These are the before and after photos of our 1965 15″ Zephyr Deluxe Caravan. It was apparently stored in a shed for 20 years so apart from some general decay, some borer and a bunch of broken and missing stuff, the layout and fittings were mostly original. We’ve had it for a couple of years but completed most of the renovation work at the end of 2016 (with some pretty long days between xmas and new year!) Still a fair bit of work to do including finishing the electrics etc and getting some additions for a self contained cert. We have tried to keep it true enough to 60s caravan design by keeping the layout as much as possible, and also keeping it very light weight for easy towing. To keep the kids at bay, we had a new 3/4 awning made, of walk-though style with 2 doors, 2 windows and all three sides completely removable if needed. We have also recently made a show awning that we use… if fine enough.
My parents had a 1970s Lightweight 1300 when I was younger and this is a very similar layout to the 1500 lightweights. It has 2 single berths and fold out double, with all the original interior panels and had nice veneered cabinetry. Some history of NZ caravan building, and specifically the Zephyr brand is here.
External tidyup, weatherproofing, window seal replacement and paint was completed by Caravamp in Hamilton. Internal work including upholstery, drapery, internal/external electrics, cabinetry repair etc was by us. New awning by Canvasland in Levin.
No major issues with the renovation, and we still have to looks at a couple of places where internal frame replacement bits will be needed at some stage as a few screws go right though it. The caravan originally had roller blinds and although this was the plan, we found that the thickness of the new canvas fabric we wanted to use, plus some internal blockout meant that it was too thick on the rollers so they were converted to Roman blinds instead. We probably didn’t do enough work getting some of the historic panel deformations and dents out, so maybe will look at that in the future. It adds to the charm though I’m sure. We’ll also need to get some headers made for each of the windows too, as runoff (especially on the sloping back) is bound to enter the seals over time.
Future additions will also include some more recessed/show lighting, self contained electrics, and improvements to cooking facilities etc. Oh and some new wheels (anyone know of some nice 5×5 14″ rims floating around?)