Don't be sad.... She's got a good home with me and my VW's I love her already! I really want to go away somewhere and try her out, but I have to wait until my Kombi gets here and I can put a towball on the back... I would have loved to come and get her myself. Unfortunately there's already a Penelope in the family (Mum's house) so I'm going to call her Pennny P Propert (what's the P stand for?) because if something's already been named by the previous owner then I don't like to change it.... Dad got home with her yesterday afternoon. I felt like a kid at Christmas.... They did have one little hickup unfortunately... They were backing out of a motel carpark and they jacknifed luckily they only damaged one of the running lights (You wouldn't know where I could get another yellow cover would you?). I'm sereously considering extending the drawbar to try and prevent it happening again.... Dad and his mate are both experienced caravaners, (although wioth bigger vans) whereas I've never towed anything in my life. She's just exactly perfect for what I want... Small but not too small...and I'm actually surprised at the amount of room inside, even Dad could stand up with room to spare. She seems a lot bigger inside than out. And so light that I can move her around the backyard by myself....
Hi, Well she allmost made to big trip unharmed. you should be able to track down a new lense, tey your local auto elec or spares shop. The P came from Penelope P Pitstop. Glad you are happy . I am sure you will have lots of fun trips with her. Cruz
"Just Cruzin" 1948 Mayfair 1953 Atlantic 1955 9'6" Old Bessie
Oh dear I think I'm showing my age (and not in a good way) I had to google Penelope Pitstop (groan). And I've seen wacky races a few times too.... With everyting I've read online about Properts it seems my dad's mate is the first one to come to grief with the short a frames they have... Which is a bit irksome really. Can't be that hard to back them up then... or do people just take them off and move them by hand if they want to go backwards because they're so light? Penny is just such a happy little van..,.. must have had a happy previous owner who gave her lots of love and attention. I've honestly expected poeople to laugh at me for wanting something so small and unique.... and so old, most people say my 42yo Bug is old... But so far everyone except my sister has said things like "cute" or "cool" or wanted to know more, or just been surprised at how functional she is and how good the condition she is in.... (broken lense not withstanding. Oh well easily fixed I guess.... And could have been a lot worse.) I sent a link to the ebay ad to my sister and she said "don't buy it.... it's ugly, get a teardrop" (only reason not to buy....that's my sister for you....) but I'm so glad I didn't listen to her. It's like Penny was made just for me because she ticks every box on the list I made when I started looking for a van to tow behind my (future) Coffee Kombi Do you know anything about her history before you bought her? Do you have any "before" photo's? She must have had an interesting life.....
As a former owner of two previous Properts, I can assure you that the short drawbar is a nuisance. My second one had an extended one and it was much easier to manouver. If you go that way, make sure that it will be long enough to open the van up when attached to the towcar. It makes it much easier for stops along the journey, not having to take the van off the towball just to get a cup out of the van.
I've been told I have to replace the whole A fram if I want to go any longer than an extra couple of inches.... There's always a part of me that wants to keep something that is already still original the same as it's always been but if it's safer to change it then....? But I plan to camp out at rest areas alot when I'm traveling to save money and it would be annoying to take it off every night so I think I'm going to have to bite the bullet... And if I'm the next one to jacknife and do more damage than a running light lense I think I'd be devistated!!!!
Presumably they made it so short to stop people from contemplating driving off with the van still unfolded?
It shouldn't be too expensive to replace that drawbar, as it's only angle-iron and doesn't go too far under the body of the van itself. Not too sure about the reason for it being so short, but that seemed to be the way of things in those days, as a lot of other vans have short drawbars. It's really only a problem for the Properts because of their unfolding shell. I do wonder though if on your VW, because of the angle of the back bonnet, whether it might still work with the short drawbar, as long as you keep the rig straight. Worth checking before going any further.
Hi Van-essa! We 'modified' the draw bar on our Propert (the Tardis cos it's bigger on the inside than on the outside) without changing the original draw bar. It's so much better. It was a pretty simple operation using a piece of RHS 100mm x 50mm x 3mm thick x 900mm long. Rob unbolted the old tow hitch then welded the new piece in as a goose neck to get it at the right height. It actually lenghtened the overall drawbar by about 500mm. He kept the old Propert front stay & we put the jockey wheel that was on the van further up the drawbar. But you have to be careful & have a short jockey wheel in case the van wheel hits the top of it when folded out.
I'll take a photo & post it asap.
Of course rays right it may still open with a VW beetle but don't know about a Combi.
