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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Grand Tour

Ok, folks. It's time for the grand tour of our new, not-so-grand home. Building the wagon has been, hands down, the most challenging project we have taken on to date. It has also been the most rewarding. While many components of our home did not adhere to the original plan, the overall vision that we had for this place has been carried through in a way I thought I could only dream of. Our systems work, our stuff fits, and it fits the aesthetic we were aiming for when we began this project in March.

So, without further ado:


The wagon has a dutch door for cross ventilation and for fun, with antique door hardware that locks with a skeleton key. On the door side of the wagon are two large hooks that hold kerosene lanterns at night and our solar shower/dishwater during the day.


The bed is raised three feet off the ground to provide under bed storage and to utilize the width of the wagon at that height. The mattress is homemade--a straw stuffed futon cover. At either end of the bed are storage pockets to hold toiletries, books, and computer stuff (you can see the pocket at right here). The under bed curtains were made by my pal Wendy at Holy Scrap Hot Springs. There are magnets in the bottom of the curtains and a steel strip behind that 1x4 which keeps the curtains in place. You can see the full layout of the wagon here as well--kitchen to the left, couch to the right, bed at the rear.


The view from the bed. Hooks on either side of the door hold stuff up for us. In this photograph we are preparing to leave, so the water containers and stove have been stowed out of view. 


Wendy and I collaborated on this couch, with Tristan contributing some ideas. I am pretty thrilled with the way this turned out. The seat is a handmade, foam-filled cushion. The back rest has three pockets that serve a dual purpose as cushion and laundry bag. As the laundry bag fills, the couch gets more comfortable! Loops at the top affix the cushion to the wagon but make for an easy removal so the whole thing can be shlepped to the laundromat! At the right here you see our electrical equipment, which will eventually be enclosed in a cabinet/end table. For the moment it looks ugly, but at least we have power!


Another view of the kitchen. The sink is plumbed to the outside of the wagon, where a hose end can be placed into a 5-gallon water jug to hold output. Our input (the solar shower) is 4 gallons, and the jug holds 5, so we never have to worry about overflowing. The jug gets dumped daily to keep it from getting funky. I'll try to get some pictures of the rest of this system for a later post.


Couch + Laundry = best idea ever. 


Lionshead's obversation deck. She is starting to get the hang of the cat door.  The observation deck is made from scrap lumber and those wire dorm shelf cubes, secured together with hog rings. You can also see our trailer jack in this picture, which is a recent addition. The trailer jack makes it way easier to hitch and unhitch the trailer and raise it to level. It folds up and stores along the tongue when we're driving. 


Our 50-watt solar panel is mounted on the roof and charges the battery while we're on the road. We got a great deal on the panel at a flea market last summer. Little did we know we'd be using it to power our whole house just a year later!

The only system we don't have in place yet in our wagon is a toilet. We have plans to build a composting portable toilet, but on this trip we will be relying on facilities at campgrounds for this need. 

Well, we've reached the end of our tour, folks. 'Til next time...


23 comments:

Ches said...

Looks really nice. One thing I would recommend is not to leave things hanging when you are on the move. They will bang around. Have a great trip and it will be nice to follow your progress.

jimmycrackedcorn said...

I am so profoundly envious of people who bring their dream plans to life. Please stop by when you are passing through West Central Illinois on your way to or from Missouri :)

Grant Wagner said...

There are so many monsteriously good ideas! Using laundry bags for couch cushions is such an amazing idea. So is the magnetized storage door under the bed.

I don't think you're heading that far north, but if you make it to the northern chicago land area, you've got a place to stay.

spotty dog farm said...

sweet DIY rig.. how heavy is that thing? we just purchased an older model pop-up and can't wait to hit the road!

happy travels.

cheers
alex

Laughter Incorporated said...

Y'all are amazing, inspiring, industrious, creative and thoughtful. So glad to have met you, and glad to have a further look at the amazing wheeled wagon!

