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Old 04-11-2010, 09:18 PM   #29
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cameron, i'm in school for business actually, haha.

thanks for the replies guys. as rich said i would not be staying in the trailer in the winter months..i would be in my parents house during that time. as far as the zoning bylaws, if those aren't the right ones, i can find no others stating it is illegal in Ottawa. If you can find some please let me know!

As far as the house-sitting idea goes, i've actually looked into it, but in Ottawa there don't seem to be many opportunities available.

i know generally going the route of purchasing a trailer would not be most cost effective, but right now i dont have enough to put a down payment on a house (no house in ottawa, especially the area the trailer will be in) and i would be buying a trailer that was at least 5 years old and used, so even if i bought a 2000-2005 trailer and then sold it in 2 years time if i decided it wasn't for me and sold it for a few grand less than i paid, i would most certainly still save a ton of money. rent for 2 years = at LEAST $24 000 for a 2 bedroom, split with a roommate still $12 000 spent by me. if i purchase a trailer for around $15 000, and then sell after 2 years for $12 000, i save myself $9000 of rent, so it would be very much worth it in my eyes.

all the while i could continue saving, and then maybe even have enough to put a down payment on a condo of some sort..

but all this is only possible if it's legal! haha. which i still haven't determined.
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Old 04-11-2010, 11:23 PM   #30
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Hi, as others have stated, I can park my trailer in my driveway, but no-one can live in it there. Check your local laws.
Wow Never thought of looking for that law here. We live in a residental area and have a rear entry garage. So the Stream is parked in the back of the house. Don't guess anyone would really know if someone was living there. I bet our city hasn't addressed that issue. Maybe they have, interesting.

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Old 04-11-2010, 11:30 PM   #31
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While I have no way of knowing what the restrictions on trailer living are in your locality, I would agree with the advice you have received here. Find out first. I do know that driveway living is not something that can be done where I winter in my Airstream, and that would be both in the nuisance codes, and in the health codes.

As has been pointed out, other than the law, the largest difficulty to such a situation would be sewage. How do you properly dispose of it?

It would be great if I could stay with friends in their driveway for a month or two at a time, but legally it isnít possible. Luckily Iím able to stay at the Washington Unit WBCCI facility that is very close to where I need to be for work in the winter months.

I winter in Olympia Washington, which is a fairly temperate climate, but it does get cold from time to time and I disagree with the view that Airstreamís canít handle a bit of cold weather. Iím keeping in mind here that you say you would only be living in it spring, summer, and fall, so perhaps up north you would experience temperatures from time to time during the spring and fall that were as cold as I experience in the dead of winter. Water can be left to drip, the pipes and tanks are heated by the furnace (at least in my AS, perhaps not in all,) and Iíve found one electric space heater to be quite effective only using the furnace when it is very cold. Iíve been quite comfortable inside using that little heater for 95% of my heat, and been surprised to go outside some early mornings to find the AS covered with a thin coat of ice.

Without an electric heat source, relying only on the propane furnace would be cost prohibitive.

After three winters in the AS, my advice to anyone considering wintering in one would be to always keep a full propane tank, and a charged battery so that the propane furnace can be utilized when the power goes out for a time. Without it, in freezing temps, the pipes would surely be in danger.
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Old 04-12-2010, 12:46 PM   #32
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but all this is only possible if it's legal! haha. which i still haven't determined.
Try this link, and study Section 126: http://www.ottawa.ca/residents/bylaw...f/pt_05_en.pdf


I've read it quickly. It seems to be saying that if the trailer is less than 6 metres (20') long, you're ok. Otherwise, the trailer has to be in a back yard or interior side yard (i.e. not the street side of a corner lot).

Living in it is still another issue.
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Old 04-12-2010, 01:57 PM   #33
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Wow Never thought of looking for that law here. We live in a residental area and have a rear entry garage. So the Stream is parked in the back of the house. Don't guess anyone would really know if someone was living there. I bet our city hasn't addressed that issue. Maybe they have, interesting.

Shane
That's what a friend of mine thought. Her mother was called-on-the-carpet when a neighbor (who noticed the coming-and-going) of the rural community complained. County came out - found the water & sewer connections and ordered they be disconnected permanently. They check intermittently now - and it's been a total PITA for her mom to continue residing in the trailer...

Laura
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Old 05-06-2010, 11:46 AM   #34
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I think its a cool idea. Wish I had though of it when I was in college. A nice benefit of living in an Airstream as a college student is that when you graduate, who knows where you will find a job? The trailer could be moved and make nice temporary housing for a while when you start that first "real" job.

