HIT THE ROAD
Normally this isn't the kind of article I'd write, as it is far from frugal. I reconsidered in that it seems a few new minions want to move and are conflicted as to where a good place would be. The truth is, good places are not very good anymore. There are only Less Bad places. My normal advice is, pick a piece of junk land in a state that isn't too terrible, and pitch a tent and build yourself a cabin. It costs you under a grand, the down payment, a tent that will last longer than a month ( this probably rules out Wal-Mart ) and a Starplate Connector kit dome ferrocemented ( HERE ).
Alas, sometimes folks aren't ready to leap from decadent luxury to frugal off grid living, no matter how free that can make you. Sometimes it is necessary to bribe the wife, or yourself, into baby-step moving in that direction. So, even though this is a much more expensive way to do the very same thing, I assume you'll understand this is for folks with more resources. I've always said, if you don't want to change your lifestyle too drastically, just buy an RV and live in a trailer park in the dream location of your choice.
It ain't a retreat. It isn't your preferred off grid site. But it gets you out of the city, allows you to continue working, and offers a smaller but similar way of life as you are used to. Say you are foolish enough to want to live in Idaho ( I think the combo of high land cost and few jobs makes it a loser. Residents of said state think I'm a jackass ). You can't afford a home there, and rent is a bit much also. Just live in a RV park in a small city/large town near where you think you would like a retreat. Work. Search for property.
But more importantly, see if the state is all its cracked up to be. See if you were sold a pig in a poke by idiots who moved there eons ago and are giving you advice from a comfortable position you cannot duplicate. If you were to choose Nevada, most junk land has gone DOWN in price ( lucky me, buying at the top ). I'm not giving you impossible to follow advice. Yet, if you are unsure the cold desert is the place for you, or if you want to live among lost and pitiful former Californians ( who you'll really want to bitch slap ), better to rent and see than buy, even if land prices did halve.
All my life, I've happily moved unencumbered, testing out a place to live. If I didn't mind the place, I'd buy a trailer there rather than renting a room or a flea bag hotel spot or God forbid an apartment. That might not be so easy anymore. You should be able to buy affordable RV's, but they might only be feasible for junk land. Two trends make it harder to live in RV parks. The greedy whores started only accepting newer trailer into their parks, because anyone too poor was obviously a drug user/dealer ( but in actual fact they wanted Social Security guarantees instead of minimum wage job lay-off possibilities ).
Thanks, twats. Trailers USED to be a way for poor working class folks to survive. The other problem is that a few giant corporations gobbled up all the RV manufactures in the 2009 meltdown. There might be scores of brand names, but only a few companies own them. As you might imagine, the RECREATIONAL in “RV” meant no one bought them in a Super Recession. The companies were bought cheap. All the Union workers were let go, and crackheads put on the assembly line. All labor AND materials are subpar. As the prices doubled and tripled.
Hey, just like your GM car! Not only are you forced to buy new-ish to be graciously allowed into a park ( usually lacking trees or much space between trailers ), you can't expect that trailer to last all that long ( unless you get land and put an extra roof over it ). So whatever your budget for an RV is, don't expect that to be anything other than a sunk cost. Like renting an apartment it is merely a cost with little return. HOWEVER! Even if the cost is too high for my taste, you still do gain from this strategy.
If an RV park rent is one half an apartment, in as little as three years the RV has paid for itself. If you find a spot at one third the cost, in two years the trailer starts saving you money ( I assume you buy slightly used, to reduce the “drive off the lot” asset depreciation ). Don't worry about buying a hunk of crap. The new ones start falling apart-literally-in a month or so. More importantly, you are not stuck in one location. You are free to hit the road and find exactly the right place you want to live permanently. You have the option of taking the RV to your junk land, saving extra money there.
Now, obviously, elves on sparkly unicorns don't whisk your RV from one spot to another. You need to pull it ( I wouldn't go with a motor coach unless you can fix it yourself-or you'll have no place to live when the thing is at the mechanics ). Almost never owning a vehicle, I always just bought locally after taking the bus. My last move up to the current location, I did have a truck that came with the RV. Bless that Chevy's heart, built back when that company embarrassed Ford. How sad is it that a truck built in the Oil Embargo 70's was much better quality than one made now in “boom times”?
The NOL's daughters family ( Larry, Curly and Mo ) sold their house for more than it should have been worth, paid it off with its refinanced mortgage, and had enough left over for a brand new fifth wheel trailer AND truck. Chasing jobs, “Larry” moved three times about the country, with only gas money being a consideration. For what they got they paid way too much, but they also gained a certain amount of freedom. Freedom to explore. As it turned out, Oklahoma and Arizona was too much of a culture shock and they returned to Nevada. But they found out first hand.
Me? I would have thought Oklahoma would have been a step up, but they are both Westerners and the humidity ( east part of the state ) must have been too much. I can't get much information as the daughter is one of those folks that doesn't allow input when she is focused on herself ( in other words, you just listen to her talk ). This is all second hand information. But they did give me the input that RV living can be more than just a cheap alternative to renting an apartment. It can be a decent way to find out where you want to relocate to, without committing yourself beforehand. It is living somewhere, not just visiting.
