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Retreat housing: Camper or Cabin?

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by fortunateson, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. fortunateson

    fortunateson I hate Illinois Nazis!

    10 days under contract for "the land".

    Trying to figure out what type of shelter to put on it.
    It will just be used on weekends for now so will basically be unattended.

    Here are my thoughts:

    Can be bought used for 7 - 10k
    Has everything - furniture, fridge, stove, beds, toilet cabinets plumbing -
    Will have to run a generator for most of that to mean anything.
    When TSHTF, it will just be a basic shell since all the insides require a lot of energy to run.

    Can be set up for about 5-6k
    More solid
    Will have to dig an outhouse, buy some furnishings, wood stove, insulate it, etc.

    It seems like the camper would be the way to go, but there are a few things that bother me about that:

    Most of these are built like cr*p. No doubt I'll have some trouble with it in years to come.
    Will it disappear? I don't think theft is bad in the area, but it only take one loser.
    Will stuff be taken from it - of course I won't leave anything valuable around, but will people take the fridge, microwave etc.? I don't know - I'm not a thief!
    Waste disposal - site may have a septic system, but if not - whew no way!

    Cabin- Very primitive. Doubt I'll get the girls out there very often. Little chance of theft since all that will be left is cheap furnishings.

    Opinions welcome!
  2. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Most of your security concerns for the camper would also apply to a cabin. Same goes for waste and either way you need to dig a hole for disposal.

    There are pros and cons to each but I think the fact that it would remain vacant at times dictates what you can actually store there full time.
  3. fortunateson

    fortunateson I hate Illinois Nazis!

    Thanks for the reply.

    Not sure about that. The whole camper could be stolen or stuff ripped out of it. The cabin would be harder to move for sure and I'd leave it empty except for some second hand furnishings - (no stove or fridge, microwave), etc.

    As far as waste goes - If I can find the cesspool, I can dump the camper waste without much hassle. Otherwise, I'd have to haul it off - not happening. I guess I can have the camper AND build an outhouse too.

    Nah. Nothing will be stored there - At least until I underground caches.

    Eh - I'm leaning towards cabin now. Just will be damn uncomfortable in this (already) 95 degree heat.
  4. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    In this case I am leaning towards the camper. If you are bugging out to the land and could not get there (you never know when Murphy might show up). At least the camper would be with you. You could also have the camper loaded so that you would just have to hook and go.

  5. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    something "earth sheltered" or completely underground, what vandals don't see they don't screw with...
  6. fortunateson

    fortunateson I hate Illinois Nazis!

    That's a good point, except that I just don't have room to store it at my home. So, it would have to be kept at a mini-storage, in which case it would require one more stop while bugging out.
    Then it would be a real PITA to get out there on weekends. I'd like to just pack and go.
  7. fortunateson

    fortunateson I hate Illinois Nazis!

    Not for < 10k!
    Maybe someday ;)
  8. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

  9. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

  10. fortunateson

    fortunateson I hate Illinois Nazis!

    Holy cow.
    That does look like the way to go, though I noticed this text on one of the pages:

    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Geneva,Swiss,SunSans-Regular]All prices mentioned are from the 1970s and 1980s[/FONT]

    Nevertheless, worth looking into if I can find someone who does this type of work in BFE Virginia.
  11. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

  12. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    Yes the prices are from the 70's and 80's but with some work you should be able to build for less than the prices you had stated before.

  13. Wild Trapper

    Wild Trapper Pirate Biker

    Since you are not planning on living there, yet, why not put up a pole barn building you could park the camper in? This way it would be somewhat more secure, plus out of the weather making it hold up better. If you decided to use it for camping someplace else, just hook on and go. Kind of a self storage building. Then work at making your site more secure by making friends with a near neighbor who would watch out for you while you're not there. You want to make the place look lived in but not make it look like there is anything there a thief would take the extra effort to steal. Fence and gate help too.

    I could also make a good argument for a cabin, but the pole barn makes sense to me either way.

