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Old 04-27-2010, 07:41 PM   #15
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The best thing to do is check out some trailers. A lot depends on your personal preference. I know of people who have lived for long periods on sailboats which are a lot like an Airstream but even more cramped for space.

Some people like living that way, some people go nuts. But if it appeals to you , why not buy a used Airstream and give it a try? You might find out the lifestyle is for you. Worst that can happen, you have some nice vacation trips, find out it doesn't appeal, and sell the trailer at a small loss.

If there is an Airstream rally near you , you could visit more trailers and find out more answers in a weekend than you could in a year anyplace else.
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Old 04-27-2010, 08:30 PM   #16
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I think your plan to build a metal building is great! Go for the airstream for your new lease on life. When you build include the electric hook up for the trailer, water hook ups and all the plumbing for the sewer just like on a campsite...only inside. You will only be inside for the winter and with bright building light(on timers so they will allow you to sleep) you will be fine. Will you be working in the day? Would you want pay someone to "store" your unit? You would have no security issues, have a nice place for the TV also and the size of the space will help insulate everything.

Who knows you might take the entire thing as storage and office for your construction business and still have a wonderful airstream for road trips.

If it doesn't work you are left with a nice metal building with full utilities and an airstream someone will be eager to buy.
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:44 PM   #17
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bcs4.....

You should discuss the possibilities you're considering with your lawyer if your divorce matters are not yet finished. The ex, or worse, the Judge, might view your move to an AS (or any RV) negatively. "Your Honor Mr. BCS4 is not serious about finding a job to pay alimony, who would hire anyone who lives in a silver Twinkie...." "Your Honor Mr. BCS4 is planning on moving out of state where the court will not be able to enforce its award. Why else would he have purchased an RV....." And so on. You should find that out before making the financial committement to a new or used AS. While anyone afflicated with Aluminitis would applaud your plan, others lacking the aluminum gene might not. Like the old adage goes: "Look before you leap." Good luck on both fronts.
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Old 04-27-2010, 11:01 PM   #18
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I lived in my trailer for about 10 weeks last summer, and am moving back into it this weekend. My Airstream living is due to having a job in Denver, while my family and house are in Minneapolis... which means I am alone, trying to minimize costs, avoid a lease, and remain mobile to move home should I finally get a job there.

I say forget living in a trailer in a Wisconsin winter. It would be very difficult... they are impossible to heat, and you will go crazy trapped inside such a little space.

Living alone in it in moderate weather (other than the hail storm that totalled my trailer) has been fine. It has been a rather lonely existance for me, but more outgoing people would do better. I'm just "doing what I have to do" for my family.
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Old 04-28-2010, 01:04 AM   #19
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Ganaraska,

It would be great but I'd be a bit concerned with freeze ups. That was my original thought with keeping it inside and maintaining the building at 32 degrees.

Patti

There won't be alimony. The divorce is in Iowa, where it's granted on recent history (if then), and recent history shows her making substantially more than me since building went absolutely bust. In fact she's wealthy any way. If I'm to continue making half the mortgage payment, I have to live inexpensively. There's no way to tell what a court will decide, and trying to second guess will make everything even more unbearable. The judge would likely frown just as much if I didn't attempt to live on nothing while I continue to look.

DMAC

I sympathize, I'm not an outgoing guy either. I'm not looking forward to spending an hour every day looking for jobs on the internet and then having nothing else to do but stare the dogs in the eyes. At least I'll be able to put a lot of thought into what I'm going to eat that day.

Thanks Everyone!
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Old 04-28-2010, 01:37 AM   #20
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Job Hunting

A key thing about job hunting today is to WIDEN your search. You might feel that you don't have the ability to change careers but many people do quite well - after an initial period of discomfort. Consider building maintenance for an apartment complex or commercial property management company, or working for a flood and fire restoration company. Your knowledge of construction tools would also allow you to work in a hardware store.

I know you don't think you are outgoing, but look - you posted here. The truth is that if you don't have an advanced degree, working in sales is a great way to grow your career. You'll probably have to take two to three steps backwards in pay - initially, but you might find that taking your career on a tangent will pay off in the end.

Living in an Airstream while looking for work however might be a slight problem. It looks too temporary - and very few employers are interested in investing in training a new hand who isn't going to be around for a fairly reasonable amount of time. I fulltime, but then I'm a business owner.

I've got to agree, if you stay in Wisconsin - NOT a good place to winter with an Airstream!

Good luck whatever you decide.
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Old 04-28-2010, 07:50 AM   #21
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Believe me, I've widened my horizons. There is no doubt I could work in a hardware store. Trouble is, I haven't seen a Home Depot/Lowes/Menards hiring in the tool department (and I've searched a HUGE area), and a crappy ticker won't let me do much carrying and lifting which are the areas they seem to be hiring in. I can lift a bunch of weight once or twice, but if I have to do it for 10 minutes in the heat, not so good. They have health questions in their applications. I'm not going to lie and then sit down every 2 minutes when I'm asked to load dimensional lumber in to the back of a truck.

