N-126 - the most important caravan in Poland
This caravan is for Polish camping enthusiasts what the Polish Fiat 126p has become for Polish drivers. The N-126 is still the most popular caravan in Poland, although nowadays we buy kebabs more often than we spend the nights.
Recently, Niewiadów has been going through decidedly lean years. The only caravan manufacturer in Poland was bankrupt for a long time, and finally the company was sold by tender. The new owner - the Boro company from Tomaszów Mazowiecki - bought the plants for PLN 8.3 million. In September 2013, a new limited liability company was established - Zakład Produkcji Sieci "Niewiadów". Whether caravans will matter for the new owner will soon become clear. So far, the Boro company has been producing tow trucks and cargo trailers.
1973 - the year of the "little one"
But Niewiadów is a large piece of automotive history and one of the few examples of Polish caravanning. It was in Niewiadów that for the first time it was possible to produce a tourist caravan, which gained popularity on a mass scale. Although the production of Tramp trailers was launched in 1966, and the Romi trailer was created in 1970, the breakthrough year was 1973, when the famous N-126 model entered production.
Where did the name come from? This is a reference to the Fiat 126P. The caravan from Niewiadow was conceived as a tourist addition to the most popular car in Poland . And although the caravan did not match the popularity of the "toddler", as many as 15,000 were produced in the first five years. copies. It is worth mentioning that previously the Romi-23 caravan was the most popular, it did not even have 600 cars.
The popularity of the N-126 is due to several factors. The most important of them was the start of the production of the Polish Fiat 126P in June 1973 . Since then, more and more Poles had a car, and without that it was difficult to talk about the fashion for trailers at all. Secondly, trends that were already present in the West in the 1960s began to reach Poland. The trailer, available at a reasonable price, gave the opportunity to visit Poland (and sometimes the world), and also provided a sense of independence without incurring huge costs. The success of the N-126 was also due to the fact that Polish trailers from abroad were simply not available.
Polish export commodity
It does not change the fact that the caravan from Niewiadów was quite a successful construction. In the standard version it weighed 290 kg, in the A version - 320 kg, and in the B version - 380 kg. The N-126 could be recognized by the wheels identical to those from the "toddler". The trailer was 280 cm long, 190 cm wide and 170 cm high. The roof, however, was raised , thanks to which not only the child could straighten inside. The opening roof is also an important element of effective ventilation.
As standard, the trailer had two sleeping places for adults and a double bed for children. Over time, a 3-person variant also appeared. There was a stainless steel sink in the kitchen part, and a gas cooker with two burners was installed next to it. There is also space for a 10-liter water tank, as well as for cabinets and a wardrobe. The first version did not have a 220V electrical installation or an external gas cylinder compartment, and the walls of the vehicle were not insulated. These shortcomings, however, were supplemented in subsequent versions. For example, a 13-millimeter layer of polyurethane foam insulation has appeared. Thanks to this, the problems with water condensing on the walls ended, and it also got warmer in the caravan.
As early as 1974, the sale of Polish caravans to the West began . Versions better equipped than those offered in Poland were sent for export. They had an overrun brake, better suspension and opening windows.
A living legend
After many modifications, the N-126 trailer is still on offer in Niewiadów. The N-126d trailer measures 388 cm, 194 cm wide and 218 cm high. The equipment currently includes a Dometic refrigerator and a Cramer gas stove . Optionally, the caravan can be equipped with an electric heating system for hot water and gas heating.
Today, however, competitors offer more. Therefore, few are willing to pay around 30,000. PLN for a model that has been in production for over 40 years. We are left to wait for a worthy successor. Maybe the new owner will restore faith in Polish caravanning ?
Sometimes it is better to get lost than to ask for directions too much. Aldous Huxley