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Rest In Peace
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We are presently working on this idea of a very small retirement home. I bought an old Caochmen travel trailer, 28 ft., and am rehabbing it to be off-grid entirely. Have solar PV to run a compact fridge/freezer we just bought, a Summit brand, 8.4 cu. ft., and runs on <600 watt hours/day. Lights are to be Thinlight flourescents and 12 volt CFL's with a few LED's for certain uses. Can run those things plus my laptop, some radios, and other misc. with roughly 800 watts of panels.

Kitchen stove and furnace are LP gas.

A septic system will be installed and water is to come from a cistern. Rainwater will be collected by an open pole shed structure built over the trailer to protect the trailer roof from wear and tear and possible leaks.

As time and money permit, this pole building will slowly be converted to a cabin about 20' x 30' with woodstove heat. Have spent very little on the trailer, and it offers immediate occupancy. That means we can take our sweet time about building the bugout cabin.
 

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Rest In Peace
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Instant Storage Building

Anyone thought of using an old truck van body for a storage building? Get an old reefer if possible, since they are insulated. Our DD and SIL bought a couple and had them delivered for something like $400 each, roughly 8 feet wide, by 7 feet tall, by 24 ft. long. Lockable doors on the back. Remove the reefer unit, if it isn't already, and rivet a sheet metal patch over the opening. Stuff in some styroam insulation, and rivet a patch on the inside, too.

Not perfect, but a few cement blocks will do for a foundation, and the doors are fairly burglar resistant with a top quality padlock.

Talk to a truck dealship.
 

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I'd love to be able to afford a couple (3 or more) shipping containers, but they run $2,500-$4,500 each. And that's without any remodeling that would be required (or insulation). At least one could be half burried in a hillside and used as a root cellar.
 

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Jack of all trades?
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shipping containers, run $2,500-$4,500 each. And that's without any remodeling that would be required (or insulation).
That is what they cost for new ones around here. I can buy beat-up 8x40 (non-high cube) for $400 to $800 needing repairs. A nice 9' "High Cube" will bring about $1500- $2000 used.

The 20 footers cost almost as much as the 40 footers :dunno: :dunno: :dunno:

That must be due to supply and demand... not many folks have a place to park a 40 footer (and they are way harder to move to location)
 

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Well I guess you can consider my place a micro home.... 10x10 for now outside dimensions. I am working on doubling the size that that will probably do it for now. I don't have a need for anything bigger. Now a tool shed, that will probably end up larger than my house.... LOL
 

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Well I guess you can consider my place a micro home.... 10x10 for now outside dimensions. I am working on doubling the size that that will probably do it for now. I don't have a need for anything bigger. Now a tool shed, that will probably end up larger than my house.... LOL
I've noticed that about some of the 'small homes' I've visited.
for all the stuff they don't have, they have a very large garage/shop.
and that's my plan small 'living space', large work shop.OR
just a large work/shop with a living area in one corner.
and if you're Prepping you need someplace to store your preparations.

one of the things I'm trying to figure out is . . .
If I pass before any of my preparations are needed, who do I leave them to?
 

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one of the things I'm trying to figure out is . . .
If I pass before any of my preparations are needed, who do I leave them to?
ME!:D

How about a local church as a food bank would probably not take any home stuff.
 

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the majority of my preparations are at the BOL so that will be divided up amongst the Co-Op. But there is my location, now and my BOB and the
other accoutrements the are need to get from here to there.
Quite a bit of it would not 'be useful' to a church or food bank.

hmmmm this might be a new thread . . . . . .
 

