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Vardo Living Wagon: Rural Horse-Drawn Home To Go

Vardo Living Wagon
Vardo Living Wagon: Rural Horse-Drawn Home To Go

Vardo Living Doesn’t Mean Slumming!

A vardo living wagon also know as a van and caravan is a traditional horse-drawn wagon used by British Romanians as their home.

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Possessing a chimney, it is commonly thought of as being highly decorated, intricately carved, brightly painted and even gilded.

The days of hitching up a wagon may be on its way back as a way of survival due to the impending economic and American way of life upheaval.

Besides that, it’s a better way of putting bad-tempered horses to good use as opposed to pasture, because if they have to be fed, they have to work!

While American travelers have spacious, luxury motor coaches, Romanians still live in caravans.

Therefore, rural homesteaders need to adopt the idea of living in a vardo wagon, to survive.

Owning a traditional horse-drawn vardo could be used as a safe and sound mobile home, if push comes to shove.

Needless to say, I love the idea of living and camping in one in the rural countryside.

When I see images of old vardo wagons, I think about “gypsy palm reading” and circus troupe wagons.

Tiny houses are cute and all, but by comparison, vardos have the most style and they’re horse-drawn, which makes them unique.

Decorated In Elaborate Boho Style

According to GypsyJib.com, “Vardos were elaborately decorated, hand carved and ornately painted with traditional Romani symbols. Romanichal would participate in the ornate carving and decoration, being skilled woodcarvers themselves, but would leave the main construction to a professional specialised coach builder. Much of the wealth of the vardo was on display in the carvings, paintings incorporated aspects of the Romani lifestyle, including horses, birds, lions, griffins, floral designs, and vine work, including elaborate scroll working heightened by the extensive use of between 4-15 books of gold leaf applied as decoration. Each individual maker was identified by their particular designs.”

Living In The Car
Vardo Doesn’t Mean Slumming

Vardos are highly prized by Romanians for its aesthetic design, beauty and practicality to pull off road and over rough ground, something smaller-wheeled wagons are unable to do.

The rear wheels are 18 inches larger than the ones on the front.

I could make my home in a covered wagon, 10 feet long with a porch on the front and back!

At the start of the 20th century the design incorporated raised skylights.

On either side of the bed space, quarter-inch thick beveled mirrors were common, and were lavishly decorated.

Cupboards and locker seats were built in to prevent movement while travelling.

Side and back windows were decorated and shuttered, and the body of the vardo itself would have originally been made from beaded tongue-and-groove match board, painted red and tricked out in yellow and green.

As with other vardos, the extent of the elaborate decoration reflected the wealth of the family, boasting carved lion heads and gargoyles; these would have been painted gold or extensively decorated with gold leaf.

Today, surviving vardo wagons are prized exhibits in museums or private collections.

I think it’s about time for rural America to start thinking outside of the American dream box, and consider the vardo as a serious alternative living space WSHTF! Curated From Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia


Earn Rural Money By Hosting A Vardo Wagon Experience

If you are a local vardo wagon expert, I invite you to host an experience on Airbnb.

It’s easy as inviting people to join you for a horse drawn wagon ride with your Clydesdale horse… on your farm.

You begin with hitching the team to the wagon.

Then, explain the process, which gives your guests an opportunity to interact with the horses and learn about vardo wagons, and animals on the farm.

The horses will take them on an approximately 45-90 minute tour on lanes and fields around your farm looking for birds, etc., and to see the beauty of your natural wildlife habitat, trees and colors of the season.

In winter, you can take the vardo wagon out for a ride through the snow (if possible).

By adding bells, it will make the ride fun for singing and carolling, too.

Review safety information before you get on your way.

Post rules for guests such as:

  • It is recommended to dress according to the weather.
  • Boarding the wagon requires climbing up a small step ladder and sitting on wooden benches.
  • People with limited mobility may not be suited to this activity.
  • Recommend you bring a bottle of water and use the washroom facilities before we begin our ride.
  • In accordance with COVID-19 recommendations, surfaces will be cleaned between groups. Group size 4 maximum.
  • We try to go during our usual chore times morning and evening, but not after dark.
  • We practice safety around animals and machinery always.
  • Times can be adjusted at our guests request. Morning 10 am, afternoon 3pm.

As a suggestion, charge from $40 per person for 45-90 minutes, hosted in English or your native language.

You’ll need to create an entirely new experience and submit it for review to Airbnb by using my link following the process below:

Design Your Experience
All experiences start with Airbnb’s quality standards—expertise, access, and connection. But also think about how to engage with guests online, and minimize the supplies they might need to participate. When you have an idea, start the submission process.

Share Your Idea
Next, you’ll need to describe your activity for both the application and your future experience page. Airbnb recommend sharing the value of what you’re offering in detail, starting with a lower price until you have some reviews, and setting the length to 90 minutes or less.

Submit Your Experience
You’re almost there! When you get to the Location step, check the Yes, this is an online experience box. Once everything else is completed, you’re ready to submit. The Airbnb team will read it over and let you know if it’s been approved in 2–4 weeks.

Set Up And Start Hosting
While you wait, you can choose a location that represents you and your activity and start planning for your camera set-up, lighting, and sound. You can also start getting to know the Zoom conference platform. Don’t worry, before you start hosting they’ll share lots of resources to set you up for success.

If you are a local vardo wagon expert, I invite you to host an experience on Airbnb.

Start creating your experience!

Host Your Vardo Wagon On Airbnb

Make your vardo wagon the destination.

Host your vardo wagon, earn extra income, and share the roadside way of life with adventurous guests.