I can't worry about appearances. I have talked to the 30-40 apartments in this area that take dogs and NONE of them will go less than a 12 month lease. What if I find a job 3 hours from here next week? I can give my sister's address as my permanent address, and no one has to know I'm living in a trailer. Start the job, move to the area for a month or so in a trailer and see how it's going, THEN find an apartment.

Sales is fine, but I haven't seen anything that doesn't require experience specific to what is being sold that isn't pretty much straight commission. And the straight commission sales are pretty much hard-sell cold call garbage.

I have looked for a job before. It's different when you're in your mid fifties 7 years from your last salaried job in THIS market. I'm not even hearing back on bank/credit union branch assistant manager positions that don't require previous experience!
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:06 AM   #22
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Living in a trailer is not a hindrance to a job search. Your employer does not need to know your housing situation. Use the addess of the RV park where you are staying, a PO box, or whatever. My employer does not know that I will be living in my trailer for the next 6 months, and they do not know that I am looking for a job back home in Minnesota.

Job hunting is very difficult now. I have applied to over 2,000 openings where I am fully qualified. I have had a phone call from ~10, interviews with ~6, and only one job offer in Colorado where I have been working since last summer. Companies are very selective since they have so many applicants, you pretty much have to have been doing the exact same job previously, and be willing to work for less money. Age discrimination appears to be common.

Having a trailer can be an asset for job hunting... you can move anywhere, and live relatively cheaply when you get there. Having several major metro areas to search multiplies your job opportunities. Although I'm 900 miles from home, at least I am working, and our house payment is being made. That is better than what millions of families are able to do right now!

Also, I would not worry about what a Court thinks about you living in a trailer - unless you had kids, and were trying to get custody... which does not appear to be the situation here. Just be sure that you don't acquire any big assets, like a new trailer, because half of it will be hers! Cash in a mattress is your best asset right now
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:15 AM   #23
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Thanks DMAC. Good luck in your search, I hope it's going better than mine!
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:22 AM   #24
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I can appreciate your job problem because I had a similar problem. In my case it was a lack of education and health problems that were the holdup.

After looking for work for months with no result I decided to make my own job. So I started doing some home repairs under the table. Got a relative to lend me some money to buy my first rental property, fixed it up, and went on from there. Made a living out of buying, fixing and renting or reselling houses and apartments for years. Recently sold my last rental property and retired.

So, I know it can be done. You may be better off to forget about the strait jacket of working for someone else and figure out something on your own. It does not have to be a big elaborate deal. Just start.
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:26 AM   #25
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Don't plan on living in an Airstream in a cold climate like Wisconsin in the winter. It won't work. The cottage idea was strictly for summer use, assuming you would move south in the winter.

If you want a year round home in a cold climate an Airstream is a real lousy idea.

On the other hand if you want to travel a lot and take your home and pets with you, the Airstream is great.

I hope this is clear.
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:57 AM   #26
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We live in Yellowstone from May to September in our 31' Sovereign with a dog and a cat. Our unit, built in 1986, was factory winterized (whatever that means) and we have discovered that running the heat strip in the A/C coupled with a 1500 watt quartz heater will keep us toasty down to about 40f.

Unfortunately, Yellowstone is often below 32f in May, June and September so we do get some help from the furnace ($$$).

That is a whole different thing than winter up north...

You adjust to the space and it is actually a simple way to live - clean up is a snap and you will be surprised to find that you don't miss all the junk you accumulate in a stick home.

You could certainly pick up some cash as a Work Camper. For example, Xanterra always needs help at their facilities in Yellowstone from May to September. They provide an RV pad, you pick up utilities. Pay isn't great but, heck, on your days off you are in Yellowstone. They prefer grown-ups because the kiddies tend to be late, sloppy, hung-over... Lots of campgrounds also have work opportunities.

This is a start: Opportunities for Workamping (or Work Camping) -- over 175 sites in 12 states

I am sure your happiness quotient is single digits right now but aluminum is an excellent cure for most anything that ails you.

Good luck,

mike
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Old 04-28-2010, 11:16 AM   #27
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ganaraska, That's exactly the type of thing I want to do but everything's tied up, and it looks like it will be at least another 8 months.

n2916s, Thanks for the link, I applied! Are there any other similar opportunities that you know of?
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Old 04-28-2010, 11:21 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ganaraska View Post
After looking for work for months with no result I decided to make my own job. So I started doing some home repairs under the table. Got a relative to lend me some money to buy my first rental property, fixed it up, and went on from there. Made a living out of buying, fixing and renting or reselling houses and apartments for years. Recently sold my last rental property and retired.
This could be a great opportunity, especially if you have the money to buy a repo property to fix up - the housing market will recover, eventually. Yet, right now it is very difficult to sell a house. I have a second home for sale, but it has been on the market for a year with no results. Counting on a quick "flip" could be a disaster. Carrying costs are high - taxes, insurance, utilities...
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