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Short history of the Esterel folding caravans

Some of what we know about esterel.

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Short history of the Esterel folding caravans

Postby Christiaan » 23. Jul 2012, 19:26

Esterel has made Foilding caravans since 1964 untill 2001. But only since 1976 they made the folding caravans with the technique we know now.
Models that they made: Caramatic, Supermatic, Export (only 1979-1980), Sillage, Topvolume (since 1987) and Mirage (since 1992).

They also made Pop-Top Roof caravans (also known as pop-up caravans)(since about 1987) and normal caravans. The Pop-Top Roof was called RS Model and the normal caravans where called TopProfil Models. The normal caravans where made until 2004 (about). Since then they only made Motorhomes with prices from £100.000 an more. Esterel became a part of Rapido since the mid 80's. Rapido also was a manufacturer of folding caravans and Pop-Top Roof caravans. The Rapido concern still exist and esterel and 2 other manufactures are part of Rapido. All of these manufactures only make Motorhomes. That is in a few words the history of Esterel France.
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Re: Short history of the Esterel folding caravans

Postby Dormy » 31. Oct 2013, 13:14

The text below has been copied from information Christiaan has posted on the Europa part of the site. I have used Google Translate to convert it from his original German article to English and though the translation is not perfect, it is fairly good.

The models have been identified primarily on a model year from - to basis. The text is fairly lengthy but I think the information is of enough interest to be worth posting and you can scroll down to the model year you are interested in: -

HTH
Ian :)


Following was translated with Google Translate from the Original German Thread made by Christiaan.


Family Esterel from approximately 1979
«Christiaan» 25.03.2009 19: 10

The Esterel a camper like no other, the legend

In the beginning God created heaven and Earth; etc.
Day 7 dachtte God that he finished was and he celebrated with a day of rest.
He was however still lacking something.
So day 8 God created... The ESTEREL!

This Esterel was one of the first models (of folding caravan ? Ian).
The picture is an Esterel from probably beginning 1960s.
This Esterel already had polyester exterior walls and folded had a height of 120 cm. With a curb weight of 295 kg, he was to draw from each vehicle.
Weight limit was 600 kg. Body length 265 cm, wide 160 cm.
The roof was a double layer of PVC with 12 mm Polystyreen isoleert.
Bug (Folding Grille ? Ian) cooking with Coolbox !
There were these models in 4 versions, the biggest had a curb weight of 595 kg guilder ƒ rates in NL 3850,00 to ƒ6500, 00. (A DM was at that time about ƒ 1,15). Manufacturer: Esterel, rue of Pélissiers, Maromme (Seine-Maritime)


Ca. 1979-1982
Family: Primatic

Primatic 31,
Body length 314 cm, width 207 cm, folded 125 cm high, interior height 186 cm, Length 424 cm.
Curb weight 500 kg, maximum weight 650 kg, tyre 145 x 13
This model has no cantilever kitchen as most Esterel's, but a separate kitchen on 4 feet you can use anywhere outside of the caravan.
Fridge was not standard but possible as an option.
No kitchen window and no ISO window (roof ventilator ? Ian).
Drawbar box only as an option, just like the 12 volt transformer.

Primatic 39,
Body length 395 cm, width 207 cm, folded 128 cm high, interior height 189 cm. Length 508 cm.
Maximum 750 kg, tyre 145 x 13 weight unladen weight of 600 kg,
This model was the Cantilever kitchen as an option to get. Kitchen window has this model as standard but no ISO window.
Drawbar box only as an option, just like the 12 volt transformer.

Family: Caramatic

All Caramatic have a Cantilever kitchen.
Kitchen window models, ISO window, drawbar box and 12 volt transformer only as an option.

