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Living in a 5th wheel trailer for 3 months...family of 6


AnthemLights
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Is this a crazy, crazy idea?

 

We are buying land and building.  My husband is a general contractor with a small crew.  He thinks he can have the house livable in 3 months.  (He would say less, but this is his busy season)

 

So we could rent.  Closest place available would be 15 miles from our land.

 

Or we could buy a used 28x40 trailer and live in it for 3 months and then basically sell it for the same price...so no lost rent money and we would be living right next to where we are building...which would be a huge plus because much of the work will be done evenings and weekends.  

 

We have 5 acres and plan on fencing part of it first thing.  Plus its summer, so our youngest (ds4) would be outside much of the day.  

 

DH and two older boys gone from sun-up to sun-down.  

 

So it would only be me and DD16 home during the day.  And again, it being summer....we would be outside a lot.  

 

Dh thinks it's doable....me, I'm not sure.  What do you all think?  Is there another option we haven't thought of?

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It's doable but I'd count on five months. And then be thrilled if it's less.  Everything always seems to take longer than expected. 

But having your temporary house right there would be great for dh- he could work on the house and then just walk right over to the 5th wheel and be 'home'. Would make it easier to have dinner and then get some work done after. 

 

The 4 year old will be outside a lot and you can plan to go somewhere a couple of times a week- run errands, go to the library, or stuff like that. 

 

 

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Dh & his family did this for 2 years.  The family was moving from a large urban area (pop. 750K) to a very small, isolated mountain community (pop. 411) over 300 miles away.

 

For the first several months my FIL and the 2 oldest boys would haul up what they needed on weekends and work on getting the property ready for the family to move into the trailer.  

 

They moved into the trailer and that is where they lived (in very tight quarters) while MIL & FIL, DIYed their dream home.  It was pretty tough on Dh to make the move at 15 and leave all his friends, but that is how we met so he doesn't complain too much :)  

 

Organization and giving everyone a space no matter how small (a cupboard, a shelf or whatever) that is their own private space is key.

 

Good luck,

Amber in SJ

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A few times I've seen this sort of question on here and it always gives me flashbacks to my childhood when my parents basically made us homeless in a similar way while finishing turning our barn into a home. The construction project was never finished. The month or two turned into a year. And my parents' marriage didn't survive it.

 

Just... make sure you're ready for the worst case scenario. And if you feel you can survive that, then... have at it.

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Yes, assume it will be longer and be pleased if they are on schedule. But it's doable for a short period of time, especially if you can banish the kids outside for your sanity during portions of the day spmyoy gius don't all get on one another's nerves.

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Nope, not crazy at all. We just did a month in 20-50F weather in NL in a much smaller camper (not entirely sure of dimensions), and lived in an 8x17ft camper for over a year from when I was 8 months pregnant with oldest, and my mom stayed with us in it for multiple weeks too to help out with the baby (okay, I may have taken a job as a truck driver when oldest was 4.5 months old because his colic was driving me crazy, but, that job lasted for only a little over 3 months, and things were fine after that). 

Edited by luuknam
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I would absolutely do this.

 

My priority would be to set up an outdoor space near the trailer - table, chairs, shade if you need it there, fire pit or grill. That outdoor space becomes an extension of your living space, giving everyone a spot to hang out in the evening when it's nice and not be stuffed in the trailer all evening.

 

I would probably also set up a good play area for the four year old. Sandbox, dirt digging supplies, kid sized table and chairs for drawing outside - whatever she likes. Having a good kid space outside gives you more room.

 

For the record, I slept ina tent for two summers during my college years helping my folks build a house. SMALL tent, showers once a week when we drove into town and mosquitos like you would not believe. We all survived and those were good summers.

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A few times I've seen this sort of question on here and it always gives me flashbacks to my childhood when my parents basically made us homeless in a similar way while finishing turning our barn into a home. The construction project was never finished. The month or two turned into a year. And my parents' marriage didn't survive it.

 

 

I think there's got to be more issues to destroy a marriage than just living in a camper. I also wouldn't call living in a camper being 'homeless'.

 

I'm sorry though because it sounds like it was a rotten experience for you.

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I think there's got to be more issues to destroy a marriage than just living in a camper. I also wouldn't call living in a camper being 'homeless'.

 

I'm sorry though because it sounds like it was a rotten experience for you.

