NEWS, COMMUNITY, RECREATION, FRIENDS & FAMILY | MUSWELLBROOK, SINGLETON & SURROUNDS

June 16, 2024 10:51 PM

Classed up caravans

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BY RACHEL FRASER AND HARRY MULHOLLAND

House or holiday home, it’s all about creating a haven to enjoy with family and friends nearest and dearest to us.

Singleton locals Gai and Kerry Hardy have enjoyed escaping to their holiday house in Woolgoolga on the NSW northern coast for the past 15 years. The beachfront property has been perfect for the couple and their children when they were younger, but it lacked space for extended family and friends to stay and enjoy the idyllic location without everyone being crammed in and underfoot.

The solution for this the couple thought, was to buy some old caravans and turn them into a space where their guests could visit and relax while having some privacy. They started off by snapping up two Viscount caravans both built in the 70s.  

“We’re not caravanning people by any means, and I guess where still not but this project for us makes sense,” says Kerry

To complete the transformation, the pair got their friend and tradesman Daniel Guillion on board to lend a hand on what turned out to be a job requiring ingenuity and some pretty good craftsmanship. A decision that the couple certainly do not regret.

“He is a perfectionist, we knew straight away that he was the perfect person for something like this,” comments Kerry.

With Gai’s plans and Kerry’s guidance, Daniel spent 250 hours turning the 1796 Viscount into a retro inspired classy bathroom. In a space measuring just under four meters, Daniel and Gai managed to squeeze two porcelain toilets, a full-size shower, a washing machine and a porcelain pedestal basin.

“It was not easy, but I made it work… The material that we used to line the caravan cannot be moulded and it is very hard to cut which made it even more difficult as nothing in the van is square, but I made it work,” says Daniel Guillion.

“I stripped the van right back and made a support frame to work around this issue, I think it really worked out well,” he continued.

The imperfections of the project have also worked out perfectly. An issue with the lining the area above the washing machine was very troubling for Daniel, but he realised that if he just squared it off, the space left could be used as a storage shelf.

After many months of hard work the vans have been moved up to their new home in Woolgoolga where they will stay permanently hooked into power, water and sewer.

Looking at both the handiwork from Daniel and the planning and styling from Kerry and Gai, you can tell that these caravans have been crafted from a place of love.

All the carefully chosen ornaments and fixtures, and even the beautiful porcelain sink makes the purpose-built bathhouse feel inviting and decadent. When you stand in the bathhouse it is hard to believe that you’re in a caravan!

This aesthetic is carried through to the guesthouse van where Gai has created a space that feels airy and luxurious.  Nothing was too much effort for the couple, with them making the trip to Sydney to pick up a special polka dot dinner set to complement their guest’s kitchen.

So much more than ‘extra space’, you can feel the soul that has gone into making these vans a haven for those near and dear to Kerry and Gai to share in their holiday enjoyment.  Vans like these can’t be ordered online, picked up in a shop or bought off the rack – they’re definitely one of a kind and are absolutely NOT FOR SALE!

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