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The Caravan reports on Road and site test no. 101

The new Thomson Glenrosa caravan is in a more luxurious class than has been associated with the marque for some time. It was announced as an 18-footer at £550 (ex works) and it occupies an interesting place in Thomson's range for 1959. The next smaller and the next larger Thomsons are the l6ft. Gleneagle costing £440, and the 22ft. Glenlyon costing £580.
Venture Caravans of Wembley co-operated in providing one of these new models from their demonstration fleet for road test purposes and review, and a long wheelbase Land Rover was used as the towing car.
Very attractive the outfit looked at the kerbside . Long, because of the proportions of the Land Rover and the Glenrosa , but purposeful in a way that has great appeal. Seeing the combination is to experience immediately the urge to take the wheel and begin towing.
Caravans must have strong design features indeed if the eye does not first appraise the windows before taking in the details of the rest of the bodywork. It is so with the Glenrosa . New, all-rounded-corner Percy Lane windows have been incorporated in the design in the form of three panel-windows where possible, and very nice they look. At the sides, efficient guttering brackets the three separate panels to make them look one window, while at the ends large bays are made up of fixed lights flanking an opening unit. Anti-condensation sills are needed, particularly on the fixed units.

Body length of 1 9ft (1. 9in. makes for shapely lines.
Body length of 1 9ft (1. 9in. makes for shapely lines. The new oil-rounded-corner Percy Lone windows ore used to good effect, particularly of the sides, where they are linked to fixed lights by guttering to make triple windows

The aluminium exterior is painted yellow-cream. The panel sections beneath the bays appear to have been panel-beaten to shape, but they are in fact three separate pieces formed to a single radius, each having the lower edge swaged to simulate half-round mouldings . Two doors give access to the interior, one through the end kitchen at the offside rear, the other, glazed, from the front about one third back along the nearside. The roof vents are hinged, all four at the front, and therefore unidirectional.
On the road the outfit towed well up to the maximum permissible 30 mph, but off the highway on a disused aerodrome the towing speed could be raised to about 50 mph without instability. Possibly the best touring speed with this combination on the Continent would be about 45 mph.
The interior of the Glenrosa is spacious, but on checking the measurements it was found to be l8ft. 6in. long, while the exterior body length including the bays measured l9ft. 9in., curious measurements for a caravan announced and listed as an 18- footer. Consequently it is even more spacious than one expects, and it is one of the few vans of this class tested in which one member of the crew can cook while others wash, a point much appreciated at the end of a day's driving. The example tested was 3½in. wider than the legal limit, due to projecting door handles.
Polished "milky" light oak is the preponderance of colour and finish of the interior, with the lighter toned hardwood edging doors, cup­boards and drawers to give good relief. Light oak is used also for the walls of the living quarters. The ceiling is broken up into panels with half-round mouldings of wood to cover the natural breaks in the panelling and the joints at the end sections where maximum curvature occurs and plywood is used.

Land-Rover and Glenrosa
Land-Rover and Glenrosa -a purposeful locking outfit. The drawbar was long
enough not to impede tight lock reversing behind a square-ended towing vehicle.
Next to the end kitchen is the toilet, and hardboard is used to panel this also. Borrowed space for the toilet is obtained by a folding section of the door which when extended across the rear off­ side doorway to a fixed bulkhead makes a fairly comfortably propor­tioned room. Light is obtained at night via a glass panel from the gas light above the kitchen. Daylight is obtained from a clear window and a Perspex roof vent.
Beside the inner toilet wall towards the offside rear corner of the van is the B500 thermostat model gas cooker, set in an alumin­ium4ined recess. The surfaces of the aluminium have the well-known Alochrome finish to reduce the ' visible effects of wear and scratch­ing. Untreated aluminium lines the interior surfaces of the flap which covers the cooker and lifts up, swinging from hinges, to cover the wall.
To the cook's right there is a working top covered with red Soft glow Formica. This area is fairly large and a good-sized cup­board is fitted below which has two shelves, but no floor vents are provided for ventilation. Soft glow also covers the top of the flap over the cooker, and the flap over the sink and drainer which comes along the wall to the right of the working-surface-topped cupboard.
Pride of place in the centre of the nearside wall is taken by a handsome sideboard, neatly divided from the sink and drainer by a reeded -glass screen. Cupboards at each end of the sideboard have large reeded -glass panels to match the screen. These cupboards have two shelves each, but space in the base of the forward one is some­what restricted by the wheel arch, which by the way is not insulated.
The central drawer section has two drawers at the top, two deep ones below, and a drop front at the floor covering a certain amount of space around part of the wheel arch. This sideboard is very nice indeed. A desirable finishing touch would be towing security clips for the drawers; the test team found it necessary to wedge them with paper before towing.
View towards the rear end kitchen

