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Old 08-13-2018, 01:45 PM   #1
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Jayco Jay Flight Bungalow?

Hello,

I'm new to the forum and was hoping to get some advice.

My girlfriend and I are a young couple looking to buy our first home here in Massachusetts. It's been a difficult search, even with a budget of over $200k that still doesn't get us much here as it's an expensive state to live in and purchase a home.

She has been really into the whole tiny home craze, but I've been saying to her for awhile that although it's a good thing that people are starting to become more interested in downsizing, I feel for what they are, and due to the fad aspect they are overpriced and not very practical. I've seen them range from 70k to over 100k! We go trailer camping with my family every summer, and have a blast. I feel that campers are a much better option than a tiny home. More affordable, decades of innovation, and best of all the option to move and travel should we want to. We live comfortably in our camper throughout the summer, it's just her and I and our dog, so we don't need much more space than that, at least while we are still young with our one furry child. So that brings me to my questions...

We have been looking at the Jay Flight Bungalow and really like it:

https://www.jayco.com/products/trave...ight-bungalow/


along with a few other larger destination trailers. But being we live in a harsh winter climate in Massachusetts we don't have any options for all year campgrounds here. I know we can't just buy a plot of land and park it there and live in it because it's not a fixed structure and can't be taxed on. So what are the logistics involved in buying one to live in year round in one location? Our jobs currently don't permit us to travel around long term, can we make it work here or would we need to relocate down south or out west and live in an all year campground? Most of the trailer parks near us are age restricted so we are too young to qualify. Can we build a foundation on a small plot of land and turn it into a fixed structure and live here in MA?

It's just an idea we are looking into but aren't sure how to go about it or if it's even possible here. If she would be happy with a tiny home and we really enjoy camper living, why not save some money and go with a Bungalow instead? If people can build tiny homes and live in them I don't see why we couldn't do the same with a destination trailer. But I've also heard there has been some push back and restrictions on tiny homes as well, square footage and so on... Any advice would be much appreciated! Thank you - Danny.
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:59 AM   #2
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We own a Jayflight Bungalow, a 2017 40BHQS - Bunk House Quad Slide. We camp seasonally, end of April to end of September. There is a climate shield sticker by the front door, but I'm not sure what that actually means. Although we've never camped in our camper in low temps much below 40, it takes a lot of propane to keep the camper warm enough for my wife and daughter when it gets that cool. We had a cool and wet May this year and blew through about 50lbs of propane in just over a month.

We also have the 1500 watt electric fireplace, which does heat up the camper eventually. After burning through all that propane, we started using the fireplace more and more. It claims it can heat up to 400 square feet. If you were to buy one of the models with the fireplace at the front of the TT, it would probably heat better than ours since ours is in the middle of the TT, it takes a long time to heat the space behind the fire place.

Again, this is all in above freezing temperatures. Our bungalow has the tin siding. I don't know if the Fiberglass sidewalls would offer any more protection from the cold. I don't know if there are campgrounds open year 'round in Mass, but you would most likely need to insulate the under carriage and possibly add a heat source of some sort for the under carriage. We do not have tank heaters and I don't think they were an option.

I'm sure you could live comfortably in it year 'round, but I think it will get expensive to keep the camper warm enough to keep it from freezing in 0 - 32 degree weather. Will you be gone most of the day? Will you feel safe leaving an electric heater or the furnace on while you are gone?

Is it common to have extended periods of time without electricity from power outages? The Bungalow has all residential appliances, which all require 110v electricity to run. You would need a generator or a large battery bank and large inverter to run those appliances when there is no grid power.

I would suspect you would have a hard time finding anywhere in Mass where you can live permanently in a Travel Trailer. It might be possible on a farm.

-Michael
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Old 08-14-2018, 10:06 AM   #3
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As Michael said I think it would be very hard to stay warm knowing how Mass winters are.
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Old 08-14-2018, 02:28 PM   #4
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First, you've done a good job of researching, thinking this thing through and asking the right questions.

Second, I agree that it would be very difficult to retrofit a travel trailer into a year round home that would be livable in the northeast. There are trailer thermal packages that you might be able to enhance further to make it doable IF...

Third, you could find a pieces of property that you could minimally develop (electric, water, sewage, road access, etc.) that could be zoned for such use.

I've researched it a little in NY and haven't found a place that would allow it although I think there are places in the south and west where it can be done.
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