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Old 08-25-2016, 08:57 AM   #1
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Off grid living - Pros and cons

Hey, I'm new to these forums despite Ive been creeping around for months now. The more time I spend browsing the more I yearn to have a travel trailer of my own.

I intend on purchasing a Jayco Travel Trailer to live in full time. I'm partial to off grid living and I feel like I'm the perfect candidate for that lifestyle despite I have no experience in boondocking or spending time in trailers. I'm a minimalist and I prefer living in compact spaces.

Anyhow, I own land and I have 3 other neighboring plots (that my grandparents own) that are potential spots for a trailer. Sizes vary, however, the land I own is much larger and lavish - There's even a few horse stables up there and a mini pond. Plenty of sunlight and open space. Actually its kinda perfect despite the stables are 80+ years old and the land itself needs a major face lift.

Totally babbling but, I'm curious how many ppl here are living off grid in a Jayco. I would love to read some feedback. The good, the bad, the ugly.
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Old 08-25-2016, 09:00 AM   #2
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I'll be the first to just come out and say the Jayco campers are not designed for full timers. I'm sure you can make it work, but it voids your warranty (not sure how they would know, but that's what they say), and instead of getting 8 years out of your camper, you'll probably get a lot less.

Don't let any of that stop you of course, I just wanted to point out something you maybe haven't heard yet.

There are a few non-Jayco brands that are 'certified' for full time use (whatever that means).

Edit - I've been on a few threads over the last few days where people are complaining about Jayco quality, and it turns out at least a few of them are using their RV as a 'semi' permanent residence. Go figure... Anyway, as long as you're prepared to fix things at 5 times the rate an occasional user would, go for it, it's yours to do with as you want right?
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Old 08-25-2016, 10:15 AM   #3
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RV's are no better than a cheap housing complex. Lasting 8 years that's "doomsday" thinking. I come we still see 70's to 90's RV's on the road and in the campsites? Because they maintain there units well. RV manufactures cover their asses by saying not fulltime RV's, because if you give 2 year warranty they want to have the unit sit in your driveway unused. So what if you have todo repairs and maintenance? It is a home away from home and you can go anywhere you wish.

Well go for it Kevin..........camp in "Freedom" We full time during the summer months and even when we feel like it we use it during the winter.
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Old 08-25-2016, 10:36 AM   #4
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Sounds like nice land setup.

Wo I ld you leave the camper on the site all the time, or move it to various campgrounds?

If you are just going to use it for a weak end get away. Leaving the tt there most of the time. I would condider a good, solar system, built at ground level, with a good battery bank. You will have a lot of power. If you require the ac to work, then you will need a generator.

Depending on local code you should be able to build an adequate sewer system.

Water, Humm what's that pond like, can you filter the water? Maybe bring a few 5 gallon jugs with you for drinking, cooking and cleaning dishes.

If the stables are good, put the solar on the roof, turn the building into a picnic shelter. Keep one stall for dry storage.
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Old 08-25-2016, 10:37 AM   #5
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Wow, an 8 year life span? That seems awfully short. I intended on storing mine under a metal shedding/carport in attempt to preserve it for years and years. My interest in travel trailers actually deprived from my unhealthy obsession of owning a tiny home (THOW), eventually I realized Id be completely content in a travel trailer. I feel like a TT would be ideal as long as its properly maintained. Personally I'm OCD so im not stressing too much about that, however, excessive repairs? Yeah, that's frankly kinda terrifying since im not much of a handyman but I am a hard worker and quick leaner.

Thanks for all the feedback.
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Old 08-25-2016, 11:00 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jagiven View Post
Sounds like nice land setup.

Wo I ld you leave the camper on the site all the time, or move it to various campgrounds?

If you are just going to use it for a weak end get away. Leaving the tt there most of the time. I would condider a good, solar system, built at ground level, with a good battery bank. You will have a lot of power. If you require the ac to work, then you will need a generator.

Depending on local code you should be able to build an adequate sewer system.

Water, Humm what's that pond like, can you filter the water? Maybe bring a few 5 gallon jugs with you for drinking, cooking and cleaning dishes.

If the stables are good, put the solar on the roof, turn the building into a picnic shelter. Keep one stall for dry storage.

Thanks for showing interest.

I intend on leaving the camper under a shed. However, traveling would be nice also. Of course I drive a Honda Fit so... No hauling.

Ive been researching solar panels also. However, its a lot to take in. It's all Greek to me. Thankfully online forums and various blogs are incredibly insightful and informative about this stuff. Still its going to take time to adjust. I'm sure i'll make countless mistakes. Anyway, sorry in advance for rambling... I'm a minimalist. I own VERY little. In fact I can pack everything I own in literally 5 boxes. Im also a vegetarian so I have no use for a microwave. Actually even if I wasn't a vegetarian I would refuse to use a microwave. I 'cut the cord' over 5 years ago so I have no interest in cable. See what Im getting at? In terms of electronics, you're not gonna find much among my kitchen arsenal. Not even an electric can opener.

