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Posted: 7/15/2013 3:06:15 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/15/2013 4:17:52 PM EST by rca2222]
Wife and I are brewing what may be a hair brained scheme: We intend to move with our 11 year old daughter to either Maine or NH next summer (I can telecommute so can live anywhere). We are planning to buy a chunk of land and building a post and beam home, and we're debating two options:

- Rent a home for the year it will probably take to get the home done or...

- Buy a 5th wheel camper and park it on the site and live in that. Sell when home is habitable.

I'm thinking that keeping warm will be a real bitch in the camper. Then we have the issue of needing hookups, water, power, septic on site right away...and keeping those things from freezing. Upside, probably less money lost on depreciation than on rent. Also, it puts us on the land, which is nice; time to learn the place and pick the right building site.

We don't know the first thing about campers. We do know boats having run large yachts around the world for years. I'm betting most of the equipment is similar.

What sayeth the hive?


Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:07:44 PM EST
Originally Posted By rca2222:
Wife and I are brewing what may be a hair brained scheme: We intend to move with our 11 year old daughter to either Maine or NH next summer (I can telecommute so can live anywhere). We are planning to buy a chunk of land and building a post and beam home, and we're debating two options:

- Rent a home for the year it will probably take to get the home done or...

- Buy a 5th wheel camper and park it on the site and live in that. Sell when home is habitable.

I'm thinking that keeping warm will be a real bitch in the camper. Then we have the issue of needing hookups, water, power, septic on site right away...and keeping those things from freezing. Upside, probably less money lost on depreciation than on rent. Also, it puts us on the land, which is nice; time to learn the place and pick the right building site.

We don't know the first thing about campers. We do know boats having run large yachts around the world for years. I'm betting most of the equipment is similar.

What sayeth the hive?


I would at least put up an enclosed post building and park whatever it is inside.

5th wheels are not the most thermally efficient rigs goin...

Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:09:14 PM EST
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:09:17 PM EST
perhaps a mobile home would be a better idea.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:09:37 PM EST
I stayed in a camper in Nov & Dec up here in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. I would never choose to do it again. I assume that Maine's winters are a bit milder than here, but I personally would not with my kids. Best of luck if you do!
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:10:10 PM EST
You need a 4-season fifth wheel. They are out there, just makes sure of get one. Otherwise, you'll be fooked for ure when all the water freezes.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:10:11 PM EST

Originally Posted By krpind:
Build an insulated shop. Park RV inside the shop. use a wood burning stove for the shop during the coldest part of the winter.

Win.


best idea. when you are done, you get a shop.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:11:06 PM EST
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:11:28 PM EST
Originally Posted By rca2222:
Wife and I are brewing what may be a hair brained scheme: We intend to move with our 11 year old daughter to either Maine or NH next summer (I can telecommute so can live anywhere). We are planning to buy a chunk of land and building a post and beam home, and we're debating two options:

- Rent a home for the year it will probably take to get the home done or...

- Buy a 5th wheel camper and park it on the site and live in that. Sell when home is habitable.

I'm thinking that keeping warm will be a real bitch in the camper. Then we have the issue of needing hookups, water, power, septic on site right away...and keeping those things from freezing. Upside, probably less money lost on depreciation than on rent. Also, it puts us on the land, which is nice; time to learn the place and pick the right building site.

We don't know the first thing about campers. We do know boats having run large yachts around the world for years. I'm betting most of the equipment is similar.

What sayeth the hive?






I've done winters in MI and MT down to several consecutive nights at -20ish. You will be fine. Underskirt your trailer and get a large external propane tank and put the boots to the furnace. I went trhough a hundred pound bottle once every 7-10 days. Heat tape any exposed water lines and be prepared to use a hair dryer if you do freeze. You can supplement the propane with space heaters but you still have to keep the furnace going to keep the underbelly warm. It has it's challenges but it's do-able and It's looking like i will be spending my second consecutive winter in PA this year in mine. Winters haven't been to bad here though.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:11:30 PM EST

Originally Posted By krpind:
Build an insulated shop. Park RV inside the shop. use a wood burning stove for the shop during the coldest part of the winter.

Win.

