Reader Reviews: Herbert the 1962 Everyman prototype folding caravan

Rob Baker of Derbyshire chats about his caravan, Herbert
Rob Baker of Derbyshire chats about his caravan, Herbert

Friday, 22, Mar 2013 11:19

By CaravanTimes member Rob Baker

New and used caravan reviews can often be misleading if the writer hasn't spent more than a few days inside the tourer. But here at CaravanTimes we regularly receive live-in reviews from owners who have spent months with their second home and have truly spotted all their foibles.

In our latest Reader Review, Rob Baker of Derbyshire has written in to tell us about his 50-year-old caravan that is truly one of a kind...

This is our 1962, one-off prototype Folding Camper which we have named Herbert. We call him Herbert, simply because that was my wife's grandfather's name and we think he would have approved of our quirky little van.

Although Herbert is a one-off, he is not a home-built DIY effort. He was constructed as a prototype for the Everyman trailer company, which began life as a motorhome manufacturer before going onto making trailer tents.

Herbert was designed to be Everyman's rival to the Dandy trailer tent but the specifications demanded that the unit should be faster to put up and down than the Dandy, have a greater degree of luxury inside and also contain an internal toilet compartment.

All of this was achieved, however the resulting cost meant that Herbert was not a realistic prospect for production as the purchase price would have been very high.

The design works extremely well being easier and quicker to put up and down than most modern folding campers and contains a remarkable amount of space inside.

He is built on a standard horsebox chassis but the running gear was upgraded to use hubs, wheels and brakes from the Austin Mini at some point in the eighties. He has also been wired for 240v hook-up at some point in the recent past.

We acquired Herbert in 2009 and treated him to a rewire, new tyres, a new front box and a lick of paint inside and out, but other than that he remains pretty much as he was constructed in '62.

We only go to sites with loos as neither of us are very keen on portaloos, so the wash compartment is instead used as an extension of the kitchen, containing a freestanding camping sink and we use a battery powered submersible pump from Maplins as a tap.

The two ring burner is the original Tilley item which we think has been in place ever since he was built.

The two bench seats can either be used as two comfortable single beds or else you can put boards between them to create a massive double (actually more of a treble or even quadruple bed, it's huge!).

He is remarkably comfortable when erected but incredibly light to tow and move. We love him to bits.

This is an abridged version of Rob's original review, reproduced with permission. Interested in writing for us? Why not get in touch.

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