 

Absolutely. But the stress of thinking that living - in our case - in a borrowed camper (and then by borrowing other peoples' homes while they were out of town) was going to be a very temporary thing and having it turn into one that was unending was a *major* stress. I think even a good marriage might not survive that.

 

A trailer is definitely a bit better and slightly more permanent.

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A house liveable in 3 months and during the busy season?  That sounds like what my husband would say. He's a GC too. We've built our own home and lived in a trailer while building as well.

 

I think 3 months is incredibly optimistic and frankly unrealistic. 

 

Is there grass on the property of just dirt. That would factor into my advice. I'm serious. 

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Absolutely. But the stress of thinking that living - in our case - in a borrowed camper (and then by borrowing other peoples' homes while they were out of town) was going to be a very temporary thing and having it turn into one that was unending was a *major* stress. I think even a good marriage might not survive that.

 

A trailer is definitely a bit better and slightly more permanent.

 

 

Right. Stress is not helpful, and a borrowed camper is probably a lot more stressful than one you own when 1-2 months turn into a year. I know I was (mildly) stressed about the borrowed camper we lived in in NL, because it had a light-colored carpet - but at least it was only a 1 month vacation.

 

The fact that OP is buying the 5th wheel and her husband is a general contractor makes this seem like a much more reasonable plan. If things end up taking longer than anticipated and/or they really don't like living in it, it sounds like they could just sell it and rent a place 15 miles away, which would make any stresses more bearable too, since it'd reduce the feeling of being trapped.

Edited by luuknam
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Right. Stress is not helpful, and a borrowed camper is probably a lot more stressful than one you own when 1-2 months turn into a year. I know I was (mildly) stressed about the borrowed camper we lived in in NL, because it had a light-colored carpet - but at least it was only a 1 month vacation.

 

The fact that OP is buying the 5th wheel and her husband is a general contractor makes this seem like a much more reasonable plan. If things end up taking longer than anticipated and/or they really don't like living in it, it sounds like they could just sell it and rent a place 15 miles away, which would make any stresses more bearable too, since it'd reduce the feeling of being trapped.

I agree about borrowing a trailer. Way too stressful. We actually owned when building though.

 

Luuknam, were you living on a property you were building a home on and actually working on the project too? Those aspects add unique pressures and stresses.

Edited by ifIonlyhadabrain
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Sure, if you went in fully expecting it to take 1+ years, and not expecting to sell the trailer for anything near what you pay for it. 

 

Out of curiosity, why is fencing the first thing you'd do? Seems to me a well might be #1. Make sure you can get water, you know. It's pretty handy to have on site, so you don't have to run back and forth to town as much. Electric is also good to have - far ahead of fences, unless there is a major reason to fence?

Edited by wintermom
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I assume fencing is to let the kids run around outside without worry.

 

Really? On a building site you think a fence is going to make any difference at all? There are a million things for a 4 year old to get into. There will have to be someone looking after the child. If it's the mom, then don't count mom as being involved in the building part of things.

Edited by wintermom
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Sure, if you went in fully expecting it to take 1+ years, and not expecting to sell the trailer for anything near what you pay for it.

 

Out of curiosity, why is fencing the first thing you'd do? Seems to me a well might be #1. Make sure you can get water, you know. It's pretty handy to have on site, so you don't have to run back and forth to town as much.

A fence would probably be important to keep the four year old away from the work site and allow mom to relax when sending him out to play safely while she's cooking and spending time in the trailer. That was something I would have suggested. It wouldn't have to be a permanent or expensive deal either. T-posts and panels are great soultions for animals and kids alike. ;) Edited by ifIonlyhadabrain
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I would. That's pretty close to what we are currently doing except... not just 3 months! I agree that 3 months is incredibly unrealistic. Unless you already have all permits/plans/clearing done and it's a super simple house...

 

eta- we're still happily married!

Edited by LMD
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A house liveable in 3 months and during the busy season?  That sounds like what my husband would say. He's a GC too. We've built our own home and lived in a trailer while building as well.

 

I think 3 months is incredibly optimistic and frankly unrealistic. 

 

Is there grass on the property of just dirt. That would factor into my advice. I'm serious. 

 

Ha!  I have my doubts, too, that it would only be 3 months....but we are building relatively small, less than 2000.  Ranch style so nothing fancy.  An we would probably move in well before it's finished.  Been there, done that.   :tongue_smilie:

 

The 5 acres are almost completely wooded.

