The Truly Mobile Home

83
2018
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Mobile homes are the punchlines of many jokes about rednecks, but the real joke is that they’re not really mobile homes.

They can be moved, certainly – but that is not the same thing.

Moving a mobile home is a big deal; an ordeal. It requires lots of time and heavy equipment. The not-so-mobile home can’t go just anywhere, either. Wherever it ends up being hauled must be prepared to receive it, which is another ordeal. Mobile homes are meant to stay put, once planted.

Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that.

But if you like the idea of a mobile home, an RV or travel trailer might be better – because it actually is. These can go practically anywhere, without heavy equipment. The smaller ones (many of which cost less than $35k) can be pulled by a mid-sized truck such as a Chevy Colorado or Nissan Frontier or Toyota Tacoma; anything that’s rated to pull 5,000 lbs. Some travel trailers can be towed by a crossover or small SUV.

Most are well within the capabilities of a half-ton truck.

There are also RVs that drive themselves – the Class B and C rigs. These are often built around vans such as the Benz Sprinter and Ford E-van.

But the take home point is that any of them let you take home with you. A full kitchen, maybe nicer than the one in your actual home. A bed, to sleep in. A shower and bathroom, to clean up in. All the amenities of . . . home. In a home that isn’t land-locked.

This gives you options – and not just for vacations away from home.

One of the greatest downsides of buying a not-mobile home, including what are styled “stick built” homes – is that you aren’t mobile. At least, not easily. That means if the place where your home is becomes unlivable – as for example because of local politics, which transform the area from one you loved to one you increasingly cannot abide – it is a big hassle to just leave.

In fact, you cannot just leave.

If you have a stick-built home, you will probably need to sell it before you can leave. That could take months; it might in the future take years – depending on how high interest rates are raised by the people making life unlivable. Regardless, it will take time – if only to move all your stuff into your new home. Or get rid of your stuff. If you have a mobile home, you will have to arrange for the heavy equipment needed to move it – and then make arrangements for the new place it’ll be moved to. It is hard to wander from place to place tugging a mobile home along behind you.

But with an RV or travel trailer you could leave home right now – and travel easily to almost anyplace. And stay there, comfortably – because you brought all the comforts of a home along with you.

One of the travel trailers I’ve been eyeing can almost completely power itself. Or at least, it can power most of the needful things, such as the refrigerator – as well as the AC – via a solar system that’s factory installed, including the panels on the roof and the inverter/batteries tucked under its floor. The stove runs on propane, just like your backyard barbecue – and one 25 pound cylinder will last a couple weeks with judicious use. Carry two and you’re good for a month or longer – and even if you run out, refills are easy to find.

In a Worst Case Scenario, you would’t even necessarily need that. Bring along a small, multi-fuel camping stove – one that can burn gasoline or Coleman fuel or straight alcohol – and you’ll be able to cook for months on a couple gallons of any of them.

The rig I’ve been looking at – the Winnebago Micro Mini Flex – even has “instant on” hot water that works like those tankless home systems. The water tank will, of course, need to be topped off as it’s depleted but water isn’t usually hard to find and the point is you’re not tied to a well – or city pipelines – as you are at home. One could almost certainly rig up a water-catch system and even heat water using solar power. So rigged, you could probably live in this actually mobile home indefinitely.

Or at least, long enough.

We live, as the Chinese curse has it, in interesting times. There may come a time when it will be handy to be able to leave home, for a new one – right now. A process that could be made easier – and a lot more comfortable – if you already have a home, that’s truly mobile.

Just in the way of food for thought.

. . .

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83 COMMENTS

  1. Was reminded of a story of a friend’s older brother who owns a motor home. His brother had his parked, thieves stole the wiring and catalytic converters.

    Makes owning a motor home a real pain. Insurance covered the loss, the motor home remains parked. Might not be able to buy insurance after a theft has occurred. Or not want to. Pocket the money, don’t fix the motor home, it’ll get hit again.

    A lot of bother to make it go, the interest is no longer there.

    Six dollars per gallon for fuels in California, a motor home is just another money pit. You’re just plain being robbed.

    “Everybody’s house in the neighborhood is worth 100,000 dollars until somebody decides to sell.” – Warren Buffet, a long time ago

    Same for RV’s, it’s just a matter of time when everybody wants to sell, like now.

    50 gallons of diesel will be 300 dollars. It’ll be a long road home to keep it parked in your driveway.

    No worries, you’ll be at your house, you’ll feel right at home.

  2. Hey, Eric!
    If you end up picking up a few acres as a ‘plan B’ location, you might want to consider starting an out-of-state corporation (DE? NV? SD?), so that if the germ-darmes ever decide that you’re a ‘criminal’, they won’t know where to come a-calling. Yeah, it’ll cost you a few hunnert bucks a year…but considering the tyranny we live under, and what is to come, it would likely be money well spent. (DON’T do silly things like registerig your vehicles in the corporate name/with the corp. state’s plates….it’ll connect it to you, and the OOS plates will make you easy to spot).