Caramatic 31
Body length 314 cm, width 207 cm, folded 125 cm high, interior height 186 cm. Length 424 cm.
Curb weight 540 kg, maximum weight 750 kg, tyre 145 x 13

Caramatic 34,
Body length 340 mm, width 207 cm, folded 125 cm high, interior height 186 cm. Length 444 cm.
Curb weight 560 kg, maximum weight 750 kg, tyre 145 x 13

Caramatic 39,
Body length 395 cm, width 207 cm, folded 128 cm high, interior height 189 cm. Length 508 cm.
Curb weight 650 kg, maximum weight 850 kg, tyre 155 x 13

Caramatic 42,
Body length 425 cm, width 207 cm, folded 128 cm high, interior height 189 cm. Length 545 cm.
Maximum weight 850 kg, tyre 155 x 13 700 kg tare
The 42 has a Toilet compartment as extra.

Family: Supermatic

All Supermatic are constructed like the Caramatic series. However, have in the standard as extra: hidden gas-struts. Isoelectric. Windows with roller blinds, drawbar box, 12 volt transformer, Fridge, drawers in the seating area adjacent to the door.
The 42er and 46er have also a Toilet compartment.

Supermatic 31
Body length 314 cm, width 207 cm, folded 125 cm high, interior height 186 cm. Length 424 cm.
Maximum 750 kg, tyre 145 x 13 weight unladen weight of 600 kg,

Supermatic 34
Body length 340 mm, width 207 cm, folded 125 cm high, interior height 186 cm. Length 444 cm.
Curb weight 620 kg, maximum weight 750 kg, tyre 145 x 13

Supermatic 39
Body length 395 cm, width 207 cm, folded 128 cm high, interior height 189 cm. Length 508 cm.
Curb weight 680 kg, maximum weight 850 kg, tyre 155 x 13

Supermatic 42
Body length 425 cm, width 207 cm, folded 128 cm high, interior height 189 cm. Length 545 cm.
Curb weight 700 kg, maximum weight 900 kg, tyre 165 x 13

Supermatic 46
Body length 460 mm, width 207 cm, folded 130 cm high, interior height 191 cm. Length 590 cm.
Curb weight 800 kg, maximum weight 1000 kg, tyre 175 x 13

Family: Export Super

This model was a special model with a different classification as normal a 39er 42er as the Caramatic and the Supermatic models. This 39er export Super has also a Toilet compartment. The second bed is also somewhat narrow as in the other 39er. The second bed is exactly as in the 42er only 125 cm thick.

There is a model in this series: -

Supermatic 39
Body length 395 cm design width 207 cm. Folded 128 cm high, interior height 189 cm dead. Length 508 cm.
Curb weight 670 kg, maximum weight 850 kg, tyre 155 x 13

1983-1987

In this family, the so-called American roof was introduced.
The roof is identified from the somewhat low back and small spoiler.
Not all of these models had an American roof. Known to me are models from 1983 which are constructed as all other between but still have not American roof (using up old stock ? Ian). From 1984 these models have, as far as I know, the American roof.

Family: Sillage

Sillage (Caramatic 29),
Body length 290 cm, width 171 cm, folded 155 cm high interior height 187 cm,
total length 405 cm.
Curb weight 475 kg, maximum weight 595 kg
This is a 2 berth caravan, a so-called longitudinal sleeper, because the caravan too narrow is people to sleep in the width so this model has a Bugkuche (Folding Kitchen ? Ian).

Family: Caramatic

Caramatic 31
Body length 310 cm, width 207 cm, folded 121 cm high, interior height 187 cm,
total length 452 cm.
Curb weight 530 kg, maximum weight 660 kg
3 Beds

Caramatic 34
Body length 340 mm, width 207 cm, folded 121 cm high, interior height 187 cm,
total length 428 cm.
Curb weight 560 kg, maximum weight 750 kg
3 Beds

Caramatic 39
Body length 390 cm, width 207 cm, folded 122 cm high, interior height 187 cm,
total length 514 cm.
Maximum 820 kg weight unladen weight 660 kg
4 Beds

