James Barwick from King’s Lynn in West Norfolk, England, is a plumber by trade who loves building stuff. He loves building home on wheels for himself and his family, to be more precise; and for paying customers as of a couple of years ago, because he was able to spin that first love into a budding business. His first build was a teardrop trailer that he, his wife Helen, and their two kids used for short getaways.
By late 2019, it became clear that they needed an upgrade. That upgrade eventually became the landyacht you’re reading about today, a gorgeous, yacht-inspired home on wheels, set on a Volkswagen T4 car carrier and offering three bedrooms, a full kitchen, a proper bathroom, and the most stylish design you’re likely to see on the road. The fact that this “yacht on wheels” was built from scratch, by an amateur, is the most impressive feature, though.
On the platform, James imagined a design that would offer the comforts of a home for the entire family, including separate bedrooms for the kids. He placed these at the front, in the cabover area, where he build wooden cubicles with beds inside, accessible by means of rope ladders. After all, this is a “yacht” on wheels.
The master bedroom is on the opposite end, with a king-size mattress and plenty of storage at the foot of the bed. Everything else is concentrated in the central part: a complete kitchen on one side, a dinette on the other, and a small wet bath behind the passenger seat.
The bathroom offers only a toilet and a shower, but it’s still decently-sized, all things considered.
To make the most out of a cramped footprint, James used different wallpapers for different areas, thus creating the impression of actual “rooms.” What ties everything together is the yacht-inspired touches, with portholes for windows, the rope ladder, and exposed wood on the ceiling. Of course, the most obvious feature is the exterior, which was done all by hand, in teak planks that James bent for the curved corners with help from an improvised steam bender he made out of a pipe. He is a plumber, after all.
That was the most difficult part of the build, too, he said at the time. He had to bend every plank individually, and he used more than 30 in total, not including those in the cabover area. This added to the timeline of the project, which ultimately required over 2,000 work hours to complete, with help from a few friends.
The landyacht was listed for sale in April last year, as James announced plans to start a “new exciting” project. However, that summer, he and the family took it to the Vanlife Festival in 2022, where it earned a new round of praise for his brilliant idea and the creative way in which he was able to put it into execution. It was well-deserved, too: this RV might be on the smaller side, but it’s perfectly able to stick to the “yacht on wheels” theme.