    If they’re gonna treat us like criminals…we need to think like criminals.

  3. We purchased a 1988 Travel Trailer. Amazingly inexpensive and easy to maintain! Parked it at a friends house who had a nice executive pad and all the hookups… Great deal for all involved. The City evicted us, fined him, and said it can’t be used in such a way… and If you want to park it somewhere and pay a lot fee, most all places have a rule that anything 15 years or older is not allowed – rules are meant to be broken. Took a bit of legwork to find a spot. Don’t use the internet to interact with park managers. Find them. Talk to them personally. Bring pics of your trailer so they can approve or not.

  4. I am at an age where a life on the road means a nice car to drive to see historic scenic spots like the Grand Canyon, then off to a newer hotel/motel to go again the next day.

    Traveling with a trailer is not what I would want to do. After a while on the move, the wife would hit me over the head with a frying pan.

    You’ll have to take the dog, the cats, the chickens, the ducks, not the garden, the works would be gone in a heartbeat. Unless you are out back in the other forty acres next store, you’ll be in like flint.

    A great year for potatoes, no doubt about it.

    Read the book Adrift by Steve Callahan if you want to know what can go wrong at sea all by yourself.

  5. I like that Winnie. I like a lot of things about it. However I noticed a couple of things and a couple of thoughts:

    1. I liked the solar setup, but noticed he said about 5 days boondocking with careful power management. Basically, it is a nice Tesla battery (that will need to be replaced down the road, pun intended) with a solar array that slows the bleeding of the battery. However, it can go hybrid. Get a generator for those times of high power draws or to help the solar array out when the weather isn’t cooperating. Sure, he said you could add another panel and hook in easily, but a generator is rock solid electricity on demand. Charge the battery back up before bed so you can sleep in AC comfort through the night without the generator running.

    2. Get that camp stove and a table and take it out under the awning. Don’t stink up your new rig with foods that have lingering smells or dishes that could catch fire easily. Further, according to Traveling Robert, you will need to disconnect the smoke alarm when cooking inside the RV.

    3. A big huge heads up that if you have a girl with you, you will be on top of each other 24/7. I hope y’all get along well. Like the camp stove, if you are still writing while using the RV, get you a comfortable outdoor chair so you can give her space if it is deemed necessary or to get a quiet place to write.

    4. Gotta watch Traveling Robert. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rJZiKZlNWU His rig is right up your alley, his videos are great, he does his own music, and his tips are great.

    • J,
      You’re right about the solar setup, they put more battery than panels on that rig. You’ll maintain a charge so long as your total consumption doesn’t outpace the panels. The AC will quickly eat through a battery unless you have north of 1000w (rated, not actual) worth of solar panels. In practice you’re best off to either put a large array on a pole barn to shade and feed the RV or just get a fantastic fan and vent cover to pull the hot air out through the ceiling. Being reliant on AC makes you soft and you’ll have big problems in a prolonged disaster. I live in NWFLA with just good fans and roof vents and I can tell you it’s totally doable.

      As far as cooking inside, I do it all the time. Use the extractor fan and you won’t have stink or moisture problems. I do use the grill and burner for messy foods like greasy meats or frying. That stuff makes a mess no matter what so I just keep it outside.

      I concur with the recommendation for traveling robert. He puts on a good show.

      About the girlfriend or anybody you share an RV with. You better get along great because some rainy days theres no escape. If either of you like the clutterbug lifestyle you’ll have too much crap everywhere making the RV life impossible. Keep it simple and organized, you don’t want to fill your small living space up with every piece of junk you’re used to in a house, an outfit for every day of the year and 20 pairs of shoes.

      • Hi Woods, I watched the video again and it comes with 2 190W solar panels with the ability to add more. The AC unit is a new design that the guy in the video says draws 4A while running which is around 1/3 of a typical AC unit’s draw.

        • J,
          I’m just making an edicated guess here but 4 amps running at 120v is 480watts not including the losses from a big 3kw inverter. Based on this alone the rooftop solar under perfect conditions will never come close to keeping up. They said it has 300ah of batteries. If they’re LFP at 12v they probably store between 3.5-4kwh. I’d figure you’ll get 8 hours of AC compressor time from the batteries alone. With the 250w max those 2x190w panels will actually produce in full sun and conservative settings on the thermostat you may be able to eek 16 hours of runtime until the batteries are completely flat. The salesman never specified how much supplementary solar could be added through the outside jack so we can only wonder how many extra amps can be fed into the system. Bottom line is it’s set up to get you through short periods of full use between shore power hookups or contunuous use of small loads like lights and a basic laptop. It needs way more solar and possibly a second charge controller for continuous heavy use. I’d personally prioritize an electric compressor fridge/freezer over AC any day unless the trailer was hooked to a large stationary solar array.

