## Doomstead Diner Menu => Doomsteading => Topic started by: RE on June 01, 2017, 12:04:04 AM

Title: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on June 01, 2017, 12:04:04 AM

A friend of mine who lives in WA now is up here this week first for a Wedding and then to check up on a Rental Property he owns up here as well.  He usually makes it up here about twice a year these days.  He worked with me at the first gym when I first came up here for about 2 years, but then had a falling out with the owner.  He was an ex-gymnast and gym coach, but worked mainly as the Biz Manager for the gym while he was employed there.  Did some coaching, but just Classes no Team.  We stayed friends after he quit/was fired and would BBQ together about once a month or so and shoot the shit.  Whenever he comes up now we always get together.

Anyhow, I am planning a big Road Trip down to the Lower 48 to start scoping out SUN☼ Property possibilities, and my Big Bugout Machine the Tioga RV really is not suited for this.  It gets terrible gas mileage.  My vision for that machine was as a one-time use vehicle for an emergency Bugout, like say we had an Earthquake and my regular digs were destroyed.  I would have the BM as backup housing, parked in a campground around here.  Or in a real TEOTWAWKI situation, drive it once out into the Yukon Territory and live off my Preps for a year or two before giving myself up to the Bear, or freezing to death.  However, for cruising around the Lower 48, fuhgettaboudit.  On a good day on the highway going downhill with no stops and starts, it gets 7mpg.

So for this trip, I was planning on taking my Ford Explorer and then leaving it down there as my Lower 48 Cruisemobile and flying back up here for my SSA Hearing on Aug 16th.  However, it would have been fairly cramped, especially for the section across the Al-Can.  That is around a 2500 mile stretch without a whole lot of places to rest, and I figure to take it fairly slow.  So a bigger vehicle I can actually lay down in to nap is a vast improvement over this.  Besides that, when/if I make the final transition down there and move out, I will need a vehicle that can pull a decent size trailer.  My Explorer is a V-6, and while it does have a tow package it can't pull a real lot of weight, especially through the mountains.

So when Brian called me and said he was in town, for our Entertainment I said, "Lets go Van Shopping!"  ;D

The very first vehicle I found on Craig's List looked just about perfect.  Right price at $5500, right vintage at 1999 (I can get a Permanent Registration for this age of vehicle up here), Raised Roof Conversion so short as I am I can almost stand in such vehicles with ducking my head some, a V-8 Engine and the full tow package on a Ford E-150 Chassis. However, on the e-mail I sent out I got no reply. I looked at a few others. One was real cheap, but did not look in great shape. Another looked good, but was a newer model and way expensive, and no raised roof either. A third looked OK, but on calling it was already sold. So I figured we would just take a drive to Anchorage and cruise the Used Car lots to see what they might have available, probably not buying anything. I have never bought a Used Car from a UC Dealer, they always overcharge. All my UCs have been from individual sellers. http://www.youtube.com/v/zqHZWdFVyyQ However, I made one more try on the #1 Selection sending a Text over the phone, and this time I got a response! Van still available, come for a look. ;D The guy who owns it is an Israeli with a Body Shop. Him and his brother are heading back to Israel and selling out here. His brother owned the van for the last 7 years, just using it for fishing trips in the summer. It only has 140K miles on it, which for this vintage van is fucking amazing low mileage. These V-8s are good for 300K miles EZ if well maintained. We took it for a drive around Anchorage, some city some highway and the engine performed flawlessly. It is virtually PRISTINE for this age vehicle. The only real issue was the usual cracked windshield that about every car up here gets from the freeze-thaw cycles. All my carz have cracked windshields. He asked$5500, I offered. $4500. I paid CASH outta my Doomsday stash on the spot. We agreed on$5000, and he threw in a new windshield, which his friend the glass guy (a native) came over and installed on the spot.  The Blue Tape you see in the pics around the windshield will come off tomorrow, I left it on for the drive back to Palmer.  He also threw in a full detailing job from another friend of his, but I gotta drive back to Anchorage next week for that.  That would cost me $250, he gets it for$150 but will not charge me for it.

Fucking EVERYTHING works on this Van!  Even the fucking Cathode Ray Tube TV and VCR in the Overhead Console in the cabin!  You gotta have the van running though the way this is wired up.  In the back, the two Captains Chairs can be removed quickly with no tools, it's a latch system.  The rear bench seat lays down to a bed, and it's ELECTRIC!!!!!  And it WORKS!  You push a button and the seat turns into a bed in about 30 seconds!  ;D

This may be the best used car deal I ever scored, and all of my scores have been amazingly good.  After the one new car I bought with my ex-wife, all carz I have owned have been used.  The first was a Toyota Tercel 4WD mini-wagon/SUV I got for $1500. I had to replace the tranny on it for another$1500. $3000 total. That lasted me all through my trucking years, about a decade all together I think before and after included. Next was my Jeep Grand Cherokee LTD, still sitting in a storage unit in MO. It's loaded with every option available on carz of this era. This one I bought for$3500 from a little old lady friend of my mom's at the Senior Center.  It was garaged the whole time she owned it, and drove it maybe once a week while she was still driving.  It is a 1983, and still looks brand fucking new, although by now needs all new tires and numerous other fixes after sitting in a storage unit for a decade.  When I got here to Alaska, for the first 2 months I borrowed one of the Gym Vans, but then bought a 1980s vintage Toyota mini-pickup truck for $500. Total rustbucket, but lasted 2 years, and I sold it to another guy in the complex I was living for$50.  The suspension was totally rusted through, but he fixed it up for himself.  I then bought the Mazda MPV also 1980s vintage for $900, which I still own and drive regularly. I have never had to do a fucking thing to fix this car in the 8 or so years I have owned it, other than replace batteries and tires, and once the gas lines were cut by siphoners. Finally is the Bugout Machine (the Tioga RV), another 1980s vintage vehicle which I bought for$5000 also, with a pristine interior and only 40K original miles on it in running condition, albeit with incredibly bad gas mileage.  So in the last 30 years, I never paid more than $5000 for a vehicle, and many of them are still running too! No car payments EVAH since I was married. All CASH transactions. I am the$5000 and under car guy of the ICE Era!  :icon_mrgreen:

Driving back up to Palmer with it after the purchase, it again performed flawlessly, and tomorrow I will head over to the DMV to get the Title and Tags changed out to my ownership.  This will be the vehicle I finish out my life with in the Age of Oil.  It's the kind of full size van I always wanted, capable of good towing and enough room to crash where you are not uncomfortable.  It appears to get around 15mpg, which ain't great, but is within reason for me on my budget.  I will of course be putting more CO2 up into the atmosphere driving it across the Eisenhower Interstate, but less of it than Albert Bates puts up while Jet Setting around the world on his Mission.

One last time, RE will become the Road Warrior he was, this time carrying the message of Collapse across the North American Continent.  I WILL finally drive the Al-Can, the one major road in North America I never drove.

Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: jdwheeler42 on June 01, 2017, 03:36:16 AM
That is totally cool!  8)

I was going to suggest you stop at Windward in Klikitat, Oregon, they've had a sustainable community going for 30 years.  Unfortunately, they are only open to the public once a year, and you just missed it.  http://www.windward.org/helix/ (http://www.windward.org/helix/)

In Missouri there is Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, they have tours the second and fourth Saturday of the month during the summer. http://www.dancingrabbit.org/visit-dancing-rabbit-ecovillage/tours-and-open-house/ (http://www.dancingrabbit.org/visit-dancing-rabbit-ecovillage/tours-and-open-house/)   Also in MO is the Factor-E Farm, home of Open Source Ecology.  They don't seem to have anything for the general public, just workshops and internships, but they might be willing to make an exception for the CEO of the SUN Foundation  ;) http://opensourceecology.org/contact/ (http://opensourceecology.org/contact/)

Closer to home, I know Joe Jenkins, author of the Humanure Handbook and the Slate Roof Bible, and Darrell Frey, author of The Bioshelter Handbook and the just published Food Forest Handbook, we might be able you a tour of their homesteads.  Actually, they might be good to do Soundcloud interviews with, too, if you are still interested in doing that sort of thing.

Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Eddie on June 01, 2017, 05:35:58 AM
Nice looking truck. Good score.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on June 01, 2017, 04:46:46 PM
The Stealth Van is now MINE, 100% Legal.  Got the Title transferred and the new registration, plus went over to Geico to get it insured.  Also went over to Walmart and had extra keys made.  Now the only thing left to do is pack it up with Road Preps!  Oh, also head down to Anchorage again next week to get it Detailed.

The toughest part for me now will be LEAVING it down there to come back up here for my SS hearing.  I LOVE this vehicle already!  I'm considering whether I shouldn't just wait until after the hearing and then pack up the digs and move out? ???  :icon_scratch:  Just live on the road again until we can get a SUN☼stead together.  Bring Brother RE's Traveling Collapse Salvation Show to all the Sheeple in the Lower 48 and Canada!

On the other hand, I ALSO love my digs!  We don't HAVE a SUN☼stead yet and living on the road I wouldn't have regular docs for all my various ailments.

