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70 Sq. Ft. Trillium Vardo Caravan Wagon

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This is a 70 sq. ft. vardo caravan wagon.

The Trillium Caravan is a sleeper camper in the traditional style of the 19th Century English vardo, built by master woodworker Jim Tolpin.

Jim says, “It is impeccably detailed in hand-hewn wood and steel fabricated to the highest highway-worthy standards. One needn’t sacrifice the beauty of traditional materials and antique fixtures for modern convenience.”

The interior offers ample seating–and comfortably sleeps two adults in a queen-size bed. There are beautiful stained glass windows in the front and back of the wagon to allow sunlight to come in.

Please enjoy, learn more and re-share below. Thank you!

70 Sq. Ft. Trillium Vardo Caravan Wagon

Trillium Vardo Caravan Wagon-001

Images © Jim Tolpin

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Images © Jim Tolpin

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Andrea is a contributor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the Tiny House Newsletter! She has a passion for sharing tiny and small house stories and introducing you to new people, ideas, and homes.
{ 33 comments… add one }
  • Charlotte Mo
    August 1, 2015, 1:35 am

    I want one!!! OMG, you have outdone yourself, Mr. Tolpin. Unique and quality and adorable. Lovely wood choices, and is that real copper behind the stove? This would be great as an attention-getter at festivals and shows for a business. Who wouldn’t stop by? I remember the little custom camper with a great mural that musicians had on here once. They had people following them to their events just to see what was going on. Congratulations!

  • Krs
    August 1, 2015, 5:51 am

    Beautiful, such fine workmanship.

  • Sparrow
    August 1, 2015, 1:53 pm

    $66,000 for something you can’t even LIVE in?????

    Rich man’s toy. Pass.

    • Charlotte Mo
      August 1, 2015, 5:10 pm

      I’d take the toy and the rich man any day, Sparrow.

    • Theo
      August 1, 2015, 7:17 pm

      Sheepherders used to live in similar wagons, not as fancy tho, in fact think a few still do. It would be a nice weekend camper tho, but with that canvas top, might just as well get a nice tent for a few hundred – they don’t have toilets either. And most of these tiny houses are way expensive. And a lot are up for sale, after being owned for just a short time – seems people aren’t as happy with their purchase as they thought they would be. Lovely woodwork tho.

    • Marsha Cowan
      August 2, 2015, 11:28 am

      Oh my gosh, Sparrow! I have lived in my 70 suare foot bus for over a year now with no water or electric hook up. I could easily live in this full time. It is esquisitely done! It is a piece of art. I have never seen such beautiful and detailed work in any space, much less a tiny home. I love it!

  • Greg Burns
    August 1, 2015, 4:23 pm

    This is both sweet & elegant enough for a princess! What a lovely job on the style, construction, & decoration of this adorable little home on wheels! MANY HAPPY “Smiles Per Gallon” as you travel the open roads!

    • Alex
      August 3, 2015, 9:44 am

      Smiles per gallon, love that! Thanks Greg! 😀

  • Kim W
    August 1, 2015, 4:24 pm

    Wow! This is much more like a traditional English gypsy vardo! Beautifully made. You could live in it if you had access to a toilet block. Most traveller/gypsy sites in England have a brick built block with a toilet, shower and separate sink area. They rarely use the shower rooms or toilets in the modern caravans they have. Of course, for ‘wild camping’ all you need for toileting (apparently….I have not tried this!!!) is a spade! I was somewhat taken aback by the price, too, though! I have never spoken to an English gypsy who has a vardo and I think it would be considered not polite to ask how much they cost!

    • Stephen Bass
      August 1, 2016, 7:29 pm

      Well, with all the welfare and other benefits they collect without paying taxes, and the fact they illegally squat on people’s land– including our own communities here in West Sussex– and the police are too scared to confront them, I expect paying for their “vardos” (which are generally huge motor homes) isn’t too tricky…

  • gale
    August 1, 2015, 5:03 pm

    Although you can’t really live in it, it is absolutely gorgeous. Maybe if it was a little longer…….

  • Sharee
    August 1, 2015, 5:23 pm

    Beautiful. Love the woodwork and the stained glass/leaded windows.

  • Kayce
    August 1, 2015, 9:25 pm

    Some have hobbies like snow skiing, hunting, fishing, when the gift of artistic talent and practicality merge it’s rare. Rarer yet is to see when passion and love are added. What a celebration to see and, the journey continues.

  • RICH
    August 1, 2015, 9:29 pm

    Impeccable Craftsmanship !
    This one is not for “needing”….it’s for “wanting”. Great Job !
    I hope your efforts are well rewarded. There will be a wanter who sees it as well worth the $.

  • Kristina H Nadreau
    August 1, 2015, 9:59 pm

    It is beautiful. not for me, since I have to get up several times a night for the bathroom…. still a beautiful place/object and useful for many people.

  • Kate
    August 1, 2015, 10:35 pm

    When I was a child, the gypsies came to the hospital where my mother worked. She ventured down to ‘check things out’. I doubt even the queen had such luxurious quarters.

