Got another one from the archives today – it’s a great use of space.
Steve’s recent “Sofa Layout” was an excellent illustration of using available space if you don’t have a basement or a loft. Garages are often too crowded. I live in the countryside & don’t have either & my workshop/shed is too dirty for a model railway.
My solution was to buy an old caravan which I park next to the house. At 150 pounds it was cheaper than a new shed. It is waterproof, dustproof and has tons of cupboard space. I took out the beds etc and put in some light worktops.
I was able to build a layout 14 feet long down one side, 6 feet across the top and 8 feet down the other side with room for a small workbench at the other end.
Here are some pictures if you are interested.
Baobab Junction in the Kabanga Enclave, between Rhodesia, Zambia & Botswana where the Mwena RIver runs into the Zambesi.
( this way I can run US, UK & European locos & rolling stock all given as Gift Aid to this remnant of colonial Africa).
Please keep up the great site.
Thanks to all the contributors.
How impressive is that! I loved it. Well done to Duncan. Just goes to show, where there’s a will, there’s a way…
Latest ‘ebay cheat‘ sheet is here.
A video showing what you can make from the printable scenery:
What a fantastic idea. The layout looks excellent with lots of attention to detail without being too overcrowded.
WoW! you’ve done a very good job and I can see you have covered all aspects of railroading. I hope you enjoy a lot more years with your railway!
How did you make the curb along the street. The curb is fantastic especially with a street that looks like asphalt and the curb looks like concrete. That detail really makes the street seem so real. Fantastic job.
by the way, what is a caravan?
What is a ‘caravan’?
In Britain a caravan is a lot like our “house trailer”.
For those people in the USA a caravan is called a camper in the States.
A caravan is a trailer… i.e. house on wheels you can tow behind a car.
For John & Terry, it looks lke what we colonists call a camper.
If i recall correctly a “caravan” is what the British and perhaps a a few others, call a “trailer”. Kinda like “boot” and “bonnet” for “trunk” and “hood”.
Or more importantly what we Americans call trains “cars” they call “wagons”.
Now that is what I call making good use of a caravan
LOL…..can’t resist the temptation to pick some nits!!!
A camper is what you put in/on the bed of a pickup truck, usually has no wheels.
A trailer with a tongue, attached to a ball at the back of a vehicle is a “travel trailer”…..not to be confused with a:
Fifth wheel……which is the kind of trailer that sits OVER the bed of the pickup truck, and connects to a frame bolted into the bed, much like the tractor trailer that hauls cargo.
The British “caravan” is usually like a travel trailer…
What ever you called it. The setup is great, good job.
Great job done, really interesting scenery
Fantastic layout! Would never have thought of using a caravan; great idea.
It must be a few years since you lived in Rhodesia.
Neat way you’ve placed the bridges.
Your baobab trees really capture their majestic stand against the sky.
Good job catching the boat design.
great job. yes if theres a will theres a way. keep up the great work.
a great idea using a caravan thas also what aussies call them. send more photos. can the the caravan be moved, could be an idea for going to shows great layout plenty of everything love it.
The ultimate answer to portability. Ideal if you move house, just hook up the railay and take it with you!:-D
Great idea! Own space and transportable!! WOW
Great and great information with so much update
Looks great, but some pictures from the outside would be great to put it into perspective. My wife and I live in a motor coach while we travel for work, and maybe I could talk her into something like this.
THAT IS A VERY NICE LOOKING LAYLOT.
And should Duncan need to move, he doesn’t need to tear it down, all he does is hooks it up to the car! Brilliant!
A great idea. I even have the room for it. I’m certain my ” Building and Zoning Officer” would not approve it however, unless I was planning on moving into it. Something to think about.
A great model, by the way did you remove the wheels from the caravan – I’d hate to hear about some lowlife towing the love of your life away.
WOW, well done! I love camping and model railway but never thought of combining it together! Brilliant Idea! 🙂
You should show a photo of the Caravan (from outside).
Excellent idea. We have a 36ft x 12ft static caravan at the top of the garden. Is there someone brave enough to tell my wife I need it more than her. I think I’ve got more chance of building a model of the London Underground under the floorboards.
Brilliant, great use of any space available. You may have started something new. Would this possibly be called a “RAILER”, railroad on a trailer?
Excellent idea and what an interesting layout, Love the use of the cupboards for displays etc. and as one other person beat me to it if you do move you don’t have to dismantle the layout just tow it to your new home, you may well have started a trend here
busy for a few weeks,you are a star,fantastic work mate.
your work is fantastic butiful great. love it. sheldon
Absolutely Brilliant. and if you go on holiday you can take it with.
