Living in a RV? a few Q's

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Oilpatch197, Aug 21, 2004.

  1. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

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    I'm thinking about living in a motorhome RV permanatly.

    a few Questions:

    Is a RV insulated well enough for the Winter?(southeastern Illinois winters)

    can a parked RV stand up to high wind?

    can I claim a RV as my residence? would the RV be protected under the constitution as a Regular home?(concerned about Search and Seizers)

    I'm thinking about buying 5 acres and just plop down some gravel and drive the RV onto it, run in electricity and phone water and sewer.(might park RV on a contcrete pad)
     
  2. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Some are insulated better than others. So it depends... Is there any reason you can't have a building on the land? You can sure build something better than an rv for the same money.

    Kim (who spent sev yrs living in rv's)
     

  3. Conserning the serach and sezier.Im not sure but id think if it was on your land it would be the same as a home.But worse would if they considered it a vehicle,all they need here is probal cause to search a vehicle here.Probal cause can be as simple as you acting nervois.

    You can sit them on jack stands and tie them down with regular house trailer tie downs.For high winds.

    Not sure about the insalation.They may be rated like house trailers.Well the house trailers i noticed where rated for wind.But id guess insaltion would come into play if you where looking for one up north.

    You might consider building a barn if your trying to keep a low profile.But a sewer system might raise some eye brows.LOL
    My mom built a barn/house a few years back.My dad always did say if she could sleep in the barn with the horses she would be happy well shes in the barn now.LOL All kidding aside though it looks like a barn from the out side with the exseption of the windows on one side.She built it with three 10x10 stalls on one side a 10x 30 hall way and 10x 30 liveing quaters for her self.It looks like a nice house trailer inside.
    She put in a light meter.An illegal septic tank(no permit)to save money.And ran well water from her nieghbor.
    The only give away that someone might be liveing there is the higher than normal barn light bill.
    All the lumber was cull cuts from a local saw mill.Bought for her by a frend of hers that works there.Total lumder and tin roofing cost was only 3000.

    I laughed at first but after it was built i would have lived there no dought! Shoot thats pretty much my dream home idea now.But it must be lake front to be perfect!
     
  4. By building a barn instead of a house you bypass the electrical/building codes and inspections.All thats needed is a permit to build a barn.Theres nothing strange about running electric to a barn.So it wouldn't draw attention.They will just stab up a light pole and meter for yea.Not sure but you may need and electrician to run it into the fuse box but that would be all that is required by the light company.Or you might just have them hang a plug in box under the meter.Like for an RV to use.

    She gets her mail in the neighbors mail box.But you could get a p.o. box.
     
  5. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

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    with $4,200 dollars? That's what the RVmotorhome is selling for!
    it's a 1984 model.

    I am concerned with my Constitutional rights tho, but I do like the Ideal, of just "driving away":haha:
     
  6. pamintexas

    pamintexas Well-Known Member

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    RV's aren't meant to be lived in. We have been living in one for over 5 years while we are building our house. We've had major building delays because of all the RV repairs that have been necessary. Replacement parts are VERY expensive and in our area it is next to impossible to find people to do the repairs. We bought a new 30 ft. Wilderness and it was great for vacations but no way would I recommend living in one for any length of time. The minor to major things (wiring problems, air conditioner replacement, etc.) that have gone wrong with our trailer are too numerous to list here.

    An exception may be an Airstream as I understand they are very well built and not likely to require high maintenance. But even the older models are expensive.
    .
    I think the rules concerning an RV being considered a permanent residence vary from state to state. A real estate agent or county tax office could answer that question for you. In Texas I believe as long as it has a tongue and can be pulled it is not considered permanent.

    I would recommend tie-downs as protection against high winds. Our heating and cooling bills are just about equal now to what they were when we lived in a 1575 ft. house. So the insulation can't be all that great either. Hate to sound negative but this has been our experience.
     
  7. an older rv like that will not be very good for cold some of the newer ones are made for cold but not all of them in general they are good to about 20f with out much wind below that or for extended periods below freezing a lot of times they are kept dry as the plumbing is not protected very well particularly the holding tanks and waste lines. As far as search and seizure go in transit you are gonna be a car and have 0 rights. The constitution has basicly been overturned by the current politics and patriot act anyway so your rights regarding property search seizure and arrest detainment are pretty nonexistant currently anyway. The only defense is to not break any laws or associate with any radicals criminals or terrorrists and hope no corupt politicions decide they want your property. Also beware of zoning as in my area zoning is used to harass poor people owning property in the path of development.
     
  8. airstreams are not much better than any other trailer just uglier the shell may hold up a little better but you still have the same apliances ac etc as the others to resist wind very well you need to block them well and run steel cables right over the top to large dirt screws, and trailers have a magnetic atraction for tornadoes.
     
  9. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

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    I know several people that own RV's that live in them for perhaps 6 months out of the year. They live in Wisconsin during the summer and head out to a warmer climate for the winter. These RV's are parked in parks where swimming pools, clubhouses, and other facilities are available. They are far from roughing it.

    I've also known people that live in RV's throughout the year. Look forward to frozen water pipes, astronomical heating costs, and going stir crazy.

    To keep an RV's pipe from freezing, you'd have to completely block up and insulate the entire area under the RV......essential turning it into a trailer.....which couldn't be moved without going through enormous work.