    I love the craftsman touches, the glass, the woodworking and the sheet of cooper tone metal. In the past, I’ve checked into the layout of the wagons and they did include a stove for cooking…and I’m under the impression that they were longer. Cabinets are missing that traditionally are there also.
    This is an lovely work of art but….this needs to have…more. IMO!

  • Patty
    August 2, 2015, 1:40 am

    Beautiful! Lovely stained glass windows & wood treatment.

  • Nanny M.
    August 2, 2015, 4:54 am

    This little camper takes my breath away. Especially love the beds. All it needs is a potty.

  • Bruce Pritchett
    August 2, 2015, 10:03 am

    It’s beautiful. But….. is that stove safe?! Really close to the walls.

    • Marsha Cowan
      August 2, 2015, 11:35 am

      With the right fireproof and heat resistant backing, you can put a wood burning stove pretty close to the walls, even zero clearance if done right. That is how the propane tent heaters are made, too. They can actually be hung against a wall. So it is not surprising to find a wood heater so snugly fit. I am sure he did his homework before placing it there.

  • Marsha Cowan
    August 2, 2015, 11:32 am

    Just wanted to add a little more. Where did you get that adorable and orefect little stove? This tiny house really took my breath away when I saw it. It is absolutely incredible. How will you ever follow this? Lol! You are quite the artisan, Jim. Please keep us informed of any other artwork you complete. Thanks!

  • Marsha Cowan
    August 2, 2015, 11:16 pm

    Question. . . Of what is the white outside covering made?

  • Trish
    August 3, 2015, 11:52 am

    Wow!. This is a masterpiece of craftmanship and the price reflects that.
    I would love to spend a few nights in this one, but living in it full time wouldn’t work for me.

  • Zackem
    August 3, 2015, 9:27 pm

    Ya all gone a need a big hat, cause there is no potty as I heard one person in need exclaim, and after the comments ya all left, you need a place to put all that bull as well…! Lmffao…!

    • January 31, 2021, 2:15 pm

      You know Zack, just inside to the right is an area for a cartridge Loo that a door from the outside could access right? Just a bit of modification and this unit can be fully self-contained and towed by a small car or even a three-wheeled cycle. Folks with lots of money and very little low-income experience usually have a problem seeing what actually can work….This unit is top of the line for the rich, conceptually however, this could be produced in lessor quality at 15% of the cost or even a lot less using salvaged materials…. Like for the folks living under an overpass in a plastic shelter?

      • Zackem
        February 1, 2021, 8:03 pm

        LOL…! No one has lived on or under our freeways since the “Marielito” flotilla crises of 1980.. I happen to love Vardos and agree with you as to the ability to install a proper loo… I own a almost 2800 sq. ft. home now and would love to down size to a smaller home due to that I am the only one living in it besides my dog. It is to costly to heat and cool it for just the two of us… And I to live on a small pension and understand the cost of living is far from what I would call ideal… I almost had a showman’s trailer built for me till the gentleman who was to build it had suddenly past away… I have now designed a new smaller home of just over 800 sq. ft. and plan to have it built from shipping containers, only I have not found land in my area to build it… I need to find land where I can put a mobile home keeping my tax’s down on the land and only the sq. ft. per axel as it would qualify as a mobile home parked on a vacant lot owned by myself and not a caravan park where I would pay for amenity’s I would not make use of… Check back with me in another 6 yrs. and I’ll let you know how I did….! Take care till than….

  • Glema
    August 5, 2015, 3:47 pm

    Thank you for sharing your absolutely beautiful little camper. Your workmanship and artistic flare are both wonderfully done. May God bless your happy trails!

  • Pam
    March 12, 2016, 9:20 am

    I’m in love. I live in a 1,000 sq home but do a lot of camping. This is called glamping. Meaning really nice camping. A preper would snatch this up in a heart beat. In middle of the nite, your “chamber pot” or garbage bag lined trash can would b beside your bed. Mountain men and women know survival and make do. Only thing this needs is solar panels. Wonderful workmanship , congrats.

  • Lantz
    August 1, 2016, 9:51 pm

    All the Gypsy Vardos I’ve seen have had hard tops. This reminds me of the covered wagons of the old west. Beautiful workmanship, definitely a labor of love.

    August 2, 2016, 8:08 am

    Very beautiful, but it is not a true Vardo, it is what is called a shepherd’s hut, or wagon if memory serves me correctly… They have been used by gypsy though… I love all the stained glass windows, and copper fixtures such as the sink… $66,ooo.oo is a lot of loot for ]this wagon but I’m sure some how it will sell….. It really was decorated in traditional gypsy artistic painting detail… There is a company in Montana that still makes these type wagons, but are just not painted the same nor are they outfitted the same, they look more like a hunting cabin for two or a very well made round travel trailer… Only difference is it’s shape… And even brand new they do not cost as much as this one is being sold for…! But still I have to admit I love this ones style and the way it’s layed out….

  • August 2, 2016, 4:32 pm

    It is not only romantic, but nicely refined. An explicit parody of a now
    memorable epoch of living on wheels.

  • Annette
    August 12, 2016, 10:13 pm

    I keep returning to this beautiful creation. Every lovely detail compels memory. What a fine example of craft and artistry. Thanks for sharing it.

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