Libby Reinish and Tristan Chambers contacted me about a project they are working on and wanted to share with you.
My partner and I are building a bow-top gypsy wagon and documenting our progress on www.whittleddown.com. This is our first tiny house, and we will be moving into it in one month, when we depart our home in Santa Fe, NM and begin a cross-country move to New England. We plan to live in the wagon for the remaining warm months of the year, and haven’t entirely ruled out retrofitting it for winter living later. The wagon is based on a gypsy wagon design, but we like to think of it as a contemporary take on the prairie schooner.
Our gypsy wagon design meets our three main goals: 1) To build a home for just over what we currently pay for a month’s rent ($1500 total), 2) To build a portable home that can be towed by my Hyundai Elantra, which has a 1,000 lb tow rating, and 3) To find a design that provides all our basic needs (food prep, sleep, electricity, toilet) in a small space.
The 54 sq. ft. wagon is built on top of a 4×8 utility trailer. The wagon is built out of a combination of new and used/salvaged materials, using tools borrowed from our local Tool Lending Library. The finished wagon will have a solar panel for electricity, a kitchen area with a sink and a one-burner stove, a sleeping area, and a multi-use food prep/dining/work area. We are also working on a design for a homemade composting toilet that will not have to be emptied into an outdoor humanure pile. The pictures you see here show the wagon with a temporary tarp roof–the finished wagon will have a natural canvas roof. As you can see, we still have lots to do in the 4 weeks we have left!
I am a beginner builder, and my partner is handy but also inexperienced. I hope that readers with limited funds and experience will be inspired by our project. You can read our blog, www.whittleddown.com, to follow the project and glean ideas. Anyone can build a tiny house!
Thanks Libby for sharing your story and I look forward to seeing the completed schooner.