At this year’s Burning Man, I was thrilled to find this modified gypsy caravan right next door to my camp. The builders of this unique rig are Christy Horne and Michel Olson, and they were kind enough to give me more information about their comfortable, tiny house which they named Sir James.
Sir James started his life as an 8×12 dual axel car trailer from California Custom Trailers. The trailer came licensed with brakes and everything for $1,700. The house was made with a welded iron “cage” and then wood, tarpaper and plywood layers were all bolted into the cage. It’s 7 feet wide by 12 feet long and it took 4 months to build. Sir James is Michel’s second of four original designs.
The outside wood was burned to create the patina they wanted and then oiled. Both Christy and Michel realize that this extra design adds a lot of weight, but they love the look of it. Sir James has been exposed to horrible wind, snow, sleet, rain, hail storms and six Burning Man events and has come out looking better than ever. Christy and Michel primarily use Sir James for camping, including yearly Christmas/New Year’s trips to Death Valley.
Inside Sir James is a rear kitchen and a bedroom with a center bed, hallways and separate doors on each side for easy access. When I visited their rig, they used the wall behind the bed to hang up their numerous costumes for the event. I was surprised how cool and dark it was in the bedroom area. They have a large storage locker near the hitch to carry a wood burning stove, fire wood, a spare tire, and tools.