  6. As some religions (the wise ones) teach, change is constant and there’s no such thing as enduring security against adverse events.

    Fifteen years ago some Canadians were pitching me on quiet, polite Canada as a US alternative. No one imagined Justin Trudeau stealing people’s bank accounts for donating to the truckers.

    LatAm doesn’t have the ways and means to implement a US-style panopticon. But Pemex in crime-ridden Mexico is junk-rated and shaky; Argentina runs steady 50% inflation between successive debt defaults; conservative (?) Chile has been taken over by leftists.

    US-occupied Europe offered the classical la dolce vita, but suddenly this summer it’s gone with Russian gas sanctions. Next year, the poorly-designed euro currency itself may crack up, as foolish Germans freeze in the cold and dark under NATO’s lash.

    Taiwan, where I spent a few years, used to be a sweet bolthole. But the communists across the strait are credibly threatening to invade at the drop of a hat.

    Ultimately, one has to follow one’s instincts to a place that feels secure and defensible; meshes with one’s preferred landscape and climate and daily rhythms. Then dig in deep, build a network, make it flow, despite the eternal onslaught of predatory politicians.

    ‘Biden’ is horrible, but he’s not as bad as Ape Lincoln, sending troops to shoot at us and burn our towns.

    • Hi Jim

      I have friends that like Costa Rico…

      someone said once move to somewhere really backward/lowtech, it will be harder for them to track/monitor you. Forget about the G7 now….lol

    • Hi Jim,
      I also once considered Canada as a place to flee to until seeing what that sack of sh*t Justin Trudeau did; never thought I’d see Canada turn full authoritarian. I’m too old to start over (gonna be 75 next week) and I’ve been in this house for almost 50 years. I’ve been slowly stockpiling essentials for awhile so when the SHTF I’ll be standing my ground right here.

      • hi Mike

        You don’t want to be anywhere in the G7 now, that is where the extermination injections, lockdowns, masking has been focused, canada and australia were the worst in the G7, canada now the worst in the world, U.S. red states the best…….rumors say more lockdowns/injections, masking coming in the fall…..

  7. Hi Anon,

    I don’t disagree with you. I love boats and I realize many people use them as second homes (sometimes first homes). FYI: For anyone who has a sailboat or power boat (as long has it has a kitchen and bathroom) the interest can be deducted on Schedule A of your taxes (the same goes for an RV). Any personal property taxes can be deducted as well.

    Several states do charge personal property on boats (I know VA does, but MD does not). If you can believe it DC does not charge sales tax or personal property on a boat (who knew)! Pretty much every state does require the registration of a boat through their Wildlife and Inland Fisheries Department. A boat without registration can get you into deep doo doo, unless you are bouncing around the Virgin Islands.

    The maintenance of a boat all depends upon the boat. It is like owning a Mercedes or an Escort. A 30′ Catalina will be cheaper than an 82′ Viking. Now if the mast on the Catalina is destroyed or ripped it is pretty easy to sink $15K into it. An uncovered slip is going to cost your roughly $7.00/foot per week. Insurance – a couple hundred to several thousand depending on make and model.

    Boat, car, RV, etc. they are all expensive toys.

    • Hi RG,
      Ah, you’re over-thinking it though… Cheap boat (c. $20K)..pay cash…no insurance. Marina? They’re for fancy rich folks….just a mooring will do. Boats are like cars: Buy a new Land Rover and you can spend your life and fortune maintaining it and paying for it…and still have nothing in the end….or buy an old Econoline for $4K and if you can do the rarely-needed repairs and maintenance yourself, you can drive it for the next 15 years and sell it for close to what you paid for it. It just depends on the level of complexity and luxury ya want, but if you keep it simple/minimalist…….

      My friend had a 52′ Gulfstar that someone had donated to BoatAngel- He bought it from them for I think $18K. Yeah, the interior was original (1970’s) but perfectly functional; The fancy things had lost their shine….but it was a darn solid and good functional boat…cost him around $200 for a new starter for the little Perkins diesel motor. What an awesomeboat for anyone looking to travel economically or escape Babylon.
      Pic of it:
      https://imgur.com/SHGBU4U

      • Hi Nunzio

        I have seen 30 ft boats for free…..one had a broken engine and a prop shaft leak, the guy scrapped it, he had bought it for $2500 10 years ago and it would cost $2500 to fix so he scrapped it…..you could put a cheap outboard motor on it, plug the prop shaft on it and it would be good enough. anchor it or put it on a buoy = free rent……

    • Hi RG

      It depends on the area some marinas for a 30 ft boat, liveaboard plus parking and electricty around $550 per month, that is better then $1500 rent today…..

