Post by Don Ricardo on Aug 22, 2014 21:19:38 GMT 10
Following is Boblor's history of Expandavan which he compiled after interviewing John Bury a couple of years ago. John was the proprietor of both Camperland and Camperman, which acted as the Melbourne agent for Expandavan, and was a major influence in the development of the later versions of the caravans.
Boblor has very kindly provided this document for me to post. It is very detailed and won't interest everybody, but is an extraordinarily important document. Some of the magazine articles Boblor refers to in the history have been posted higher up this thread.
Note the Expandavan in the top left corner of this next page:
Sincere thanks go to Boblor for permission to post this document, and also for sharing with us his fantastic talent for research and deep knowledge of fibreglass caravans.
Last Edit: Sept 13, 2014 14:10:28 GMT 10 by Don Ricardo
Hi SGTL I am testing my memory here, but I have ommitted to state that Welded Pipelines was a part of Siddons, or vice versa. I will have to recheck my interview with John Bury. By the way when do you find time to farm . Cheers boblor
...On the previous page I mentioned that Uncle Bill believed his expandavan was built by...Siddons industries...
I had a chat with Robert Bury today, who then consulted his father, John. As you probably remember, John was the proprietor of Camperland/Camperman and was very involved in the development of the Expandavan in its latter stages. Robert worked for his father managing the Sydney branch of Camperman. According to Robert and John the story goes like this...
Expandavan was produced by Cliff Mintern, with the fibreglass versions built by Helmsman Industries. When Petersville moved into the 'leisure industry' they produced the aluminium version of the Expandavan and the Tagalong camper trailer (all this we know). Siddons Industries comes into the picture because they also decided to get into leisure products and produced Sunwagons (as per the promo document you posted) and Cabana pop-top/foldouts. Siddons Leisure Products also had their own retail outlet(s), including one called 'Holiday Maker' in Croydon (Victoria), where Caravan City now stands. Siddons didn't build Expandavans, but John Bury thinks that they probably acted as agents for Expandavan, and possibly put a Siddons sticker on them. So...your Uncle Bill may well have bought his Expandavan from Siddons through Holiday Makers or another Siddons outlet. Or alternatively, he may have bought a pre-loved or demonstration van from Siddons.
Of course all this happened in the 70's, so we can't talk about it here, and this post is a figment of your imagination...
Had to make a rushed trip to Qld a couple of weeks ago. Last Thursday on my return, I spent the night in a caravan park in Coonabarabran on the Newell Highway. Saw a fancy motorhome drive in and much to my surprise it was towing this Mini Expandavan. The owners had only just purchased it and were heading north for a holiday.
You could say they had HIS and HER bedrooms - a great idea if one was a snorer ;D ;D
Not often you can see one of these! They actually bought it off Ebay! Another case of the dealer sticking his name on them as if they were their vans Sadly it was registered under the Vogue name as well.
Unfortunately, the photos Roehm3108 posted of the Expandavan he reported on above have gone AWOL. However, the van concerned is shown below. It was actually sold on Ebuy twice within six months, so presumably on the second occasion (December 2012) just after Roehm saw it in October. The van had received some additional decorative stickers in between the two Ebuy listings:
In his post, Roehm refers to the Vogue stickers on the van and the fact that it is registered as a Vogue. Expandavans were sold by various agents in the different states who registered them under their own name. So Toffeeman's Expandavan was sold by, and registered in South Australia as a Wartz. Perhaps the Expandavan shown in the photos above was sold by a caravan dealer called Vogue somewhere, and registered as such. Just a theory at this stage.
Post by eniddaphne on May 22, 2015 17:42:47 GMT 10
I have one these, the registration sticker and the sticker on the front of the van says Vouge. The sticker near the door says it was made by Vouge Caravans, Port Wakefield Road, Port Wakefield. Mine doesn't have any decorative stickers and is plain white with pale blue wheel arches and both sides expand out to double beds.
Last Edit: May 22, 2015 21:27:53 GMT 10 by eniddaphne
Hi All I have missed commenting on the above caravan. I interviewed John Hill at Port Wakefield on a couple of occassions in the past two years about the Vogue caravans. Yes John and his parents produced these vans which are similar to the Expandavan.John even gave me an original sticker to remind me of my visit. This confirmed that Vogue were not agents for Expandavan. John's family actually started the Viscount brand in the beginning. Cheers boblor
Post by Don Ricardo on Feb 13, 2016 11:25:43 GMT 10
That's really fascinating information about the Vogue Expandavan being built by John Hill and his parents at Port Wakefield - but also very confusing, at least in terms of understanding the convoluted history of the Expandavan.
I've spent a bit of time looking very carefully at the photos of the 1971 aluminium-clad Camperland Expandavan higher up this thread here and the photos of the Vogue Expandavan also higher up this thread here, and the only differences I can see are that (a) the A-frames are constructed differently, (b) the filler for the water tank is on the opposite sides of the van - Camperland off-side, Vogue near side, and (c) the stove alcove is a bit higher from the floor on one compared to the other. Otherwise the design, internal layout and fittings appear to be identical. But I also note that the Camperland van was a prototype, so it's possible that the differences between the two vans just reflect some changes from the prototype to the production version.
So what does all this mean? I think the fact that the two vans are virtually identical rules out the idea that they were developed and produced independently. So, were the Camperland vans built by the Hills (Vogue)? Or did Camperland build a few Expandavans themselves then pass production over to the Hills? Or did Camperland and the Hills produce vans independently but use the same plans and specifications?
Any thoughts Boblor?
Incidentally there's a Classic-era Vogue full-size caravan (not an Expandavan) currently for sale on Gumtree, so I guess that's one of the other vans that came off the Hill's production line at Port Wakefield?
Don Ricardo (as usual, asking more questions than providing answers!)
Hi Don Ricardo I will contact John Hill and ask 'what years did the family build the Vogues', this may help sort this question out. Vogue may have produced the vans sometime after Expandavan and John Bury had ceased production in the early 70's. Watch this space. Cheers boblor
Post by skidly007 on Sept 20, 2020 19:54:11 GMT 10
Hi all I have really enjoyed reading all the information placed on the forum in regards to the expandavan. I own one of these vans which was passed down to me from my mother. The van was passed down to her from her farther who purchased it back in the early seventies. He did many trips around QLD were they lived and even down to adelaide to see our side of the tribe. I recall them dropping in with the van being towed by a Holden HT premier wagon back in the late seventies. I am not sure what i am going to do with the van in the near further it would be nice if i could find it a nice new home for it. I have to many other projects on the go, vintage motorbikes as well as a very large sailing boat to maintain. Mum has now moved upstairs to be with dad who has been waiting up there for 4 years so i dont think she would mind me finding it a new home.
Post by skidly007 on Sept 22, 2020 11:24:02 GMT 10
Hi Don thanks for your reply/interest. I think the van is a Mk1 going by the chassis No. 134 which is two more then first believed to be made. Although mine has the cables like the Mk.2 to hold the beds not the straps like the Mk1. Interesting, could of been changed later maybe. I have some outside photos attached when i get time i will take some from the inside. (full of storage junk at the moment, good junk though). It still has the original Pilkington Reni stove in it all in good working order. I love the glow plug set up for lighting the pilot light. Cheers Wayne (skidly007)