Ugghhh.  This is a very tough decision.  :-\

RE
Title: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: Option 3
Post by: RE on June 01, 2017, 07:45:56 PM
Instead  of driving the Al-Can, I could take the Ferry from Whittier to Bellingham.  For the Van/cheap inside stateroom/my passage fare, $3K. To drive from Palmer to Seattle, probably$500 in gas and another $1000 in motel expenses over around 10 days taking it slow. The Ferry ride will give me opportunity to do some Whale Watching perhaps, plus meet people. Plus of course not all those days of driving through the middle of nowhere. Beautiful scenery no doubt along the way, but there is fucking NOTHING to speak of besides gas stations and Bates Motels from Fairbanks to Whitehorse at least. Money wise, not an issue I can afford either one. The ONLY reason to drive the Al-Can is just to complete my life as a Road Warrior in North America. Is it THAT important to me to drive the Al-Can? ??? :icon_scratch: If I do the Ferry from Whittier, I can leave as late as September, after the hearing. I would still need to leave the Van down in the Lower 48 over the winter if I go this route. I also could only bring a small part of my preps, pulling a trailer onto the ferry would almost double the cost, not worth it. This decision is getting tougher the longer I ponder on it. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: jdwheeler42 on June 01, 2017, 10:49:52 PM The toughest part for me now will be LEAVING it down there to come back up here for my SS hearing. I LOVE this vehicle already! I'm considering whether I shouldn't just wait until after the hearing and then pack up the digs and move out? ??? :icon_scratch: Just live on the road again until we can get a SUN☼stead together. Bring Brother RE's Traveling Collapse Salvation Show to all the Sheeple in the Lower 48 and Canada! On the other hand, I ALSO love my digs! We don't HAVE a SUN☼stead yet and living on the road I wouldn't have regular docs for all my various ailments. If I do the Ferry from Whittier, I can leave as late as September, after the hearing. I would still need to leave the Van down in the Lower 48 over the winter if I go this route. I also could only bring a small part of my preps, pulling a trailer onto the ferry would almost double the cost, not worth it. It seems to me like the two best options are to take the ferry now and go back to Alaska for your hearing and winter, or pack up the digs now and move out permanently, taking the Al-Can highway, so you can take more preps. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Palloy2 on June 02, 2017, 01:22:48 AM What a great vehicle to celebrate the end of the Paris Agreement - a V-8 powered cross between an Abrams tank and an apartment block. Mr "save as may as you can" certainly knows how to live simply. :icon_sunny: Instead of waiting till your court case and THEN going driving, drive first, then FLY back and FLY back out again - brilliant. :icon_sunny: :icon_sunny: :icon_sunny: :icon_scratch: (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/3a/c8/c0/3ac8c0231d303719e87b46ad8930dab7.jpg) Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on June 02, 2017, 01:56:13 AM What a great vehicle to celebrate the end of the Paris Agreement - a V-8 powered cross between an Abrams tank and an apartment block. Mr "save as may as you can" certainly knows how to live simply. :icon_sunny: Instead of waiting till your court case and THEN going driving, drive first, then FLY back and FLY back out again - brilliant. :icon_sunny: :icon_sunny: :icon_sunny: :icon_scratch: Gimmee a break. At least I'm not flying a Private Jet! :icon_mrgreen: (http://static2.businessinsider.com/image/56b0080c58c3231a008b7190-1200/embraer-legacy-500-jackie-chan.jpg) Compared to Leonardo di Caprio, Al Gore and Albert Bates, I am positively scrupulous and low end in my Carbon Footprint as I bring the message of Collapse to the Sheeple! You want me to do this in a Goat Cart? I'm not sure they even ALLOW Goats on the ferries! RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on June 02, 2017, 09:16:00 AM I'm working on my list of Preps to drop in the Stealth Van (SV) for the trip to the Lower 48. Additional Housing/Sleeping 1- Large Tent 2- Small Tent 3- Air Mattress 4- Sleeping Pad 5- 2 Sleeping Bags 6- 2 Pillows 7- 12V DC Electric Heated Sleeping Pad 8- Kerosene Heater (maybe) Cooking 1- Camping Cookware Set 2- 2 Burner Propane Stove 3- Propane Grill 4- 2 Electric Hotplate Burners 5- Electric Toaster Oven/Broiler 6- 1 Month Supply Freeze Dried Food 7- Regular Cooler 8- Thermoelectric Cooler (maybe) Electrics 1- Deep Cycle Marine Batt 2- 100/200/500 W Inverters 3- 12V DC Batt Charger 4- Jumper Cables 5- Folding 5W Solar Panel (for portable electronics) 6- 120 W Roof Mounted Solar Panel (hopefully, gotta see about getting the installation done) Computing/Communications 1- 2 Smart Phones, 1 w/ Tethering 2- 1 8" Tablet 3- 1 Full size Laptop 4- 2 FRS Walkie-Talkies Liquid/Fuel Storage 1- 10 Gallon Potable Water Container 2- 10 Gallon Gray Water Container 3- 2 Gallon Spare Gas Can 4- 20 1 Quart Propane Cannisters 5- 5 Gallons Kerosene (maybe) Clothing/Essentials 1- What will fit in 1 Carryon airline bag + 1 checked bag along with the electronics. 2- Extra Sweatshirt, Long Underwear, Gloves etc to layer up in cold weather Furniture 1-Folding Chair 2-Folding Table Toilet 1- Piss Jug 2- Shit Bucket 3- Sponge Bath Equipment (sponge and 2 pots basically) As it is, this list is going to pack up the van pretty good, but if you have ideas for other stuff I should have on board, please feel free to suggest! ;D There is so much more I would LIKE to take, but without pulling a trailer it's just not gonna happen, at least not and leave me any sleeping space. I also might be able to do more if I customized the interior, but right now I don't want to lose the factory stuff in the rear, like the removable Captain's Chairs and the Electric Bench Seat/Bed. I'd also like to take my Ewz, but if I leave the Van down there then the Ewz will stay with it and I don't want to be without them up here. I do have another set of Ewz down there at LD's place I can pick up, although currently it's not working. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on June 02, 2017, 03:12:38 PM OK! :icon_sunny: I *think* :icon_scratch: I have decided on my PLAN! I'll wait until after the hearing to get the SV down to the Lower 48, and do it via the Ferry route. Much as I would like to drop the Al-Can into my Log Book of North American roads travelled, it's still just 2500 miles of driving a lot , napping, driving some more...etc. The Ferry takes 5 days, I can chat with people, write etc. Also no wear and tear on the vehicle this way. Different type of scenery, but still cool scenery. Maybe see some Whales before they go Extinct! Plus, no danger of breakdowns on the road! :icon_sunny: These days, I can't even change a flat tire myself, and with all the cell phone dropouts along that route I could be waiting quite a while for help, and it would be EXPENSIVE when it finally arrived. Better Safe than Sorry on that one. In the meantime, I will take the SV for an "Explore Alaska" shakedown cruise up to Prudhoe Bay to see the Oil Rigs, where I have never been. Furthest north I ever got while here is Fairbanks, which isn't even halfway to Prudhoe Bay. I expect mostly dead zones for internet on that drive, so I may be MIA for a while. I'll probably leave for that drive in about mid June. Health wise, I haven't got back any super bad reports from my Pros from Dover, so although I still feel like dogshit and have the morning itches after getting up, I think I can survive the drive. After the hearing down in the Lower 48 and after debarking from the Ferry in Seattle on the cross country cruise I will visit with Diners and go Property Searching for SUN☼steads and visit Homeless encampments and maybe speak at some Churches for Sunday Services. I'll need to get some SUN☼ Biz Cards and maybe make a CD to sell too. Looks like a real good adventure for the Bucket List, and very doable at the moment. The main deal is to commit myself to it, as I do need to make Ferry reservations soon. They are already booked up on several of the ferries for vehicles. So I I gotta make my decision in the next week or so I would estimate, or get locked out of the ferry option this year. I will update on this if/when I buy my ticket, not for the Great Beyond but for the Ferry to the Lower 48. :icon_sunny: RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Palloy2 on June 02, 2017, 04:06:32 PM Quote Gimmee a break. Yes, at least this V-8 machine will get better fuel consumption than the 7 mpg (downhill) than some other heap of junk (that you ALREADY OWN). I know - you could tow that one behind the V-8 and save on fuel! :icon_sunny: IF my copy of The Portable Thoreau hadn't fallen apart and got itself hopelessly out of order, I could quote you Thoreau on the predicament of a man who wanted to travel in style (on the railroad) from A to B. First he must go to work to earn the fare, and to buy a suitcase to put his clothes in, and then a hamper for food and drink. While man living simply, simply starts walking, and get there first. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on June 02, 2017, 05:13:48 PM Quote Gimmee a break. Yes, at least this V-8 machine will get better fuel consumption than the 7 mpg (downhill) than some other heap of junk (that you ALREADY OWN). I know - you could tow that one behind the V-8 and save on fuel! :icon_sunny: IF my copy of The Portable Thoreau hadn't fallen apart and got itself hopelessly out of order, I could quote you Thoreau on the predicament of a man who wanted to travel in style (on the railroad) from A to B. First he must go to work to earn the fare, and to buy a suitcase to put his clothes in, and then a hamper for food and drink. While man living simply, simply starts walking, and get there first. So what vintage vehicle are YOU driving when you go into town for YOUR medical issues? RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Palloy2 on June 02, 2017, 07:41:12 PM Quote So what vintage vehicle are YOU driving when you go into town for YOUR medical issues? A 1999 Toyota Corolla, 1500 cc, running on 91-octane gasoline and driven gently. More finger-pointing won't help you. When the "save as many as you can" Road Show trundles into town, and starts telling people how "positively scrupulous and low end in my Carbon Footprint as I bring the message of Collapse to the Sheeple", some joker might point out that you could start by not owning four vehicles, (one of which you admit is only useful for after a major earthquake to flee to the mountains) and your electric scooter, your 2 tents (one large, one small) and your kerosene heater. (Not forgetting the 2 electric burners and a toaster, 2 smartphones, tablet AND laptop). (http://www.schmithousemovers.com/images/Moving_a_big_green_house.jpg?15) If you were to arrive on an electric scooter, with a small tent, a single burner propane stove, and no electrically-heated sleeping pad, "the sheeple" might take you seriously. (http://www.thecycler.net/photos/nomad_4-w600h450.jpg) Your problem is you wish you could have MORE STUFF. - I am here to tell you should be buying LESS STUFF :icon_sunny: and to be to your conscience - prick, prick, prick. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on June 02, 2017, 07:49:39 PM A 1999 Toyota Corolla, 1500 cc, running on 91-octane gasoline and driven gently. (http://i.imgur.com/5Rzqnn0.jpg) RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on June 02, 2017, 08:25:34 PM More finger-pointing won't help you. When the "save as many as you can" Road Show trundles into town, and starts telling people how "positively scrupulous and low end in my Carbon Footprint as I bring the message of Collapse to the Sheeple", some joker might point out that you could start by not owning four vehicles, (one of which you admit is only useful for after a major earthquake to flee to the mountains) and your electric scooter, your 2 tents (one large, one small) and your kerosene heater. (Not forgetting the 2 electric burners and a toaster, 2 smartphones, tablet AND laptop). The Tioga has ZERO Carbon Footprint at the moment since I never drive it. It was manufactured 30 years ago also, so that embedded energy is water under the bridge. OWNING the vehicles doesn't contribute ANYTHING to increasing CO2, only DRIVING them does. How much embedded energy went into the fiberglass hull of the sailboat you used to get to the South Pacific Rainforest and battle with the Pythons after your Chooks? Quote If you were to arrive on an electric scooter, with a small tent, a single burner propane stove, and no electrically-heated sleeping pad, "the sheeple" might take you seriously. You know, I probably COULD put together an electric powered rig out of a ZEV Trike and Trailer, but where is the energy to run that one coming from? It's going to come off the grid, because there is no way I could pull enough solar PV panels to keep the rig moving along the road more than a dozen miles a day, MAYBE. If the sun is shining all the time. I will not make it to many Churches to speak at this way. Quote Your problem is you wish you could have MORE STUFF. - I am here to tell you should be buying LESS STUFF :icon_sunny: and to be to your conscience - prick, prick, prick. YOUR problem is you're an ideologue and thoroughly unrealistic. If you are going to try and get the message out about how energy dependent we are, you have to burn energy to do it! Albert Bates Jet Sets around the world to do this. I am just talking about driving around the fucking Interstate, which Truckers do every day burning a shit load more fuel than this rig will burn! You got any clue how much diesel I burned every day for 7 years? Averaged around 75 gallons of the shit every fucking day. I won't get anywhere near that on this Road Trip. Meanwhile, the other truckers are still out there keeping this show going. They are carrying Beer and Toilet Paper, I am carrying the Message of Collapse. Which Cargo has more value? ??? :icon_scratch: Sitting on your ass in the Tropical Rainforest battling the Pythons, it's not like you are getting the message out too well, although granted your help in keeping the Diner floating is very valuable. I sure do not appreciate your criticism of my methods though. I do what I have to do to get this message out there. Yes, it costs energy to do it. You can't make an omelete without breaking a few eggs. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Palloy2 on June 02, 2017, 11:14:39 PM Quote I probably COULD put together an electric powered rig out of a ZEV Trike and Trailer, but where is the energy to run that one coming from? Searching "cycle round the world", yields a million hits, so electric-assisted cycling around the US, shouldn't be too hard. Energy-freaks would like to know how many watt.hours it would take for a day's running. The power to recharge the batteries could comes from the mains, and can be likewise accounted for. No one would begrudge you that. Or it could come from a solar panel/battery pack on a trailer. How big? How heavy? The audience would be impressed with a totally unfit RE turning up like that, and listen to the message more attentively. You would need a blog to keep everyone up to date, and set out the talking schedule, but we have that already :icon_sunny: It is THE MESSAGE that counts - and you can put that RIGHT HERE in any amount of text, audio and video. :icon_sunny: But "we need a million bucks to start to build a concrete dome" so we can live sustainably ever after, isn't going to cut it, not here anyway, where the amount you paid for your tank is more than anyone has ever earned in a lifetime. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on June 02, 2017, 11:45:31 PM But "we need a million bucks to start to build a concrete dome" so we can live sustainably ever after, isn't going to cut it, not here anyway, where the amount you paid for your tank is more than anyone has ever earned in a lifetime. The amount I paid for the "tank" is less than half of what you live on for a full year from your industrial pension, and YOU live around there. The annual rent I would pay would also be LESS than yours, since it would be FREE. So take your Holier-than-Thou bullshit attitude and stick it where the SUN☼ don't Shine. Let me know when you divest yourself of the 1999 Toyota Corolla. ::) RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: jdwheeler42 on June 03, 2017, 01:34:25 AM Both of you should chill! Take 5 minutes and listen to Formidable Vegetable Sound System's ode to the Permaculture Principle of Diversity: http://www.youtube.com/v/LliThslFpjg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LliThslFpjg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LliThslFpjg) You both have good ideas, RE and Palloy. How good the ideas are isn't what matters, though, what matters is what gets done. Your idea would almost certainly be more impressive, Palloy, but even under the best of circumstances RE might not be able to reach as many people. But in this case, it very likely may be the difference between getting done or not. So as long as it is a worthwhile endeavor, we should be encouraging RE, even if his plan might not meet some standard of perfection. Besides, it's not like this is a permanent lifestyle choice. If RE was planning on doing this for the next 20 years, you would have a very good point, Palloy. But this is more of a bucket-list item... RE isn't even sure he's going to make it that long. (I'm definitely praying for him.) BTW, RE, I think doing a trial run around Alaska is an excellent idea to work out the bugs in the system. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on June 03, 2017, 05:19:12 AM You both have good ideas, RE and Palloy. How good the ideas are isn't what matters, though, what matters is what gets done. Your idea would almost certainly be more impressive, Palloy, but even under the best of circumstances RE might not be able to reach as many people. But in this case, it very likely may be the difference between getting done or not. So as long as it is a worthwhile endeavor, we should be encouraging RE, even if his plan might not meet some standard of perfection. For me in my condition, trying to go cross country on an E-bike or E-Scooter towing a mini-trailer is simply ludicrous. I'm not sure you could even pull it off if you were healthy. Generally the MAX range you will get on one of these things is around 50 miles, and that is for the extremely expensive Stealth Electric bike, which costs twice the price of my Stealth Van. There are some fabulously long stretches of road across Colorado and Nebraska where you won't find a gas station for 300 miles, much less an outlet to plug your E-Bike into for a recharge. Then, all your recharges are coming off the grid, which is burning fossil fuels to supply the electricity! Then, even with a 6A charger, it's going to take around 3 hours for every recharge. Besides that impracticality, there's the Weather impracticality. In the Van, I have built in shelter, no tent to have to set up every night, maybe in the rain. I hated doing that when I was healthy, and to try to do it now would be a joke. By the time the tent got set up I would be soaked through to the bone. Add in having to drive/ride an E-bike through the rain at a top legal speed for these things at around 25 mph in some states, others as low as 15 mph. Even if I could drive it every single day non-stop with good weather, it would take 3-4 months. No time to stop and make speeches either. The SV gets me around the country relatively economically, few hotels will be necessary. I know all the truckstops to stay at, everywhere. They all have free wi-fi nowadays. Yes, it burns gas, but somebody will burn that gas and it might as well be me. If I am going to get the message out in person, this is the only way to do it. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: monsta666 on June 03, 2017, 06:27:54 AM For what it is worth I don't think what RE drives (or not drives) will have any significant bearing on the number of people who follow him. People will believe what they want to believe and him driving an electric scooter or even rewilding in the wilderness is going to put off another set of people who are used to the industrial lifestyle. For people on the fence or who don't want to believe there are a million reasons why they would say no even if he did everything right. I don't think his particular lifestyle has much effect on how people think and this can be seen by looking at what the more successful bloggers and public figures of collapse do. How many of those people bugout or live a very frugal or sustainable life? From what I have seen most are either globe trotters or people with good financial means that belong to the middle or upper-class society of the US or some rich western country. With all that said however I still take the point that in an ideal world you would set the example of the world you wish to be and that should be the choice of action if possible. Problem is that in many instances it is simply not practical and you limit yourself and your message so really you need to balance your ideals and beliefs to pure pragmatism. That means compromise but the key is compromising in the right way that achieves maximizing the reach of your message but at the same time not water your ideas too much and become a sellout to attention, money or fame. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on June 03, 2017, 06:48:13 AM For what it is worth I don't think what RE drives (or not drives) will have any significant bearing on the number of people who follow him. People will believe what they want to believe and him driving an electric scooter or even rewilding in the wilderness is going to put off another set of people who are used to the industrial lifestyle. For people on the fence or who don't want to believe there are a million reasons why they would say no even if he did everything right. I don't think his particular lifestyle has much effect on how people think and this can be seen by looking at what the more successful bloggers and public figures of collapse do. How many of those people bugout or live a very frugal or sustainable life? From what I have seen most are either globe trotters or people with good financial means that belong to the middle or upper-class society of the US or some rich western country. With all that said however I still take the point that in an ideal world you would set the example of the world you wish to be and that should be the choice of action if possible. Problem is that in many instances it is simply not practical and you limit yourself and your message so really you need to balance your ideals and beliefs to pure pragmatism. That means compromise but the key is compromising in the right way that achieves maximizing the reach of your message but at the same time not water your ideas too much and become a sellout to attention, money or fame. "Changing Minds" as we have seen here time and again on the Diner is about impossible. All you really can do is plant some seeds for thought, and that is either over the internet or IRL on a speaking tour. Just about all the Collapse Pundits do speaking tours, Nicole Foss did several across the FSoA, Canada, Oz and NZ. Chris Martenson is always going somewhere, and same with Guy "Extinction" McPherson. NONE of them are riding bicycles for this, that is for damn sure. lol. For me, such a tour is in a large part a selfish thing, I don't really NEED to do this much traveling, and the number of people I will reach in person might not even be as many as I currently reach using the internet, which itself of course is burning copious amounts of energy every day. But sometimes, you can make more of an impact in person than you can with your writing and even if I just planted a seed in 1 person that grew to maturity, that makes the whole trip and all the gas burned worthwhile. It is "Save As Many As You Can", after all. It matters not where I am, I will be burning fossil fuels everywhere. Here in my digs, I am burning them to run my lights, refrigerator and computer, along with driving either my carz or my Ewz to buy food each week. Will I burn more driving the SV OTR? Yes, I probably will, but you know it probably won't be more than double what I currently burn just parking my crippled ass in one spot. Palloy is not going to make me feel guilty about this choice, he drives his own 1999 Toyota Corolla around. He's no fucking Saint, despite living in the Tropical Rain Forest. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Palloy2 on June 03, 2017, 08:25:59 AM When you are talking about getting people to change their lifestyles, Right Action in your own lifestyle, is important. I have admitted already that my lifestyle has not persuaded anyone, and its not because I drive a Corolla to the shops once a week. But I have to say I am disappointed that, even here, no one understands. Likewise, there is a corner of the internet called pythons.net where they look after pythons as pets. When I posted a picture of a "green"treesnake that was actually blue and yellow, someone asked what I fed it on - they had no comprehension that it was just living in the forest near my house, in the wild. No one understands, but Right Action, as best I can do it, is still the only thing to do. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on June 03, 2017, 10:01:44 AM When you are talking about getting people to change their lifestyles, Right Action in your own lifestyle, is important. I have admitted already that my lifestyle has not persuaded anyone, and its not because I drive a Corolla to the shops once a week. But I have to say I am disappointed that, even here, no one understands. Likewise, there is a corner of the internet called pythons.net where they look after pythons as pets. When I posted a picture of a "green"treesnake that was actually blue and yellow, someone asked what I fed it on - they had no comprehension that it was just living in the forest near my house, in the wild. No one understands, but Right Action, as best I can do it, is still the only thing to do. I HAVE persuaded people despite not having perfectly "right action". At least 2 people moved off grid as a result of stuff they read on the Diner, and that is just who I know of. Right Action is doing what you can to save as many as you can. If you have to burn some jet fuel like Albert Bates does or a few tanks of gas like I will be doing, it's the price you pay for the Mission. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on June 03, 2017, 12:52:02 PM I drove the SV this morning to Wally World to pick up a new Ink Cartridge for my printer and some FOR SALE signs for the Explorer and the Bugout Machine. Not going to try to sell the Mazda, it's basically worthless, although it runs great. If I can sell the Bugout Machine, I'll leave it in that spot in the storage facility for when I get back up here as transportation. On the way back I stopped for gas to fill up the SV so I can get a more accurate reading on gas mileage. It cost$35 for the fillup, but that was for less than half a tank of gas.  I'm guessing it has a 25-30 gallon tank.  The Israeli told me it costs around $100 for a full fillup. Next week I will drive it down to Anchorage again for the Detail job, and also call the Israeli and see if he can install my solar panels on the roof and wire them up. That would really snazz it up! :icon_sunny: That puts 90 miles on it round trip. Then when I go for the shakedown cruise I will burn through a tank and see how many miles I got out of it and how many gallons to fill. I'm betting on a 30 gallon tank and 15mpg for a 450 mile range on a tank full. On the shakedown, I think I will drive south to Homer, Valdez or Whittier first where the Ferries leave from. I want to scope out the area and loading proceedure so I know where I am going when my ferry docks. Don't wanna miss the boat after forking over$3K for the boat ride!  ::)