Caramatic 42
Body length 420 cm, width 207 cm, folded 123 cm high, interior height 187 cm,
total length 550 cm.
Curb weight 710 kg, maximum weight 880 kg
4 Beds

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1988-1992

Family: Primatic

Primatic P315,
Body length 315 cm, width 207 cm, folded 121 cm high, interior height 187 cm,
total length 440 cm.
Maximum 750 kg weight unladen weight of 500 kg,
3 Beds

No Fridge, only standard classification (4 seating area/double bed rear, 2 seating area single bed front)

The Primatic was 1984 or 1987 to 1992 even as model 34 and 39 in the old equipment with the American roof of the year. I don't know allerdingst why which have built this older version will continue until 1992. (which had probably still somewhere are parts or so). Short for wüstte I also nich that it Primatic as 34 and 39 were. The Primatic are models of the missing kitchen cupboards.


Family: Sillage / Rasant

Sillage (from Gugel )
Body length 300 cm width 170 cm, folded 121 cm high, interior height 187 cm,
total length 405 cm.
Maximum 750 kg weight unladen weight 480 kg
Sleeps 2

Cosy-rear sitting area (double bed), Bugkuche, wardrobe, cupboards, fridge, Ausstell (Alternate ? Ian) window and fully insulated.

Family: Caramatic

Are these models just like the models from 1983-1987 in different room schedule lines. with wet room (not all models), circular seat, etc.
The Caramatic is the legendary success series since 1974
340 cm to Body length Gesammtgewicht, a 420 cm from 750 to 1000 kg. Verschiedenne floor plans, the all wish meet, 2-4 persons.
Possible additional beds (bunk bed), toilet and wet space models.
All series müßig with Fridge, transformers and complete Innenausstättung. Truma heating as Extraausstatung extra. More extra out stät events gave up wünsch.

Caramatic C31,
Body length 310 cm, width 207 cm, folded 121 cm high interior height 187 cm,
total length 436 cm.
Maximum 700 kg weight unladen weight 565 kg
3 Beds. Space Division as Primatic.

Caramatic C34,
Body length 340 mm, width 207 cm, folded 121 cm high interior height 187 cm,
total length 462 cm.
Curb weight 595 kg maximum 750 kg. weight "T" stands for toilets/wet room and "U" stands for rotating seat.
3 Beds

Caramatic C39,
Body length 390 cm, width 207 cm, folded 122 cm high interior height 187 cm,
total length 515 cm.
Maximum 850 kg weight unladen weight 680 kg
4 Beds

Caramatic C42,
Body length 420 cm, width 207 cm, folded 122 cm high interior height 187 cm,
total length 548 cm.
Maximum of 1000 kg weight unladen weight 720 kg. The "T" stands for toilets/wet room.


Family: TopVolume

In Germany, these models were called Top Star by the importer for Germany (Gugel).
Meet the Caramatic series, but with additional, fixed installed roof box and cupboards.

TopVolume T340SG
this model is an extended sleeper (Brochure as TopVolume) model actually, because it is only 176 wide is, but this model 340 cm long.
Body length 340 mm, width 176 cm, folded 140 cm high, interior height 187 cm,
total length 465 cm.
Curb weight ? kg, maximum weight 850 kg
2 Beds (long bed) and bug kitchen.

TopVolume T340,
Body length 340 mm, width 208 cm, folded 140 cm high, interior height 187 cm,
total length 465 cm.
Curb weight ? kg, maximum weight 850 kg
3 Beds

TopVolume T390,
Body length 390 cm, width 208 cm, folded 140 cm high, interior height 187 cm,
total length 545 cm.
Curb weight ? kg, maximum weight of 1000 kg
4 Beds

TopVolume T390T,
Body length 390 cm, width 170 cm, folded 140 cm high, interior height 187 cm,
total length 545 cm.
Curb weight ? kg, maximum weight of 1000 kg
3 Beds instead of 4 because this model has a Toilet compartment.

