Millions of people in the UK enjoy caravan holidays. The joys of the open road with the home comforts a caravan or motorhome can provide make for a great combination. But how did caravan holidays come about? When were they invented and who were they originally marketed at? In this new blog from Policyfast – the caravan and motorhome insurance specialists – we celebrate touring caravan's centenary.
The caravan began its journey in the 15th century as a means to transport goods across the country. Back then they were pulled by horses and maybe even cattle. It was only in the 19th century that the design cogs got whirring again. 'The Wanderer' was developed in 1855 and it was a whopping 5.5 metres in length with gorgeous mahogany and maple wood panelling.
This was the birth of the luxury, recreational caravan. It proved popular: So much so that people in the wealthy upper classes decided to invest in them and even formed a club, the imaginatively named 'Caravan Club' for like-minded individuals in 1907.
After the First World War the Eccles car-pulled caravan was launched as the first commercial touring caravan in 1919 at a cost of £90. That may not sound much - in today's money it's around £6,300 – but given the average wage was £114, it was only for the rich. Then in 1937 the 'Car Cruiser' was developed and marketed to the masses. World War Two stifled demand owing to petrol rationing and production declined as people went to fight for their country.
After the war caravans made a comeback to the market with the 'Streamlite Rover' the prototype to the famous 'Sprite' model in 1948. It even included a shower as well as multi-rooms and a fully fitted kitchen. The Sprite was the turning point. With the restoration of peace, the end of rationing and the arrival of the motorway network, caravanning soon became a national love and its popularity has never been greater.
So, here's to the first hundred years of the caravan. Who know where we'll be in another hundred: driverless flying vehicles perhaps? Can't wait to see the policy wording for that...!
Policyfast are leading providers of caravan insurance cover and we can provide you with competitive quotes on a wide range of vans. To find out more call the team on 08003 081 353.