This. You can have a pole barn built relatively cheap. You will always find a use for the space later.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:12:20 PM EST
Thanks guys. The wife is impressed by the folks on GD



Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:12:34 PM EST
Originally Posted By OverScoped:

Originally Posted By krpind:
Build an insulated shop. Park RV inside the shop. use a wood burning stove for the shop during the coldest part of the winter.

Win.


best idea. when you are done, you get a shop.


And double stack straw bales around the entire base of the trailer.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:13:40 PM EST
Originally Posted By OverScoped:
perhaps a mobile home would be a better idea.


This seems like a better idea, especially if things don't move as fast as you'd hoped.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:15:44 PM EST
It could be done. I wouldn't recommend it with a family though. When I first got to the northeast, I found a nice spot to live, but it was being renovated. The lady severely miscalculated when it would be finished, and I lived my first northeastern winter in my Tacoma. Lucky for me, showers and all that at my work, and nice little cornfield behind it.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:16:46 PM EST
Originally Posted By krpind:
Originally Posted By CroatianKnight:
I stayed in a camper in Nov & Dec up here in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. I would never choose to do it again. I assume that Maine's winters are a bit milder than here, but I personally would not with my kids. Best of luck if you do!


Did you have a dehumidifier? I heard condensation is a huge issue?



I've never had condensation in my trailers but mine are large retiree style since it's where I live full time, so maybe it's the insulation? I have heard of that being a problem though. I also heard a story about a couple guys in WY that it got so cold over a stretch of a few nights you could see the frost creeping up the inside of the trailer on the walls.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:18:27 PM EST
Originally Posted By krpind:
Build an insulated shop. Park RV inside the shop. use a wood burning stove for the shop during the coldest part of the winter.

Win.


This.

You are going to be screwed when the winter comes and you get snowed in the camper

Dude, maine is cold as fuck. Your heating will be going 24/7 and not be able to keep up.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:19:10 PM EST
Originally Posted By rca2222:
Thanks guys. The wife is impressed by the folks on GD





Thanks
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:20:43 PM EST
It can get cold up here in the winter if I were you I would get a rental.

Consider what happens if the furnace in your camper dies on a Sat night with 2 feet of snow on the ground.

Thats my 2 cents

Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:20:52 PM EST
Originally Posted By OverScoped:

Originally Posted By krpind:
Build an insulated shop. Park RV inside the shop. use a wood burning stove for the shop during the coldest part of the winter.

Win.


best idea. when you are done, you get a shop.


Bingo.

Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:22:54 PM EST
I know someone who did this for years. Where in maine? coastal area with local resources and access to utility or middle of fucking nowhere pine tree land?

Its doable, but the build a nice shop and live there is a better idea. If you can get a NG hookup or propane (or electric) these things put out lots of heat and are pretty common up there.

http://www.rinnai.us/direct-vent-wall-furnace/installation
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:26:46 PM EST
Originally Posted By krpind:
Originally Posted By CroatianKnight:
I stayed in a camper in Nov & Dec up here in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. I would never choose to do it again. I assume that Maine's winters are a bit milder than here, but I personally would not with my kids. Best of luck if you do!


Did you have a dehumidifier? I heard condensation is a huge issue?



I don't recall much for condensation at the time. I do remember trying to sleep and being very cold! Very little insulation and an underpowered furnace. Huddled with the dog to stay warm. That was in my early 20's. I'm smarter than that now.



Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:31:21 PM EST
My wife's from Bangor. She's wondering when (not if) you lost your everlovin' mind.

Seriously, research the weather in the particular part of Maine you're going to try to live in very, very carefully.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:31:58 PM EST
Here's a whole forum on wintering in Airstreams- which are much better built than most other campers out there.

I know some folks who live or have lived in campers both personally and through having run ambulance calls to them and even in the southern winters it can be a chore. An electric connection is best so you can run electric heat which doesn't produce humidity like propane. If you are going to use propane, buy in bulk as you will go through a lot of it. You can install a wood burning stove but be sure to insulate/fireproof around it (which utilizes more of your space which is already at a premium). Insulate as much as you can; that means blocking all wind from around the bottom (i.e. the hay bales), sealing windows and doors as best you can, blocking around vents so that they can still function but reduces the amount of air blowing into them (which not only cools you but can extinguish your pilot lights), insulating the floor with old blankets, etc. i've seen pictures of one Airstream where the owner had it under a shed and had old moving blankets draped over it to add extra insulation. All plumbing must be kept above freezing which means either wrapping the pipes with heating tape and having power for it or keeping the interior temp high enough to prevent freezing. All liquids need to be kept above freezing or risk rupture; this includes thing like your spaghetti sauce in the cabinet, drinks, etc.

