Tom’s Custom Vardo

Anyone who’s a fan of Etsy knows you can spend too many hours browsing the wonderful stores and handmade items on the online crafter’s marketplace. One such item is large enough to live inside. Tom in Canaan, NY owns the Etsy shop pinecountry and is selling custom build Vardo wagons to be used as campers, retreats, hideaways or a tiny house.

The Vardo featured above is 8′ 6″ long, 6′ 5″ inches wide and 5′ 5″ tall. It only weighs 1,100 lbs empty and is made of lightweight pine laminated and bonded to plywood. It is going for $7,000. Tom said this adds strength which allows for fewer braces and less weight. Tom has 15 years of experience building with wood and usually builds country style tables. He started building the Vardo as an alternative to camping in a tent.

“We first thought we would build a teardrop trailer, but then we fell in love with the Vardo design,” Tom said. “Our take is a more country than the traditional gypsy wagon. To us it combines the best of the Vardo design and a simple rustic cabin into one.”

Tom finds the building process interesting and definitely different from a pine table and enjoys the complexity of this type of build.

“All of the compound angles make the build a challenge,” he said. “Part of the charm I think of my Vardos is the multiple angles.”

Tom is available to build any custom feature a client may want. From the start to finish the build typically takes about six to eight weeks since he only builds one at a time.

“Sleeping in the Vardo is wonderful,” Tom said. “It is insulated and tight. So it is pretty quiet inside. We climb in at night while at a campground and once we close the door we don’t hear the noises outside.”





Photos by pinecountry


By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

16 thoughts on “Tom’s Custom Vardo”

  1. I fell in love with this the first time I saw the thumbnail on line – as I was looking for teardrop dealers near my home (there are none). Tom is right up the road from me and it only took one in-person look to decide to have him build me one. The construction is sound and he’ll incorporate your ideas to make it personal. So looking forward to my very own custom Vardo!

  2. Very nice! I find the Vardo design practical and spirit-lifting. The nice thing is that you can build with the headroom you want. I would prefer six feet. Maybe even two feet longer to make room for a portable toilet and small woodstove. The possibilities for storage are amazing. Now, all I have to do is find the money. 🙂

    • it has a real door handle. That outdoor latch is simply an added safety for traveling. The door has a keyed lock on it. I believe in safety 1st. And prefer the added latch for traveling.

  3. Nice Vardo.

    I’m refurbishing a pontoon boat and thinking about adding a popup (hardsided) vardo on it. One that can be lifted off and placed on a trailer for non boating outings.

    I’d be interested in seeing your taller vardo pics.


  4. Hey, Tom — Are you still building gypsy wagons/shepherd’s huts? I’ve been looking for a builder who can build me a lightweight one that can be towed, but can also be a permanent home (well-insulated). Please contact me. Thanks.


Leave a Comment