Vintage Photos Of 12 Crazy Wooden Homes On Wheels From The Early 20th Century

There is no formal definition of a house car but in the early 1900s, Americans want to take to the roads and explore. Some creative Tin Can tourists decided that they’d rather bring their home with them rather than have the tent attachments on the sides of their Model T’s, so they built larger structures that resembled houses onto the frames and off they went. It really is the earliest example of what we commonly call a mobile home.

The superb bus of Ray Conklin, president of the New York Motorbus Company in 1915.

Mobile homes often look blocky and sterile, but these wooden houses look like gingerbread Victorian houses on wheels. Check out how people have hammered and sawed their own homes onto cars.


Gospel Car No. 1, built by William Downer in Glassboro, New Jersey, late 1910s.

Dr. A. A. Foster and his family in an auto tourist camp, ca. 1920.

A Ford Model T from the early 1920s.

On a Ford TT chassis.

A cute German country house on wheels in 1922.

A traveling minister with a tiny church car, with a tiny organ inside and a foldable rooftop steeple, 1922.

A fancy homebuilt motorhome, built on a Ford Model TT truck chassis in Ohio, 1924.

W. M. O’Donnell and his family in their “bungalow auto”, 1926.

The Burn Family (June and Farrar) and their moving house, 1929.

The homebuilt car of Charles Miller with a nice bit of lawn, 1930.

Ford Model A Traveler, 1931.

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