Family: RS Modelle
The retractable roof models of Esterel, (known as pop-ups in UK ? Ian) apparently to be they built prior to 1989, details missing unfortunately for me.

RS34SG
Body length 340, wide 176 with folding retractable roof 2 meter high
Zulassbar weight: 750 kg (leergewicht I not known)
Sleeps 2
The wake (comics), the retractable roof caravans of Esterel, only 176 wide.
Special to this model is that the kitchen in the bug is in the rear.

RS34
Body length 340, wide 208 with folding retractable roof 2 meter high
Zulassbar weight: 750 kg (leergewicht I not known)
3 Beds

RS39
Body length 390, wide 208 with folding retractable roof 2 meter high
Zulassbar weight: 850 kg (leergewicht I not known)
4 Beds

RS39T
Body length 390, wide 208 with folding retractable roof 2 meter high
Zulassbar weight: 850 kg (leergewicht I not known)
3 Beds with Toilet compartment.
Special of this model is that Toilet compartment is extendable and therefore has a man-size Toilet compartment.

During this time, even normal caravans were built by Esterel. Because this is not my interest and I've got no information about this caravan of Esterel I not go further.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1992-2001

The last models the Esterel as folding caravans built. Since then made only campers in the upper price range. Rápido more took the Esterel brand. Also rápido makes only caravan. The Esterel Department rápido are Mercedessen under the caravan.

All models have: -
Torsion bar spring axle Breitspur (ALKO), automatic-reversing brakes, Einzelradaufhängung, Karrosserieblenden side polyester wheel zier caps a shaped Bug-and Hechpartie piece polyester circuit 220 volts with inner wall, transformer 220/12 volt refrigerator (gas / 220 volt / 12 volts), built-in drawbar box, thermoformed and tinted double-glazed windows.
The top volume have also a Trenvorhang except models with Toilet compartment.
34 / 39 Of Caramatic and Top Volume models have an automatic with wall foldable kitchen cupboard
The 32 Mirage, 39CD, 34T and 39T have a manually automatsch foldable kitchen cupboard.
All Top Volume models have tent-awning lighting in the sidewall.

Family: Caramatic

Caramatic 34,
Body length 340 mm design width 209 cm Folded 128 cm high interior height 190 cm, total length 464 cm.
Maximum 850 kg weight unladen weight 590 kg
3 Beds (with additional bunk bed 4)

Caramatic 39
Body length 390 cm design width 209 cm interior height Folded 128 cm high, 190 cm, total length 516 cm.
Maximum 950 kg weight unladen weight 660 kg
4 Beds (with 5 additional bunk bed)

Family: TopVolume

32 Mirage,
Again a special model, folded only 172 cm wide, but through a side polyester providing still an internal width of 190 cm and thus all comforts of a 2 Seat group Top Volume for 3 to 4 persons.
Body length 320 cm, width 209 cm, folded 128 cm high, interior height 190 cm, total length 451 cm.
Maximum 850 kg weight unladen weight 620 kg
3 Beds (with additional bunk bed 4)

TopVolume 34
Body length 340 mm, width 209 cm, folded 128 cm high, interior height 190 cm, total length 464 cm.
Maximum 850 kg weight unladen weight 620 kg
3 Beds (with additional bunk bed 4)

TopVolume 39
Body length 390 cm, width 209 cm, folded 128 cm high, interior height 190 cm, total length 516 cm.
Maximum 950 kg weight unladen weight 710 kg
4 Beds (5 with additional bunk bed)

TopVolume 39CD,
Body length 390 cm, width 209 cm, folded 128 cm high, interior height 190 cm, total length 516 cm.
Maximum 950 kg weight unladen weight 710 kg
4 Beds (5 with additional bunk bed)
This model has a different Interior Division. And has no automatic foldable kitchen cupboard as the normal 39er.

