Thanks everyone for the encouraging comments on the van, can't take all the credit as don't think it would have been achievable without the help and guidance of my good friend John Woolley, I sometimes wondered which one of us owned the Van, such was his passion. Have learned a huge amount about caravan restoration and don't think I'll ever touch another. Trip to Bruthen was a roaring success, tows like a dream, lots of thumbs ups!!!
What a magnificent van - I can see how much work has gone into the immaculate interior and the flawless exterior! It boggles the mind to think it could look better in person - you have every right to be "houseproud"!
I hope we do see you at Cora Lynn - I'm very keen to see all that hard work in the flesh!
The Blue Flyer - 1951 Homemade Bondwood
Chryssi - 1966 VC Valiant Safari
The Seeshell - 1969 Olympic Riviera (deceased)
Thanks for the great information. I have just purchased my first van for resto a Roadhaven No 88. Will post pics of her progress once she is collected and work begins. Will definite love to make use of your collective knowledge and information. Cheers Neale
There is one like this rotting away in the Tumberumba caravan park. I last saw it about 5 yrs ago. Got on to the owner at the time who wanted ridiculous $$$ for it............ may be worth a lookin for anyone travelling that way...maybe the owners a lot older and a little wiser. jenno
...In the mid 50s Herbert made a caravan for the Home Beautiful Magazine " hand book for Amateurs on Boats and Caravans "...
When he wrote up the history of Roadhaven caravans in 2007 (see the post beginning this thread), Firefighter noted that Herbert Pruser built a caravan for the Home Beautiful magazine in the 50's. However, Pruser was involved with Home Beautiful before that. A Home Beautiful 'how to' guide called Caravan Building, published most likely around 1939 just prior to WW II, contains photos of two caravans Pruser built, based on the 'Home Beautiful' design. This is the first:
(Source: Caravan Building, Home Beautiful Productions, c1939, page 3)
The second caravan was built to incorporate a small dinghy as shown below:
Pruser was not the only one to build a van which accommodated a small boat. Several commercial manufacturers, and some home builders, had the same idea in the 30's.
Given the text accompanying the above photos, I am assuming that the man in two of the photos is Herbert Pruser himself. It is certainly the same person in both.
According to Firefighter, Pruser died aged 60 in 1970, indicating that he was born in 1910. If I am correct in thinking the guide is from around 1939, that would make Pruser about 30 when the guide was published, which looks about right for the man in the photos.
Post by stephen&Julie on Apr 30, 2018 20:08:16 GMT 10
Received a phone call shortly after returning from the nationals asking for some help and advise to restore a gentleman's old caravan, asked for some pics and blow me down a Roadhaven number 158, let the resurrection begin
Hi Stephen and Julie, What a great van to resurrect! Love the caption on the instructions,do not go fast downhill or when overtaking another car under any circumstances! A few moderns should take note of that! Cheers hughdeany
Post by Don Ricardo on Sept 27, 2018 23:22:23 GMT 10
Photos of Roadhaven caravan number 176 belonging to Jonesie's aunt:
Note the profile of the aluminium cladding on this van. It's different to that seen on any of the other Roadhavens shown on this thread, and is an indicator of how Herbert Pruser developed the design over time. Because he was building them one by one, it's possible that there are no two Roadhavens that are quite identical.
Jonesie's van is currently for sale in the 'For Sale' section.
Post by Don Ricardo on Mar 6, 2019 10:13:09 GMT 10
1951 Roadhaven advert from a Broadbent's road guide, provided by Franko:
(Source: Broadbent's Official Guide Central Victoria, Broadbent's Official Road Guides Co, Melbourne, 1951, p 28)
This is an interesting advert because it shows a quite early Roadhaven with a smaller, central (not full-width) front window, wood framed windows, and decorative rain channels over the windows and door. Note also that the door is hinged towards the front of the van. The advert also refers to a 'dome roof'. From the advert it looks as if the roof may be double cambered, which would be an interesting design feature for a Victorian built van.
Thanks to Liz - one half of the Franko duo - for letting us see this great advert. As it happens, Franko is a proud Roadhaven owner!
Post by stephen&Julie on Dec 18, 2019 13:36:17 GMT 10
1956 Roadhaven 15'6" Badge number 65, has been sitting in a shed in southern Victoria for the past 20 years, initially bought from a lady in Ballarat, pretty good interior with a bit of work on the exterior, all there, can't wait to get this one home, may have to make some room now