Help me understand campers please

GPintheMitten

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I'm not as negative on the idea of a small camper. Yes educate yourself before you buy , look at several and inspect a possible buy carefully.

Having one there would be a good thing. I recommend that you plan on trailering off the property to dump the sewage. Figure out ahead of time where you can dump it appropriately.

Most campers have 2 propane tanks. Fill them both, run off one and when it goes empty switch to the other. It's a quick switch
Then take the empty with you when you leave and bring it back full. No need to get a 100 pounder til you see how much you use it and whst your propane usage is.

I suspect you can just dump Grey water on your property just before you leave to go home. Grey water is from sink drains and shower drain. No big deal.

You will want to sanitize the fresh water tank when you get it and at the beginning of the season. I'm sure you can Google this. It's basically pouring about a cup of bleach into the tank adding water and pump it thru the system for a few minutes then drain and flush. Then fill with fresh water.

Your in the south but if it freezes you will want to learn how to winterize it. There is RV antifreeze. Also can Google this procedure.

I wouldn't hesitate to do what you are talking about.
 
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dusty3030

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I have several camper stories, but my favorite is the Great 4th of July Forrest Fire incident as we call it at my home. My in laws are big RV people. They race dirt bikes, travel all over, practically live in the things on weekends. My lovely bride being immersed in this culture since birth of course wanted to stay in it after me and her had cleved from our respective parents and were doing our thing somewhere else. Since it was her side of the family long story short "we" got more into this gypsy lifestyle. My family camped or used campers as a means to an end and that was to prevent sleeping on the bare ground in the rain in order to get closer to the place where we were going to hunt or fish. They were far from fancy, in fact I have slept many nights under a blue tarp tied or if my dad was there duct taped loosely near a tree.

My lovely brides family had a tradition they all went to Lake Ouachita near Hot Springs in Arkansas every 4th of July weekend. We of course fell right in and started reserving our spot a year ahead of time as they did so we could be right there with them. We used the trailer we had at that time on weekends on short trips and being a young couple sans children we had a fantastic time out in the wilderness being wild and free and what not. We lived the furthest away from the annual hoe down and after we had our son it seemed like it was just perfect for the inlaws to be able to see the little one almost exactly opposite of Christmas. Be able to experience him growing up and all it was just perfect until the fire that changed everything.

We were loaded up and ready and going on time for the most part, as much as people with female wives and little children can be on time I suppose. Not too many stops considering traveling with a little on and all. I was relived at that point that at least the Interstate 40 and 30 portion of our trip was over pulling the trailer and dealing with the 18 wheelers and holiday weekend coming up traffic and all. We were now on Hwy 70 in the most hilly and least shouldered portion of that road when the spring on the back right axle decided to snap in two. Traffic was heavy for a narrow 2 lane road in the hills with no shoulder, and I just go so lucky as to be on a steep portion at this time with NOWHERE to get off the road seeing how there was a deep ditch then a hill going straight up on my right side of the road there. I knew something was bad wrong and was at a crawl praying for somewhere to get off the road. It was at this time the tire blew taking out the micro thin plastic wheel well and magically tangling with all of the romex and water tubing that was located in that area below the kitchen sink in the trailer there and snatching it out and wrapping it nicely around.

It was an a drought year that year. Not just any drought by golly that side of the state was in "Extreme Drought" conditions at that time. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/research/2009/jun/zin200906_pg.gif We don't do anything halfway in my family. Well seems that just the tiny little sparks from the rim of a travel trailer wheel are just the ticket to light up the tinderbox of pines, cedars, grasses and other usually beautiful things into a raging freaking inferno, trying to beat me up the hillside to the little gravel drive I spy ahead that looks like the only lifeline I have to get my lovely bride and little boy off the this highway to **** (literally what it looked like once the smoke blotted out the sun).

I will say the 7 different volunteer fire departments that responded worked very well together and seemed like they knew all the lynch mob, I mean locals whose homes and what not were on that blazing hill where gathering around the tourists with the broken down camper partially blocking their mutual private gravel road. Things were not looking so great for me at this point as the Arkansas State Trooper pulled in beside me, county mounties were on hand blocking the massed holiday weekend traffic from entering the inferno and he was free to come see about me. God was listening because this trooper was not there so much as to help the lynch mob but to protect us from it long enough for the situation to calm down some. I name dropped a Staff Sargent that I had served with in the Marine Corps that I knew was now a state policeman on that side of the state and by golly they were buddies and he opened up and things were looking like they may go our way! Him being there was helping keep the rock throwing hill billies at bay long enough for the fire to be brought under control and long enough for all the folks to realize no houses or buildings or goats or El Caminos were destroyed and things really weren't as bad as they had made them out to be.

