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Guest rob_villa

New Caravan Design

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Guest rob_villa

Hi guys and gals

 

I've recently completed my 4 year Transport and Product Ba Hons degree and for my major project i chose to rejuvinate the caravan. Caravanning is a very stale market and the maority of people detest them! This is something i wanted to change and i wanted to bring caravanning back with the times.

 

My design is inspired by airstreams and 50s style, highlighted by the whitewall tyres and wheel covers, and the sleek airstream form and aluminium band and dark windows. I aimed to design something that would stand out from the crowd of plain boring white boxes that fill today's caravan parks and recapture some of the individuality that was about when caravanning first began. But I didn't want to design something that would not resemble a caravan at all and alienate potential buyers. The interior is modern and sophisticated and miles away from the poor quality chipboard filled spaces found in many of today's popular caravans. The bedroom is located above the main living area which is provided by the electronically operated pop up roof, access to this bedroom space is provided via the movable ladder at the end of the kitchen area. There is a comfortable sized bathroom and a clean kitchen with fold out breakfast bar area. In the main living area there is a sofa which also doubles as a bed with a second slide out mattress and stackable chairs provide more seating options. Additional space is provided via the fold down rear panel which gives a decking area which can be used as both an inside and outside space. The caravan is constructed from a lightweight GRP foam core sandwich body which sits on top of a steel tubular chassis. This eradicates current problems caused by leaks damaging plywood floors and walls found in today's caravans.

 

Here are some images of my final design, excuse the lack of sketches and hand renderings, not quite my strongest point and i do a lot of development on alias.

 

exterior1.jpg

 

exterior2.jpg

 

cutaway.jpg

 

interior1.jpg

 

bedroom1g.jpg

 

bathroom1.jpg

 

exterior4.jpg

 

Any crit and comments are welcome

 

cheers for looking :)

 

rob_villa

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its very interesting . . . i like the retro, modern, futuristic kind of style to it and the renderings are very well done!

 

the last rendering though just looks a bit out of scale (the car and trailer are overhanging both the yellow and white line) and just needs to be re-sized a bit actually fit on the road properly

 

my one concern is that the bathroom space looks really cramped . . . being 6'4 i think I would have a hard time sitting on your toilet without banging me knees

 

perhaps instead of the ledge beside the toilet would it make more sense to push the toilet right up against the outside wall and maybe even have it facing in towards the shower to give you more space?

 

anyways well done!

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Guest MBW17

the interior is very well thought out and looks good.

 

But the exterior i think needs some work. the i dont think the windows and forms go good together,try to make the whole design kinda tie in with each other, and make it flow.

 

keep working on it :)

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Guest Buff

Rob.

 

That is a truly stunning piece of design; I love the bathroom and the rear veranda.

 

FWIW I think your spot on right with the concept of foam core GRP over a structural frame.

 

OK so that's the positives from my perspective.

 

Now, on to my negative views.

 

I speak here from a industry experience in caravan design, marketing and sales, so please forgive me for interjecting with some pragmatic observations on what is your fantastic concept.

 

OK from a buyer point of view, it doesn’t have enough windows and I'd say that the lack of a front window would be the biggest obstacle to sales from an aesthetics point of view. This would make a superb concept exhibition model for a company like CI, ABI, Elddis, Swift et.al, and would generate a lot of marketing value, but I really can’t see it selling in big numbers straight off and a "watered down" version would need to be produced.

 

Remember how the Ford Sierra sales were slow to begin with; eventually everyone followed the "jelly mould" form until it became the norm.

 

I can’t quite figure out how access to the "bedroom" is gained but I would also have to say that such designs in the past have failed to sell, with most parents not even wanting to put their children in such confined spaces.

 

The spoiler on the tail would push down aft of the axle line, giving a light nose which would make the caravan unstable, even with a stabilizer fitted.

 

The chassis looks like a space frame from the front projection and whilst it makes sense in some ways, it would be expensive to produce in the 2000 units per annum that you could expect, unless the idea was somehow modular to cater for differing length caravans and could be sold to other manufactures as a common platform as is the case with Alko.

 

From a spatial point of view, the rear sloping end doesn’t make a lot of sense that said a smaller rake could give more floor space for a given overall length whilst maintaining your styling cue.

 

I would assume of course that you body is either a bonded multi panel construction with finishing trims, or a one piece body using a split mould.

 

I designed a concept which advocated a similar construction, but I have to say it was nothing like as radical or beautiful as yours, though I was playing more towards the market forces rather than trying to force the market.

 

I will make a concession though here and that is to say I was designing for a UK market and I think you would have much more success with a European company (the Dutch market is huge) as Europeans would be more welcoming of such a design.