One of the most important things is to ensure that you have a quality FUNCTIONING smoke/CO detector, preferably two. I can't stress this enough!

Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:32:19 PM EST
You guys are slippin.We have rules here.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:35:51 PM EST

Originally Posted By Spot-Hogg:
You guys are slippin.We have rules here.

Ain't no rules here unless Aimless is watching the thread.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:36:13 PM EST

Originally Posted By OverScoped:

Originally Posted By krpind:
Build an insulated shop. Park RV inside the shop. use a wood burning stove for the shop during the coldest part of the winter.

Win.


best idea. when you are done, you get a shop.

That is only way I would consider such a move. Is your 5th wheel 4 seasons rated?

Why do you want to move to New England? Its the belly of the liberal beast and cold as fuck.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:41:27 PM EST
The winters in Maine are very cold/wet. The ground freezes pretty deeply, and thin-walled structures suck to keep warm in the winter. Because of the latitude, winters are long, with less sunlight than lower latitude locales. The wetness accounts for a lot of ice, and the harbors usually freeze.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:41:48 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/15/2013 3:41:59 PM EST by JVD]
Originally Posted By OverScoped:

Originally Posted By krpind:
Build an insulated shop. Park RV inside the shop. use a wood burning stove for the shop during the coldest part of the winter.

Win.


best idea. when you are done, you get a shop.



A shop with running water, electricity, and plumbing, that would be pretty awesome.

And in the meantime you won't have to have all of your stuff in storage, so no paying for renting a storage unit and having to move everything again.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:47:04 PM EST
You say you have lived on boats....... have you lived on a boat in the arctic circle for 6 months during the cold season?

No? Well, it would be like that.

Southern Maine, your gonna get cold, and go through a lot of propane. You better insulate everything underneath it.

Northern Maine (I can spit on Canada)......... your gonna be going to bed with three layers of clothes and your propane heater cranked. Plan on cracked and frozen hook ups/pipes even if you skirt it.

How cold will that camper get when the wind is howling @ 40 knots and the temp is 25 below?

Oh, you didn't mention a plow truck, snow blower, shovels, etc. Your going to need at least two on that list.

You better have a backup plan for heat and electric if your out side of town. You will lose power when you really don't want to and sometimes it will take a day or two (or longer) to come back up.

I have seen tractor trailers drifted over up here to the point you don't know they are there. (depends on how bad we get the snow that year)

You going to want to pick a spot carefully when you park it.

As stated above, build a well insulated garage, and park your camper inside, or better yet, rent a house for the winter. They aren't that expensive in the sticks.

And the telecommute thing........... if you get way up here in the north end, don't plan on being more than a mile or two from town if you want fast Internet. You will be stuck with satellite.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:50:26 PM EST
Leave the trailer on the land in the winter and rent an apartment on the NH Seacoast. Off season and rents are dirt cheap. Landlords are always looking for tenants to occupy their
rentals in the winter.

Had a friend that did this for years.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:53:20 PM EST
Originally Posted By krpind:
Build an insulated shop. Park RV inside the shop. use a wood burning stove for the shop during the coldest part of the winter.

Win.


This. Always start with the shop.

It's passable living while building the house and at the end of the house construction, you've got a shop.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:53:52 PM EST
Originally Posted By Balforin:
You say you have lived on boats....... have you lived on a boat in the arctic circle for 6 months during the cold season?

No? Well, it would be like that.

Southern Maine, your gonna get cold, and go through a lot of propane. You better insulate everything underneath it.

Northern Maine (I can spit on Canada)......... your gonna be going to bed with three layers of clothes and your propane heater cranked. Plan on cracked and frozen hook ups/pipes even if you skirt it.

How cold will that camper get when the wind is howling @ 40 knots and the temp is 25 below?

