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Old 06-13-2018, 07:22 AM   #21
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But where would you empty a composting toilet in an urban setting, and do you think you could live and do all the adl’s (activities of daily living) undetected?

I believe it is accurate to say...you will not be able to live, in a trailer of any kind, on the streets or in parking lots, in a city such as Chicago.

There is a NP, I believe it is, camping area in Chicago, and a recent thread on this, but it is time limited.

A 45 minute commute into the city from a campground in the burbs is actually not too bad.

There is also the ability, or lack there of, to maneuver a trailer and tow vehicle in the city.

Just to be perfectly frank ...you seem to have a dream to do this, and dreams are important, but also is being realistic.

If you haven’t looked at the cheaprvliving forums, there are people there writing about living in vans and vehicles, in urban settings. and how to do that successfully.

That, done right, you might be able to get away with.

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Old 06-13-2018, 08:13 AM   #22
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But where would you empty a composting toilet in an urban setting, and do you think you could live and do all the adl’s (activities of daily living) undetected?

I believe it is accurate to say...you will not be able to live, in a trailer of any kind, on the streets or in parking lots, in a city such as Chicago.

There is a NP, I believe it is, camping area in Chicago, and a recent thread on this, but it is time limited.

A 45 minute commute into the city from a campground in the burbs is actually not too bad.

There is also the ability, or lack there of, to maneuver a trailer and tow vehicle in the city.

Just to be perfectly frank ...you seem to have a dream to do this, and dreams are important, but also is being realistic.

If you haven’t looked at the cheaprvliving forums, there are people there writing about living in vans and vehicles, in urban settings. and how to do that successfully.

That, done right, you might be able to get away with.

Maggie
That has been my thought, is maybe a stealth van would be a lot less fuss in general. I have been looking at the new sprinter vans and they look pretty nice. Plus they have a 3500 which can tow 7500 lbs, has a way higher payload than my truck, and gets better gas mileage (diesel) than my truck before towing anything. The thing is I would really like to keep my truck as it's lifted, regeared, had custom made rims, and some fabrication work. It drives really nice and is narrower than a sprinter van by 6-7 inches so it is/would be a lot more manageable when decoupled. I drive it in the city as is now NP. The only thing is some garages are a little too low for it. A high roof sprinter pretty much would not be able to go in any garages, expect maybe like Detroit or somewhere in Texas as I imagine they have bigger garages there. Also, no manual option is offered on the sprinters in US. Oh, right, biggest hold issue is then I live in a van which I have some reservations about even if it is more or less the same as a trailer.

That being said, with a 7500 towing after already having housing taken car of I could potentially have a 2000lb box trailer, a 4000 sports cars, and still have another 1000 lbs for tools and stuff with an additional 500lb margin which I have no where near the room for in an airstream and my current truck. After tongue weight I'll have only 600lbs left in the truck, so less than 300lb for tools (jack, jackstands, sockets, wrenches, ect.) which would definitely take some optimization and careful planning. The other thing that sucks is the airstream is SAE and my truck is metric so thats almost x2 wrenches (which are chunks of metal, not light)
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:27 AM   #23
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That has been my thought, is maybe a stealth van would be a lot less fuss in general. I have been looking at the new sprinter vans and they look pretty nice. Plus they have a 3500 which can tow 7500 lbs, has a way higher payload than my truck, and gets better gas mileage (diesel) than my truck before towing anything. The thing is I would really like to keep my truck as it's lifted, regeared, had custom made rims, and some fabrication work. It drives really nice and is narrower than a sprinter van by 6-7 inches so it is/would be a lot more manageable when decoupled. I drive it in the city as is now NP. The only thing is some garages are a little too low for it. A high roof sprinter pretty much would not be able to go in any garages, expect maybe like Detroit or somewhere in Texas as I imagine they have bigger garages there. Also, no manual option is offered on the sprinters in US. Oh, right, biggest hold issue is then I live in a van which I have some reservations about even if it is more or less the same as a trailer.

That being said, with a 7500 towing after already having housing taken car of I could potentially have a 2000lb box trailer, a 4000 sports cars, and still have another 1000 lbs for tools and stuff with an additional 500lb margin which I have no where near the room for in an airstream and my current truck. After tongue weight I'll have only 600lbs left in the truck, so less than 300lb for tools (jack, jackstands, sockets, wrenches, ect.) which would definitely take some optimization and careful planning. The other thing that sucks is the airstream is SAE and my truck is metric so thats almost x2 wrenches (which are chunks of metal, not light)
I've seen folks towing utility trailers set up as apartments. That might be an option for you if you're going the stealth route and want to keep your truck. Small generic utility trailer with a side door, roof solar and vents as discreetly installed as possible, and no obvious windows on the walls to let light out or call attention to it being occupied. Hide any RV style hookups behind a compartment door. I'd keep it small, since the bigger the trailer, the harder it will be to park without drawing attention.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:58 AM   #24
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...then I live in a van which I have some reservations about even if it is more or less the same as a trailer.

