Guest Post by Barry Howard Studio
Three things have always been part of my life: art, travel and designing and building small living spaces that move.
I have converted school busses into two-story homes that featured wood cookstoves, lofts and stained glass windows.
I built a home in vans, VW busses, mini-vans, a VW bug, and a 24′ trimaran, and I have built several micro houses on flat bed utility trailers and a couple of them on the ground.
My current project is one I have had in my head for several years… It’s a gypsy caravan that can be pulled by a bicycle.
I decided to make it fold down for cruising as a bicycle trailer is pretty narrow and anything much above the level of the seat gets to be a bit too top heavy.
It’s about 12 square feet of floor space which is actually a bed. I wanted something I could carry art supplies in as well as a fair amount of finished paintings.
All storage is under the bed. Three removable panels under the sleeping pad, which folds, provide access to the art supplies, my clothes, and the galley.
The bed can also be converted to a sitting space with a small table which can be used for dining or computer work.
A table mounts on the side, as does the small sink, and the one burner camp stove sits on the table, which doubles as counter space for preparing meals.
About 80% of the materials I used are recycled and repurposed. The aluminum that makes up the chassis and framing for the port-side wall came from an old broken pop-up craft fair booth, as did most of the screws and bolts.
The hitch came off a church organ that I dismantled, the wheels from my folding bicycle, the rear stabilizing legs came from a camera tripod I cannibalized, and the fabrics and much of the wood came from my recently deceased mini van camper.
My next project will be a full size gypsy caravan which will be my permanent home. I will probably build it on a flat bed trailer around 10 or 12 feet long.
With the bicycle version I was very restricted by the weight factor and I would be able to include a lot of goodies on my next one that would be too heavy for this caravan.
I am available for hire if anyone needs a gypsy caravan of their own. I do all of the design, building, decorative painting and stained glass myself. Anyone interested can call me at 530-355-1319 or email me at [email protected] To see more of my work check out my Facebook page here.
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