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Hunkerin' in the Bunker
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Discussion Starter #1
I have recently moved from a very bad, drug/crime-ridden neighborhood. To say I have downsized is an UNDERSTATEMENT, but I've traded my house for a 25 foot RV camper trailer. You would think my fiancee and I would have a hard time adjusting to a smaller place, or that she would be complaining, but we've unanimously agreed that it's GREAT! :thumb:

It has a kitchen area with a propane oven/range, a 12 volt refrigerator with a power inverter so I can run it off the grid or solar, plenty of cabinets and shelves, and a bathroom with a nice tub and shower. And there was plenty of room to store our 6 months of food, the supplies, and our firearms.

And yes, we're actually living full time in the camper right now, and thoroughly enjoying it. And if we don't like the neighbors, or SHTF, we can just hook up and drive off without having to abandon our home.

I just wanted to know what everyone thinks about my new living situation. Am I crazy, or an innovator. Hey, maybe I can start a new trend...living in your Bug out Shelter full time. :D: I hope to get some pics on here at some point in the future.
 

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Leave Me Alone !
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907 Posts
You know, I was thinking about this the other day. A friend of mine ended up in a divorce a few years ago. She wanted the house and he let her have it. She made more than he did, and no kids were involved. They had a nice 35 foot RV. He left with his basic possesions in the RV with a small trailer, and took his pick-up truck. He found a small peice of property that he rented. He erected a large open sided cover shed to cover the RV and built a small room on the side of the shed. He put a small washer and dryer in the room, along with a full size shower and toilet and a large storage closet. He basically uses the shower and bathroom he built, instead of the small one in the RV, unless he's on a trip. He washes his cloths in the shed also. The RV stays parked in the shed to protect it from weather and direct sun. He's been living in it for 2 years and loves it. He decides to roll out on a trip for a football game or family visit, he takes home with him. He said he drives it to work once a week to keep it from sitting too long. It keeps the engine lubed and the batteries charged and runs the generator too. He began working at a large supermarket and got permission from the owner to park in the corner of the lot anytime he wanted. Sometimes he'd park there for a week or so.

I think if anything ever happened to where I was widowed or single again, that's the way I would do it. I traveled regularly with some bands in tour buses across the country. We slept everywhere you can imagine. Besides truck stops and rest areas, church parking lots, Walmart Parking lots, and many other places will allow you to stay overnight. In fact, a very nice church we passed regularly to go to certain regular gigs, offered that anytime we were in the area, we could park there for the night. We would even do things like wake up early and pick up trash in the parking area and grounds, as a thank you. They found out what we had done, and they even put in a water and electrical hook up for us for the next time we stopped.
 

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Survivor or Survivalist?
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297 Posts
I think you and your fiance are very smart people for doing what you're doing. I have the same plan but I have to wait until after I stop paying child support. After that, it's into the wild for me..

(No bills, utilities, or any other crap that society makes us pay)
 

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I spent 2 1/2 years living in a 22' travel trailer. Got it pretty cheap. I had bought 10 acres and was living in a tent. In December, after waking up to an ice coated tent for the umpteenth time, I got the trailer. The previous 2 owners had lived in it while building their homes. And it looked like it was lived in. No A/C, no working hot water heater, previous owners had put in a propane space heater, and one of them had installed a better shower and regular flush toilet. I LOVED the propane fridge. It used about a gallon a week.

Two things that I noticed: minimal insulation and the propane heater was a ventless model. Don't do that except for emergency use. It puts a ton of moisture in the air. The moisture will rot the wood.

My trailer was a 1977 model that I bought in 1999.

Hopefully, newer equipment is better quality.
 

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My wifes health is really bad, and when she is gone, if I am still able, I will be living in a Ford F150 van, I am only 5'7" tall and don't need a lot of room, north in the summer and south in the winter. I'm 66 and all I need is what will fit in the van, it will be fixed up fully insulated, awning and everything else I need. I have drawn out the floor plans for it and will be happy parked along some water where I can fish. I also have a bud in Florida that wants me to come down and he said I can stay as long as I want, he likes to fish also. Then my best friend up here, brother by a different last name type friend, has a room for me if I want to use it. I love camping so it will be fun, but wish the wife would be with me. Who knows, she may even out live me, hope not so that I can take care of her to the end. She's already lived on borrowed time for about six yrs, so you never know.
 

