Manufactured by Cruise Master Caravans Belmore, NSW, and later Canterbury Road, Lakemba, NSW On May 14, 2007, jailbarjuice wrote: Hi All, My mate Bob the Builder showed me some pix of a van he spotted on the weekend. It supposedly was built in the 50,s, and its all ply construction, on a custom box tube chassis similar to Sunliners, with dual axles. He thought it could be about 25’ long, but wasn’t sure. The guy that owns it said it took his uncle 6 years to build, & Bob said it looks near perfect. Looks very American in shape I think...
reply by cobber: That looks like a million dollars worth of caravan. And get a go at the tow coupling..... looks similar to the "Don" system..... and the curves he achieved with plywood on the front of the van ....and aluminium window frames... and a fridge !!!
Last Edit: Sept 15, 2018 23:48:44 GMT 10 by Don Ricardo
This is a prelude to a bit of information on Cruisemaster caravans, built in Sydney, in Cantebury Road, Lakemba, between 1945 & 1954. Then company owner then went into converting US cars to RHD, while building this last van for himself.
I've got pix of the last one the guy built, a 24 foot bondy built between 1954 & 1960, & its nearly as good as the day it was built. It was used regularly between 1960 & 1980, towed by a straight 8 Buick then a 400cubic inch Lincoln Continental
I havent got much time tonight, so I'll come back & add details tomorrow.
Pix for now. This van will NEVER be for sale, as it is a family heirloom. BUT it can be viewed by us & the public, & hopefully will be the centrepiece of a SE Qld event soon.
That's a whopper... I think it would make the old FJ puff a bit even going down hill.... thanks for the photos,especially that one of the tow coupling ... do you mind if I put it in the tow coupling thread ? . it looks like a variation of the one on Viking's van and the one Jennison posted recently.
The van's been stored undercover since 1980 when the builder died.
It used to be towed by a Lincoln Continental, & prior to that a straight eight Buick. It weighs 2.5 tonnes.
The present owner is the builders nephew, & he has no interest in using it at present.
He has put together an animal nursey/hobby farm for display to the general public, & this van has power on it permanently to display to visitors to his little corner of the world.
He has quite an interesting setup, on a bitumen road near Casino. We are thinking maybe try for a SE Qld get together at Casino for Beef Week next year, stay at the big Relocateable home village at the old Casino airport, enjoy the Beef Week weekend, & have a camp oven cookout at his farm one night. Everyone that attends can drool over this magnificent van as much as they like.
Its better inside than anything I've ever seen, & is as good as the day it was built.
Post by Don Ricardo on Aug 10, 2017 17:55:38 GMT 10
Photos of Herb Jones' Cruisemaster caravan fitted with a Jones Dolly Wheel:
Herb Jones was the proprietor of Jones Springs Pty Ltd, and developed the Jones Dolly Wheel which was fitted to a range of caravans in the 1960's. The photos were provided by Boblor as part of his documentation of the history of the Jones Dolly Wheel here.
Post by Don Ricardo on Sept 15, 2018 23:30:55 GMT 10
1954 Wheels review of the Cruisemaster caravan:
(Source: Wheels, Vol 1, No 11, April 1954, pages 880-881)
This van reviewed in this article has wooden framed windows, and is clearly quite a bit earlier than the Cruisemaster viewed by JBJ and shown in the post which commences this thread. That van has double awning aluminium framed windows. However, many of the features in the 1954 van were still in evidence in the later van, including the shape, the stainless steel tiles in the galley, the sliding flywire door, and the two roof hatches, amongst many others. However, unlike the later van seen by JBJ, the van in the article appears to have a single axle, despite its its length (22 ft), width (7 ft) and weight. Note also that the van had a kerosene refrigerator, made to order to fit in the van.
Interestingly, the van in the article has a stainless steel bath under one of the front dinette seats - nice to have...but apparently it didn't have a plug hole, so not only did you have to carry the water to fill the bath, but also carry it out again to empty it. You'd think that a plug hole would be a fairly easy fix?
The value of the article is that it tells us Cruisemaster caravans were in operation at least as early as April 1954.
Last Edit: Sept 15, 2018 23:33:48 GMT 10 by Don Ricardo