- 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 protection from the elements. Prior to the second world war, caravan Travellers in Europe often slept outdoors, often under the caravan 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.
- There is no water closet or toilet inside the caravan. That is disgusting yet one of the most common criticisms I see or receive about mine or other traditional wagons.
- 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.
- The fancy wagons of 19th century Britain are the exception, not the rule. 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 and very early 20th centuries before morphing into the RVs we see today.
A considerate Traveller carries a fire pan to prevent scorching the earth by the roadside.
Derek Diedricksen at Relaxshacks.com is always good for some inspirational offbeat home ideas. Here’s a shot of the interior of a sheep wagon with a promise of more to come.
Another good sheep camp image. I’d like to see more inside.
A nice bowtop wagon from Traveller Dave’s website. There are many “real” living wagons and rolling homes there in case you are in need of inspiration.