This thread was originally commenced by Franklin1 in November 2007 with the two photos now shown at the end of this post, which was the first information on the forum about Baravan.
The following history of Baravan has been compiled by Bruce Barrett, son of David Barrett the founder of Baravan. Bruce has very kindly agreed to his history being posted here, and it seemed appropriate to insert it into the post that begins the thread.
Bruce is currently constructing the ‘last Baravan’ for his own use, which you can read about at the end of his history.
Bruce is keen for anyone with a Baravan to email him photos of their van, together with the serial number from the drawbar, so that he can add the information to his records. Bruce’s contact details are provided on the first page of the history as well as at the end.
In addition to the history, Bruce Barrett has provided a guide to the body styles used by Baravan from 1954 to 1978. This guide can be foundhere.
As indicated higher up this post, Bruce would like to hear from anyone who owns a Baravan so that he can add the information to his records. Bruce’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to Bruce for his generosity in allowing us to post the above history which is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in Baravans or the West Australian caravan industry.
Following are the photos originally displayed in this post by Franklin1. These photos were the first information about Baravan posted on the forum:
Last Edit: Sept 11, 2020 11:59:34 GMT 10 by Don Ricardo: Post updated with Baravan history 9 September 2020
(source: posted by John Fenn, Nov 24, 2007, who wrote: ...She is a great little caravan. and I spent a LOT of time stripping off 6 coats of paint and repainting her in her original colours which I found under all the other stuff, right down to the pencil lines outlining the lower black area. ...Really beautiful woodwork inside and great finish. My uncle and Dad who owned BiTone Caravans accross the road from Baravans said they could never match the paintwork or finish on the Baravans and they tried to steal their painter on a number of occasions. ...This Caravan last belonged to Dr Judith Edwards, who has been the State Member for Maylands for the past 14 years or so. At one point she was the Minister for the Environment. This was her campaign trailer and had huge posters Tech Screwed to the outside. Lot of holes to fill, not to mention 4 coats of Flat white house paint on the outside. If you like I could ask her sign a document authenticating this.)
On April 27, 2005, johnfenn posted: ...When [the Barravan above] was built there were about 4 competitors in Perth: BiTone, Baravan, Moderns and Carapark. I think Moderns are still in business, but as manufacturers of window screens and security screens.
This information comes from this thread where Retro1 was asking for information regarding Baravan # 454:
At reply # 13 Bruceb tells us..
Hi, I think I can help resolve any questions on dates of manufacture for Baravan Caravans. A little history - Dad started the business in 1954 and I joined in 1974. I am fortunate to have the Factory Production book of records of all caravans built between Nov 1959 until 1975 which has details of chassis number, model, size date of manufacture etc.. I am still involved in the caravan industry in Perth WA and a regular caravan user although sadly not a Baravan. If I can help with details of dates etc I am happy to assist. Happy caravanning regards BruceB.
Then at reply # 16 he gives us more information..
Hi Leigh Chassis number 454 described as an 'All Metal Van', size 10', Layout 2S (2 single beds) and originally sold to Skipper Bailey Motor Company on 14th January 1964. In 1964 Skipper Bailey Motor Company were operating in Victoria Park not far from the factory and were appointed as the Retailer for Baravan Caravans. Chassis 454 was the 2nd caravan to be sold to Skippers with the first a 13'2" model delivered 20th Dec 1963. The relationship with Skippers was a good one allowing production runs which improved buying power for materials and kept labour to a minimum. Caravans were originally described by model ie; 2SD ( 2 singles and a dinette) though eventually caravans were being described with size, model and a descriptive name such as 'Safari, Royal, Ranger etc". Around the start of 1970 Caravan Centre of WA was also retailing the Baravan and Skipper's continued to retail until mid 1970. Hope you find the info above of interest. Best Wishes Bruceb
nah, Mark ...I'd be thinking earlier 1960s. That ribbed cladding profile was the first one used after flat aluminium cladding was phased out. My guess is that it's from around 1963, and it's had a paint job applied to the outside at some later stage.
Lovshack's van has the second cladding profile that replaced the first ribbed version.
Last Edit: Apr 13, 2011 16:26:53 GMT 10 by Franklin1
Post by thenelsons on Oct 21, 2012 21:15:49 GMT 10
Extremely long shot but does anyone have an email address or contact info for BruceB? I believe he was on here years ago and had info about Baravans. We've just purchased one, Chassis #417 and I would love to know more about it. Any help would be appreciated!
