My Gypsy Wagon “Cikan Vuz”

gypsy wagon

by Cikan Vuz

When I bought my 1970 Volkswagen Kombi back in March of this year, I knew I was going to make her into a camper, but I had no idea how she would turn out. I tired a few things, but they inspired me to try other things and little by little, she came together. Her interior is now 95% done and I sure she will never be completely finished as I will always be adding things here and there.

I used an old sewing cabinet for her sink stand and drawers. I drilled a hold and installed a copper sink and a bronze hand pump. Beneath the cabinet and behind the curtain are two 6 gallon water containers. One for fresh water, hosed up to the hand-pump and the other is for grey water. They are easily accessible and changeable. I store cooking and heating fuels; as well as utensils, clothing, toiletries and other necessities in the drawers of the cabinet.

The cabinet has a fold-up extension, which has an old Ouija Board velcro’d to it. This gives me a place to cook and eat. I have a butane stove top, and an antique Coleman camping oven for cooking in.

For lighting, I installed LED lights and I have super bright, or just enough to see variations.

Her bed is a rebuilt VW Z-bed form a different VW camper bus. It pulls out and forms a full size bed when wanting to stretch out at rest time. I padded it with memory foam and it is quiet cozy.


I have an antique porta-potty for emergencies, but can always use a restroom at a campground, rest-stop, business, or a local gym as well as shower there, though it is easy enough to properly wash inside my bus. She has tinted windows and under the rug is rubber flooring and a drain hole.

I made screen doors so I can sit with the rear hatch and slider door open when weather is nice out, without worries of pests. And, when it is cold out, I have a small gel fuel ventless chimnea to warm the “room” though it is so small that a candle really does the job most nights.

Since the windows are tinted, I really have no issues with sleeping in her. I have even pulled into a handicap space right in front at a local gym and slept with no one knowing a thing.

interior 2

I love my “Cikan Vuz” and she is the best tiny and cozy home in the world. I love my home on wheels. My only worry is what will happen to her when I pass away as my kids do not want her and everyone I know who does want her is older than me so I need to find a good friend I know will love her just as I do and will keep her as she is and care for her.

I also created out of my own mind a shelving system, with galley railing that is on both sides of the living area. It has a “head-banger” section that goes across from side to side to the rear of the Z-bed bench. I use it to store blankets, clothing and other items I need and it really adds to her charm and gypsiness. The ceiling tiles are faux tin panel that I found on Ebay and are glued in place. All curtains close and I have curtains that go across the front section as well, for sleeptime privacy.

You can read about my journey with her, and find pics at

gypsy wagon interior


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Jerry - December 17, 2013 Reply

awesome gypsy wagon-“cikan vuz “!

    Cikan Vuz's Owner - December 17, 2013 Reply

    Thank You Jerry! =])

Sean - December 17, 2013 Reply

Any particular reason you use the handicap parking space?

    David C. Burdick - December 17, 2013 Reply

    I trust you’re joking, right? Otherwise IF Mr. Vuz has a handicap placard using it correctly for his location (state), you have no right to question his use of the handicap parking space. HOWEVER, IF he does not, then by all means do question him.(I’m handicapped) dCb (;>}

      Cikan Vuz's Owner - December 17, 2013 Reply

      Thank You David! =]) Fact is I do have proper DMV disabled plates, placard and status and NO ONE but a law enforcement officer can question me on that or make me submit proof.

