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Old 02-01-2013, 05:32 PM   #29
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1972 25' Tradewind
North Vancouver , British Columbia
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If I were to do it again, I think I'd park the airstream and then build a vestibule at the front door. A small 10'x10' addition to serve as a mudroom/transition between outside and inside. Construction sites are incredibly dirty and having that buffer would have been great. Mind you, I'm coming at it from the perspective of a dog owner. It would have been good to have a space to clean/dry them off before coming into the trailer. Also, it might be cool to add a small wood stove to the vestibule to help heat it as well as the trailer so as not to rely solely on propane.

Cameron & the Labradors, Kai & Samm
North Vancouver, BC
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:35 PM   #30
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Washougal , Washington
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Originally Posted by Lorensson View Post
If you think of anymore I'm all ears!
Couple more things for you. Figure out where the 'black' and 'gray' water are going to go on the property. That's one reason we bought that MH; we could drive it into town to the marina and dump it. Depending on the municipality/county, you may have to build either a 'holding tank' or a 'mini-septic' system if you have a semi-permanent trailer parked there.

Also figure out where you're going to get your water. The subs are going to need access to it also; what we did was to have the pressure tank on a secure pad for a temporary installation, and had a Y-fitting at the faucet - one side went to the MH, the other was for the subs. The side that was ours was tagged, DO NOT DISCONNECT OR TURN OFF. Did that after the second time some idiot unhooked my hose and threw the end in the mud, so I was forced to stand out there and sterilize it in a driving rain.

AS SOON AS you have electricity to the house, your inspection passed, and a meter base in, 'hot-up' the outlet for the clothes washer and put in a good sturdy plug. The washer is a single-circuit outlet, so it's the one to do FIRST. This is the outlet that the subs can now use, they'll figure out how to share. The plug itself will take a real beating from the subs. Figure on changing it out for a new one when you go for your Certificate of Occupancy.

If I think of anything else, I'll drop it in.

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Old 02-01-2013, 05:49 PM   #31
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Huntington Beach , California
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Thanks for that Steamguy.

Where we're looking at property I'm not expecting any municipal water will be run (ran?).

Part of our build plan is to make the property as self-sufficient as possible, including rainwater collection & sanitation systems, local natural waterways and possibly even our own wells / pump system. Of course it all depends on the property.

In fact, features like that are a primary consideration for us in choosing the property because there's a long term plan in mind. This probably doesn't preclude any of your tips however, we have to start somewhere!

While I'm on the topic, I have been looking into lots of natural resource & energy harvesting options to make the property as self sufficient as possible, including energy solutions like solar, wind, water, geothermal and even human-powered methods. All of these play a large role in our selection of property.

Another one of my big concerns is grading, mud and soil qualities, since we're looking in a mountainous (yet largely uninhabited) area.

All to give a bigger picture of our long term building goals, but for the immediate future the RV / trailer and its liveability and maintenance will be our focus alongside the property attributes.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:08 PM   #32
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What I see you needing first is a perc test, then have a dowser come up and tell you if a well is going to work. And WHERE. We actually adjusted the site of the house based on what the dowser told us, and which part of the meadows passed perc the best.

If you are going to collect water for the house, you will have to put serious thought into how you're going to sanitize it, filter out the dangerous stuff, and finally make it safe to drink.
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:04 PM   #33
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Grand Junction , Colorado
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I expect Cal. water law is pretty much the same as Colorado. Much surface water is already appropriated and you can't just take what you want out of a stream; someone already has rights to it. It is possible there may be some unappropriated water, but with California's perpetual water shortages, I doubt it.

Collecting rain water may be illegal. That water is supposed to feed the watershed and is also appropriated. Some states are now allowing some rainwater that people collect off their roof to be used for irrigation, but not every state is there yet. Some people with certain types of residential wells can do it in Colorado and in Santa Fe is it required for new construction. You'll have to check with whatever agency regulates water in Cal. (in Colorado, it is the "state engineer").


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Old 02-03-2013, 05:22 PM   #34
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This sort of scheme works in an area with plenty of water and few bureaucrats, who will do everything they can to keep you from being "different".

doug k
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:35 PM   #35
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Pulaski , Tennessee
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We recently moved into our new home and lived in our Airstream during the last 5 months of construction. We own a 2007 31 Classic. Our kids are grown but we lived in it with our two Sheltie dogs. The 31 Classic was comfortable and we didn't find it too cramped. One advantage it has over buying a cheap trailer with slides is the furnishings on an Airstream are much better than you will find in most other travel trailers. In order to get the quality you will find in an Airstream you will have to go to a higher grade fifth wheel and end up spending nearly as much as on the Airstream. If you buy new you will likely take a bath for the depreciation when you resell. In this scenario I would definitely buy a used unit that is a few years old and taken the initial depreciation. Back to our Airstream living. We found it to be very comfortable and would do it again if we were to need temporary housing. Our Airstream is now parked inside our workshop that we completed before starting the house. It took right at a year to complete the house after we signed a contract with the builder. Prior to that we spent 6 months with a designer putting together the house design and drawing the plans.

Steve & Beth
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