Sir James

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.

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

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Bonnie - October 5, 2010 Reply

Wow! Wow! Wow! I have just conscripted Sir James to be a character in my novel!

George - October 5, 2010 Reply

That is great! It looks like a solid little medieval house that could withstand a lot. Any chance of some interior photos?

Alex - October 5, 2010 Reply

Awesome!! The wrought iron and wood adds a really special medieval touch to it–very cool.

Corby - October 5, 2010 Reply

Ok, so Burning Man has always scared me just a wee little bit, but… this is so freakin’ cool! I just may have to temper my fear now.

JOE3 - October 5, 2010 Reply


Christina Nellemann - October 5, 2010 Reply

Corby, don’t be afraid of Burning Man. The heat and wind can be a little unnerving sometimes, but the people are wonderful.

Tim - October 5, 2010 Reply

Very nice, I am glad to see people take a vision, a dream, and turn it into a reality for themselfs. I hope to see more and more people be able to take their dreams and turn it into a reality like this. Good for you, I hope you can enjoy this for many years to come.

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