This is a really interesting thread for us as we are just contemplating putting an old Marconi track (gifted to us by JBJ from his Deejay) on our Don 100.
There's no evidence of any track or clips on rhe Don so it definitely never had an annex! So this would be a major modification & we want to get it right!
So what system was in common use in early vans? Marconi track or common sense clips? Or perhaps nothing because vans mostly didnt have annexes until late 40's or early 50's?
So I noticed that Don Ricardo said his Don had C/S clips. Are there other early Don owners out there who could enlighten us on the subject of what annex attachments are on other Don caravans? I'm surprised that DRs Don has C/S clips as they must be a bugger to get the annex up with the caravan being so high. Carry a ladder with him?
It is an interesting subject...... sort of, isn't it
It's like tow couplings, something people don't tend to focus their camera on when taking photos of the caravan, especially back in the Olden days, so we're left with a bit of guess work as to what, if anything, was originally used.
So, we know Don Rs 1949 Don has always had turn buttons.... and I can tell you poor old 'Driftwood',late 50s early 60s, and my 1936 'Ol '36' also have, and always have had as far as I can tell, turn buttons fitted, but when they were first fitted.... who knows ? The 1960 Newcastle Van has the Marconi track.
An interesting variation is what is on the 1930s Jennison pop-top, Screw Eyes ! ( I'll have to add that photo to the first post in this thread as an alternative way of attaching awning to van )
So it would be fair to say they would all be period appropriate and really, that's the only thing that matters..... aye ?
Post by Don Ricardo on Jul 14, 2014 22:59:20 GMT 10
G'day Smiles, Cobber and others who may be sitting out in the annexe (bit cold this time of the year!),
Regarding when annexes were introduced, they were certainly around before the 40's - and maybe a few decades before that in some form or another. There is an example in a 1938 photo from New Zealand here (third caravan from the left, partially hidden). OK that's NZ - most of the photos from Australia in the 30's show that the 'annexes' were more often in the form of awnings or canopies tied over the caravan rather than in the form of a fitted annexe.
One example is the canopy shown on this photo taken in 1940 of Jennison's grandparents' Nomad, Note that the canvas has been set up with a side wall and possibly front and end walls that are tied back. Some other examples are here (second and third photos) and here (sixth and seventh photos). Some of the canopies look as if they are attached along the edge of the roof of the van, although I can't make out how they are attached. Interestingly it looks as if some of the canopies were used for sheltering the tow vehicles as much as for extra living space.
Using a canopy or awning in this way wasn't new, I don't think. We have some photos of horse drawn caravans which used canvas to create some extra shelter. There is a photo taken around 1911 of a horse drawn caravan using a canvas annexe as an outdoor kitchen here.
How were annexes fixed to caravans in the 40's and earlier? I don't know for sure, but my impression is that systems using tracks weren't introduced until the 50's or maybe even a bit later. I seem to remember my parents talking about the new fandangled tracks for attaching annexes, and saying that they were hard to use and prone to sticking (which may or may not be true, that was just their opinion). So that would suggest that turn buttons and the eye hooks Cobber showed us were probably the go. So Smiles, I don't think you would go too wrong in being age appropriate if you used turn buttons on your van.
Well we had 2 choices in attaching the old Annex to the Don: Marconi track & clips or a bag of brand new stainless steel turn buttons purchased from Whitworths some time back for a veritable arm & leg.
So in the end we took your advice & put the common sense turn buttons on & they worked really well at keeping the annex nice & taut at the roofline. We are really impressed ! Thanks Cobber & Don Ricardo for your suggestions. I PM'd you a photo DR.
Post by ourgirllannie on Mar 7, 2015 15:52:39 GMT 10
We are getting close to needing having a new awning made for our Lannie. The canvas man told me that I have a 5/8" Marconi Track. But as I don't have the old canvas awning I cant give him the clips. Does anyone by chance have some laying about that we could use? Our other choices are sourcing a 7/8" track as he retrieved the 7/8" clips off an old canvas, or changing our track to sail track instead. What are your thoughts?
Miranda & Dave
Home-made 40's/50's bondwood caravan
1953 Chevrolet BelAir Sport Coupe
1957 Chevrolet Belair hardtop
For anyone who may be interested, I have on my Roadcruiser a length of Marconi track that I intend removing (one day) when I find a ladder from which I wont fall ;D which will be up for grabs, haven't measured it as yet but at a guess I'd say it was the smaller of the two.
I agree entirely about Marconi track (sorry Cobber!). I do want to use the sailtrack for the connection to the van.
I was more interested in the J shaped clips sewn on to the walls to hang them onto the roof of the annexe (through grommets). Thought this system would be easy for me or the hubby to hang or remove weather permitting. But I know so little about what options there are, I might be barking at the wrong tree.
After doing a bit of investigating, I see the Lift Dot ones are quite old, and I think I can get all the pieces I want for both fixing canvas to canvas and canvas to van. I like that all you have on the van are a few little stainless pegs - more streamlined look on the van when not using the canvas. Anyone have experience of this kind of fastener for connecting the free walls to the roof of the canvas annexe?
Alternatively the Commonsense fastener. They're pretty easy to understand.
I'm trying to avoid nylon - the Stayput comes in all stainless for the mountings, but not for the canvas to canvas mounting (which is a bit disappointing). I really stopped enjoying plastic after bakelite.
I am trying to be faithful to something around 1950. Any advice (and pictures!) gratefully received.