The Franklin Caravan Restoration with Ryobi

If you’ve been following us for a while now, you’ll know we spend our weekends traveling the countryside from pubs to beaches. We love getting out with the kids to new places, have dreams of relocating to a more ‘farm life’ in the near future and just before we got pregnant with Evie, Chris and I actually were planning a big camping trip around Australia. Obviously we then went and had two kids very close together and the plans were put on the back burner but we recently brought an old Franklin Caravan and have been slowly restoring it.

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As with all Chris plans, this was supposed to be fairly simple – until he decided to quite literally gut the entire thing until there wasn’t much holding anything together. “Buy nice or buy twice babe!” he tells me, and so instead of just creating a new look inside the caravan we have ripped down all the old walls, put new insulation (polystyrene – there’s a tip for caravan restorers, it’s thin and easy!), new walls (7 ml thick ply), a bed with a recycled wood frame (with the best god damn mattress ever, because camping doesn’t mean being uncomfortable! Salvos, thank you.) and a new ceiling (4ml ply). And we’ve had someone re-wiring it because even though Chris thinks he is a jack of all trades, electrics is not something I was comfortable with him learning from Youtube!

 

We’ve been lucky enough to team up with Ryobi who liked the ideas we had with the restoration and have helped us out with some tools. I met the team last year, and was surprised with how easy the tools were to use, charge and figure out myself. I’m no dummy, but tools is Chris domain and I’ve usually been pretty happy to leave him to it! The main thing I love about the brand is that they stand for all the DIY’ers – so that people like me who don’t use them much can easily become a tradey, or tradey lady as I like to say, and give it a go!

Ryobi are one of the worlds largest and most innovative power tool manufactures and they make pro tools more affordable – in fact I found out that their sister brand is actually the brand of tools that Chris uses anyway!

 

The tools I was given for our project are:

 

  • ONE+ 4 Piece Kit  (probably my fave because as well as the tools it comes with a tool bag and now I have my own! Chris is jealous, I’m sure.)
    The tools are 1 x 18V ONE+ drill driver
    • 1 x 18V ONE+ impact driver
    • 1 x 18V ONE+ circular saw
    • 1 x 18V ONE+ angle grinder
    • 2 x 2.5Ah lithium ion battery
    • 1 x fast charger.
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  • ONE+ Multi Tool -This is one is so brilliant, I trialled it last year when I met the guys and made a cheese board with it! It’s used for cutting and sanding (including trimming skirting boards, cutting plaster board etc)
  • ONE+ Random Orbital Sander
  • Ryobi Airwave 2 in 1  Brad Nailer / Stapler
  • ONE+ Nailer – which is almost the same, but uses battery and also has a staple function.
  • Battery – for all the tools! I love that all the tools use the same clip in/clip out battery.

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So far the most challenging tool I used was the air compressor operated Ryobi Airwave 2-in-1  Brad Nailer / Stapler. Not because it was particularly hard to use, but where all the other tools share the same battery and are super easy to use, this one requires you connecting it to an air compressor (which we already had), and it is super loud. I was terrified I would blow my fingers off, but it was brilliant! I also liked being able to do this when Chris was at work to be honest, because I got to play around with the settings by myself and it was really simple!

 

Both the Ryobi Airwave 2-in-1  Brad Nailer / Stapler and ONE+ Nailer  I have used extensively – and not just in the caravan! You all would have probably seen our recent wedding, and the beautiful wooden canopy Chris made that was over the entire garden. All of the faux ivy and flowers were stuck to the wood and the Arch using these two tools, and I even got my mother in law on one!

 

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The ONE+ Random Orbital Sander has been brilliant for sanding the walls and floor of the caravan. Once we put the ply on the walls (using the nail gun), we had to fill in some gaps, and sand it before we painted it. The old floor was ripped up by Chris dad when he was here, and I have been sanding the floor ready for the new ‘floor board look’ lino flooring to be laid. This will be laid after the new cupboards and storage has been fitted.

From the ONE+ 4 Piece Kit, we used the 18V ONE+ circular saw to chop the wood that we reframed the walls with. When Chris took the old walls out from inside the caravan, we realised the timber frame that actually held those to the chassis were rotten so needed full replacing. I’ve used a large circular saw before in the Shed, but I quite liked how compact this one was. The 18V ONE+ impact driver was used to screw the 7ml ply to the walls because they were couter sunk screws (which were then filled and sanded with the orbital sander).

 

 

When we update the stabilising legs (which will need to be done before its roadworthy), we will be using the angle grinder because Chris will be getting out his welder (the angle grinder will cut the old legs off to weld and bolt new ones on).

Next up is the storage space and kitchen to go in, because our white wash hardwood looking floor laminate goes on (which will ah-mazing!). We’ve included some ‘Pinterest inspo pics’ at the bottom of this blog.

 

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If you’re wanting to do some handy work or renos or anything that requires the use of a tool then I highly, personally recommend Ryobi. In Geelong we have 3 Bunnings who all stock them and once you have them al home and can experiment you’ll also find how easy it is to do it yourself.

 

 

Inspo pics

 

Please note all photos containing Evie, Hunter or myself with no protective gear are fully staged and taken for the purpose of showing you the tools. Ryobi strongly advise full protective gear is worn at all times when operating tools and machinery.

RYOBI delivers affordable power tools with pro features, all backed by their 6 Year Warranty* and are available exclusively at Bunnings Warehouse Australia and New Zealand. Ryobi always recommends using safety equipment with all of their power tools.

* 6 year warranty applies to cordless products registered at http://www.ryobi.com.au. Batteries and chargers have 3 year warranty only. Corded tools have a 4 year warranty.

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