After that I'll drive north and try to make it to Prudhoe Bay unless I am just bored shitless. There is practically nothing going to Fairbanks, and I'm sure it's worse north of there.  Endless miles of NOTHING, just so I can see some oil rigs in person.  I can Google them up and it's way less work and less gas burned.

(http://www.worldviewofglobalwarming.org/shelldrillrig/08AKPrudhoeBayOilProductionAreaArcoArea1429.jpg)

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: roamer on June 03, 2017, 01:01:13 PM
Nice rig RE.  Hope you have a safe trip down the alcan.  Almost headed up there a couple of weeks ago after getting down with my oil rig gig.  Discovered my passport had just expired so have been backpacking and drone piloting across montana and living in my stealth SUV.

Just getting the editing thing figured out but I'll try to get some drone video clips up here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCveeK70_RbjAvId0L6a_TWw (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCveeK70_RbjAvId0L6a_TWw)
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on June 03, 2017, 01:11:12 PM
Nice rig RE.  Hope you have a safe trip down the alcan.  Almost headed up there a couple of weeks ago after getting down with my oil rig gig.  Discovered my passport had just expired so have been backpacking and drone piloting across montana and living in my stealth SUV.

Just getting the editing thing figured out but I'll try to get some drone video clips up here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCveeK70_RbjAvId0L6a_TWw (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCveeK70_RbjAvId0L6a_TWw)

I'm looking at taking the Ferry instead of driving the Alcan.

However, if you're interested I will fly you up here and we can drive the Alcan back down to the Lower 48 together.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: roamer on June 03, 2017, 01:16:25 PM
I would be interested in doing that drive with you...but it would take a minimum of 2-3 weeks to get an expideted passport renewal.  What is your timeframe?
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on June 03, 2017, 01:19:09 PM
I would be interested in doing that drive with you...but it would take a minimum of 2-3 weeks to get an expideted passport renewal.  What is your timeframe?

You have time.  My current Plan is to leave after my SSA hearing on August 16th.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: roamer on June 03, 2017, 01:24:23 PM
I'll get ahold of you off forum, but sounds pretty good.  Maybe I'll head up as soon as I get my passport and do labor gigs and stock up on smoked salmon.  Also getting good at drone photography, could make some epic road trip footage.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on June 03, 2017, 01:29:08 PM
I'll get ahold of you off forum, but sounds pretty good.  Maybe I'll head up as soon as I get my passport and do labor gigs and stock up on smoked salmon.  Also getting good at drone photography, could make some epic road trip footage.

Sounds good, but I will need a commitment from you to do it, because otherwise I gotta book my reservations for the Ferry in the next week or 2 the most.  PM me.

