Ever lived in a Travel Trailer?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Holly, May 4, 2005.

  1. Holly

    Holly Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone lived in a travel trailer while building their house?

    We have three boys almost 7, 4 and 2. And a indoor/outdoor cat.

    This would probably be for the next four months. I am REALLY thinking about doing this, so I would appreciate any info from people who have done this. Especially those who have done it with children.

    Thanks in advance!
    Holly in MO.
     
  2. crashy

    crashy chickaholic goddess

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    When I was 13 my bros. 8 & 7....we lived with our parents in a 9 ft. camper in a campground. We moved from Spokane to Vancouver and the relator screwed up on the sale of the house so my folks had no money for a down payment on a home in Vancouver. We lived in the camper from May until the first part of Oct.
    It was rough but heck it was home at least you would be on your own place. and you could have most of your stuff with you we had nothing but a couple changes of clothes. No TV Our bikes we rode ALL over the place.
    It really sucked when it rained tho. 5 people in a camper is no fun. When your camping its different.
    You will get sick of the trailer but the funny thing is I am now 42 years old and that very camper is sitting in MY driveway now. My folks bought a motor home and was going to sell the camper as much as I hated it at the time it became part of the family....
    I think you guys could stick it out, your on your own place it will be a good experience for all write a family journal about it. We still talk about those days....
     

  3. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    I'm about to. My 17 year old son and I are moving to the land I purchased and living there while the cabin is built. My deadline is that it be finished by the start of winter since my travel trailer is a Florida trailer and has no heating :) I can't wait :)
     
  4. hollym

    hollym Well-Known Member

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    I lived with the then husband and two kids in a 15' travel trailer for hmmmm, most of a year? In Montana. We did have a big tent set up that we camped out in most of the time, and crashy is right, it is pretty intense when it is bad weather. There is a Mother Earth news article about these people that built a cheap greenhouse type structure around those, with a woodstove. I always thought that looked good.

    But like she says, you would be on your place, and my kids and I had a ball hiking, and identifying flowers and mushrooms and rocks and whatever guides the library had! We played games and read all of the Lord of the Rings books out loud. It was great, really. I look back on that time, and my life now where I work and commute and race through our evenings, and you know what? I'd switch back to that time any old day of the week!

    But do have something like a tent or a screen shelter that you can hang out in when you need more elbow room. Or time alone with your husband.

    hollym
     
  5. bearkiller

    bearkiller Well-Known Member

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    I built two houses at the same time for my ex. We set up a "gypsy camp" consisting of my cabover camper, an 8 X 8 umbrella tent, and Reddie's 26 foot travel trailer. Turned out to be tolerably comfortable. Reddie and her new beaux slept in the tent, and we used the travel trailer for bathroom and kitchen.

    Amazingly, building inspection had not word one to say about it all, but were we all ever the toast of the neighborhood!

    Did I mention Reddie's three dogs as well? And then there were also the rainy days when we couldn't work. Camper better than tent then!!!!

    Have to admit I grew to thoroughly dislike Brucie over the course of building. He was one of those sorts who would read the code book for ten minutes and then come tell me everything I was doing wrong. Always loved it when the inspector would tell him I was right and he was full of beans. He didn't last for the whole process.

    Best of luck to both Holly and Tango. You'll find some irritating times, but some fun times too. And you'll look back on it all and be able to tell some great stories!

    bearkiller
     
  6. Dreams30

    Dreams30 Lady Rider

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    Pack light and make use of all the built in hidey-holes. There is no space for anything extra.

    Forget being too modest.... :haha: Institute some serious rules about the bathroom.

    Pack basic dishes, utensils, linen, clothing, etc.

    Yes, get a canopy or something for covered outdoor space. Elbow room is essential.

    Get your septic & elect hooked up so that it can be used by both the RV and the new house.

    That's all I can think of. Good luck and have fun. It does promote family together time.

    (Rose, who finially moved out of the RV and let the kids have it. Of course, mine are much older.)
     
  7. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    .................Holley , take a look at this website for used Travel trailers......
    ................http://www.rvonline.com/

    ...............The following are ...ALL...considered to Full Timing units....
    ...............Teton , Hitchhiker , Hitchhiker II , Mobile Suite , Mobile Scout , Excel , Mountaire , Countryaire , Travel Supreme , Alpenlite , Alfa , Holiday-Rambler . Try and find a used unit with a washer\dryer installed and more than likely the trailer will come with 50 amp service vs. the standard 30 amp service .
    Sort the trailers by Price and try and buy a used trailer from the above list that fits your budget and then you'll have a better than average chance of recouping alot iof your investment after your home is finished . ..fordy.. :)
     
  8. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Havent ever had kids so cant speak to that. You know what your interpersonal family dynamics are. I have however lived in schoolbus for couple years in Upper Peninsula of Michigan with wife, 3 or 4 cats, and couple dogs and occasionally 3 goats when they could manage a breaking and entering while we were at town. It was an adventure back then, sure something I'll never forget. Worst thing was that it was an old 50's era schoolbus with short ceiling so I couldnt stand up straight, always had to walk around hunched over. That bugged me.
     
