Bug Out Plan +

Discussion in 'Shelter' started by PMSteve, Jun 14, 2019 at 11:23 AM.

  1. PMSteve

    PMSteve Old Timey Outdoorsman Supporter

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    Since my dear Wife passed away this past January, I haven't been doing much other than sitting in my apartment watching TV and feeling sorry for myself.

    I'm finally emerging from my self-imposed fog, so I've been looking into buying some sort of RV to be used as a full-time home on wheels. Before she began to get sick, we'd talked about going on the road full-time and seeing this wonderful country.

    My choices so far are at the far end of the RV spectrum: a used 30' class-C motorhome and a small teardrop trailer. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

    The motorhome is big and awkward in traffic and goes through gas like a showerhead. It's high maintenance and difficult to find a place to park outside of an RV park.

    The advantage is that I'd have my home on wheels wherever I'd go, and would require zero packing and unpacking of camp gear. Bugging out would be as simple as pulling the plug and starting the engine.

    The advantages of a teardrop trailer is that it's MUCH cheaper and easier to navigate through traffic. It's much easier to find parking off the grid in wilderness areas. With a solar charging system for batteries, the only thing limiting a length of stay would be food and water sources.

    The disadvantages are that there is no toilet and shower (can be remedied by solar showers and a porta-potty). The "kitchen" is a galley at the back end that is open to the elements, however this is only a problem during inclement weather. It's also compact, offering not much more than an enclosed bed. A "bed in a box" is how I've heard it described.

    The advantages include being small and maneuverable in just about every terrain. It's pretty much self contained and virtually weatherproof. It has the bare basics necessary for easy survival and even offers a fair degree of comfort.

    I've been researching the teardrop trailers online and through visits to a few RV dealers in my area. I'm strongly leaning toward the teardrop. The main factor influencing my choice is the price and monthly payments. Even though the payments for the motorhome would still be less than half of my current rent for my apartment. The payment for the teardrop is even much less than that, leaving me with more free cash in my bank account.

    I've always been one who could live in a refrigerator box if need be. Closed-in spaces have never bothered me and the necessary hardware for a more "civilized" lifestyle are fairly inexpensive. This is what is causing me to lean toward the teardrop option.



    tag-max-features.jpg

    In either case, I'd have a seriously able bug-out system should things in this country go to hell in a handbasket. This in itself is a fairly good reason to take this route. This isn't a choice for eeryone. I'm now single and retired so I'm free to do as I like.

    I'd like your opinions and any information that you may have that I haven't thought about. Thanks in advance!

    Steve
     

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    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019 at 11:53 AM
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  2. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter

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    @PMSteve either option has it's plusses and minuses as you say. It might be worth it to rent one of each and take them on a trip for a while to kind of test the water.
    Take them to a place where it rains a lot maybe and get a true feel for what it would be like to spend a couple of days cooped up inside each of them?
     
  3. JeffG

    JeffG Guide

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    I might go a little larger, that might be better if you want to visit with someone out of the rain/snow. One of the first things you will be looking at might be a patio tarp, fire ring or stove, and those accessories and equipment. Where will you store all that on the road?
     
  4. Medic17

    Medic17 Guide Bushclass I

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    LivinLite or Camplite may be a viable option.

    Or one of the new fiberglass shell designs.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019 at 2:06 PM
  5. LongChinJon

    LongChinJon Supporter Supporter

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    Having evacuated from a Gulf Coast hurricane, bugging out in a vehicle is really a huge pain; evacuating in a truck and trailer combo has to be much more difficult; and bugging out in an RV in traffic must be nigh unto impossible.

    If you don't NEED the RV, why not use some of the cash to buy a teardrop and customize it to make it easy to add a large tarp or canopy and "enlarge" your living space for those times it is rainy?

    Seems like you could go a lot of places with a good teardrop that an RV couldn't go.
     