RE
Title: Stealth Van: The Maiden Voyage
Post by: RE on June 15, 2017, 08:18:13 AM

OK!  :icon_sunny:

I have the SV mostly loaded for her Maiden Voyage.  We are navigating North to Talkeetna to check out the gas mileage and look at a piece of property around there  for the first SUN☼stead.  Gas tank is topped off.

I am not doing the Full Load of Preps for this voyage, because it will only be 2 days tops.  I might even be back in the digs tonight.  For instance, not coming along on this voyage is the deep cycle marine battery and the big ass 1000W Inverter.  Just bringing the 200W inverter along to plug into the 12DC Ciggy lighter outlet to keep the laptop charged up.  Also a DC charger for the portable electrics, namely the cell phone and cameras.

Other main items for this trip are a cooler between the two front seat Captains Chairs which also serves as a table, a shit bucket and a piss bottle.  Not bringing any cooking gear, I will eat out at one of the Lodges along the way or a restaurant in Talkeetna.  Also will bring a Subway along in the cooler, I always had one of those in the trucking years.  They last 3 days in the cooler and are good for emergencies when you get stuck by your dispatcher in some receiver with no truckstops nearby to go to and buy food after you unload and are still waiting for the next dispatch.  Bedding materials also now in the back, and I checked out the accomodations, I fit PERFECT!  If I sleep slightly diagonal on the bed I can fully stretch out.  I think you need to be around 5'8" or under for this, otherwise you will need to pull your knees up some.

The only thing not yet loaded is the Ewz, which I will do right before we take off later this morning.  I want to take a nap before leaving since I have been awake since the wee hours.  This is the hardest part for me because the Ewz is rather heavy for me at around 90 lbs and as of yet I have no ramp or lifting system to help get it up the 2 feet or so into the van.  I can manage it though, I have gotten it into both my other vehicles and out again, although it is a struggle for me.

It looks like a beautiful day weather wise, nice sunny skies this morning.  Should be good for shooting some pics along the way.

I'll post up with updates whenever I stop if there is internet coverage.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Eddie on June 15, 2017, 08:38:08 AM
Have fun and take some pics.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on June 15, 2017, 10:50:06 AM
OK!  :icon_sunny:

The Ewz is now IN the Stealth Van!

It actually was much easier than either of the other two polluter vehicles I drive, because I don't have to fold down down the steering column on the way in, because the side door is so big.  :icon_sunny:  This allows me to use the motor a little to help and to steer it into the van.   Then I just have to hoist up the back end, then I fold the steering column down.  I got it done in about 5 minutes.  8)

Also got my full portable Diner Control Center packed in a briefcase, so we are ready to roll!

Now for nap time before we get on the road.  Maybe there will be some Swedish Girl hitchiker/climbers I can give a ride to on their way to Denali?  :icon_mrgreen:

RE
Title: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: Maiden Voyage of SaVannah
Post by: RE on June 16, 2017, 07:16:24 AM

OK!  Maiden Voyage of the Stealth Van complete!  I have decided to name her SaVannah.  :icon_sunny:

I may add some to this to flesh it out more for a complete blog about the trip after next week's Sunday Brunch Part 2 for Part 3, but I figured I would give regular Diners a preview.