Just don't delete the -essa... I had a boss who insisted on calling me Van and I always hated it
I like the name of your Propert.... it's so true, when I was standing outside the one in the Birdwood museum (because NSW is too far to go) I started having a few seccond thoughts that it might be a tinsey bit too small (don't tell my dad!) wasn't even sure I'd be able to stand in it to be honest.... I'm 5ft 10in.... but I'm so glad I bought Penny anyway. (The museum would have let me inside theirs but they couldn't find the key...)
I was told I would have to change the whole thing by Dario's, a caravan repair place in Adelaide. Dad said to go see Roadmaster caravans (we used to have one named Betsy...) but from memory he was always really really busy... And a Propert isn't really in the same league as the monsters they build..... not for such a tiny job anyway. If you could post the pic it would be great... all I have to do is figure out how to show them and hopefully Dario's could copy it. I like original... and Penny hasn't really had anything much changed except the matresses (not innersprung so not original) and the curtains.... If it was already non original I wouldn't feel so guilty about changing something else... I think even the lino is original!
I'm not planning on towing with my Beetles yet... one has been broken down for 10 years, another has a 1300cc engine only (he's in Dawin and is the slowest one in town, but I live him anyway!) and my convertable... well, her engine is a bit tired, no one has done any major work to the engine in 10 years... she needs some Love before I'd want to make her work that hard.
PS I think the whale tail might get in the way....
Post by Don Ricardo on Apr 24, 2012 21:42:03 GMT 10
The owner of Roadmaster is a member of the forum - he goes by the name Lazza. I think he's downscaled recently, but he may still be doing some small scale work. Maybe he will PM you or you could PM him. He might have someone else he can recommend in Adelaide.
Depending on how far you're willing to drive, another forum member - Ovelanda - lives in Ararat (Vic), and has a firm which does caravan repairs/modifications.
Be a little cautious when caravan repairers who deal with modern caravans tell you that you need to make wholesale changes to your van to make it 'legal'. The general rule in most states is that your van only needs to meet the registration/safety regulations which applied at the time it was first registered/built. A lot of repairers and even registration authorities are not necessarily aware of that because they don't know that part of the regs.
If you need to modify your van by adding modern mod cons to make it safe (or comfortable) that's one thing, but you don't necessarily have to meet all the current regs about lights, brakes, and couplings, etc.
Last time I saw "Lazza" it was when my sister took her Kombi camper to him not long after she bought it... about 10 years ago now I think. And he still remembered us from waaayyyyyy back. My parents took both our caravans to him... not just Betsy. He's very good at what he does... Years ago I probably wouldn't have gone to Darios (I only half remember why...) but they have done work on the same kombi and my sister was happy with them... and the husband of a friend of mine works there and is meant to be really good at his job (welding)... So I think the work they would do would be good quality... but maybe "unnecessary"? Needs more research before commitment.....
I have the same problems with my VWs.,... "old" isn't necesarily the same as "easy" or "streightforward" as I have found out to the detriment of my bank balance.... And I don't like being told I have to replace something totally if others (Tardis) haven't had to.. keep the history and think outside the square I say!
And small changes are usually cheaper too
Sometimes if you leave things the same it's ok... but when you start changing things then you have to update it to newer laws....
I just don't want to have to unhook to open Penny, especcially if I'm just stoped in a rest area for the night (it's genetic)... In over 10 years of having a drivers licence I've never had to tow before... and I've seen how eassily experienced caravanners can jacknife something so tiny.... I can see myself doing the same thing... something that is almost preventable..... and that would be tragic. Nooooooooo!!!!! Previous owners would kill me! I'd kill me!
Hope I havent made photo too big as Im pretty tired tonight!
You may have noticed the yellow box, it's the water tank. if there's anything Propert owners like to do, it's tinker with them. Your one is unusual it's never had mods. Just about every Propert has had some little mod done to it, whether it's a folding shelf etc etc. Ours had a water tank under the floor & a hatch. We've done folding shelves, re-done the fold-out kids bed, will show you more photos when not so tired.
I like that.. usefull, but not impossible to put it back the way it was if a future owner ever wanted to...
If mine is unusual maybe I should try and keep it that way... One of my Beetles is like that. I'm always arguing with guys who think its too slow (but the original motor and I want to keep it)...
Now I hatch I have considered..."hot air rises" and all that. Especially since only 2 windows open it must be stinkin' hot sometimes.... And I do like the tropics. Also a foldng shelf could be useful....
I agree way to late for serious thinking... Goodnight all!