We’ve been trying to work out the age of our caravan. It’s a Millard Sunrader with a green stripe and green interior. When we purchased the van we were told it was possibly from the mid-1980s but no-one knew for sure. Our friend in the caravan industry told us it can be no later than 1980 due to the takeover of Millard by Viscount. An index of caravan number plates documents that the A30 XXX plate was in use from 1980 and ours is an A29 XXX suggesting that it is definitely pre-1980 but the index only went back to 1980 so a precise year is still unknown.
We’ve spent a lot of time searching web sites and forums for caravan enthusiasts and “vintage” van owners. The online Trading Post, Gumtree, eBay and Caravan Sales pages have all received a good work out and Google image searches have been scoured for similar looking vans. We did find a few vans of similar vintage but, according to the forums, Millard had a penchant for altering & modifying the design of their vans so there may not be something exactly the same out there. This make the challenge just that little bit harder.
Turning to the van itself for further clues, we found the old rego sticker on the front of the van is intact and shows that it was registered up until 1st March 1987. We guess that pretty much coincides with it being installed in the park – we could probably ask the park management to confirm that date, as we’re sure they’d have it on record, but that would be too easy! Where’s the fun in that?
Normally you can use the chassis number to work out the date of the van. This is usually located on the front section of the caravan trailer. Unfortunately, our front section has been removed and we initially thought it had been long gone. The other day we discovered it underneath the front of the van in an area that is difficult to access without moving the outside kitchen around. We could use the services of a small child with no fear of spiders and insects to crawl under the van and take a look but that seems cruel and, to be honest, there were none around at the time.
We had no choice but to move the refrigerator and shine a torch at the now disused section of trailer. And it didn’t help. The trailer section is too rusty to read the numbers. Next time we visit we’re going to arm ourselves with tools and powerful torches. The chassis number is there and it will soon be known. The precise age of our van will not be shrouded in mystery for much longer.