A Vardo Build Recap

DSC_0253 copy

Conception. After years of doodles and illustration, mock-up a few models and decide what works best.

This post is a re-cap of the Vardo build.  I get questions about this project at least three times per week and I think it has inspired a few other people to make the leap.  I still consider it a work in progress even though it is four years old and has 18,000 miles under it.  New and improved ideas are being added right now but maybe this will help somebody get started.

DSC_0046After the sketch-up, start making parts.  This was a momentous occasion for me.

DSC_0083 Assembly begins.  Mild panic sets in; “will this work?” and “am I crazy to dive into this?”

DSC_0086At this point, I took some time to ponder.  “Is the size and layout really going to work?”

DSC_0089 copyAttaching the ledge to the prepared frame.

DSC_0102 copyBuild, build, build.  Using a window of good weather in January.

DSC_0093Even relatively easy details, like door placement and size, were still up for change.

DSC_0109Finally, I can get a real sense of scale.

DSC_0121I fell in love with the design once the box was built.

DSC_0161Working alone means lots of clamps.

DSC_0155Gawkers were willing to take pictures.

DSC_0122The bed framing becomes integral to the structure.

DSC_0125Seats were designed and tested for size and functionality.

DSC_0126The first storage is done.

DSC_0182Wood is good!

DSC_0169The shell becomes complete.

DSC_0189 copyNow for the details.

DSC_0289Temporary window inserted for a quick trip to the desert.

DSC_0108-2Quick coat of paint and off we went.

DSCN2446A little living helped bring together the details.

DSC_0404Spending time in the space gives an idea of where things are needed.

DSC_0399Finish work is a process, not an event.

SternThe Vardo becomes a home.

DSC_0814A safe and cozy nest on the road.

DSC_0743Still far from done, I took her cross-country anyway.

DSC_0700Things began to come together after a few thousand miles travel.

DSC_0198Finishing touches are added constantly.

closedAs are safety details.

DSC_0066DSC_0064Still making changes and additions four years down the road.

More big changes are happening and I hope to get up some new information very soon.  I think an important fact that this project showed was that, for a relatively low-budget, and a little patience, a little home can be built over time but still be usable along the way.  I didn’t wait for every last detail to be completed before putting this house to good use or I’d still be waiting today.

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About George Crawford

archaeologist, archer, primitive technologist, and wannabee fiddler...mostly
This entry was posted in caravan, craftsmanship, vardo, woodworking and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A Vardo Build Recap

  1. Jim says:

    Much thanks George, inspiring stuff, and very relateable. April will be the ‘ground breaking’ for me if things stay the course.

  2. Wes says:

    I’ve been following and wanting to do this for some time. But I was wondering two things, 1) what size trailer did you start off with and 2 what was its weight capacity. I’m wanting to dig into this asap but don’t wanna build a “masterpiece” that breaks the axle as soon as I step in it. Btw, and I’m sure you hear it all the time but, I love this thing! Excellent work!

    • Paleotool says:

      Hi Wes,
      Thanks. It was a little but heavily built trailer for carrying dive gear, tanks, etc. I had to extend the frame a bit to fit the box on. Check out the Vardo build page and go to Instructables. I think most questions are answered there.

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