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Folding Camper & Trailer Tent Definitive Guide
Manufacturer Summary: Dandy
Riva Dandy Sales
Unit 15, Ainscough Business Park
Mossy Lea Road
The original Dandy caravan was the brainchild of Mr Harold Murray. In the early 1960's, Mr Murray developed one of the first camper vans based on the Commer chassis. Although successful, the market was very limited, due to high production costs.
Mr Murray saw a gap in the market for a small ‘folding camper’ that would be economical, practical and easy to tow. He set about designing a camper that would meet the demands of the growing camper market, he also wanted a covering for his new camper, that would be an alternative to the limitations of normal canvas .
Mr Murray came across an innovative new PVC fabric that along with an ingenious new double layer thermal lining system proved ideal for his revolutionary new camper. With the addition of a solid locking door, glass windows and caravan type interior ‘The Dandy caravan was born’ and made its first appearance in 1965 at the Belle Vue camping and caravan exhibition in Manchester.
To keep up with demand, over 800 unit’s a year were being produced from the factory in Orrell Nr Wigan .
In the early 1980's camping was more popular than ever and it was at this time Mr Murray’s son Howard took over the company from his father and along with Mr Christopher Lion (Works Manager), Ian Smith (Factory Foreman) and a dedicated team of production staff
With its unique all weather fabric, innovative design and construction it was an immediate success and the story of the ‘Dandy caravan’ had begun
By the 1990's, The Dandy caravan had become one of the most established and famous brands on the folding camper market, and to this day still has it’s own ‘Dandy Owners Club’.
Ian Smith worked for Mr Harrold Murray and Dandy caravans since 1976 starting as general labourer and tea boy, he worked his way up through the company to become factory foreman in 1989. Ian bought the company in 2003 and under the new company name of Riva Leisure Products ltd., Ian implemented a new development and design programme and Riva-Dandy’s long tradition and reputation of producing top quality folding campers continued until 2008. The company has now ceased to produce new campers, but continues to work extensively on the refurbishment of pre 2008 models, as well as the supplying of parts and accessories.
Today, Riva Dandy Sales, still a family business owned by Ian Smith, has a proud reputation for supplying top quality reconditioned, pre-owned Riva- Dandys, complete with warranty and can supply any thing from the smallest of parts to a full refurbishment on a customers 30 year old Dandy. Using their 35 years of manufacturing, sales and servicing experience customers can be assured that Mr Harold Murray’s iconic Dandy Camper and proud heritage continues for generations to come.
A quick summary of the Dandy models is included below. To see them in more detail, click on the link above (Not yet active).
Late 1960's to early seventies – Green PVC walls were the earliest
Early 1970's – Orange PVC walls superseded the green
1970's – Brown PVC walls introduced
1980's saw several colour combinations of brown/white and brown/mushroom also all mushroom
– Blue and white PVC walls
The last Dandy's to be made were dark blue and white and were introduced when Dandy became Riva
to the light blue and white models – which were named – the Dandy was known purely by its sleeping capacity. With many similarities
between the units the easiest way to identify which model was which was by the width of the trailer:
Dandy 4 Berth – 4 feet wide
Dandy 4/5 Berth – 4 feet 10 inches wide (147cm)
Dandy 5 Berth – 5 feet 10 inches wide (178cm)
Dandy 6 Berth
– 6 feet 3 inches wide (190cm) Door is on the side of the trailer rather than the rear, it is also known as low sided Destiny as a
few light blue ones were made before the introduction of the High Sided Destiny.Following the introduction of the light blue and white
models, identification became a whole lot easier as the units were given names
Dandy Dart -160cm (including wheelarches)
Delta – 183cm (including wheelarches)
Dandy Designer – 178cm (183 including wheelarches)
Dandy Discovery – 178cm (Same as
Designer but with bench instead of table/chairs)
Dandy Destiny – 198cm trailer width 205cm including wheel arches (door is on
the side of the trailer)
Dandy Dimension – 198cm trailer width 205cm including wheel arches (door is on the side of the trailer)
and the Dimension have the luxury of a 3 way fridge.
In 1994 Double glazing was introduced to all models and a 4 ring burner
was used in the larger Destiny. The Dimension has a two ring burner. There are some later Destiny models that include a toilet and
washbasin 1999 saw all white Dandy's that are quite rare.There is a serial number on the top of the A frame but it can be difficult
to see on older Dandy's, the last two digits are the year of manufacture of the unit.
As each Dandy was individually hand crafted
you will find that the measurements are approximate and can vary to a degree as can the specifications due to the fact that when each
Dandy was first built you could choose from recessed wheel arches or outboard ones on the smaller models, you could also ask for extra
windows, insulated walls and the addition of a heater.
The information contained in this section is provided in order for users to get a feel for the nature of the Dandy range of folding
Much of this information, and the associated paperwork was derived from one of two sources; Riva Dandy Sales, former
manufacturers of the Dandy, and the Dandy Forum, one of the better folding camper owners' groups around at the moment.
out the wealth of additional information they both have to offer, feel free to click on the links to the right.