A farmer’s son from the rugged border ranges area of NSW, Welby Davidson learnt from an early age, through necessity, how to engineer and fabricate something that would be tough, functional and reliable.  

In later years, Welby supplemented his farm income by becoming a secondary teacher.  He studied civil engineering at the University of Queensland and later taught Maths, Science and Physics for nearly 20 years in several Queensland State Secondary Schools. 

After he resigned from teaching in the late 70’s, he often worked away from the farm for weeks at a time building a profitable round bale hay and silage contract business in southern Queensland and northern NSW.

Around this same time Welby designed and fabricated what could be considered the “first” innovan slide-on as can be seen in the grainy family photo above.

Not only did this tough little steel and marine ply camper provide Welby the basic home comforts when he was contracting, but it also enabled the Davidson family to enjoy holiday experiences which were full of fun and adventure in the great outdoors. Now with hindsight we see that within its creation and the needs it answered lay the product DNA and purpose for modern innovan today.  

Many years of hard work, adventurous holidays and camper van prototypes later, Welby’s youngest son Neil grew up and became a successful Industrial Designer. A little over 10 years ago, Neil and Welby teamed up to create the very first fully moulded and professionally designed innovan Slide On. In addition to Innovan, Neil channels his passion for innovation design through the recently established, Brisbane based product design company Clandestine Design Group.

Welby’s intimate knowledge and passion for the product fused beautifully with Neil’s professional product design and engineering skills to deliver a product to the market, that is truly innovative and unique.

A decade on and many products later, innovan’s headquarters is now based at Highfields just north of Toowoomba in southern Queensland. 

The innovan range still leads the market and we believe that no other product delivers the ease of use, style, canvas free comfort and durability in such a complete and competitively priced package. 

One of the big things Innovan has learnt over the last 10 years is that it is simply not enough to just have a great design and advanced materials! These qualities need to be combined with skilled manufacture and in the case of a fibreglass product - craftsmenship
— Welby Davidson | MD - innovan

It is critical to use skilled manufacturing craftsmen and engineers who have as much passion for the product as you do! This is why we are grateful to partner with John, David and the manufacturing team at Penguin Composites.

Although Penguin Composites are based on the rugged north coast of Tasmania, there is nothing rough about their manufacturing quality, attention to detail and the general fit and finish of the innovan Slide-On Campers and Caravans rolling off their manufacturing line.

Penguin’s location provides innovan’s customers with the perfect opportunity to collect their new caravan or slide on and take it on an inaugural holiday for a touring taste of Tasmania. If customers encounter any problems or would like assistance, they can easily drop in before loading onto the ferry at Devonport and heading back to the mainland.