How to Build Your Dream Tiny Home: A Guide to Sheep Wagon Construction

The featured image for this article could be a photograph of a finished sheep wagon tiny home

Are you wondering what a sheep wagon is and how it could be a unique and affordable tiny home option? In this guide, we will explore the history and evolution of sheep wagons, design and customization options, building a sheep wagon, popular sheep wagon builders, living in a sheep wagon, and maintenance and care. As an experienced sheep wagon builder and user, I’ll provide personal insights and technical information to help you decide if a sheep wagon is right for you.

How to Build Your Dream Tiny Home: A Guide to Sheep Wagon Construction

The History and Evolution of Sheep Wagons

Sheep wagons have been popular among ranchers, herders, hunters, and sportsmen since the late 1800s. Originally made from wood and canvas, these wagons were designed to be lightweight, mobile, and easy to transport. Over time, sheep wagons have evolved to include more amenities and features, such as stoves, beds, and storage. They are now made with different materials, including aluminum and fiberglass. Today, they are also used as a unique and affordable tiny home option.

How to Build Your Dream Tiny Home: A Guide to Sheep Wagon Construction

Guide to Sheep Wagon Construction

  • Sheep wagons are a tiny home option with a long history.
  • Sheep wagons can be customized with amenities such as kitchens, bathrooms, and sleeping space.
  • The article includes information on building, popular builders, living in, and maintaining a sheep wagon as a tiny home.

How to Build Your Dream Tiny Home: A Guide to Sheep Wagon Construction

Design and Customization Options

While the basic design of a sheep wagon includes a bed, stove, and storage space, customization options are available to make your space more livable. For example, you may want to add a kitchen area with a sink, mini-fridge, and cooktop. You could also install a composting toilet or use a portable camping toilet. Sleeping space can be maximized by using a loft bed or a convertible sofa. Other customization options may include solar panels for off-grid power, air conditioning, and heating systems.

When choosing the right size and layout for your needs, consider how many people will be living in the space, how much storage you will need, and how you plan to use the space.

How to Build Your Dream Tiny Home: A Guide to Sheep Wagon Construction

Building a Sheep Wagon

Building a sheep wagon requires some technical know-how and DIY experience. The basic process typically involves building a frame, attaching walls and a roof, installing windows and doors, and adding insulation and interior finishes. Materials needed for construction can include wood, aluminum, fiberglass, or a combination of materials. It’s important to use materials that are designed for outdoor use and to follow best practices for construction. If you’re not confident in your building skills, there are many sheep wagon builders who can create a custom wagon for you.

Popular Sheep Wagon Builders

There are many sheep wagon builders across the United States who can create a custom wagon for you. One popular builder is Kim Vader from Idaho Sheep Wagons. His wagons can be used as tiny homes, guest houses, or studios and feature various amenities such as a bed, sitting and eating area, kitchen, storage, and electrical outlets. Prices range from $9,000 to $13,500, and delivery is available.

Another popular sheep wagon builder is the Wilson family in Utah. They have been manufacturing sheep wagons for over 40 years, producing 10 to 14 wagons annually. Their wagons are known for their high quality and off-road capabilities and start at a base price of $25,000. As with any major purchase, it’s important to do your research and read reviews before selecting a sheep wagon builder.

How to Build Your Dream Tiny Home: A Guide to Sheep Wagon Construction

Living in a Sheep Wagon

Living in a sheep wagon can be a unique and rewarding experience, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. To make the most of your space, prioritize organization and storage. You may also want to consider using multi-functional furniture, such as a bed with built-in storage or a table that folds down when not in use. It’s also important to be mindful of energy usage and to explore off-grid power options, such as solar panels.

Maintenance and Care Description
Regular cleaning Regular cleaning of the interior and exterior of the sheep wagon is important to prevent the accumulation of dirt and debris. This includes sweeping the floors, wiping down surfaces, and cleaning the stove and kitchen area.
Checking for leaks Inspect the sheep wagon regularly for signs of leaks. This can include checking for water damage, mold, or mildew. It’s important to address any leaks as soon as they are detected to prevent further damage.
Inspecting exterior and interior Inspect the exterior and interior of the sheep wagon for signs of wear and tear. This includes checking for loose or missing screws, damaged insulation, or cracks in the walls or roof.
Winterizing If you plan to use your sheep wagon in colder climates, it’s important to winterize it. This may include insulating the walls and roof, wrapping the water pipes, and adding weather stripping to doors and windows.
Professional inspection and repair If you’re not confident in your ability to fix maintenance issues yourself, it’s important to have a professional inspect and repair your sheep wagon. This can help ensure that the wagon is safe and functional for years to come.

Maintenance and Care

To ensure your sheep wagon lasts for many years, it’s important to maintain and care for it properly. This may include regular cleaning, checking for leaks, and inspecting the exterior and interior for signs of wear and tear. You may also want to winterize your sheep wagon if you plan to use it in colder climates.

Common maintenance issues with sheep wagons may include leaks, issues with the stove or heating system, and wear and tear on the exterior. If you’re not confident in your ability to fix these issues yourself, it’s important to have a professional inspect and repair your sheep wagon.

Real-Life Example: Living in a Sheep Wagon

Living in a sheep wagon can be an incredibly rewarding experience, as Jane and her husband discovered. They had always dreamed of downsizing and living a simpler life, and when they stumbled upon the idea of a sheep wagon, they knew it was the perfect fit for them.

They commissioned a local sheep wagon builder to create a custom design that included a small kitchen, a cozy sleeping loft, and a rustic wood-burning stove for heat. While the space was small, they found that it had everything they needed and nothing more. They spent their days exploring the nearby mountains and valleys, and their evenings cooking simple meals and reading by candlelight.

Of course, there were challenges along the way. They had to get creative with storage solutions and learn to live with minimal possessions. They also had to adjust to the realities of off-grid living, including hauling water and using a composting toilet.

But for Jane and her husband, the benefits far outweighed any challenges. They felt a deep sense of connection to the natural world around them, and they loved the simplicity and beauty of their tiny home. They also enjoyed the financial freedom that came with living in a small and affordable space.

For anyone considering a sheep wagon as a tiny home option, Jane recommends taking the time to really think about your needs and priorities. She also suggests finding a builder who is willing to work with you to create a customized design that suits your lifestyle. With a little bit of planning and preparation, living in a sheep wagon can be a truly transformative experience.


Sheep wagons are a unique and affordable housing option that offer a variety of customization options and can be used as a tiny home, guest house, or studio. Whether you choose to build your own sheep wagon or purchase one from a builder, prioritize safety, durability, and livability. Be mindful of your needs and budget, and research the available options before making a decision.

If you’re interested in exploring other tiny home options, be sure to check out our affiliate offer for Tiny Home Builders. They offer a variety of tiny home plans and resources to help you build your dream home, including space-saving furniture and design inspiration.

Answers To Common Questions

Who uses sheep wagons as tiny homes?

People who love compact and mobile living spaces.

What makes sheep wagons unique tiny homes?

They are rustic, durable, and have a rich history.

How much does a sheep wagon tiny home cost?

Prices range from $5,000 to $30,000, depending on the features.

Who builds custom sheep wagon tiny homes?

Experienced builders who specialize in this niche.

What are the challenges of living in a sheep wagon tiny home?

Limited space, no running water, and minimal amenities.

How can I convince my partner to live in a sheep wagon tiny home?

Show them the benefits of a simple and eco-friendly lifestyle.

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