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Old 04-03-2010, 07:20 PM   #1
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Driveway living?

Hi everyone, just wondering if anyone has done a decent amount of driveway camping. i don't have an AS yet, but when i get one i'd imagine i'll be doing a lot of it once i have one.

i have been saving up for a trailer for the past 6 months and have about $7000. will need about double that. reason for buying the trailer is for a cheaper alternative to renting (i'm a college student and paying $1000 a month on rent seems useless to me, i'd rather my money be going into something).

now i know absolutely nothing about it driveway camping, since i've never done it! what do you need? how is electricity set up. can you set sewage/water up? how hard is it to do all this? ANY and ALL help would be much appreciated. please give details if possible! thanks so much!
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Old 04-03-2010, 08:29 PM   #2
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Unless you're going to university someplace with much milder winters than Ottawa, I'd suggest you do a search on these forums about winter living in an Airstream. These aren't four season trailers and getting prepared for winter living takes considerable research and preparation. The propane costs alone for heating the trailer through a winter are considerable.
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Old 04-03-2010, 09:15 PM   #3
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I think that it would be really hard. As Cameron suggested, do lots of research. There are people on the Forums who have done it. However, I'm not sure I could. You'd need a vestibule to prevent all the warm air leaving and cold air rushing in. The pipes are an issue of their own. Our floor feels really cold even in September. There is one couple here on the forums who did it and installed a tiny woodstove to help heat it. Very cool.

Also, check out this Living Large in Small Spaces Jay Shafer lived in an Airstream in Iowa for 2 years, and then he started his own company making tiny houses.

Best wishes,
Lisa
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Old 04-03-2010, 09:23 PM   #4
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Unless you go to school in the states. Preferably California, Florida or Texas it will be almost impossible to over winter in someones driveway. Your outside water source would have to insulated and heated. The removal of waste water and sewerage and removal of condensation would also problematic.The cost of heating would also be very expensive. In 10 degree Farenheit temps. (Had to specify that because even though I know how to do the conversion I don't want to) this winter we were using 30 pounds of propane a week to keep the inside temp at around 66-70 (F. again)
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Old 04-03-2010, 11:09 PM   #5
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Thumbs down Driveway Living

My wife and I are the height of DL. In the winter we stay at my son's in Lubbock, Tx in our AS M/H, in the driveway. We hook up a 100# propane cylinder on our extend-a-stay and that is our home. I fill the water tank about every other day, and the gray water and black water is disposed of with our Flo-Jet Waste pump and a 3/4" hose to the home clean out. I will say that our AS is much colder inside than our Dutch Star which was very comfortable even in cold weather. It had 3" sidewalls with lots of insulation(and it was Heavy)
and our AS doesn't even have double pane glass which also makes a big difference. An AS is NOT a 4 seasons unit without doing special preparation beforehand. We burned through 100# of propane about every 3 weeks keeping the thermostat at 68 and supplementing with electric space heaters, during 20-30 degree weather. Can be done, but takes prep and care to execute driveway living.
Mike
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Old 04-03-2010, 11:38 PM   #6
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Hi, I don't want to crash your party, but everyone so far is right. Too cold for that kind of use. We spent a week in freezing weather and that was almost all that our propane tanks could handle. Because it never got above freezing temps during any time of the day, our furnace was on 24 hours a day. I would think you should be able to rent a room in a house for much less than what you are paying now and be able to save money for your future Airstream dream.
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Old 04-03-2010, 11:55 PM   #7
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hey guys! thanks for the reply. sorry i didn't specify- i would only be living in the trailer for the spring, summer, and fall months. so above freezing. from about dec to march i will be renting a room or living at home at my parents place!

with that being said, can anyone help me? lol
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Old 04-04-2010, 01:58 AM   #8
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Sounds like you'll be anchored for a while. If you plan on parking in someone's driveway-I assume a friend-this could work out o.k.. The son of the previous owner of my '63 Safari used it for 6 months while attending college. I don't see fuel as as issue if you're near the house electrical supply. As mentioned,I agree Airstreams are drafty but space heaters solve that problem.Water inlet and sewage hook up would also be do-able. Check out an rv supplier like Camping World or even Walmart and Home Depot for items to make life easier. A tow vehicle ,or lack of one ,also is not an issue.When I found the '66 Sovereign,I had it delivered. Check out this site's classifieds and keep an eye out for a good deal in your neck of the woods.
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Old 04-04-2010, 06:55 AM   #9
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Another thing to consider are the local laws - we have to store our AS 60 miles away because our local ordinances will only allow us to have her in our driveway for 48 hours at a time.
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Old 04-04-2010, 07:22 AM   #10
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boy am I lucky.... never even thought about the laws of some places not allowing you to have a AS in your driveway for long periods of time. We've had ours in our driveway for almost three years and it has only moved TWICE.... one of the neighbors thought our parents were LIVING IN IT!! We laughed and explained that we were WORKING on it!! The demo/reno continues.....
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Old 04-04-2010, 08:54 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Steve & Susan View Post
Another thing to consider are the local laws - we have to store our AS 60 miles away because our local ordinances will only allow us to have her in our driveway for 48 hours at a time.
Bingo! There is no municipality in Ontario that would allow such a domestic arrangement to happen for long, and most certainly not Ottawa.

In fact, all it would take is one call from a neighbour that was tired of the silver monument on the property, and the property owner would get a warning, then a summons if it wasn't removed toute de suite.

I think it would be a good idea to talk to the city to make sure of your position before moving in. I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think I am...
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Old 04-04-2010, 10:40 AM   #12
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For most of the last nine months, Lucy has been hooked-up at her SuEllyn's Dad's house in Jacksonville, Florida. SuEllyn's Dad is 92 years old, and she has been spending more and more time with him in Jacksonville. Having Lucy out in the yard has been a godsend during this period. SuEllyn really appreciates the privacy that Lucy affords.

Several years ago we added a 30 amp RV outlet in Daddy's garage. We added 30' of PVC to the Sewer Solution to reach the house sewer clean-out. We tapped into the television cable and telephone line, and set up Wifi internet access. Fortunately, the area of Jacksonville where SuEllyn's Dad has lived for the past 66 years has no restriction on RV parking.

This past winter has been one of the coldest ever in Jacksonville with many nights well below freezing. SuEllyn stayed comfortable all winter with Lucy's heat pump when appropriate and her furnace when the temperatures dropped below freezing. SuEllyn did place silver insulation material in all of Lucy's windows. This helped immensely in maintaining heat inside Lucy. SuEllyn has made it through the winter very nicely in Lucy.

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Old 04-04-2010, 10:59 AM   #13
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i ... have about $7000. will need about double that. reason for buying the trailer is for a cheaper alternative to renting (i'm a college student and paying $1000 a month on rent seems useless to me, i'd rather my money be going into something).
Here's another option. You have $7,000 (and plan on doubling it) and are paying $1000 per month toward rent. You can afford to buy a townhouse or condo priced up to $150,000 +/-. Get on the property ladder now and get home equity working for you early. Then you'll definitely see your money going into something. Something that will appreciate in value and give you a return on your investment.
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Old 04-04-2010, 12:04 PM   #14
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That's good advice from cameront120. (And, my experience is that regardless of how it may appear at the outset, RVing is NOT the cheapest way to go, unless you plan to live in it for an extended period of time; and I mean years).
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