We saw an array of amazing home-made things at this year's Maker Faire NYC, but one of the most impressive by far was the Whittled Down Caravan, a super tiny home on wheels. Built from scratch on top of a 4' x 8' utility trailer by Libby Reinish and Tristan Chambers, the diminutive dwelling features a kitchen, a living area and a bed, and even incorporates solar power. We were lucky enough to take a full tour of this miniature but effective abode (as you can imagine, it only took about 2 minutes), so click through our gallery to see everything from the neat hidden storage to a dutch-door to an observation deck for the couple's cat, Lionshead.
Reinish and Chambers built their tiny Whittled-Down covered wagon home for just $1,500 so that they could live in it while they made a cross-country pilgrimage from Santa Fe, NM to Massachusetts two years ago. The final result may look like a pioneer wagon of old but actually has many more amenities, from a solar powered shower to a couch that doubles as a laundry bag (the more dirty clothes you collect, the more comfy the couch becomes). Libby and Tristan estimate that least 50% of the cabin is made of salvaged materials.
“We built the wagon on a 4 x 8′ utility trailer and towed it with Libby’s 4 cyl. sedan,” write Libby and Tristan on their blog, Whittleddown.com. “The construction was wood with a canvas top. Our goals were to build a portable living structure that was light and cheap.” The wagon home is powered by a 50-watt, roof-mounted solar panel purchased at a flea market.
Inside, the raised bed provides underbed storage and is topped with a home-made, straw-stuffed mattress.
Lionshead’s personal observation deck is made from salvaged lumber and wire dorm shelf cubes. You can see that he accesses it via a cat door. Photo credit: Libby Reinish
To be fair, there is one thing still missing from the caravan – a toilet – but Reinish and Chambers are planning to build a portable composting toilet soon.
Don’t forget to add Whittleddown.com to your blogroll to stay updated on Libby and Tristan’s tips for doing more with less, something they clearly know a lot about.
Photos © Yuka Yoneda, except where noted.