    People steal things like guns, 4-wheelers, and other things that can't be traced. They usually don't steal secondhand furniture and stuff like that. A camper has to be licensed (requires title) to be used by a thief or resold. A older used camper would probably be left alone, long as nothing of much value was there.

    My 2 cents FWIW!
  14. fortunateson

    fortunateson I hate Illinois Nazis!

    I thought about taking the wheels off of the camper and somehow anchoring it to the ground.

    The property is down a long dirt road with no neighbors, but I know the locals use the area for hunting. So anything there will eventually be discovered, but it will be hard for neighbors to watch after anything.

    I don't think it's likely that it will be messed with much, but IMO, If I can't have it occupied or under neighborly surveillance, then there's always that chance.

    My thought is that if I put up a small cabin (basically a large shed) someone might be curious and look through a window (intentionally left unshaded), then see a bunch of old crappy furniture and move on.

    With a trailer - there will be stuff inside - true, not guns or ATVs but I have no idea how desperate people are in these times. How much does a used water pump go for on ebay? Propane stove? AC unit?
    Housing it in a locked barn would probably solve that for the most part.

    Then you have the problem of stuff breaking - and these things are notorious for that. Part of me feels like I just don't need the heartburn and that every time I go up there - what will I find broken? The fridge? The microwave? The water pump? AC? Will the roof be leaking? And you can't let these things go or else you eventually have a scrap heap on your hands.
    A cabin is pretty much just a box - no issues.
    But man will it be HOT this time of year.

    I did find an earth sheltered building company that I think I'll call. I'm still not convinced that they could put together a 12x20 shelter (the same size as a 5k cabin) for an equivalent amount of money - we'll see.
  15. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Off the cuff minimalist response( certainly no offense intended mind you:)..." do you own this stuff? or does it own you?)

    You could bury a steel shipping container or job box (oreven a concrete or fiberglass septic tank)on the property with the long term stuff and your bugout kit includes a decent shovel and mattock..its always there just not instantly accessible.
  16. fortunateson

    fortunateson I hate Illinois Nazis!

    That's right. And I can see the camper owning much of my time.
  17. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    I would go cabin. There are a lot of shed makers that build small hunting-type cabins on the cheap. More permanent is better IMHO. If you go camper, you will end up with a cabin in the future. The way this thing will go is this... constant improvement.

    I would start out on the cheap. As for waste.... composting toilet and a compost pile for household trash. This gives you are start for gardening as well. For security, I would only put things into it that I wouldn't be hurt on losing. Until you can trust a nearby neighbor to keep an eye on it or put a security system in, it may be prone to break in. Or, maybe it won't. The way trouble seems to go in remote places is none or a lot.

    Step 2.... I would look to bury an empty septic tank.... this will be your future root cellar.
  18. fortunateson

    fortunateson I hate Illinois Nazis!

    Funny. I'm on the exact same page at the moment. Going to try out the 5 gal. bucket compost toilet at first to see how well it works.

    I'd go with a burn barrel for household waste though. Plastic and paper don't break down very easily.

    As far as the cache goes - I see a big OPSEC problem. Just contracting a guy with a backhoe and small crane to install a tank without a permit would make for some talk in a small town.
    I'm going to limit it to things I can bury myself with a rental Bobcat mini-backhoe. So far it's 5 gallon drums though I'm not sure how long they'd last.

    Meant 55 gallon drums!
  19. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    kinda what I was getting to,we are all so afraid of losing "stuff" some of that is the personal "violation "of having stuff stolen...
    checked into the "tiny house movement"??here's a couple of links:
    wait for it:

    YouTube - How to have a home with no house payments and no utility bills!

    YouTube- Jay's Tiny House Tour
    obviously these folks are living full time so your "security "issue isn't solved by any means,but you can live/build pretty cheaply
  20. fortunateson

    fortunateson I hate Illinois Nazis!

    That's cool.
    Try to get my wife to live in either of those :-0

    I like the guys' solar power system, but he had a utility pole sans meter right there and for the power he uses, I'll bet it would cost him less than it costs to replace his batteries every few years.

    I'll bet the guy in video #2 has a bunch of black and blues all over.


    Wilck's Lake Sheds
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