August, 2005

I wouldn't have guessed that I'd ever want to make another wagon, but a fateful impromptu brainstorming session got me thinking about the improvements I'd make if I did. I was discussing it with my friend Daphne, of Daphne's Caravans and some good ideas started to emerge. One thing led to another and Craig and I found ourselves at Pennsic with a big For Sale sign on the wagon. It has since moved to its new home in California, and I hope its new owners will be as fond of it as we are. I have to say that it was a great prototype and the concepts we developed while building that one will play a large part in the construction of the new one. I think we accomplished our goals the first time around, and the second pass should improve an already successful design. If this is your first time here, I'd recommend checking out the original wagon site before you read through this one. A lot of the motivations and ideas that led to the new vardo can be found by revisiting the old.


I have discovered that there is an historical precedent for our pop-up design. A friend in England sent me the photo. This is a folding trailer from the early 1900s. (Nope, still not medieval, oh well.) I was surprised to realize that this had been around for some time before we came up with what we thought was the original idea.

There were very few changes that we wished to make to our design, but the decisive one was fairly fundamental. Although the wagon's setup was very easy, it still required two people. That meant that if for some reason only one of us could attend an event, the wagon couldn't go. Daphne had a couple of ideas for making it a one person setup, and that was all the inspiration I needed. She and I made arrangements for me to come visit her in the fall of 2005 for an intensive two-week construction session.

My apologies to those of you to whom I SWORE I could never be talked into building another wagon.
Apparently I don't know myself very well. As before, there has to be an official

"Whotta guy" list.

Many thanks to:

Daphne B, of Daphne's Caravans for getting me started on this, and for being interested in combining her concepts with mine to make a brand new whole.

Don T, who designed and built the winching trailer frame.

Norman F, who helped create the first wagon, for not being at all offended that we wanted to try out some new ideas, and for lending assistance on the new caravan.

Jason M, for a helpful bit of welding and re-engineering.

Mark B, for helping me build the stuff I didn't have the tools for.

Sandra S, for adding more paintings to make things pretty.

Stephen S, for his excellent suggestion on an assist to the lift mechanism, and for installing same.

Les W, for all of his advice, and his willingness to share with me his first-hand knowledge of real gypsy caravans.

Click on the little wagon to proceed...



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