Fat Gypsy expanding car-towable gypsy caravan

Welcome to the 'Fat Gypsy' website.

The 'Fat Gypsy' (patent applied for) is an expanding car-towable touring caravan or 'glamping' pod or lodge or garden room/office with something of the flavour of a traditional gypsy 'bowtop' - where you can sleep, lounge, cook and eat in comfort. Or it can be fitted out in any other way you choose.

I am currently building a 12 ft 'Fat Gypsy' prototype at my workshops near Pewsey, Wilts., where I am more than happy for you to come and see the work in progress and discuss how a Fat Gypsy could be customised to your exact requirements.

The 'Fat Gypsy' is less than 8ft wide when folded in for road transport and is fully 'street legal' but opens out to over 12ft wide on site. The length of the 'Fat Gypsy' as illustrated here is 8ft, but the length could be anything from 8ft to 23ft (the longer versions will sleep up to 8) and still be 'street legal'. This means that it would usually be classed as a touring caravan for planning purposes.

The basic shell of the 'Fat Gypsy' is made from glassfibre/epoxy/plywood/foam sandwich panels and can be finished internally and/or externally in 'real' wood or traditional green canvas and/or painted in various colour combinations complete with whatever traditional gypsy caravan artwork takes your fancy. Thermal insulation is built in to all the body panels so that the 'Fat Gypsy' will stay cool in summer and cosy in winter making it suitable for all-year-round use!

Fat Gypsy expanding car-towable gypsy caravan   Fat Gypsy expanding car-towable gypsy caravan

On site, when opened out, the 'Fat Gypsy' is going to look something like this (seen from the back)....

Fat Gypsy expanding car-towable gypsy caravan   Fat Gypsy expanding car-towable gypsy caravan

....and (seen from the front) something like this:

Fat Gypsy expanding car-towable gypsy caravan   Fat Gypsy expanding car-towable gypsy caravan

On the road, however, it would look more like this:

So, how does the 'Fat Gypsy' expand?

Fat Gypsy expanding car-towable gypsy caravan

Once on site, the first jobs are to put the brakes on, drop the jockey wheel, lower and adjust the corner steadies and put out the steps.

Fat Gypsy expanding car-towable gypsy caravan

Start the opening out process by undoing the catches on one side, raising the curved panel (gas-strut-assisted) and securing it in position.

Fat Gypsy expanding car-towable gypsy caravan

Then repeat the procedure for the other side so that the Fat Gypsy now looks like a cross between Dumbo and an owl.

Fat Gypsy expanding car-towable gypsy caravan

Next, unclip and lower the hinged bottom panels....

Fat Gypsy expanding car-towable gypsy caravan

....on each side and at both ends so that the Fat Gypsy now looks like a cross between Thomas the Tank Engine and a koala bear with toothache.

Fat Gypsy expanding car-towable gypsy caravan

 

On the inside, the fit-out of a 'Fat Gypsy' depends entirely on the owner's wishes. These illustrations (with back end panels removed) show a simple arrangement with a sofa/bed on one side and cooking/storage units on the other in an 8ft long version.

Fat Gypsy expanding car-towable gypsy caravan

There is plenty of storage space: overhead lockers above the sofa, foot lockers under the sofa and even a generous amount of space....

Fat Gypsy expanding car-towable gypsy caravan

....behind the sofa, accessed by tipping the seat-back forward.

Fat Gypsy expanding car-towable gypsy caravan

To convert the sofa into a bed, first open out the foot locker doors....

Fat Gypsy expanding car-towable gypsy caravan

....then temporarily move the seat and back cushions out of the way.

Fat Gypsy expanding car-towable gypsy caravan

This will enable you to rotate the hinged upper seat-base through 180° until it sits on top of the foot lockers doors to form a bed-base.

Fat Gypsy expanding car-towable gypsy caravan

Then just put the two cushions on top to create a full-size double bed.

Fat Gypsy expanding car-towable gypsy caravan

The procedure for getting a 'Fat Gypsy' ready for the road also begins by folding up the sofa-bed. First, move the cushions out of the way....

Fat Gypsy expanding car-towable gypsy caravan

....and fold the seat-back down.

Fat Gypsy expanding car-towable gypsy caravan

Then lift up the bottom shelf on the curved panel behind the sofa-bed and clip it to the shelf above.

Fat Gypsy expanding car-towable gypsy caravan

Next, fold the outer side panel inwards to rest on top of the other sofa/bed panels.

Fat Gypsy expanding car-towable gypsy caravan

Then rotate the whole lot through 90° and clip it in the vertical position.

Fat Gypsy expanding car-towable gypsy caravan

This will allow you to lower the main curved panel and secure it in position.

Fat Gypsy expanding car-towable gypsy caravan

Putting away the kitchen and storage units on the other side is even simpler.

Fat Gypsy expanding car-towable gypsy caravan

Just close all doors and lockers, undo the catches and slide the whole unit (on wheels) into the centre of the floor and secure in position.

Fat Gypsy expanding car-towable gypsy caravan

Next, fold the outer side panel inwards onto the base panel....

Fat Gypsy expanding car-towable gypsy caravan

....then fold both panels up behind the kitchen/storage unit and clip in place.

Fat Gypsy expanding car-towable gypsy caravan

Finally, lower the curved panel and secure it in position. All that remains is to put the steps away, raise the corner steadies and the 'Fat Gypsy' is ready to be hitched up.

If you would like any further information about how a 'Fat Gypsy' can be customised to your requirements, please don't hesitate to contact me,

Edmund Sylvester

at

epsylvester@ tinternet.com

or on (+44) (0) 78 67 94 33 95