Welcome Home Betty- The Vintage Folding Caravan

This weekend we made a huge decision as a family, to purchase a caravan. We had been looking for one for a few months, keeping our eye’s peeled on various selling pages and websites and nothing suitable caught our eye. Until Friday night. An advert on the selling page Shpock popped up, showing a beautiful and well looked after retro folding caravan. Meet Betty La Boheme, isn’t she unique?!

Now, we are a large family of 6 and this caravan is a 3 berth. It has been modified inside to only fit a double bed, as originally there would have been a double and a single. We are going to recreate extra sleeping space over time, with some DIY sleeping space. The caravan also came with huge awning, for extra sleeping space. I can imagine it shall be a while until we take her on the road, but for now, we are enjoying her in our back garden as extra living space.

The kids have had breakfast, lunch and tea in her since she arrived Sunday afternoon, and I am also using her as my office during the day time. I am sat in my caravan writing right now! It’s a lovely quiet space, with no distractions. I normally write in the lounge, bent over the coffee table with Jeremy Kyle for company, but sitting in Betty gives me the perfect distraction free time I desperately need.

We were told that Betty is from 1985 but having asked on a few forums, and doing my own research it is more likely that she rolled out of the factory in 1978. Betty folds down into a trailer for when being taken on the road. But once at a destination, the roof is simply lifted and the sides locked into place. Such a simple design! We also have the original paperwork. Check out these wonderful photos of a La Boheme in all of its new fandangled glory!

The previous owners had loved her greatly and out lots of restorative work into her and taken her away on serval holidays too. We are truly lucky to have found such a rare and much loved caravan. They were a little sad to say goodbye but they wanted the money to buy a new caravan. I have promised that they can come visit her whenever they are passing 🙂

I can’t wait to put my own stamp on Betty and fill her with my own little vintage trinkets. I am already in the process of crocheting some bunting for the inside. I shall pop to the haberdashery later this week for some floral print fabrics to make tablecloths, curtains and cushion covers. I am so excited… and in love! Can you tell?

I plan on not only taking Betty on cheap caravanning holidays but also joining the Retro Caravan Owners Club and taking her along to some meet-ups and public events. We often see vintage caravan when we visit Hot Rod shows throughout the summer, where we often take our vintage prams.

Would you love a vintage caravan? Have you ever seen a folding La Boheme like ours? Let me know in the comments below!

Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

You may also like...


  1. Wow! What a great post. I’ve not seen one of these traditional caravans for years!

  2. This is so cool! You are going to have some many amazing memories and holidays in this. I didn’t know there was a Vintage Caravan Owners Club how fab!

  3. I love the look and sound of your caravan. Great to use it for an office during the day. That is so smart.

  4. Woow how traditional and cool is this! I bet you are going to have so many adventures in this!

  5. I’m not much of a caravan person but I must admit this is really cool! I never knew there was such a thing as a folding caravan, but it’s quite a clever idea – and I love all the vintage paperwork! Sounds like you’re going to enjoy your purchase!

  6. OH MY GOD! I LOVE BETTY! What a cool design, and so cute that you’ve been eating in there. Perfect as a little office space too. Oh, I can’t wait to see what adventures you go on with her. It just goes to show that sometimes, old is better than new.

  7. She looks amazing. I’ve only ever seen something like this once and it’s amazing how much space is inside!

  8. This is so much fun and I love the idea of having a space to escape to as well!

  9. How cute is Betty. She is going to be beautiful once you have finished renovating her

  10. Jo Austin says:

    This is very cool!! I have VW campers and Beetles! Only one of each at a time but I’m on Beetle number 2 and camper number 3! Both are emerald green and white and I’m about to welcome a retro folding caravan ‘Chateau Mobile’ to my collection. Chateau has fold out wood panel sides and an emerald green canvas roof that goes over the top!! I used to have a classic pram too but ran out of space!! These old treasures are awesome! Enjoy Betty!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *