While living in an area populated by people from the Basque region, some residents around the Reno/Lake Tahoe area will sometimes catch a glimpse of a sheepherder, his sheep and his home in the high desert: a small trailer or sheep wagon.
My post on the gypsy caravans was popular, so I thought I would do a post on the classic (and contemporary) sheep wagon.
Sheep wagons are usually about 7 to 8 feet wide and about 12 to 16 feet long. Inside the wagon is usually room for one bed or bunks, a small stove, sink and cooking area, storage for clothes and an eating area. Most sheep wagons do not have bathrooms or showers.
Sheep wagons are more of an American West style and the gypsy caravan is more of a European style. The sheep wagon has a curved roof supported by hoops and looks more like a covered wagon. The roof can be made from heavy duty cloth or wood. I have even seen a few with tin or corregated metal roofs.
Several companies in the U.S. convert old wagons or build new wagons for vacation homes and retreats or backyard offices and country cabins. There are also a few books with great photos and information on sheep wagons including Portable Houses by Irene Rawlings and Mary Abel and Retreats by G. Lawson Drinkard III.
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