      Sometimes, people are lost and forget the right words to ask, so write the wrong thing. I applaud you for you knowledge and assistance! =])

    Sally - December 17, 2013 Reply

    Any particular reason you could think someone’s disability could possibly be any of your business? Were you raised by trolls?

    adam - December 17, 2013 Reply

    There’s only 2 possible answers.

    jipsi - December 17, 2013 Reply

    Sorry, not wanting to hurt ANYONE’s feelings in this, but I was ‘asking’ the same question (any reason why as to using the handicap space). If the intention was to ‘sleep’, then a handicap space would be the LAST space I’d be parking in – better to park and sleep at the parking lot’s edge, if I was 1.) going to be there for no other reason than to sleep near facilities and/or 2.) was not planning on using the gym/facilities for a few hours yet. I am handicapped, and deal with seeing the handicapped spots taken at a place by sometimes running a short errand or two and coming back in an hour or so, hopefully to find the spot empty so I can park there.
    If the spot-holder is SLEEPING, however, that spot might be filled by the same vehicle for MORE than a few hours. This disrupts the days’ plans for a lot more than just one or two people, because some of us CANNOT just park in the north-40 and walk it in (and I do use the gym weekly, for water exercise classes and physical therapy); I would miss my class or time spot and have to give it up and go home.
    So I am not going to jump on the author here (I think their Cikan Vuz is sweet and cozy, and I love that they love their little handmade home so much), but I WOULD question the choice of using a handicap spot to ‘sleep’ in.
    I’m disabled yet I make it a point, if the place only has one or two spots to begin with, to keep my visit brief and no longer than an hour or two, so as to make sure other folks like me can use the spot sooner than too much later!
    And all of the above is my being handicapped with a placard showing…
    I could not imagine how difficult it would be to address this ‘nitpick’ of a detail were the author not a placard holder/handicapped.
    I would not have said anything about this at ALL, had I not seen another do so (and his question was POLITE and simple; there was no need to jump on him for it, was there??), and I wanted to defend that very sincere – with no malice, just curious – question.

    And to the post another made: another’s ‘health’ is NOT ‘my business’ – but a handicap spot being used for a day IS ‘my business’ if it keeps/kept me from being able to keep my own appointments – ie: business – from happening.
    This is a VERY delicate, albeit explosive, subjecr.
    If I were the author, I might have thought better about even including the word ‘handicap’ to describe the parking spot they slept in, and avoided a fracas in the comments area entirely… 😉
    No hard feelings. Just pointing out that the initial question was a VALID ONE, and deserved a modicum of respect at the very least. I know absolutely where it (the question) came from.

      Cikan Vuz's Owner - December 17, 2013 Reply

      K, but I Am legally disabled per DMV requirements as well as Social Security’s. I use a wheelchair and or arm crutches 99.9% or the time. I do not show my plates for privacy issues but if I did, they are deleted now BUT still California privacy laws prohibits issuance of info anyhow unless a law enforcement agency is requesting the info and being a retired deputy and wife of a CHP officer and in a family of LE peeps with confidentially on my vehicles and info… well lets just say anyone defrauding the gov to steal my bus wont get far.
      Not say YOU,jipsi, would…
      just heads up to a different reply… I have many safe guards again the theft of my bus …

        Cikan Vuz's Owner - December 17, 2013 Reply

        and, I was sleeping in my vehicle until the gym opened that day as it was not opened at normal time and I was feeling ill due to my illness. There were 9 other open spaces for disabled parking and I was not depriving anyone of anything.

          Jennifer Rae - December 18, 2013 Reply

          If handicapped people are supposed to enjoy the same rights as people that aren’t, then what’s wrong with a handicapped person sleeping in their car while it’s parked there – even if it’s for an extended time? If we don’t ask other folks to leave their spots for “loitering,” then why would we ask someone who’s handicapped – because there are a limited number of spots? Well, there’s a limited number of spots in every parking lot!

          I’m a doctor and I have a good many patients with handicapped parking permits; I’ve never had anyone tell me they couldn’t get a spot, because here in Canada at least, there are literally dozens of spots in most large lots, which are denoted as “handicapped.” If you say someone can’t sleep in their vehicle, then what else will you say? Will you ask people to shop a bit more quickly and not dawdle since other handicapped folks may be waiting?

