Wednesday, June 27, 2012

trailer cubed

TRAILER CUBED
Due to a couple of loyal minions whispering sweet nothings into my ear, unduly influencing my pliable and suggestible mind, today’s topic is more than one travel trailer for forming a housing unit.  That’s right, before I talked about living in a single travel trailer and today I arrive at the brilliant thought that if one is good two is better.  I have cubed my brilliance and once again present pure wisdom in mere human form ( but, again, be advised if you don’t like the idea it wasn’t mine at all.  No guarantees implicit or implied ).  A single travel trailer ( used only I wouldn’t think it needs to be added because new ones are just like cars in that they are bloated in retail price and immediately lose value driving off the lot.  At one time we could blame the Union level wages of the guys assembling them but those days are over.  The humping RV companies aren’t paying but a fraction what they used to, kind of like with butchers or construction workers- thank you Mexican immigrants- and all those inflated profits are theirs. Well, mostly the Gott Damn Bankers that loaned them money to buy each other out, consolidating until all future earnings went to interest paid on Monopoly money ) is nice enough, but there are space restraints. 
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As a married couple of short duration, a single trailer might be nice and cozy, each time the two of you rub up against each other to get through the isle way  you touch naughty parts and get all frisky and start copulating without further thought.  But that behavior begets your spawn and before you know it there are one or two too many people in the trailer.  The answer erroneously arrived at for many generations is to buy a mobile home with its ten to thirty year mortgage.  They look like a house and feel like a house but unless you live in Florida where cheap mobiles belonging to dead retired people sprout like kudzu they also cost almost like a house.  If the former trailer dwelling couple are total idiots and don’t deserve to reproduce they either buy a regular house or worst of all go rent an apartment.  The better by far answer to those that avoid debt as if it were a communicable disease is to just buy a second trailer.  As you will see in a second, they have already paid for the house by a third ( for our discussion here we avoid real estate costs or zoning problems ) so the first trailer becomes an investment rather than an expense.
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If you take two to four trailers and join them up, and further more use the joining member as a communal living area and insulate it well, most of the troubles of trailer living are solved.  You no longer have as much of a limitation of space.  If you think back in the pre-McMansion era of Leave It To Beaver years, a typical starter home was 900 square feet or thereabouts.  The only reason people felt they needed more was because we turned into a consumer society and needed more room for disposable crap.  And we went from a unit that shared activities to each person needing their own space.  With multiple trailers and build-ons you get your own space even if junk accumulation is still problematic.  Two trailers twenty five feet long and a 16x16 lumber cabin joining them is 600 square feet.  Not a house by any means but more than adequate for a family wishing to be debt free.  As one who lives with a wife in less than 200 square feet, to me 600 would be wonderful.  Even with kids.  An added bonus is the whole unit isn’t as cold or uncomfortable as a single trailer. 
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If you have two trailers, you are forming an “H”.  Two trailers side by side with the middle joining wood frame room.  Double wall, floor and ceiling it for superior insulation ( instead of building a single 2x4 wall, build two with the joints NOT lining up.  There is then no spot not covered by insulation, and heat won’t leak out ).  This is your living room/kitchen combo.  If most of you hang out there during the day there is little need to heat more than that one cube.  The trailers will get cold but for sleeping give everyone down comforters and wool blankets.  If you face the cube and the two trailer ends to the south, the heating will be reduced and the trailers will get some free heat to help them become habitable during the day in case someone wants to get some seclusion.  If you have three trailers ( you are buying them used as you find them cheap ) you make a “U” out of the trailers and fill in the inside with the wood frame room.  Again, face south.  The zoning police, if interested, can bust you for putting a wood burning stove in a travel trailer.  Federal law prohibits them.  If you care.  But placing one heater in the framed room keeps you Nanny State Compliant.  If you care.
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The most pimping house would be a cube, four trailers forming around an interior courtyard.  That would either be the wood frame room or even half narrow rooms forming a square with an open outdoor spot in the middle for BBQ’s or whatnot.  I know you are scratching your head wondering why a family needs four stoves, four fridges, four of everything an RV offers.  Especially if those functions are in the common room.  Just gut the trailers, leaving the beds and couches.  Store the appliances ( everyone gets their own toilet, as four small composting toilets are better than one big one ) and use as back-ups, or sell them to offset some of the trailer acquisition cost.  You are basically buying mobile weather proof containers with minimal insulation, not trying to form several separate households.    Food for thought.
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7 comments:

  1. Nightshift here.....Jim when I was a kid my folks bought a hunting camp that was just a 60's model travel trailer. About 30 feet maybe. We built an attatched room about 12 feet the whole length of it for a huge living/bunk room. He said by keeping the camper kitchen and bathroom there was no plumbing or major electrical work to do. He eventually remodeled and enlarged the bath.

    He also did a good job insulating and we put a wood stove in the room. Opened up the side of the caper in the kitchen and by the bath for circulation. They still use the place.

    Your "H" plan is like my buddies. He bought 2 MEMA/FEMA cottages. About 50 footers. Well built trailers about 700 square feet and he is in the process of building a room between them. He is planning a good porch on both ends. He gets a bit more upscale Rawlesian though.

    On another note. I finally shot my Mosin Nagant I bought. It is a Hex reciever. I was nervous about the gas bleed off deal you spoke of so was cautious shooting it. That rifle is a blast. It doesn't kick any more than my 30-30 lever folks. Don't be worried about kick. I guess folks who only shoot semis would be intimidated but it ain't bad. Haven't shot for accuracy yet though. Just put a couple rounds into the hill to fire it.

    Your Loyal Minion,
    Nightshift

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  2. That are some good thoughts. Given a patch of land, you could place trailers like 'spokes' on a wheel, one end of them close to one end of the other. That central 'plaza' could be topped with a 'ramada' sun cover or solid cover, a communal meeting place. Yet everyone retains a semblance of privacy, and if someone gets pissy about something, they can always pull up stakes and take off with little effect on others. A good way to take care of an older person with disability or other needed assisted living needs people. Someone around to help them.

    'Vauban' star self defense (look up that term if unfamiliar with it). Trailers are by no means bullet proof, but this configuration allows no intruder to approach unseen. The pie shapes in between the trailers are multi-use areas - gardens, parking areas, work spaces. etc. Easy to guard and keep an eye on.

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  3. Jim, I think I saw something somewhere that limits the number of trailers one can have on an acre in Elko County. Which is 1. Or maybe it was Elko city. Dunno, I'll take a look at my links unless you have better info.

    BTW, the 4 trailer square sounds like how the greeks built their homes. I'm planning on something like that, myself.

    GK

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  4. Make divorce so much easier...

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  5. GK- I believe the limitation is one family per acre. But please tell me if I'm misinformed.

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  6. Jim,

    Enjoy your posts almost every day. Your idea with the trailers reminded of a strawbale plan that i had come across some time back. Here is the link http://www.balewatch.com/index.html

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  7. That one residence per acre is probably because the amount of leach field from a sewer is supposed to safely support that number. At least, that is what I've been told.

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