  8. Exactly what I’m doing is moving into a “mobile home”, or actually, an RV made less mobile and going to stay put on my land. We’re renovating at this time. Having to sell my house, I’m fighting battles on multiple fronts. Oh, it’s fun!

  9. I’d recommend lots of research based on the full timers experiences. One thing right off, mold. We’re in a dry climate so not such a concern here but if you’re camped out long term damp areas it’s an issue. I’ve seen the labels in RVs warning Not For Long Term or Full Time Occupation. My guess it’s the mold issue. You’ll need vents open to get rid of condensation even from breathing especially small trailers.

    UV takes its toll, the kids RPod stays at my place, lots of faded plastic. Another label warns about verifying the exterior seam sealing xx number of months. In a damp climate a minor leak spells disaster from hidden rot.

    You’re a car guy that can turn a wrench so maintenance for you isn’t a deal breaker. These things aren’t robust so due care and caution while using the unit is vital. No kids inside destroying stuff is a plus for you! Hopefully your female companion is a caretaker not a destroyer.

    • If they are anything like mini-buses (I am a maintenance guy at a school) they leak,,,, a lot. Not because the kids do things to them. Just not put together all that well. Even the new ones will leak, a pair of 2022’s leak.

      They sure don’t put the fiberglass roofs together like they do boats. The big metal roofed full size buses do better roof wise, but they just leak (depending on the leak sometimes we just let them).

      • richb, your comment caused me to think of the times I’ve been in a tent when it was raining.

        I’m beginning to think, after reading all the comments, a lot differently about RV’s.

      • Good point Richb, not all RV roofs are created equal. For Eric’s info, they are rubber normally and the on the low end of the quality scale. Then thin metal, better. Then fiberglass even better and the best gel-coat fiberglass the best but also the heaviest and usually limited to high-end class-A’s that can spare the extra weight.
        And why I said elsewhere, if you plan on keeping one for a long time, a external roof over it is almost required, and a fully enclosed structure is best and will keep even lower quality rigs safe and sound for a long time. Weather kills all.

    • Good point Sparkey. We did some semi-long term RV’ing, and in the winter months, with 2-3 people on board and the heater on most of the time, the condensation forming on the interior was a constant battle. Leaving vents open, etc… then the heat bill goes way up.

  10. But where would you go?

    When I was young, the idea of RVing around used to really appeal to me (Yeah…I was an old-soul -even at 16) but then the realities arise- number one of which is where would you go? Apart from campgrounds and gov’t/private parks…there aren’t many options…’specially when ya want to be left alone, and more so in turbulent times.

    Unless you’re around lots of flat smooth ground, off-roading isn’t an option; parking on the street will guarantee pigs knocking at your door; The Walmart parking lot is the last place you’d want to be…and even they’re now being less accommodating than they used to.

    Not to mention when fuel is expensive and or in short supply, and you’ll be getting 6MPG…..you’ll suddenly have less of a range than an old Tesla. And if it’s financed, aren;t they gonna require comprehensive insurance on it? Between the price…the interest…the insurance, the maintenance, you could rather just buy a few acres somewhere else and put up a small pole building shelter…or buy a small house in the middle of New Nowhere.

    I get it though…the idea is appealing…romantic getaways; escaping riots and the A-bomb while having a cozy warm place to sleep and crap…shiny and new (for a few months, anyway)…but I think you’d find the realities to be quite different.

    Heck, if you really must, just get a 30 year-old class-A….it’ll still have the same disadvantages…but you can pay cash for it, and it will have a lot more room and be self-contained. A few years ago I was selling a bunch of old class-A’s for a client…I was almost tempted to buy one myself and park it here on my acreage…’just in case’. We sold some nice ones for well under $10K- one in particular, the buyer hopped in and drove from NJ (or was that one in FL?) to freaking British Columbia- 5K miles… Even today, there are some bargains out there if you MUST have such a thing (And new does not mean trouble-free…savvy RV buyers buy used and let someone else go through the hassles of fixing all the stuff that’s initially wromg…which is always a LOT- it avoids having to take your rig to the stealership and them keeping it for 5 months to fix some warranty issue…and then getting it back and having to bring it right back again…wich is a very common scenario).

    If I lived in a coastal state though…I’d get a well-used sailboat that I could keep in the water…ready to go, even if hours away….’cause that would be a true God-send in a true SHTF scenario, and offers the possibility of some real freedom.

    • I agree and repeat, buy a used 30+ ft sailboat. Eric, I see about 50 available under $20,000 asking prices (meaning you’ll get it cheaper but have to fix some things) within 130 miles of DC (VA, MD coastal area) on Craigslist today.
      Some of these will be easily capable of sailing through the Caribbean Sea and visiting any island paradise on the way as far as South America if you wish.
      Note: there will be maintenance costs (and monthly mooring costs until you sail away.)
      TANSTAAFL.