Oh, you didn't mention a plow truck, snow blower, shovels, etc. Your going to need at least two on that list.

You better have a backup plan for heat and electric if your out side of town. You will lose power when you really don't want to and sometimes it will take a day or two (or longer) to come back up.

I have seen tractor trailers drifted over up here to the point you don't know they are there. (depends on how bad we get the snow that year)

You going to want to pick a spot carefully when you park it.

As stated above, build a well insulated garage, and park your camper inside, or better yet, rent a house for the winter. They aren't that expensive in the sticks.

And the telecommute thing........... if you get way up here in the north end, don't plan on being more than a mile or two from town if you want fast Internet. You will be stuck with satellite.


quoted for the truth of it.

dont do it in a 5th wheel. rent a house/apt or cheapo mobile home.


Link Posted: 7/15/2013 3:56:04 PM EST
Originally Posted By watchwatch:

Originally Posted By OverScoped:

Originally Posted By krpind:
Build an insulated shop. Park RV inside the shop. use a wood burning stove for the shop during the coldest part of the winter.

Win.


best idea. when you are done, you get a shop.

That is only way I would consider such a move. Is your 5th wheel 4 seasons rated?

Why do you want to move to New England? Its the belly of the liberal beast and cold as fuck.



Maine and NH are still free south of that is where the nonsense is....
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 4:00:30 PM EST
Lived in Alaska, Maine, and the UP. Would NOT do it.

Suck it up and rent or build something simple.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 4:04:02 PM EST

Originally Posted By DanTSX:
Originally Posted By krpind:
Build an insulated shop. Park RV inside the shop. use a wood burning stove for the shop during the coldest part of the winter.

Win.


This.

You are going to be screwed when the winter comes and you get snowed in the camper

Dude, maine is cold as fuck. Your heating will be going 24/7 and not be able to keep up.

This is my concern. I lived in NH and upstate NY for many years, and I wonder how a camper would cope with those conditions. The walls are pretty thin.

Being snowed in isn't really the problem, as snow usually means relatively warmer temps. It's the dry -25 cold snaps you get in Jan and Feb that can be a bitch.

Link Posted: 7/15/2013 4:05:44 PM EST

Originally Posted By nchapa:
Originally Posted By rca2222:
Thanks guys. The wife is impressed by the folks on GD





Thanks

Me to wife: Behold the power of the hive. We'll have our answers in minutes.

Wife: Bah

Wife: Oh, wow, OK.



Link Posted: 7/15/2013 4:05:54 PM EST


You ever heard of a "3 dog night"?


You're going to need a whole kennel's worth.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 4:06:43 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/15/2013 4:07:21 PM EST by tnriverluver]
Four season trailer is a must along with double pane windows. Artic Fox is one manufacturer that makes what you are looking for. $$$$$$ RV.net is where you will really find the answers you are looking for.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 4:08:12 PM EST
Would be very expensive to heat, even if you skirted it up. The best bet would be to do what some of the oilfield workers in Western North Dakota have resorted to. Get or build an Ice Fishing House. Much better insulation, and much cheaper to heat. Sure it won't be as nice, but it'll be a heck of a lot warmer.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 4:08:54 PM EST
I do not know anything about campers so I will pass on that. If you have never really lived in a truly rural area, you may have some things to learn. That is assuming you are thinking about being in the sticks.

Before you buy undeveloped land, you need to know how far the power is. There is acreage in my town that is cheap. But to run the power out to it will cost over $35,000. You will also need to have a well dug or drilled and a septic system put in. The land needs to be good for both of those things, water is fairly easy to find under the granite up here. You can call a drilling company and ask them about what they think about finding water on that land.

I have known people who did what you are saying. There are plenty of mobile homes (trailers) up here and they get through the winter fine. You can always buy a used mobile home and park on you land, assuming you put in the water, the septic and the electric first. The shop or garage is also a good way to go. I also know folks who have capped a basement and live in that while they built up the house above them.

You will also need to make sure you have wood heat and at least 3 cords of wood stored under cover or in a shed. The wood needs to be cut during the past winter, split in the spring and stored and kept dry before July so it can be ready by October.

