Instructables contributor and tiny house enthusiast, ganeshruskin, built and actually lived in an 8×4 foot collapsible bowtop wagon. His design is reminiscent of both a European vardo and a western sheep wagon. The plans and instructions are available on the the Instructables website. Continue reading
Many shepherd wagons don’t have the functionality of a tiny home and are not really for full time living, however Barrel Top Wagons near Dartmoor National Park in southern England might be building some of most beautiful and practical mobile wagons around. Now they just have to make it over the the U.S.
The December issue of the Tiny House Magazine has a story about handmade, wooden truck campers in it and one of most talked about versions on the Web is the whimsical truck camper designed and built by Handmade Matt. Matt is a craftsman and tiny house enthusiast from Surrey, England and is currently available as a consultant for anyone looking to build their own tiny house—on or off a 4×4 truck.
Matt’s step-by-step process of the camper build is available on his website, and while the camper has been sold to a new owner in Sweden, Matt has recently finished up a new design. The vision for the first camper was to create a traditional looking removable camper with modern comforts. The camper is fully insulated, has solar power with 12v outlets and inverter. It contains a full kitchen with running water from a 13 gallon tank and a refrigerator, a two burner stove and a heater. There is an emergency composting toilet for when a public bathroom is not available.
“I wanted a four wheel drive camper and I have woodworking skills. It was the cheapest and most stimulating option,” Matt said. “The design was inspired over the years by all the things I have seen, a lot from Lloyd Kahn’s books. I am actually featured in his latest book, “Tiny Homes on the Move” with another cabin that I have built. I make no real plans when building, it all comes from my imagination. I make it up as I go along, no drawings, limited forethought. The projects just evolve.”
Matt said his favorite part of this particular build was the finishing touches.
“It’s when the magic happens and the whole vision comes together,” he said. “It’s finally when other people can see what was in my imagination all along. It’s a way of getting something that is inside me to come out into the world.”
Matt and his girlfriend took the camper all over the UK, through the southern English counties and into Wales. It did just fine in the mountains and also served as a home for his girlfriend who worked at various festival events.
For future builds by Handmade Matt, keep an eye on his website or the Tiny House Blog.
Photos by Handmade Matt
These delightful shepherd huts are already making a splash in the United Kingdom with articles in several magazines, but Plain Huts could also be a wonderful addition to the tiny house communities here in the States. If you have the desire (and funds), these modern takes on the Shepherd’s Hut can become your own tiny house on custom wheels.
Plain Huts Shepherd Huts are a family run business in Wiltshire on Salisbury Plain in southern England (10 minutes from Stonehenge). Cath Caesar, her husband Ian, their children and even Cath’s sister run the design and construction business of the huts. The huts are simple yet sturdy, fully insulated and utilize the cast iron wheels of traditional shepherd huts. Cath and crew have designed the wheels specifically for the huts and they can’t be purchased anywhere else.
The Plain Huts, built on an oak and steel chassis, are available as a flexible space to be used as a tiny house, guesthouse, meditation studio, office or workspace. Features include double glazed windows, a covered deck with stairs, redwood or metal siding, a wood stove, and space for a bed and even a small kitchen or bathroom.
Several designs are available including the 124 square foot Romney for £13,500 ($21,200), the 112 square foot Jacob for £11,900 ($18,700), and the 75 square foot Manx for £11,900 ($18,700). Plain Huts can be delivered fully built within England, but if you are keen on building your own, a flat pack version is available. The rolling chassis comes with four insulated walls ready to erect. Doors and windows can be installed later. The Delux Flat Pack Shepherd’s Hut Kit is £6,500 ($10,225) and includes full insulation and Western Red Cedar siding. You can also get the basic kit without insulation for £3,800 ($5,977). The company is willing to ship the kits to the U.S. if the buyer organizes the shipping logistics.
Photos courtesy of Plain Huts and Jo Povoas
How is everything in the wild, wild west? Here are some photos. The photos do not show the welded aluminum floor frame sections, they are finished and welded, but I haven’t applied the wood or insulation to all of the tipi.
The first photo shows the top which is metal and a heavy coat of polyurea on the exterior. It is designed to raise and lower allowing ventilation and drafting for an inside fire. Also the top ventilating is completely covered so no rain can enter.
This custom tipi was designed and engineered by Steve Auth (myself) and built by the Woolywagons Team. It is built with the most durable modern materials. Original tipis will only last outside and set up in the eastern half of the country for about three years in humid climates and five years in the dry climates. Mold will form on the canvas, therefore we do not use canvas.
We use a goetextile adhered to aluminum frame with a polyurea spray coating on the outside, inside a polyurethane foam sprayed to geotextile material for a monolithic effect to our aluminum frame work. (No VOCs or fumes or odors emit with these modern materials)
Our tipis will be standing for a long time, maybe hundreds of years, but certainly a lifetime. There has never been a tipi designed and built like as ours (patent pending). So rest assured whom ever buys a Woolywagons Tipi will have the best of the best, just like our Woolywagons.
The Woolywagons Tipi is built in sections and bolts together. It is delivered by our team and set up for the client, seams are sealed where sections are bolted together for a completely weather proofed lodge. This a 20 foot diameter Tipi with a Polyurea (know to many as a sprayed truck bed liner) exterior to emphasize its durability.
Also pictured are some of our Wagons: Woolywagons(tm) Sheepwagons, Gypsywagons, Huckster wagon, Woolycabin, Vardo, Cabins on wheels, Cabins, Tiny house, tiny houses, getaways, guest house, guest cabins.
For more information go to the Woolywagons website. Be sure and mention you heard about them through the Tiny House Blog.