Overall SaVannah performed pretty well, although she downshifts pretty hard on the grades and the handling is typically coarse as with most of these light trucks.  I will bring her in to have the tranny looked at before taking it across the Al-Can, for sure.  I will be very depressed if I have to drop in a new tranny for  $3000. :( I haven't done a fillup yet to get a precise gas mileage figure, I'm going to wait until after next week's trip down to Anchorage for the appointment with the Neurosurgeon Pro from Dover. However, according to the gas tank meter we used 1/4 of a tank and the odometer reading was 150 miles. That would indicate a 600 mile range on a single tank, which is astounding for a passenger vehicle. It must have a whopping big gas tank. I'm going to guess 40 gallons. I hung out around Talkeetna until around 8PM, but since it's still light out until after 1AM at this time of year I drove back to the digs to finish the day. I'm already paying for that. Actually, it never gets truly dark around the Solstice here, you get a kind of twilight between the hours of around 1AM and 5AM. Here is a picture from my back porch at 2AM as I write this article. I elected to drive back home to the digs rather than sleep in the van. It's only around a 90 minute drive. The other option was to stay in one of the rental cabin places, but my cheapskate side didn't want to spend the money. I did take a nap in the van however after lunch for about an hour. I finally got on the road close to noon, because my final packing job of last minute items took longer than expected. I kept thinking of additional items I wanted to have along for the ride, and I move so slow it took forever to load them. Then getting on the Parks highway and leaving Wasilla there was construction being done where they are adding a second set of lanes and extending the divided highway. Finally passing that though, it was open road and clear sailing the rest of the way. It was a mostly sunny warm day with temps in the 70s F, although there were a few brief SUN☼ (http://sun4living.com) showers while I was driving up there. None once I got to Talkeetna though. I took a break for lunch at the Sheep Inn, the first building I ran into on the drive that had that nice big log cabin look to it of traditional Mountain Lodges. Very Picturesque. It was quite empty however, although large with many tables both inside and outside. No free wi-fi. The beer list looked pretty good, I picked an IPA from a local brewery that was very good. Looking at the menu though, it was singularly unimpressive. A more stock list of Bar Food you couldn't imagine, about 4 different hamburger types, about 6 sandwiches, 12" Pizzas which were no doubt stock frozen ones, 1 soup of the day of Chicken Noodle. I ordered a hamburger off the Kid's Menu which came out not even on a Bun, but on two slices of toast. It was the cheapest thing on the menu at$7, and the meat patty was thin, dry and overcooked.  For $7, I can buy 3 Roast Beef & Cheese Sliders at Arby's each of which has more meat on it than this burger did and way tastier too. No wonder there was nobody at the tables! Now, WTF spends$Millions$on a building like this, then serves up this type of crap food? Put a decent Chef (like ME! ;D ) in that building, and you could have a world-renowned restaurant. It's in the middle of nowhere, halfway between Wasilla and Talkeetna so no real local traffic, but in terms of touristas coming up for some summer fishing fun or to go hiking around Denali, it's at about the perfect spot where somebody arriving at Ted Stevens International Airport and renting a car to drive will hit around lunchtime, and then on the way home you could time it to stop for dinner. Needless to say though, I took 3 bites of the hamburger consuming less than half of it and I will not be stopping at this joint again for anything other than a beer. After this huge, delicious and filling meal ::) I was feeling kind of pooped and decided I would take my first nap in SaVannah's cabin. Here I ran into my first major problem. I couldn't make the step up at the side door to get in the cabin and onto the bed for my nap! I couldn't find a place to purchase my (weak) arms to help my legs in making the step up. Unlike the Driver's entrance, there is no halfway step installed there. After returning home, I ordered a lightweight aluminum folding step-stool to resolve this problem in the future. The shipping on it cost more than the stool.$27 for the stool, $32 for the shipping. I did finally make it into the bunk though. I considered going in through the Driver's door and climbing to the back from there, except the Ewz blocked that path and there was no way to get any footing, really even if you were healthy with the current Ad Hoc system of packing SaVannah. To be really efficient as a Stealth Van, the current interior will have to be removed and a custom interior put in. If I do that, I will go to an Amish Cabinet Maker and have a custom job done to my design. I have seen some Stealth Vans done this way and it can be positively beautiful if you find the right cabinet maker. Same guys will also do custom boat interiors. I was considering buying a camper-trailer for it that would be my actual living space, but on researching this the folks who sell these trailers on Craig's List think much too highly of them. You can't find a decent used one for under around$6000 or so, and that's more than SaVannah cost and no engine in it either!  Any of them in REALLY good shape you are talking $10K. That Dog won't Hunt. Mainly I need the trailer to store all my STUFF, the Van itself is quite sufficient for me as a living space if it is not cluttered up with everything. Good Cargo Trailers can be had for$2000.  I bought one for LD for his Landscaping Bizness while down in SC for the 2016 Convocation for $2000. Anyhow, the way I finally did get into the bunk was through the rear doors, because there I was able to use the Bumper as an intermediary step, although even here was difficult because I still had nothing to really grab hold of to use my (weak) arms as helpers in getting my sorry, crippled ass into the the bunk. With some snake belly crawling though, I managed it. ::) Once in the bunk and ready to grab my Power Nap, I realized how uncomfortably WARM it was inside SaVannah. This with the exterior temperature only maybe 72F and partly cloudy. Down in the lower 48 on an 80F sunny day, FUHGETTABOUDIT, without A/C SaVannah would be an OVEN unless at least well shaded and with all the doors wide open and a fan to blow air over your mostly naked body. But of course, you can't do Stealth living if you have your doors wide open, you need to be closed up and locked down to look like the Van is unoccupied and just parked. So I am looking into small, portable A/C powered air conditioners to cool the interior down to a tolerable temperature for sleeping, which for me is around 65F or below. Problem here of course is that I will need a source of A/C to plug into, which limits the nightly parking during the warm weather months to legitimate for-pay campsites that have at least an electric plugin. However, this would only be for half the year and is within my budget. In this case, I resolved the problem by opening the front windows about 3", then opening all the sliding panels on the rear windows, and there was enough of a Breeze going that the air blew over me while I napped. I took off my shirt so the moving air would evaporate any sweat straight off my skin and cool me. I got about an hour's worth of nap time this way, which is typical now with the Itch From Hell :evil4: anyhow. After leaving the Sheep Dip Lodge, I headed on north to scope out the potential SUN☼ Property I found on the net which seemed like a good possibility at the right price. I will skip over this part for the complete article, because it's a Spoiler for Part II of the Alaska Sustainability series, coming up for this Sunday Brunch. After finishing the Land Scoping portion of the trip, I headed for Downtown Talkeetna to grab some Pics and give the readers a better idea of what this town is like as the closest town to the potential SUNstead. Here I ran into my next two great challenges, first off getting the Ewz out of SaVannah, then the Call of Nature, basically simultaneously. I knew where I would park in Talkeetna, at the very end of the Talkeetna Spur off the Parks Highway Right on the Susitna River is a Day Park (no camping allowed) with Picnic tables and Fire Rings, and you can set up your own BBQ as well. I brought the gymmies up there a couple of times after State Championships for our Celebration BBQ for the season. So I get out of the Driver's Seat and proceed to begin the next aspect of the Trucker's Life, the Unload. Normally in my Trucking Years I paid Lumpers to do this for me rather than do it myself, but in the park at this time there were no lumpers, only a couple of old ladies playing Gin Rummy at one of the Picnic Tables. About halfway through getting the Ewz out of SaVannah, I get the URGE! I gotta POOP! Now, the Public Toilet is about 100 yards from where I am parked. I can either try to shuffle my way over there before I have an "accident", I can go inside the van and use my Shit Bucket, or I can try and finish getting the Ewz out of SaVannah, then jump on her bones to traverse the 100 yards in a few seconds. I elect to go for Door #3 on this Let's Make a Deal. I managed to succeed and did not shit my pants, thank God since that would have made the drive home quite uncomfortable, not to mention gross. Once relieved of this problem, I took a short tour around Talkeetna to get some Flavor pics of the town, which is a "Historic" town now transformed into an Artsy Tourist Trap during the summer months. Thing you have to remember is this town basically shuts down out of the tourist season, and in terms of full time residents up there, the census lists less than 1000. They are also pretty spread out and there is nothing to buy or do for the whole winter, so most folks are just holed up if they live there year round. Many do have winter hobbies such as Cross Country Skiing or Dogsledding of course, and there are Churches where I imagine the faithful gather together every Sunday, but overall there isn't too much to do with yourself there over the Winter. More than anything else, this I think is what turns of Industrialized people to making an Off-Grid move to a place like this. It's not even that far out really, it's not the Alaska Bush. It's only 115 miles from downtown Anchorage, paved highway all the way. This wouldn't bother me at all though, because I basically spend all winter holed up in my digs anyhow, even though there are movie theatres and places to shop open all winter here in Palmer. The only main difference for me is I would have to stock up more on preps, and instead of just having preps enough so I don't have to go out and do weekly shopping, I would need enough to carry me through a whole winter from the freeze and first snows until the spring melt. Also necessary of course to keep my mind active and keep Cabin Fever from setting in would be an Internet Connection, and that would at the moment have to be done by 4G, although Satellite is a possibility. Some of the biznesses did have free wi-fi, but password protected. I was going to include in this article the scoping out of the potential SUN☼stead Property, however this article turned out long enough just on the travel aspects AND if I wrote about it now it would be a spoler for Sunday's brunch article. So you will just need to wait on that information, and this will be a 4 Part series, not 3 part. I'll also edit up more of the pics for the blog article as well, not just a header pic. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Eddie on June 16, 2017, 02:18:39 PM Too bad on the roadhouse food. I agree that it's hard to understand why people spend big bucks building an attractive restaurant and then think they can make money selling poor quality eats. Of course, the clientele might not want to spend money, and demand shitty bar food. You have to cater to your customers. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on June 16, 2017, 03:32:51 PM Too bad on the roadhouse food. I agree that it's hard to understand why people spend big bucks building an attractive restaurant and then think they can make money selling poor quality eats. Of course, the clientele might not want to spend money, and demand shitty bar food. You have to cater to your customers. The problem I think is you just can't FIND a decent chef who would move to and live in this location, even for just the Tourista season. It's got even less going on than Talkeetna itself, there is nothing around it to either side for 30 miles. It doesn't have the rest of a Lodge type resort surrounding it, with Cabins for vacationers etc. It's right near a Lake (lots of them sprinkled around along this route), so the resort could offer Lake fishing as a primary driver and they could cut trails for hiking and running. The Rainbow Trout in the lakes around here grow really big and smoked they are delicious. My guess is whoever built the place envisioned something like this, but ran out of money after getting the first building up. Then he got foreclosed on, somebody bought the place for pennies on the dollar and now just runs it as a bar-restaurant. I do wonder what will happen to it after SHTF day and the tourista traffic stops on the Parks Highway? :icon_scratch: It's a REALLY solidly built structure and will last a very long time if the roof is maintained. Will it be abandoned, or will it be squatted by Heliopaths? Taking out the tables and chairs, you could easily house a dozen families inside this structure. Then you have all the 100s of acres surrounding it with NOBODY living there and Moose wandering around all over the place. Then a nice lake for fishing too. I wish I had just a paltry$5M.  I could set up the palace of SUN☼steads in this place, and also run a nice restaurant until SHTF day.  Sigh.  :(  It sucks to have great ideas and no money.

