June 2010

 

Dream turns into reality

Craig's plastic caravan paves the way for DIY enthusiasts

Craig's home-built plastic caravan on a recent trip to Hill End

Craig's home-built plastic caravan on a recent trip to Hill End

By DENNIS AMOR

PIONEER Craig Young is setting a new trend in home-built caravans.

For the adventurous single father of two young children believes he is the first in Australia to construct an all-plastic caravan from scratch.

It took him 300 hours and much burning of the midnight oil to complete his 22ft dream ... and now enthusiasts are queuing up to follow his lead.

Craig, from Penrith in NSW, told Caravanning News: "I have had over 50 people call me seeking information since I built the caravan. At least a dozen that I know of are now building their own using these materials and the same construction techniques."

The operations director for a Sydney financial company used plastic to build his twin-axle caravan, which weighs in at around 1300kg unloaded.

"It is honeycomb core polypropylene ... very light and strong," Craig explained .

The rear-entrance caravan has hinged versions of slide-outs on each side to offer extra interior space and comes with all mod cons including split system air-conditioning, wall-to-ceiling pullout pantry and exterior slide-out four-burner barbecue.

The caravan's rear door is inset into a larger door which opens 90 degrees to simplify getting his children's toys, including their favourite bicycles, in and out.

"I have had some very bullish people from the caravan industry wanting me to provide detailed plans of the van's design, especially the fold-out beds," Craig said.

"The industry was rather non supportive to say the least when I first starting floating the idea of building a 'van, which was a tad disappointing.

"But the DIY crowd are great fun largely. They all have their own ideas and it is about giving them the confidence to do it.

"There is a lot of trepidation but once they start, they are so enthusiastic and delighted with the quick progress they make. It's great seeing your ideas turn into reality."

Craig has taken his caravan on a number of test holidays and despite several minor hiccups it came out with flying colours.

"Overall, I am very happy with it. I will add some things, move some things, such a light switches, over time and get around to using a better quality paint marine flow coat most likely inside on the walls and furniture," he said.

"Nothing has broken at all and I am looking forward to some long distance touring with the 'van later in the year."

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