Vintage Caravan restoration

Let me re-introduce you to someone very close to my heart, someone who has kept me sane since turning 30 , she has undergone a bit of a face lift to make her look as beautiful as possible, the one and only………….. Little box Brownie The Vintage Caravan, Miss Daisy.


DSC_3340-29 Isn’t she the cutest thing you ever did see? She is now ready to start serving coffee and cakes from as a traveling coffee shop, or she can be hired for any party or wedding as a mobile bar. She would make the cuties back drop don’t you think? Can tell I’m in Love, this is pure Love.



Its taken so much longer than I thought it would to get her looking as cute as a button, but to see her looking this amazing was worth the months of nail breaking work, quite literally. I haven’t done it all alone though, I have had the help of the two most amazing people in my life – my Mum and Dad. They have been there most of the way, well except for when they went on their five months round the world holiday, but hey who could blame them I know what I would prefer. Work on lovely daughters caravan, or world trip, no brainier really – world trip of course. If you have liked little box brownie on facebook you can see some of their traveling adventures as they took a copy of my book and have photographed it at a lot different Icons around the world.

I picked Daisy up two Days before my 3oth Birthday, You can read about it here.


The beginning


I have spent so many hours restoring my little Vintage Caravan I would hate to even count. To start with I began sanding her back which took about a month of nothing but sanding, boy oh boy did I end up with such sore fingers, I had to use a window scraper to get a lot of the paint off, as a sander just wouldn’t get through the old paint. So first I scraped the paint off the sides then we sanded her sides. As I sanded I would think of the movie ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ when the lady buys a very run down Tuscan Villa and slowly does it up. As she does the house up she says ‘Be polite, introduce yourself, so it can introduce itself to you’. So I was and look what Miss Daisy revealed beneath her 60 years of paint. The original name and logo, what an amazing find, I hope to find a sign writer who can repaint it on the her.


The secrets beneath her layers of paint


The sanding begins

I was so indecisive about what color to paint her but decided to go for a cream as that was the original color. I sought out advice of what type of paint to use from my local hardware man and brought a tub. I was so excited when it was time to give her the first under coat /primer. Mum and I gave her two coats and left her to dry. Two days later it started to rain and when I went back to look at her the whole paint job had blistered.


Blistering paint


I was so angry and sad, with all that hard work and all that time, we had to sand her back all over again. So on we went, sanding her all over again. The people at the Hardware store came up with all sorts of ideas as to why she blistered so we bought another type of paint to paint her with and re painted her. Then a few days later my mum went down to check on her as it had started to rain and she was blistering again, Mum didn’t want to ring me and tell me as she was upset about it so thought I would be too. Which I was. So the next stop was some Caravan forums with people who know their stuff, and I took their advise on what to repaint her with, once we re-sanded her ALL OVER AGAIN we re-painted her. This time she never peeled and hasn’t since.

We then went on to fix the roof, another mammoth task, the roof was made from a canvas, so basically a piece of fabric. I have to scrap the layers of paint off a piece of fabric that was old and tore very easily. So this was done with a piece of plastic, just scratching and scratching and scratching. We then gave it a paint and lay some new canvas.


The roof, the old and the new

We then meet this lovely man who has an older caravan who was working at a hardware shop and he gave me some paint like stuff that when dries becomes almost like a plastic. He had some left over at home and gave it to me absolute free, wouldn’t take any money for it at all, what a lovely man!!! So naturally I baked him and his wife some cake.


Plans for council approval, before the work began


I had planned on paying someone to fix up the inside, however when I got the price, I nearly fell over, so like the story of the little Red Hen I decided to do it myself, I mean how hard could it be? I had to get the electrics and plumbing done by professionals. The rest, I did with the help of my Mum and Dad, who are always up for one of my crazy adventures. The first thing I did was measure and order a bench, when I picked it up and tried to fit it into the caravan, it wouldn’t fit. I thought I am going to look like such a goose as I have measured it wrong, I thought the men at the factory are going to think what a stupid girl can’t even measure. Well I went back to my drawings and the order I had placed and they had cut it to the wrong size, I was very relieved to know it wasn’t my fault but theirs. My Dad got it to fit in the end as the bench makers were closed for 4 weeks, so my dad came to the rescue.


After we had made the cupboards I found an electrician to come and install the power, he installed it in the blistering sun on one of the hottest days ever I think it was 44 degrees that day and even hotter in the caravan. It was like we were sitting in a sauna, but he didn’t want to come back another day and do it. The poor guy went home with a headache and probably heat stroke.

I took the caravan to a caravan place to install the plumbing, and she has been back a couple of times as they have messed a few things up, which needed to be fixed to get her registered with the council.

Registration Day came and I was sure they would find something I had not thought of, but guess who got her food registration and can safely cook and serve my baked goods and coffee from. That’s right we are ready to rock and roll. Yay!!!!!!

So if you’re in Melbourne and want to invite Little Box Brownie to your next function or market, just give as a call and we will arrange it.


But now onto what you came for Cake…….DSC_3446-73

Vanilla Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12
  • 125g butter
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 200g butter
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 3 drops pink food colouring
  1. Pre heat the oven to 200C
  2. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla essence until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Sift the flour and baking powder together and then add to the mixture a little at a time alternating between the milk, stir after each addition until well combined. Spoon the mixture into cup cake cases ¾ full. Then bake for 20mins. Let cool.
  3. To make the icing, beat the butter until light then add the icing sugar by sifting it in. Stir through the vanilla and food coloring. Place the icing into a piping bag and pipe with a fluted nozzle onto the cooled cupcakes.










  1. says

    Amazing! Best of luck with it all.

    And you should get a refund on that paint! If they told you it would work and it didn’t you may legally be entitled to a refund!

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