There are countries, where caravans have adopted to such extent, that today they pretty often serve as houses. Polish vehicle Drzymały didn’t kindle the imagination of our compatriots and we had to wait quite long for the next attempts to combine the possibility of movement with a comfortable accommodation.
The Polish history of caravanning begins in 1930. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that it was a year, when Poland had manufactured a caravan. According to the website Oldtimery.pl, it was when the caravan was introduced to Polish audience for the first time. The presentation of Buick towing a house on wheels was an additional attraction on a beauty pageant, organized in Skaryszewski Park.
Polish caravans began to emerge in the '50s, mainly as the so-called. "SAM-y", or the structures created by DIY-selves. The first of them was a vehicle created by a mysterious marriage B. The "Motor" magazine described the adventures of Mr. and Mrs. B., who in 1956 built a caravan, to take a trip around Europe.
It's probably when the topic of caravans hit on a fertile ground in Poland. One can only guess that a lot of people, under the influence of articles in the "Motor" magazine, started dreaming of their own home on wheels. Who was more ambitious, decided to realize this dream on his own. Krzysztof Koss built a small caravan that could be pulled by the motorcycle Victoria! The walls were made of a plywood, frame was based on the old pipes, and the floor made of sheet steel. Inside you could fit a folding table and chairs, rubber mattresses and radio "Edelweiss". The caravan weighed only 105 kg.
A glimmer of hope
The first two professional prototypes of Polish caravans were Biedronka and Tramp. Both models were shown at Poznan International Fairs in 1958. Tramp was bought by a customer from Denmark already during fairs. Fabryka Samochodów Ciężarowych (also known as FSC, a big automotive factory) in Lublin, perhaps encouraged by this success, manufactured 30 copies of this model. Biedronka remained in a single copy. However, there was no further production because, as manufacturer had recognized, nobody wanted to buy caravans.
Both models were identical in terms of construction - metal frame, wooden shell, waterproof plywood coverage. Biedronka weighed 380 kg, while Tramp - 550 kg. The equipment included: a folding couch, coffee table, cabinets, sink, water container and stove (gas or spirit).
In the same year, the FSC company also produced the first Polish motorhome, based on Nysa. Unfortunately, the camping version hadn’t been put into production, and there’s virtually no trace of the prototype left.
The Wonderful Sixties
In the '60s emerged quite a big number of SAM caravans, perhaps because professional caravans were still not available for sale, and even if they appeared, their prices weren’t acceptable for the average citizens in Poland.
Really interesting is a caravan created by Michał Niemcewicz, which not only rode, but also .. swam! The boat-caravan had two highly lifted flaps, which facilitated the use. Inside, there was a folding sofa with dimensions of 1900 x 1650 mm, a sink (with water container) and a stove. The designer also took care of numerous compartments. The vehicle weighed approximately 550 kg.
However, the real adventure with caravanning in Poland began in 1965. That's when the production of a tent caravan Tramp-66 from Niewiadów started. Unlike its predecessors, it was bought by more customers (920). Next, there were models Tramp-68 (285 copies) and Romni 23 (570 copies).
In the "meantime" (years 1956-1969) Metalworks Skarżysko Kamienna produced 173 copies of the caravan Malwa, which was apparently especially liked by the Gypsies. This was largely due to its huge dimensions - 300x1700x1850 mm. Malwa was equipped with an overrun brake, lighting, gas heating and a fridge "Polar".
The “hatching” period of Polish caravanning may be recognized to be completed in 1976, along with the appearance of the caravan N-126 from Niewiadow. This caravan was produced in 15 thousand copies! Therefore, there would be no exaggeration in a statement, that for the Polish caravanning it became something, what Volkswagen "Beetle" was for the German automotive industry.