Collapsible bowtop wagon on Instructables - Tiny House Blog

Collapsible bowtop wagon on Instructables

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.


The wagon was built on a utility trailer and contains a bed with storage underneath, a Dutch door and a canvas roof that is designed to collapse down during transportation. It also has a small stove made out of five gallon metal bucket, a small sink and an alcohol stove for cooking. The back of the wagon has a small deck where two bikes are stored and some beautiful wood trim around the door. The door framing has real leaves embedded in the wood.


The builder lived in the wagon for nearly two years and loved being able to roll up the sides of the roof for airflow and to see the stars. However, he mentioned that every noise came through the canvas and he was a bit rough on the wagon while traveling. He is currently building a similar wagon that he plans to sell.





Photos by ganeshruskin

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

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Tobit - July 20, 2015 Reply

I’d live in that. I love all of these Vardo and sheep wagon variations.

I am making progress on my trailer build. It started out as a 1996 Fleetwood Wilderness camper but was never taken care of. I attempted to save it but couldn’t. Frame is still in excellent shape so I am converting it to a utility trailer to haul my 200 lb. canvas tent to my land.

Anyway, didn’t mean to hijack but I do really like this mans work. I wish I had his skills.

Benjamin - July 21, 2015 Reply

It looks really cool! Well-done!

I’m assuming the 8’x4′ refers to the floor size. It looks wider than that at the height midpoint.

What is meant by collapsable? Does it fold down to a low height? Could the author add a photo of it in the collapsed state?

    Morgen - July 22, 2015 Reply

    Appears Collapsible yes, note the hinges on the mid point of the end where the door is shown. The end collapse. I assume the staves fit length wise, under the bed, and the canvas folds up and fits in the floor space. I have seen this or similar elsewhere, pretty easy to build.

    Very curious about the 5 gal wood stove though 🙂

    Lovely work.

    BruceMcF - July 23, 2015 Reply

    If you look at the instructables link, the top half each end are on hinges and the canvas roof can come off, so it can collapse to half of its set-up height.

    And, yes, the 8’x4′ is at the base.

How To Build Your Own Collapsible Bowtop Gypsy Wagon - April 21, 2022 Reply

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