November 22, 2006

#33 - 1956 Original Features

I found a 1957 Caravanner brochure on the VAC site. I haven't found a 1956 Caravanner brochure, but the two models were similar. If anyone finds a '56 brochure, let me know.
"Bold, adventurous trailering awaits the young at heart in this excitingly new lightweight Airstream crusing model."
Here are the standard features of the Caravanner. At this point, I'm planning to modify or remove features in red:
  • Overall length - 22'
  • Body length - 19'
  • Overall weight - 2800 lbs.
  • Hitch weight - 270 lbs.
  • Choice of 3 interior wall colors.
  • Comfortable divan with arms, converts to double bed. (I'm doing a dinette in front that converts to a bed.)
  • 48" x 76" Airloom double bed. (I'm 78" tall.)
  • Marine type flushing toilet, shower and vanity type lavatory.
  • Electric water heater. (I'm going with gas.)
  • Five foot drop-leaf table. (Our dinette will serve this purpose.)
  • Butane radiant heater.
  • Combination 5.8 cu ft ice-electric refrigerator with freezer. (The trailer came with the gas option below.)
  • Double basin sink with swing faucet.
  • Butane range, 3-burner, oven, broiler.
  • 60" of Formica galley tops in kitchen.
  • 116" of roof lockers, 32" wardrobe.
  • Closet for household appliances.
  • One 6 or 12 volt battery dome light. (I'll add a few.)
  • Airstream's "Airliner" curtains. (I don't know what these looked like. Maybe I can recreate them.)
  • Linoleum tiled floors. (Real Linoleum sheet instead of tiles.)
  • 9 crank operated windows.
  • 3 roof vents, power fan in center vent.
  • Warp-proof hollow core cabinet doors.
  • Touch control built-in step.
  • Radio antenna
  • Butane tank
  • Imported "Sta-Closed" closet catches.
  • Porch light.
  • 12' awning rail.
  • Waterproof 110 volt electrical outlet.
  • Escape type rear window.
  • Fiberglass insulation.
  • Trunk compartment.
  • Steel bumper.
  • Shock absorbers.
  • Electric brakes.
  • Truck wheels 7.00x15 six-ply tires.
And this is the list of the "Wally Byam caravan tested optional features." They were the "only permissible extra features." Can you see the salesman trying to persuade a reluctant buyer to get the options? What the hell, if Wally uses them on his caravans, I'll take 'em!
  • Pressurized water system.
  • 3.9 cu ft gas refrigerator.
  • Septic tank for toilet.
  • Gas water heater.
  • Puncture proof tubes. (I'll be using tubeless.)
  • 8-ply tires.
  • Two butane tanks.
The brochure also mentions
" extra roomy shower, a unique concealed wash bowl that converts into an attractive mirrored vanity and a hot water heater."
If you've ever seen the convertible vanity, you'll agree it's very slick.

Here's the most humorous section of the sales pitch for this trailer. Remember the shell is only 19' long:
"This wide open, spacious one room trailer is transformed into a two room apartment by simple use of an ingenious folding door. This also provides privacy for bedroom, toilet, lavatory and shower in their rear locations while the front living room is in use."
It then mentions my absolute favorite part of Caravanners:
"The 20 sq ft of area in the giant 'Panoram' window presents a kaleidoscopic view of all of outdoors, while flooding the living room with daylight and ventilation."