10 Jan 2020
The Early Days of the Camper Van & How it all started< back
The VW camper van is an extremely popular mode of transport in the 21st century, allowing people to enjoy the open road without having to think too hard about accommodation when heading out for a break. Despite now being commonplace on the roads of the UK and Ireland, the concept of the camper van only stretches back some 70 years. In this blog, we take a look at the humble beginnings of this amazing vehicle that quite literally provides a home from home.
The Early 20th Century
The notion of the motorized caravan was first conceived in the early 1900s, with some companies designing and creating some quite bizarre-looking prototypes. However, it wasn’t until the 1950s after several decades where the car-towed caravan took prominence, that the campervan really started to come into its own. The VW Microbus was the first vehicle that could truly be called a campervan and in conjunction with German caravan manufacturer Westfalia, the first commercially-available pressed steel van - known as ‘the Camping Box’ - became available in 1952.
This vehicle was basically a side-windowed VW Transporter that was able to be converted for camping use with Westfalia’s conversion kit that could easily be removed. And the VW’s unmistakable, iconic design was deemed to be perfect for this purpose, with new companies queueing up with newer and better conversion kits. VW, however, had high standards, meaning that these kits had to fit the bill, meaning that they were pretty pricey.
Just 4 years later in 1956, the Dormobile - perhaps the most easily-recognisable camper van ever - was launched and it represented a new and affordable way for people to enjoy the freedom of the open road, allowing the user to park up and sleep - but only sleep - where they pleased. It was also around this time that Dormobile convertors added accommodation to simple sleeping facilities with kitchen facilities and seats that could be converted into beds, as well as the extendable roof.
Over the next few decades, campervan conversion kits made the campervan experience ever-more comfortable and convenient and despite a slump in sales in the mid-70s due to the introduction of VAT and a petrol shortage, the campervan remains as popular today as it ever has been. As they say, class is timeless and the wonderfully-unique design of the VW campervan is as relevant today as it was when it first hit the production line and our bet is that it will remain so for decades to come.
Want to Insure Your Campervan for Less?
At Stuart Insurances Ltd, we are a Dublin-based insurance brokerage and we offer a wide range of products including campervan insurance, as well as insurance for your home, holiday or retail business and life assurance. If you’d like a competitive price for your campervan insurance, we’d love to hear from you.
You can visit us online at www.campervaninsurance.ie or give our expert team a call on (01) 2881779 and they’ll do their best to find a fantastic quote for your campervan needs.