The Great Caravan Axle Snap of 1978-ish!

It’s Flashback Friday at Voices of 2014, and the theme this week is holidays.

I rummaged through old photo albums and found this gem. And here’s the sad, sad tale of a family trip gone awry.



Apparently we were north west of Donald, Victoria and coming home from a family holiday. I think we’d been to Echuca or Swan Hill, but I can’t pin it down. It must have been around 1977/78, which makes me about 9 or 10.

We were cruising along in the Kingswood, mum, dad, my brothers Darren and Michael, me and maybe baby Kristine (who can remember the specifics, it was at least 30 years ago)!

All of a sudden, SNAP, the caravan axle is gaawn (that’s gone for those who don’t speak Aussie).

Hours ticked slowly by on that country roadside, waiting for another car to come by, and stop for us, and agree to take a message into the next town to get the RACV to come out to us (which everyone did, peeps were friendly in the 70s), and I remember it was a warm day and we had been out there a while, so mum decided we needed feeding.

Somehow I was appointed fetcher of the plates. Seems an easy enough task until I reveal this shocking fact. At the time of the plate retrieval mission, the van was not in an upright position as it is in this photo. Oh no! It was listing like the Titanic, at about 45 degrees.

Blind Freddie could have seen what was going to happen, but he hadn’t come on this holiday with us (perhaps he got a better offer – Disneyland, Sydney?).

Into the van went I, no guide ropes, no head-lamp… and as I opened the upper kitchen cabinet where the plates lived….

SMASH! PLATE AVALANCHE! BLOODY HELL! I bolted from the van and was in trouble on two fronts, no plates for lunch, and busted plates all over the van floor.

Eventually, we were rescued, the axle was fixed and we were back in the ‘burbs where we belonged.

I love this holiday memory. And most of all, I love the fact that those white roadside posts that dad used to jack up the van are still lovingly planted in our backyard.

How good are holidays?






2 thoughts on “The Great Caravan Axle Snap of 1978-ish!

  1. Firstly i love any old photos especially from the 70’s, they bring back childhood memories. Also I am quite obsessed with caravans and campervans at the moment after staying in caravan parks for a few weeks. Lucky the caravan didn’t smash in to the car.


    • Hi Zena, we had awesome holidays in caravan parks all over the place. Such simple fun, we’d just run around outside, swim, explore, and cause a ruckus!


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