Yeah, pretty much as long as you don't consider heating, plumbing, electrical, storage space, a frdige, etc.


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Old 06-13-2018, 09:15 AM   #25
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Yeah, pretty much as long as you don't consider heating, plumbing, electrical, storage space, a frdige, etc.


Yea, I wouldn't live in a van without all of these. It would be decked out with solar, a wet bath, kitchen, ect. If this wasn't possible I would not consider it. The vans also can have have webasto diesel heaters which is cool because there is not need to fill propane, just fuel the vehicle as normal. I have been looking at a company called outside van and some other class B's. Funny clip though and kind of why I am hesitant about it, as well as the truck, and I really like the air streams as they are pretty XD.

As for the box trailer, this is possible to do for stealth I think but the big places where it comes into play, like parking in urban areas, there are usually length limitations and or trailers of all kinds are frowned upon. Also, I imagine if you can't park and RV in a driveway somewhere then they are probably also going to be weird about all trailers?
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:46 PM   #26
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So you want to camp on the urban streets of Chicago in an Airstream trailer without getting hassled? Good luck.
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Old 06-13-2018, 11:00 PM   #27
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You are making a mistake with a trailer. The solution is a vehicle that looks as if it is being regularly driven. A pickup and slide in camper is likely the best option. You can park it on most streets and if you regularly move it, your stay will be considered the same as if it was a home owner's vehicle parked on the street. If you appear like you are camping, overstay your welcome, or make a nusance, you will be asked to move on. If you appear to be parked, no issue.

There is a street in Palo Alto that has a population of RVs using it as a campground. The parking regulation requires the rig be moved on a regular basis and move a specific distance. The folks have a regular musical chairs process that is ongoing. This area is close to Stanford and likely provides housing for students and area workers. There has been talk about revising the parking regs, but the current situation serves a need.

So as several have said. It depends on the area. Most folks who do what you propose find a long term site in a mobile home park or RV specific campground. There are a few in the Bay area, but often the available locations are a bit less than desirable.

There is a concept called stealth camping. You should look it up and review the thoughts. A van may be a better solution for your intended purpose. Having an enclosed trailer that you store at a low cost facility might be a way to have more stuff and not need to take it with you on a daily basis. Investigate, research and learn. Lots of folks have lots of ideas.

Good luck with your research. Pat
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Old 06-14-2018, 03:36 AM   #28
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IMO, being Inconspicuous in an Airstream is impossible.
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Old 06-14-2018, 07:56 AM   #29
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Hi

In most urban areas, if you want to "hang out" long term, you will have to do it on a lot of some sort. Doing on the street with a trailer is unlikely to work. It's not just the legal stuff. Trailers take up a *lot* of space. Finding that space is tough. Finding it in a quiet and safe location is harder. Keeping people from running into you in that space ( long term ) is even harder still. People ( = drunks ) simply don't expect a vehicle to be hanging that far out into the road when parked .... crunch ....

In most cities, simply finding an on street parking space for a car is tough. You want three to four spaces in a row .... ( trailer + tow ). To get the trailer backed in (or moved out) of there you may need even more space.

Bob
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Old 06-14-2018, 08:31 AM   #30
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There's different "legal" issues.
One type is the tax/vote/mail/driver's license type. My friends keep a condo in Florida because they vote and pay tax (no state tax) there.

The other type, probably more troublesome, is the "free living" type of parking. Many localities don't want people living in their cars or vans so they make it difficult or roust people out. Even owning a plot of land and parking your Airstream on it will trigger a number of power and sewer regulations. In some places it's impossible to live "off the grid". It varies by state.
Even nice tiny homes have to follow local laws.
I was once motorcycling through the mountains in Colorado and came across a truck camper that someone unloaded on the side of the road. No truck, just the camper box. Talk about solitude! I doubt it was legal, but it was so far removed maybe the cops never went by.
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Old 06-14-2018, 01:03 PM   #31
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So you want to camp on the urban streets of Chicago in an Airstream trailer without getting hassled? Good luck.
Not on streets, Chicago is crazy about parking and ticketing, but even rent a driveway or lot of some kind maybe, as stated by unlce_bob above. I just don't know if something like this is even a possible solution or whether this too is an issue in most places. It seems like a lot of people even have issues with just parking on a lot or in driveways?

My main issue I am trying to plan ahead for, is that if I go through all the trouble to buy a trailer and then perhaps take on some long term obligation afterwards, whatever that might be, grad school, employment, ect. that I then will have a trailer I will have lost money on or will prevent me from living near where I need to be ect. The idea is to have a lighter more carefree life style, not to take on an addition burden/hassle.
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Old 06-14-2018, 01:05 PM   #32
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You are making a mistake with a trailer. The solution is a vehicle that looks as if it is being regularly driven. A pickup and slide in camper is likely the best option. You can park it on most streets and if you regularly move it, your stay will be considered the same as if it was a home owner's vehicle parked on the street. If you appear like you are camping, overstay your welcome, or make a nusance, you will be asked to move on. If you appear to be parked, no issue.