View towards the rear end kitchen shows the C-shaped
between the three -seater dinette and the toilet room.

Gay upholstery
Above the sideboard is a three-panel window, and this, like all the windows, has a pelmet and curtains. In size and quality the curtains leave something to be desired, but the upholstery is of brighter materials than have been customary from Thomsons in re­cent years. Above the pelmet over the sideboard is a roof shelf on which are set two good-sized roof lockers. One of these contains an attractive twenty-piece set of china. On the other side of the interior above corresponding windows and roof shelf are two more roof lockers. Between these is fitted one of the gas lights, but light is prevented from reaching all of the table below by the shelf. Two other lights are fitted, one at the front, and one in the kitchen but an oak-lined van of this size could do with more light, and it would have been nice to see No. 2 burners, or perhaps the new Falks Orchid lights fitted in place of the Bijous.
The gas locker is below the drainer and is reached from out­side. A hand hole through which the gas can be turned off at night and a floor gas point for a fire would be improvements. Using the rest of the space below the sink and drainer is a larder, separate from the gas locker, comprised of two shelves. The gas locker is ventilated, and there are wall vents in the larder but no floor vents to induce through currents of air.
The table opposite the sideboard though shielded by the roof shelf at night is well lit by day by the offside windows. Towards the rear side of the table is the large seat of the three -seater dinette double bed. Behind the seat is a partition forward of the rear door and screening the toilet. Forward of the table is the single seat. The mattresses are deep, with deep blue walls, maroon uncut moquette one face and the other face in blue tapestry weave with silver longi­tudinal lines and cross lines of yellow and red. Similar colours are used for the mattresses of the two single beds in the front. The table between the single beds and that of the three -seater dinette are light oak.
Storage space generally is good, but the writers would prefer more unrestricted space for bedding. Drawers to bedding lockers are very desirable and are often a feature of luxury vans, but in this van they waste some space. The offside single bed, which has top access, is the only one with reasonable storage space. Drawers in the double seat of the dinette and the single bed which extends across the forward door on the windows. Towards the rear side of the table is the large seat of the three -seater dinette double bed. Behind the seat is a partition forward of the rear door and screening the toilet. Forward of the table is the single seat. The mattresses are nearside are so shallow that they will not take comfortably pillows, sleeping bags, or quilts ; they will take neatly folded blankets, two each at the most. Much space behind the drawers is inaccessible and therefore wasted.

The nearside sideboard is exceptionally long.

The nearside sideboard is exceptionally long.
Beyond it is the wardrobe with interior shelves dawn one side.
Out of sight is the independent sliding partition.

Wardrobe space is very good. There are two wardrobes, opposite each other, one at the foot of the offside single bed, the other just rearward of the nearside door. The light oak wood and the well-made double - sided doors give these wardrobes an excellent finish. The offside one has hanging space for suits, the bottom being taken up with a set of four shirt trays or drawers. The nearside wardrobe has full-length hanging space and shelves down the side; there is nothing to keep things on the shelves when braking. As compen­sation for the use of wriggle nails in some lockers it was good to see that continuous piano hinges of very good quality are used on the wardrobes, and, a good point this, a partition is not formed from the wardrobe doors to close off the front end of the van at night. This task is performed by an entirely separate partition, a nice piece of workmanship, marred only by the lack of positive securing to prevent the partition sliding across when on tow.
The main criticisms of this van, bedding stowage, absence of a gas point, and the lack of provision for water stowage-are points which possibly could all be atten­ded to without altering the price seriously, if at all, and certainly without altering a basically suitable design of caravan. Its bright, cheerful, comfortable interior with plenty of carpeted floor space make it an attractive caravan, and all in all, for those who don't want to explore the back lanes, a good clubman's van for first class gran furismo and roomy entertaining on site.