 

I meant fencing first thing after things like well and electric.  No way am I living without running water.

 

I'm glad so many think this is doable - my husband thinks it's an awesome idea and I want to go along with it if I can get my mind around it.  

 

I'm sorry for those who had a bad experience with this....

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I would. That's pretty close to what we are currently doing except... not just 3 months! I agree that 3 months is incredibly unrealistic. Unless you already have all permits/plans/clearing done and it's a super simple house...

 

eta- we're still happily married!

Yes, and you make no changes, agree on everything (ha and ha) regarding flooring, fixtures, cabinets, appliances, finish carpentary choices, etc. and have them all ready and waiting for the subs, sub everything out but the framing and the subs are able to start exactly when you're ready for them and get the job done in a timely manner, and don't have to end up doing all the sub work because you're over cost and need to now DIY. :P

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Well, we have done it for 2yrs. now. We happen to be in your situation almost exactly. Our fifth wheel is about 430 sq. ft. it is a 2015 Open Range Roamer 384bhs, and we are a family of 6 (kids are 15, 13, 10, & 2). For a while we traveled around for contract jobs for dh. He now has a permanent position that was way too good to pass up. So, this week we are closing on a 3 acre plot of land with a house that is not in good shape. We will continue living in out fifth wheel while we remodel the house. People think we're nut, but I actually like it. We own a home in another state that we will be selling now. The kids and I could have stayed there, while dh traveled, but being together is top priority for us. If you have any questions about how to make it work, I am an open book.

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Really? On a building site you think a fence is going to make any difference at all? There are a million things for a 4 year old to get into. There will have to be someone looking after the child. If it's the mom, then don't count mom as being involved in the building part of things.

 

I sort of thought they'd fence off an area separate from the building site, since she said it was 5 acres.

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I would absolutely do this.

 

My priority would be to set up an outdoor space near the trailer - table, chairs, shade if you need it there, fire pit or grill. That outdoor space becomes an extension of your living space, giving everyone a spot to hang out in the evening when it's nice and not be stuffed in the trailer all evening.

 

I would probably also set up a good play area for the four year old. Sandbox, dirt digging supplies, kid sized table and chairs for drawing outside - whatever she likes. Having a good kid space outside gives you more room.

 

For the record, I slept ina tent for two summers during my college years helping my folks build a house. SMALL tent, showers once a week when we drove into town and mosquitos like you would not believe. We all survived and those were good summers.

 

These are all really good ideas.  My family...well, at least the guys....are all into camping so we have a lot of supplies already.  Lots of camping chairs, at least.

 

Kiddo loves playing with dirt so I am thinking an acre or so of woods would be all he needs to be content all summer long.   :001_smile:  DH also talked about building him a swing set with slide and sandbox.  He used to build a lot of those as a side-line business.  I am not sure though if he would actually find the time for that.

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Yes, and you make no changes, agree on everything (ha and ha) regarding flooring, fixtures, cabinets, appliances, finish carpentary choices, etc. and have them all ready and waiting for the subs, sub everything out but the framing and the subs are able to start exactly when you're ready for them and get the job done in a timely manner, and don't have to end up doing all the sub work because you're over cost and need to now DIY. :P

yep!

ours will build (to basic liveable - not finished) quickly because it's a kit and very simple design with minimal tradespeople needed.

But dealing with the paperwork in preparation to build has taken about 2 years so far... I hope it's easier for you USA folks!

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Yes, and you make no changes, agree on everything (ha and ha) regarding flooring, fixtures, cabinets, appliances, finish carpentary choices, etc. and have them all ready and waiting for the subs, sub everything out but the framing and the subs are able to start exactly when you're ready for them and get the job done in a timely manner, and don't have to end up doing all the sub work because you're over cost and need to now DIY. :p

 

 

This would be the 4th house we are building together and we have come to know each other's tastes very well.  And yeah, I agree with you...on our first house every thing took forever because we couldn't agree on A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G.  I think we mostly have it all figured out now.   :001_smile:

 

No subs.  Dh and crew would do everything except sheetrock.

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yep!

ours will build (to basic liveable - not finished) quickly because it's a kit and very simple design with minimal tradespeople needed.

But dealing with the paperwork in preparation to build has taken about 2 years so far... I hope it's easier for you USA folks!

 

Wow!  That's crazy.