      • Hi John,

        I’m a mountains guy; the ocean isn’t for me. So sailing’s out. But I can see how it could be fun… except for the sharks!

      • Hi Jon

        A friend bought a CS27 sailboat 11 years ago for $6000, it has a Yanmar 8 hp diesel inboard engine, it is a very well made high quality boat (teak interior etc.), $85,000 replacement cost today. lots of room for 1 or 2 people, it sleeps 5.

        Anchored or on a buoy no moorage costs, live rent/mortgage free, in a marina about $400 per month, very cheap, another $300 for food and you are done. insurance maybe $400 per year. people pay $4000/month mortgages = insane……

        Why pay a million dollars for a house, where you pay never ending property tax and huge maintenance and utility bills and they can drive to your door and harass you?

        With a sailboat you can just leave…….

        • **”people pay $4000/month mortgages = insane……”**

          Amen to that, Anon! While I don’t currently have a boat….I do live on the cheap- Bout my 27.5 acres for $1100 an acre…and a used singlewide mobile home for $12K. No zoning, code enforcement or any of that garbage out here. Life is good. I have time to do what I want.

          Life can be so easy….and even still rather free in the right places -I’ll never understand why people must so voluntarily complicate their lives and assume the role of a slave.

    • Hi Nunzio

      There used to be old rv’s or pick ups with campers starting at about $3500, I recently saw an old Ford 4×4 pick up with an inline six, with a small camper on it, $3900, wish I had bought it now…………park it near a stream where you can pan gold = income too…

      A cheap stealth option is a small mini van, the Chrysler ones were cheap, maybe $3000, now you have a home…lol

      I know someone that lives in a VW Jetta tdi diesel station wagon with 2 dogs, on a cold night the dogs keep you warm, that is where the song 2 dog night comes from…lol

    • Nunzio: where to go?
      I don’t think Eric is planning on being nomadic. I get the feeling he wants a retreat property with no official improvements. My property in the sunbelt is secluded and in an unincorporated area. Taxes on 7 acres is under $200 a year. If things get bad here I’ll hunt for another rural property to move my RV to. Bottom line is you’re not locked in at the mercy of huge taxes and banks. I need no official permission to sell my RV and nobody’s demanding a home inspection or permits to sell raw rural land. It’s as free and cheap as it’ll get in this country while still maintaining a high level of comfort and exceptional privacy. Your indoor living space won’t be big but thats less to heat, cool and clean. I can’t fathom why folks want so much house to begin with. The only thing that I’d want to add here is a good sized barn or big ass multi-use shed.

  11. The last escape/freedom is a sailboat.

    The record is sailing around the world in a small boat is in a 21 foot sailboat.

    There is lots of 40 foot sailboats that can sail anywhere, something like 50 feet and up is probably more comfortable.

    The reason for a sailboat is for one fuel savings, a power boat burns too much fuel, you would need a larger power boat to have the stability of a sailboat.

    Sailboats are built stronger, they ride better in heavy seas partly because they have deep keels for stability. They are real freedom, you can go anywhere in the world, the only way to escape.

    They pushed/sucked us into real estate because you are trapped, a trapped slave paying income tax and property tax forever, plus the money in real estate can’t leave the country.

    Buy a sailboat, learn how to sail. Anchor it, live on it, no property tax or rent.

    Power boats are useless, burn huge amounts of fuel, what if you can’t buy any fuel?

    The most extreme sport in the world sailing around the world in a ten foot boat…..

    https://www.sailmagazine.com/cruising/skippering-the-smallest-boat-around-the-world

  12. Interesting subject, and one that I’ve thought about a lot. Living out of a travel trailer was actually my retirement plan, and still might be as long as gasoline is available (and there are no guarantees there, the way these fools in charge of the government are going). Since I had to move away from Colorado almost 20 years ago, I’ve been wondering just how I could get back there to enjoy the mountains. Since then, the government there has turned to shit (it was on its way there when I left in 2003). Housing (and everything else) is way too expensive out there, libtards from Kalifornia have taken over the state, etc. Living out of an RV would be a good answer to that, then I could leave for better climes in the wintertime.

    There are some considerations that you kind of only gloss over in this article. I have a friend (though we’ve lost contact) who has a big fifth wheel that he and his wife live out of, and he’s had to replace stuff under the hood of his pickup truck. I believe I know why – even if his truck has the towing capacity to pull the big trailer (probably barely, it’s only a 1500 series), he’s probably overstressing his transmission by pulling the big trailer all the time. I’ve read that you shouldn’t regularly pull over about 75% of your truck’s towing capacity or you could be inviting trouble. So if your truck can pull 10,000 lbs, your trailer shouldn’t be any heavier than 7500 for regular towing, only use the full towing capacity in unusual circumstances.