I would like to add to a prior question– How did you make the street curbs? Larry from Corpus Christi
Hey Duncan, your my hero. I’ve had a motor home for sale for over a year with not to much luck due to gas prices. Maybe I’ll keep it and turn it into a hobby center. I’ll move my train layout into the motor home and free up a lot of much needed space in my work shop. Great job on your layout. Paul
This would be an ideal installation for a backdrop of translucent plastic material with a sky blue coloring and some indication of clouds. It would make the windows less obvious, still permit illumination, and add to the sense of outdoors.
This is one for the books !
I can see a lot of FOR SALE signs coming down.
very nice lay out
Well done D. A couple of comments.
You can now “trailer” your layout with you on vacation and have joy on those bad weather days.
You may want to put covers on the wheels and tires to keep the sun from slowly turning them into undesirable rot.
For log periods, jack up the caravan to relieve continuous pressure on springs and tires.
’nuff said on comments.
Beautiful work on your layout.
Bruce in SC USA
looking at some of these layout pictures I often wonder “what scale is this?”
It would be nice to know.
Great for transporting to exhibitions! No set-up or take-down to do!
Regards, Dirty Dave!
Great use of an old travel trailer… sounds like you didn’t pay very much for it, either… how about a photo of the outside of the trailer? -Bob W, NH, USA.
What a great idea, great thinking and a super good, loving it
Curbs. Use 1/8 inch square dowels cut to length and painted off white concrete color
Easy to age with some gray.
Paint or use number 2 pencil to outline expansion joints and don’t forget the weeds the grow up at the joints.
SUPER setup. My neighbor has offered me a free Winnebago motor home with blown engine. Thought about making a kids fun ‘guest’ house for grandkids who seldom visit. Would be great for a train ‘room’. Could mockup/paint exterior to look like a diesel loco or coach. Thank you, Steve. Would appreciate photo(s) of your caravan exterior.
What a great example of lateral thinking and an unusual setting for a layout.The mocking up of the outside is a natural extension to the theme, looking forward to seeing it.
Love the bickering over terminology. I think it was Winston Churchill who said: “America and Britain are two great countries split by a common language” or something like that. Long may it be so.
great thinking better than a shed easy to move around.great detail. hope you had some fun.
I should have thought of that instead of buying another house that had a room to suit my planned train setup. Here in Australia we call them caravans, we have a new 21 footer, and I got the dirtiest of looks from she who holds the cheque book when I suggested it. When I move to new house, my setup will be 12 foot on one side, 9 foot across the top and another 11 feet down the other side.
i was so involved looking at your great layout then when I clicked on pic and it didn’t get bigger i was so heart broken.Love what I could see though. lol
Makes ones mind boggle imagine 12 meter 5th wheeler living on the road and able to have your model rail system with you. must admit did have a dream of that and mounting the railway under a glass top kitchen bench top may be using Z scale \. thought it be something different.
Making do with little space. Well done.
Great idea and love the layout. Doubt my wife would let me have an old caravan parked up by the house for that though! LOL!
Well done, and you can travel with it
Brilliant idea! Kudos!
This gets me thinking about that 10′ X 6′ enclosed aluminum cargo trailer I have in our retirement community’s storage lot! My 4′ X 8′ layout would fit easily!
….Hmmm…. I’ll be thinking HEAVILY on that!! ~ JW
My dream come true! Actually, I want an old caboose. I guess that’s redundant. Your group is just so fun! I wish my city and it’s codes, shared your sense of humor. Waaaaaah.
I have a 6.5FT X 16FT cargo trailer that I ordered and just received for my layout. A cargo trailer is a trailer that has NO windows, a ramp or door(s) in the rear and possibly (option) a door on the side. The thing that must be remembered is to level the trailer to keep the track inclines as planed. I will send pictures as work progresses.
Also I can be found on the forum.
British Innovation at its best I love it.
Fabulous idea, but I think I would have a big problem with my Homeowners Association with one of those in sitting in my yard.
Great work, and I love the layout.
Great Idea. I think if I tried the same the Boss “wife” would be delighted and quickly have me and all my belongings installed in the caravan. One can only hope.!!!
Well done a great use of space and the ingenuity to think of this solution.
That was a lot fun reading what different countries call a caravan. I’m Aussie so I understood. I read the contents to my British wife and mum-in-law and they had a laugh (or as they say a “laff”) as well. Great idea. The baobab trees really add a lot. Good work.
This is a fantastic idea, even if you do have other space. Imagine being able to take your layout anywhere with you, maybe to train shows so they can line up in the parking lot to see your layout.