This post may contain affiliate links or mention our own products, please check out our disclosure policy.

This British Puppeteer Builds Gypsy Wagons From Recycled Materials

Like a little Fabergé Egg, Basil Smith’s handmade gypsy wagons hold a whole world inside a tiny space.

Basil Smith, a puppeteer originally from the United Kingdom, built these little caravans out of recycled materials.

BasilSmith-GypsyWagons-StuartHobson-Vimeo 1

Basil has travelled all around Australia in his small, but elegant gypsy caravans. He and his wife, Janet, both love to travel and his wagons are a reflection of the joys of moving around to different locations.

Sign up for the newsletter today!

Please enter a valid email address.

An error occurred. Please try again later.

× logo

Thank you for subscribing to the Do It Yourself RV newsletter, keep your eye on your inbox for updates.

Basil has three gypsy wagons at his home in Tasmania.

BasilSmith-GypsyWagons 1

Basil and Janet attach some of the wagons to trucks or tow them with their vintage vehicles.

BasilSmith-GypsyWagons-Australia-travel 1

What makes these wagons even more joyous is that they are built primarily with recycled materials. Everything from the framing and trim to the paint and the canvas on the roof has been culled from the trash or found as unused materials.

Even the pretty Yorkshire rose on the back of one wagon was made with old fencing and contains a modern reflector.

The Yorkshire Rose is used as a decorative item on the wagons. This one is made from an old fence post.

BasilSmith-GypsyWagons-rose 1

More astonishing, Basil creates his little wagons mostly with hand tools. His wife designs, crafts and cuts the delightful stained glass windows.

Interesting and colorful details can be seen on every part of the wagons.

BasilSmith-GypsyWagons-details 1

The exterior of the wagons are covered with colorful and classic designs featuring flowers, horseshoes and intricate curlicues.

The interiors are just as charming and include curtains, fabric ceilings, handmade wood cabinets, and decorative pillows and art chosen by Janet.

Janet’s in charge of the interior, selecting decorative items and trim pieces.

BasilSmith-GypsyWagons-interior 1

The couple have their comforts as well. They sleep on a Posturepedic mattress, watch movies on a small TV and store their food in a dorm-sized refrigerator.

Basil and Janet sleep on a comfortable Posturepedic mattress.

BasilSmith-GypsyWagons-bed 1

“I build them for me, not for anyone else. The real pleasure for me is being amongst—in—my ornate gypsy carvans.”

Basil’s love of travel and handicrafts show through his designs!


Hear more from Basil about his Gypsy Wagons.

Video by Stuart Hobson.

Support Do It Yourself RV

Do It Yourself RV is run by RVers who share the most up-to-date and valuable content on camping and RVing every week. We couldn’t do it without the support of our readers just like you.

You can help support the efforts of Do It Yourself RV by becoming an RV LIFE Pro subscriber, which gives you access to:

  • RV LIFE App, an RV Safe GPS™ with voice- and lane guidance, even offline.
  • RV LIFE Trip Wizard, a visual RV trip planner with custom RV-safe routes and a comprehensive directory of RV parks, resorts, and campgrounds.
  • RV LIFE Maintenance, a cloud-based service that tracks your RV maintenance and provides reminders, reports, and related documentation.
  • RV LIFE Masterclass, an online educational platform where RV experts share tips and advice on everything you need to know about RVing.

If you value our site and want to see us continue to grow, please consider supporting us by becoming an RV LIFE Pro subscriber today.