You need wood heat in case you loose power. You will not be able to live in your house without heat in the middle of winter up here.

Research, asked questions at he local hardware store, the local eatery, the town hall etc. etc. Find out from the locals before you buy land.

Good luck. Maine is awesome.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 4:14:27 PM EST
Originally Posted By tnriverluver:
Four season trailer is a must along with double pane windows. Artic Fox is one manufacturer that makes what you are looking for. $$$$$$ RV.net is where you will really find the answers you are looking for.


couple of years ago a relative was thinking about looking into the ND oil patch. so i started looking into trailers, mobile homes whatever. a fifth wheel that is designed for hard winters is different from a 'vacation trailer' or whatever you wanna call it. Also there were things about insulating underneath the trailer too. bottom line you need a specialized fifth wheel built for harsh winters and you need to read up on maintaining one during the winter.

not something i would do.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 4:17:01 PM EST

Originally Posted By slimslade:

Originally Posted By Spot-Hogg:
You guys are slippin.We have rules here.

Ain't no rules here unless Aimless is watching the thread.

Fine, I know the rules

" />
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 4:55:52 PM EST
Winterize it. People live in trailers up here all the time in the winter and it gets way colder in the winter in western Canada than it ever does in Maine.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 5:07:29 PM EST
Originally Posted By krpind:
Build an insulated shop. Park RV inside the shop. use a wood burning stove for the shop during the coldest part of the winter.

Win.



We basically did this, except no RV, just the shop, I have a very nice shop now.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 5:08:05 PM EST
You'll only need a small wood stove to keep something the size of a camper so hot that you'll want to go outside.

For the past few years we've heated our ~2400 sq. ft. home almost exclusively with a pretty small wood stove in the kitchen. On most days it keeps the downstairs at about 72 degrees and second floor at about 66. On those nights when it is -20 out, those temps drop to about 68 and 62, respectively, and the fire needs a little more tending to keep the temperature up. We go through four cords of wood a year.

Of course, the wood stove does need pretty frequent attention to keep it going... especially on those cold nights. I usually get up once in the night to stoke it and add wood. You might not be able to leave the camper for long periods and let the fire die down if you're worried about things in the camper freezing.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 5:18:14 PM EST
rent a house.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 5:19:02 PM EST
I live in a pull behind in GA. In the winter you will absolutely piss through propane. Insulating water and sewer lines is no big deal. Use heat tape or bury them. If your tanks are exposed get a skirt or hay bales. Leave the grey valve open and let a faucet drip. Black is salty and probably wont freeze. Let it fill before dumping to blast out all the paper. A dehumidifier would be nice but is not 100% needed. A light bulb can warm your propane so you can squeeze out a little more. Get a great big tank , grill bottles run out too fast.

I say go for it. 1 year isn't that long, you can tough it out if you don't like it. I've been at it 4 years. I'm about ready for a house again but camping is fun. That's what it comes down to. Think of it as super luxury camping. The great outdoors is your home. The camper is just a shitter, shower, and bed.

A pole barn to park in would be awesome!
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 5:22:03 PM EST
Stay away from the mobile homes. Too much of a pain to move, and shitty resale value, no matter how "new" they are.
Go this route, and you'll probably have a eyesore on your property for years, even if you try to give the damn thing away. Be worse if you buy it on payments.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 5:23:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/15/2013 5:23:34 PM EST by pdm]
The suggestion to build a heated workshop and park the trailer inside just makes perfect sense to me. The trailer will be like new when you sell it, you'll have a workshop once the house is up and the shop will give you extra room for storage/relaxing instead of being cooped up in a small trailer. Elegant solution, IMO.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 5:35:43 PM EST
Also check the zoning laws. This is illegal near most cities and sometimes you can't get utilities without a permanent residence.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 5:47:12 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/15/2013 5:47:55 PM EST by TurkeyLeg]
My country ass went to Rockland to work on a USCG ship the winter before last. We got in a little after midnight and it was negative six degrees out.

Also, the hotel had a giant lobster made of sheetmetal and steel pipe in the parking lot. With Christmas lights hanging on it.

Personally, I wouldnt subject myself to a Maine winter in a camper. Or any cheap Maine hotels my boss found for 24 dollars a night.
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