Joseph’s Gypsy Wagons

Joseph Crowell has been building buses and vans for many years, but was recently inspired to build his first gypsy wagon by Sunny Baba, an activist and spiritualist who has built dozens of gypsy wagons. Joseph, who is in the Ashland, Ore. area, built this gypsy wagon with about 80 percent recycled materials. He gets a lot of his supplies from Dumpsters or from the side of the road. He uses manzanita tree branches as exquisite details in his design.

“If I see an old piece of furniture laying around, and it looks like it can still be used, I’ll saw it up,” Joseph said. “It makes the whole ‘find is and use it’ process more enjoyable.”

Joseph initially designed and built the stained glass window in the gypsy wagon, but he thinks he might look for a local stained glass artist to do the window in his next wagon. The wagon weighs about 1,500 pounds and can be towed by a small truck. It was recently sold for about $8,500 and Joseph plans on keeping his next design’s price to below $10,000.

If you are interested in one of Joseph’s gypsy wagons, email him at jsph.crowell (at)

Photos courtesy of Joseph Crowell


By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

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Zer0 - August 29, 2011 Reply

These look very nice. I hope that he will share the plans so a do-it-yourselfer can roll his or her own version.

freespirit - August 29, 2011 Reply

Thank you for sharing your beautiful piece of art Joseph. I think that is what attracts me so much to these tiny abodes. I really prefer a park-model size for full-time living, but the park model builders all want to make cookie-cutter work so they can make a profit (I understand here.) I think we need more builders who are willing to help with the custom frames and wiring to make them safe (many of us novice builders may need help with the structural skills) and allow people to finish the tiny homes more authentically with reclaimed materials.

Please keep producing your beautiful creations Joseph. It keeps inspiring the rest of us.

Angie - August 29, 2011 Reply

This is so cute! I love the artistic touches that make it special.

MJ - August 29, 2011 Reply

Sweet sweet sweet! I’m in Portland right now, would love to see something Joseph is working on…Like that wagon!

Jyoti - August 29, 2011 Reply

Why don’t you do an article on Sunny Baba’s gypsy wagons. He has made some really beautiful wagons. He also built an earth home, into the side of hill in Arizona many years ago, using some innovative ideas for heating water, etc.

    prairie rose - August 29, 2011 Reply

    hi jyoti! i am planning to create a blog page this winter with pics from God’s Garden and other creations while with Sunny those years. I’m also designing a new house on wheels….much love and hope all is well with you!

prairie rose - August 29, 2011 Reply

nice to see your new wagon and creation, ole friend! I’ve been inspired as well to create a new tiny house after all these years. look forward to seeing more and reconnecting!

    joseph - November 14, 2011 Reply

    hey,wow i just now looked at yer message,duh,it is now nov.and am about to finish my new wagon…..many blessings to you….joseph

Holly - August 29, 2011 Reply

Love it! Wish I were closer to Portland.

Brian - August 29, 2011 Reply

Someone should help him build a website. I’d love to see the process and variety of finished product. Each one will be unique…and I love that.

Lone Eagle - August 30, 2011 Reply

I like the design idea. But if one wants to live full time in it. Can it be set up for bathroom facilities and kitchen facilities. On a smaller scale of course.

Benjamin - August 30, 2011 Reply

Why is there no light coming through the stained glass window in the interior shot? It appears as though it’s just drawn on cardboard.

    Donatella - May 27, 2012 Reply

    It would appear to be a window shutter or curtain of some type (for privacy). Also, people always ask about heating in these kind of tiny houses that are built in California or Oregon. You really don’t need it here. It only gets below freezing for minutes every year, and it’s nothing a good blanket or two won’t solve…

      Dakota - October 9, 2015 Reply

      Update on the cold weather comment. In the past few years it has actually been getting quite cold here in the winter. A small heater would be needed if you plan to spend a winter in your caravan.

Zaylinda - August 30, 2011 Reply

I see a propane tank on the outside, but none of the interior shots seem to include a heater or stove of any sort. hmm…
Still, this is a gorgeous little wagon.

    Josh - August 30, 2011 Reply

    The way that tank is not very temporarily fixed there, and the way the hose runs up so high makes me think it must be for some type of portable stove that can be sat on the counter next to the sink.

Gypsy Murray-Ward - August 30, 2011 Reply

Congrats. on such a beautiful result……I would live very happily in this gypsy van……thanks for the good detail photos….
very nice

Llewellyn Rinald - August 31, 2011 Reply

As You get older this looks better and Better-As And artist I could take this to some super sites to draw-and some friends,of mine in Mexico could use this for their whole family-All we would need is an outdoor grill!–Great Design!

Josh Mcgringey - August 31, 2011 Reply

That truly is a nice wagon. You should be proud of that wagon. That is a real gem, a gem of a gem. I love it, I want it, I NEED IT.

If you ever trundle over to UK, I’d love to take a ride in that there Gypsy wagon.

You rock, man you rock!

Shamus O'Connor - August 31, 2011 Reply

WOW! That looks so cool, must have taken an age on that wagon.

Keep those wagons rolling.

Partridge Meglion - August 31, 2011 Reply

Dear Joe,

Stunning truly stunning, come the lottery win I will own one of those SEXY wagons.

I’d sure like to roll in that wagon, that could be one hell of a shag wagon.


June Coutts - August 31, 2011 Reply

Nice wagon my friend.

terminalcitygirl - August 31, 2011 Reply

Lovely abode. Does anyone know where I might find info on building a curved roof like those on the gypsy wagons? I love the look of them. Are those roofs okay in rainy climates?

Sandra Mannelli - September 6, 2011 Reply

does the builder have a website?

Frank - September 2, 2013 Reply

I spoke with Joseph today at a rest stop on I-5 in Oregon.
He was pulling a beautiful Wagon that was for sale. It was great to see it in person!!

suzie mcdermott - August 24, 2014 Reply

Was wondering if you could make one larger to live in full time and self contained. I would be interested in one like that…good wishes suzie

Chris - April 21, 2018 Reply

I saw your wagons I’m interested in purchasing some kind of wagon I see that they’re they’re running around $10,000 and I would like more information I tried using your email address on the website that I saw and for some reason your email address will not go through my name is Chris and I’d like to talk more about your wagons I don’t know where you live or what part of the country you’re from but I live in the Montana area do you put wood stoves in them so that they’re warm thanks please email me back

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