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Pro
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a few ideas but I figured I may as well see what you guys think. Next July my lease is up here in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada. My brother and I (both of us has a prepper mindset) are moving out to a small village about and hour and 20 mins from the city. We have some property with a cabin that my brother will be using, but I am looking for a camper to live in. I would need something with a toilet/shower if possible and I do plan to do a lot of work to make it winter ready because the winters here can be pretty harsh. If you guys have any good ideas on something that's not terribly expensive and maybe some brands on what to avoid, I would love to hear from you.
 

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Arctic Fox and Bigfoot are hard to beat.
My brother lived in his motorhome for a year in Oregon and got tired of it and bought a house. For Manitoba, look for insulated plumbing. You can add more and maybe cut some holes to allow heat to reach it. You can use heat tape on the water and sewer lines in winter to keep them operational. If you mean a trailer, install insulated flashing from the floor of the trailer to the ground. Insulate all the windows, doors and roof vents for winter conditions. Keep lots of propane on hand because even the best trailers have an R value around 7.
 

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reluctant sinner
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Find an older Airstream and fix it up to your liking. I would do a small wood stove inside in a corner. Outside I would build a shower/bathroom with a rocket mass heater. LED and propane lighting, perhaps some photovoltaic panels and some batteries.

Insulation will pay you back in both comfort and fuel/energy.

I'd plumb the water lines in PEX and they would all be sloped with a drain valve at the low spot(s). Heat tape is good too. Frostex brand is what I'll be replacing mine with.

I would strongly consider building a cabin. 8' x 16' with 12' walls. Set the ceiling at 8' and use the attic for storage space. Have big eves for outside storage. Use double outside walls of 2x4 that are off set. Add 1" foam between the walls.

Metal roof with at least 7/12 pitch. Have chimney exit near the peak so it doesn't get ripped off my a snow and ice dam.

I have been hauling water for about 9 months now. Soon to be back on my well. Anyway a tank and a 12 v RV pump has been acceptable as running water. You could heat water with a loop to the woodstove or a propane water heater.
 

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High Concept
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I have a few ideas but I figured I may as well see what you guys think. Next July my lease is up here in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada. My brother and I (both of us has a prepper mindset) are moving out to a small village about and hour and 20 mins from the city. We have some property with a cabin that my brother will be using, but I am looking for a camper to live in. I would need something with a toilet/shower if possible and I do plan to do a lot of work to make it winter ready because the winters here can be pretty harsh. If you guys have any good ideas on something that's not terribly expensive and maybe some brands on what to avoid, I would love to hear from you.
Just remember there are many national lampoon used methlabs out there, they are inexpensive, but that's not a good selling point.

 

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Outlander Territory
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Arctic Fox...they seem to be the best designed for four season living. You would still want to skirt it for the winter months to keep the pipes from freezing, and probably put a heater underneath for those really cold days and weeks. It is doable, it just takes work!
 

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Pro
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Discussion Starter #10
I Can't find much for older used Airstreams in my area but they are really neat. Building a cabin is not an option right now, maybe sometime in the future but for the next 2-3 years a camper/trailer of sorts should do fine. Thanks for the advice guys! I'm not scared of doing a little work to make things better. I hope to get something this year and start working on it during weekends. It will at least give me one winter under my belt to learn and fix problems before I start to do it full time in a year,
 

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Airstreams are expensive because they have collector value. Many of them are really old with dated interiors. Working on them is hard because of all the curves. There is less room than in an RV with more vertical sides. Building a cabinet requires a radius curve instead of a straight line. Two friends have Airstreams that started to refurbish and both are sitting idle.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah i know what you mean. The only real one i can find that is used is about $100,000. I'm not worried about small space because I like to spend most of my time outdoors anyway, or at least in a garage working on my quad and other toys.
 

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The larger ones are worth less than the 18-22 footers. There are some original ones around for 25,000 or less but they need a lot of work. You can buy a nice modern trailer that needs nothing for under 10,000. Serviceable ones might be around 5,000.
 

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Find an older Airstream and fix it up to your liking. I would do a small wood stove inside in a corner. Outside I would build a shower/bathroom with a rocket mass heater. LED and propane lighting, perhaps some photovoltaic panels and some batteries.

Insulation will pay you back in both comfort and fuel/energy.

I'd plumb the water lines in PEX and they would all be sloped with a drain valve at the low spot(s). Heat tape is good too. Frostex brand is what I'll be replacing mine with.

I would strongly consider building a cabin. 8' x 16' with 12' walls. Set the ceiling at 8' and use the attic for storage space. Have big eves for outside storage. Use double outside walls of 2x4 that are off set. Add 1" foam between the walls.

Metal roof with at least 7/12 pitch. Have chimney exit near the peak so it doesn't get ripped off my a snow and ice dam.

I have been hauling water for about 9 months now. Soon to be back on my well. Anyway a tank and a 12 v RV pump has been acceptable as running water. You could heat water with a loop to the woodstove or a propane water heater.
You don't see much about 12 foot walls but that is sounding better to me all of the time. Cabinets slung under a cabin might be an alternative so as to minimize temperature of extremes...
 

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The larger ones are worth less than the 18-22 footers. There are some original ones around for 25,000 or less but they need a lot of work. You can buy a nice modern trailer that needs nothing for under 10,000. Serviceable ones might be around 5,000.
There's another reason other than collectability.
They last.


My 1996 Airstream is ready to hook up and go now.

SOB (Some Other Brand) will be ready for the junk yard at that age.
Mine will likely last me the rest of my life.

Many RV parks have age cutoffs to keep eyesores out.
This age cutoff does not apply to airstreams.

Edit: I'd not live in one in Canada in the winter though!
 

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http://www.icecastlefh.com/
These things are 12 month campers built for northern winters. Also northern summers as you can tell by the air conditioners. It can 100 degrees on either side of zero up here if you include the windchill. If you don't icefish ignore the holes.
 

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I lived in Winnipeg one winter. If I was going to spend the winter in a camper I'd want it parked in a heated garage.

I remember highs of -20 F with 30 MPH winds. And that was in downtown.

Maybe you can place it on the eastern side of the cabin to help.
 

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The colder the climate the less attractive Rvs are for year around living. It has been common for people to live in them in places like Elko, NV where mining jobs greatly outpaced the housing supply. It is possible but not that attractive of an idea in Manitoba. You would be much better off in a small crummy house just because of the difference in insulation R value.
 
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