02 Apr 2020
The Early Days of the Campervan - Episode 2< back
At Stuart Insurance Ltd, we provide our customers with comprehensive campervan insurance and we regularly blog about news, events and general goings-on in the campervan world. In this particular series, we look at the early days of the campervan and what transpired to make so many people in Ireland and around the world fall in love with life on the road.
In our first look into the history of the campervan, we took a rough overview of the entire timeline of this most recognisable of recreational vehicles. Here in episode two, we look specifically at the 1950s and what unfolded to bring the campervan that we know today into existence.
The Pressed Steel Van
The early 1950s bore witness to something of a seminal moment in campervan history, as it saw the first commercial pressed steel van come into production. With models like the VW Microbus rolling off the production line, the campervan market saw a real boost in popularity.
By 1952, German manufacturer of caravans Westfalia recognised the potential the VW Microbus had for conversion, leading to them creating a kit for making vans more habitable for longer. This kit was known as ‘the Camping Box’ and could be fitted to the VW transporter to turn it into something that could be lived in, in relative comfort.
The commercial success of this enterprise encouraged more companies to create new and improved conversion kits, however, it was an expensive business and VW standards meant that many did not make the grade. The evolution of the campervan, however, was far from over.
UK Enters Market
Around the same time, as the popularity of the campervan had gained momentum, British Manufacturer Bedford launched the Dormobile - another of the biggest names in the industry. What was basically a standard ten-base van was initially only designed to be slept in and whilst it was up against the might of VW, it achieved widespread success.
New converter kits became available to add seating and cooking facilities, as well as the famous extending roof which allowed two more berths to be created. During this time, a raft of new companies like Kenex, Pitt and Calthorpe lined up to create new converter kits for the Dormobile, with Kenex eventually being bought out by Dormobile.
Since the very early beginnings of the campervan, it was perhaps the 1950s that saw the biggest foundations laid for campervanning as we know it today. The fun and freedom that can be accessed and enjoyed even by those with modest incomes in a campervan really started to take hold in the 1950s. We’ll take a look at the decade that followed in our next blog.
Protecting Our Customers On the Road
At Stuart Insurances Ltd, we offer affordable campervan insurance, as well as insurance for you home and life. We’re proud to say that we protect our campervan customers on their journeys with comprehensive policies in case the worst should happen.
If you’d like a quote for your campervan insurance, give us a call on (01) 288 1779 now and a member of our team will do their very best to find the ideal policy for your needs. Alternatively, if you’d like to know more about our full range of products, visit us online at www.campervaninsurance.ie
That’s it for now. Check back soon with us for the third instalment of campervan memory lane. Until next time!