Visiting an area gives you a flavor, but it is just a superficial exposure. Living there shows you all its warts. Not a cheap strategy, but perhaps a better one for all its expense.
( .Y. )
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Starplates are great.When I was 12 we built a building at my school using them. For those not familiar with the concept, it is a bunch of metal plates with holes to accept bolts placed through 2x4s and then stood up. With two people working you can be moving in within two days.ReplyDelete
The ferrocement aspect fascinates me. It seems some acrylic or latex modifier should be added to improve the durability, but still fairly cheap in the overall scheme of things.
From what I understand it is pretty water resistant. What about pool paint?Delete
The modifier increases the durability of the cement to the point where you can drive a nail through it without cracking. Pool paint certainly can't hurt.Delete
sealing interior walls
* Somebody said each human exhales a quart of water daily.
* Moisture from indoor garden(s).
* Cooking and heating with propane produces water vapor as a product of combustion.
I designed and engineered my ExpeditionVehicle with four-inches of acoustic and thermal insulation.
And each time I leave for the day, I open four windows on four walls to dissipate the accumulated moisture.
Ventilation is required.
I learned this from an ancient manual about building a bunker for protection from Chinese bombs.
I like the concept of concrete and cinder-block walls, but the interior needs to be extremely sealed because of the fly-ash additives.
Fly-ash is the pollution trapped by chimney filters during steel manufacturing, and apparently is concentrated nasties.
Similar to dog-food from the Chinese.
On a related note, shipping containers aka Conex tend to be 'one-use'.
Those lovable rogues the Chinese load them with sneakers and earthquake-car speakers for shipment to our shores, then the Conex are stacked at ports such as Seattle, pornland Oregon, and los Angeles.
With our re-cycling frenzy at full-tilt by the Gaia crowd, some Conex are loaded with plastic bits for shipping back to the Chinese so they can magically reform (in the best Mao tradition) them into brightly Colored® toys for toddlers.
And yet, somehow, half-way between the east coast of the Pacific Ocean and the Chinese, a plastic trash island the size of israel floats in idyllic serenity.
The ChiComs could not steal our body fluids, so they pollute our tuna fish with plastic. They are a wily race, those OrnamentalsDelete
This is a helpful article today--frugally based and functional for purposes of finding the right location. Chittum is my go to guy for breakdown and CW, Bison Prepper is the go to guy for common sense and affordable survival. Thanks, dude.ReplyDelete
Here to help, by also showing most folks what a great head of hair looks like.Delete
Hair? I missed something? Sorry.Delete
Years ago, my joke was "my hair looks nice". Apropos to nothing, more of a misdirect. Then, a minion started praising my hair, the flowing golden locks ( I have a crew cut. Links below. Also, Amazon author page ). The joke since then is to make a big deal about my hair.Delete
Any thoughts on earth bag shelters?ReplyDelete
Great, and preferable, but perhaps not for the aged and decrepit.Delete
I second, avoiding the purchasing of a motor coach, for the reasons that you cited. Even for those that are mechanical, the motors on those things are so confined, that it’s a nightmare to do any work on them. On top of that, you have to deal with smog laws if you wish to sell it, unless it's ancient.ReplyDelete
It sounds as if the trailer parks out of state can be reasonable. Here in Commiefornia, I believe that none of the parks allow recreational trailers. The reason goes back to permitting. In this state, trailers are not considered permanent abodes. I base this on the fact that mobile homes must be permitted, and even then, a park (And the county) will not allow a trailer older than 10 years to be permitted/allowed.
Here’s my advice. If you’re going to do this, get a trailer, not a motor coach. If you cannot afford to get one with pop outs, try to get one that is trashed inside, so that you can gut it, and better insulate it. Then you will have some actual living space. My RV is 30’, and I’m the only one living in it. I couldn’t imagine having to share it with another person. Also, it’s gonna cost you to heat/cool it, unless your plan is to suffer through the extremes.
I remember the nightmare of a 16 foot trailer, two people, two cats and two kids on visitation weekends. Not recommended.Delete
I definitely like the premise of a DIY building you can build for fast and inexpensive. If you already own the property, an aluminum carport with elevated wood deck (or low boy flat bed trailer to keep off grade) would help make the building more comfortable (but more visible from the air - the round starplate construction building resembles a tree, sorta kinda).ReplyDelete
Some good possibilities here - thanks for the write-up Mr. Dakin. All Hail Bison !!
My last fantasy below digging ceased, was to bury the Cab-Over. Far less digging, bought cheap, less framing, etc.Delete
I've said it before, and I will say it again: "Just get an old goddamned school bus and be done with it".ReplyDelete
They are built like tanks vis-a-vis the safety laws about 'roll-over' accidents. If a 3 foot diameter oak tree fell on the roof, it would merely leave a slight dent. Contrast that with an "RV".
