Fold Down Gypsy/Nomad Trailer

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Fold Down Gypsy/Nomad Trailer

Postby Paintsalot » Mon Nov 15, 2021 9:37 pm

Hi Everyone,

I'm new to the forum. I'm a landscape painter mostly. I travel from Memphis to spots around the South, painting on location, camping usually. I'm somewhat enamored by real horse drawn Vardo's, the woodwork, curved ceilings, character. I like the idea of having a wood stove, and being able to stand up inside. But I would like to see out the back of my Honda Element when rolling down the highway. So this is a conceptual study of a fold down wagon. Here's one that was done on a smaller scale: https://tinyhousetalk.com/modern-bicycle-micro-gypsy-wagon/ by Barry Howard Studio.

Dimensions are 5x8 ft. in plan.

167691
167692 Sides down
167693 Ends fold down, then top lowered down somehow, maybe pulleys/other


The other options are:

1. A Teardrop
2. Gypsy/Nomad wagon or bow top that doesn't fold
3. Convert the Honda Element to camper. Need room for paintings though.
4. Telescoping wagon, where top half slides down over bottom half, using cables and pulleys, or gas springs.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Matthew
Last edited by Paintsalot on Tue Nov 16, 2021 6:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fold Down Nomad Trailer

Postby celadon » Mon Nov 15, 2021 10:15 pm

I like it! If you make it, folks will never leave you alone when you're towing it, though. :)

Have you considered having the long sides remain attached to the roof and just kind of accordion-ing the whole thing down after the ends are folded down? Sort of like one of those collapsible crate things?

Like this.
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Re: Fold Down Nomad Trailer

Postby JasenC » Mon Nov 15, 2021 11:15 pm

Are you just going to lift it by hand or do you plan to use a mechanical system.
I'll be done when I'm finished, if that's not fast enough, take a number.

Build Thread https://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=74269
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Re: Fold Down Nomad Trailer

Postby cluttonfred » Tue Nov 16, 2021 1:41 am

Have you looked at the Woodenwidget Slidavan plans?



https://duckworks.com/slidavan-plans/

I think I'd rig some lift struts rather than go with the stock lifting system which is a bit too Rube Goldberg for my taste, but the camper itself is straightforward and well proven even with little European cars.
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Re: Fold Down Gypsy/Nomad Trailer

Postby Paintsalot » Tue Nov 16, 2021 6:12 am

If you make it, folks will never leave you alone when you're towing it, though. :)
. Funny 8) I probably would like all the attention, lol!

Have you considered having the long sides remain attached to the roof and just kind of accordion-ing the whole thing down after the ends are folded down? Sort of like one of those collapsible crate things?

I did think of having the sides fold in half horizontally so they don’t stack, but hadn’t thought of attaching them to the roof. I like it! Would definitely need a hoist system.
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Re: Fold Down Gypsy/Nomad Trailer

Postby Paintsalot » Tue Nov 16, 2021 6:36 am

Are you just going to lift it by hand or do you plan to use a mechanical system.

Good question. The bicycle version that I posted in the URL looks like it was entirely done by hand but it’s small. If I were to lift it by hand the top would probably have to be canvas or it would be too heavy. So I’m inclined to think I’ll need a mechanical system. I’m imagining a very simple system like a vertical 2 x 4 stud that goes in a metal bracket on the trailer at each end, and has a pulley at the top with a winch at the bottom- and it just lifts the whole thing up. I could go up a couple of feet at each and alternating back-and-forth until it’s all the way up. I think the rigid 2 x 4 would hold it pretty sturdy even if there’s wind. I know there’s other methods like gas springs and such. I’m open to suggestions!

Here- A picture’s worth a 1000 words:

167694
Last edited by Paintsalot on Tue Nov 16, 2021 6:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fold Down Gypsy/Nomad Trailer

Postby Paintsalot » Tue Nov 16, 2021 6:46 am

Have you looked at the Woodenwidget Slidavan plans?

