Author Topic: Living considerations for a 37 foot 5th wheel  (Read 12119 times)

Offline ronin

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Living considerations for a 37 foot 5th wheel
« on: November 22, 2011, 02:29:31 PM »
Well this isn't exactly a camping topic, but it sort of is. We'll call me Ronin rather than using my real name.

I am an extremely blessed person who is months away from losing a high paying job (southeastern US, $200-250k a year) that I have had for years. When I married my wife 10 years ago, I did not realize that she was all about the money - but I do now, and I know she will kick me out of the house the moment I announce that I have lost my job and must "step down" to a "common man's job" as she puts it. She looks down on the days that I was earning $50k or so a year when we were dating and before I "hit it big" (or whatever).

Now to the reason I posted this in "Camping" - for months now I have enjoyed listening to The Survival Podcast and it has opened my eyes that having lots of stuff (and debt to go along with it) is a bad idea. As a result, I immediately redirected half of my income to paying off debts as quickly as possible and at this point I have a nearly new 37 foot fifth wheel camper (loaded, everything but a generator) and a matching nearly new 1 ton diesel club cab 4 wheel drive dually truck (camper and truck both paid for in full). The house isn't quite paid for, but she'd get that anyway. The fifth wheel has propane heat, propane hot water heater, and propane stove. The fridge is dual (both propane and electric, auto switching). It is a nice unit.

If I have a place to park it, hooked up to electricity, water, and sewer for less than $200 a month, what else do I need to be taking into consideration to make it a full time home until I can get on my feet, buy a large parcel of land, and then move it there?

Also, when I can get land, what would I need beyond my own well water source, electric water pump, septic tank, and solar power to operate the RV off grid? I do not have much cash set aside at the moment (she goes through money like water at the mall and giving it to her family), but after she kicks me to the curb I can surely find some work in this economy and generate some amount of money.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts around living in a 37 foot camper full time. Would be great to get opinions. This will be my home for a long period .. perhaps permanently .. the American lie is that owning alot of cool stuff proves self-worth.

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Living considerations for a 37 foot 5th wheel
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2011, 02:50:37 PM »
first, I would say, if the house is in your name on anything, do something to get it out.  I have heard that even if she "gets" the house, if your name is on the loan, they will come after you for  the money if she doesn't pay (no personal experience here, but I have heard Dave Ramsey get calls like that).  close any credit accounts that have both names on it.  you can be held liable for her debt if your name is on the card.

I am sorry it is coming to all this. 

And, my name isn't Morning Sunshine either  ;)

Offline ronin

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Re: Living considerations for a 37 foot 5th wheel
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2011, 03:13:20 PM »
You have a valid point there. I wouldn't want a default on the house to cause a situation where my 401k and other cash "in the system" can be pursued by collectors. On the credit side, I don't care as much. Perfect credit now, but who needs credit if for the future I'm just going to do it cash only just like Jack and other smart folks have been doing for a long, long time.

Offline chrisdfw

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Re: Living considerations for a 37 foot 5th wheel
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2011, 03:17:58 PM »
You have a valid point there. I wouldn't want a default on the house to cause a situation where my 401k and other cash "in the system" can be pursued by collectors. On the credit side, I don't care as much. Perfect credit now, but who needs credit if for the future I'm just going to do it cash only just like Jack and other smart folks have been doing for a long, long time.

Don't worry, your 401k is a qualified retirement plan, and pretty much only the IRS and divorce court (through a QDRO) can touch it, even in bankruptcy it is not part of the bankruptcy estate assets, and if it was, would be exempt.

Offline ronin

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Re: Living considerations for a 37 foot 5th wheel
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2011, 03:19:55 PM »
That is good to hear. So with my cash out of "the system" with the exception of the 401k itself, if she goes and does something wreckless the impact to me will be minimal.

Offline chrisdfw

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Re: Living considerations for a 37 foot 5th wheel
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2011, 03:34:01 PM »
That is good to hear. So with my cash out of "the system" with the exception of the 401k itself, if she goes and does something wreckless the impact to me will be minimal.

They can still chase you, a big paid for trailer and truck can make a nice target in some states. Get the divorce and move on, just my opinion.

I work in the financial area but I'm an accountant not an attorney, but I deal with the same stuff on a daily basis. I can tell you the hassles can make life miserable even if they can't take your money. Get her out of your life if that's the way you want it, let her have her stuff and enjoy your freedom without looking over your shoulder. (I don't give a damn about credit either, but there are other things)

Offline ronin

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Re: Living considerations for a 37 foot 5th wheel
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2011, 03:44:07 PM »
You are right that they could go after the two paid for things I have, but highly unlikely since she will still have her $100k job at the point that I would be unemployed due to layoff.

