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Unread 02-06-2009, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Fort Worth/Dallas
11,886 posts, read 23,594,642 times
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Default Living in a Travel Trailer

I didn't quite know where to put this thread, so I thought Green Living would be as good a place as any.

I am seriously considering selling our house and purchasing a travel trailer to live in permanently.

Ultimately, it would need to be livable with amenities like a stove, refrigerator, shower, and possibly even a washer/dryer.

Can anyone give me any advice on what to purchase, where, and other particulars?

We are a family of three, but can live in tight quarters.

I'm looking for advice on models, price, and so on.

If we sell our house and make any kind of a profit at all, that money would be used to purchase the travel trailer. Also, it would need to be towable behind an '03 tacoma, which is a rather small pickup truck.

Thanks!
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Unread 02-06-2009, 09:42 AM
 
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I wouldn't go your route, but be that as it may, I'd suggest an Airstream and a tow vehicle upgrade.
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Unread 02-06-2009, 10:12 AM
 
Location: In the woods next to the ocean
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You do realize don't you that you will have to get rid of everything you own?
There will be room in a travel trailer for maybe two changes of clothes for each person and that's about it.
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Unread 02-06-2009, 10:22 AM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
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I lived in a travel trailer for one yr while in the process of buying 20 acres of land. For two persons it was okay. Self contained is a must.

As to towing...a 3/4 ton PU truck with a V8 is the best way to go power wise. Storing things in back (camper shell or reg camper) and the power to pull grades when travelling.

Washer and dryer...out of the question for a travel trailer...mobile home YES...trailer NO.

Have had up to a 26 ft tandem axle self contained in the past while rent in some parks is a lot cheaper then paying for apts rent or house payments and the upkeep etc that goes with it.

Good luck with your decisions. Steve
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Unread 02-06-2009, 10:29 AM
 
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I'm seriously considering doing the same thing this coming year. I'll be making a move from the midwest to Virginia after I sell my house here. I think I'll get a trailer or an RV for interim living and just pay for space in an RV park while I hunt for the right house in Virginia. I figure for my household things I'll just pod them or something. Even if it takes me 6 months or more to find the right house, I've run the numbers and it looks like I'll come out ahead (and not have the hassles of renting with a dog and security deposits, etc).
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Unread 02-06-2009, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Fort Worth/Dallas
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Thanks Steve. Fat Freddy, we do realize that we will have to get rid of everything we own. However, my wife and daughter will be living in New Jersey most of the time (daughter is sponsored to live there due to her status as an athlete in training). I would be living in the trailer most of the time by myself, with my wife and daughter joining me for stays that average a week every couple of months.

I did see some travel trailers with washer/dryer hookups but don't think my little tacoma could handle ones that large.

Times are tough; I am out of work and need to rid myself of this mortgage and downsize dramatically. This is the reason for our decision.

I appreciate your help everyone.

Regards,
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Unread 02-06-2009, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Fort Worth/Dallas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZugZub View Post
I'm seriously considering doing the same thing this coming year. I'll be making a move from the midwest to Virginia after I sell my house here. I think I'll get a trailer or an RV for interim living and just pay for space in an RV park while I hunt for the right house in Virginia. I figure for my household things I'll just pod them or something. Even if it takes me 6 months or more to find the right house, I've run the numbers and it looks like I'll come out ahead (and not have the hassles of renting with a dog and security deposits, etc).
It's looking more like the best option for us. No rent, and to be honest, one is not actually roughing it in one of these things these days. I'll have my cell phone and Internet access, which is just about the extent of my "necessities."

