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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2007
    Posts
    3,528

    Default Living in a camper...help with ?

    I am seriously considering buying a tag along camper to live in for a few months while my house is being built.

    I am not able to get the house built before I move, and really want to move.

    My options are to rent places that do not fit all my horses or are ungodly expensive.

    Soooo, I am curious about life living in a camper. I know nothing about LQ's etc.

    I saw a used trailer(04) for 8,000.
    I suppose I could sell it, or use it for weekend trips or holidays, or even rent it. My place is in Aiken, and we all know how many eventers go there for the season, and how expensive it is to live there.

    Pros?cons buying a used tag along trailer.
    What kind of maintenance do I need to do to it, after I no longer live there, etc.

    Dumb idea? Renting a place while my place will be built is going to cost me at least 3,000 a month.
    I have no intention of moving all my things down to a rental just to move them again to my property.
    So, living in a nice home unfurnished may be kind of depressing too.

    Thoughts, etc.
    thanks.
    save lives...spay/neuter/geld



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 10, 2001
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    1,811

    Default

    I've never done that personally, but have had friends who did. What I got from them was:

    Put your septic system and well in first, so you can temporarily connect to that.

    If possible, Park either right next to, or inside a large pole building/barn, etc. for protection from the elements. If not possible, at least put some type of carport cover over the trailer (at least 6-8 ft higher than roof) to protect from the sun, rain, etc.

    If possible, make a deck area so you can comfortably sit outside, grill, and do things like clean tack, that you won't have room for in your trailer.

    Make sure it has a useable/comfortable bathroom. Doesn't seem that important, until you are sick as a dog.

    I'll have to call them, to see what they advise.
    OLD FRIENDS FARM-Equine Retirement-We LOVE Seniors!! Spoiling Retirees since 1998
    http://www.angelfire.com/oldfriendsfarm/home.html
    Charter Member of UYA!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    7,399

    Default

    I don't know much about trailers, but I picked up some knowledge from living in New Mexico (the trailer capital of the southwest). You do have to winterize a trailer with water lines. In many states it needs license plates, and you pay auto taxes on it. You might be able to pick up a used RV also, in this economic market. If you can get one with the slide out sections it will really add to your space. I second the carport or covered arena idea too. Actually, you could do a covered arena first, park the rv or trailer in there, and not have to ever worry about backing up. If you need to you can drive out to a campground with a dump site weekly-make sure you read all of the instructions about the dumping procedure or get some nice person at the dump site show you how to do this (rv and trailer people are some of the most helpful people in the world for beginners). If you can get one with a roll out awning that would be great too. You might also be able to rent one if you don't want to use it later. I'm sure the summer rentals are much cheaper than during snow bird season, and then you would get a very new trailer/rv with maintenance included. I know a lot of people that have done things this way, and it works out fine. Make sure you change the locks if it's one you buy.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2007
    Posts
    3,528

    Default

    I actually thought about parking it in the equipment shed(the first building that I am putting up without being there). Its staked out, met with builder,etc.

    Just thought, I could live in the trailer for less than it would cost me to rent a place. I saw a very decent 24' trailer for under 8,000 today. That seems like cheap money for a living space, albeit temporary.
    I will check out rentals too, didn't think of that. I suspect I am going to need the temp living space for 3-4 months.

    I just am not so sure how often I will use it after I build. I tend not to leave the farm very often. So, wondering how much they need to be serviced, etc.

    Is it the same as leaving a house empty, and hoses crack, etc from non use.

    I suppose those of you with LQ horse trailers could fill me in on maintenance and care.
    thanks again.
    save lives...spay/neuter/geld



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2005
    Location
    Mass.
    Posts
    6,539

    Default

    I know a couple of people who have rented a trailer to live in next to their house-building. But they were the regular "trailer-park' type trailers with electric and water (sorry, don't know what they're called.) Much better than having to deal with renting, plus you can keep an eye on the contractors!
    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 6, 2002
    Location
    Henrico, NC 36 30'50.49" N 77 50'17.47" W
    Posts
    5,731

    Default

    Pam and I lived in a tent the summer I built our house. That was in 1980, before the shoreline on the lake was lined with houses. We didn't have a neighboring house on the lake in either direction for a half mile. We had a little sandy cove, had a campfire most nights under a dark sky, and a Laser sailboat rigged up and laying over on it's side so we could pop it up and sail any time we wanted to, including a bunch of times at night.

    I wouldn't trade that summer for anything. A camper would be luxury. We bathed in the lake.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2007
    Posts
    3,528

    Default

    wow Tom, that sure does sound romantic, and you were both so much younger then.

    I guess this is the ummmm, over middle aged person's idea of camping. Or at least my idea of camping.
    Already know the stove, etc is way too small for this gourmet cook and of course no counter space to boot.

    I don't think I will mind 'living' in it, will have tv, my computer, a few clothes and thats about it, which is ok for a short period of time.

    I am doing it so I can oversee construction, get us out of here and down there.