There is a street in Palo Alto that has a population of RVs using it as a campground. The parking regulation requires the rig be moved on a regular basis and move a specific distance. The folks have a regular musical chairs process that is ongoing. This area is close to Stanford and likely provides housing for students and area workers. There has been talk about revising the parking regs, but the current situation serves a need.

So as several have said. It depends on the area. Most folks who do what you propose find a long term site in a mobile home park or RV specific campground. There are a few in the Bay area, but often the available locations are a bit less than desirable.

There is a concept called stealth camping. You should look it up and review the thoughts. A van may be a better solution for your intended purpose. Having an enclosed trailer that you store at a low cost facility might be a way to have more stuff and not need to take it with you on a daily basis. Investigate, research and learn. Lots of folks have lots of ideas.

Good luck with your research. Pat
Yea, that was my thought if I here to do a van is I could have more storage, garage, tools type stuff and leave it more easily, and then still have an nicer sport car or something even as well when I want it XD.
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Old 06-14-2018, 01:14 PM   #33
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Not on streets, Chicago is crazy about parking and ticketing, but even rent a driveway or lot of some kind maybe, as stated by unlce_bob above. I just don't know if something like this is even a possible solution or whether this too is an issue in most places. It seems like a lot of people even have issues with just parking on a lot or in driveways?
Yes, people do, due to local ordinances, homeowner association rules, etc.

Cities and neighborhoods donít want folks converging, doing exactly what you are proposing to do, aside from just the parking issue nor do neighbors want the view of RVís spoiling the ambience by their ever-presence.

Seriously, see what folks on cheaprvliving are doing with vehicles...you will be amazed.

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Old 06-14-2018, 01:32 PM   #34
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Hi

In most urban areas, if you want to "hang out" long term, you will have to do it on a lot of some sort.
Even that will not fly in some areas. I live in a fairly rural area - 6 miles to nearest store. Have a lot beside my home with 30 amp power and black water dump for the trailer BUT one can not actually use the trailer more than 30 days in a calendar year due to the small township rules. You can park it there but can't use it any more than that.
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Old 06-14-2018, 02:07 PM   #35
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Urban, welcome to adulthood where reality often bites one in the butt. Dreams are great, keep them, keep working towards them. It only took me 45 years to figure out that I needed a lot of money to live free.
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Old 06-14-2018, 02:13 PM   #36
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If I wanted to live in a camper or a van long-term in the city without getting hassled, I'd look for a "night security" gig. Find a business or construction site that needs someone to keep an eye out overnight. Arrange with the owner or foreman to park there conspicuously overnight and call the cops if you see or hear something suspicious. Some businesses pay good money for this. If you presented yourself professionally, certainly you'd be able to find someone to accept your services for cheap or free.

At that point, you're not living or camping. You're working.

Downside, you have to sleep somewhere sketchy enough to require nighttime security. Maybe get a dog.
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Old 06-15-2018, 04:50 AM   #37
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The escapees RV club is another place to look for resources for full timers. They also offer a mail capture and scanning service specifically for full timers.
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Old 06-15-2018, 07:34 AM   #38
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Even that will not fly in some areas. I live in a fairly rural area - 6 miles to nearest store. Have a lot beside my home with 30 amp power and black water dump for the trailer BUT one can not actually use the trailer more than 30 days in a calendar year due to the small township rules. You can park it there but can't use it any more than that.
Hi

In a lot of areas, the next part of the rule says " without the proper permits for a dwelling ". In other words, once you go past 30 days, you have to get it permitted just like any other house. Is that even possible with an Airstream? That depends a *lot* on chapters and chapters of rules.

I'm not exactly out in the country here, the few rules there are come from the township or the HOA. I do live in a state that has a very unique approach to zoning and land use. That goes back to colonial days. Dropping a this or that on a lot here is a bit easier than it would be in most sates. Nice if you want to do something weird, not so nice if your neighbor gets weird.

Bob
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Old 06-15-2018, 07:56 AM   #39
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. . . you may have been born a couple of generations too late, urban . . .



Great dream . . . difficult to pull off in the real world unless you have lots of things lined up ahead of time. As someone who has truly lived in “ a van down by the river” [RIP CF] I would suggest a used van, not a fancy RV version, and hitting the road.

Crawl before walk.

Good luck,

Peter
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Old 06-15-2018, 10:36 PM   #40
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. . . you may have been born a couple of generations too late, urban . . .



Great dream . . . difficult to pull off in the real world unless you have lots of things lined up ahead of time. As someone who has truly lived in ď a van down by the riverĒ [RIP CF] I would suggest a used van, not a fancy RV version, and hitting the road.

Crawl before walk.

Good luck,

Peter
Yea, I was thinking about getting a very cheap trailer or something of the like first before I invest in what I believe now to be the ideal one. I'm sure that idea will change with some experience
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