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Kansas couple designs covered wagons for 'glamping'

LAWRENCE, Kan. — A Kansas couple is turning the concept of covered wagons that pioneers once used to journey west into a luxury experience for campers who want to enjoy nature without sacrificing the comforts of electricity and spacious beds.

Dennis and Donna Steinman have built their first 26- by 10-foot (8- by 3-meter) wagon to accommodate those interested in high-end glamour camping, or "glamping," the Lawrence Journal-World reported .

The Douglas County couple's canvas-covered wagons will be able to fit a king- or queen-sized bed, a bunk bed and a glass-topped wagon wheel table. Their PlainsCraft Conestoga Wagons are also equipped with electrical outlets and the couple is looking into how to heat and cool the interiors.

"The idea is to go camping and not give up the amenities," said Dennis Steinman.

He envisions the wagons being parked at wineries, ranches, state and national parks, hunting lodges and resorts.

"They are like sleeping in a motel room," Donna Steinman added.

The couple shares a love for pioneer history. Dennis Steinman said he has fond memories of riding in a small covered wagon that his dad built in his youth.

"Today, there is a real trend growing in glamping. So I started doing research. These wagons would fit in perfectly," he said.

The Steinmans' first wagon is parked at their rural home between Lawrence and Lecompton. They have received orders for two wagons to be used for guest housing at an Oklahoma ranch.

Dennis Steinman hopes to build 20 wagons in their business' first year.

"We're just getting started," he said.