CI Motorhomes

caravans-international-logoCaravans International or CI is a British company which was founded in 1963 by the caravan designer, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Sam Alper.

Alper had begun his career in the leisure vehicle business just after the Second World War by working in his brother Henry’s workshop, Alperson Products in London. Both Alperson brothers believed that cheap caravans could be manufactured for the masses which people could tow behind the family car. By 1947 Sam Alper had designed and made his first touring caravan with the wheels and suspension made from magnesium and using the brakes from a Spitfire fighter plane. The roof was apparently made from barrage balloon material. Sam took over the business and quickly developed the Sprite model, built from tempered hardboard, which retailed at less than £200 in 1948. Alper sold 500 caravans in the first year of production.

Alper confirmed the growing reputation of his caravans in 1951 by towing one all the way from London to an international caravan rally at Florence in Italy. The Alperson Sprite proved so popular that larger manufacturing premises were required and the company moved to Newmarket in Suffolk. By 1963 Alper had already purchased the Eccles and Bluebird caravan brands, adding them to the Sprite brand to form Caravans International. The company began exporting vehicles to Europe, South Africa, Canada and the United States. In 1966 Caravans International received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise and Sam Alper was given an OBE for services to exports.

During the 1980s the British caravan industry became a victim of the recession while cheap package holidays abroad became more popular with the general public. Caravans International went into liquidation in 1982. Sam Alper, who also founded the Little Chef chain of restaurants, developed new interests in the Arts, wine-making and charity work. The Cosalt company from Hull, who bought out parts of the company, choose to keep the CI brand alive but renamed it Cosalt International. They still manufacture static caravans as part of the CI brand, but the touring caravan business was sold to Swift Leisure in 1994.

The CI brand is currently owned by the influential Trigano Group who invest in motorhome manufacturing businesses throughout Europe. They are still producing recreational vehicles under the CI brand name.

CI Mizar GTL

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The CI Mizar GTL is a large 7 berth motorhome which offers luxurious living conditions for larger families or groups of friends. The Mizar GTL has a 2.8 JTD turbo diesel engine and power assisted steering. The cab has air conditioning and swivel passenger and driver seats. This model has two full length rear bunks, [...]

CI Carioca 656

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The CI Carioca 656 is based on a Fiat Ducato cab and chassis and driven by a 2.3 litre turbo diesel engine. Power assisted steering makes the 656 very easy to drive. Some models also have cruise control and reversing cameras to help you park. This 6 berth motorhome has an ideal layout for families [...]

CI Riviera 171

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The CI Riviera 171 is a 5 berth motorhome which is ideal for a family holiday, or for a group of friends sharing. As you would expect with a vehicle from the Caravans International brand, this motorhome is easy to drive with a practical interior layout. The Riviera 171 is a coachbuilt, high line motorhome [...]

CI Riviera 181

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The CI Riviera 181 is a versatile 6 berth coachbuilt motorhome based on the Fiat Ducato cab and 2.8 litre engine. Power assisted steering makes this larger motorhome (just over 7 metres long) easy to drive and park. The Riviera 181 offers comfort and space on a par with the top luxury motorhome models. There [...]

CI Mizar GTL Living

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The CI Mizar GTL Living is a good introduction for people new to motorhoming. The vehicle is based on the 2.3 litre Fiat Ducato diesel engine and cab. The Mizar GTL Living is a medium-sized, easy to drive coachbuilt motorhome and the clever design of the interior space makes it suitable for up to four [...]