Object StatementCaravan, Propert patent folding 'Overlander', No. 176, timber / aluminium / glass, made by Propert Gold Seal Products, Vaucluse, New South Wales, Australia, 1953-1960, used by Vic and Cheryl Perry, Hornsby, New South Wales, Australia, 1970-2001
Physical DescriptionCaravan, Propert patent folding 'Overlander', No. 176, timber / aluminium / glass, made by Propert Gold Seal Products, Vaucluse, New South Wales, Australia, 1953-1960, used by Vic and Cheryl Perry, Hornsby, NSW, Australia, 1970-2001
This trailer-mounted folding caravan is made of wood and metal. With a single lift, its length and height can be virtually doubled. The caravan comprises three main parts: section one is the floor base and sides; section two is the inner cover with an open front end and a door in the rear; and section three the outer complete shell cover. In erecting the caravan the front half of the caravan roof is slid over the back end. Four black locking brackets, two on either side, are located on the outside of the van in the thin space between the front and rear sections. Twelve wing nuts (kept in a red drawstring bag), secure the black locking brackets to the outside, six on each side. Two long wing bolts, also in the red bag, secure the black brackets from the inside through holes on either side of the walls. The yellow, blue and white chequered curtains (in the larger calico drawstring bag) are then placed over the side windows. These can only be hung once the caravan is set up and must be removed before dismantling the van.
The caravan weighs 5 cwt (254 kg) and has Volkswagen windows, 13 inch (33cm) Holden disc wheels, Allis Chalmers tractor bearings, a one piece drop type axle, and a drawbar under the rear of the steel box section with a ball and socket hitch. A spare wheel and tyre are affixed to the 'goose-neck', which has been lengthened to allow the caravan to be used while still connected to the tow vehicle; this was not possible with the original short neck as the caravan body, when unfolded, would strike the back of the tow vehicle. The tow hitch takes a 1 7/8 inch (47.62 mm) tow ball (current standard is 50mm). Two fold down supports are on the sides, at the rear, to support the caravan when it is disconnected from the tow vehicle.
Seven windows, including a skylight, illuminate the interior of the caravan. Access is by a rear door. Athough the caravan was advertised to sleep three, it only held two comfortably. It is fitted out with a raised area at the front end on which are placed two fabric-covered foam mattresses. A drain board and small sink with a Shields "Jetflame" two-burner gas stove sit on a bench against the right inside wall of the van. A cover surfaced with red "Laminex" is provided for the sink to convert it into extra bench space. A removable rectangular water tank with filler hole handle sits behind the stove. Against the opposite wall a side bench area converts, with the addition of an extra piece of timber, to make up the base of a small single bed. There is storage space under the bench, double bed area and sink.
A black and white painted NSW registration plate "TA.4596" is affixed at the rear, to the right of the door. Tail lights, brake lights, blinkers and reflectors are fitted at the rear.
The donors painted the trailer light blue on the body and dark blue on the base (it had originally been white on a lime green base), added linoleum in about 1980; they also added a power point and a small fire extinguisher, which is fitted to the back wall inside the door on the right.
MarksA metal identification plate is fixed to the caravan body, to the left of the door at the rear. The plate contains the following information:
"PROPERT PATENT/ FOLDING CARAVAN/ 765 & 771 OLD SOUTH HEAD ROAD/ VAUCLUSE, N.S.W./ PHONE 37.2692/SER. No 176".
"AUSTRALIA 156.007/ 2/10/52/ GREAT BRITAIN 744.650. 24.9.53/ NEW ZEALAND 114831. 30/8/53/ U.S. AMERICA (APPL.) 377580. 31.8.53".
In a circle beneath "PROPERT" and before "FOLDING" is an image of a goose flying left to right, in an engraved circle, with the word "Overlander" inscribed beneath the goose.