  9. Mudwoman

    Mudwoman Well-Known Member

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    We did this. We at first thought it would take about 6 months, but took 2 years. We did not have any kids full time, but did have 3 large dogs and kids for visits as long as 3 months at a time. I would do it again, but it is just as well that I didn't realize just how challenging the whole process would be before we started. It is not for the faint of heart. You have to really be dedicated to the trade off. Looking back, the one thing I would do is hook up a shed for a washer/dryer. Going to the local laundramat was very expensive and draining----so was storing all our furniture and stuff.

    We just sold the trailer 2 months ago and I was not sorry to see it go. You won't see me at any RV show! However, the house Dh and I have been building together is so very special that I have to admit it is priceless to us and worth any Heck we had to endure.
     
  10. stonefly71

    stonefly71 Well-Known Member

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    You might all so check out a used repo Trailer/Mobile home you can find them for free just haul away some for as little as 500 bucks . Might need a little work but a lot bigger then a travel trailer. This is what I plan to do when we move to AR. and build our house that or build the pole barn 1st. Later Matt
     
  11. FLhomesteader

    FLhomesteader Who's got my BANANAS?

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    My brother, his wife with 2 kids, 2 cats and a med dog lived in one for about 6 months. camper was I link 29 ft
    me and my husband did one but it was just us for about 9 months.
    I had no problems
     
  12. CountryGoalie

    CountryGoalie Well-Known Member

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    At this moment in time, my grandparents (in their early seventies...) are living across the street from us in their "fifth-wheel" travel trailer - the big kind that connects over the bed of their diesel truck - and not only have they been living there for the last couple of months, but they'll be in there until July, when their house put in. Granted, the camper is inside of the pole barn they had built on the property three years ago, but they're still living in a camper. A couple of weeks ago they had a water line connected to the property, so at least they don't have to constantly cross the street and fill up two-gallon jugs of water. :D

    They also have an eighty-or-so pound hairy eight-year-old dog and an indoor cat that we rescued as a kitten last year and they adopted.

    They seem to be surviving. :haha:
     
  13. knittingmomma

    knittingmomma Simple Country Living

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    We are on our way up to Maine on Sunday to first purchase a 27' "silver bullet" camper and then hopefully decide on our land....
    We will be traveling up on weekends, living in the camper while building a cabin - we will be there full time the weekend after Thanksgiving:)

    We have five children - so it should be quite an adventure:)

    Warm wishes,
    Tonya and Family
    http://www.naturalearthfarm.com
     
  14. BamaSuzy

    BamaSuzy Well-Known Member

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    I lived in a pop-up camper for about four months while building a house once. Used a camper "potty" sitting out under a tree. Two kids (then about 8 and 11) basically slept in a tent every night (and loved it)....we moved into the house to sleep as soon as there was a roof on it....and started utilizing the bathroom in the house as soon as the comode was installed. We hung sheets up around it until we had walls....

    It's just according to how badly you want to be on your land....

    Is this out in the country??? I think you would do better without close noisy neighbors around!
     
  15. BamaSuzy

    BamaSuzy Well-Known Member

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    I lived in a pop-up camper for about four months while building a house once. Used a camper "potty" sitting out under a tree. Two kids (then about 8 and 11) basically slept in a tent every night (and loved it)....we moved into the house to sleep as soon as there was a roof on it....and started utilizing the bathroom in the house as soon as the comode was installed. We hung sheets up around it until we had walls....

    It's just according to how badly you want to be on your land....

    Is this out in the country??? I think you would do better without close noisy neighbors around!
     
  16. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Yes, for two years. It was better than the tent we lived in before that. Just DD and me, but that was more than enough! We lived up a really bad road and sometimes couldn't get out for 2 or 3 mo at a time for groceries, etc. So a few pointers seem in order.

    Get a good trashcan that has the handles that pull up over the lid to lock. Use a bungee thru the handles so the lid stays on. This is the laundry basket and can stay outside. When full throw in back of pickup and make laundry run.

    Set up a sawdust toilet outside. You can put tarps around it for privacy. You will be sooo glad to have it with kids, even if the inside potty works.

    Set up a kitchen outside if at all possible. Trying to cook with younguns under foot in a cramped space will really try your patience. Cooking in the camper in summer will heat it up way too much and can take forever to cool off. Also a picnic table outside will be good. Screen houses are ok, but you need to get the bottom sealed or it will fill with bugs and you won't be able to get them out. You will have more flies in the screen house than out. Disposable dishes are a God send, take advantage of them.