          I get common courtesy, but I think this is such a rare incident that for there to have been this much *concern* about the issue is just ridiculous. Especially since the spirit of the article was about the (rather awesome) vehicle itself!

          Cikan Vuz's Owner - December 18, 2013 Reply

          Thank you Jennifer and Well said!

          Thanks all, I am glad you enjoy my little bit of (my type of) paradise) =])

          Pegleg8 - December 18, 2013 Reply

          Thank you CVO, for picking a place with lots of handicapped places to use, so that we can all share! I am wondering if you have a website and/or facebook page, so I can enjoy hearing about or seeing pictures of your journey?

      Pegleg8 - December 18, 2013 Reply

      I understand your question, an appreciate that the owner was cool enough to explain. Now that I have a good prosthesis, I don’t need to use the handicapped spot. When I had just had my amputation, it was all I could do to get in and out of the car and onto an electric cart, so I appreciate your concern. I appreciate your asking it and appreciate that there was nothing to be worried about (at least in this case). Happy Holidays (Christmas or Hanukkah or winter solstice, and Happy New Year) :o)

    Cikan Vuz;s Owner - December 17, 2013 Reply

    I legally use a handicapped parking space because I AM legally handicapped according to the definition of the law and have Doctor and Social security status approving such. I have been so since injured on the job as a deputy sheriff in 93 and then again and yet again, re-injured due to the main injury causing other life affecting injuries with Causalgia then setting in making and it impossible for me to squat, kneel or run at all, with only being able to walk or stand for very short periods of time, under 3 minutes, without extreme pain coupled with the rigid/frozen limb movement limitations that came along with it as well as the migraines and other intense pain, which I do not take pain meds for since I am allergic to morphine and hence 99% of all prescription pain meds.

      jipsi - December 17, 2013 Reply

      SO sorry you had to post all of the personal details… ;-( I think the only thing that was initially being brought up was that you were using the handicap spot to spend more than an hour in (sleeping), not so much that anyone here believed you were using the spot fraudulently.
      I, also, love your VW Combi gypsy home… to be as comfy in it, and MOBILE, nothing keeping you from going anywhere you wanted, is ultimate freedom. 😉

    Brad - December 19, 2013 Reply

    I live in an apartment and come across people getting out of their car and walking away (young too) perfectly fine. They love to park in the HC spot so they don’t have walk 200 feet. What is really funny, a big black man (named B-More) would park in the HC spot in front of the entrance door and walk in the gym and place all the 45 lb weights on both ends of the leg press machine (about 1000 lbs) and leg press two dozen times. I busted a gut on him and said, B-More, you’re the only one I know that can leg press 1000 lbs and still park in the Handicap spot. LMOL Yes, I said it to his face and laughed my ass off too. Just because he had a HC tag didn’t make it right. Just because you have the right to do something doesn’t always make it right to do.

      Cikan Vuz's Owner - December 21, 2013 Reply

      Yes, it IS sad that people abuse the system, but not everyone does; these parking sites and laws were created for a reason. Plus, a person with a placard or plates ( in CA at least), also have to carry documentation with them at all times, in case asked for proof by a law enforcement officer for such. If you feel someone is abusing the parking spot; call the local law enforcement agency and have em come out and verify it. As a private citizen though, you yourself do not have that (legal) right to question them.

        alice h - December 22, 2013 Reply

        I’ve got a tag but don’t use it all the time, usually only on “bad leg” days and if I’m taking my 91 year old mom along. Part of why the HC spot is preferable is not just walking distance but being able to open the car door all the way. It is very difficult for me to get in and out of the car without having the door fully opened. I try to park leaving enough room in regular spots but if the next car on my side parks too close it can be a problem.

          Cikan Vuz's Owner - December 25, 2013 Reply

          I think it is really sad that the point of the article,my tiny home, has been hijacked and become the focus of disabled parking rights…

          That said: I hope all further comments will be on topic; hence the bus. I got a new fish-eye lens for my phone and I posted two new pics in the blog but I will be posting more, and better pics as time passes, using that lens so her interior is more visible and not so tunnel-visioned as normal camera pics are.

