Chiswick Author Does Caravan Cool

Tim Moore on ups and downs of taking sizeable mobile home on tour for weekend

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I Believe In Yesterday - Adventures in Living History by Chiswick's Tim Moore


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Chiswick author Tim Moore wrote a highly entertaining article in last weekend's Guardian on caravanning in which he regales readers with the trials of taking his family and a sizeable mobile home 'on tour' for the weekend.

He writes,"In the deeply conservative world of caravan design, standing out from the crowd is a simple matter of not looking like a big margarine tub. With their curvaceous silver flanks and their smoked glass, the new Airstreams manage this with some ease. The European range pays strident homage to the US firm's iconic 1936 launch model, a gleaming, bullet-nosed embodiment of that era's obsession with aerodynamics and shiny metal, fittingly crafted by the designer responsible for Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St Louis monoplane. It's a testament to their timeless appeal, and aluminium's rust-resistant durability, that an astonishing 70 per cent of all Airstreams ever made are still on the road.

"Mindful that I live in a road of modest breadth and challenging geometry, I elected to pick up my Airstream International 684 - and the mighty Land Rover thoughtfully provided by the firm to save my turn-of-the-century Mondeo estate any embarrassment - from the car park of our local B&Q. The prudence of this arrangement asserted itself at once. The principal distinction of Airstream's European models, I'd been told, was that they'd been condensed in sympathy with our cramped and twisty-turny continent. Compact was not a word that sprang to mind as I surveyed my family's home and haulier for the weekend ahead: a shining, eight-wheeled convoy that filled the tarmac chasm between garden deliveries and the trolley rack. It would have looked more at home trundling across Red Square on May Day."

He goes onto muse over the theory that if Jeremy Clarkson's tireless caravan-baiting suggests a man protesting too much, his guilty secret would be an Airstream at the back of the quadruple garage and admits that how, for him, one glance around the interior - flat-screen telly, downlighters, climate control - was enough to sell him the dream.

Moore's full article, including his discovery that caravan parking is a voyeuristic sport, can be read here.

July 3, 2009