Will Viscount Caravans be resurrected?

Article by · August 1, 2018 ·

We don’t want to sound too much like a tabloid, but anonymous sources close to ROAM (we have always wanted to use that phrase, though), have revealed that the Viscount name is to be resurrected and new caravans will once again appear on the road bearing the regal V.

Viscount was, until the mid-1980s, the largest caravan manufacturer in the country, accounting for around seven out of 10 caravans rolling off production lines at its peak. Even today, an inordinate amount of Viscounts, some in very good conditions, are still rolling along the highways onto happy holidays, while most of the rest are blocked up in caravan parks as onsite vans.

viscount caravans

Here’s hoping this is the rebirth of awesome tri-axle vans… or maybe not.

Viscount ran into troubles in the mid-1980s after releasing the AeroLite caravan, which although was two or three decades ahead of its times in terms of design, failed when it came to durability, and became a major PR disaster for the once mighty firm. The company was never the same again (and you can read about all that here).

Viscount isn’t the only name to be resurrected during caravanning’s more recent boom. Concept Caravans manufactures under the Franklin and Newlands name, while the Olympic and Sunliner names are both used by modern manufacturers. The Millard nam, another of the large manufacturers of the 1960s, 70s and 80s is also used by a Sydney manufacturer building a range of hardy off-road caravans.

The Viscount name hasn’t been in official use since the late 90s or early 2000s, but as ROAM understands it, the name is to be resurrected by a current caravan manufacturer that already builds caravans under a name brought back from the dead.

Would you like to see a new Viscount Caravan on the road? What would you want it to be like?


About Brendan Batty

ROAM's fearless editor, Brendan's most often found searching for the next best campsite, or fixing his caravan so it will make it to just one more.


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    I don’t like the idea and I think it’s cheating the consumers. The Viscount brand/name was built by someone else. Now someone else wants to cash in on someone else’s hard work. What I really would not like to see is The Viscount unique beautiful shape be modernized. I restore viscount vans. I’m extremely passionate about them along with so many others. What really worries me is if they start to do that, the older ones might be neglected. I think it’s so important to preserve the history of these old vans and it could be a great loss to so many mum and dad’s Diyers trying to make beautiful unique vans. I hope it never happens. If it does I’ll be extremely disappointed. Make your own ideas/brands don’t cash in from other’s hard work.

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    PAul Walsh

    I traveled OZ in a 1978 supreme ensuite van in 2015 to 2017. I loved every minute of it and the old girl did a great job. Resurecting the name is a good thing only if they follow the history making designs and modernise this design. Jackaroo caravans pull of a redesign of the old van with a modern twist, lets hope they can do something similar,

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    I bought a brand new viscount supreme caravan in 1980 with airconditioner and fully enclosed full length annexe for $8,500.00 I travelled around aus towing it with a jeep Cherokee 4wd and a lot of the road was in very rough and poor condition but we had no trouble with it didn’t fall to pieces they were very well made even though it was manly 3ply lined we had some dust ingress on the west coast Hwy to Port Hedland it was still unsealed but we were able to seal it with silastic that had just come on the market and by the time we reached Darwin had overcome that problem and that travelling with the front flap of the 4 season hatch half open it created a vacumm and kept dust out I look forward to the viscount brand being resurrected and hope they keep them simple as before we travelled over a lot of extreme corregated road and it stood up to
    I personelly fail to see why the vans they make today are required in such heavy duty forms and they are still falling to bits and cost an extreme amount I believe in the kis principle
    keep it simple —and do it well

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    I think the question is “do we really need yet another caravan manufacturer”? There are so many out there and they are all producing the same thing. What would their point of difference be? Would they introduce anything new to the market? I would be very surprised if they did. Like another contributor, I think someone is just wanting to use a well known name in order to sell caravans.

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      Postscript to the above, I own a 1972 15.5 ft x 6.9 ft Viscount Valiant. I love it, it is easy to tow and you hardly notice it is hanging off the back of my Nissan Navara twin cab. The narrower width than most modern vans makes it so easy to get in and out of tight spots.

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    Ray McCoy

    As a former National Sales & Marketing Manager for Vicarr Industries in their heydays, I would find it very disrespectful to see another manufacturer try to cash in on our once legendary brand, although it was tarnished somewhat by the release of the European inspired Aerolite range in the mid 80s, prior to John Carr selling out in 1986.
    Rebranding is a very cheap marketing tool and I’m sure the Australian consumers will see through the smoke & mirrors.
    Let the name Viscount rest in peace with its original owner and founder John Carr.
    Kind regards,
    Ray McCoy

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    Tracy Tullberg

    My best camping memories was as a kid with the family in a’69 HR Holden Station Wagon towing a Viscount C’van. As the family grew the Van grew from a single axle 4 birth up to the last viscount we owned a twin axle 8 birth with full Annex. This Van was the most lux of vans we had ever owned. When our family moved from the coast to the country there was a delay with moving into the house on the hobby farm property my parents bought. So this family of 7 ended up living in our Viscount for 6 mths on the property. We had the longest holiday ever with work & school thrown in, living in this Lux Viscount. Yeah I hope they do keep its famed shape, which I always thought was an outstounding style. Well my Dad always said that our Viscount towed well behind his Holden HR Wagon. He did get a few upgrades with our Car for the bigger Van. Yeah still love the Viscount, we have recently thought of obtaining an old forgotten Van to bring back to life & join the grey nomads touring Auz. The rebirth of the Viscount brand I think that is great. Us Auzzies are great campers either way Tent or Van, we love our outdoors, the Viscount Van was a big part of our campers history & I feckon could have a big future. As the Old become New again

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    I have a 1976 two axle Supreme and haveowned it for 15 years. It was bought for $5,500 and owes me nothing. For a 40 year old caravan it is still in good nick and is not falling apart ( good old aluminium frame). I could modernise the inside and repaint the out but still would not have any qualms about pulling it around Australia. I agree, the marketing ploy for new Viscounts is BS
    Retro is streets ahead of new and a bloody sight cheaper for the use you get out of it.
    The interest rate and depreciating value on a new van would give you a very nice annual Cruise Ship holiday or similar

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    I have been looking into getting a large van and came across a company in Perth WA = baronesse caravans – http://www.baronessecaravans.com.au they have a page on FB also.

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    Brent Thorp

    I have spent a year rebuilding a 17’6″ Viscount Supreme. A great van , glad to see the name revived & continue into Australian history.

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