My truck was mildly overheating but I left it running so that my wife and baby could stay out of the heat and smoke, that was the least of the worries. She had been on the phone with her father (women call their dads even when they are married and things go to **** and back, it's natural). He himself is kind of a Macgyver and he was on his way! They had already dropped their trailer at the lake and were able to come to the rescue. While the state trooper was still there he arrived and my wife and little one were able to hop in with him, I was able to cut the air off and cut the heater on cooling off my truck. Between his and my tools we were able to get the camper jacked up and figure out what we needed. Thank God again there was a trailer dealer in Benton whose listed phone was also his cell. He met us since it was now after hours and we got a tire / wheel, spring and bolts. Got the trailer back drive able and were back on the road!

Once there I got our camper set up and was able to tune out the other extended inlaw family and really start assessing the other damage. Duct tape, wire nuts, zip ties and black trash bags can fix anything. Campground had good restrooms so no need to fix the water. I was able to get the electric fixed and the hole blocked out enough to plug her in and have air, lights, and refrigerator. In laws cooked steaks and I drank beers as fast as they could be opened.

Well, God was in a listening mood I reckon and those folks must have been praying hard for rain because that night they got it, along with wind and hail and lightening and everything that goes with a good summer thunder boomer. The storm knocked out the power to the campground so they AC kicked off and only the wind could be heard as it blew the awing straight up then came crashing back down against the side of the camper. At that moment out of the darkness my wife said in a clear, calm but determined voice that as soon as the rain stopped she and the baby were heading to her dad's camper and that she would like for me to hitch up to ours, take it to the boat ramp and in her words "push this **** thing into the lake".

Did you know the Hampton Inn has free breakfast?
 
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newbury

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First of all have you researched your options? On my land in Vermont I can build up to a 200 square foot structure w/o permit on I think about every 10 acres.
That can be 12' x 16.7' structure, and the same size in Virginia. They don't mention HEIGHT. My thoughts are at least 10' ceilings w/ lots of shelves above 8'

I've looked into this "movement" called "tiny house" and they have a lot of info on space and energy saving new technology.

You might be able to economically build a small structure at your house and trailer it over to your land.

Another popular thing is a "tiny house" built on a trailer to get by zoning regs. Most of the one's I've seen were built on small 20' trailers, but you could buy a 32' gooseneck to haul your tractors and build on on that :)
 
  
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HCJtractor

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First of all have you researched your options? On my land in Vermont I can build up to a 200 square foot structure w/o permit on I think about every 10 acres. That can be 12' x 16.7' structure, and the same size in Virginia. They don't mention HEIGHT. My thoughts are at least 10' ceilings w/ lots of shelves above 8' I've looked into this "movement" called "tiny house" and they have a lot of info on space and energy saving new technology. You might be able to economically build a small structure at your house and trailer it over to your land. Another popular thing is a "tiny house" built on a trailer to get by zoning regs. Most of the one's I've seen were built on small 20' trailers, but you could buy a 32' gooseneck to haul your tractors and build on on that :)
I have not researched the building codes. Called them today but waiting for reply. But my initial thought was the camping trailer option which I assumed did not require a permit. So my purpose was to learn about trailers and how self contained they were , so please continue to share your opinions on trailers in this situation. Any other option ( tiny houses, a cabin, etc.) would best require a new thread. Thanks!
 

GGB

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dusty3030, That's one of the best stories I've read in a long time! Been there, done that! We must be related.......
 

forgeblast

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I have a lady that bought some property up the road from us. She visits about once a month and comes up to paint.
She bought a Lowes/Hd shed and built it up real nice uses a misterbuddy when its cold and has a porta potty at her place also.
Not sure what it runs her but she loves it. I would think one of those with some led lights you could out fit it pretty nice.
 

rd_macgregor

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My thinking was roughly similar to Newbury's, except I was wondering if the county allowed building an open shelter without a permit. If so, you could build an oversized "picnic shelter" type building, but install roll-down canvas sides to be able to convert it into an enclosed space...sort of a tent with a solid roof. It would be really nifty if there were an exemption from having a building permit for small-footprint buildings, though; there are some really nifty designs out there for ultra-compact houses.
 

GPintheMitten

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HCJtractor, I think it may just be time for some shopping. Check out craigslist and any local classifieds in the local paper.

By looking and talking to the current owners, you'll learn more about self-contained campers. For just the two of you, you wont need a large one.
Just get something you can haul. Even though you intend to leave it at your property, you will need to move it to empty the sewage periodically.

When you get one, after sanitizing the drinking water system, camp in it in the driveway to get to know it better.

Keep us posted.
 

Loadstar

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Dusty3030... Sounds about right for camping... I keep hearing let's get a camper from the wife. She never camped, but I did and I know that familiar song you sing. My family left the camping world for a house on the lake. Much cheaper and easier move in the long run lol.
 

tamu94

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Feb 21, 2005
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Lampasas Tx
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Some places make it illegal to camp more than X days in a row or year. There is a thread on here about the issue another member had. Make sure your local codes allow you to live out of a trailer.
 
 
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