A typical 'road mender' living van with water cart and equipment from the Eddison & Co. fleet

A Living Van is the general name given to the wooden trailers towed behind Steam engines, Steam rollers and Ploughing Engines for the crew to live in when away from base. The living van also contained tools and other equipment to maintain the engine's associated equipment.

History[edit | edit source]

add a history of living vans here.

Most of the manufacturers offered them in their range of ancillary equipment that could be purchased with their engines. Other companies manufactured them as well and some of the larger rolling contractors built their own in house along with other equipment.

The vans usually had bed/bunk for 2 to 5 men, with a cast iron stove and small work surface, food storage locker, and detachable steps. Some were fitted with a vice and other tools when used by Road Roller and Ploughing Engine crews. Some later models had suspension and brakes with rubber shod wheels.

Related vehicles[edit | edit source]

A pair of showman's living vans

A very similar vehicle is the sheperds hut which is a timber hut on wheels to enable it to be moved about but these are not designed for road transport. They only have small generally cast iron wheels and a very basic A frame for towing with the wheels mounted on fixed axles rather than the front set having a turntable.

Later the showmen started to have build more grand caravans that were larger versions of the gypsy caravan and these are generally known as showman's living vans. Later versions were fitted with pneumatic rubber tyres and brakes for hauling by the showmans Ballast tractors that replaced the Showman's road locomotive.

Manufacturers[edit | edit source]

McLaren living van (possibly a ploughing crew van ?)

A few of the manufacturers were;

Preservation[edit | edit source]

A road roller crews living van (used with roller PB 9801) that was part of Buckingham County Councils fleet originally.

A large number of vans have been restored by engine owners to add to there Engine especially if they transport it to shows under its own steam as the trip can take several days.


Template:PML living vans

List of known surviving examples

list with a reg no / serial number or fleet if possible to identify them.

See also[edit | edit source]

References/sources[edit | edit source]

add any sources of info to verify data.

External links[edit | edit source]

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