    That means the smaller trucks/SUV’s in your example should be used for smaller trailers, like a teardrop or Scamp, at least if you want to avoid repairs.

    • Hi Jim,

      Yup; I’m new to this – and so I’m having to learn as I go. But it’s fun! I am liking what I have seen so far; the improvements in trailer design – as in the case of this Micro Mini, which weighs less than 5,000 lbs. – are remarkable. I have been inside this thing and could live in it, very comfortably. Far from slumming it, too!

          • Hi MF

            real estate made sense when you could use enormous leverage and finance at near 0%, in a bull market, the best way to make money, that has reversed 180 degrees and now it is the opposite, the best way to lose money, you can lose $100,000 a month owning a house now = the ultimate insanity.

            the guy living in the van is the sharpest knife in the drawer now, no mortgage or rent… he was the dumbest,

            • A house is a place to live, not a stock. With no rent or mortgage and only minimal property tax, I’m not losing $100k a month. Only idiot casino player speculators worry about stuff like that. You sound like a CCP troll pushing “van life.”

              • Hi MF

                You are confused the biggest real estate humpers in the world are the CCP chinese, they have the biggest real estate bubble on the planet…

                You sound like a real estate pusher troll…lol….like the CCP

                real estate made sense when you could use enormous leverage and finance at near 0%, in a bull market, the best way to make money, that has reversed 180 degrees and now it is the opposite, the best way to lose money,

                I don’t like losing money so no real estate for now, it is the wrong time

      • Hey Eric,

        I know they have places that rent RVs- wonder if they rent trailers too? I’d say rent a trailer for a few days (or a small RV if they don’t rent trailers) and give it a try…experience the realities, before forking over big money. It may noy be what you’re expecting once in the wild…. This whey (:D) you could at least get an idear and only be out a few hunnert bucks…

      • I did it for three years while rehabbing a disaster of a house.
        1) most are not insulated well and are stapled together by our English as a second language club.
        2) the included built in furniture sucks to sit and lay on.
        3) there is no place to store a typical Costco run, or clothes, or your handyman & hobby stuff. 4) without a pop-out or two it gets very tiny very quickly. Why purchase your own solitary confinement cell?

        A boat is a place where you pour your money and time.

        IMHO Pick your landing spot away from the burning cities and buy it. Solar is cool to setup, but access to water is the #1 must have requirement. Get a used long 20 to 30 something foot pop-out 5th wheel somewhere, that has a good roof and structure that has not deteriorated or leaked. Brands like Montana can come heavily insulated depending on model. You can do anything you like to the interior, awnings and such, but structure work is a $$$ b*tch.

        • Hi Torino

          A boat is a place where you pour your money and time.

          A friend bought a CS27 sailboat 11 years ago for $6000, it has a Yanmar 8 hp diesel inboard engine, it is a very well made very high quality boat (teak interior etc.),

          His maintenance cost so far two…. $60 reconditioned batteries, fuel filters, oil changes, has to haul out now for bottom repaint and zincs replacement….. There is very little maintenance it is mostly fiberglass and stainless steel.

          • True enough. But does he live in it full time and where? It all depends on what you are willing to put up with. You could live in a garden shed or the streets of Los Angles if that suits you.

      • Looks like a nice unit Eric. Good size for two and weight is right. But Jim above is right. Your tow rig should be rated for 7500lbs or above, and I’m pretty sure your Nissan is not. Been towing different Rv’s for 20 years. Less weight is king, and 5000lbs is a really good number for a 1500 truck, but not a small truck.
        My most enjoyable time was in a class A diesel, an older one (02?), that always needed fixing, but it was so much fun for the family for many years. My next favorite was my current 5K lb beater unit, toy hauler, we use for racing, but it staying power is that it can sleep in a barn most of it’s life and why it’s cheap build quality hasn’t collapsed by now.
        If ya get one, at a min. get a car port for it while it’s not being used. Some inexpensive metal ones around that will work well.

    • It’s not even that simple Jim. If your truck is rated, let’s say 10,000 lbs, you shouldn’t tow more than 2/3’s to 75% of that (depending on the source). That keeps things comfortable and you won’t beat the shit out of your truck. Let’s split the difference and call it seven thousand pounds. However, that doesn’t mean you run out and buy a seven thousand pound trailer. That max towing capacity includes you, your wife, kids if you have ‘em, your gear, tools, camping equipment, propane tanks and everything else that’s in or on your truck and camper. That’s easily a thousand pounds or more. And then there’s water. If you’re traveling with a full fresh water tank, that’s a lot of weight. My tank holds 40 gallons, times 8 pounds per gallon, that’s 320 pounds right there. If I’m leaving a site and my black and gray tanks are full, that’s several hundred pounds more. Realistically, when you add it all up, your trailer in this case should probably be no more than 4500 – 5000 pounds. Too many people think that because their truck can tow 10,000 lbs they can buy a 10,000 lb trailer. Do that and you’re gonna be fucked.

