From Confest to Glamping Hire business – a short history of how RetroPod started

It was the beginning of 2008, My then boyfriend – Postie – and I were starting to make plans for a pilgrimage from our homes in Byron Shire, to Moulamein in south western NSW for Confest – a large hippy conference/festival. Our original plan to take Postie’s newly renovated campervan was starting to look like a non-starter as a neck injury meant the major work needed on it just wasn’t happening, so we were on the lookout for an alternative mobile home for our planned 3 week roadtrip.

Bringing home The Pod

Cruising the community noticeboard at a local shopping centre, a picture of a little bubble of a van caught my eye. I thought this may be the solution to our problem so we went to have a look. I fell in love. I had not known I was in need of a vintage caravan, but I immediately felt I HAD TO HAVE IT! So home came the 1964 Sunliner, my little fibreglass bubble of joy. She was in pretty good condition and a couple of weeks of cleaning up and minor repairs she was registered and good to go. Along the way she became ‘The Pod’.


 

Sunliner are light enough to be towed with a small sports car

Sunliners are light enough to be towed with a small sports car

We towed The Pod with my Celica, a completely odd match for eras but it worked, Sunliners are very light and the aerodynamics meant she towed easily and made it to Melbourne, via Moulamein and Mildura and back home to Mullumbimby with no dramas. It was an awesome holiday, but soon after Postie and I parted ways.


 

The Pod featured on the cover of The Byron Shire Echo - xmas 2008

The Pod featured on the cover of The Byron Shire Echo – xmas 2008

By the end of the year I was with Pete, a former love I could not forget, and for the next few years The Pod was being used as a spare room for guests and the occasional weekend out, and as our wedding night accommodation.

I often thought about giving The Pod a makeover, she was in ok condition, but looking a bit daggy, but it never made it to the top of the list as I concentrated on my business – Helen Luna Jewellery – building a house and having a gorgeous baby boy. The poor Pod was a bit neglected, but never forgotten, as vintage caravan books and a subscription to Vintage caravan magazine kept my caravan reno fantasy tickling away in the back of my mind.


 

Ready to start renovations with my little helper

Ready to start work with my little helper

So it is 2014, I had been making jewellery for 10 years and starting to feel a bit burnt out, I would often look at The Pod and wish to be able to spend some time with her, but life was just too busy to make it a priority, but feeling at a crossroads with my jewellery business and the need for something to change, the inkling of an idea started…. what if fixing The Pod was my job, it would be a priority then… and what if I had more vans… people could hire them and get to experience the joy of these little blasts from the past…. and so with the blessing of my very understanding and supportive husband, RetroPod was born. It is  early days as we try to build our fleet of vans and let the world know about the joys of vintage caravan glamping in Byron Bay and surrounds,  plenty more hard work to go, but I am so happy to be spending my days lovingly restoring The Pod and sharing the vintage caravan love with some adventurous campers. Helen 😀