During the heyday of Caravan living it is important to remember that these were rarely the dwelling of a loner. The Caravan was the hub of the nuclear family and groups of wagons represented larger, extended family groups and allies. We are social creatures that thrive in community.
Enjoy this beautiful Showman's Wagon ca. 1900. This would be a wonderful way to travel.
I want to re-share this camper I posted about back in 2010. I would still like to know more about it but love what I've seen so far. I see some definite similarities to my own concept of a vardo but I really like to metal sheathing as a modern, low maintenance exterior. Also, the … Continue reading ProtoStoga
In the heady days of 1918 while the German threat was being finished off in Europe Americans began to take leisure time in a new direction. Automobiles were almost commonplace and Yankee ingenuity was applying itself to this new platform of creativity. Patents were being filed to sell improvements on the original designs while pioneer … Continue reading Early Car Campers
A tiny accommodation, side entry single horse style. It is documented that the adults with this style wagon generally slept outdoors except in very bad weather. It was a good way to confine the children and the valuables. This is part of a series of images, mostly Romany, Irish and Scottish Travellers collected from around … Continue reading Paris Travellers
This is part of a series of images, mostly Romany, Irish and Scottish Travellers collected from around the internet. Many of these historic images found on the web are without citation. When a clear link to a source is found, I try to include it. If a source is known, please pass it on and … Continue reading Travellers at Home
The Lady Go Lightly... Images from:
A somewhat dilapidated or damaged vardo in France 1920s - 1930s. People with no fixed address have always drawn suspicion while simultaneously their lifestyle is romanticized.
Travellers in Europe and Britain have always been associated with a style tent called a bender. This comes from the construction technique of cutting saplings and bending them into a dome, elongated dome, or half cylinder shape, These frameworks were then covered with tarps and made watertight in the temperate damp. The origins of this … Continue reading Tents and the Vardo Life; What is a Bender?
Here's another excellent photo of a pack of vardos (caravans) in the wild. It looks like everyone came out and maybe even spruced themselves up for the photo. I couldn't find any metadata on this one but it looks fairly early, probably late nineteenth century. These appear to be high-end models in great condition still. … Continue reading Caravans
Nomads are not loners. In fact, humans do not do well alone in any setting. We have always been communal people, depending upon one another for help and support. Many hands make light work and it is essential to be near others you can depend on. I have been collecting images of Traveller communities for … Continue reading Community of Wanderers
So, a vardo is a small space, especially when living with a dog. The old dog loved sleeping under the rig as she took her guard duties seriously but unfortunately, she is no longer with us. The youngster, on the other hand, has no interest in that sort of nonsense and only wants to be … Continue reading A Dog and Her Vardo
Desert Dream This is a beautiful photo of Travellers in Britain, 1950. I came across it a while back while searching out vardo images for my own inspiration. This one has some great details and has a distinctive Scottish feel. There's a flag of the Scottish Caravan Club flying on the roof and some great … Continue reading A Perfect Vardo
I would like to re-share this older post I wrote about a caravaner, scholar, and philosopher I am quite intrigued by - Dugald Semple Dugald Semple was a Scottish philosopher of the early 20th Century and an advocate for simple living. After becoming and engineer he took to the woods and, for a period, a … Continue reading Dugald Semple and a Simple Life
Looking for an attention-getting color scheme for your vardo or caravan? Look no further than this fine little burro-powered wagon from Pakistan. A most cherished traditional dessert from Lahore, Pakistan, known as Kulfi, which is made with condensed milk, almonds, cardamom, and sugar is served from these little hand-built carts. The ice cream is then … Continue reading Ice Cream Cart
Working away on a weekend day a little while back. Enjoying time on the prairie in my little rolling home; coffee, a banjo, and connection to a HotSpot so I can get some work done. The best of all worlds. I don't remember for sure but I suspect there is a dog or two laying … Continue reading A View from the Vardo
Today, it's sheep camps from Wyoming from the Wyoming Tales and Trails webpage. Great photos and some good information about Western history. Note the important things; wood stove, wash pan hanging on the door, the big tub sitting outside, and a fiddle for company. I could spend a good chunk of my life like this! Another … Continue reading Wyoming Sheepherders
It's coming together... Save Save
Sink, seating, and storage galore - I'm finally moving onto the luxuries that make this addition what it is meant to be; essentially moving some outdoor activities and living indoors with more amenities and easier foul-weather living. Beginning with a little sink re-purposed from an old copper mixing bowl set - This one was the … Continue reading Fitting Out and Fixing Problems, Vardo Remodel Part 9
Every home needs a door. It's a tricky bit that must fit well, open and close easily, provide some security, and hopefully, look good doing it. We found a mahogany, two-panel door at the Habitat Re-Store in Lubbock a couple months ago and since the price was right ($10), we bought it. It was … Continue reading Door and Frame, Vardo Remodel Part 8
The weekend was cold, I was tired (read lazy), and other things had to be attended to so this update is just baby steps in the big scheme. Although mine is a purely pragmatic build, I wanted an homage to the classic Dunton Reading wagon. Taking a plain profile and giving it simple compass curves … Continue reading Progress is slow but steady, Vardo Remodel Part 7
Not a pretty little Victorian-style caravan here today but a sturdy, well-thought-out modern living accommodation for someone looking to escape the mortgage anchor most of us have felt. Here is an extremely well-documented van conversion into a very frugal but comfortable micro house created in 38 days from 2014-2015. Sean (the builder) has done a … Continue reading Detailed to the Last Dollar
All earthly structures begin with a foundation of some sort, even living wagons. In our case, the trailer frame is the earth, the ledge and subfloor serve as the foundation upon which, all is built. I proposed to attach the new section pretty much the same way and addition is connected to a house, by … Continue reading Tying it all together, Vardo Remodel Part 5
Taking the Biggest Step of All; Transferring the old vardo to the new trailer. Now that I was confident that the box was going to hold up under the stress of the transfer I was ready to slip the trailer under the body. It was a whole lot less dramatic than I was afraid it … Continue reading “Give me a long enough lever and a place to stand and I will move the Earth” Remodeling the Vardo, Part 4
Caution - suggested nudity, implied whiskey, and some old-fashioned Scottish engineering to liven up the day. Now that I have your attention: Saturday morning came and it was time to start stripping down to the bare essentials (hence the first part of the title, suggested by SB). After an evening of pulling everything out of … Continue reading Naked and Afraid! Remodel of the Little Green Vardo, Part 3
Preparing the trailer and laying the foundation for the Vardo. A couple of issues had to be addressed before any real construction could begin. Unfortunately, a day job and early sunsets dictate my work hours so I only have a short time each night to get something done throughout the week. Here's the summary: The … Continue reading Remodel of the Little Green Vardo, Part 2
It just seems right. The timing, the monetary investment, the effort. After adding up the mileage from the log book I keep with the Vardo, I see we have clocked over 21,000 miles since she was first put to the road in February of 2010. I have, no doubt, missed some small side trips and … Continue reading Remodel and Rebirth of the Little Green Vardo
A perfect rolling home. And a place for everything! The details here are remarkable including the decorative framing around the windows and planter boxes ... with plants! I believe this sits on solid rubber teeth-rattling tires. You can probably tell from the caption but this is apparently from Germany in 1922. I wish I knew … Continue reading Finally…
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 … Continue reading A Vardo Build Recap
An Open Lot:This wagon is about as simple as it gets yet is obviously relatively modern judging by the running gear and the electrical tower in the background. A classic three stone hearth lies is the focus of the children's attention.