  13. Speaking of “increasingly cannot abide”, my best friends from this area (St. Mary’s County) moved to Willis, VA about 45 minutes southwest of where you live Eric for that reason specifically.

    When they lived here, they had set up a chicken coop and had a large garden, and were talking about maybe raising hogs. But then the covid hoax hit.

    So now they have a rather large farm and are just getting setup out there. I think that I’ll be visiting them late this coming Fall. But, the wife and I won’t be selling this house for the foreseeable future — long story but we can’t do it.

    If/when we do, “going mobile” has been on the table for sure!

  14. Random thoughts:

    -I started my life in a trailer, and I’d be happy to finish my life in a trailer

    -A lot of folks don’t understand weight distribution. We see travel trailers quite a bit on I-65 and a plurality have the ass end of the 1/2 ton truck squatting down on the tires.

    -In Alabama the owner has to pay an annual ad valorem tax on a mobile home. Like a car tag, the tax sticker has to be placed on it (near the door).

    • I suppose a lot of people don’t know about the “10%” rule, which I was taught many decades ago: 10% of the trailer weight should be on the ball. At least that’s what I was taught, and it worked well for myself hauling utility trailers and small boats (I’ve only hauled with regular cars, not trucks). I was also taught that if too much weight is on the ball, to get a longer “neck” on the trailer in order to achieve 10%

      • Interesting, the 10% rule of thumb. Never heard that before.
        It could be where I went wrong with my overloaded livestock trailer today. The ball would not release from the hitch receiver no matter how high I cranked the trailer jack. It just lifted the truck up.
        Had to use a big pry bar to shift the trailer tongue sideways a bit.
        Never had that happen before.

        I also didn’t know about weight distribution hitches. Those seem nice, although it sure does look like a person gives up a significant amount of ‘wheel clearance’/ ‘trailer clearance’… a big dip in the road could be a problem. More so, off road.
        I take my trailer off road quite often and it’s not unusual for the foot of my trailer jack to dig some dirt along the way.
        My trailer sits really low, though.

    • A weight distribution hitch is an absolute must and you can see it with your own eyes. If I dead hitch my camper, the back of the truck squats down 3 or 4 inches. Swap into the weight distribution hitch and the truck sits perfectly level as if nothing was there.

  15. I spent much of my childhood, in the late ’50s to early ’60s, living in a mobile home. I have also lived in one for the last 2+ years. There is no comparison. I don’t even notice high winds unless I look out the window. In my childhood, they were fearful events. Which they would also be in a modern RV. In fact, they are no longer called mobile homes. On the title mine’s called a manufactured home. They are not built to be moved, and in fact, “mobile” homes weren’t either. RVs carry a lot of supply liability. Water, heat source, sewage disposal, power source, and such. Not so different than a stationary unit. Except it can roll at will. Unless there is a severe thunderstorm. At which time a lot of prayer may take place.

    • Hi John,

      I like the idea of buying a piece of land in a very rural area and so having a place to park the travel trailer. This would serve as a fallback. The land could be both a vacation spot and a permanent spot, should the need arise.

      • That would be the ideal thing to do. We’ve been in West VA for about 6 weeks now on a piece of land my son owns, and it’s heaven. Oh, and Eric, as far as the propane, it lasts a lot longer than I would have thought. Since we have limited electricity from our solar setup (gonna have to upgrade that), I decided to run the refrigerator on propane. Between that, the hot water and the stove, we’ve gone through a tank and a half in 6 weeks, or about 1 tank a month. We haven’t used the furnace so I don’t know how much that would use, but I’m pleasantly surprised at how long the propane lasts

      • Good goal Eric. Keep in mind some other ‘issues’. In order to be ‘better off’ when you get there, water supply (well) and sewage disposal (septic) should be highly considered. Most red states to not have the draconion regs on these things like blue states due.
        In my red area a well is about $6-8K installed and a septic is the same (or was a few years ago, not sure right now). Triple to quadruple for blue areas. Chose wisely by asking about these regs up-front.
        Then there is energy supply for heat, AC if needed, and misc cooking/refrig stuff. All do-able if ya think it through.
        My family has enjoyed RV’s for many years but it comes with a cost for sure. Nothing good is ever easy.
        some fun: a slide-out that wouldn’t go back in, burnt relay, hand cranked in to get going, part 2 weeks a way, lots of stuff like that, just like normal home issues. Brother is traveling right now in one and two blown tires on the road that he can’t do himself (big), wait/cost is high. Etc……………..

