Vardo Inspiration

My post for today is still preparing for the traffic he might receive so I am postponing it for the time being. Cheyenne sent me some great Vardo inspiration from several sites so I thought I would give you some Vardo eye candy in todays post. I have covered George’s min vardo before here. He has a great blog with some cool photos I’d like to invite you to spend some time on it if you have interest in vardos and other hand made things.


Photo Credit George

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The Eclipse Gypsy Caravan

Okay last Craigslist ad for today. I did not want you to miss these so rushed to get them up before they are pulled down. This one is located in Pennsylvania. Back to normal posting tomorrow.

Gypsy Caravan – Tiny House on Wheels – $9600 (Ligonier, PA)

A weekend get-away home, an artist’s studio, writer’s retreat, private office, a unique guest house, or the coolest child’s playhouse you’ve ever seen . . . its use is only limited by your imagination. The frame, roof, insulation, wiring, hardwood flooring, and windows are all in. It’s up to you to define the interior space and give shape to your dream.

This “tiny house” inspired (See or gypsy caravan style design was initially conceived in the art community of Eclipse, Ohio, as a project to reduce the owner’s carbon footprint. A demanding work schedule creates a situation such that the project will need to be completed by its next owner.

Built on a standard 8 X 16 foot trailer frame, it generally needs no building permit (but check your local codes to confirm). To complete the caravan in the style of the tiny house movement, add indoor plumbing with a graywater system, or how about a compost toilet and a water holding tank for a small kitchen area? Add solar panels and you could have a self-sufficient mini-house that can be placed wherever you have land to park it. Alternatively, install a built-in desk and office furniture for the most unique detached workspace imaginable.

Wired with a 30 amp panel and 12-2 steel jacketed romex, there are 5 grounded outlets and switched track lighting and front porch light. The electrical service meets or exceeds code for new home construction and requires only a standard heavy duty extension cord for power. Other features include 2 thermal Andersen vinyl windows, cherry hardwood flooring, tongue and groove cedar ceiling, skylight area, unique curved roof design, front porch, solar roof vent, and curved rear custom windows.

If you are creative, handy with tools, serious about reducing your carbon footprint – or are simply looking for a unique detached structure, this tiny house on wheels offers a way to put that creativity to work to complete a comfortable living or working environment in a very small amount of space. Email

Gypsy Caravans

When I was a child, my favorite book was “Danny, the Champion of the World” by Roald Dahl. Danny and his father live in a gypsy caravan in the English countryside in the 1950s and run a small gas station. Adventure ensues when Danny finds out his father is secretly poaching pheasants on a wealthy neighbor’s land. I loved the story, but loved the idea of living in a colorful gypsy caravan even more.


Dahl had a caravan in his garden that was the inspiration for Danny’s home. The typical gypsy caravan has been around for over 100 years and they still evoke a feeling of romance and adventure and can be a tiny, beautiful, ornate house on wheels.

Caravans or wagons built to live in were developed in France around 1810. Gypsies have only been using caravans as their main living and working space since 1850. The gypsy name for a caravan was vardo, from the Iranian word vurdon or cart. Newly married couples would commission a coach builder to create their colorful home on wheels. They took between 6 to 12 months to build and were made of oak, ash, elm, walnut and pine. They were then ornately painted carved and decorated with gold leaf.

There are six main types of caravans: the Brush or “fen waggon” which lacks the ornate wooden carvings, the Reading with sloping walls, the Ledge with a narrower floor and more elbow room, the Bowtop and the Openlot, which use a stretched canvas top over a wooden frame, and the Burton which was for more wealthy travellers. Most caravans were, and still are, pulled by draft horses, but you can design and build a caravan to be pulled by a car.

Though few people would choose to travel in one today, you can experience a fully functional caravan on your own property as a romantic getaway or guest accommodations, a creative studio, a personal meditation or healing space, or just an exquisite conversation piece. If you are traveling in Europe, you can rent a gypsy caravan (including the horses) and travel between campgrounds. Some hotels even have gypsy caravan “rooms” that you can stay in overnight.

If you are looking to build a gypsy caravan or have one built for you, there are several builders and plans available. Again, most of these builders are in Europe.

Gypsy Vans

Windy Smithy

Ingham & Fallon

The New Gypsy Caravan

Gypsy Caravan Company

Gypsy Caravan Built by Brian Schmittling

Daphne’s Caravans

By Christina Nellemann

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