Alastair Thornley has three classic caravans parked on his Russell Sq property.
Mr Thornley takes great pride in the 1965 Caravelle caravan he bought 16 years ago and tidied up. One of the two 1963 Starlette caravans parked on site, which belongs to his mother-in-law, has also been fully restored and is in original condition.
The third caravan, which accommodated his two young daughters during family holidays years ago, is due for some love and affection.
Retro caravanning has become something of a trend in recent years, Mr Thornley says.
His Caravelle was on show at the inaugural Caroline Bay Rock and Hop in March.
“There were about 30 retro caravans parked at the event at Caroline Bay.
“It was great and I think there will be a lot more caravans at next year’s event.”
He bought the Caravelle in 2001.
“It took me about three years to track it down and it took me three months to negotiate the sale.
“It was a lot rougher inside and took a lot of cleaning up. There was a lot of rubbish in it.”
Mr Thornley helped establish the Geraldine Classic Caravan Club in 2005 and joins other retro caravan owners for an annual run each Queen’s Birthday weekend.
“They are comfortable to sleep in and they look good,” he said.
“The classic caravans also bring back memories of my youth.”
“Mum and Dad took us away in the caravan to the Temuka Holiday Park, where there were always four families who would meet each year.”
The holiday park would be full of caravans during holidays between the late 1960s and 1970s, Mr Thornley said.
“We now camp on a farmer’s property at Pareora. It’s handy because I can drive back into work.”
Many classic caravans were sitting idle and unloved in sheds around New Zealand, he said.
“If you are handy you can get into caravan restoration and it’s really cheap.
“I just think the classics have good style.”