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  6. Vilke

    Vilke Guide

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    As my wife and I are getting closer to retirement, we too are asking similar questions. The teardrop style is too small but we are thinking a small pull behind trailer. We want the ability to leave the “house” and just drive the tow vehicle when exploring. We talked about pulling a car behind a small motor home but the fuel cost crossed it off the list.
    No matter what decision you make, take your time and do your homework. RV’s can be a great way to see the country while staying in your own place. Good luck with your decision.
     
  7. Woodsman Wannabe

    Woodsman Wannabe Scout

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    Glad to hear that you are emerging from your "fog". You did make a few posts during your self imposed islation, so we knew you were still in there some where.
    As for the RV, Dad bought a Class A and said it was the way to go, but they were not full timing, and they spent my inheritance feeding and maintaining that beast. I have been thinking about building a tear drop style trailer for winter camping (like a tent for 3-seasons). I like the comment above about renting one to get a taste before spending a bunch of $$ that one might regret later. After towing several U-haul trailers while moving about the country, I can say towing a trailer is not all it is cracked up to be. You must be conscious that you have just doubled your length and backing becomes a pain (take time for lots of practice). Also a tear drop will not give you a lot of storage space.
    Many of the trades folks that I work with trailer to projects. They use either a larger bumper pull or a fifth wheel so it is not cramped and feels like home. There too we are in one location for a week or more at the time, and it pretty much requires a heavy duty (3/4 ton or better) truck....
     
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  8. Cueball77

    Cueball77 Tracker

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    Morning Steve , my Bride and I have been teardrop campers since 2009 . We don't live in it full time but we spend 120 plus days a year camping in our Camp-inn ultra 550 . We utilize a 10x10 undercover canopy with side walls for inclement weather over the back for cooking and a dry place to sit with our propane fire pit . I have a portable shower tent for the Bride to have a place for dressing and lavatory needs. Our drop has 8 gallons of fresh water with a 8 gallon grey water tank. Two tables that hook to the back and side for dining and prep work . It has a 72 amp hr deep cycle battery with a 100w solar panel to supplement boon docking . Also Steve it can be hooked up to shore power or Honda 2000w generator to run the A/C . We travel down forest service roads and light off roading with our 2012 Honda Ridgeline . We call this set up our get out of dodge B&B. Hope this info helps Blessing to you sir :42::44::dblthumb:
     
  9. reppans

    reppans Scout

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    First off, my condolences on your loss :(.

    I might be able to help as a long time recreational van camper - I've had a VW Westy, small Class B Campervan, and now trying out the ultimate do-it-all and stealth camper - a minivan rigged as temporary/convertible self-supported camper with compact bicycle/boat inside, and sometimes ADVmoto in tow.

    The decision to go trailer vs single unit 'motorhome' really depends on how you like to travel. If you're a base camper that likes to plop your home down for days/weeks, then go trailer. But if you like to tour, not double back, and tend to stay just a night or two at a time, then a single unit has the advantage.

    You learn a bunch of ways to do things to conserve water/power so I can do everything I need purely inside the minivan with little problems (shower, poop, cook, cool, etc), and you can get national gym memberships for cheap ($20?/month) for 24hr bathrooms/showering across the US.

    Edit: somehow missed the 'full time' thing. If it were me, for full-time I'd go Class B or van with a raise roof Chevy or Sprinter... DIY if you have the skills. Amazing examples HERE and covers the full budget range. JMHO, but for full-time, a full interior stand-up height is worth a lot, and a single unit/single parking space provides so much more camping/driving/parking flexibility.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019 at 1:31 PM
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  10. 41magfan

    41magfan Scout

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    If I ever found myself in a position to do any extensive traveling solo, I'd convert a "Sprinter" cargo van and equip it with off-grid/solar technology. Youtube is full of ideas on the various levels being performed from mild to wild.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019 at 1:09 PM
  11. Noblesavage

    Noblesavage Tracker

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    Sorry for your loss.
    What about something a little smaller than the 30' RV? Maybe 23-24 ft. Mercedes makes a nice diesel one, little bigger than a van.
     
