Tell ya what Ol' Cobber does like reading about, no bull, all the great restoration jobs being performed on this forum AND .... I've got a great commercial van photo to post for you Al.....after breakfast
...it's got the Franklin sticker that was used from mid-1970 to mid-1972.
That's useful information Franklin1. Thanks.
It seems to me that all of the Franklin commercial "toasters" which have shown on this thread are 1970+. Do you think that means that Franklin only started building commercial vans and/or toaster style vans after 1969? Do we have any evidence one way or the other?
I've never seen a Franklin commercial van or toaster van from earlier than 1970, DonR. It's possible there could be some out there, but nothing's shown up yet, and they never featured in Franklin advertising. I think it might have been a business decision by the new owners who bought the Franklin business in 1970, to start making them. After the demise of the Carapark brand in the mid-'60s, I really don't know who was supplying the commercial market in the late '60s. Neither Viscount nor Millard seem to have made any, from what I've seen so far. Maybe the new owners of Franklin saw an opportunity to fill a gap in the market that no-one else seemed to be interested in.
Post by Don Ricardo on Apr 7, 2015 17:20:43 GMT 10
Information about the Franklin Freeway pick-up camper from the 1969 Winser:
(Source: K Winser, Caravan Manual & Tourist Park Guide, 21st edition, 1969, p 254)
There are several curious aspects about the model name for this camper:
Franklin was producing and advertising full-size 'Freeway' caravans at the same time as it seems to have been producing the Freeway camper.
The 'Freeway' name had been used since 1965 by the Freeway Camper Company in NSW for a range of pick-up campers. However, there does not appear to be any connection between the Franklin and the Freeway Camper Company, since the unit shown in the above photos is clearly displaying a 'Franklin' logo just below the front window.
Given the above, Hughdeani has suggested that the Winser manual may have incorrectly ascribed the Freeway model name to the Franklin camper. Errors of this kind are not unknown in the Winser manuals, and this may be the explanation in this instance. However, the 'Freeway' name was used by Franklin for a model range which varied in length from 14 ft 6 in (and possibly smaller) up to 40 ft. So it is possible that the camper fitted into this general model range.
Post by Don Ricardo on May 5, 2015 13:53:18 GMT 10
There's a discussion happening on the Carapark Caravans facebook page here at the moment regarding a takeover of part of the Carapark company by Franklin. Specifically, Franklin may have taken over the commercial 'toaster' and/or other parts of the Carapark business, resulting in the 70's Franklin toaster style vans we see occasionally. It has also been suggested that towards the end, Carapark obtained its aluminium framed windows from Franklin.
Carapark's disintegration was happening at the same time as Franklin was really ramping up, so anything is possible. However, a Carapark/Franklin link is not something I've heard about, and doesn't readily fit with the info I've collected about Carapark's corporate demise (which I've looked at in a bit of detail - more to come when I get a chance). Does anybody on the forum have any information relating to this, and specifically about a tie up between the two companies?
Met a gentleman the other day in Paynesville who gave me some interesting information about the history of the name "Franklin". This gentleman comes from Sorrento (Vic) and told me that a house belonging to the Robinson family in Sorrento was called "Franklin" and apparently the house is still there...
The information given to Daggsey in 2008 regarding the origins of the 'Franklin' brandname was confirmed in an interview with Geoff Robertson conducted by Rod Bruem of Time to Roam magazine and reported in an article on the history of Franklin caravans in the April/May 2015 edition of the magazine.
Post by Don Ricardo on May 16, 2015 23:22:15 GMT 10
Photos of a 14 ft, 5-berth Franklin caravan branded as a Skyline sold on Ebuy, April 2015:
The caravan was identified as a Franklin by Kingswood308 and Hughdeani who noted the characteristic shelf and the ceiling lining. While we haven't seen a Franklin van with the same front profile and window treatment on the forum before (as far as I'm aware), Hughdeani has advised that it is a standard Franklin front.
Additional photos of the interior of the caravan can be seen here.
Post by Don Ricardo on Jun 28, 2015 20:40:52 GMT 10
When some of you forum members are sitting back contemplating the ways of the world, you probably wonder what a person does after establishing a successful - and for a time market dominating - caravan building business. Am I right? Of course. It's something we all think about from time to time.
Well fortunately I'm here to answer your question.
Following is an article from the Australian Women's Weekly of 6 February 1980 (pp 22-23) telling us what Geoff Robertson, founder of Franklin Caravans, did after selling his business around 1973:
Absolutely leave it the way it is ! A great old van in good nick inside! Remember.....They're only original once! Bunks are sought after by families and it has the 2 special bunk Windows so when the next custodian has it they'll be happy you left it! In saying that it's your van and you can do what you want with it .... But don't! Welcome aboard!
Post by breaker1791 on Feb 28, 2016 12:25:43 GMT 10
Thank you! Perhaps we should sell it to someone who could utilize the bunks more than us and find one that suits our needs without destroying its character. If there is somone out there, please let us know.
Post by Don Ricardo on Jun 21, 2017 17:19:19 GMT 10
Photos of an early 60's Franklin once owned by Firefighter and postedhereon 14 October 2006:
This caravan has been variously described as being built from 1959 to 1963, however it has a (small) bay window at the front, which places it after 1960, but has different styling to the 1963 Franklins, so I'm estimating that it is either a 1961 or 1962 model. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find a record of its serial number which would have helped date it.
We have a number of photos of the exteriors of late 50's and early 60's Franklins on this thread, but few photos of the interiors, which is why I have copied these photos here. Note the "Franklin shelf" in the galley area.
The van was later purchased from Firefighter by forum member Gristy.