It would require you to do the insulation and interior configuration yourself, which I consider a net plus. If you can't do even that, then there is no chance you will survive the apocalypse anyways.
The motor couch warning applies. The problem remains, can you park in an RV park? Remember the actual focus of today's article-recon and minimizing disruption. Not everyone is ready to live in the compound sharpening punji sticks.Delete
If overhead trees aren’t an issue (Say in the desert) then a moving van would also be a good option. Again, for me, smog, and confined engine compartments would be the deal breaker. But if all you plan on doing is hauling it to your place to park it permanently, then I suppose that it really doesn’t matter.Delete
As the poster above states however, those school buses really are tough. I actually have personal experience in this regard, having to rely on the county busing facility, to haul us kids from our rural locale, to school, some 11 miles away. Our driver, “Big Cathy”, was 350lbs, if not an ounce. In addition to portion control, it turns out that she also failed drivers ed, but somehow got a school bus driving gig :D One time she took a corner too short, and dragged the side of the bus across the corner telephone pole. It made a hell of a racket, but the bus suffered nary a scratch. In another incident, we were on a narrow country road, and there was a car coming from the other direction. The road was too narrow, and the car, in essence, slammed right into the side of the bus. Again, the bus came out of it beautifully. So yeah, thanks to big Cathy, I can safely endorse the school bus with great confidence :D
Big Cathy. She wasn't fat, just a whole lotta woman.Delete
She was 'big', not 'large'.Delete
There can be only one.
LOL You go, girl!Delete
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
Every time I hear about your ferrocement home, I can't help but smile widely. Now that's a house with character!Delete
This comment has been removed by the author.Delete
How do you know someone is TRULY living the frugal life? He shoots the Mosin-Nagant. Weapon of choice for Mongolian herders, VC Reserve snipers and American Uber Frugal survivalists.Delete
Good post for some Lord Bison. I don’t think I would go larger than a full size van converted myself. One person or a couple can survive for a while “camping” and it beats a tent. Will last longer than most RVs also. Wouldn’t want to try kids too but not an issue for me.ReplyDelete
The hair looks marvelous. In my best Billy Crystal voice.
There's a name from the 80's you don't hear much anymore. He was a pretty funny guy. Of course, no one took everything so seriously. I loved him in Running Scared, with the tap dancing guy ( Gregory Hines? ), a great cop buddy movie. Seen it at least three or four times.Delete
Billy Crystal's finest performance was as 'Miracle Max' in the movie "Princess Bride" His wide Carol Kane was awesome too, but he stole the show for approximately three minutes. If ypu haven't ever seen it - you missed something really funny.Delete
Say the Princess Bride at least three times, and I'll be damned if I ever remember him for that.Delete
Back around the year 2000, one of my co-workers suddenly quit and left for other opportunities. He was rather unfocused, but nice enough. The only loss when he quit, was just trying to find someone hopefully more competent to replace him. He came back in several months later to visit. He stated he got hired at a RV manufacturer in Washington state, assembling the interior of RV's. I was a little surprised, and suddenly felt suspicious of the quality of RV's with people like him building them. RV's are full of foo-foo nonsense that you don't need that take up space and add weight. I would rather build out the interior of an enclosed utility cargo trailer to my preference.ReplyDelete
Out here in ruralville, a local Vietnam vet was living on his junk-land city lot, approximately 1/4 acre, in an unpermitted travel trailer. There was lots of random junk and rusting equipment around. The trailer was an eyesore, in derelict condition with a door that didn't shut properly. It was parked sideways on an estimated 15-20 degree slope, so anyone who looked at it wouldn't ever think that someone was living and sleeping in it. He got away with it for at least 15 years before county code enforcement finally figured it out and evicted him from the trailer and made him clean up the place. Takeaway from my story: Make it look like the structure isn't reasonably possible to be inhabited.
Fifteen years. Our tax dollars at work. But like they say, don't wish for all the government you're paying for :)Delete
interior finish of bumper-pull cargo trailer
This is the method touted by Bob Wells of CheapRVLiving infamy.
His YouTube channel has a gazillion subscribers with a zillion views a day... with a net income of several thousand Federal Reserve Promissory Notes monthly.
He boondocks permanently on land owned by tax-payers but managed by bumblebrats.
Although he is a blow-hard == >twenty minutes of blather for <three minutes of worth == his interviews of HappyCampers occasionally hit pay-dirt.
Hey! Watch who you are accusing of being a blow hard and blathering :)Delete
That's how I learned I don't much care for the West. Too dry for my tastes. We traveled all over in a converted ambulance that could run on waste veggie oil. That's a technology that's past as you can't the veggie free anymore. Also, newer diesels are too complicated to run right on veggie.ReplyDelete
Anyway, we had enough solar to boondock. The vehicle was short enough to squeeze into most parking spaces. Great way to explore the country. Frankly, I learned there are darn few places where I want to actually own land. Also, there are plenty of places where living is great about half the year and sucks the other half.
I'm glad most people hate the West. It makes my life easier. And, I understand. I could no sooner live in a swamp as most could live in the high desert.Delete