MyHomeYourHome/Precedents/The Gypsy Caravan

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To build a trailer that looks like an old gypsy caravan and can be drawn by a motorvehicle. It seems to aim to support living to some extent, but doesn't sound like a full on camping trailer. Maybe it'll be augmented by tents, camp stoves, etc.

The builder

A single individual with slight support from various friends. There's a woodworking shed in the backyard and most of the work is being done in the back-yard. I think there's lots of family experience with wood and metal working...


"I'd say, for long term and for weight and rain and rot concerns that I'd go with aluminum siding or something of the sort. I didn't because I wanted to put funky wood relief carvings on the outside and paint it all different colours. I couldn't see that working with aluminum sides.

"I used 2 x 2" for the framing, and marine plywood and marine paint for the base. I'm making window frames out of seconds kitchen cupboard doors that I got from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, which sells leftovers from renos for other people to use! Great place...I love poking about there. I also glued and screwed the frame together so that it would withstand wind stress on the highway. And I used 3/8" plywood for the outside walls. Inside walls, I have used 3/8" rustic tongue and groove pine siding which I will be staining and varnishing. I have also used quite a bit of sealant to make sure water doesn't get in cracks and start rot. I'm planning to cover the plywood joins of the outside walls with the relief carving pieces that I bought at the ReStore and at the Finishing Store. I got some beautiful beaded wood which is used as an accent in wainscotting and baseboard trim usually...paid pittance for it compared to what it normally costs..which is about 3.50$ a foot....yes you read that right. I think I paid about 50 cents a foot for it, so it was still expensive, but it'll look good!

"As far as the roof goes I'm trying to decide whether to go aluminum over ply, or ply with canvas and glue which makes it like fibreglass...according to my dad.

"I've got the roof rafters made. Five lengthwise ones are ready to go with their stain on them. And three bent ones which I laminated before Christmas, are waiting for their final sanding and staining.

"I'm hoping to put some sort of solar panels on the roof of the caravan to power lighting or perhaps radio, that sort of thing.

"but apart from that, I think what I'm planning to do for interior would be useful for your group. I suggest that you look at the interior of live aboard sailboats." -from personal communication.