 

We live in a very relaxed part of the country (rural Montana).  There are very few hoops to jump through.  We plan to be breaking ground the day we sign for the land.

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Do it, but with the absolute solemn PROMISE that if it takes even a day over 3 months you have the option of moving into a rental until the house is ready.  It'll be hardest on you because you have to do all of your regular work under less than ideal conditions.  Your husband's work conditions won't change.  

 

When you DO hit that three month mark and it still isn't ready, you can decide to hang tight for a few more weeks or move it it will take a few more months, but get that promise in blood and make it clear that no unforeseen problems cancel this agreement.  There WiLL be unforeseen problems.  You will have saved 3 months rent, so it's more than fair.

 

ETA:  Your "teatime" may take a hit in tiny quarters that rock.  As long as your stress level can take that for 3-6 months . . .

Edited by KungFuPanda
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Luuknam, were you living on a property you were building a home on and actually working on the project too? Those aspects add unique pressures and stresses.

 

 

Not building a home, fixing up a fixer upper (or, as the the realtor called it, a "tearer downer"). Abnormal amounts of rain caused the foundation repairs to be delayed by months, which then meant nothing else could be done until that was done, at which point money was a major issue (one person looking after a newborn and one person making roughly minimum wage is less than ideal). I was supposed to actually work on the project too, but there's only so much you can do while looking after a colicky newborn (not much). 

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Wow! That's crazy.

 

We live in a very relaxed part of the country (rural Montana). There are very few hoops to jump through. We plan to be breaking ground the day we sign for the land.

That is a plus!

 

It is very annoying but we're [] this close now, woo! Most of that time/money is eaten up by the council who take months to approve one permit and most people need 3 or 4 permits to even break ground.

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This would be the 4th house we are building together and we have come to know each other's tastes very well.  And yeah, I agree with you...on our first house every thing took forever because we couldn't agree on A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G.  I think we mostly have it all figured out now.   :001_smile:

 

No subs.  Dh and crew would do everything except sheetrock.

 

There is a special sisterhood for those of us who have built homes. ;) It's an experience like no other.

 

It think it's awesome your DH and you are so experienced. It's just so hard because you don't realize how time consuming picking just ONE thing out is, like cabinetry. There are hundreds and hundreds of choices. Different styles, qualities, prices, etc. Just picking out cabinets can take weeks or more, but there are so many other things to figure out too. You can't know how many counter choices and colors are out there until you have to choose one! It's mentally exhausting.

 

You've BTDT with the building experience.  About the trailer, here's no way to fully understand how big of a hassle living in a trailer surrounded by dirt is, especially since needing to  wash clothes and shower is such an ORDEAL, but most of your kids are grown and you don't have a bunch of little ones who you have to clean every time they want to go into the trailer (even just to go potty super quick) or the dirt will get everywhere and there will be even more cleaning. Of course it matters if its powdery or sandy dirt, but still!  My best suggestion would be to have you DH build a large deck butting up to your trailer and cover it with that fake green turf stuff.  It will help a lot to keep the dirt outside.

 

We also had a cargo trailer that my DH fitted with a fridge, washer, dryer, and extra storage space. It was awesome. 

 

Honestly, living on the land and building together was one of the most wonderful times in my life. So very special, despite everything.  My husband worked full time on our home though, and so we got to spend more time with each other than at any other time in our lives, and we were working on a common goal together.

Edited by ifIonlyhadabrain
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I would say it's doable.  I wouldn't want to do it.  I'm ok with a weekend, maybe a week, but for the amount of time that it would take to get a house liveable, no way.  I also think your husbands project of 3 months is very off.  There is no way that's possible.  We built a couple of years ago and it took 5 months to get it enclosed.  It was 17 months before we moved in.  It's still not done. . . 

 

Since your house is not the primary focus, I can't see the 3 months as a reasonable goal.  

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Speaking from experience: Double or even triple the time estimate.

If you can see yourself doing it for 9 months, then you may be good to go.

 

Couple of important things: Is a well already dug - unless you are not so rural and still on city water? Same for leach line?

Is there electricity going onto the property or will the utility company have to string lines?

Are your plans stamped and approved? Depending on your state this can be very easy and fast or not so much...

Will you need to pay for storage of items that won't fit into the trailer?

 

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Is it really 28 feet by 40 feet?  That just seems huge to me.

