The Conestoga Wagon is shaped somewhat like a boat, with a curved floor and walls to prevent cargo from tipping or falling out. It's about 24 feet long, 4 feet wide, and 11 feet tall. The cargo section is about 4 foot deep. The seams and cracks were stuffed with waterproof tar, so it could cross rivers without flooding. A canvas cover protected rider and cargo from the elements, and built-in rain buckets on the sides of the frame helped collect drinking water. The wooden wheels had iron tires for durability. Every Conestoga wagon had a built-in tool box. The wagon was drawn by 4 to 8 horses or oxen.
The Conestoga Wagon was used prior to the American Revolution, and remained in use till well after the California Gold Rush of 1849. It was used in Wagon Trains by settlers moving to The Wild West, and also by shipping companies transporting goods before the coming of the Railroad. A wagon train of Conestogas would average about 15 miles (25 km) per day.
In 1820, the cost of transporting goods via a shipping company using Conestoga Wagons was roughly 1 dollar per 100 pounds per 100 miles. A Conestoga Wagon in mint condition can carry about 8 US tons (7 metric tons).
Game and Story Use
- Meaningful stats on wagons should prove useful for historical games.
- The Conestoga is a top-notch wagon. In a wagon train of mixed types, everyone else will be envious of this one. It out-performs others in many ways.
- It would take a very skilled Wagonwright to make a Conestoga.