  16. When I was house hunting I came across a nice piece of land. It had a large shop/storage building but no house. The plan would have been to buy a travel trailer, park it in the building and live there while building a home. But I figured that was a little too advanced for a first time buyer and passed. And I wonder how long it would have been before someoene from the county would come sniffing around looking for a reason to fine me for not having an occupancy permit.

    • Hi RK,

      The “occupancy permit.” Another measure of the almost hallucinatory tyranny we suffer. One is obliged to seek permission to occupy a residence of one’s own choosing, on land one paid for – along with the residence. Who do these people think they are? Well, we know the answer to that one.

      That aside: If the land is rural enough and your travel trailer isn’t visible from the road, then it’s not likely – hopefully – that anyone would bother you.

  17. A couple I know sold their house, planning to live in a borrowed Winnebago Minnie at an RV park while their new house was under construction. The wife is an author, and needs internet connectivity on her laptop.

    All went well until the cable guy showed up. He pointed out the lack of an external coax connector on the older Minnie. Cable company policy is that they won’t do any wiring inside RVs. Poof! went their dream of camping out in the RV for a few months.

    Cellular and satellite options for connectivity exist, of course. But it’s very convenient to have a hardwired connection at home and not have to plan around such details. Remote areas around here don’t have cellular service.

    In May I visited an informal group of about a dozen couples and families who park their RVs in the national forest. Some were just 20 miles from home, so they could return every few days to shower, do laundry, and hit the supermarket. All complained about blowing dust from the nearby dirt road.

    Apparently their lifestyle is hike, drink, eat, drink, play cards, drink … well, you get the idea. Summer camp for adults, if you’re easily entertained and enjoy the company.

    Personally I like to be more engaged in my community and the world, however dystopian it may be.

    • Hi Jim

      I have friend who lives in a Chevy Astro van, no rent saves a lot of money, he has a 10 gigabyte cellular plan, uses his phone as a hotspot for his laptop, he also uses restaurants with free wifi for a connection. For showers he uses public pools/recreation centers.

      I know someone else that lives in a 1 ton cube van, the front half of the box is a living space the rear half is a work space, he uses it to make money, these vans are more stealth then a camper or rv, nobody knows you live in there.

      Some places will fine you for parking an rv or camper over night, you have to keep moving it, california doesn’t bother anymore, no more fines, there is too many homeless, just park on the street.

  18. I am not leaving. A mobile trailer is fine when only one or two people are involved, but what do you if you have a family? Pets? Livestock?

    I am familiar with the topography surrounding me. I know the people, the businesses, and the weather conditions. The last place I want to be is an area where I know no one and I have no resources.

    Where does one hideout? Someone else’s property? Public parks? Gas is $4.50/gallon it is unlikely that an individual will be driving all day, because they can’t afford to.

    We all like to think there is something better out there. Someplace freer where our moves aren’t constricted and nobody bothers us. The weather is always perfect and the food on our homestead is always plentiful. This utopia doesn’t exist. Shit happens. Do I want to start over where I know the lay of the land and have a few helping hands or 300 miles away where I know nothing? Personally, I am staying put.

      • And the dogs…? and the chickens…?

        I love boating. I grew up on the Chesapeake Bay, but they are not the most comfortable of vessels to spend your forever days end. We have had 20′ boats, 30′ boats, and 40′ boats. Four people on even a 40′ boat for longer than a week and you are tearing each other eyes out. I have yet to try out the 64′ Riveria so that may be more comfortable.

        I love boating and sailing for weekend entertainment. Fireworks on the water, free admission to waterside concerts, etc. but they are expensive and not for newbies who have little to no experience. A bad storm or mechanical failure can lead one to find God very quickly.

        • Hi RG

          Dogs love boats. Chickens? Instead of eating chicken you can have free fish and some people eat seaweed.

          In a marina boats are very comfortable, or anchored in a very sheltered bay.

          Boats are far cheaper to own/maintain then a house, plus no property tax…

    • Well said, RG. If I lived in the city perhaps I would be thinking about getting out, but 33 years ago we moved to the farm I grew up on, and I’m not going anywhere. We have a fifth-wheel RV, but it is for recreation only. And it’s paid for. I would put up with just about anything from citified neighbors before I’d endure the hassles and discomfort of living in a trailer for more than a few days at a time.
      And a boat? Any time somebody with a floating torture chamber invites me to spend the day “at the lake,” I make up excuses faster than Biden Thing fabricates vaccine facts. I don’t mind working in the heat, but few things make me more miserable than having to just sit in it – and pretend I’m having fun.
      My biggest worry is how we would get water out of our 350-foot-deep well without electricity. When we were planning the house I wanted to wire it so I could connect a tractor-driven generator to everything (and disconnect from the line to avoid electrocuting utility workers), but the builder talked me out of it. Maybe it’s time to revisit that.

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