28x39 is the advertised size.  You are right....that seems really big.  I haven't seen it yet, just saw a used one advertised on our local craigslist for a really good price.

 

It's a Wildcat Brand.

 

I'll have to look into that.  Maybe a mis-print?  How would that even go down the road?  Hmm...

 

ETA:  I just looked up the website for Wildcat 5th wheels.  From what I can see, the biggest that they make is 8' wide by 34' long.  That's a lot smaller than what I was picturing. There are some with awnings of up to 19 feet...so maybe that's what the ad was talking about?

Edited by AnthemLights
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Speaking from experience: Double or even triple the time estimate.

If you can see yourself doing it for 9 months, then you may be good to go.

 

Couple of important things: Is a well already dug - unless you are not so rural and still on city water? Same for leach line?

Is there electricity going onto the property or will the utility company have to string lines?

Are your plans stamped and approved? Depending on your state this can be very easy and fast or not so much...

Will you need to pay for storage of items that won't fit into the trailer?

 

We would need a well, septic, and electric.  We have a month and a half yet before closing on our current house. We are friends with the guy that would do the well and septic and he says he can get them both done within a month.  

 

Not sure on the electric.  There are electric lines on the eastern edge of the property, so I wouldn't think it would be a huge deal.  My husband sent them an email on Friday...waiting to hear back from them on price and a time frame.  

 

We don't need plans stamped...only inspections are for septic and once the interior electric is finished.  Like I said, pretty laid back around here.   :001_smile:

 

We have  a 12x24 storage barn for extra storage.  And for our 2 chest freezers.  I have been on a real minimalist cleaning spree the last half year.  Gotten rid of so much stuff. So we really don't have much.  

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There is a special sisterhood for those of us who have built homes. ;) It's an experience like no other.

:iagree:

 

 

You've BTDT with the building experience.  About the trailer, here's no way to fully understand how big of a hassle living in a trailer surrounded by dirt is, especially since needing to  wash clothes and shower is such an ORDEAL, but most of your kids are grown and you don't have a bunch of little ones who you have to clean every time they want to go into the trailer (even just to go potty super quick) or the dirt will get everywhere and there will be even more cleaning. Of course it matters if its powdery or sandy dirt, but still!  My best suggestion would be to have you DH build a large deck butting up to your trailer and cover it with that fake green turf stuff.  It will help a lot to keep the dirt outside.

 

Kind of sandy dirt covered by a think layer of  pine needles.  The fake green turf sounds like a great idea...with or without the deck.

 

We also had a cargo trailer that my DH fitted with a fridge, washer, dryer, and extra storage space. It was awesome.

 

We have a 12x24 storage barn that we were thinking of using for the same purpose.  I hadn't thought of washer and dryer though.  That would be so cool...much better than having to run to the laundromat in town. 

 

Honestly, living on the land and building together was one of the most wonderful times in my life. So very special, despite everything.  My husband worked full time on our home though, and so we got to spend more time with each other than at any other time in our lives, and we were working on a common goal together.

 

I have to agree with you....I love building houses together.  

 

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My family of eight lived in a 5er for about a year and half. (Link to my blog about that experience is in my signature line. Anything pertinent to actually living in the 5er would be toward the beginning of the blog.) However, we were traveling and not living on a building site.

 

My suggestions:

 

If you can, get full hook ups. That will make a world of difference. Sure, you could run on battery/generator, haul in fresh water, and call the "honey wagon" to come empty you. But with six people, those things would become a huge hassle after a short while. Full hook ups is the way to go if you can swing it.

 

Second point: mom and dad need privacy, and that's hard to come by in a 5er. My best suggestion is to get a "toy hauler" 5er that has a garage in the back. These garages can come with sleeping quarters in them. The benefit is that the kids are on one end of the 5er and you and dh are on the far other end with living space separating the two bedrooms. Add in a sliding glass door or a wall with a door on their end, and a wooden bedroom door on your end, and you're relatively safe with your privacy. My blog has a picture of the floorplan I'm talking about if you're not familiar.

 

Third, like others have said, expand your outside space. Consider a screened outdoor room that you add to your awning, like this one: https://www.rvupgradestore.com/Vacation-r-Room-p/26-1507.htm The downside is you have to be careful on high wind days.

 

It'll be a fun adventure, that's for certain!

 

Edited to add: Unless you're going to be very near a laundromat, I'd insist on a unit with a washer and dryer included, or at the very least hookups for a washer.