Okay, others have covered the zoning/legal aspects. Assuming all checks out fine, you need to find someone's yard to park it in. I suggest a place where you can get the trailer in the side yard or maybe the back to be more covert. Let's say you park it at a friend's house, which is probably a rental property, you will need to get permission from the landlord because eventually they will find out what is going on and it would be a shame to get evicted shortly after you move in.

For electric power, you could just use a heavy duty extension cord plugged into an exterior outlet, with the appropriate 30/20 amp adapter at the trailer end. However, this only works if you don't plan on running the air conditioner. If you plan to use air conditioning and maybe a small electric heater on cool mornings, you will need a 30 amp electrical connection. Most houses don't have one of these unless the place was owned by an RVer. They are however easy enough to install in most cases, and you or a friend could do the work yourself. Again, however, the landlord's approval is probably needed and they may insist on an electrician doing the work.

For water a semi-permenant connection is not needed, though would be convenient. There is an on board water tank and pump for pressure and that could be filled with a hose every few days or if there is a hose facuet on the house a short distance away, a hose can be hooked up to the city water connection on the trailer.

Sewer will be the toughest one of all. Most houses have a sewer main cleanout, about a 4" - 6" cap in the ground near the foundation, which could be used as a sewer connection, but it is unlikely that will be near the trailer. However, you could dump the trailer's waste into a portable tank and pull it over to that cleanout and dump it there. You'd have to do that every few days. I've also heard of people tieing into a sewer line in the basement of a house and running a branch out thru a basement window and hooking up an RV that way, but that can get complicated and again you have to deal with the landlord.

I say go for it.
Christopher
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Old 05-06-2010, 02:51 PM   #35
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From the land of sunshine, this last winter would not have been very pleasant to be in a trailer here in Florida. Years ago I was told to never assume. as that word becomes three too easily.
I'm sure your blood is adjusted to your area and you can handle the other seasons, problem will be a tight box will retain moisture and condensate without circulation of fresh air
Zoning, health, environmental departments don't see trailers as an income producing property and contain few voters, so you will not have the blessing of those that can shut you down with one call from an observer at a distance.
Last week we camped at my daughters, parked in driveway, rural area, waterfront, did it cross my mind that it was illegal, sure but I knew by the time someone could call and get a response from officials we would be packed and headed home. We are Americans and I know this isn't the way a Canadian would do it;-) We are self contained but do like to hookup to electric and son-in-law had a box within reach of our shorepower cord.
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Old 05-06-2010, 07:17 PM   #36
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Here are a couple of solutions to your housing needs.

Follow Cameron's suggestion and buy or rent a house or townhouse. Then rent rooms to fellow students. This could get you free rent or close to it.

If you really want a trailer during the summer you can live in provincial parks quite cheaply but you have to move every 2 or 3 weeks. This could be fun and take the pressure off the neighbors calling the cops if you are obviously only in the driveway temporarily.
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Old 05-07-2010, 04:20 PM   #37
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That's what a friend of mine thought. Her mother was called-on-the-carpet when a neighbor (who noticed the coming-and-going) of the rural community complained. County came out - found the water & sewer connections and ordered they be disconnected permanently. They check intermittently now - and it's been a total PITA for her mom to continue residing in the trailer...

Laura
NOSEY neighbors.....LOL

I still don't see an issue here, where I'm living.

SHane
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Old 05-08-2010, 08:45 AM   #38
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"NOSEY neighbors.....LOL

I still don't see an issue here, where I'm living.

SHane"
ThePill fits under the 30 foot rule of Arlington, BUT that is just for parking it in the driveway, doesn't take into account actually being used as a residence. Seldom do city officials go out of their way to find problems, nosey or concerned neighbors with values different from yours can and do report to them, then they have to take action.
Right now Arlington is targeting dangerous and substandard housing, which could easily be used to target a trailer. We have had exceptions, being used at a construction site, Fema trailers after the hurricanes but they still would have to comply with ordinances for water, sewer and electrical hookups.
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Old 07-24-2010, 06:58 AM   #39
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I lived in a VW van for one year, going to U of Guelph. Small space, easy to heat with a small electric heater, used the schools facilities, was great at the time...now; with wife, kid, dog, cats, ahhhhhh.....(looking for airstream now). But do try something like that if you can, it'll give you a new perspective on life.
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