  12. Bryan King

    Bryan King Supporter Supporter

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    Tear drop pulled by 4x4 pickup with a camper shell, And big tarp for huge canopy, might be a nice setup.
     
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  13. FIELDCRAFTLTC

    FIELDCRAFTLTC Roughian #10 Supporter Bushclass I

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    Brother, sounds like you have a sound plan....now execute. You got this.
     
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  14. Burncycle

    Burncycle Scout

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    I'm sorry for your loss, I can't even imagine...

    Personally I'm wary of a used Class C.... in addition to the gas and maintenance, I'm not a fan of the idea (just on principle) that your living is permanently attached to your transportation. If one or the other goes bad, you're stuck with a choice of getting rid of the whole thing or paying out the nose to fix the broken component so you don't lose the other. Plus, if you're staying someplace a while, it's a headache to have to drive the whole thing down the road to run to a store or restaurant, unless you have another means of transportation like bike or motorcycle.

    One alternative to a teardrop would be a scamp... nearly the same size, but a LOT more room and now you can be inside and comfortable rather than primarily outside to access the amenities (fun when camping, gets old when it's days of downpour or super hot). The smaller versions of the Scamps can still be manhandled, and there are longer ones available with a bathroom and shower as options.

    There are a ton of neat ideas on youtube -- a lot of people do conversions of vans, shuttle busses, ambulances, and so on, some of which have the advantage of being inconspicuous so finding a place to park for the night if traveling through is easy. Conversion can cost a lot more than simply buying a used RV (that might be in poor shape) though. Another option if you already have a truck is a pickup bed camper, which is flexible in that you have the advantages of not having to deal with a trailer (though it could be mounted on one if you swap vehicles in the future), parking is easier than dealing with a trailer or a even a Class C, and it's not permanently attached so you're not married to the truck or camper in case one breaks down or whatever. If you're at one location for a while you can even dismount it / remount it in the field. I've seen some that have pullouts and showers/bathrooms... but those get silly expensive, most of the used ones out there are pretty spartan.
     
  15. PMSteve

    PMSteve Old Timey Outdoorsman Supporter

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    my thoughts exactly! I don't have a 4x4 pick-up but have a Toyota FJ Cruiser, and with the back seats folded flat, I have ample storage space inside.

    Steve
     
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  16. central joe

    central joe Wait For Me!! Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    The main problem I have always seen with a motorhome is if ya need a loaf of bread ya have to breakup camp to go get it unless you pull another car. joe
     
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  17. PMSteve

    PMSteve Old Timey Outdoorsman Supporter

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    Just this morning I signed on the dotted line for a T@G Teardrop like the one pictured above but in white/black and a factory installed 100watt solar charging system. I'm just waiting to hear from the bank but I doubt that I'll have any problems there. My monthly payments should be under $200, which is 25% of what I pay for rent right now.

    Steve
     
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  18. hidden_lion

    hidden_lion Supporter Supporter

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    Get a van, deck it out with what you need. More space then a tear drop, easier to drive and maintain then an RV and as a plus, doesnt draw any attention. And even plusier...they can be gotten much cheaper and are easily modified yourself
     
  19. Draketake

    Draketake Guide

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    Steve,

    So sorry for your loss.

    With the Tear Drop, pack some tarps and adjustable tent Poles. Walmart used to carry some that extend to 7 foot height and collapse to about 4 foot length. I bought mine years ago, for about 5 - 7 buck apiece. You can then "Tarp Out" inclement weather or heat. With the poles you can make the tarps so you can fully stand up. I think this will become important to you with the Tear Drop. Ive spent many a rainy/snowy day under my tarps around a comforting campfire. I also tarp out my cooking area so that I can stand up and cook in bad weather.

    Have a great time. You deserve it.

    Bob
     
  20. ameriloc

    ameriloc Tracker

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    I loved living in mine was one of the best decisions of my life. Now I need to sell it.
     
