Renovation || Transformation

We have been gifted an old rundown Abi Rallyman, I'm not even sure what year the van is.  It has some damp and old water ingress but we have resealed it and dried it all out and removed the areas most affected with damp.

The plan: Rallyman to Thera-Van. I just love the name, obviously, its a namesake for our model 'Thera-Pony' and I think it works so well considering the plans we have for the van.  Most people renovate and restore - not us though! we plan to transform the old Rallyman caravan into safe, shared, multiuse space.  a place where our clients can come to relax and have a chat.  For our staff to use as office space, to chat with our clients, fill out the paperwork and use as general office space. And finally, a place where the liveries (those who stable their horses here) can come to chill, make a cuppa-tea and wait for the vet or farrier or just pass the time.  So, in essence, it's a place for everyone to come for some much-needed therapy, however, they may be seeking it, a place for quiet, for catchup or just a cuppa-tea. Thera-Van is the place to be.

Disclaimer: We literally have ZERO D.I.Y skills.  so really were just hoping for the best - follow us on Instagram for real-time updates @the_theravan_project


DAY 1 ||

Rip out

when the van first arrived, she was full of bits and bobs from other random caravans, awnings and wood, she was ultimately used as storage for the owner's other caravans so it was difficult to see her true condition.  We had hoped it would be a simple job of painting and wallpapering.  however, once we emptied the van of its tagalongs we soon realised the front end was full of damp.  before we done anything else we got to work resealing the outside windows and roof.  We then used heaters to dry the inside (so I guess the real day 1 was not this day 1) Once we were happy (as happy as we could be) we started to rip out the parts that's ere too far gone, some of panels were too wet and the frame was just turning to dust, so, out it come!


DAY 2 ||

Hidden Horrors

The Electrics: Well when anyone gets a caravan they obviously want to plug it in to see what works and what doesn't work, right? and, as it's going to be a permanent fixture on the farm we only ever plan to have it plugged into the mains.  So, we ordered the part, (the adapter with the plug on the end), it arrived and we got all excited! and... needless to say, it didn't work!  The electrics are in a sorry state, and quite dangerous to be touching, considering we have no knowledge. 

The good news, my dad is an electrician,  The bad news, we're all on lock down and he's 'high risk' therefore he's self-isolating.  So we cant make this better just yet!

The Ceiling: when the van came, it had previous water damage and the roof was leaky, we fixed it but there was damage already there and the previous owners had attempted to rectify the hole in the ceiling.  They patched it up with some kind of sealant and then put a type of masking tape (a big brown square bit covering the whole entre of the ceiling) over the top.  We didn't know this until we removed the tape, we had an idea something was lurking beneath, but we were hopeful.  ugh - how do we fix this, we can't be ripping down the roof!?

So, bright idea #1 = Fablon! I have ordered lots and lots of rolls of Fablon, white with a slight wood effect. we will patch the hole again (hopefully make it smooth this time) and cover the entire ceiling with pretty Fablon. I'm not sure this is the best idea I have had, but ill give it a go.  I have a backup plan if this one fails.


DAY 3 ||

The clean up

The rip-out is now complete, that means today we were able to focus on cleaning up a bit.  We slept all the floors and scarped the walls until they were smooth (ish) on the non-damp parts, which will remain in place.

Seeing the van free from debris and clutter really helps, it was getting a little overwhelming and difficult to see the end goal. were trying to focus on it one step at a time, but having the end goal in mind is always good.

now that its clean and tidy, we are looking forward to the next stage - cutting the ply panels to size.


DAY 4 ||

a day for the tools

when we removed the bathroom walls, some of the frame remained on the ceiling, it was secured by screws which were in between the external caravan casing and the ceiling.  I need to preserve the roof the best I can because I don't feel confident enough to be able to replace it.

so to keep things simple, I used a grinder to cut the screws back so they were flush with the roof - ill figure out a solution to make the roof pretty when the time is right.

once I done this I was able to make a start on the wall panels.  We used 3mm ply because we won't be moving the van once the conversion is complete, thickness and weigh doesn't apply to us.  Starting at the front window side, I tried to get the gradient on the slant to fit the window, this was really difficult.  I used a spare piece of frame I had, lined it up with the frame which I was securing the ply too and dragged it back before marking the line gradient with a pencil.

It didn't work as best as I had hoped, but it worked well enough!


DAY 5 ||

Gluey glue

Not much has happened today, I cut all the ply panels to size for the left and right sides yesterday, which took the longest time! so today we just had to glue them in place.

i had hoped that I would get one full side done today, however, one of my telescopic arms broke and I had to use the wood to put pressure on the tops and bottoms of 1 panel - soo, I only managed to get 1 panel on each side secured.  ill do another one tomorrow.

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I have lost count of the days

Ol' blue eyes

Well, progress is slow! it's taken a while to get back into it but over the past 2 weeks, we have started to paint!  we have heard so much about French Chic paint so though we would give it a go! so far so good.

We have washed all the surfaces down with sugar soap mixed with warm water, sanded the woodword and wiped before using the Frnech Chic paint, we opted to use the French Chic paintbrush too for the best results, however I have also used a foam roller on the cupboards too!

On the top: Dazzle me.  On the bottom: Ole Blue Eyes