As one of the oldest magazines in SA, Caravan & Outdoor Life has been on the shelves since the early 60s. With 639 issues published over more than five decades, you’d think there wouldn’t be anything left to talk about! But as the South African caravanning industry has developed over the years, so have we. Our new ‘Blast from the Past’ series aims to celebrate years passed and take a closer look at the stories of yesteryear.
Our first flashback is to the April 1962 issue of Caravan & Outdoor Life magazine, or as it was then known, ‘Caravan’. This black-and-white issue features a variety of articles ranging from a reader’s homebuilt caravan (Some things haven’t changed!), a journey through Jock of the Bushveld country in a Buggy trailer, an article about the first ever Sprite dealers’ convention, the design and layout specifications of the Outspan caravan and one of the very first camper van reviews of the Sprite ‘Pic-a-bakke’.
Back then, all you needed was R330 to buy yourself a 4-berth Sprite camper unit which could fit directly onto the back of your bakkie. And, you’d still be able to tow your boat along, too! To the modern eye, this unit looks more horsebox than camper, especially with that stable door, but there’s no doubt that, for its price, it was a bargain. Perhaps that’s why they’re called the good old days, right?