Surrey Caravans for Sale

Fine carriage builders.  Order your Surrey now.

Fine carriage builders. Order your Surrey now.

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Road trip

This gallery contains 8 photos.

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Quiet Contemplation

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Home is Where the Hearth is,

…and the Vardo Will be Close by.


Somebody hates to be left out.

Some important facts about caravan living before the ultra-modern RVs came along that may help people understand some of the choices I have made about my own wagon:


At the most basic level, life revolves around food and shelter.

  • The caravan is the hub around which camp is built, but most “living” actually takes place outside in the wide world.  Sometimes this means tents or other temporary structures provide added protection from the elements.  Prior to the second world war, caravan Travellers in Europe often slept outdoors, under the caravan when necessary while the kids were corralled inside.  This makes a lot a sense as adults stay up later, and kids can wander off.
  • Cooking is done outdoors, over a fire.  The stove, when there is one, is for heat and drying.  The hearth is the focus of family life, just as it has been for a million years.  That is where people congregate, music and stories happen there, and it is provides comfort and cheer.

Hearth and home has a real meaning.

  • There is no water closet or toilet inside the caravan.  That is considered by connoisseurs to be repugnant in such a small space.  Needing to defecate in such a small space is a modern, and to some, a filthy idea.  However, this is one of the most common criticisms I hear about mine or other traditional wagons; seemingly from folks with little travel or camping experience.
J. Lequesca's sheep graze in Jordan Valley, Oregon.

J. Lequesca’s sheep graze in Jordan Valley, Oregon.

  • A consistent anthropological observation about nomads is the strict rules of hygiene and cleanliness.  Working and wandering outdoors can be a dirty business so strict rules are adhered to.  Some of these reach the level of taboos and can be traced back over at least a thousand years.  Living on the road can make one appreciate this need.Family


    A happy family from the road.

  • The fancy wagons of 19th century Britain are the exception, not the rule.  Functional but sometimes homely carts and wagons have likely served as the home base for nomads of various types since 500 B.C. or before.  They came to their peak of perfection in Britain in the 19th century before morphing into the RVs we see today.

A Traveller in southwest England. This simple accommodation is much cheaper and more readily built from cheap or found materials than the fancy production models.

Then as today, a conscientious traveller uses a fire pan to prevent scorching the earth by the roadside.  Mine is an old plow disk.

And finally, above are a few examples of outside extensions added to late 19th century caravans across Britain exhibiting the functionality of canvas to extend the living space in less-than-perfect weather.


You never quite know where the day might end.


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Playing for Change

A beautiful song to start the day. Released 45 years ago and now it has come full circle.  Listen to this compilation from Playing for Change.


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Folding Camp Funiture

George Crawford:

I’ve been remiss in posting much on the blog or finishing promised articles to certain parties but that’s not because I have been idle. On the contrary, I’ve been too busy to keep up. Piles of drafts are poised on the laptop while real work is getting done. For the moment, I should say that all my furniture, accoutrements, goo-gaws, and accessories are going mobile. We’re pot-latching much of our big stuff and making our lifestyle “campaign ready.” Presented here is s preview of a planned update about nomadic furniture.

After living with the prototypes for several years, I know what I like, what works, and what doesn’t.

Originally posted on Paleotool's Weblog:

I’ve been making folding camp furniture.  The stools are sometime called “pea-pickers”.  They were somewhat difficult to figure out without a plan but some photos of others and experience making other furniture helped.


They’re not as easy to make as I thought they would be.  The holes must be very precise and dowels tight-fitting.  If everything isn’t square and precisely cut, the stool just doesn’t work.


This is their beauty.  They fold flat and have an integrated handle.  They can be made just about any size and out of any straight lumber.  My first one is made from scraps from around the workshop.  These later ones are from premium pine.


Seventeen pieces, twelve holes.  Stick ’em together.  Sit.  Mine are sturdy enough to use as a step stool, with some caution due to the narrow width.


A table of similar construction.  The top is about 22 x 46″.  I made…

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Scottish Highland Travellers…

George Crawford:

Some favorite photos I’ve posted before from the old country in Scotland. Enjoy.

Originally posted on Paleotool's Weblog:

Perthshire Perthshire.

Scottish Travellers is a loose term that covers many diverse peoples in Scotland and even beyond.  Here, I’m primarily looking at the indigenous folk who seem to be descend from an in situ population of itinerant craftsmen and laborers.

Edited from Wikipedia:

Scottish Travellers, or the people termed loosely Gypsies and Tinkers in Scotland, consist of a number of diverse, unrelated communities, with groups speaking a variety of different languages and holding to distinct customs, histories, and traditions. There are three distinct communities that identify themselves as Gypsies or Travellers in Scotland: Indigenous Highland Travellers; Funfair Travellers, or Showmen; Romanichals (a subgroup of the Romani people) and Lowland Gypsies.

Indigenous Highland Travellers

In Scottish Gaelic they are known as the “Ceàrdannan” (the Craftsmen), or less controversially, “luchd siubhail” (people of travel) for travellers in general. Poetically known as the “Summer Walkers”, Highland Travellers are a distinct…

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