The Easter Menace

Gillam 2013 33

Everyone in Australia who has ever travelled by road somewhere out in the country before, during, or after a public holiday will have had a Caravan Experience. Either they have been towing a caravan, have been stuck behind someone towing a caravan, or have come across a caravan that has become detached from its car and rolled down a mountain and is resting upside down in the rocks. It is only the comforting thought of the latter that makes the two former circumstances bearable.

The traditional towing vehicle for an Australian caravan in the 20th century has been either an underpowered Valiant Regal sedan or an underpowered Toyota Crown sedan. They were required by law to have security chains, bolt-on eternal mirrors, and a small bald, sweaty man in a sports shirt. They were restricted by law to about 8 Km per hour under the normal traffic speed everywhere and were required to ignore layovers in roads that had no passing lanes. An annual prize was awarded by the RAC for the longest tail of cars between Perth and Margaret River. This has been spoiled these days by the increased power available to towing vehicles and the completion of the Perth-Bunbury freeway. Passing is all too common.

The drivers are still bald and sweaty but nowadays they wear feed caps and large training shoes. And the men are even worse…

Gillam 2013 34

Okay, that’s the history of the other caravans, but this is a bird of a different feather at Gillam Road in 2104. The tow vehicle has enough power for the task and the caravan has enough style for the wind stream. There is a sense of style about the retro ‘van though I see the owner has opted for an air conditioner in place of gas bottles on the tow tongue. Very wise for summer travel in Western Australia. Also a sense of safety with the two hefty and good-condition spare tyres at the rear. Too often we have seen people head out over bad roads with bad tyres and then heard them bewailing a bad experience…

Gillam 2013 32

Turquoise blue ’41 Chevy? Lovely. Blue ‘van as well? Good choice. White top? Helps the A/C for a parked caravan. Curtains? Style.

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