Sadly the pond is way too small for anything other than being a haven for frogs and other amphibious creatures. In terms of water, from what I researched, rain collection is totally legal in Kentucky. Obviously I need to look more thoroughly into this but considering the land is totally isolate and private and I only want enough for a daily shower, I should be fine. I like the idea about using one of those stables for storage because one of my biggest concerns is keeping stored water from freezing during Winter.

I'm well aware I have plenty of ideas and little experience but I'll be seeing all of this come to fruition soon enough. Money isn't really a major concern considering Im gonna be living off the land as much as possible. That same spot - The land that I own - was used for farming. I remember working that field as a kid in the early 80's. I miss that. Im getting back to my roots.
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Old 08-25-2016, 01:24 PM   #7
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Wow, an 8 year life span? That seems awfully short. I intended on storing mine under a metal shedding/carport in attempt to preserve it for years and years. My interest in travel trailers actually deprived from my unhealthy obsession of owning a tiny home (THOW), eventually I realized Id be completely content in a travel trailer. I feel like a TT would be ideal as long as its properly maintained. Personally I'm OCD so im not stressing too much about that, however, excessive repairs? Yeah, that's frankly kinda terrifying since im not much of a handyman but I am a hard worker and quick leaner.

Thanks for all the feedback.
Yeah, that 8 years I just threw that out there based on the average age of the campers I see in peoples signatures here. Not a valid sample really, but it seems typical that people sell what they have right now, within 8 years typically. I know they can, and do last longer... totally up to the owner, maintenance, the elements, and luck. My first camper was a popup from Coleman that was built in 77. I sold it a couple years ago. You do see old rigs on the road all the time.. but my 77 Coleman was only used a couple times a year and was garaged. Full timing, I imagine it would have fallen apart in that 8 year window.
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Old 08-25-2016, 01:46 PM   #8
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Off-grid living is a whole lot more that parking a camper in the middle of a field....


I live where the only outside utility is electricity.
- Well for water
- Septic system for wastewater
- Fuel oil for heat
- Propane for cooking


When the grid goes down (thankfully not often), we are out for 2-3 days.


So, are you prepared to put in well & septic? Have enough fuel for heat on hand?
What level of refrigeration will work for you? A 1-2 cuft? More? none (root cellar is good enough)
Will you have any electricity in your house? Its possible to go 1860.
If you choose to electrify, how much will you need 200W, 1000W? Solar charging a battery bank? Run a genset a few hours/day?


Lots to consider.
First and foremost is a well founded and properly insulated house.


If you are talking about boondocking (camping with no hookups) there's lots of folk here that'll give plenty of nearly useful advice.
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Old 08-25-2016, 02:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by mike837go View Post
Off-grid living is a whole lot more that parking a camper in the middle of a field....


I live where the only outside utility is electricity.
- Well for water
- Septic system for wastewater
- Fuel oil for heat
- Propane for cooking


When the grid goes down (thankfully not often), we are out for 2-3 days.


So, are you prepared to put in well & septic? Have enough fuel for heat on hand?
What level of refrigeration will work for you? A 1-2 cuft? More? none (root cellar is good enough)
Will you have any electricity in your house? Its possible to go 1860.
If you choose to electrify, how much will you need 200W, 1000W? Solar charging a battery bank? Run a genset a few hours/day?


Lots to consider.
First and foremost is a well founded and properly insulated house.


If you are talking about boondocking (camping with no hookups) there's lots of folk here that'll give plenty of nearly useful advice.

Well I guess I'm not too familiar with the terms here because I was under the impression off grid living *was* boondocking and vice versa. My mistake.

To clarify - I plain to live without most hook ups and rely entirely on solar panels and a generator of some sort. I have absolutely no problem with dragging a panel outside daily for instance. As I mentioned though its a lot to learn but I'm eager to pursue this type of living. Perhaps some ppl would find that type of lifestyle difficult and strenuous at times. I dunno. I'm not high maintenance, I'm single without children and I live a very simple minimalist life.

Obviously a compositing toilet is a must. Anything I put down my drains will be completely biodegradable and that content will be recycled! Obviously I'm not tossing that water on edible vegetables like they do in some Third World countries, where water is often re-used, but will I use grey water on non-edible plantlife? Definitely

As far as all the other questions, yeah LOTS to consider and I'm not gonna lie, Im in the dark about a lot, That's why I signed up here though to obtain information and learn tips, so forth.
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Old 08-25-2016, 03:35 PM   #10
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While I think you'll find some of the info you need on this forum, what you are asking about is something most here don't have experience with. For those who do boon dock it's usually a long weekend or a week at most. That's a far different thing from living day to day off the grid. You'll have problems to solve that most weekenders will never encounter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinrbellamy View Post
Im also a vegetarian so I have no use for a microwave.
I'm not understanding. What does a microwave have to do with being a vegetarian? I know several vegetarians and vegans. They like a nice hot meal as much as everyone else does.
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