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SA Caravan and Camping Show reflects innovative Australian love of touring lifestyle past and present

January 30, 2013
SA Caravan and Camping Show reflects innovative Australian  love of touring lifestyle past and present

The 2013 SA Caravan and Camping Showwhich continues daily to the24 Feb will provide a spectacular mixture of old and new in the States biggest showcase of products and services for the touring lifestyle at Adelaide Showground, 10am to 6pm daily.

The inaugural National Vintage and Classic Caravan Grand Parade provides a fascinating dimension to this years show with around 50 restored models dating back to the middle of last century on display on Friday 22 February.

Australians have a long-standing love affair with caravanning. Caravans took off in the 1930's with people keen to build their own home on wheels. It was a major move away from camping and tents, which until then had been used. By 1935 Australia was the world's fourth biggest user of motor vehicles (per capita) behind the U.S., New Zealand and Canada.

Australians had a go and native innovation produced excellent results. Straight from the fifties the Propert three-berth caravan's interior is a testament to a time of laminex fittings, anodized aluminium kitchenware, vinyl coverings, Mexican-pattern curtains and a taste for 50's dcor of cream, red, fawn and black.

Coach builder, Thomas Propert took his Vaucluse, Sydney company from building car bodies to caravans in the 1930's in response to a downturn in the economy and changes to the car assembly industry. Propert also built a Trail-a-Cabin folding model to a 1952 patent. Production of the little caravan continued until 1972.

More than 40,000 consumers are expected to attend the five-day event with around 250 exhibitors filling the five huge pavilions and outdoor display areas of the Adelaide Showground at Wayville.

Presented by the Caravan and Camping Industries Association of SA (CCIASA), the show features a vast diversity of models and accessories along with a dedicated pavilion promoting top self-drive holiday destinations in South Australia and beyond.

The inaugural National Vintage and Classic Caravan Grand Parade has been organised by the CCIASA in response to the amazing groundswell of interest in the restoration of old caravans, and particularly South Australias leading role in the pioneering days of the industry.

CCIASA Chief Executive Officer, Stuart Livingstone, said: It will bring together enthusiasts who have restored vintage (pre-1970) and classic (1970 to 1980) caravans, many fitted out with furniture and utensils of the same era.

Denis Shephard National Museum of Aust with Propert folding caravan circa 1950.
Denis Shephard National Museum of Aust with Propert folding caravan circa 1950.

People who restore old caravans do not necessarily seek to live in the past. Rather, it is a search for some simple pleasures in life and an appreciation of the things that brought them joy when they were young and on holidays.

This is great news for consumers as leaders in the industry cross new frontiers in cost efficient manufacturing and combine compactness and quality to make motor home, caravan and camping travel even more affordable, Stuart Livingstone said.

This parade of caravans from the early days of the industry will be the first of its type associated with a mainstream caravan and camping show in Australia, and it is sure to generate huge public interest.

In contrast, the 2013 SA Caravan and Camping Show also features thelatest model releases along with emerging design and construction methods and technologies to maximise comfort and energy efficiency.

The SA Caravan and Camping Show also has a big display of assembled new tents and general camping gadgets and accessories. Off-road adventurers will find the major 4WD accessory companies ready to turn their city SUV into an adventure seeking, dirt munching, escape mobile.

Stuart Livingstone says the caravan and holiday park industry provides some of the most affordable holiday options in Australia.

Industry research also shows that people really value and enjoy the sense of friendship and family that is unique to our industry. Over 6.5 million Australians enjoy the caravanning lifestyle, he said.

Increasingly, people enjoying the quality and affordability of self-drive holidays are looking to value add to their experiences by rigging their vehicles to carry accessories such as mountain bikes, kayaks and aluminium dinghies. People of all ages are seeking physical activity and fitness elements on their self-drive holidays, Stuart Livingstone said.

Peter White from aVan Adelaide says there is increasing interest from younger families about extended caravan holidays.

Chev and  its Retro caravan
Chev and its Retro caravan

Traditionally, the concept of going around Australia in a caravan was more for retirees, but now we are seeing more younger couples wanting to do such a trip with their children before they grow up, he said.

A survey conducted by the Caravan and Camping Industries Association of SA (CCIASA) of 1,694 consumers most of whom described themselves as regular caravanners or campers shows caravanning is a love drug..

Almost 70 per cent of survey participants said they appreciated their partner more when on a caravan or camping holiday. Furthermore, 78.2 per cent agreed that caravanning or camping had a positive effect on their love life.

Surveys at the annual South Australian Caravan and Camping Show indicate a widening desire for people to incorporate adventure experiences in their holidays, including bushwalking, rock climbing, fishing, surfing and diving.

Here are some of GoSeeAustralia's friends -old and new who will be exhibiting at the show

GoSee uses the DreamPot in daily meal preparation.
DreamPot is an Australian family owned and operated company which has been in business since 1964. Keen travellers and campers Barry and Merran Green saw in 1990 a need for hassle-free,delicious cooking, particularly for people on the move.

They demonstrate and develop DreamPot thermal cooking technology backed up by exclusive recipes.
DreamPot is literally Green - Barry, Merran, Ross, Lisa and Rob.
Free recipes appear each month in the DreamPot eNewsletter.

Tweed Coast Holiday Parks have a destination for every day of the week. All seven Holiday Parks pass the location test with beachfront or riverside views.

