Chiltern TRs

Geoff's Mini Caravan !


In response to the interest in shown in this unusual project, we asked Geoff to write a few words and tell us more.

Geoff writes -

"This is a replica of  'The Mini Caravan" originally manufactured by Raleigh Mini Caravans Ltd of Rye Lane, Peckham.
I am not sure where I got it from, but I have the date 1959 in mind. The advertising literature states:
"Here at last is the affordable answer to your holiday, touring, camping and week-end trips. The Raleigh ‘CONVERTIBLE’ Caravan is simplicity itself to erect—takes but a few minutes. It will accommodate and sleep two grown-ups and a youngster in luxury. When re-converted to a neat covered trailer (only 2’ 6" high) any motor cycle combination or mini-car will tow it easily—and with unrestricted rear vision. Yet, the Raleigh ‘CONVERTIBLE’ Caravan is ruggedly built with an all steel frame chassis with full independent suspension. The body is light and skilfully constructed of water and boil-proof ply. Designed to give you thousands of miles of pleasure.

Towing speed up to 50 m.p.h.

For storage it can be carried through the side gate into the back garden or even through the front door of the house !"

The original brochure price was 89 Guineas - ready to roll.

The original construction was water and boil-proof plywood. The replica was built based on measurements and photographs of a restored original caravan which I saw at a show on the Isle of Wight. The replica is as close as I can get to the original using modern materials (trailer suspension and wheels and Triumph replica rear lights and reflectors). The design plans used were created from measurements, photos, original marketing leaflet and discussion with the owner of the original.

Subsequent discussion with a friend I have probably found the identity of the original designer (unfortunately not alive now). The original plans are not currently available and exploration of the web ahs not identified any further information of this particular caravan.

I have also met another owner of an original Raleigh Caravan who was using it last year. He has promised some photos and details of the optional awning which was available at the time."

Geoff Wooldridge


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