Graeme and Kim Bayne confess to being compulsive caravan collectors. Their four sons would use stronger language to describe the couple’s love for caravans and desire to collect them. Both admit to being under strict orders not to buy any more.
It’s a love that started on their honeymoon in Queensland – in a caravan of course. Now, 25 years later, they’re proud owners of one of the largest vintage caravan fleets in Australia. At last count there were more than 20 dotting the back paddock behind their home on the outskirts of Ballina NSW.
Several of them are unique. Most are awaiting restoration, something Graeme plans to spend more time on once he retires.
Of all the fleet, Graeme and Kim admit to having a soft spot for Murrumba Star caravans and at the moment they have three Minis and two Linda Star slide-ons.
“People ask is a boat or is it a caravan. It really is the most unique caravan ever built and people can’t believe it was made in 1968,” Kim says.
Graeme says the hundreds of hours he put into restoring the Murrumba Mini gave him a good insight into why their production was short-lived.
“They’re made in two halves and cemented together in the middle. They just didn’t have the products back in the 1960s to do this properly and a lot of fiberglass products made then can’t handle UV exposure.”
The couple look forward to taking the restored Murrumba Mini to the National Vintage Caravan Rally at South West Rocks next April.
After that, Graeme says he’d consider selling it so he can start work restoring one of the many other vans down the paddock.
Although their sons can’t believe they’d actually part with a caravan, they’re overjoyed at the prospect.
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