          Thanks again all! and Happpy Christmas!

Jennifer Rae - December 17, 2013 Reply

Simply lovely. Love the tin ceiling and Ouija board (!) – and your sentiments about finding your gypsy wagon a deserving new owner when you’re no longer needing a tiny place to come home to. This post is a great reminder that compact homes needn’t be fancy to be “the best tiny and cozy home in the world.”

    Cikan Vuz's Owner - December 17, 2013 Reply

    Thank You Jennifer! =]) I am so glad we brought you some joy…

Kari - December 17, 2013 Reply

Wow! Super great job. You’ve really inspired me!

    Cikan Vuz's Owner - December 17, 2013 Reply

    Thanks Kari! =])

Margo - December 17, 2013 Reply

I love your cozy space on wheels! I would take her and use her appropriately. My friend and daughter are looking for a little bus to do summer excursions…I am nomadic at heart and have to do walkabout or drive abouts every few years. Not enough these days.A friend is doing the Great Loop on a 32’trawler..perhaps some travel time on that could be exchanged? She will be leaving early summer. Anyhow…contact me above.
Interested in hearing your about your excursions. and seeing more pics .Take care

    Cikan Vuz's Owner - December 17, 2013 Reply

    well, I say, when I am gone there is no one who wants her, as in when I am dead( though i did just two days ago tel my youngest that when I am dead, he can make he outside into a turtle if he really wants… . She wont leave me before that. I would have to find a true friend and my kids totally trust that new friend before she was just given or sold to anyone… sorry if no one understood that.

K'Anne Zubin - December 17, 2013 Reply

Really like what you have done and have been looking for something small like this. Let me know when or if parting with it. Best, K’Anne

    Cikan Vuz's Owner - December 17, 2013 Reply

    When I pass on, when my kids are ready, it will be either on The Samba, or at the Pomona swap-meet.

    Thanks so much for your words of encouragement!

Fred Heap - December 17, 2013 Reply

I once had an old combi and converted it into a camper. I took out the center seat, cut a piece of plywood to fit the area, put an old kitchen cabinet along the wall, a J. C. Whitney table post.
A piece of foam rubber in the back finished her off along with curtains. Some jerk a in to it and totaled it. GREAT FREEDOM.

    Cikan Vuz's Owner - December 17, 2013 Reply

    Yes, I feel for you! and my greatest fear is as though i know to watch my high visual horizon in front of me AND on all sides, while driving ( and in life in general) there is always someone driving with their head where only their proctologist would find it to ruin anothers dreams and hopes and plans.

Karen LaGrasse - December 17, 2013 Reply

Not to be morbid, but I’ll take her & love her as you do now. I’m a young 57. I have a Shasta compact, but no title to register it to go anywhere which also makes it hard to sell. It was left behind by some older folks that passed, NOT stolen. Enjoy your VW home–ain’t it Grand!

A minimalist here too!

    David Remus - December 17, 2013 Reply

    Here in California most people don’t know that if you walk into a Department of Motor Vehicle office, pay a small fee (last time I did it the cost was less than $10), and sign a sworn statement that you legally own it and the paperwork is lost, they will mail you new papers in a couple of weeks after they check records to see if it’s been reported stolen or has back fees and tickets.
    People on Craigslist always are saying ‘I don’t have a pink, I am selling it for parts’ and it’s hard to find someone that will go with me to the DMV and sign the form which leads me to beleive it either has way too much back fees or is stolen. One woman did go with me and I bought a running motorscooter for $100 plus less than $10 for new papers.

    I don’t know where you live but check it out from your state’s local Motor Vehicle office. If it is that easy in California (those guys are tight) it’s got to be that easy most places. My guess is that it’s easier than you think to register it. They are nice little trailers, get it on the road.

