WARNING. GRAPHIC HEAVY PAGE
Latest update to this page: September 2014
To answer some design questions, the sketches that led to this are found HERE.
This is my home-built camping trailer using classic and modern building techniques and style. Based on traveler’s and “gypsy” wagons from Britain and France as well as sheep wagons from the western U.S. I am keeping this to the absolute minimum in size and weight. I don’t plan to live in it full-time so it can be thought of a base camp. I have mulled it over for a very long time and was torn between this style and a teardop design. Each have advantages but this just seems to suit me better.
Shown below is the chronology of the build from beginning to almost the present condition. The build is posted here with some details, descriptions, and lots of questions & answers on the Instructables website.
I can safely say that plans for this wagon began to formulate about six or seven years ago. After reading “The English Gypsy Caravan” I was very impressed by this type of wagon as it evolved in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Though not designed by the travelers themselves, they were being catered to by a few ingenious builders in Britain. Parallel to this, the Continentals and Americans were creating their own versions of rolling homes in the form of Conestogas, Roulettes, Sheepherder’s, and Showman’s wagons. I read all I could about this but, until recently, there was little on the internet on this subject. I sifted old “Popular Mechanics” type articles and read what I could find about early home built RVs. My final design is certainly not perfect but fit within the very tight parameters I set for myself, including budget. Small, light, and relatively cheap were important as were ascetics and traditional building techniques. Unlike modern RVs where people may spend large quantities of time inside the structure, I want this to be used more like early pioneer or “Gypsy” wagons where most of the actual living is done “outside”. The teardrop RV community has taken this to heart, often with a very modern and high-tech design, including microwave ovens, television and entertainment centers, and very modern kitchens.
A few month and a few thousand miles of use helped determine the layout and location of small shelves, containers, and equipment around the wagon. In such a small space, every inch counts. A dedicated shelf was made for holding a Deitz lantern. This was a major decision as I was concerned about keeping an oil lantern in the living space. Outside storage boxes were added, giving safe and accessible locations for flammables, greasy pots, and set-up equipment.
Here’s a panorama of the inside from the doorway. Its difficult to get a good perspective through the camera lens. Below are few views around the interior.
And finally, a picture of the Tool himself. Happy building!
AGAIN, If you are seeking the Instructables Page on how to build the Vardo, then look here: http://www.instructables.com/id/Building-a-Gypsy-Wagon/
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nomad traveler paleotool