G'Day All, newbie to the classic forum so howdy to everyone. Just bought a little 11' Crusader Van with the one piece fibreglass roof - no leaks ! Anyway bought it cos restoring my old 25' Viscount (approx mid-late seventies) is getting a little thin and decided to get something to take on the road in the meantime. Does anyone know anything about these Crusaders, it seems to be very well built and original. Can't find anything on the net at all but think it would be late sixties or maybe 1970 model especially taking into account the very flash dimpled gold pebble finish vinyl floor, my neighbours' wife has used the word cute so much I'm getting worried. Haven't done the photobucket thing yet so no pics. Cheers
G'day bear, and welcome to the forum! When I'm searching for info about the old vans, I use the on-line Sydney Morning Herald archives ( archives.smh.com.au/ ), and I can then look at old classified advertisements, etc, to see who said what about which van when...and if you understood that you're as crazy as I am!! ;D ;D
When I search for Crusader caravans, I get the earliest advertisement showing from Saturday 20 July 1963 which says "Crusader 3-berth plus..." (the rest of the advert doesn't show).
I seem to remember a discussion on the Vintage section of this website a couple of years ago that said the Crusader was of New Zealand origins. Don't hold me to that info because the old brain is not what it used to be, but one way of maybe confirming that is to look at the size of the front and rear windows. If they seem overly large compared to typical vans you see around OZ, then vans in NZ had to have windows large enough for the driver to see back through the van to the road behind.
Somewhere in my photobucket album, I'm pretty sure I've got a photo of a mid-1960s Crusader van, which was involved in the discussion back on the Vintage forum. Let me search around a bit for it and I'll post it up here. Then you can compare yours with it.
There was a Crusader van on ebay recently. Did you buy that one? I had the van saved in my watchlist but then deleted it after the auction ended. Now I can't find the bluddy thing again in a search! (D'oh!!)
G'day again bear, I found this collection of pictures on my computer, taken from a Trading Post advert back in Dec 2007...
The van looks to be from around the 1970s judging by the 'timber' facing on the cupboard doors, etc. The Trading Post details were: "Crusader Caravan 12ft Spacious inside with brand new annex, two single bed converts to a double bed, great weekender or teenage retreat, one piece roof can’t leak, light to tow, new gas fittings, oven , all re-proofed underneath, VGC $4,000." You can see the larger sized windows as I mentioned above.
And this is the 1965 Crusader photo I've got in my Photobucket album...
Finally, from the little I know about New Zealand caravan history, apparently there is a book written in 2005 by a bloke named Chris Hunter detailing the history of kiwi caravans...
Item Details ISBN: 1869505263 ISBN-13: 9781869505264 Title: Vantastic: A Pictorial History Of Kiwi Caravans Author: Chris Hunter Category: History Format: Paperback Year: 2005 Pages: 144 Publisher: Harpercollins New Zealand Dimensions: 209mm X 279mm
Maybe this book could be the source of finding out about all things relating to old Crusader vans. I've never read the book (or even seen a copy) so I'm not really sure what info it contains. You could Google the title and see if you can find some further detail about it.
Thanks heaps for the pics Al, mine is identical - (even down to the colour of the stripe) to the one shown except mine may be a little smaller at 11' whereas that one's advertised as a 12'. The pics are fantastic to see because although mine is in really good original condition the table is missing so now I know the design and can make my own to suit - much appreciated! Thought I may have paid a bit much at $1000 but now feel much better seeing their asking price. Thanks again Cheers Mark
G'Day Atog, I'll get photobucket sorted soon and post pics of the Viscount resto (I've got shots of the whole process)but basically it's a mid to late '70's 25' Supreme. Previous owner's kids painted the interior in incredibly ugly mission brown and white flat paint so I removed the interior back to metal (5 trips to the tip!)and replaced the roof supports/walls/floor/ceiling etc and then went all artsy fartsy and made up a new interior, pretty happy with the result so far and am down to doing the lighting, finishing the fitout and getting all the doors etc neatened up. Saw the little Crusader and decided that if one caravan is good then two must be better! Spent last weekend cutting and polishing her and it's come up a treat, this weekend is booked for painting the roof, apart from this kind of minimal detailing she's a ripper little van and I can't wait to get out on the road for a trip. If anyone sees an '88 Landruiser wagon with what looks like a little white lunch box attached - that'll be me.
G'Day Bear, "Say" those photos of the Crusader sure bring back memories, being an ex-kiwi I owned a new 23ft Crusader back in 75, at that time they were being manufactured in the North Island.... I think it was around the Hamilton area, I believe these vans were originally an English design and were produced with the typical boat hull roof. the name of the manufacturer was possibly C.I.Munrow, they made a large number of vans back in the late 70's and did export them to Aussie although they were not very successful here because the large windows let in to much heat. any-way they were at that stage being made with complete fibre-glass front,roof and rear sections, they had very large and deep windows front and rear with no front awnings as the towing vehicle had to have visibility to the rear, this made the front window rather prone to being broken from flying objects, being so large, the front or rear windows were sealed, I do recall they had a very good rubber seal and leaks were never a problem. the suspension was an swing arm type set in rubber in a square tubular axle, this was not very successful in the early models as the rubber became soft after a few years and some stub axles actually flipped over after hitting a pot-hole leaving the wheel stuck right up in the wheel-box, The Crusader we had was fitted with all the mod cons of the time including a small electric H.W.S, built in under the kitchen sink unit...being instantaneous it was very good and extremely hot, at that time very few vans in N.Z. had built-in showers, this was an unheard of luxury, the traveling public relied heavily on stopping in Motor Camps (Caravan Parks) where there were usually very good facilities. the lay out of our particular van was as follows... in the front there was a very large L shaped lounge across the front extending about 6ft down the off-side to a large island kitchen unit with a hanging china cabinet above, this was followed by a Hugh full height wardrobe, on the near side of the van starting at the door, there was a cock-tail cabinet under a work bench of some 6ft in length to a large fridge/freezer ( 180 l ) from there on there was a full size island double bed at the rear. Air-conditioning was another thing that was very rare in kiwi vans, ( too flamin cold ) over there. I have being trying to find some photos of our Crusader but all I can find at this stage is on movie film, if I come across them I shall post them shortly. Look after your van, She's a little ripper, when you hit the road we would love to see it, so.... "Bring her West" by all means.
Have just read your posts from 2008. I am now in 2016 and have bought an old Crusader caravan, which I guess is late 60's to early 70's. I had to ressurect it fro a large blackberry plant, that near consumed the whole van. I will ahve to evict the rats and then start the full rno. It looks solid with the fibre glass front, rear and roof. My intensions are to fully restore then use as well as potentially sell it as a retro van. You never know. Willpost pics or you can contact me on email@example.com regards Michael