  21. Bryan King

    Bryan King Supporter Supporter

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    I think you made a great decision. Good luck & Happy Travels .
     
  22. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Long over due condolences.
    You went with a teardrop? Good decision regarding mileage but cramped for living space so I echo the above suggestion about tarps and poles. Here in Australia we often permanently fix awning rails to our campers which makes setting up fast, ditto for strategically placed eye bolts and short rails
    Some people here fix Thule type roof boxes on top for extra storage
     
  23. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    When my father in law retired they took to traveling with a truck and camper and a camping trailer behind .
    After a few years he was talked into motor homes and other means and eventually came back to the truck and camper hauling a small trailer.
    I built for my self a 20' shop trailer and truck and small over the cab camper .
    Though I am retired I have some stuff to get rid of and some one I am taking care of for the moment. and raising chickens as well and a garden and ,and, and ,
    I honestly do not have a wander lust but I would like to go to Alaska and get good and lost, if that's even possible .
     
  24. Wacko

    Wacko Tinder Gatherer

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    Well, looks like you made a decision. Congratulations!!

    I strongly favor the trailer over a motor home or van. Tow vehicle can be replaced, still have the trailer etc. Also if the tow vehicle has a problem that needs fixin’ you still have a place to stay.

    My thoughts now would be for you to look into your actual tow ratings and cargo carrying capacities - vehicle and trailer. Pairing down what you have and can take with you might be a challenge. Adding solar, and batteries, adds weight, so less cargo carrying capacity as well. Research towing and cargo capacities. For instance, tongue weight from the trailer is basically the same as cargo in the back of the FJ.

    I would suggest just like backpacking, take only what you need first. Then add luxury items. Once you know the actual weight of the trailer with propane, batteries, and fresh water. You will know how much you have left for your “stuff”.

    Some things are expensive, but may be worth it. An example is lithium ion batteries. They weigh about half what an agm or flooded lead acid battery weigh. They have many pros and some cons. Basically though you could get two of them for the weight of one regular battery. This gives you more power available for “life activities” - especially full timing it. They are pricey though.

    I recommend you spend some time at IRV2 forums. There are many people there who full time and are just recreational too. Lots of discussions on set ups with pros and cons as well.

    Then take it out BEFORE you get rid of your apartment. Make sure you can pull it off. You can of course. It just helps to be able to make “adjustments” and get used to stuff, before you go cold turkey.

    Most of all, GOOD LUCK!! and safe travels.
     
  25. PVF1

    PVF1 Supporter Supporter

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    Good on you for pulling the trigger on the teardrop, Steve. I wish you two very important things: first, many new happy memories with your new trailer, and second, peaceful moments to reflect on your cherished memories of times gone by.
     
  26. Pinelogcreek

    Pinelogcreek Supporter Supporter

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    I’m happy to hear of your purchase, I think you will have a great time seeing this country. I have met wonderful people in campgrounds as we traveled.
     
  27. blind & lost

    blind & lost LB#42 Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Teardrop:dblthumb:. I had never pulled any trailer, boat, etc., before I drove to Alaska and back two summers ago. We got a Winnie Drop, 19' pull behind. Even that length (short), with our Silverado double cab, we never had any trouble finding a spot, usually in a RV park. Hint start early, stop early. The smaller the rig, the easier, towing wise, camping spot wise, and gas wise. If I was single, teardrop hands down. If you ever make it to Florida PM me. Enjoy. Oh yeah, it took me three days of "hard" driving before I realized I wasn't on a 14 day vacation, and I slowed down.
     
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  28. FIELDCRAFTLTC

    FIELDCRAFTLTC Roughian #10 Supporter Bushclass I

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    That's great! Home is where the heart is....! Enjoy the next chapter of your life, it is going to be an adventure! I like the teardrop camper, just the right size.
     
  29. FIELDCRAFTLTC

    FIELDCRAFTLTC Roughian #10 Supporter Bushclass I

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    @PMSteve
    I looking at the teardrop trailer, one could easily manufacture a PVC frame that could be mounted on either side (telescoping) that could extend backwards over your "kitchen" area to give you some additional coverage to support a silnylon tarp and run some low-watt LED lights too.
     