TopVolume 34T,
Body length 340 mm, width 209 cm, folded 128 cm high, interior height 190 cm, total length 464 cm.
Maximum 950 kg weight unladen weight 660 kg
3 Beds with washroom.
TopVolume 39T,
Body length 390 cm, width 209 cm, folded 128 cm high, interior height 190 cm, total length 520 cm.
Maximum 950 kg weight unladen weight 710 kg
3 Beds with washroom

The models Toilet compartment was a Casset toilet of an option.

All these models except the Mirage could be supplied with L, N or U seating area at the back.

L: a bed settee with large drawer along the back, moved out there is a 2 person bed

N: normal support, two opposite underlying seats

U: round sitting area
An Esterel is for holidays, not just for sleepovers !
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Re: Short history of the Esterel folding caravans

Postby HappyCamper » 8. Sep 2014, 21:01

Having read through all of that I'm still baffled by mine.

It says 'Le rapide' on the metal plate, series number is 4C05500. The previous owner guessed it was late 80's or later. Doesn't have toilet compartment, has cantilever kitchen, seating is all at one end and is made up of two long berths with gap/table in middle, the table and some slats convert the middle gap to a third bed which actually just makes a huge double out of the 3 beds.

Here are a couple of pics if that helps anyone age it:
Image
Image
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Re: Short history of the Esterel folding caravans

Postby SBS » 8. Sep 2014, 22:25

................................all very confusing and even contradictory but just go out and about and enjoy it!
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Re: Short history of the Esterel folding caravans

Postby HappyCamper » 8. Sep 2014, 23:54

Oh I absolutely intent to, first trip out this weekend!

On a practical level though I could do with knowing more as I need to insure it and I'm being asked the model and age when trying to get quotes.

Also, having looked at tons of these on the internet I haven't seen one with the same layout, so no idea how much it's been moved around when being refurbed.
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Re: Short history of the Esterel folding caravans

Postby SBS » 9. Sep 2014, 13:23

No, I haven't seen one quite like it either.
I think it probably has been internally altered, customized for a particular owners needs. The two windows on the locker end wall suggest to me that at one time the kitchen unit was under one of them and that the other was for a toilet compartment but I could be completely wrong because the window size and shape where the kitchen currently is would be the normal type for a kitchen unit!
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Re: Short history of the Esterel folding caravans

Postby wattfield » 27. Sep 2014, 22:44

Hi HappyCamper

Did you find out any more about your caravan? I just bought mine the other day, and it looks like the same model, right down to the ID plate - my serial no. is 3C1094. I can't see a VIN number on it. It was advertised on ebay as a 1984, but the seller told me that was because it was advertised as that when he bought it. I'm curious about the model and year, but like you it's not going to spoil my enjoyment!
While it's in pretty good nick, the interior is a bit retro - beige, so it will be tarted up a bit - I'll try to post some photos as I go along.

SBS: Hello from a new Ayrshire member :mrgreen:
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Re: Short history of the Esterel folding caravans

Postby SBS » 18. Oct 2014, 21:25

...................I'll look out for you on my tours.
Although it's only an hour or so away I often go to Culzean Castle site and take a trip into Maidens and Girvan for some ice cream and fish and chips!
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sunset over Arran from Culzean Castle
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Re: Short history of the Esterel folding caravans

Postby TomandChristine » 18. Apr 2015, 11:53

Models available in 1984, from French Brochure....
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Re: Short history of the Esterel folding caravans

Postby colin.backhouse » 5. Sep 2015, 10:45

With regret I am selling my TopVolume Esterel. We have nowhere to keep it and give it the TLC it deserves. One day when we return to england we may buy another with a loo and motor mover. On the ID plate.it has VFMCAU39CLD000406
PTAC 880 PME1000 PMA 75 All that matches the history translated and posted by ?? is the 39 which indicates the length I think. If anyone has any light on those letters please post here. I will recommend this site to the new owner. there are about 5 on sale on eBay right now.colin I tried to upload a pic but failed I think
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