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This will be my second winter living in my home built ceder
Horse drawn home.
I planned to travel extensively but found such a good place
I have yet to leave.
I have many modern items for luxery.
But my greatest luxery is my tiny wood stove.
It's so small (5x8" door) I found that auto exaust makes a
wonderful chimney and it is collapsible.
Not expensive
Not modern
So pleasing to watch
 

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Jack of all trades?
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I found that auto exhaust pipe makes a
wonderful chimney and it is collapsible.
Yep, that and old driveshafts!
The local muffler shop lets me pick whatever pipe I want out of the scrap pile behind the shop. A lot of it is brand new from rich kids wanting louder pipes on their brand-spankin'-new HEMI Dodge :rolleyes:
 

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I, too, love micro homes. I have looked into different plans, websites, forums and whatnot. I was thinking of purchasing 20 some wooded acres with a stream or some sort of water source and put a little cottage or cabin on it. We could use it for camping and then when SHTF have it as our BOL. My deliema is that I'm finding that certain counties have building codes that include square footage minimums. I am trying to find out more about this. If anyone has any insight, please share.
 

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What, exactly, constitutes a 'micro', 'mini' or 'small' home.
I'm looking at a 20x32 garage, with a second floor.
there will be a 'basement'.
 

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Rest In Peace
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971 Posts
Wife and I are 67 and have some health problems. We looked at the mini barns, but chose to go with a used RV trailer for a retirement home, placed on our kid's property. Our present home is far too large and will be sold eventually. The RV was built in '88, and needed some work--redid the roof and vents, replaced the fridge and furnace, plus new gas lines, and decorative work. Total cost will be about $2900 complete for 8' x 28' = 228 sq. ft. of space. Note that this cost is ready to live in.

A septic tank and field cost a little over $1500, since the guy was already on the place doing other work. He also leveled a spot for the trailer. Extending the county water line from the kid's house to ours cost another $600 for materials and renting a ditch witch. At this time we put down 4 layers of 4 mil black plastic on the trailer site and covered it with gravel. That may get concrete later, but is fine for now.

A pole framed protective roof is under construction, so maintaining the trailer roof is not an issue. This provides shade to keep that trailer from becoming an easy-bake oven in hot weather. Solar PV will provide electricity, mounted on that roof. We plan to make screen walls for this shelter for bug-free summer use. This will cost about $1,500 using some salvaged materials.

It looks like the total cost will be about $8,000. For that we get a place that is ready to move in, has gas heat and cooking, no electric bill, no sewer bill, and minimal water bill ($20/month). We have plans for buying a used truck body, a reefer unit that will be used for storage for the lawn mower, garden tools, and a small workshop area. That will cost another $1,200 including moving it in. It is 8 ft. x 24 ft., lockable, waterproof aluminum inside and out, and insulated. Including this, the cost is still well under $10K, and people spend a lot more than that on a used car that depreciates as fast as bananas.

Looks like we can live there REALLY cheap. And the kids are right there next door for when we get really old and need some help. Sure beats a nursing home.
 

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Happy in the hills
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449 Posts
We're getting ready to start our 16x32 offgrid home. Lofts on each side for sleeping quarters, this will provide us with plenty of room.

People always want more than they need, for us, we are happy to have a place to hang our hats.
 

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Stop paying for empty spaces.

Everything is big in America, but not free, the bigger the more taxes, maintenance, daily up-keep and cost overruns.Micro homes are not new, our European friends do to land restrictions have been building Micro homes for years now,also Modular homes. We are beginning to pay attention now. My home is a 1950 build on site home for the Korean War veterans, I have totally rebuild it with modern amenities, electric, plumbing ,new pressure treated lumber framing, roofing and added insulation, all the work done by me and some friends, the house is 24x24 feet, 576 sqf folks, and I don`t lack anything. I do feel sorry for families living on big homes, cooling and heating empty spaces that are nothing to brag about when micro homes, dome homes, modular homes are so available now. Highly insulated, storm proof, ready to set anywhere.
http://domesheltersystem.s3.amazonaws.com/index.html
 

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I want to get a 28' Uhaul truck and convert it to an RV.
Mosquitomountainman / GypsySue's rig - but there's isn't that long. I think their's is about 16-18 feet.

I know of an old Dodge motorhome with a 440 I could get for $100. I'd have to swap a diesel engine of some kind into it.
 
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