March 28, 2013

The Repaircave

mobile workshop on the road

Towards the end of the build I realised it needed to be a little more than just my personal hideout. I’m hoping to attract folks who will share the hideout with me, taking their broken stuff to fix, while making a fire inside or outside and having a tea or beer. I’ve added a website too,, inspired by the popular ‘Repair Cafes’ (where people go and repair broken things together). It’s in Dutch, but that’s much like English 😉

The site is about what’s happening in the Cave and through it I try to motivate people to repair and recycle and to use free stuff in a creative way. So far no one has come, but nevermind, it’s still my retreat too. And it’s still fresh, who knows what will come of it.

old trailer

About the Repaircave; It’s built on the frame of an old foldout caravan that a friend of mine gave to me. I had vague plans about mobile things like saunas, forrest bathrooms, workshops, chill-out-zones, pizza ovens. During the build (most of 2012) it turned out to become a combination workshop/studio and retreat, with possibility to accomodate a guest. The ‘dirty’ tools (grinders, welder, etc.) cannot be used inside, the interior has become too nice for that. There was no real plan, but inspiration came from things like old sheep wagons and wooden boats.

building the workshop

The hull is made of relatively cheap pinewood (unfortunately not salvaged) and took shape on the fly. I’m very happy with the final result. Most of the interior is from recycled pallets and leftovers. The woodstove is made from a broken down compressor that was given to me and some second hand bits of stainless steel pipes. The stained glass windows were made by my mother, who started her own glass workshop, also in a wagon, but an original one.

exterior build

The roof is a canvas roof, like they used to have on wooden decks, painted to waterproof with a linseed based paint. The whole thing is still mobile and handles very well when towed. I think it is even street legal(<750kg), but I don’t think I’ll be using it on the road a lot, although friends say I should be taking it to fetivals, selling vegan sandwiches from the pop-out side window. Maybe some other time.

Well I hope you like my design!

Best regards,
Wouter from Groningen, the Netherlands

workshop area

interior view


on the road

workshop in the snow

rear of the repaircave

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mike - March 28, 2013 Reply

Cool. Sort of a vague start to the article as far as what exactly is going on…

I like the spot you have to built it in. Very cool…

Elizabeth Rich - March 28, 2013 Reply

I love what you are doing! And I really like the community-building ideas you have. I live in Wisconsin in the US, but I have a cousin in Amsterdam and get there every so often. Maybe I can visit your creation!

Georgia - March 28, 2013 Reply

Love the stained glass window!

Brook - March 29, 2013 Reply

I feel your pain, buddy. There just aren’t enough of us in any one place. I just installed my pizza oven in my vardo. I’ve got tiny houses, tipi, trailers, a huge shop and land for a tiny house community. Like you, I’m mostly all alone out here. Keep it up, cool gypsy trailer.

peter keter - March 29, 2013 Reply

Well Wouter,

Nice job, vele kilometers gewenst!

Groet peter


Kim - March 30, 2013 Reply

What a beautiful piece of work! One of these days you will find your “community” and then you will have lots of people joining you. I’d love to come hang out, but I’m on the wrong side of the ocean right now. Thanks for sharing your creation.

Ted - March 30, 2013 Reply

That is the coolest repair wagon I have ever seen. Nicely appointed for wood working and furniture repair.

mkc - March 30, 2013 Reply

I adore this Cave, with its every detail reflecting your artistry- and mastery of many crafts.
Were you to come around, I’d spend all my time hanging about, learning the Tinker’s alchemy, and bringing in all the mad ideas for re-use that currently clutter my kitchen…
Seriously. Please come.
San Francisco

jamas - March 31, 2013 Reply

Very Artsy.. it’s a camper trailer turned prairie wagon. I wouldn’t tow it faster than 20 mph. if you can get it licensed.

Wouter - April 4, 2013 Reply

Thanks people for your heart warming comments 🙂

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