Wildwood Design offers caravans for sale for people who want something just a bit different. A caravan, say, that can still be made entirely of wood and painted bright colours just like in the (very) old days, yet can be towed by your average family car.

A couple of years ago, the company brought out its first such vehicle, complete with the kind of bowtop roof that you would have seen in gypsy wagons in days gone by.

October 2016’s NEC show was the first outing of Wildwood’s second design, the Showman’s Twagon, another wooden vehicle based on a 1940s showman’s travelling vehicle.

It even has a mollycroft roof. That’s a roof shape you don’t really come across these days, although it should be familiar to anyone old enough to remember Safari caravans, which made a speciality of such roofs.

Wildwood’s founder, Chris Ward, is a specialist boatbuilder by trade. That may explain the thinking behind a lot of the van’s construction. The plywood floor, painted with an aluminium primer, is first bolted to the chassis and a redwood frame is then bolted to it.

This whole structure is then covered in a breathable waterproof membrane, before the marine-grade plywood walls and ceiling are screwed on top. An IKOpro acrylic roof is then added on top to seal the structure fully, and internal cavities are sealed with 30mm of celotex.

Such a construction is clearly some way removed from that of conventional caravan manufacturers, who in recent years have been going out of their way to make tourers that have no wood in them at all. But all the material used comes with a 10-year guarantee, so customers should not have to worry about dampness or rot.

Then there is the paint that goes on top of all this. Artist Sarah Harvey individually paints each van to a unique design.

The paint used is International 2-pack – which means that it comes ready-mixed with a polyurethane coating. And they use nine coats of it.

Given that this stuff is meant to stand up to the very worst that an Atlantic hurricane can throw at it, it should be able to take the odd bit of spray from a passing lorry on the M1 in its stride.

The Wildwood Design Showman’s Twagon has a starting price of £15,500 for the basic vehicle. But, of course, every example is different. The test model featured here is fitted with furnishings and equipment that take it up to £19,500.

So, how does such a tourer pan out in reality? We headed down to Wildwood’s workshop in remotest Dorset, to find out.