The Carcajou

This gallery contains 9 photos.

Originally posted on Retrorambling:
Early version of The Carcajou with center-hinged hood. Photos courtesy GM Heritage Center. You may, as many have, once wondered what you would do if you owned a car company. If you were Paul Seiler, president…

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Eight Foot Terrapin

CTLogoNot terribly far from the Paleotool secret lair there toils a designer and builder of unique, hand-built, small campers.  Inspired by the lack of uniqueness and beauty in mass-produced campers, Peter Pavlowich put his Wood Construction and Design degree to work to create beautiful, minimalist campers for small pick-up trucks under the name Casual Turtle.  These are real works of craftsmanship and simplicity and are reasonably priced for those who cannot or do not want to build their own.  I particularly like the compound curves of his roof designs.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“Casual Turtle Campers was founded on the belief that wood is good, small can be comfortable, and that there is still room for simplicity in this increasingly complex world.”  Peter Pavlowich, owner-designer-builder, Casual Turtle Campers.

Building on his past successes, Peter has now branched out into trailer-caravan design using the same principles as his truck mounted campers.


Meet the new Terrapin from Casual Turtle.

The new design packs a lot thought and detail into a small package.  The new Terrapin is about 8’2″ long by 6’9″ wide (nearly identical in dimensions to the vardo known as the Snail).  First of all, I love the roof design and have decided that if and when I build my next vardo, it will have compound curved roof like this.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“Tiny and simple” is the mot juste of this design, containing all the space you absolutely need and not a scrap more.  Like the Snail, this beauty could easily accommodate two adults on an extended journey.

T9Taking inspiration from early twentieth-century design, the interior is a simple kitchenette that converts to a bed.  A rich, wood interior keeps it classy and abundant windows provide light and views.

T16There is plenty of room for customization and in my opinion, maybe even a heat source.

Here are the spec’s from Casual Turtle’s website:

  • 1,360 lbs
  • 5′x8′ custom trailer frame from Sport Trail (Loveland, CO)Professionally-sprayed Reflex truck bedliner undercoating
    • Rockwell American 3,500lb axle
    • 15″ wheels and trailer rated tires
    • A-Frame tongue with jack and custom storage box
  • Fully insulated floor, walls, and roof
  • 15 amp shore power inlet – two interior outlets
  • LED crown moulding lighting
  • Full size memory foam bed (75.5″x54″)


  • Width: 6’9″
  • Height: 8′ (at peak)
  • Length: 8’2″ (cabin), 12′ overall
  • Interior Height: 5’11″ (at peak)

All coming in at $11,800.  Not too shabby.

Head on over to Casual Turtle to see more today!


Posted in caravan, craftsmanship, vardo, woodworking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

No Tools to Lend

Originally posted on Lost Art Press:


No Tools to Lend

These words, inscribed on the door of a farmer’s tool house, recently caught our eye, and furnished a ready theme for meditation. Borrowing is an ancient and evil custom, the fruitful source of many troubles. In the ruder stages of civilization there might have been greater necessity for borrowing than now; but as the world progresses there can be less and less need of it.

The tendency of cultivated humanity is to independent action—the tendency of barbarism is to a servile obligation. The more educated a community, the less they borrow, and consequently the more the borrowing element predominates, the greater their degradation.

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Maya Pedal, upcycling bicycles in Guatemala

An excellent project and a good cause.

From the Makers:

In 1997, in San Andrés Itzapa in Guatemala, Maya Pedal Association began recycling scraps of bicycles into Bicimáquinas.

Bicimáquinas are pedal-powered blenders, washing machines and threshing machines, eliminating the need for fuel and electricity. Pumps are also possible, and are capable of extracting 30 liters of water per minute from 30-meter deep wells (electronic pumps reach just to 12 meters).

The idea of these ingenious contraptions emerged from the desire to help the farming families of the San Andrés community. The issue that gave rise to Maya Pedal was the expense and shortage of electricity and fuel in the village.

Carlos and Cesar, creators of Maya Pedal, have achieved an extraordinary result: a worthy project that does not pollute and is extremely fascinating in its involvement of volunteers from around the world who are building a fantastic pedal revolution.

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Morning Walk

Companion copy ReadytoHike copy

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Campaign Desk


Here’s an interesting piece of “gone native” campaign furniture.  There was much bad about empire building (and still is) but the bringing together of foreign cultures often created new and interesting art and craft styles.

While on the topic, if campaign furniture is of an interest, or if you want to even know what it is, head over to Lost Arts Press and check out Chris Schwartz’s new book on the topic.

Here are just a few designs from the genre known as Campaign Furniture taken from Schwartz’s webpage.  Click the link below to go right to his book store.


Posted in campaign furniture, craftsmanship, furniture, Maker, woodworking | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Early Home Built Camper

earlyhomebuiltFrom the Road to Glamperland Facebook page.   A very interesting all or mostly wooden home built camper trailer.  It has two simple slide-outs, a nice little kitchen set-up and I suspect the benches fold out to be the bed.  I really like the water tank on the roof.  I have been looking for a vintage looking tank to use for quite a while now but so far, no luck.

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Sweet Ride

Originally posted on Retrorambling:

585_land yacht

1932 Graham-Paige Blue Streak Coupe with Curtis Aerocar Land Yacht caravan trailer –

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Cargo Trailer Conversion

A cool conversion I saw on Tiny House America:

cargo1Virtually everything folds away and you still have a cargo trailer when needed.  This was my initial plan before building the vardo but, well, you-know, one thing led to another, the wood got out of control, plans were pulled out of old notebooks and the gypsy wagon as we know it was born.

cargo2Nice and clean look here but I’d miss my cozy interior.  This however, is a great, straight-forward design that could work for many people and is incognito from the outside.

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Leather Dopp Kit

DSC_0040A small toiletries bag made from a wax-impregnated leather.  The design is essentially that of a very small 18th century portmanteau.  Included here are some of the basic tools-of-the-trade for scale and perspective.  I think leather work is appealing to me, in part, due to the honest simplicity and lack of power tools.  Most projects can be accomplished with a sharp knife, straight-edge, awl and some stitching needles.

DSC_0039This certainly is not anything fancy but it will do the trick.

Posted in craftsmanship, handmade, leather work, leather working | Tagged , , | 4 Comments