There hasn’t been a lot of blog worthy sewing happening around here lately, I have been doing a bit of pattern testing, but I can’t share those with you just yet so I thought I might share a bit about our little vintage caravan instead.
Bessie is a 1962 Harris Van. We don’t know a great deal about her history other than she was built here in Adelaide and the previous owners found her on a property in Minlaton on the Yorke Peninsula in 2012, dragged her home where she sat until we bought her .
We came across her on gumtree back in October 2015, there was one photo of the outside accompanied by a very brief description. For me it was love at first sight, the husband on the other hand was a little more apprehensive but happy wife, happy life and all that he went along with it and after several emails and phone calls we where on our way to the Yorke peninsula to pick her up.
When we got there she was even sadder looking than we could have imagined, she was riddled with rot and not much more than her aluminium cladding holding her together. if we hadn’t already transferred the rego in to our names before we picked her up the husband would have left her behind, But instead we taped her up, checked the wheel bearing, changed the tyres and hooked her up for the 300km trip home.
As soon as we got home we got to work. The husband started on pulling out the rotted frame work which was basically everything below the front and rear windows and the bottom third of the frame around the whole van not to mention the roof hatch and door too. While I started on the interior, and wrote a very long list of what needed to be done.
For the next 3 months we worked almost every night and weekend putting Bessie back together. All the rotted wood was replaced, the outside was scrubbed and polished and all her window rubbers replaced.
while the inside was cleaned, sanded and painted, her cushions recovered and new curtains made (see there was some sewing involved).
All the while trying to retain what we could as we have no idea what is original or later additions.
Oh and I made an awning too but That’s worth a blog post of it own.
Finally in January after lots of work she was finally finished!
we took her on her first trip for a quick weekend away with the in laws. Since then we have made several trips in our little vintage caravan including a weekend away with a group of fellow vintage caravan owners.
I’m not sure if the husband has quite forgiven me yet for insisting we drag home that sad and sorry looking caravan but just last month we dragged home another one, this time an egg shaped franklin caravan. I think we might be hooked.
So tell me do you have a vintage caravan dream?