RETRO 1959 SUNLINER CARAVAN BEDROOM In this small caravan there is room at the rear for a double bed, chest of drawers and wardrobe.
RETRO 1959 SUNLINER CARAVAN DECAL Fellow vintage van enthusiast and professional signwriter Chris Dagg produced the Sunliner logo on a vinyl sticker.
RETRO 1959 SUNLINER CARAVAN DINETTE Ian has criss-crossed Australia from coast to coast towing this lightweight fibreglass Sunliner caravan.
RETRO 1959 SUNLINER CARAVAN ELECTRICITY he electrical system was rewired by Sunshine Coast Caravans at Maroochydore, Qld. Ian and Donna can free camp for a few days as they have gas and also solar panels that connect to a battery under the dining seat.
RETRO 1959 SUNLINER CARAVAN INTERIOR Ian and Donna worked very hard to clean the inside of the caravan, then painted it with a cheerful blue and white colour scheme.
RETRO 1959 SUNLINER CARAVAN KITCHEN The blue and white kitchen has starfish on the wall to continue the beach theme, and the new floor covering has a slate pattern.
RETRO 1959 SUNLINER CARAVAN STOVE The gas stove looks retro but is actually a modern one installed by Giant Caravans at Noosaville, Qld.
RETRO 1959 SUNLINER CARAVAN WINDOWS It was very difficult to find someone who could replace the Perspex windows. Ian tried three places and, even now, has not quite reproduced the original bubble shape. The new window rubbers came from Spectrum Rubbers in Sydney – the only company that makes the correct shape.
VINTAGE 1959 SUNLINER CARAVAN Ian painted the outside of the caravan, including the blue flash.

This beach-themed vintage 1959 Sunliner caravan has proven itself time and time again – its owners couldn't be happier.

The 1959 Sunliner caravan was towed across the Nullarbor with a 2004 model four-cylinder Toyota Camry. The caravan weighs 650kg empty and no more than 750kg when fully loaded.

Ian Taylor was living in Perth when he purchased this 1959 Sunliner fibreglass caravan. The van was in Newcastle, NSW, not far from where it was manufactured in the small coastal town of Forster. Ian was lucky enough to have a fellow vintage van enthusiast tow the van to Mt Gambier, SA, where they met up at a vintage caravan event.

From Mt Gambier, Ian and his partner, Donna, were on their way north to take up jobs as quarantine inspectors on the WA/NT border near Kununurra. "It was fortunate that the van was in reasonably good condition as we had to live in it for a while," Ian said.

When it comes to crossing quarantine checkpoints, Ian and Donna’s simple tip is: "Don’t try to hide anything because it will be found. They know all the hiding places."

They enjoyed their time in the far north, but eventually headed east to set up home on the Sunshine Coast, Qld. It was there they had the opportunity to give their caravan a complete makeover, cleaning and painting both the outside and inside. The interior was decorated with a very bright and cheerful beach theme.

They have enjoyed many trips up and down the east coast, towing the van with their WB Holden ute. Space is at a premium in such a small van, but they have a process for getting packed and unpacked. Donna does the inside, while Ian does the outside. Lots of things go on the bed for travelling, and they carry the microwave oven and TV in the tow vehicle as well as an extra fridge.

Last year the caravan went from coast to coast again, when they returned to WA to visit family. While there, they took the opportunity to join in with the WA vintage caravan spring tour around the small outback towns north of Kalgoorlie. 


See the full version in Caravan World #523, February 2014. Why not subscribe today?


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