Sisters overhaul a second-hand caravan using budget buys

Sisters tasked with revamping an old caravan for family holidays reveal how they saved £3,000 by repainting fixtures and decorating with bargains from Asda and Facebook

  • Katie Dolphin, 34, who lives in Warrington, renovated a tired caravan for £1,000
  • Mother-of-two said her parents bought the second-hand mobile home online
  • She and her sister modernised the caravan instead of buying a new £5,000 van 

A mother has revealed how she was able to renovate an old caravan with the help of her sister while embracing her creative streak in lockdown.

Katie Dolphin, 34, who lives in Warrington, was tasked with rejuvenating a tired mobile home that her parents bought second-hand for £1,000. 

The mother-of-two and her sister Amy spent an additional £1,000 on Frenchic paint, accessories from Asda and Facebook Marketplace to transform the caravan into a gorgeous, modern space. 

Katie Dolphin, 34, who lives in Warrington, has impressed members of money-saving community Latest Deals with her caravan renovation (pictured)

Katie who is a pastoral manager, used budget buys to overhaul the appearance of a tired, old caravan that her parents purchased second-hand for £1,000. Pictured: The caravan after

Mother-of-two Katie partnered with her sister Amy for the extensive DIY project, after unleashing her creative side in lockdown. Pictured: The caravan before 

Katie who is a pastoral manager revealed the DIY project saved them large sums, estimating that buying a caravan already renovated to a similar standard would have cost up to £5,000.

She shared a selection of impressive before and after photographs of the caravan with money-saving community   

Katie said: ‘During the lockdown, my mum and dad spotted a caravan for a sale from a friend for £1,000.

‘They decided to buy it and asked me and my sister if we would do it up.

‘I’ve always had a passion for painting and I’m always doing things in my house.

‘I discovered Frenchic paint and used it on projects in my house, so I decided to try it in the caravan. I found a local stockist and purchased the following colours.

‘I bought Wolf Whistle for the main colour, which we used on the walls and cupboards, Stormzy for the kitchen cupboards, Dusky Blush, which I used on one wall and created a blackboard for the kids, and Blackjack on the kitchen worktops and taps.

Katie and Amy (pictured) spent around £1,000 on materials from Asda and Facebook Marketplace, including accessories and Frenchic paint

Katie who estimates a newly renovated caravan would’ve cost £5,000, said she has always had a passion for painting and completing projects around her home. Pictured: The caravan before

Katie used heat resistant paint to give the cooker and heater a new lease of life in addition to adding sticky tiles in the kitchen area. Pictured: The caravan after 

‘I used heat-resistant paint for the cooker and heater.

‘I used white enamel spray to respray the yellow kitchen sink. We added sticky back tiles in the kitchen area also.

‘A friend recovered the seats, which cost £400 for fabric and work. A friend made the curtains which in total cost £200.

Katie and Amy (pictured) said a friend recovered the caravan seats for £400

‘We found the carpet free on Facebook Marketplace.

‘The rest was cushions and accessories mainly from ASDA online.

‘The cost of a caravan done up nicely would normally cost over double.

‘I think you’d have to spend between £4,000 and £5,000 for a caravan with newly decorated seat coverings, curtains, carpets and all newly painted.

‘I reckon with the cost of caravan, cushions, curtains, paint and accessories, it’s cost another £1,000, so £2,000 in total and it’s been worth every penny.

‘The kids are so excited about holidays in it and love the idea of the chalkboard.’

Gushing about the results of the caravan renovation, Katie said the project was a great distraction during the many months of self-isolation.   

‘Me and my sister created this and it really helped us throughout lockdown,’ she said.

‘We had this parked on my nan’s drive. My nan is 80 and was self-isolating but seeing us daily visiting the caravan and having a sneak peek really helped her emotionally and mentally, because it meant she got to see us from afar too.

Katie explained that the DIY renovation was the perfect project for helping them stay busy throughout lockdown. Pictured: The caravan before, left and after, right 

Katie said completing the project on the driveway of their 80-year-old grandmother helped her emotionally and mentally, while self-isolating. Pictured: The caravan after 

‘It was hard finding the time to do it with the girls, but I mainly did it when my husband was home from work.

‘We knew it would be worth it to make memories with the family.’

Tom Church who is the co-founder of, said: ‘It’s always tempting to buy something swanky and new, but as Katie’s caravan project shows, it’s definitely not the most cost-effective way forward.

‘Instead, buying second-hand – whether furniture, clothes or caravans – and then using your creative talents to upcycle it – is affordable, eco-friendly and can save you thousands!’

Admitting it was challenging to find time for the project, Katie said she often worked on the caravan when her husband was home from work. Pictured: The caravan after 

Tom Church who is the co-founder of, said DIY projects are often more cost-effective than purchasing something swanky and new. Pictured: The caravan now 

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