Edited by Kinsa
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I would do it in a flash IF IF IF a large deck was built outside the door with an awning for taking boots and shoes off before entering the camper. Or failing that, a large patch of astroturf. Or at any rate, someplace where you can undress a muddy or sandy child and get them into clean clothes or send them to play and stay clean for a minute. I am no clean freak. We go months without vacuuming. But I have lived with 4yo boys in the woods in small living spaces and Ifionlyhadabrain is totally right about mud and sand being a HUGE problem. I would rather do without running water than that deck. You could put a wading pool for the 4yo on the deck, too. You can sit with your feet in it when you want to relax. You could put a picnic table on it and get in and out of the camper with food without tracking dirt in or having to get in and out of shoes. We have slipon shoes- clogs or flip flops for when it is raining so we can do quick outside errands and take our shoes off on a mat just inside the door, or if it is a camper, outside under the awning. Leaves and pine needles don't bother me at all but dirt and sand inside gets into the bunks really fast. Your bunk is your living space in a camper. And... your 16yo is going to be a problem at night, so you might need to retire to the car for privacy after the kids are asleep.

 

Nan

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28x39 is the advertised size.  You are right....that seems really big.  I haven't seen it yet, just saw a used one advertised on our local craigslist for a really good price.

 

It's a Wildcat Brand.

 

I'll have to look into that.  Maybe a mis-print?  How would that even go down the road?  Hmm...

 

ETA:  I just looked up the website for Wildcat 5th wheels.  From what I can see, the biggest that they make is 8' wide by 34' long.  That's a lot smaller than what I was picturing. There are some with awnings of up to 19 feet...so maybe that's what the ad was talking about?

 

It will be eight feet wide w/o the slides out. That's the maximum width allowed on the road.

 

The number and location of slides makes a HUGE difference in living space and in how livable that space is.

 

Assuming you have water, electricity and sewer hookups in place then I don't think you'd have much trouble at all living in a fifth wheel for a few months. I suspect many of them are roomier and more livable than many apartments in high cost of living areas (NYC, SF). And those apartments don't have very easy access to outside. ;)

 

Ditto setting up a nice patio area. A fifth wheel should have an awning but you'll need to be mindful of bringing it in if it's very windy. Many have wind sensors that will automatically cause the awning to retract if the wind gets above a certain mph and ours always worked well but we never completely trusted it. You also may want to bring it in during a heavy rain. Again, most are supposed to automatically tilt to allow for runoff but we never completely trusted that either.

 

Pay attention to the size of the fridge. Depending on age it may or may not have an almost residential sized fridge. But food storage could be a huge issue for a family of six.

 

In summary -- we used to own a 35' Class A (we recently downsized). A fifth wheel in general has more room and is more livable and more home like than an A. I don't think it would be very problematic at all to live in one for a few months if everyone is on board with the plan.

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The size is probably more like 12 X 40 not 28 X 40. It might go in some parts to 20 w/ the slides out, but the max square footage, by law, for an rv/fifth wheel is 430.

 

 

ETA: I was mistaken. Pawz4me was correct. I don't know why I thought 12 ft, but 8 ft. (not including slides) is the legal limit.

 

 

Edited by coralloyd
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I'd move into a fifth wheel for the foreseeable future right now if I could. Do it (with all the excellent advice given here in mind)

 

Is water and septic set up? Drainage for grey water?

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ours will build (to basic liveable - not finished) quickly because it's a kit and very simple design with minimal tradespeople needed.

This whole thread is really fascinating as we contemplate our options that we'd like to get rolling on this year.

 

But this "kit" you mentioned really jumped out at me. I don't mean to hijack the thread so if you wouldn't mind messaging me a link? I'd be so grateful! Googling now to see what I can find on it...

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OMG, you should build a cooking pavilion! I've been to camps that had them. It's like a shed with a fridge, stove, and sink. You can close the door to keep out animals and the elements. You could even get a washer/dryer in there while you're temporary. It's connected to a slab or deck that holds 2-4 picnic tables. And is covered. My uncle had one with a fireplace at one end (no "shed" part for a kitchen) and we used it for so many large family gatherings.

 

When you're moved in to the house, you'd still have this great outdoor space for large gatherings, canning, outdoor schooling, hanging hammocks, science labs, any messy projects, etc. then all you'd need is a toilet/shower and a box with windows to live in.

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