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  30. MontanaMarine

    MontanaMarine Scout

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    So sorry for your loss.

    Looks like you have a plan to continue living and find happiness. The teardrop will give substantial shelter, and convenience. Of course everything is a compromise of sorts, but if it works for you, it should be great.

    Our bugout looks kind of like this, It lets us get further from the maddening crowd.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  31. FIELDCRAFTLTC

    FIELDCRAFTLTC Roughian #10 Supporter Bushclass I

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    Love'n your set up.
     
  32. Cueball77

    Cueball77 Tracker

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    Steve we think you made the best choice for being mobile . We have several friends that have the Tag that we go camping with and like us they enjoy the mobility ! With your Toyota you will have no problem going on most moderate trails and forest service roads . One of our friends had a lift kit put on their tag because they use their Tacoma to do some pretty extreme off roading . A small Honda or Yamaha 2000w inverter generator would satisfy all of your electrical needs from a A/C unit to small microwave should you need . Anyway Brother , Blessings and congrats on the new set up . May Jesus Christ watch over you in your new endeavor :42::44::dblthumb: PS you can always come down to Quartzite AZ in the winter months when it's too cool in your neck of the woods. Maybe see you down there in your journeys :14:
     
  33. Cueball77

    Cueball77 Tracker

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    Brother looks like all the comforts of home to me . A little rough for my Bride , but in all looks and function :dblthumb::42::44: definitely workable .
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019 at 5:15 PM
  34. oathkeeper762

    oathkeeper762 Bushbum & PT Wanderer Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Brother, I’m excited about your tear drop and the freedom it will provide you. I’ll be looking for lots of pics and tales of your adventures. If you make it down south to the Great Republic of Texas hit me up. I know lots of great camping spots and would love to meet you in person. Safe travels my friend.
     
  35. JerseyDevilJeeper

    JerseyDevilJeeper Professional Guide Supporter

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    I’m happy you’re coming out the other end of what must be so hard. It seems there’s wisdom here to tip your scale in the right direction for you. I’ve vacationed in both and if I were to choose step in your shoes right now I’d probably choose to tour the country on a bike (I’ve did that too) but would probably regret it the 4th or 5th morning while rolling my bedroll up. Best of luck brother -
     
  36. GoodPhotos

    GoodPhotos Father, Husband, Patriot, Entrepreneur Supporter

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    You've already got your teardrop, but I've thought about this too. If I were suddenly single, I'd build and live in one of these. Unlike a regular van (or teardrop) you can stand up in it and it has a toilet. Unlike a full 'RV' it gets around through traffic (and Jeep Trails if you get a 4X4 version):



    EDIT:
    This one is even nicer (though the major drawback is cost.):
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019 at 10:36 PM
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  37. PMSteve

    PMSteve Old Timey Outdoorsman Supporter

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    UPDATE:

    The purchase fell through because being "retired" and financially free, I don't have a record of monthly payments to show stability and reliability. All I have are rent payments to a private party. This and utilities apparently don't count. It looks like I'll have to go to "Plan B"... as soon as I figure out what Plan B actually is.

    I'm toying with converting my FJ Cruiser into a 'sleeper' by folding the back seats flat and throwing in a foam mattress and a Thule road box on the roof rack for personal gear. It sucks trying to survive on Social Security in an area with sky-high property values.

    I was just going through STUDIO apartments for rent in this area (Salt Lake City) and prices were between $800 and $2,000 per month. This is for a one room apartment! No wonder the elderly are in such dire straits these days.

    This is turning out to be an adventure that I didn't need. I'll keep you posted.

