Collaborative Vardo

If you are thinking of building your own vardo as a tiny house or for camping, Instructables recently featured a collaborative wagon built by Paleotool (author of Building a Gypsy Wagon), PaleoPunk and a friend of theirs, AmericanPikey. The instructions for this tiny, wooden wagon are available as a free download. AmericanPikey recently retired and wanted a mobile retirement home, but not an RV. He also wanted the utility and towing cost to be small. The total cost to build the wagon (including the trailer) was $2,400.

 

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The wagon is built on a 10×5 foot flatbed utility trailer. PaleoPunk mentions that flatbed trailers, while expensive ($1,000 for this one) are much easier to work with than a re-purposed trailer which sometimes have to be dismantled and prepared for building. This particular trailer had metal side rails to support the wagon’s walls. The overall length of the wagon is approximately 10 feet long and is 7 feet wide. The floor on the inside is about 5 feet across with one-foot ledges extending over the wheels.
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The wagon has a Dutch door,  the 20 inch porthole windows are made from actual ship portholes, and a Lexan window was placed in the front of the wagon. The bed is about four feet off the floor and has storage space underneath. There is a trap door under the storage area that opens to an enclosed space underneath. Several benches by the bed also serve as steps up into the bed. The wagon also contains a small wood stove made by Marine Stove and a portable propane stove for cooking. The wagon does not have electricity or plumbing.
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Photos by PaleoPunk

 

 

My Yotel Experience

The Tiny House Blog has featured the Yotel airport hotel pods before and this time I had a chance to stay in one at Heathrow Airport in London. These convenient sleeping pods located in London, Amsterdam and New York give you the option for a more peaceful layover while combining space saving designs, Japanese esthetics and a hint of Star Trek.

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Yotel offers several sizes of these transit rooms including double, twin, bunk style and Standard, which features a single bed, but more space. At the Heathrow Yotel there were 32 pods built into the hotel, a Command Center where you check in and order food and coffee and a small waiting room. Each Yotel offers free WiFi and free hot drinks. For even more convenience, the Yotel was located right at the front of Terminal 4 so you don’t need a boarding pass or have to go through security to make it to your room in the middle of the night. Yotel rooms can be booked by the hour, so if you have an eight to twelve hour layover it’s a nice place to get some shuteye.

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My particular pod was meant for just one person and contained a twin bed built into the wall, a TV and remote, folding desk and chair, a mirror and luggage rack and a great little wet bath with toilet, tiny sink and a wonderful shower with a rain shower head. All this fitting into a space the size of a walk-in closet. The pod was tiny, so having just one piece of luggage was perfect. Any more and it would be too crowded. There was a take-out menu, a phone for ordering food, a glass for water, soap and shampoo, towels, sheets, fluffy pillows and a feather comforter. A privacy screen was available for the window in the door and I really got a kick out of the small, folding chair that hung on the back of the door.

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The best part of the Yotel was not only the very comfortable bed, but the hot shower and the free cappuccino the next morning. These pods are not cheap (6 hours cost about $70), but the sleep and shower put me in a much better frame of mind for a 10-hour flight.

Even if you don’t get to spend many hours in these cool little pods you can still pretend you’re a member of the USS Enterprise bridge crew.

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Photos by Christina Nellemann

 

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Y:Cube Housing

With rising home prices and rent, the United Kingdom is going through its own housing crisis and tiny house concepts are beginning to pop up like mushrooms around the sovereign state. One concept is now being created by the YMCA in partnership with the architectural firm, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and was originally inspired by colorful beach huts.

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The YMCA, known for fostering community and offering accommodations for lower income individuals and budget travelers, has come up with their own tiny prefab house. The Y:Cube is a self-contained unit that can be lived in individually or in a modular “plug and play” system. Imagine working house models that look like LEGO blocks. Each cube is 280 square feet and contains one bedroom with a double bed, a living area with a small, modern kitchen, a workspace and a lounging area. The tiny bathroom is connected to the bedroom and contains a toilet, sink and shower.

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The portable, durable cubes are built using reinforced panels fixed to a renewable timber frame inside a factory. Water, heating and electrical components are built right in. The completed cubes are then assembled into two or three story blocks in a courtyard formation.

A set of 35 Y:Cubes will be built on property owned by the YMCA and offered for sale for around $50,000 (£30,000). They can also be rented for about £140 a week. The YMCA is creating the Y:Cube to be developed and financed by a range of housing providers.

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Photos courtesy of Y:Cube

 

By Christina Nellemann for [Tiny House Blog]