Smart glass is likely to appear in more and more buildings in years to come, but why not get out ahead and own the first smart glass caravan?
Make sure you take out tailored caravan insurance
Probably the best thing you can do as part of your caravan makeover is take out specialist insurance. In most cases caravans are protected by the towing vehicle’s insurance while they are coupled up and in transit, though the cover is only third party.
And once you pitch up and uncouple protection will probably end completely unless you have a bespoke caravan insurance policy in place — caravan insurance is not a legal requirement, but it makes very good sense.
Benefits of Adrian Flux caravan insurance can include:
- Free legal expenses cover
- New for old cover available on newer caravans
- Standard public liability cover of £2m
- Weather damage to awnings covered
- Up to 25% discount for no claims bonus
- Agreed value option for caravans over 10 years old
- Combined cover available for caravans and contents