Info from Gary on Mobile Shelters

June 28, 2014

From: Gary

Morning,

We are waiting on the bureaucracy as we stay at Paul’s RV Park in Brownsville, Texas, and so I thought perhaps it might be a good time to work on some explanations…

Tami has some contacts interested in mobile shelters as a way to improve their own life styles, and I’ve promised to explain some things to them, and thought perhaps others might be interested… knowledge is power..

Currently about 3% of the US population is living nomadic… Most do it as a form of affordable retirement… And they seem to be enjoying it… For the first time in their lives they experience freedom from the oppressive mortgage and job…

This concept is spreading to younger people also, and millions are leaving the Rat Race…

There are some problems….

First, the camper industry is about money, and this is generally detrimental to those who desire the nomadic option….

In the interest of profit, they build really nice looking stuff, but cut corners in places the average person is unaware of, and this causes expense and suffering later…

Currently there are basically two different camper construction methods, based on two different materials; One is aluminum, and the other is fiberglass…

Each has become an expression of the profit motive…

Generally, the Aluminum types are thin sheets of corrugated aluminum over wooden frames…. This is the same technology of 50’s era trailers.. Usually the down fall is that the roofs leak after a very few years, then the framing rots, and they become rather unpleasant to live in.. These types of campers are also prone to rats and mice getting into the walls, also insects, usually termites…

One can see them regularly with tarps over the roof, or a secondary roof added over the original…

They also often have a lot of particle board used in their floors etc.. which is heavy, and turns into compost quickly when the plumbing leaks..

The fiberglass types also have similar problems, plus fiberglass has about a 30 year life expectancy before the plasticizer breaks down in the resin,
and they begin turning into a toxic waste of fine glass fibers and plastic hunks…

There is a third option, which is what I will discuss here;

And that is the more industrial delivery van.. Some of these are made of thick aluminum sheet, riveted to aluminum frames, with aircraft style rivets… Many were built by Grumman who also builds aircraft…

Many of these are still in use after 30 to 40 years, and don’t leak or rot out…

The problem of course is you have to actually do something yourself to create mobile housing out of them, and most people want instant gratification via throwing money at someone else..

This results in payments, problems, and disappointment..

My advice, is to suggest that people go the industrial box route, and begin upgrading them into campers themselves a bit at a time… You can pay as you go, get to be creative, and end up with something tuned to your own dream…

Another common issue with Campers is the built in furniture… They are usually garbaged up with cabinetry that is flimsy, cheap, and uses up space… and this cabinetry encourages excessive materialism…

Its as if people want their cake and eat it too.. And I’ve seen drawers and cupboards full of plastic junk to duplicate the collection at home in their houses….

The Nomadic lifestyle is by nature a process of simplification and reduction…

It’s one step above car camping, and should be viewed as a way to let go of the unnecessary…

Personally I would rather have flexibility than fake affluence… So I’m happier with a propane car camping stove and a cooler than built in gas range and refrigerator…

simplification invariably reduces problems…

And freedom, is generally about escaping problems….

Another issue with campers is inefficient heaters… generally propane, that exhaust 90% of the heat to the outside through the wall, so they can be more easily installed by manufacturers…

The do it your-selfers generally prefer small wood stoves… as they heat better, use fuel available for free, and you can also cook on them…

Then there is the air conditioner mentality… In RV parks there’s the constant hum of air conditioners..This has to be costly, and its like everybody wants to hide inside their own cracker box..

Personally I’ve live outside for the last couple decades, and find it humorous that we are the only ones in the current RV park who spend any time under shade trees, and enjoying the gulf breezes… While all others seem to have a house neurosis…

Living outside in nice climates is very pleasant…

This is another reason the industrial delivery trucks make nicer campers, they usually have a large roll up door aft. making inside and outside merge easily… And allowing one to move the camp stove and cooler out, and any folding furniture….

Our own version is more Avaunt Guard…

We chose the M-35 truck, because it allows us the option of a hauling business..

Also because it’s extreme off road capabilities allow camping for free in remote areas..

People in RV parks are nice, but the more people, the more rules and restrictions..

Freedom is invariably preferable…

My eventual goal is to build several small yurt like structures, so that a full time camping life style results, and the truck is left open for the out back hauling business between re-locations…

Basically what I have realized is a need for balance between life style, transportation, materialism, cash flow, and freedom…

And that the American dream has evolved into a nightmare… But millions are now escaping via various means…

Another interesting area of nomadic living is the out back campers, which I think started in Australia…

These are usually built on Military trucks of some sort… and are designed to be very self contained with solar panels, water tanks, and propane…

Many Americans are now building outback campers… They have become a form of personal expression on the paths to freedom..

I think that the sweet zone is below the box level…. I find that Tarp shelter is more pleasant, cheaper, and good enough for who it’s for….

If it leaks, I can patch or replace it…

And there’s no place for rodents or insects to hide…

Another point worth passing on, is that the house-trucks built by counter culture types have now become collector’s items, with people buying them to live in…

This is an example of a truth; that creativity and labor can create nomadic housing with lasting value… What this means is that those who avoid normalcy can actually increase the value of their material housing through labor and artistic expression…

This is much more sure than expecting stationary housing to increase in value via just making mortgage payments…

We are an aging society…and personally I really don’t want to leave my kids a pile of junk to sort through when I exit this plane of existence…

It would be much nicer to leave them something lasting and that encourages personal freedom..

Also I enjoy learning to do things… While more average types seem to be more into being slack jawed in front of TV’s with absurd imaginary realities…

Life is about living and learning and experiencing as much as possible…

Adventure makes good memories and good stories to tell…

So really the bottom line is about freedom…. Which seems to be far more satisfying than what passes for normalcy…

Humans really haven’t changed in a million years, we have just been turned into domesticated cattle by the economic system…

Usually due to being manipulated via our vanities and desire for infinite comforts..

But if one can realize this, and choose the path less traveled, happiness seems to be the result….

So the question becomes; are you really happy? and if not, what would you rather be doing with your gift of life?

Follow your heart to happiness, or follow money to death…

G

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