Happy trails!

Keith

Undersharing said...

That's pretty slick. It's very much the sort of place I'd love to adventure in myself. It's great to see where you used vardo concepts and where you parted with tradition to modernize or cleverize (like the laundry cushions).

I'll have to say my favorite part is the cat porch. It's spectacular! What are you doing for litterbox storage/containment?

Libby: said...

Those of you who wanted us to stop by/offered a place to stay-- would you please email me at Libby AT whittleddown DOT com so we can talk possibilities? Well be passing through IL and heading to Chicago in the next few days. Thanks!

Vanessa Hernandez said...

Found your blog through Mary and Keith's and I think you're both awesome.

My partner and I have been looking for trailers ourselves so we can try our hand at living on the road. You really inspired me to look outside the box on this venture. I look forward to following your journeys :)

Derek said...

Very nice-looking/inspiring....when you make it to New England- look me up- I'd love to film your wagon for an edition (in HD- 35mm) of "Tiny Yellow House"- which you can check out on youtube

-Deek
Relaxshacks.com
Author of "Humble Homes, Simple Shacks.."

Libby: said...

Deek--yessss we'd love to pay you a visit. We've been really enjoying your videos and would love to be a part of one... We'll be in New England in a few weeks and we'll be in touch when we get closer!

Russell and Debbie said...

wow,,,love it ,,especially the laundry and sheet metal,,, worried about the wings on the front with the round little car those are catching a bunch of air ,their going to give sooner or later just a heads up ,,,and back when, they used three layers for the roof inside-pretty,middle-insulator(wool felt), outer- water proof (oil cloth) with only one layer ya might have sun damage and water drips also a heads up
good god its cool though

Alex said...

Found you through the Tiny House Blog. I love your set up! The wagon is beautiful. Can't wait to see more updates. Have fun you guys.

Alex

melachrino said...

This is awesome. Also found you through the tiny house blog. Great work! Keep it up. We're in middle of nowhere WNY, but if you need a place here it's yours!

I said...

so cool! More power to the people who do what they want to do.

Ginger said...

THAT is the COOLEST THING I've ever seen. (Did I mention that your wagon is cool?)

Gretchen Elsner said...

hey! there's wendy and mickey's dome in the background!!!!

Dustin said...

Very nice. I especially like the light weight & natural lighting that you have gained with the canvas setup. Winter in Maine will be tough (as if you haven't discovered that), but doable with the right clothing.

I've been trying to figure out a composting toilet for my imaginary traveling home and would love to hear/see what you folks have planned. The trade-offs in weight, complexity, volume, temperature, retention time, etc make it an interesting challenge.

Alex said...

Where do you keep the litter box?

Wayne said...

Just now finding your site and love the gyspy wagon. So where is the wagon now that you guys are living in an apartment. Great for camping anyways.

I just completed making a teardrop camper. check out Tearjerkers.net

torrininjacat said...

hi, I don't know who reads these but I hope the home-owners do. I saw the house featured in my mother's popular science magazine,I couldn't find a very reliable contact source so i'm writing a comment. I was wondering about the plans, because since the article I have been looking into many tiny-home/diy books, but I like your look the most and your use of salvaged goods. I am 15 and have deams of traveling across America, please help me?

torrininjacat said...

hi, I don't know who reads these but I hope the home-owners do. I saw the house featured in my mother's popular science magazine,I couldn't find a very reliable contact source so i'm writing a comment. I was wondering about the plans, because since the article I have been looking into many tiny-home/diy books, but I like your look the most and your use of salvaged goods. I am 15 and have deams of traveling across America, please help me?

Libby: said...

torrininjacat: Send me an email at libby@whittleddown.com and I'll get in touch with you when the plans are finalized!

flandmade said...

I realize this post is a bit old, but I just want to say that your little cat balcony just kills me! Your cat looks just like our kitty, Chandler, and he would love something like that. So cool