Thursday, October 10, 2013

Gypsy Dreamin'...

Yeah, I want one...

Check out the rest of the pics of the build and the final product at, which is a fantastic and fascinating blog written by an archeologist with a penchant for pre-industrial tools and knowledge.  According to the blog, this is his modern take on the traditional "vardo" of European traveler culture, with a little influence from the sheepherder wagons that are still in use today in the American west.

Really, you need to view the build pictures. He built the whole thing from the trailer frame up, and it's awesome. This, I believe, is my ultimate bird-hunting and camping rig. I certainly don't have the carpentry skills necessary to do something like this, but a guy can dream, anyway. I've always wanted to try to design and build some sort of hybrid camper/dog trailer, just a small, simple, easily towable living space, and this comes about as close as I've seen to my ideal.

Oh, sure, I could just go out and buy a small camper (if I had the money, which I don't), but where's the fun in that? Where's the aesthetic? The sense of history? The pride of creation and ownership? I mean, this thing even has a damn bookcase!

This is the kind of rig I imagine Bradbury's Autumn People inhabiting as they traipse about the chill and pensive fall countryside; ancient, creaking caravans hidden in shadow and moonglow, riding the twilight winds of summer's death toward the dark magic and fear and unease of the October Country.

Sounds like a damn good time to me. I, too, would love to traipse about the October Country in a gypsy wagon, riding the twilight winds of summer's death (good freakin' riddance, summer, don't let the door hit your flaming ass on the way out) toward the promise of a fall on the plains chasing birds and dogs and dreams and memory.

And in this thing, I'd be doing it in style.

That just looks, I don't know...right, somehow. Like it belongs. Like the beginning of a good story. All that photograph needs to be perfect is me sitting in a chair holding a scotch in one hand, a good book in the other, and the dogs at my feet. That would be be my kind of  story. Minus, of course, the horrible gypsy curse that goes along with most good October stories...


  1. Chad, check the most recent issue of Backwoodsman Magazine for vardo plans. Seriously.

  2. If you like it, you might like Lloyd Kahn’s Shelter Publications, and specifically his recent book Tiny Homes: Simple Shelters, which among other things, covers Vardos and other trailer homes.

    A little blurb I wrote about it, with some links and videos.

  3. when you come to england i'll take you to stay in one, really

  4. Very cool. There is a whole forum about building teardrops and other tiny trailers. Lots of different plans and ideas shown there.

    I was interested in a similar trailer to hunt out of, and to not use as much gas towing with my truck. So I decided to make a teardrop. I'm about 1/2 or so through my build and I think it will be just the ticket when pursuing winter grouse with my falcons in the coming years. Its right at the top of my blog now.

  5. Wow - that is sweet!! A feller could be real content coming back from a day of bird hunting to that.

  6. Very nice. While you're making yours, just double the recipe for me. Digging the site.


  7. Hi Chad,
    Thanks for the nice write-up! Makes me feel a little less of a fringe freak when other people appreciate quirky things like my vardo. It does make a great base camp for hunting and fishing and gives me a place to lock up the dogs when I'm traveling. It's a fine place to sit back with a whiskey and good book with a fire in the stove on a cold day.

    Keep up the good blog!

    1. Hi George. Thank yo for the awesome material! Love your blog, BTW. A new and loyal reader...

  8. Been eyeing these kinds of builds lately as well. I'm thinking it would permit travel-hunting AND beat living 'in a van down by the river'!.

  9. That even beats a vintage Airstream, which up to now has been one of my dreams to acquire!

  10. It's funny how things work. Sitting here in our new home in Alaska, I recognize the last photo to be out in front of our old home in Arizona. Small world. We lived right next to Winter Count but somehow never got around to attending. Maybe next year.