May, 2006

Darren needed to upgrade to a larger vehicle this year, and since he'll have more towing capacity, he decided to make his wagon a bit more roomy. He doesn't have any more storage space than before, so he left the trailer footprint alone. The basic floorplan is still 4'x8'. Now though, the top wall will widen out into a more traditional bow. The new shape should mimic the original bowtop wagons a bit better. We'll still be making a number of design changes based on the trailer's shape and financial practicality, though. This new design will allow for storage shelves, a permanent bed, and a sink station.

For the most part, we're cannibalizing the old pieces. We had to buy a few sheets of plywood and some 2x4s, but most of the base will be remaining exactly where it is. It was a pleasant surprise not to have to spend a lot of money on the upgrade.

We got as much of a circular shape as we could out of a single sheet of plywood, but we had to wrangle it a bit, since the full circle wasn't possible. This piece, and a similar one at the far end, will be permanently attached to the lower walls with hinges. For setup, they'll just be raised into place and covered with a canvas top, more or less as they were before.

Yes, there will be a door...

The new width will be about 7 feet. Darren is 6'4", and the plan was to make the wagon wide enough for him to be able to put his bed across the back instead of having to fold it out to the length of the wagon each night. It makes the wagon's shape a bit wider than it would have been historically, but that was necessary. As tall as he is, it's better to mess with the proportions a little than for him to bash his head when he sleeps. The new bed platform is very sturdy and will be a nice couch by day, and he'll have tons of storage underneath. The remaining floorspace is more than adequate for him to move around in.
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