my name is Stu, i'm Tonya's boy, and this is my van. the dog's name is Dizzy.
i think it is a mid '60's van. the sticker on the rear says Caracraft of 66 Parramatta rd. Summerhill.
two years ago we slept in it at our friends farm in Nowra, N.S.W. and two years later they were happy to see us so happy with it.
that's my mate driving, i was in the back watching to see if the brakes worked.
we drove to Nowra, put two new tyres on it, a new brake cable, new rear lenses and hitched it to our eh ute and drove the coast road to Melbourne. with out any problems, except for smashing the exterior light glass on a no standing sign in Bateman's Bay.
we stayed out two nights.
since i've had it at home, while the paint in the house dries, i have managed to get the fridge going, fire up the stove, find a replacement for the out-side light, thanks tony at northern caravan accessories, fixed the screen door lock and the front towel rail. the interior is quite a time capsule except for some holes cut for stereo speakers, carpet squares and the curtains.
we plan on using daggy tea towels and venetian blinds.
i had to scrape the surfing stickers off the back window on the way home.
i really love this site and have been lurking for quite some time. before the forum. it didn't inspire me to get an old van i have always loved them. my grandfather used to have bondy that he had built in his carport at tewantin for when we visited in the school holidays.
Great story about retrieving the old girl. Ute looks good hitched up to the van. Nothing like a few days on the road with your van to get you "Hooked" on vintage vanning ..... Its all about "doing it". ... getting out there and enjoying the hobby ... and the stares and comments from people you meeet along the way.
What was wrong with the surfin stickers?? I love seeing those old surf town stickers on the back of old caravans and panel vans.... Noosa, Byron, Sawtell, Uladulla etc... the vans wear them proudly to boast they have provided accomodation for familys at beach side resorts back in the 60s... Every sticker has its own story
I say Go the daggy tea towels and ... venetians always look cool in vans.. Cheers mate
the ute is stock. the stripe is the only after market bit but it's a period accessory.
the surf stickers were all recent brand names. i would have gladly left them on if they were even more than 10 years old. i dislike brands and advertising but will see past it if there is some vintage cool about it.
we're going to use the tea-towel curtains as a sign of where we've been.
" Hey stu, one option worth thinking about is to go to your thread you started on the Vintage caravans forum, and ask anybody if they can provide any information about the Caracraft vans. Keith Winser published an annual book about caravans back in those days, and there might be some info in his books from the mid-1960s. Somebody on the Vintage forum will have those books and should be able to tell you a bit more about the Caracraft. Definitely nothing to do with Viscount, I reckon. Probably more likely related to the Carapark manufacturers.
Post by Don Ricardo on Nov 5, 2008 20:52:43 GMT 10
A great little van you've got there. Looks good behind the ute too.
I've done a bit of a search through the V V forum, and can't find any previous mention of 'Caracraft'. I've also googled the name (as you may have done yourself) and the only couple of references are to boats.
Because of the location of the Caracraft sticker (on the rear only, under the window) my guess - and it's only a guess - is that Caracraft was a caravan sales place, or maybe a caravan and boat sales place, rather than a manufacturer. I note that Al has suggested a link between Caracraft and Carapark because their business addresses were so close, so maybe Caracraft was Carapark's used caravan business where they on-sold trade-ins, or something like that. All this is pure guesswork of course.
There are quite a lot of caravans on the Classic Caravan forum which have a very similar window to yours. In contrast, almost all 60's aluminium caravans seemed to use a 2 or 3-panel vertically divided front window (similar to Mgal's Roma or the Glida vans). So maybe your caravan is very late 60's or very early 70's?
Somebody will probably shoot me down in flames on all of my speculation by pointing to something I've missed in your photos, but it will be interesting to see what others think...
Maybe somebody will be able to find something about Caracraft in one of the Winser manuals from the 60's as Al has suggested. In the meantime keep on enjoying your van! It's obviously pretty light if you can use that motor scooter as a tow vehicle!! ;D ;D ;D
i agree the front window is more of a late 60's / early 70's style. the sticker on the back of the van could very easily be a dealer sticker. it's made out of a sheet of thick foil (?). the writing on it does have an early 70's flavour. there's a good chance it was added when it was traded.
the 2004 rego papers listed it as a 75 model but i don't feel that this is the correct age for it at all. the construction methods for the interior are 60's. it feels like the ply paneled interior of a sixties fibro beach house.
the cupboard doors are a very coarse chip board with a white timber veneer. i can't quite place these.
i feel the fridge is sixties too. as is the stove. the fridge is 240/gas by Holstrom. all i had to do to get it running was clean the flue and knock some rust from the jet.
i'm not very good with dating hitches. mine does have operate by cable and a what i think you call an over-ride brake. it works as a handbrake when you're stopped.
the blue stripe on the side may have been a later addition. there was paint on the lock face, left by a sloppy painter. the aluminium under the blue paint has a diamond texture through it.
so because i have a mid sixties car i'm going to pretend that the caravan is too. until i'm corrected.
i'm packing it tomorrow as i'm about to have a week at wilson's promontory. my favourite place in the world. i'll post photos.
Looks like your van is coming along slowly but surely. As for your Hallstrom fridge check behind the grill under the bottom of the door for Id number/s. Alternatively at the back in about same area. Cheers & happy camping at Wilsons Prom.
Hey Stu, Hope your enjoying / have enjoyed the Prom. Top spot, Victoria's best kept secret I reckon. What part of Vic are you from mate? I live in gippsland, within 2 hours of the prom.
Hmmm.....the prom would make a bludy beaut weekend VV run, not too far from Melbourne for all the VVers there, pretty close to Impala, not bad distance for me and goingrey. Oh, by the way, neat yute and a coll van, I like the teatowel curtain idea.....wish I'd thort of it ;D
I love your van because it's so original ;D While I like all of these perfectlt restored vans, if it wasn't for my bondy needing a paint job I'd have left it all original. Nothin like a down to earth, untouched, bushies rig I reckon ;D Yellowuki
Good thinkin' Leigh. In some ways Shallow inlets easier, half hour odd less travel than going right into the prom. Never camped there myself, but I expect it would be beautiful. Name a time and I will check the calender.
we sure are using it. lots for camping. including from next thursday through to tuesday out past ballarat at a music festival. we are the envy of our friends, especially when it's raining.
but the silliest use it gets is when our friends come over to ours in collingwood, where it has sat on the street for a couple of months and we sit in the van around the table and entertain. it makes a great bar.
we're thinking of writing to the council to see if we can't get a significant building permit.
Your fridge doesn't run on gas in the sense of modern household refridgeration/cooling, where a gas is compressed by the compressor and then released into the system, the expansion of the liquified gas under pressure creating the cooling effect.
It operates on an absoption method where liquid ammonia is evaporated in Hydrogen gas (causing the cooling) the ammonia gas then passes through a container of water which absorbs the ammonia, this mixture is then heated by the heat source (gas flame, electric element) which in turn evaporates the ammonia from the water mix and starts the cycle again.
I have no idea who would be able to check this and get it going again. It is likely that the hydrogen or coolant has leaked from rusty pipes, or, there can be a blockage. There is some interesting info here including how it works (visually)