A savvy holidaymaker has told how she managed to snap up a bargain caravan for £750 and set about transforming it herself - all for just £198.
Vicky Hibberd, 25, from Stoke on Trent, told how she bought the vehicle on Facebook Marketplace and gave it a new lease life using Frenchic paint and accessories from B&M and The Range.
Thanks to her handiwork, the caravan now looks as good as new - and Vicky managed to totally transform it in just five days for less than £200.
'Me and my fiancé are long term campers, and we've been wanting an old caravan or camper van for a long time, but all of the ones I'd been seeing were full of damp,' the primary school teacher said, speaking to money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk.
Vicky Hibberd, 25, from Stoke on Trent, managed to snap up a bargain caravan for £750 and set about transforming it herself - all for less than £200. Pictured, before the transformation
The 25-year-old spent just five days giving the caravan an impressive transformation - and it cost just £198. Pictured, after
Vicky (pictured) gave the caravan a new lease life using Frenchic paints and accessories from B&M and The Range
'We had a camping holiday booked for two weeks - a week in Somerset and a week in Newquay, Cornwall.'
However, the Sunday before they were planning to go away, Vicky's mum sent her the link to a caravan on Facebook Marketplace.
'We went to have a look and it was solid: a 1995 ABI two-berth little caravan for a bargain of £750,' she explained.
'For its age, it was quite clean - we picked it up on Sunday and we were going away the following Saturday - so I had five days to put my stamp on it.'
Luckily for her, everything worked, so it was just a case of making it look nice and homely.
'My family kept telling me not to paint it, saying that I didn't have enough time and wouldn't get finished before our holiday on Saturday, but I did it anyway,' said Vicky.
Vicky purchased the 1995 ABI two-berth little caravan (pictured) for a bargain of £750
Vicky gave the caravan a good clean using sugar soap, then soaked off the wallpaper that was on the cupboard doors. Pictured, before the transformation
The creative caravan owner gave everywhere a light sand, giving it a key for the paint to stick to, then sugar soaped again to remove any sanding residue. Pictured, before the transformation
'Everyone loved it and I proved them wrong. I couldn't have done it without my fiancé Marcus, best friend Sam and mum and dad.'
She continued: 'I used two tins of Frenchic Swanky Pants, which cost £18 each, and one tin of Frenchic Dazzle Me for £18. I bought new handles from Amazon for £25 for 20.
'The accessories are from B&M and The Range and cost around £80 - I bought throws for the seats, cushions and fake plants. I also bought a carpet off-cut for £19 from Carpetright.'
In total, Vicky's caravan transformation set her back £198.
'First I gave it a good clean using sugar soap, then I soaked off the wallpaper that was on the cupboard doors,' she said. 'I gave everywhere a light sand, giving it a key for the paint to stick to, then sugar soaped again to remove any sanding residue.
'I painted the ceiling first - that needed a lot of coats to cover the beige colour, I think about five. Then I painted the wood, cupboards and cupboard doors.'
The creative holidaymaker told how she is delighted with the results of the impressive transformation. Pictured, before
Vicky pained the ceiling first - which needed around five coats to cover the beige colour. Pictured, after the transformation
Vicky is thrilled with her caravan's stylish transformation and found that the project kept her mind off the stresses of the lockdown.
'I am absolutely over the moon with it,' she said. 'It's not perfect, I've still got some bits and bobs to do, like recovering the seats and putting in new curtains, but I'm currently on holiday in our little home from home and it's fabulous!
'Fletcher, our dog, loves it too! No more soggy holidays in a tent - we've had our fair share of those!
Amongst Vicky's top tips include finding a solid caravan and being careful of damp.
She continued: 'Don't be disheartened by the first coat [of paint] - it will look awful but keep powering through.
'I was able to collect my paint from my local stockist following social distancing rules - she lives very close to me so that was lucky. Obviously Amazon Prime is a godsend - with the click of a button things just arrive!
Vicky said that Fletcher her dog (pictured, together) also loves her creative efforts - because it means no more soggy holidays in a tent
'Over the lockdown period, I've been experimenting with different upcycling projects (furniture, chimney pots, an old Singer sewing table) and it really helped me keep my mind busy and occupied in the strange times that we've all been through.
'I've never been creative, but I used the lockdown period to give something new a go - little did I know it would lead to a full caravan makeover.'
Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, commented: 'Holidaying this year certainly isn't straightforward, but Vicky's positive, go-getting attitude means she's got a gorgeous caravan to use for her camping trip - all for a bargain price!
'There are some amazing bargains to be found on Facebook Marketplace - and you really don't need to be a pro at DIY to make them look better. Some paint and some affordable accessories, as Vicky proves, can go a long way!'