      Cikan Vuz's Owner - December 17, 2013 Reply

      That only works IF the owner on title has not registered the car in over 5 years and does not reply to a lien sale notice David…

      My car is registered in my and my sons name so when I pass, it is his to do what he wants with it. I hope he finds a good home and it really saddens me to see the folks who write thinking cos I said that, I will be dead in a day or two and willing to give to a total stranger… I want to pass it on to either family or a good friend; writing me and saying you want it does not make you a good friend, nor does saying I know how to defraud the CA DMV… Sorry but WOW! People amaze me at all this.
      I plan to live to at least 85 and I am only 54 now so ya…
      Anywho, I really do appreciate everything everyone has written in admiration of her, and I will continue to work on her as I can and post in the blog as I can her progress.

      Blessed Be all of you!

Najja Foluke - December 17, 2013 Reply

Beautiful! I miss my ’68 VW Camper! Don’t ever let her go, you will regret it! 🙁

Michelle - December 17, 2013 Reply

This is fantastic!!!! You have created a true home on wheels:) I am forever fascinated by anything nomadic:}

kim - December 17, 2013 Reply

I love how you have fixed her up with such an artistic flair. I dream of having such a portable abode. I like to write and would love to do regular hermitages in such a tiny house. Although I believe your special one will find a suitable steward when you can no longer keep her up, I dream of having one myself to spend time with one day.

dewhit - December 17, 2013 Reply

I always like hearing about VW vans that are still in use. The Volkswagen Vans have always been good economical vehicles that could be adapted for many uses. I had a Vanagon for many years and still regret selling it now.
With lowered tire pressure and occasional use of a portable winch I carried, it went most everywhere I wanted to go off road too. I would remove seats and cabinets and hauled various tons of hand loaded rock from Tennessee to build various projects. The van strained,but it always got me and goods where we wanted to go.
It was a small office/workshop/kitchen/apartment on wheels.
It was a bit of a kleenex at speed limit on highways when larger vehicles blew by, but that just encouraged more slower backroad navigating.

    Cikan Vuz's Owner - December 17, 2013 Reply

    Ha! dewhit, I hear ya! My first car was a 61 ragtop bug when I was 13 and I even once picked up a piglet in it. I removed all but the driver seat, put down straw and went and picked that baby pig up. Before I turned my bus into my Cikan Vuz, I had to haul hay for my sheep a few times. I still find an alfalfa leaf or two when cleaning her now, after all these months. LOL

Cikan Vuz's Owner - December 17, 2013 Reply

Thank you all for the positive feed back and comments! You are all awesome and I am thankful for your appreciation!

Valerie - December 19, 2013 Reply

No limits to the imagination. I’m thankful to see the true gypsy spirit alive and well. Happy trails.

Chinle Miller - December 19, 2013 Reply

Great vehicle! I came across one just like it once in the Utah backcountry on a very rugged 4×4 road. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had a modified 4×4 and even with that it took a good bit of concentration to get down that road. The guy driving it claimed to have been in the band Deep Purple and I didn’t believe him at the time, but found out later it was true.

Help me out here – is the name Cikan Vus a play on Seekin’ Views or am I just obtuse?

    Cikan Vuz's Owner - December 21, 2013 Reply

    Cikán means Gypsy

    v?z mean vagón which means wagon


Keith - December 19, 2013 Reply

Much power to you Lovely Lady. Keep on doing what you’re doing in your own wonderful way and live to a hundred. Hugs…

JIC - December 20, 2013 Reply

Nice job! Keep on trucking CV!

MsDawn Burton - January 19, 2014 Reply

I would LOVE to give your baby a home if something happens to you. I have downsized first into a 16×24 cabin and now in a 10×10 cabin and I have decided a van is gonna be my next home for my furr kids and I. I pray many more yrs on the road for you! MsDawn PS feel free to email me…

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