Backyard caravan tips
Upgrade your outdoor area by installing a refurbished caravan to use
as a retreat, sleep-out, office space or party-ready cocktail bar
Got a spare sunny spot on your property? A caravan can be an affordable and creative solution for use as an outdoor office, backyard retreat, art, music or writing studio, spare room, or even a cute bar like Darcy the Caravan Bar, pictured here.
If you are buying a caravan solely for use in your backyard, it won’t need to be warranted or road ready – this means you can potentially buy a cheap doer-upper. Alternatively, you may wish to invest more up front and buy one that is in great condition or has recently been refurbished.
Trade Me has lots of caravans for sale, and you can also check out businesses dedicated to selling secondhand caravans. Look for shapes, sizes and colours you like and that will suit the style of your house.
If you are wanting to make your caravan a permanent structure, you will likely need to put it on blocks or build a platform to stabilise it. Building a deck off your caravan will also maximise your living space, but you will need to check if you require a building permit for this.
Now for the makeover. If you need to repaint the exterior of your caravan, this will require a lot of stripping, sanding, and rust-proofing. When it comes to the actual painting, Resene offers a range of products suited for this purpose. See one of their specialists in store to find out exactly what you need for your particular project. If budget allows, enlisting an automotive painter can be easier than doing the job yourself.
Inside the caravan, use interior paints, and varnish any wooden surfaces. You could line the walls with plywood like Darcy here, or keep the original fit-out, restoring any Formica or linoleum. Decorating is the fun part – hunt online for inspiration and scour vintage shops for accessories.