 

If I may be so bold, I would suggest that when (if) you feel the time is right, contact some caravan manufactures with your proposals and perhaps offer something a little less radical to accompany your design that could be realistically manufacture using current methods.

 

BTW, chipboard hasn’t been used in caravans since the 70's, furniture construction is two skins of poplar 3ply laminated timber over an internal framework of ash. Chipboard is much too heavy

 

Look at the likely gross weight of your proposal and current car weights. EU law allows a towing maximum of 85% of the towing vehicles kerb weight, and most caravaners will take along 70 - 100 kilos of accessories along with them.

 

Finally, with you permission, I would like to write about your design on my blog and if you’re interested in approaching any caravan companies, drop me a PM and I'll see if I can put you in touch with some of my old contacts

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Guest rob_villa

Hi guys cheers for the comments

 

Vander - with regards to the toilet, a feature of caravan toilets is that the toilet bowl itself can b rotated round, so the idea is that the bowl can rotate round when needed and the push it back once your finished, meaning you should have plenty of leg space!

 

Buff - your crit and advice is greatly appreciated, and from somebody who has been involved in caravan production makes it even more helpful, do you mind me asking who you have worked for in the past?

 

You've brought up some great points woth regard to the windows and the chassis, and perhaps the tubular spaceframe wouldnt be ideal, im not sure if you have seen it but while researching for teh prject i came across an Australian caravan, made by Kratzman IRC, that was totally made with GRP including the chassis. There was very little info on this caravan however and i struggled in the time frame that i had to do work out how i would do this so i had to make a compromise: a tubular chassis which is fixed to a GRP floor structure which holds the auxilleries such as the battery and toilet cassette and then the body is bonded to this lower GRP section.

 

With regards to the rear slope, i know this is not ideal and floor space has been lost, but it was done for styling reasons, as were several other compromises that i have had to make. Stuff like the weight of my proposal was something i would like to look into in the future i jsut didnt have time to do it in time for my assessment.

 

Buff it would be great if you could feature the caravan on your blog, im trying to get it about as much as possible tbh to maybe try n stir up a bit of interest and hopefully then take the idea to manufacturers along with some other ideas that i have, producing a slightly more realistic idea is also a cracking idea! So i would also greatly appreciate it if you could find some details for old contacts you have and any advice on how approach them would also be great too!

 

cheers

 

rob

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Guest Buff

Rob,

 

I did some checking and many of the people I once knew have moved on (OMG has it really been twenty years?)

 

Jim Hibbs used to own Coahman Caravans but he sold the company since I last met him in 1995

 

Brian Talbot and Ken Wilcox sold Lunar caravans to the Tirus group and I belive is now run by ex Ford SA man Brian Mellor

 

Richard Emerich who was senior designer at Swift, moved on to ABI then Fleetwood but I dont know if he's still there.

 

Michael Hold (once a director caravan dealer Barrons) took over running Buccaneer caravans during the late 90's but the company has been sold on again (Explorer group I think), I belive Michael though is in charge of marketing and design.

 

As for Avondale, most the people there have pass on or passed away that I once knew.

 

If you're interested I would be happy to help you develop your ideas into something that would be a workable proposal to approach the manufacturers with via instant messenger or something. Drop me a PM or contact me through the website/blog

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Guest rob_villa

Buff - cheers for having a look for your contacts, much appreciated. And il gladly take up the offer of having your help and advice in creating something that is more realistic. I shall try and get started on that soon, im quite interested in doing a small TAB sized caravan too based on my concept design, so i have plenty to think about!

 

cheers rob

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Guest Buff

lol, I see spammers are getting smarter, embedding links in copied posts.

 

Shame they arent smart enough to actually contribute something worthwhile of thier own

 

(deleted copy of spam to get rid of link)

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Guest krisnaAkbar

woow.. it's really cool..

i'm always imagine someday i'll have a caravan like this..

it's awesome :D

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Guest retrospec

that is great work. I love it, what programs did you use to model and render?

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Guest rob_villa

Hey retrospec and yutyjytj thanks for the comments, I used Alias Studiotools for the modelling and Hypershot for the renders, Hypershot is a brilliant program. I really like Alias but job opportunities using this software seem few and far between so gonna have to learn a poly program either Maya or 3Ds Max!

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Guest retrospec
Hey retrospec and yutyjytj thanks for the comments, I used Alias Studiotools for the modelling and Hypershot for the renders, Hypershot is a brilliant program. I really like Alias but job opportunities using this software seem few and far between so gonna have to learn a poly program either Maya or 3Ds Max!

 

wow I didn't even know hypershot could do emssive lights like that. I thought you used 3ds max with mental ray or vray or something, the renderings are certainly very impressive great work

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