1979 CI Sprite Cadet


Member Sarah Oatley shows us how everything is possible with time and effort....

We took possession of our caravan, a 1979 CI cadet last sept from a retro caravan member. He was selling it as it belonged to his wife and she sadly passed away.

We bought and paid for it, thrilled to begin....but on delivery, oh the shock of quite what we had taken on was huge!
The door was not attached, the bottom aluminium panels had been removed to repair the damp and rot, the bunks and kitchen were in but not attached. The window trims were falling off and the windows were held shut with screws.

So, where to begin? Well, at the beginning or course.
As my husband decided to tackle the outside, I decided to work on the interior.
Karl had to remove all the timbers that were rotten, strengthen and make safe. Replace the aluminium panels, fit trims, make watertight, the list goes on..oh! And add the door!
In the interior, i began stripping of layers of awful paper that was applied with paste (that had gone mouldy). After begun to add an undercoat of emulation paint as the walls had been half painted in the past (again badly).
I was keen to keep to a colour pallet and styling of the age of the van (1979) and chose to go with an mustard, orange, grey and white.
The furniture was painted white, kitchen cupboards painted grey and a back splash added. Shelves painted in grey and side wall painted in a top coat of lighter grey & washable emulation. I chose to wall paper the front, back and ceiling as they were in such bad repair, for this I chose a modern paper but with a 1970's feel, colour and pattern.
Karl the. Build the wardrobe. We followed the original plans we had found and built it over the wheel arch but decided it to add a heater. This was then painted in grey to match the kitchen area.
All the bunk cushions were needed but we were given covers so decided to use those for the time being. I made blinds for all the windows in original 1970's fabric.
We added a cream and neutral lino.
Karl then added electric sockets so retro lamps could be used, as we didn't want to fix anything to the walls or use lights that didn't fit the age of the van.
The only thing we haven't done is the exterior (due to needing advice before we even start.)
It's been the most exciting, exhausting and exhilarating thing we have done in many years and would recommend it to anyone!
When we first went in to the caravan, we looked around and opened the sink worktop, on the sink we found the door lock and key and written on the key was the name Maybel, so that had to be what she was call!

I hope this ok, maybe usable? If it helps newbies find the courage to just give it ago and not be scared about trying.
I have more photos too

Many regards
Sarah Oatley

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