November 17, 2011

My Gypsy Wagon: A Tour

I was talking to my sister the other day and it occurred to us that she has never seen pictures of the Tuckerbag. She's heard a lot about it (and remains skeptical) but as a Montana dweller with no need for internet, she knows less about how I live than you readers do. In order to remedy that I took a bunch of pictures. As you know it is always changing and adapting to be better and cozier, especially with winter coming on. So here it goes: another tour.

First we have the mudroom off the front door. Usually I park at night and climb over the emergency brake to go to bed. Taking out that front seat gave me tons of extra room for storage but mainly I keep it open so that the space feels bigger.

You may have noticed that I got new curtains. They're red, so they blend better with the car that their ivory predecessor. They are also thicker, which lets less light in at night, and closer to the ceiling. All these factors gave me an added bonus: They keep the heat in really well. When I push them aside in the morning there is a noticeable temperature difference between the front and back of the car. I've also found that I get less condensation over night.

Next up is the bedroom. Three pillows and lots of blankets to keep extra cozy on those chilly New England nights. I was at Goodwill yesterday and found a great Pottery Barn throw blanket that I'm very excited about. During the day I cram my blankets behind the pillows and get this nice day bed. Prying eyes don't normally suspect that it's a bed back there, just a super funky back seat.

Up top there, above the bed, you'll see a lime green curtain. I still have the black out shades on the rear window (which I just replaced) but now all that storage on the back sill is out of sight. It's kind of turned into my closet: messy and hidden. Let's be honest though: in this tiny space it looks messy if I forget to put away my PJs in the morning.

There are other little things that I've changed or adapted to. Now that I have a mudroom I make sure to stop by the car wash and vacuum the floors every week or so. I found a hanging storage... thing that has worked great for holding last minute jewelry or my phone; all that stuff that you don't know where to stash. You might notice in the picture below that the small back windows are red. Nope, that wasn't a trick of the light. I used red duck tape to cover the windows on the outside and now have the inside glass to attach suction-cup gadgets to. Right now I have a thermometer and a small dish for loose change.

So there you have it; my little slice of heaven. It's bright (yeah, too bright for some) and snug. I had big plans to live and volunteer at a shelter this winter, but I'm kind of interested to see if my hard work and nesting habits have created a year round home. We've already had 20 degree nights and I was surprisingly comfortable, so what if I could go the next four months? That would be a full year of back seat living in New England.



  1. It's really amazing how you have adapted that teeny space to fit your needs!

    Having lived in drafty cottages year round where heating was basically waste of money, I relied on blankets and awesome socks to stay warm. Getting out of bed was hard, but you have the advantage of turning on the heat, before you get out of bed.

    I think you'll do fine!

    Cyndi & Stumpy @ RVly Ever After

  2. You have done a good job with your renovating your home.Really enjoyed the pics ! Thanks !

  3. Wow, you are making me feel like my similar-sized car has so much... wasted space in it.

  4. gee you've made good use of the space! it's nice to get a peek inside

  5. Ash i realy like the new colors awesome job

  6. Okay, I'm trying to figure this out. So you sleep lengthwise (from back to front) with head in trunk? Do your feet hit the back of the driver side front seat? Did you take the backseat out or did the seat just fold down? If the backseat folds down, I'm assuming it didn't fold flat. Is that a problem? What are you using as a mattress? It looks pretty thick. Is that a porta-potty in the mud room?

    Hope you don't mind the endless questions, but I'm trying to get some ideas to see if I could do something like this in my small car, a Honda Civic. Thanks, bethers

  7. For such a small place its so neat. Bright and cheery too. I see you label things also. Something you really NEED to do. Im labeling everything. Thanks for showing your home sweet home.

  8. Bethers, I sleep with my feet in the trunk, I took the back seat bench out and folded down the back, it's a futon mattress so it's nice and thick, and I don't have a pota-potty. Shoot me an email at and we can chat in detail about all the ins and outs. There are some great resources out there.

  9. Do you find it comfortable living there? It looks like your place is a little cramped. But I do admire those who can survive with just a little space! RV's are great housing alternatives, though.

  10. Amazing job! The courage at your young age to live the way you do astounds me. It is antithesis to society in general and represents a spiritual awareness that is not common.

  11. I was just wondering... Do you have a set-place to park your home on wheels? I am always looking for a more 'stealthy' way to overnight.
    And, I have to say, I love what you've done with the place. Quite refreshing! : )



  12. I usualy park at a Barns & Noble because there are other stores and no mall security. shoot me an email and we can chat about some options.

  13. Hey Ash,

    Does it ever get so cold in New England that you just say, "screw it, I'm staying with a friend tonight"

    By the way, I love the way you live, I just purchased a van and hope to move into it by next fall.

    Best of luck with your adventures!

  14. Jason, so far it has not been cold enough for me to give up on the car. I found that my body heat alone really heats the place up and I have a lot of blankets. Keep us posted on your van!


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