Meet Frankie. She’s a 16ft 1977 Franklin caravan. She may not look like much on the outside, but we have made many wonderful memories with her over the years.
We bought her in November 2012 for $3900, and over the next year we spent many more dollars giving her a makeover – new flooring, fresh paint, and a new full-sized Queen bed. She sleeps 6 people with the Queen-sized bed, a set of bunks, and the dining table drops down to become another bed with the L-lounge. She has a working gas grill, two gas burners, and a gas oven. In winter, if you bake an apple crumble in it for 20mins you will be toasty warm. In the summer we wind out all the windows to catch the breezes. Some windows don’t wind out, some don’t have fly screens, and the fridge is about as good as an esky in summer, but that’s part of the fun of having an old girl. With no onboard shower, a 20L jerry can for onboard water, no independent power source, and only a camping toilet stashed under the bed, we can never free camp for long – a night or two at most – but if we had decided to take her around Australia instead of heading overseas, we absolutely would have.
Before and after the makeover – 1970s brown to beach cottage chic
Buying a caravan was one of the best decisions we made. It made travelling with little kids so much easier, and cheaper too! She was our home away from home, our familiar space when we travelled to unfamiliar places. We filled her with our creature comforts, and whenever we needed some down-time it was easy to get, even if we are parked in someone’s driveway. It was so easy to pack the van and get away for a weekend, or a long weekend, or even a week, a couple of weeks, or a month at a time. We saw more of Australia than we thought we would, and as we saw the value of travel in our children’s unschooled lives, it spurred our wanderlust to keep on travelling.
Frankie is currently in the care of friends back home in Australia awaiting our return. Good ol’ Frankie ❤