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Now go land contract five acers in the county and park it. Start building your compound. I'm stuck with a house and yard in a small village that is nice. I'm pretty happy with it, but I still have visions of have 10-20 acers and not being seen from the road. Sounds like you guys did right by getting out of zombieland.
 

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My husband and I have been in a RV full-time now entering our 7th year. We both are still working and our jobs are very portable; as long as we have internet and cell phone reception we can work. We love it! We've been able to travel around the country and during our free time we get to explore. We've also been able to help out family for long periods of time whereas if we were tied to a house and a regular job we wouldn't have been able to stay as long and help out. We've spent the winters in Key West, 2-3 weeks in Yellowstone, months in Vegas, etc. just wherever we want to go we do it.

We are looking for a bug out location though just in case. Some land with woods, water available, etc.

You can get some pretty good deals on RVs since many people have sold theirs because of gas, money, etc. It's not a bad way to go at all.
 

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dog bites...owner shoots!
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206 Posts
Working in the racing industry, I've lived in an RV most my life...as a matter of fact, I got three & I just built a small RV park in middle Ga! I love it...it's a way of life and gives you the freedom of picking up and getting the hell out of dodge if the $#it gets deep...plus they are self contained...a couple of 12 volt batteries and some solar panels will do the job!
 

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Hunkerin' in the Bunker
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360 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the input. I just wanted to get your guys' feelings on the idea of living in a camper. We got the trailer for 500 bucks from a friend who was using it to store clothes at the local flea market. It's in really good shape, and it surprised me what a good deal we got on it.

A little further down the road (less than a year, hopefully), we plan on getting an acre or two of land and parking the trailer on it. Maybe we'll add a modified school bus to enhance our living space as well. I want a 6' industrial chain link fence around the entire perimeter, and surprisingly, my fiancee agreed to it. :eek:

She's been getting more and more into survivalism, and just last night was asking me about low to moderate recoil rifles that she could fire. Like I said, she loves the camper trailer too, and we're MUCH better off than we were living in Mordor.

What do you guys think about running the camper off of solar power? I could probably run the whole thing off a couple panels, which could be stored inside if I move.
 

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As mentioned we live in an RV. Yesterday the power to the park went off and it quickly got hot inside the RV. But a simple flip of the switch and our generator started cranking out the juice to keep us cool.

Remember if one doesn't come with your rig to get a generator especially if you need to run the air-conditioner. If you don't need that much power then solar panels and batteries are great. We have both set-ups but with temps in the high 90's to 100's we're using the generator.
 

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Family Always Comes First
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698 Posts
I do like that you have great mobility, but the problem that I can see is that with no place that you own/control, once you decide that you need to hook up and leave, where will you go? You just became highly mobile refugees and just because you can hook up, that doesn't mean that the roads will be open or safe to travel.

I do understand your situation. If this were me, I'd save up the money that you are not spending now on a house payment or rent (even though you probably have a trailer lot rental fee) and start looking at properties to buy to set up on. You can still live out of the Camper as long as he place you buy has at least a power hookup for you. Live out of the camper while improving the property and building more permanent living quarters so you will still have the camper as a BOV.
 

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I'm lucky on that, my cousin gave me a choice of land on his property in Ky. All I have to do is tell him where I like and it is mine, to build, camper, shack, whatever I want to do. It has a lot of timberland on it and can't be seen from the road, so it is really a nice area. Wife won't go but if I outlive her, I will be down there in a heartbeat.
 

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Ooh, pancakes!
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I do like that you have great mobility, but the problem that I can see is that with no place that you own/control, once you decide that you need to hook up and leave, where will you go? You just became highly mobile refugees and just because you can hook up, that doesn't mean that the roads will be open or safe to travel.

I do understand your situation. If this were me, I'd save up the money that you are not spending now on a house payment or rent (even though you probably have a trailer lot rental fee) and start looking at properties to buy to set up on. You can still live out of the Camper as long as he place you buy has at least a power hookup for you. Live out of the camper while improving the property and building more permanent living quarters so you will still have the camper as a BOV.
You can always buy a cheap piece of dirt in the hinterlands as your BOL. If things get bad you just drive there and park.
 

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What's the smallest RV that's practical for comfortable long-term living?

I'd love to go RV, but I'm concerned about the comfort level for a 6'1, 240 lb former linebacker. What's the smallest RV that would allow me and my bride to be reasonably comfortable for months at a time?
 
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