And this wouldn't be a "forever" thing, but likely up to a year or so until I could settle somewhere permanently; preferably in Pennsylvania (Eastern part).
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Unread 02-06-2009, 10:47 AM
 
Location: In a house
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You can do it. As a family my parents took my 2 sisters and myself around the US in a very small trailer for the summer months (3 months) for two summers. A little cramped but doable. A roof over your head, a place to sleep and place to fix your meals and a place to shower. It's amazing what we can do without when we need to. You could even do it with 3 of you but if it's basically only you the majority of the time it wouldn't be hard at all. Good luck! I always kind of enjoyed feeling a little like a nomad!!
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Unread 02-06-2009, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Fort Worth/Dallas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cynwldkat View Post
You can do it. As a family my parents took my 2 sisters and myself around the US in a very small trailer for the summer months (3 months) for two summers. A little cramped but doable. A roof over your head, a place to sleep and place to fix your meals and a place to shower. It's amazing what we can do without when we need to. You could even do it with 3 of you but if it's basically only you the majority of the time it wouldn't be hard at all. Good luck! I always kind of enjoyed feeling a little like a nomad!!
Thanks cyn. It is amazing what you can do without and the thing is, many of these things are very comfortable. And the fact that I could travel anywhere and stay while always being in my "home" is an added plus.

I have a friend whose brother buys and sells these things and he says he can get me a really great deal. He's in Illinois, and I am in Texas, but for a really good deal it would be worth a trip up there to pick it up.

This is more of a survival issue than anything. With no work, we can no longer afford to live in this house we have lived in for the past ten years. However, I'm also looking at it as somewhat of an adventure; one that could be very rewarding. Besides, I'm a nomad at heart anyway.
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Unread 02-06-2009, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Interior AK
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We've been looking to do the same as we build our little cabin in the woods on our homestead. I can't give you specifics on models and what not, but I can share the info that we've come up with...

1) There are two types of trailers - travel (towed behind the truck) and 5th wheel (attached in the bed of the truck). Travel trailers give you the benefit of using the truck bed for other things; but they often have a little less space, are harder to rig up (usually need two people), and usually are a bit more clumsy on the road. 5th-wheels don't allow much use of the truck bed; but they are a little more spacious, can usually be rigged by one person, and are a little more stable on the road. Both allow you to leave the trailer somewhere and still have use of the tow vehicle for transport (unlike an RV or Van Camper).

2) Make sure you get a trailer that can be leveled! Built-in leveling jacks and stands can be very very handy, and even necessary, if you don't have a level pad to sit it on.

3) Make sure you understand what fuels/power the gadgets work on and how to switch between different sources for those that are duel-fuel. If most of the gadgets work on battery (12v), then you need a power converter if you're hooking up to 120v service... or you can just get some solar panels or a generator. The fridge can normally work on electric or propane... make sure you get one that can do both because you never know what's going to be available. Same for the water heater.

4) Don't forget a heater! Even if you live in a warm climate, where you'd need A/C more than heat, there will be days/nights when you need some heat. A lot of the trailers we looked at don't have a heater, or the heater is electric (not efficient and very expensive). You can't just put any old woodstove or propane heater into a trailer... so do your homework!

5) And on that note, remember that most trailers aren't very insulated... many only R-10 or so. If you can get ones that have been polyurethaned foamed they are a little better. The windows are cute and they help you feel less cramped, but you lose/gain a lot of heat through them too... you'll need to figure out a way to put some good insulating curtains up on them.

6) Get the strongest and lightest chassis and the strongest most fuel efficient tow vehicle you can afford. This really does make a difference! We looked at a trailer that had to be rebuilt on a stronger axle with a new floor because the weight of the gear inside it exceeded weight limit and broke through! We saw another that had literally ripped the a$$-end off the tow vehicle due to the strain on the hitch -- trailer chassis was strong, hitch rig was strong, truck chassis wasn't!

7) Know where you're going to put your trailer up BEFORE you buy! Are you going to be off in the woods somewhere or at a park? Will you need to pay a "rental" fee for your slip and services (utilities at RV parks can be pretty expensive)? What services, if any, will be available on site? What are you going to do for fresh water? What are you going to do with the waste water? Can you get propane nearby? Will you need a generator, solar panels, or a wind turbine? Are those allowed or useful on the site? What about phone, internet and TV? Will you need a satellite dish and are they available or useful in that area? Are there city/county zoning regulations/ordinances that prohibit mobile homes (YES - many jurisdictions only let you do it for a year while you're building another permanent structure!)?

Just a few things to think about Good luck!!
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