    Just really curious about the ongoing maintenance type stuff I will need to do.
    Or if this is just one heck of a dumb idea.
    save lives...spay/neuter/geld



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 12, 2006
    Posts
    2,042

    Default

    Not a dumb idea. There will be some maintenance; flushing lines, possible AC additives just like in cars, draining all water lines for winter, if not parked under shelter there could be roof or window patching. Pretty normal stuff. The refridgerators used to be pretty touchy, needed a level parking space.

    Sounds like a good plan to be able to live on site while construction is under way. Many moons ago my boyfriend and I lived in a tent all summer. I remember that summer as one of the best ever.
    "All top hat and no canter". *Graureiter*



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2004
    Location
    Yonder, USA
    Posts
    2,554

    Default

    I know people who live in camper trailers for months at a time while doing contract work. So, sure, it can be done--especially as far south as you are. Lots of good pointers already, such as putting it inside a building and tying in to septic and water as soon as you can.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    7,399

    Default

    Are you going to have helpers that will live on the farm later? If so a real trailer might be a good solution for construction and after. I bet there are some real deals available right now on trailers, and if you do a solid foundation and use the buried tie downs they are very safe. I don't know if there would be a zoning problem for this type of construction, or if you intended to get something more mobile, but it might be a good idea even if you get something now and sell it when the house is up. Of course, that would mean getting a really good deal, and I would stick with a single wide because they are much easier to move, and don't have to be separated, moved and reattached to each half.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2007
    Posts
    3,528

    Default

    Ok, so probably not such a bad idea.

    I cannot have a trailer on my property, against the deed restrictions.

    I am sure my neighbors will appreciate not even seeing it since it will be 'inside'.
    I can most likely get away with a tag along camper trailer, but definitely not a single wide or double wide.

    Kind of curious what kind of annual upkeep($$$) goes into these things to keep them roadworthy and usable.

    After construction is done, it sure would be nice to take it on the road on mini holidays.
    save lives...spay/neuter/geld



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct. 27, 2010
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    2,561

    Default

    Lived in a 37' camper with 8' tip out for the living room (made the LR about 12 x 16...did double duty as eating area/crafts area) for almost 3 years. Bathroom was pretty tiny but did the job. Kitchen had 4 burner propane stove plus small oven, small fridge, smallish microwave, two sinks (both tiny) and more storage than it seemed at first glance. Bedroom held queen size built in bed with storage under in both drawers and bin space plus more storage in hall closet and overhead cabinets....way more than most appartments. Cold winter area so had to insulate/protect water and septic lines. Windows were a bit cold air leaky so got covered with plastic sheeting inside and out...made it a bit claustrophobic but it was dark outside anyway. I also put plywood skirting around it to cut cold air from being underneath...be sure if you do this that you don't completely block air as your furnace (if propane) will need ventilation. Required being very organized and putting everything away as soon as you were done with it or brought it into the place....clutter accumulates QUICKLY in this small a space. Space rental though was cheap....$200/month plus propane tanks and electric and phone...both pretty minimal. Did have to run to town to do laundry and couldn't do bulk shopping. I did find I could put things into rubbermaid tubs and tuck underneath for more storage so was able to put furniture into smaller storage shed in town. Kind of fun.
    Colored Cowhorse Ranch
    www.coloredcowhorseranch.com
    Northern NV



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2010
    Posts
    103

    Default

    We bought ours in 1994, and have used it a lot. It is still in good shape, because we have been conscientious about maintenance and cleaning. Some years we use it almost every weekend all summer, and other years it just sits there. It gets really cold in the winter here, so we pay some one to winterize it every year.

    I lived in it for six weeks while I went to field camp, and it was fine. I agree with the person who said "Do the water and septic system first and hook your camper up." I had to haul my trailer to a dump station once a week, and it was a huge pain in the neck. Most camper trailers have AC, so if you can get your electricity up and running as well as water and septic, it will be a lot nicer, and more convenient.

    The idea of having an outdoor living space is also a good one. Camper trailers are small.

    If you are looking at used trailers, make sure that the floors, axles and support members are in good shape. Every thing else can be repaired or replaced. Tires can and will go bad even when you don't use the trailer, so be aware of that when looking at used trailers.

    Best of luck.
    friend of bar.ka

    I am dressed up. These wellies are clean.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 8, 2008
    Posts
    777

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by coloredcowhorse View Post
    Lived in a 37' camper with 8' tip out for the living room (made the LR about 12 x 16...did double duty as eating area/crafts area) for almost 3 years. Bathroom was pretty tiny but did the job. Kitchen had 4 burner propane stove plus small oven, small fridge, smallish microwave, two sinks (both tiny) and more storage than it seemed at first glance. Bedroom held queen size built in bed with storage under in both drawers and bin space plus more storage in hall closet and overhead cabinets....way more than most appartments. Cold winter area so had to insulate/protect water and septic lines. Windows were a bit cold air leaky so got covered with plastic sheeting inside and out...made it a bit claustrophobic but it was dark outside anyway. I also put plywood skirting around it to cut cold air from being underneath...be sure if you do this that you don't completely block air as your furnace (if propane) will need ventilation. Required being very organized and putting everything away as soon as you were done with it or brought it into the place....clutter accumulates QUICKLY in this small a space. Space rental though was cheap....$200/month plus propane tanks and electric and phone...both pretty minimal. Did have to run to town to do laundry and couldn't do bulk shopping. I did find I could put things into rubbermaid tubs and tuck underneath for more storage so was able to put furniture into smaller storage shed in town. Kind of fun.
    Agree 100%

    first, how many people would be living in it? 6 or less? you are good!