    Put everyone's clean clothes in a separate plastic tub with a good lid. You can keep these outside under a tarp.

    Get a strip of old carpet to put outside the door. This will catch a lot of the dirt/mud that would otherwise end up in the camper. Sweep it off every few days.

    Make sure you have plenty of books and games to occupy the evenings. Kids can keep their toys in plastic tubs under the tarp with the clothes.

    Have extra bedding in one of the tubs outside. Someone WILL get the throw-ups in the middle of the nite and you need to be able to find fresh bedding in a hurry.

    Get everyone their own flashlight for midnight potty trips. Those headlight ones are great for chores. I've used them while cooking, dressing DD and combing hair, doing chores, and sometimes reading (tho they aren't best for reading).

    Try to get a good storage building up right away. It will save you a ton of money by preserving your tools and gear from the depredations of weather. Don't get one of those metal ones, you will really be sorry to waste the money.

    Have fun. And don't sweat the small stuff.
     
  17. wildwanderer

    wildwanderer Momma, Goatherder etc....

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    I currently live in half of a 27 foot travel trailer with my dog, the chickens have the back room. This is luxury compared to the 20 footer my sister and i shared with two x-large dogs, and three cats. The biggest things were keeping cool/warm depending on the season. We had an outside picnic area and covered it with a tarp. We probably got along better living like this then we ever did as children. I haven't lived in a non- trailer in 6 years since I left behind the primitive shelter I had built in upstate new york. Its tight, but try to give everyone a spot. So they can return to thier corners. Sis and me put up a shower curtain on a closet pole across the place so when we wanted we could have a little privacy. You might want to consider that with the kiddies. We kept a couple of those waterproof totes outside with stuff we needed but not as often, this helped with storage space. They fit right under the trailer itself so they aren't an eyesore. But if you can stay on the land and do it I would highly encourage, the kids can explore and feel at home anywhere for them its an adventure. You and hubby will suffer more then they will trust me. I would also encourage an outdoor shower area, for them all you need is a pallet, a curtain and a solar shower. Also, a sawdust toilet can be set up the same way outside, and if you read humanure you can start the compost system and feel like you contribute everyday to the health of your land. In the winter the pipes will freeze, we have tried everything electrical heating tape and underground but we blew the pipes on every trailer we have eve had.
    good luck
    Take care - Thea
     
  18. Holly

    Holly Well-Known Member

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    Wow! Thanks everyone! I was expecting to get told "Don't do it!" And I wanted to know, why not? Not a problem here. Thanks for the encouragement and all the stories.

    Yes, we would be out in the country. And the concerns my husband has are the water (where do we get it if the well isn't in yet and even after it gets in, the trailer would be parked a long ways from it.) and the waste. What do we do with the waste since the septic won't be in for a while, and again we would be parked so far away anyway. The outside potty sounds like a solution for the toilet, but what about doing dishes? Even if I use mostly disposable, there will still be some dishes that I have to wash.

    There is a state park close by that has a water spicket, this is not part of the campground. Can I get in trouble for getting my water there day after day?

    I just want to know as much as I can so that I'm not suprised when we get there and I think "Oh great, what now?"

    Stonefly71: We can't have a real trailer on the property. It was in the contract when we bought it. But we can have a temp travel trailer while we are building our house.

    Thanks again for all the help. We will probably end up getting one real soon.
     
  19. MMyers1

    MMyers1 Well-Known Member

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    We currently live in town but utilize a 24' travel trailer when we are on our place. We found a wonderful source of parts at an RV surplus shop. We have gotten the hot water heater, toilet, furnuce, plumbing, and roof vents all replaced/repaired and now functional. The fridge works on propane but not electric... we are trying to find the parts we need to fix this as well. I cannot remember the name of the stuff, but there is a new roof sealer that I am in love with! Once I remember the name I will post it here. It is like painting with latex, and it actually cures to a material not unlike a reallly thick balloon! It has cured ALL of our leaky roof woes!

    We have a portable black water receiver and the gray water is simply hosed away from the campsite. We setup a utility sink, mounted to a wooden pallet as a wash station.... again, the gray water is simply directed away from the campsite.

    All in all, very comfy....
     
  20. COUNTRY WISHES

    COUNTRY WISHES Well-Known Member

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    To address the waste situation start digging and put in an outhouse. Check your local ordinances for something like this.

    Rainwater could be collected and boiled for most tasks. Buy bottled water to drink if you are uncomfortable drinking it. Or just fill jugs from the park spigot for drinking. I think if you start hauling large amounts of water on a daily basis from there that someone may notice.

    Definately have a tent available to get away from the kids. When the weather is favorble that could be your and DH's bedroom with the kids in the trailor.

    Since the cat is acustomed to the outdoors he will be alright. It might be better though if you had a dog for security purposes. Some solar lights could be set up to give you some lighting around the camp at night. I have some in my container garden that work quite well.