Hi all, Brand new member here and only been caravaning regularly for about a year (recently retired ;D). I have seen some amazing restored vans in some of the CP's and on the roads. It reminded me that my late father in law had a couple of vans when the good wife and I met back in 1969. One was, I think a Millard which he sold not long after and he kept the Baravan for some years after. He joined a lapidary club here in WA and did a few trips around Oz. The wife and I actually lived in the Baravan for some months after we were married while our new house was being built. Anyway, enough rambling The reason for my post, this photo of the van and Toyota Corona is the same combination he used for some time in the early 1970's and the little kid with the bottle is a dead ringer for how one of my nephews looked when that age. Can anyone tell me if the rego plate is a WA one and any other info of the photo?
Mate....I can't remember where I found that photo but.........putting two fingers in the middle of my iPad and spreading them ....I zoom in on the photo and the number plate on the car sure looks like a WA plate " U10-557" at a rough guess.
I could read the numbers and yeah UOI-557 is what I came up with, but I am pretty sure some SA plates started with "U--" and I could not make out whether the little letters at the top were WA or SA. Neither the wife nor I could remember what the plates on his car were, WAAAAY too long ago..lol. It just seemed like a hell of a coincidence and she too agreed that the little tike with the bottle could have been our nephew at about that age. His car was a mid to pale yellow and it was a bit hard looking at that photo if that was right. The wife seems to remember the van being painted blue when he had it but of course that can change over time. When we get a bit of time we will have a bit of a fossik around amongst our old photos (no digital back then) and see if we have anything. In the mean time thanks for your reply.
Checked this out on Gumtree late last night when I saw your post Don Ricardo.....van was in Bunbury (100kms away) and I was going to ring the seller today. When I checked GT today, the van had been sold
Hope it has gone to someone with restoration in mind and hopefully it might appear here in the future.
Alcohol may not solve your problems, but neither will water or milk
Post by baravan2276 on Sept 22, 2013 11:31:44 GMT 10
Hi members, just found the site,great stuff. I have owned a 15' baravan for 9 years ad dragged it around aussie twice. Have met lots of people who said they had one and comments such as - strongest van made,last forever,etc. What I don't know is if it has a model name or style and the rego papers have no date. I read there is a member with all the production info. regards
Post by baravan2276 on Sept 22, 2013 11:41:10 GMT 10
had to post again as I can't figure out how to put multiple pics in post. What im requesting is if any1 happens to know of a website that sells eye to eye leaf springs to suit my baravan. the measurements are... 850mm hanger to hanger 45mm wide spring x 8mm thick looks like around 10 leafs in the spring pack I have looked endlessly on search and getting them reset is not available as too rusty and having some made from scratch is just not realistic financially. I would prefer to use existing hangers positions and not keen on rewelding hanger sites. if anyone can help with a link to a supplier with suitable springs thanks, regards to all baravan and other caravaners.
I had a ZH fairlane that was saggy in the bum and a local trailer parts maker (large shed behind his house) replaced my worn leaf springs with thicker good condition second hand leafs from a xf falcon ute keeping the original eye to eye leaf and replacing all the others. If your main eye to eye leaf spring is salvageable you may be able to do the same with the others also you could measure eye to eye and check the wreckers yards. hwyman
I recently purchased this van and it is totally gutted and just has the original doors/hinges and some of the cabinetry but most of it gone. I purchased for $1000 and my neighbour who owns a brewery is wanting to buy for $1300 to put into his business as a food van. Everyone thinks I am mad to take it on as I would need to have it completely rewired etc and I would need to engage trades to help me. Would you advise I sell and buy one for more which still has the original interior to do a cosmetic and maybe some painting upholstery/minor restoration only? I would appreciate advice as it will be a lot of work and although I have restored houses I haven't done a van before. The floor has been replaced with marine ply. I bought of Gumtree and it said 66-68, only one I can find on here that looks identical says is a 62. Cobber if you read this, this is the post I sent you a message about.
You won't hear me say this very often but....... if she has been gutted inside and the neighbour wants it as a 'food van' and is offering you more than you paid for it........... I'd let him have it.......... the van that is
I know you love the van and have big plans for it but..... you can spend a heck of a lot of money and time replacing all the inside fittings, wiring and upholstery if you aren't able to do most of the work yourself.
There might be a bit of a problem finding a replacement for it in WA, but they do come up from time to time ( some people over there actually steal caravans from the eastern states.... can you believe that ? )
See what other people on the forum advise but, stick with the vintage caravan hobby, it's good clean fun.