    My family lives in a 34' 5th wheel camper. we are a family of 5 adults 1 kid. I am the main cook, and cleaner of the house/camper, the stove is a 3 burner gas stove with a small oven. I have learned very well how to juggle cutting boards, knives, mixers, pans, spoons, fresh vegetables, raw meats, home made dressings and dirty dishes all at one time, while pushing certain family members- who insist that their coffee needs to be made NOW- out of the kitchen!

    we have small fridge in our shed in addition to the one in the camper, so storage is better. Sadly I had to give up my ice cream. the freezer is only big enough for the meats that I will be using and frozen vegetables, so ice cream is a real treat!

    our bathroom is fairly roomy. the shower is nice, but when you have 6 people getting ready for church at the same time, we use the public showers which I know you won't have where you are at). With our water tank, you can get about 2 back to back showers before running out of warm water.

    Sorry I'm probably giving you way more info than you need, it's just we have been doing this for 6 months now and we all love it, but we have had our trials and triumphs!

    I agree with the septic system too, get in asap, so you can have full hook ups.

    we have no cover for ours, but we are under oak trees for sun protection. Roll out awning is nice, it gives you a nice place to rest at night. we have just a indoor/outdoor woven run under the awning, no deck, and it makes a nice place to sit.

    I could keep going on and on. But please PM me if you have any specific questions, if I don't know them I will ask my dad!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Lorena, Texas
    Posts
    4,047

    Default

    We lived in one while our house was rebuilt after Ike. And we now own one (a tiny one) to take to music festivals and camping.

    The only thing I didn't much like (and still don't) is that the water heaters are often tiny. Which means that if you like hot showers, you are taking FAST hot showers.

    Also if you live in it over the winter, it can get chilly as the cold air blows underneath as well as over the top and around the sides. And you need to keep an eye on your propane because it sucks to run out in the night and wake up frozen.

    BUT I think that if I were going to have a house built, I was live in one again. By the end of the time, you'll probably be longing for more space and swearing you never want to step foot inside something so small again. But you'll eventually forget that. I did!
    Visit us at Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society - www.bluebonnetequine.org

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  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    7,399

    Default

    A lot of places that have deed restrictions about RV's, trailers and other non-cars require that they be inside a garage space so you might just build an RV garage anyway, and then you can do electric hookups and maybe a tie in to the septic tank. This will help with resale later, and I know most people don't think about this, but it's a great feature for many retirees and travelers who own RV's anymore. Also, many people have RV's for horse shows, dog shows, or just traveling so it might be a good investment.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
    Location
    The rocky part of KY
    Posts
    8,772

    Default

    We tent camped while my mom and dad built our summer house and the first thing we had was the water, sewer and an electric drop. One of the workment built us an outdoor solar shower out of a 50 gallon black drum which was very nice to take showers in the afternoon.

    I also lived on a cabin cruiser for a while and we kept a full sized chest freezer and apartment fridge under cover on the back deck. Water was piped into hoses and we had a tiny electric water heater, two basin sink and a little three burner propane stove. We opted to use the restrooms and shower house on shore to save pumping out. The climate was temperate so it was really very pleasant, except it leaked horribly in a couple of spots. We lived on that thing for years and for two people it was quite do-able and a great way to save up for a real house.

    There are a lot of resources out there for the RVer including professional maintenance. The only problem is some of your important papers might get buried in storage, but if I rented a place I don't think I'd be unpacking a whole lot anyway, I'd just fill the bedrooms with boxes until real moving day.
    Last edited by ReSomething; Jun. 12, 2011 at 12:55 PM.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan. 1, 2008
    Posts
    4,674

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fivehorses View Post
    I am seriously considering buying a tag along camper to live in for a few months while my house is being built.
    Go visit Arizona...those snowbirds live in trailers for months at a time and seem to do just fine!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan. 1, 2008
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    Default

    I should also mention that if you decide to sell, it will probably prove difficult. With the poor economy and the price of gas, motor homes and travel trailers aren't exactly flying off the shelf. I'd negotiate hard with the seller.

    My parents, who are getting quite elderly, decided to sell their motorhome. They had a devil of a time getting rid of it and ended up selling it for far less than Blue Book.

    All that being said, even if you sell it for substantially less than you paid, rent is just throwing money down the drain. At least, with a trailer, you'd probably recoup some of your investment should you decide to sell it after your house is finished.

    If you like weekend get-aways, a motorhome or travel trailer can be fun. They do require a lot of upkeep, depending on where you live. Would highly recommend a covered shed to store it.



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