Like all good renovation projects, Alice and Caleb Pearson’s retro caravan do-up has thrown up plenty of surprises along the way. Rust, rot and water damage have created unexpected challenges, but slowly and surely, the clever couple – who won The Block NZ in 2013 – are well on their way to bringing their old girl back to life.
“We had high hopes for a simple renovation,” says Caleb with a laugh. “But it’s turned from a renovation into a complete rebuild.”
The couple – who are parents to Alek, eight, Mika, six, Blake, two, and one-year-old Brooke – might be dab-hands at residential renos, having worked their magic on 11 properties over the years, but this is their first ever caravan project and it’s turned out to be a little more complicated than they’d bargained for.
Not only does their bach-on-wheels need to look good before they head off on a family adventure, it needs to be road-worthy and watertight.
“We thought this was going to be a simple renovation, but that’s definitely not the case!” says Caleb.
After completely gutting the original 1970s caravan, not to mention pulling up the old carpet and removing tired, peeling wallpaper, Alice and Caleb drafted in some help from a builder and a welder to deal with rust, rot and water damage. Walls have been relined, cracks and leaks fixed up, and Alice and Caleb are finally ready to crack out the paint brushes.