Post by Don Ricardo on Dec 23, 2007 21:24:02 GMT 10
The first two posts which follow contain copies of articles which claim that pop-top caravans were first developed in Australia in the late 60's and were popularised in the 70's. Several manufacturers claim the distinction of having produced either the first pop-top caravan in Australia, or even the world, at that time.
In fact, John Alfred Jennison, a creative and innovative motor engineer, submitted an application to the Australian Patents Office for a patent for a pop-top caravan design in 1935. Jennison built at least one of his pop-top caravans behind his workshop in Salisbury, South Australia, in the early 30's.
Jennison later went on to manufacture the Jennison Pathfinder caravan.
Further information about Jennison's pop-top caravan design can be found on this thread, but a copy of the patent application and a picture of the caravan can be found here
On Sept 6, 2007, Cobber wrote (in relation to a query about when pop-tops were first made): All of the above guesses regarding when the first “Pop Top” hit the market are apparently spot on. But apparently what led to the invention of the “Pop Up” was the prior invention of the “Pop Down”. This article from the January 2000 “On The Road” magazine makes for interesting reading (don’t give up before you get to the last few paragraphs).
Cobber continues... Gerry Ryan unfortunately passed away last March. Jayco is now under the control of Gerry's son.
See here for more information about the Bri-Ray Microvan "pop-down" caravan.
Last Edit: Sept 12, 2017 23:06:21 GMT 10 by Don Ricardo
Post by Don Ricardo on Dec 24, 2007 22:50:29 GMT 10
The following Caravan World article by the Paparazzi duo outlines the history of pop-top caravans built by Barnes Caravans in Sydney. According to the article, Barnes was amongst the first manufacturers in Australia to build pop-tops, beginning in the late 1960's (but note the first post on this thread).
The article features a 'Duncan' caravan which was built by Barnes Caravans in 1973 - beyond the V V cut-off of 31 December 1969. However, it is of interest because the Barnes company built caravans using a similar design under several different names - including Futura - from the late 60's through to 1979.
Post by atouchofglass on Feb 10, 2008 6:41:01 GMT 10
Greetings all I'm unsure of the manufacture date but I suspect the Cabana was a 70's breed that had an interesting way of lifting the top. The fibreglass ends were opened up, one at a time and as it did the top on that side lifted as well. The ends were basically a curved shape that became a single bed.
So by just lifting the two ends the job was done.
I reglassed the ends of mine for reasons I no longer remember and it was as heavy as hell. All the extra glass caused issues.
But before that even a lightweight could have opened the ends up with little effort.
Goes to show there is always a variation on a theme.
Post by Don Ricardo on Jun 30, 2008 23:28:26 GMT 10
For those of you interested in Australian caravanning history, here's something intriguing. It's a description of a manuscript held by the Royal History Society of Victora. Note the last line in the summary:
"Neville Mirvane Bunning and wife Lilian [Bartlett]"
"This handwritten history is lavishly illustrated with original photographs of family members and includes birth, death and marriage certificates, a copy of the separate wills of George Edward Bunning and Marion Edwina Bunning. Neville Mirvane Bunning's passport, dated 1940, gives his profession as sculptor. He later added painting and pottery to his skills and taught Art at Ballarat School of Mines. (His younger brother Walter Ralston Bunning was an architect.) It is said that Neville Bunning invented the 'pop-up' caravan while at Ballarat, a photograph of which is included. Author: Luly, Lexie."
Anybody heard of Neville Bunning??
It seems like there were a number of people who had a go at a pop-top caravan. I think the honour for being the first still goes to John Jennison, but there is little doubt that those who claim that the first pop-top was invented in the late 60's/early 70's don't know much about their Australian touring heritage.
Looks like I might have to take a trip into the Royal History Society of Victoria's archive...