Data Panel
Price : £550.
Dimensions : Length body 19ft. 9in. inc. bays, shipping 22ft., interior l8ft. 6in. inc. bays. Width overall 7ft. 9½in., interior 7ft.1½in. Height overall 6ft. approx., max. headroom 6ft . 11in. Floor height 22in.
Weight : Ex works 25 cwt. ; nose weight 1½ cwt.
Undergear : Sketch not to scale. Boden welded steel chassis. A 3½ x 1½ x ?in. channel, boxed at spring perches and points of max. stress, B 2½ x 1½ x ?in. angle. Axle 2in. round, straight. Springs 6-leaf underslung 33 x 2 x 5/l6in. Girling ML side-pull brakes cable-operated, compensating pulley and turnbuckle. Tyres , Dunlop 6.00-16, 6 PR, truck type. Boden coupling. Telescopic jockey wheel. Four brace-operated legs.
Sketch not to scale

Body construction: Meranti hard­wood framing, halved and screwed. Exterior panelling aluminium , all metal mouldings ; interior hardboard ceiling (ply at ends), walls polished oak-faced ply, hardboard in toilet and kitchen. Walls and roof Rocksil insulated. Floor 4in. t. and g., painted. Two stable doors, 68 x 24in. glazed, and 66 x 24 plain. Percy Lane No. 40 polished alloy windows, all-rounded corners, 20in. deep; three 30in. wide, two 36in., opening; four 26in., four l2in., two 20in., fixed. Four hinged Perspex roof vents 6 x 54 ½ in. Wall and floor vents to external gas locker, toilet and larder. Four grab handles.
Equipment: Two single beds 6 x 2ft., one shortening to 4ft. by day; top access offside, one drawer nearside; three- seater dinette double bed 6ft. x 3ft. l0in., one bedding drawer, one top access locker. Spring interior mattresses 7in., two-tone reversible. Light oak-faced furniture, contrasting light visible framing. Two hook-on tables, 37 ½ x 27in., 33 x 24in. Centre-hinged door cupboard, extends larger table by 18in. Man's wardrobe 21 x l9in., 42in. hang­ing space, four shirt trays ; full length wardrobe 27 x 19in. hanging space 58in.; shelves at side and hat shelf at top. Sideboard, 6ft. 6in., drawers, glazed cupboards and floor locker. Five roof lockers (one fitted with 20-piece china set), various roof shelves, wall mirror. Sliding and hinged partition. Formica counter. Cooker B500T; Perspex sink and drainer; Formica topped, aluminium -lined lids; Formica work area. Two shelved cupboards, one ventilated as larder. External gas locker. Toilet compartment, ventila­ted, 51 x 27in. max. Fitted carpet. Three bijou gas lights. Twin side and tail lights, number plate and light.

Layout: A seat extends to B for single bed C single bed; D cupboard; E hook-on table ; F roof and bay window shelves ; G roof shelf; H roof locker; J man's wardrobe; K three- seater dinette; L counter; M toilet room; N cooker; P working surface ; Q gas locker; R sink and drainer; S sideboard; T full length wardrobe with shelves U.
Towing car for test: Long wheelbase Land Rover, Series II, 1958, weight 36¾ cwt. inc. two crew and baggage. Makers: Thomsons (Carron) Ltd., Carron, Falkirk, Stirlingshire.
"Reproduced from an article in the February 1959 issue of The Caravan"

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