Riverside Caravan & Camping Park & Country Club

History of the Touring Caravan

The humble touring caravan has been one of the foundation blocks in British holiday culture for decades. But they didn’t always resemble the sleek high tech models we use today. 

The first leisure caravan was designed and commissioned by Dr Gordon Stables a retired Navy Doctor in 1885. It contained a bookcase, china cabinet and piano! 

However, it wasn’t until 1919, a year after the end of WW1, that the first commercial touring caravan emerged. Eccles Motor Transport produced the first car-towed caravan to enter commercial production in the UK. This momentous year marked the rise of caravanning for leisure and the start of the growth of the camping and caravanning industry! That first caravan that was rolled off the production line by Eccles Motor Transport in Birmingham created a template that has since been used the world over. Eccles would dominate the market until the early 1950s. 

Tourers didn’t begin to resemble what we know of them today until the late 1970s. This marked the milestone of people beginning to experience the joy of flushing toilets and showers inside their vans! The twin axled caravan became mainstream in 1972 from Cavalier Caravans and by 1985, the twin axled tourer would become the new must have. More campsites began to feature hardstanding pitches and electric hook up points from the mid-1980s onwards. From this point on, medium priced and luxury tourers had mains fitted as standard. 

Today there are estimated to be more than 870,000 touring caravans currently in use in Britain (National Caravan Council). Touring caravans are one of the most popular choices for family holidays in the UK. Check out the info graphic below to see how Britain’s beloved tourer has evolved over the years! 

History of the Caravan

View the full interactive History of the Caravan

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Here at Riverside all our premium hardstanding pitches are fully serviced with electric hook ups, water, TV hook up and waste facilities, making your touring holiday with us as easy as possible.

To find out more about your next holiday give us a call on 01769 579269, drop us an email at relax@exmoorriverside.co.uk or book online here.

Camping Offers


One Child and One Dog Go Free!


During low season 7 nights for the price of 6!

Does not include RV’s

(only caravans, motor homes, cv or tents)


Stay for 4 nights or more during low season for £20.00 per night!

Does not include RV’s

(only caravans, motor homes, cv or tents)


Riverside Caravan and Camping Park is open all year round and we have offer pitches from only £14!

Read reviews for Riverside Caravan and Camping Park on Campsites.co.uk

At Riverside Caravan and Camping Park we take pride in the quality of our premises, facilites and staff to give our customers peace of mind that they are staying on a well maintained park. We are proud to have won various industry awards for our standards of excellence, take a look below: