You’ve probably spotted a caravan rolling down the road once or twice, looking shiny and new, and longed for that ramblin’ life. That freedom may be beyond your grasp at the moment, but Kerri Cole and Patrick Neely, the couple who own and operate Colorado Caravan, are ready to help. Cole and Neely are Airstream renovation experts, and their recent conversion of a vintage caravan into their company office will inspire you to embrace tiny home living.
Since 2016, the Denver couple has transformed old Airstream trailers into portable bars, rooms on wheels for motor lodges and mobile sales offices. The duo is using their latest refurbishing of a 1969 Airstream Globetrotter as a sales office and showroom for the company — and they love the fact they can hit the open road whenever the whim strikes.
Colorado Caravan’s latest project, named Bonnie, emerged after Cole and Neely posted on Craigslist that they were looking to buy old Airstream trailers. They paid only $2,500 for the 21-foot caravan, but a mice infestation in the insulation and extensive water damage required gutting the whole structure and rebuilding the interior.
The materials for the renovation cost only $19,180 thanks to the couple’s creativity and innovation. Cole, a professional interior designer, and Neely, a former vintage car renovator and house flipper, combined their talents, cut corners wisely and indulged in features like a good air conditioning system and a two-burner gas cooktop.
The amount of interior space nearly doubled by ripping out all the upper cabinets. Choosing simple styles and a basic black-and-white color scheme with leather and brown accents gives the interior an open, airy ambiance. Cost-conscious IKEA cabinets, walnut veneer counters, basic kitchen appliances and engineered wood flooring kept costs low. The trailer’s original pendant light fixtures and sconces and were kept intact as homage to the original design, and the wet bath’s molded fiberglass sink and shower were undamaged and left in place. With Bonnie renovated and ready to go, the couple can take their business on the road whenever the mood strikes.
Images via Alison McQuain Photography and Colorado Caravan