Covered wagons, also known as prairie schooners, were typically around 20-25 feet long, 11-14 feet wide, and about 4-6 feet high. They were large enough to carry the supplies and belongings of a family, but not so large that they would be difficult to maneuver on the rough and narrow trails of the American West.
The weight of a fully loaded wagon could be as much as 3 tons, and it was typically pulled by a team of oxen or mules or occasionally horses if it was a shorter distance being travelled.
The covered part of the wagon was called the “tilting” and it was made of sturdy canvas, to keep out the elements. It could be removed during hot days, or partially rolled up, to allow the air to circulate.
Families, unless they were ill or very young or elderly, walked beside the wagon, as there was limited space in the wagon for possessions and supplies. Laura and her sisters would sit inside the wagon, since they were small and light enough.