Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Moulded fiber glass shell caravan

I stumbled upon a class of caravan called moulded fiber glass shell caravan. As the name suggest, it is constructed of moulded fiber glass instead of aluminium frame and panels seen in the more traditional type of caravan. The advantage of this material is lightweight but being a moulded construction, there must be some limit to how big it can be. However that is not necessarily a problem because the whole point of fiber glass shell caravan is to be light and compact so that it can be towed by smaller cars. Although small on the outside, the interior is surprisingly complete in terms of amenities, some even have sleeping berth for up to 4 adults.

In Malaysia, a trailer type caravan need to have a JPJ registration like a motor vehicle, except that you only pay RM50 per year, I am not sure if insurance is required. But once your caravan trailer is registered and issued with a trailer license plate, any car with a suitable tow hook can tow it on the street legally. The permission to tow lies in the trailer's registration and not the car. I can't help but think how perfectly suitable those fiber glass shell caravan is in Malaysia. Most of the cars here are of small engine variety, a typical fiber glass shell caravan weighs no more than 1000Kg, which a 1.5 Litre family car should be able to handle comfortably.

A model designed and built in the 70's

It has bunk beds for 2 adults at one end. The top bunk can be folded away to the make lower bed a sitting bench for day use

Microwave oven and a fridge

The table top can be lowered to create a sleeping berth for two adults
A more recent model probably year 2008. From this picture, it is easy to see how the caravan is constructed with top shell and bottom shell joining together. This particular unit is equipped with an aircon, this will make caravaning in a tropical country like Malaysia a much more comfortable proposition.

There's no bunk in this model, but the interior looks more welcoming than the first model. With some modification, a bunk can be easily added.
Dinner for four?

Another type of moulded fiber glass camper from EggCamper, this type features vertical seam with left and right half of the shell joining together. This model is not as compact as the other two, but it has full standing room.
The interior layout and furniture are all pre-moulded in monocoque fashion. It has compartment for storage and also a shower/toilet.


abu hasan bin husin said...

hello Sir,

intrested to know more, where to buy, services etc..hope u can give an advice..thank u sir..

TJ Chang said...

Most of the campers you see here are imported privately. You can try and, every now and then a unit or two will show up in these sites.

Anonymous said...

Hello, do you know what is the process of import one into Malaysia? How much is the tax?
Thanks in advance!

rahman said...

hi Tj,

Is it legal to have passenger inside the caravan while on towing in Malaysia?

TJ Chang said...

I don't think it is legal. Anyway it is very dangerous thing to do, a caravan is not structurally built to carry passenger while under towing.

Rahman said...

Right TJ, but I see some of your pictures showing seat-belt installed on the wooden seat made out of wood with cushion padding. I think it is ok for the caravan

Anyway thanks TJ.

Anonymous said...

Hi TJ,

Can please contact me at +60164149922, i got some question to ask about the caravan