Boyds Bay Holiday Park, on a protected stretch of the Tweed River, is within walking distance of Tweed Heads. Fingal Holiday Park has the Pacific Ocean and kilometres of white sandy beaches at the front door. Kingscliff North Holiday Park provides an absolute beachfront holiday, without breaking the budget.

Kingscliff Beach surfing beach is literally metres away. Hastings Point Holiday Park is a secluded holiday park which overlooks a long sandy beach as well as Cudgera Creek. Pottsville North has two fenced swimming pools on site and surf meets sands just 200 metres away. Pottsville South is the place for swimming, fishing and family fun.

28,000 acres of rugged grazing land with history and beauty Almerta Station is new and different kind of tourism.

The family property is on Boolcunda Creek near Carrieton, in South Australia's Flinders Ranges. It has a silence and beauty which reconnects guests to themselves as they see Almerta Station as part of a natural experience.

Almerta is ready-made for adventure. Guest can shape their own. Bike trek, fossick for gemstones, catch yabbies, fish, barbecue, picnic, paint, sketch, catch The Bluff views, come to your senses in every sense.

Cameron Canvas is a privately owned company based in Lonsdale, South Australia and has 35 years of innovation and experience in the manufacture of a range of quality Australian made canvas products.

Cameron Canvas also provide camper tops for the Cameron Camper trailers and Cameron Companion Slide-on campers. Cameron Campers offers an easy and affordable way to get away. Cameron Campers offers four types of trailers designed for specific terrains and two tent options. The Cameron off road can be taken to any destination that a production 4x4 vehicle can tow it and the heavy duty off road can be taken anywhere extreme off road vehicles can tow it, the company says.

Paradise Motor Homes based in Biggera Waters on the Gold Coast, Queensland has a production facility designed to meet the high demand for their new price-competitive Integrity Series.

The company says they have combined Paradise's superior construction and build quality to produce vastly superior, low cost motorhomes in a price range from $162 to $224,000.
News for those who want to trade is the new 15,000sqm Paradise RV Sales and Service Division which offers new and used sales. The range available is from 5 Star Luxury to a budget savvy option or a motorhome that is compact and practical.


South Australian owned and operated Eagle Trailers and Campers specialises in the sale of quality trailers and campers.

Trailers are hot dipped galvanised to prevent rust. Australia wide delivery is available. Eagle Trailers and Campers cage trailers come standard with a 900mm cages. They can also custom build trailers.

Their 10x5 and 8x5 tipping trailers are capable of either 2000kg or 3000kg capacity. Camper trailers are cost efficient, easy to use and easy to store when they are not being used. The high-end models are comfortable with ammenties which help owners feel right at home on the road.


Noels Caravans opened in 1974 on the Salisbury Highway at Green Fields South Australia and is heading for 40 years in the business. The product range is a show-stopper with more than 120 options in stock.

They run from small poptops to luxury caravans. Noel's innovative Island Star caravan was released in 1983 and has earned respect across Australia. The business continues to grow on its reputation with about 35 percent of all customers coming in through a referral.

A1 Caravans and RV Store Plus stock all the big brands in caravan parts and accessories including Dometic, Camec, Coast to Coast, Australian RV, Waeco, Suburban and Carefree. Full expert RV and caravan accessories installation includes roll out awnings, air conditioners, spare parts, diesel and gas heaters and hot water services. RV and caravan repair and workshop service is available on site at Kettering Rd., Elizabeth, South Australia. A1 Caravans are also agents for Blue Sky Caravans appointed by Bellarine Caravans Geelong who make and sell the Blue Sky line of vans. GoSeeAustralia now has a Blue Sky among our RV's.

EasyKlip Midi grabs on and holds like a bulldog at any point it is needed. GoSee has thrown away a mountain of tattered and torn tarps over years of camping and boating so your correspondent is pleased to report on a clever bit of kit which extends the useful life of protective coverings.

Easyklip is designed specifically to grip up to 6mm thick fabrics, is reusable and relocatable and is tested to 100kg. EasyKlip hangs on with textiles, fabrics, polythene, tarps, shade cloth, hessian and other sheet products and spreads the load on the working surface.

The Adelaide Showground, Goodwood Rd., Wayville, is situated on the south-west corner of the heritage listed Adelaide parklands.

Car parking is available on the Main Arena via Leader Street (recommended for anyone travelling from the South) or in the Main Carpark on Rose Terrace (recommended for anyone coming from the North).

Editor's note:

GoSeeAustralia acknowledges with thanks the assistance given in compiling this feature from key sources which include

Caravan and Camping Industries Association of SA (CCIASA),

Australian Capital Tourism
The National Museum of Australia
RACV
Members of the vintage caravan website www.vintagecaravans.com
CMCA
Caravan builders: Coromal, Roadstar, Compass, Windsor and Jayco.

Also see -

1975 original caravan  and Toyota HJ 60 circa 1980
1975 original caravan and Toyota HJ 60 circa 1980
Propert Advertising for the three-berth patent folding caravan.
Propert Advertising for the three-berth patent folding caravan.
80 series Landcruiser and 24ft millard
80 series Landcruiser and 24ft millard
Woodie Original - not sure if it came as an option
Woodie Original - not sure if it came as an option
REO stands for Ransom Eli Oldsmobile. Founder of the Oldsmobile company
REO stands for Ransom Eli Oldsmobile. Founder of the Oldsmobile company
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