So .. on the whole living in a RV .. a big one .. how painful is that? I would figure it would be all I need to survive. Hell, people in other countries survive on much less. It'll give me time to get back on my feet, save money, and live the right way - by purchasing things outright, not financing.

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Living considerations for a 37 foot 5th wheel
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2011, 05:58:27 PM »
there might be some ideas on this thread.  granted it was about living out of a car, but some ideas could work.  there were also links to other sites with good info.

http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=30309.0

Offline FrugalFannie

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Re: Living considerations for a 37 foot 5th wheel
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2011, 06:15:24 PM »
You are right that they could go after the two paid for things I have, but highly unlikely since she will still have her $100k job at the point that I would be unemployed due to layoff.

So .. on the whole living in a RV .. a big one .. how painful is that? I would figure it would be all I need to survive. Hell, people in other countries survive on much less. It'll give me time to get back on my feet, save money, and live the right way - by purchasing things outright, not financing.

Sweet. Sue her for alimony if she dumps you because you lose your job! And don't be so surprised if she has money stashed and invested places you don't know about.

Offline 5.56

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Re: Living considerations for a 37 foot 5th wheel
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2011, 12:12:57 AM »
I lived in a 16' travel trailer for about 3 years and loved it. I parked the trailer on land that I bought that already had a great building pad, septic, power, and a well. My intent was to live in the trailer while I built a house with cash - when the house was done enough I would take out a loan and finish the place. I just never really got around to building so that never happened.

The place was super easy to clean and I didn't collect any junk while I was there. I found that I lived a minimalist lifestyle simply because of space. With no TV and no computer,  I've never had so much time in my life - got a library card and read 1-2 books a week. With out a huge house around me I felt in touch with everything outside. I wasn't married at the time and bringing a date "home" took on a whole new meaning and gave interesting perspective to the women I was dating.

A few things that I didn't like was no storage room for seasonal clothes, camping or hunting equipemnt. I didn't have anywhere to keep firearms locked up so left them at my parents at first. With no washer and dryer I ended up spending a few hours every other week at a nearby laundrymat with a bunch of wierdos. Lastly, the lack of fridge space got to me. I found that I was going shopping every few days and buying what looked good vs. what was on sale or what I really needed. I had a picnic table, fire ring and a small bbq outside that increased my living area - what I never quite got figured out was an awning that worked long term. Propane seemed to be an issue for me. I couldn't get a permit for a big tank with out having a house so I ended up up buying two (I think) 40 gallon tanks. Trying to get those things out of the back of my truck on my own was slow and when it was snowing or raining hard, was a real pain.

My solution to the lack of storage was to build a 200 sqft outbuilding that I put a fridge, freezer, gun safe and stack-pack washer and dryer in. A small loft in the shed held all of my seasonal and outdoor type stuff. I used a folding card table to fold laundry on that tucked out of the way when not in use. I leaned the weed eater up against the fridge and pushed the mower inside when I wasn't using the space.

Aside from living with out all that stuff that main street says we need, I was able to save about 30k a year. At first I was saving to build a house, but after I met my wife we decided to buy a place that I was able to put quite a bit down on.

You're gonna love it. It's a great chance to see what you can do with out and to clear your head.

Offline ronin

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Re: Living considerations for a 37 foot 5th wheel
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2011, 10:07:45 AM »
You're gonna love it. It's a great chance to see what you can do with out and to clear your head.
That is exactly what I have been thinking through all of this.

Offline Jack Crabb

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Re: Living considerations for a 37 foot 5th wheel
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2011, 11:46:15 AM »
They can still chase you, a big paid for trailer and truck can make a nice target in some states. Get the divorce and move on, just my opinion.

I work in the financial area but I'm an accountant not an attorney, but I deal with the same stuff on a daily basis. I can tell you the hassles can make life miserable even if they can't take your money. Get her out of your life if that's the way you want it, let her have her stuff and enjoy your freedom without looking over your shoulder. (I don't give a damn about credit either, but there are other things)

Not necessarily to the point of camper living, but you might want to consider moving the truck and trailer to an LLC, trust or some entity that would be beyond the reach of creditors in the event of a mortgage default/judgment/etc.

Offline ag2

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Re: Living considerations for a 37 foot 5th wheel
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2011, 12:33:17 PM »
Not necessarily to the point of camper living, but you might want to consider moving the truck and trailer to an LLC, trust or some entity that would be beyond the reach of creditors in the event of a mortgage default/judgment/etc.