    Steve
     
  38. FIELDCRAFTLTC

    FIELDCRAFTLTC Roughian #10 Supporter Bushclass I

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    I hear you! I am trying to figure out life after I retire/retire. Not sure what your finances are, but if you can but it out right - keep plan A on the paper. I am looking at selling off everything, making a big purchase and not having a monthly nut. This will take me 4 years from now to be able to execute. If I stick to my plan, Sweden is in the window of operations. The current Kroner to Dollar exchange rate is down right awesome. But that is just me.
     
  39. Pinelogcreek

    Pinelogcreek Supporter Supporter

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  40. Pinelogcreek

    Pinelogcreek Supporter Supporter

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    I would look for a small used cargo trailer, use my camping gear inside and go for it. Sleep inside when you want/need to and upgrade it with things like solar when you can. Lots of online info on this out there.
     
  41. blind & lost

    blind & lost LB#42 Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Don't give up on your dream, you can still make it happen!
     
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  42. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    I'd say using a credit card might work but nobody in their right mind would want to pay CC interest rates, after failing to get a small loan myself recently the "nice man" at the bank tried to steer me to a CC with a 21% interest rate.
    Although a part of me was tempted to rack up a huge debt rapidly and then declare myself bankrupt
     
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  43. Malamute

    Malamute Guide

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    Expedition Portal has tons of vehicle modifications to make sleeping in the easier. many remove the back seats and deck over the space, storage below, including water supply in some, and have a pull out kitchen in the back hatch.

    I also think a cargo trailer could be made into a very comfortable camper over time, and work right away without as much invested. Im wanting to do one that can haul a motorcycle and sidecar while still allowing room for a kitchen, shower, and bed that can raise and lower above the bike area in back. With the basics covered, and solar and s small generator, one could get by pretty comfortably for quite a while.
     
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  44. actiondiver

    actiondiver Tracker

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    Something like this
     
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  45. Guttersnipe

    Guttersnipe Supporter Supporter

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    IMG_20190202_211150871.jpg I'm in the process of converting this set-up to a full time living quarters/bug-out rig.
    I've been trying to remember to take pictures along the way and document the build.
    I bought the trailer (16'Lx7'Wx6.5'H) cash and the GMC, so no payments other than insurance fuel and maintenance.
    So far I've got 100 watts of solar, 4-6 volt golf cart batteries, and a 2000 watt inverter for power.
    I should probably start my own thread on this project. I've been planning it for a long time and am finally making some real progress.
    Any help/advice is welcome and offered from, and to anyone interested.
    @PMSteve, I'd love to help you out in any way I can. This will be my second build up. The first being an old camper that required a lot of money and work. That's why I chose to start with a new trailer this time.
     
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  46. hidden_lion

    hidden_lion Supporter Supporter

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    You could always try the build your own route. There are a lot of good how to on the net. I myself am considering building a gypsy vardo on a utility trailer. Not to hard and can be done well for around $3,000
     
  47. Back50

    Back50 Supporter Supporter

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    Steve,I sold this last year. It is a 1959 Metzendorf. Bought it for$500 delivered off off Craigslist. Cleaned and painted the interior and put in new sink and stove. Added roof racks to carry my kayaks. Repacked the wheel bearings. Had less than a grand into it. It was 10 feet long and didn’t even feel it behind my Nissan Frontier pickup. Wouldn’t have hesitated to take it cross country. Look around,there are cheap,workable solutions out there!
    F1F22197-D213-4A51-A1C9-C22763E62191.jpeg 267C793C-3B1E-4BD2-A4AC-31B5D2214FE4.jpeg 3415E52B-3D3A-4FE8-9EFE-0C33EE90D185.jpeg B2953EED-ED71-43C7-93E1-3544342A736C.jpeg
     
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  48. riverjoe

    riverjoe You d Supporter

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    Looking forward to the “Teardrop
    Chronicles “ blog .
     
  49. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter

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    Congratulations!
    I’m really excited to see how you outfit it and am REALLY looking forward to your trip reports!
     
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  50. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter

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    Well Shoot!
    Plan B... go for a used rig?
    Do as you say and retrofit the current vehicle?
    You’ll get it figured out.
     

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