    Used single wides are readily available.....for little cash outlay. IMHO, even a crappy, older single wide will be a huge improvement over living in the RV.


    Also, unless you plan on locating in an area where there is no zoning, you probably won't be allowed to set up an RV for long term habitancy. If there is no zoning......you'd be better off in an older single wide.
     
  10. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    A fellow I know has been living in a fifth wheel camper for over two years now, through all four seasons. This is in south central Kansas which should have weather simliar to SE Illinois.

    The only reoccurring problem he hasn't solved yet is with a sewer drain valve. It tends to freeze up. Heat tape has provided only limited success.

    His unit appears much newer than the model you mention. I would certainly expect to have much more cold weather problems with a unit of the age you describe than with a newer one.

    I do know that a motorhome visiting in Kansas went through search and seizure a few years ago. It came into the area during hunting season and attempted to blend in with other hunters. However it was determined to be a portable drug lab and was seized.
     
  11. MN Mom

    MN Mom Well-Known Member

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    a state of confusion...ha ha. MN
    I know a gentleman who was building his own house. he first put up a pole shed with a 12' door and backed his travel trailer inside and lived in it for 4 years. If I remember right he had windows in the shed that lined up with the windows in the trailer. This was in Minnesota.

    As far as considering it a house you might have to jack it up and take the wheels off it so it is considered non mobile.
     
  12. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    The only reason I can see for living in a motor home is to take advantage of being able to live on public lands. Since campers have to move frequently it would be the easiest way to comply with the regs.

    Until the 'Long Parliament' does away with the 'star chamber court', it doesn't look like you can count on any constitutional rights anyhow.

    BTW, I've seen some metal garages advertised around here. Can't remember exact prices, but you could have one of those for the same or less $$$, including labor. You would just need to add plumbing, electric and insulation, and any interior finishing you wanted.
     
  13. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ....................There are , numerous trailers , that , are ..."4 season" units and are quite capable of facilitating habitation year round . Teton, Travel Supreme , Alfa , Hitchhiker (by Nuwa) , Mobile Suite\Mobile Scout(by Sunnybrook) , etc. and probably atleast 10 more I can't think of at this moment .
    ..................Airstream(s).......I was a dyed in the wool Airstream guy ....Until I started doing research and reading the responses by folks who had ACTUALLY lived in them and owned them . They are....very overpriced for the quality of the unit. They are...Very...UNDER .....Insulated....If , anybody has any notion of living in one Full time , you had better not plan on wintering in Iowa cause you will spend a fortune on Natural gas trying to keep them from freezing up . I should also say here that I still think As is a Good trailer, just not a 4 star unit that you might think based upon the Price that you have to pay to own one .
    ................ In closing , living in an RV is fast becoming a very Desirable way to spend one(s) years after retirement or just simply as an alternate lifestyle to the standard house payment , becoming an Indentured Servant to the Local Taxing Authority who WILL most certainly ENSURE that you WILL HAVE a house payment on your home when it is long since been paid for . Traveling around our beautiful country is a Uniquely American thing to do because Dwight Eisenhower initiated the federal Hiway construction program in 1955 . I will become a member of this loose knit bunch of Gypsies just as soon as I can sell my Home and tell my local Tax Authority to kiss my Grits.....fordy... :eek: :p :yeeha:
     
  14. Mudwoman

    Mudwoman Well-Known Member

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    Pamintexas said a mouthful. We have been living in one for the last 2 years while we build also. We are in the house except for having to use the shower in the trailer and I swear, I hope it lasts just a few more weeks. We had to replace the heater last winter. The refrigerator died and it is over $1000 to replace it. The A/C is on its last leg.

    My DH HATED the plumbing tanks and all that was involved with that part of emptying. We had it hooked up a septic, but you have to switch back and forth with the black and gray water tanks.

    The toilets in these things have a foot pedal operation that doesn't hold up---the spring breaks. For $200-$300 you can get a new one.

    The first winter we were here (Central Arkansas) our average propane bill was $600 per month to keep the thing warm. A/c costs in the shade about $150.

    Wind: We no long have an awning as a 50 mph wind wrapped the one that we had across the top of the trailer. It also now needs to be replaced.

    They have the most uncomfortable beds you have ever slept on.

    They are meant for short, periodic use. Not regular, everyday use.
     
  15. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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  16. wy0mn

    wy0mn Transplanted RedNeck

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    Lots'a god info here, but I also read the forums in www.trailerlife.com . My next residence won't be mobile, but will probably begin its life as a 12v system. Good luck.
     
  17. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Try the Escapees forum and the rvnet forums,google em.They will answer all your questions and more
    BooBoo
     
  18. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) Something that hasn't been covered here..... an RV, whether a motorhome, fifth-wheel or pull trailer is a haven and perfect habitat for insects and rodents. You just can't keep them out. So, be prepared to share your space with rats, mice, hornets, yellow jackets, mosquitos and whatever else wants come in. And there is no protection at all from the two legged varmits who might want to rip you off unless you are home all of the time.

    As aleady mentioned, they are called "Recreational Vehicles" for a reason. Besides all of the obvious problems with them, you will have a problem with a build up of humidity, especially in the winter. So, you need open windows, and UP goes the fuel bills..it never ends....LOL

    Will you have a second vehicle? Then you must repair two engines.

    LQ