Ronin,

I think this is excellent advice.  5.56 suggested one or two 40 gallon propane tanks, also good advice.  Fill them up when you see a dip in prices.
Also, consider hiding some cash.  Build up your stash of cash slowly so it's not noticed.  Not sure if a safe deposit box is wise, or a trusted friend.  Can a safe deposit box be tracked down by a PI or attorney?  Perhaps use a TRUSTED friend.

The other thing I would consider for your voyage is a security system for the camper.  Campers are easy to break into when you leave for work.  I would not keep too many valuables in them, but I would also consider MURS motion detectors to protect the perimeter (or just the front door) of the camper.  At a minimum, use this at night when you are sleeping.  However, if you are motivated, you can install (or have installed) a cellular-based security system when you are away.

Consider adding a second fuel tank to your truck (if it doesn't already have one).  If you get a generator, consider diesel so you only have one fuel type to stock.  You could get a (second or third) fuel tank that installs in the bed of the truck to hold fuel for it or your truck.

If I were you, I would probably not look for land until your head clears.  Most folks need about a 9-12 months to adjust and think clearly.  (however, you seem to see this coming, so you might be an exception)  Before you buy your land, check out the local ordinances, taxes and property taxes.

Offline TLBones

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Re: Living considerations for a 37 foot 5th wheel
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2012, 03:50:36 PM »
There are plenty of full-time RV forums out there probably with plenty of good advice for you.   My FIL takes his 5th wheel on long distance contruction jobs and often rents a campground spot by the month cheap with running water, elec., cable.   I'd ease into slowly weaning yourself off the grid as your RV skills improve.   

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Living considerations for a 37 foot 5th wheel
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2012, 04:35:03 PM »
so, Ronin, what is the update on this?

Offline Cedar

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Re: Living considerations for a 37 foot 5th wheel
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2012, 05:45:00 PM »
first, I would say, if the house is in your name on anything, do something to get it out. 

True

I have heard that even if she "gets" the house, if your name is on the loan, they will come after you for  the money if she doesn't pay. 

Extremely true. My ex even gave his 1st ex the money to make the payments with every month and he basically got dinged 3x and a foreclosure on top of that. For awhile he was giving her $1,100 in spousal support not including the child support and he was living off $250 a month.

close any credit accounts that have both names on it.  you can be held liable for her debt if your name is on the card.

Also very true.

And, my name isn't Morning Sunshine either  ;)

Ahhhh.. this is NOT true?  ;)

Cedar

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Living considerations for a 37 foot 5th wheel
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2012, 05:50:46 PM »
Ahhhh.. this is NOT true?  ;)

Cedar

it is a nickname for many many years  ;D

Offline Cedar

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Re: Living considerations for a 37 foot 5th wheel
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2012, 06:15:03 PM »
I lived in a 30 ft Dutchman 5th wheel with my ex (who was my fiance at the time) to get out of the apartment he was in and to save money to buy a house. The payment on the new 5th wheel ws $179 a month and we rented 7 acres from his brother for $100 a month.

We tied directly into the septic. Put in laundry facilties in the shed for the washer and drier. Used the pumphouse for the pantry and had storage under the trailer as we had plywood to help retain heat. Have a HUGE tank of propane that you rent for about $25 a year and get filled 1-2 times a year. I had 12 or so propane tanks of various sizes I filled and it cost me in 1996 $27 a month for my heat, cooking and refrigerator. Electricity was something like $35 a month. We had a 42" TV in there and we picked that model with the widest door. Slideouts are awesome and give more room.

Kept a spare fridge and freezer in the shed.

Grey water went to the garden.

DO NOT buy land until you are divorced. If you need to, put it in your parents names. I never had to move mine but 2x in 5 years. You can rent someone to haul it for you. It was like $200.

I still canned, made sausage, retrieved honey from frames. In fact I never had bees until I lived in the 5th wheel.

Buy one with Stainless Steel sinks.

I had storage in 2 closets, under the tilt up bed, under the couch, under the seats in the kitchen area. Under the main floor on the outside. 2 in front, 2 little ones on the drivers side and 2 huge ones on the 'passenger side'. You guys know how I store and I had plenty of room. I also had them put in a outside shower which was AWESOME for hosing off before heading in. I had ALOT of kitchen storage.


Not mine, but just like it

In the closets make shelves. I took plastic stacking bins as they fit in there sideways. I took a pair of tinsnips or something and cut one side out. They stored undies, socks, rolled up T-shirts, towels etc.


The guns went under the bed.

My 5th wheel was a pain to break into. And I felt safe in there.

Be aware that you might have to bump up the electric panel. I could not run 3 things at once, like the coffee pot, the micro and a toaster.

Put gravel under the trailer and walk area.

Hope that helps a little. It was not bad living in 250sf

Cedar