Yes- I saw this before. Very nifty! Lightweight too.
It might be slightly taller than a fold down version?
The fold down version allows access to lower sides when closed. I’m imagining the kitchen opening along the sides, accessible from outside the wagon. So you could load up cooler etc even when top is down.
The slidavan set up might be easier though?
Here’s a very rough sketch of a cross section through the trailer, you can see drawers opening beneath the benches with a counter for cooking outside. 167689
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Re: Fold Down Gypsy/Nomad Trailer

Postby S. Heisley » Tue Nov 16, 2021 7:44 pm

:thinking: Very interesting. I look forward to seeing you progress. :thumbsup:
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Re: Fold Down Gypsy/Nomad Trailer

Postby OP827 » Tue Nov 16, 2021 10:46 pm

I am subscribed too :). To maintain visibility to the back all four walls will need to fold down. Look up Gobur or Esterel Caravans for folding walls design ideas. With 5'x8' plan lifting by hand one end at a time should be ok, if built reasonably light.
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Re: Fold Down Gypsy/Nomad Trailer

Postby pchast » Tue Nov 16, 2021 10:50 pm

I wonder about the weight of the top. Western red cedar, very light framing,
1/8" skins, and even 1" foam; it wouldn't weigh much even in 5 by 10 ft.....

I bet you could do it with under 70 lbs.
:thinking:
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Re: Fold Down Gypsy/Nomad Trailer

Postby Paintsalot » Wed Nov 17, 2021 7:48 am

Thanks Everyone. I wonder about a fabric top layer to keep things light. Marine fabric? I could put it over a layer of Tyvek. just to be sure. I like your idea Pete of cedar. 1/8” skins or fabric possibly.


The next question I have is whether to use the old sailboat trailer I have, or invest in a new 4x8 or 5x8 utility trailer. The steel frame on the one I have is about 64 inches long. But it has a center extension that goes out to about 90 inches or so. Then there would be the tongue past that. Here’s some photos. What do y’all think?
167690167686167685
My sense is that if the trailer design is fairly light it should be able to handle it. See sketch. I can cantilever wood framing as needed.
Last edited by Paintsalot on Wed Nov 17, 2021 8:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fold Down Gypsy/Nomad Trailer

Postby Pmullen503 » Wed Nov 17, 2021 7:59 am

Boat trailers typically have the wheels too far back to be used as is and so need extensive modification.

How good are you at welding?
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Re: Fold Down Gypsy/Nomad Trailer

Postby Paintsalot » Wed Nov 17, 2021 8:09 am

Boat trailers typically have the wheels too far back to be used as is and so need extensive modification.

How good are you at welding?

I don’t have any experience with welding, but I do have experience in carpentry. The axle on this little boat trailer is about in the center of the 64 inch portion. But the axle also has the ability to be moved forward or back. There are already holes drilled in the trailer where I could adjust it. I think I can get the 60/40 rule of axle placement, but I’m not sure. I can measure it later today. I will need to get a shorter tongue then for sure to achieve the 60/40 rule.
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Re: Fold Down Gypsy/Nomad Trailer

Postby Nanny54 » Thu Nov 18, 2021 9:58 pm

Paintsalot wrote:Hi Everyone,

I'm new to the forum. I'm a landscape painter mostly. I travel from Memphis to spots around the South, painting on location, camping usually. I'm somewhat enamored by real horse drawn Vardo's, the woodwork, curved ceilings, character. I like the idea of having a wood stove, and being able to stand up inside. But I would like to see out the back of my Honda Element when rolling down the highway. So this is a conceptual study of a fold down wagon. Here's one that was done on a smaller scale: https://tinyhousetalk.com/modern-bicycle-micro-gypsy-wagon/ by Barry Howard Studio.

Dimensions are 5x8 ft. in plan.

167691
167692 Sides down
167693 Ends fold down, then top lowered down somehow, maybe pulleys/other


The other options are:

1. A Teardrop
2. Gypsy/Nomad wagon or bow top that doesn't fold
3. Convert the Honda Element to camper. Need room for paintings though.
4. Telescoping wagon, where top half slides down over bottom half, using cables and pulleys, or gas springs.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Matthew

This is nice. :thumbsup: Looking forward to see its progress :applause:
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