Bringing Betsy back is a lovely little/big project I have been working on for sometime now.
Betsy is a bondwood caravan that we found sitting under a tree in a paddock. She had been sitting there for quite a while, maybe 10-20 years. She was built in Ballarat in the 50’s by the local funeral directors. When they had a quiet time, they would make caravans.
I have been busy cleaning and stripping out the inside. I have salvaged anything worth saving and hope to use bits and pieces later on.
This is Betsy being loaded onto the trailer. She was covered in moss and ended up being too wide for our trailer. We had to load her on with one wheel on the running board and then take it off later to level her. Just a little 4 hour loading job. Lucky I have great friends.
The next job on the list is to have the underneath metal bits (not sure what you call them) sandblasted and painted. Also she needs new brakes, springs, hitch, jack and wiring. Something I cannot do. So I have to tow her to the man that can help out. She has not been on the road for at least 20 years, no rego either.
The tyres were bit of a worry, so we took one off at a time and headed down to the tyre repair shop to get them checked out. Would you believe it one was ok and the other one needed repair.
Aren’t they amazing, old Holden tyres, 13 inch I think. I hope it is not too hard to find white-walled tyres in that size.
Tyres ready, now to hook her up, hopefully.
A spray can, a big wrench and a strong man, did the job!
She’s on now. Why don’t we plug in the lights and see if they work? Just for fun.
Lights are plugged in and I try the brakes and blinkers not expecting any response. Sure enough, nothing happens. Well what do you expect after 20 years in the paddock, I say to myself.
We busy ourselves taping a few rattling windows in preparation for the big expedition tomorrow, then we notice something. A little glow in the back tail light and then a light starts blinking at us. Yes, Betsy is excited too, she is coming to life!
Cick IMG_2526 for the flashing blinker.
Only the left blinker is working, but that’s ok, I will just keep turning left until I get there. But knowing Betsy, the right blinker will probably be working in the morning. She just needs a little time to get it sorted.
We slowly pull Betsy out of the shed, and decide to take her for a test run. Hubby decides I should hop inside to make sure she is stable. “Good idea”, I say with greater conviction than I am feeling.
Click IMG_2531 for Betsy’s first run down the road.
I come out unscathed and excited to say Betsy is as solid as a rock. Woohoo. I can’t contain my excitement.
Betsy is ready to roll. If you happen to be on the Northern outskirts of Hamilton around 9.45am tomorrow morning you just might see her. Going along at a snails pace with a back up crew of my sister. Let’s hope we get there in one piece.