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Cool Caravans

Cool Caravans

Forget luxury hotels for a moment, with their bright lights and non-stop bustle of people trying to get into the trendy basement bar. Come with us to a more gentle time, where your hotel room has wheels and is located wherever you take a fancy to.

FlamingoSometimes it?s the detail that works so beautifully. A fold-up metal chair and a pink plastic flamingo. Enchanting.

Canned HamThis 1954 Cardinal Travel Trailer, known as "Canned Ham" due to its shape, was snapped up on an internet auction and lovingly restored.

Half Boat, Half CaravanNot many of these amphibious caravans were built. This perfect example was made around 1965, but its massive weight makes it too unwieldy for narrow British roads, so it?s stationary now.

Airstream OfficeAn American 1963 Globetrotter is now a permanent office in a garden in England. The owner, Chris, is co-author of Cool Caravans, so clearly lives his passion.

Perfect CuppaThe accessories are what make these so special. Here, retro crockery rests on a shelf in a 1954 caravan.

Shasta!In the 1950s, Shasta was one of the most popular caravan brands in the USA. And one of the most stylish. All that passed, and Shasta faded away, until 2008, when a modern retro Shasta AirFlyte was launched. Perfection!

Inside ShastaThe way it must have looked back in the day.

RomaThis very '80s Roma caravan?s glory days are over, but not forgotten.

Frank?s PlaceThis one is a mystery. All Frank (pictured) knew when he bought it was it was made from parts of a WW2 aircraft mounted on a car chassis. Years later a mysterious envelope was pushed under his door, full of photos of the caravan under restoration.

ConstanceOnce roaming free, Constance is now at the bottom of an English garden, where she acts as gang hut, tree house and sanctuary for the whole family.

?The caravan holiday used to be an ingrained part of the British psyche -- its American Airstream cousin a right-of-passage for Yankee road warriors -- and photographer Hilary Walker has captured the mood perfectly in My Cool Caravan: All You Need to Know About Retro Caravans, a lovely little hardback from Pavilion books (160 pages; $24.95). These are all new images: the caravans are those that have survived the near-death of the caravanning boom, and been lovingly, and in some cases very eccentrically preserved.
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