RE
Title: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: Ramping Up SaVannah
Post by: RE on June 16, 2017, 08:14:18 PM
I got the folding step stool ordered up so I can haul my crippled ass in and out of the side and rear doors of SaVannah, but I still need a better way to get the Ewz in and out of her without relying on my (weak) muscle power to do it.  At the current rate of decline, I suspect it won't be more than a few months before I can't manage this task, though it is easier than with the Ford or the Mazda.

So today I went Googling to find a Cripple Equipment Loading System (CELS) for SaVannah.  These things come in a great variety, from High Tech and EXPENSIVE, to low tech and reasonably cheap.

I'm not going for the high tech ones for a variety of reasons.  First off I am too much of a cheapskate for that.  Second, most of them either in some way block the door unless deployed and also if installed on the interior take up a decent amount of your limited living space.  If they are installed outside, then they ruin the Stealth Van profile of the vehicle.  There are some SUPER expensive hydraulic units that install beneath the vehicle and are lifts rather than ramps, but no way am I going for one of those.  I don't need that, the fucking Ewz only weighs 90 lbs!  Besides that, it can power itself up a ramp.

So I just looked for an El Cheapo Aluminum ramp to use for this purpose, and found an ideal one from Discount Ramps for $110. (http://cdnll.discountramps.com/images/xxl/portable-wheelchair-ramps.jpg) Unfortunately, DR would not ship it to me in Alaska because it has size limitations that prevent air freight. So I tried Walmart and Amazon, and same problem. I tried some other ramps not as nice or low priced but got the same shipping problem everywhere. So now I think about it, and really I don't need a cripple wheelchair ramp, an ATV or snow machine ramp everyone here has does the same job, and they are cheaper too and hold more weight! I figure one of the Polaris dealers here must carry them so I Google them and go to their websites, but neither one has ramps listed in their accessories. I'm sure they have them or can order them without shipping issues, but nothing listed on the website. Finally, I Google some more and locate a ramp IN STOCK at Lowes for store pickup. It's 6' long and way more than I need, but it was still only$135 so I bought it.  I'll go pick it up tomorrow.

I should be able to store it by  sliding it in from the back of SaVannah under the seats, so it shouldn't clutter up the interior too much.  However, to use it I will have to yank it out from the back, carry it around to the side and then hook it on by some method.   Probably I'll drill a couple of holes and drop bolts through step to hold it in place.

Ideally though, I'll go over to the RV place or to a local welder and have them mount a carrier for it under the van I can just slide it out from like a drawer.  That would make it convenient and pretty close to perfect.  After that, to get really complete and not have to use any muscle power at all, I'll see about having a small electric winch installed inside the van which will pull anything at all up the ramp and into SaVannah.  :icon_sunny:

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on June 17, 2017, 02:42:37 PM
I picked up the ramps at Lowes and tested them out.  I only need one of them for the Ewz.  The other one is a spare.

It worked pretty much as expected, although there is still a decent amount of work involved to control the Ewz both on the way down and on the way up.  It's also more time consuming than just muscling it in there, because you have set up time for the ramp.  I'll need to be at least 15 minutes earlier on any appointments if I am going to use it.

While picking it up at Lowes, I also bought a cheap plastic step stool, which was all I really needed.  So the fancy aluminum 2 stepper with the expensive shipping was a waste of money.  I couldn't have tested out the ramp without the stool though.  You need it to step up while you hold the handlebars and turn the throttle to power it up the ramp.  You have to be very gentle on the throttle too.  Overall though, it works and the combination of Van & Ewz will make the Ewz much more useful.  I will bring it down to the Nurosurgeon Pro From Dover next week, then the July 4th Parade in Wasilla and then down to Kenai for the dip netting.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: Maiden Voyage of SaVannah
Post by: Surly1 on June 17, 2017, 03:12:12 PM

OK!  Maiden Voyage of the Stealth Van complete!  I have decided to name her SaVannah.  :icon_sunny:

I thought for sure you could have found yourself behind the wheel of one of these:

$67,000+ new down here. As if. :icon_mrgreen: Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: Maiden Voyage of SaVannah Post by: RE on June 17, 2017, 03:23:48 PM (http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Talkeetna-1-Lodge.jpg) OK! Maiden Voyage of the Stealth Van complete! I have decided to name her SaVannah. :icon_sunny: I thought for sure you could have found yourself behind the wheel of one of these: (http://nyfinestcarservice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/chevrolet_15suburban.png)$67,000+ new down here. As if.

:icon_mrgreen:

Not tall enough for Stealth Van living, plus of course the price.  Picked up SaVannah for $5K. I also don't need the leg room you do. I am pretty sure you would have full leg room in SaVannah though. Just no cool backing camera. I may add one. That's one electronic toy I DON'T have, and always wanted for the Big Rig. The only thing the Suburban has that I would like on SaVannah is 4WD. You don't find too many of these conversion vans in 4WD though. RE Title: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: Cooling Savannah Post by: RE on June 17, 2017, 07:38:02 PM I mentioned in my post about the first Nap taken in SaVannah which was a tad warm even though the exterior temperature was only 72 and it was partly cloudy. In order to make this reasonably comfortable, I don't need the portable air conditioner, just a good means to exhaust the hot air that accumulates insides the van due to the greenhouse effect of the vast expanse of windows this van has. I like all the windows because when parked in some National Park with beautiful Scenic Vistas, I'll have a 360º view while I keyboard out Doom on the Diner. :icon_sunny: Much better than a dark and dismal work van. Van Dweller also told me that vans with windows are actually safer from theft because the thieves can see inside and don't suspect something real valuable is in there to break in to steal, plus locals tend to be friendlier to you also if your van has windows. You don't seem so threatening and secretive. (https://i5.walmartimages.com/asr/ab523769-17e7-4fd6-9c7b-439df2573bf4_1.651f3881c41c9b3b32744a0179a3b021.jpeg) So on the way back from Lowes I stopped off at Wally World and picked up a couple of 7" air circulating fans for$16 each.  They are 120V A/C but they will run off a REALLY low powered inverter.  At top speed, they only draw 0.6A.  So you are talking max of 144W here if you ran both at full speed, which probably isn't necessary in most circumstances.  I also have 250W of Solar PV panels I want to install on the roof of the van which would pretty much cover the energy cost during the sunny part of the day, although you probably would be better off parking in the shade if you are actually in the van.  This portion of the day though is best spent in a nice air conditioned library, internet cafe or bar where there is free wi-fi, and just let the sun do it's work on the van and PV panels and top off your deep cycle marine battery for the night.

So your next question should be, "That's a great plan RE, but how will you use them as exhaust fans without cutting new holes in the exterior of the van to fit them?".  Well, I could do that (or have the RV place do it) and it would be a nice permanent customization, but it's not essential.  I will use the two front windows to position the fans blowing OUT from the interior of the van.  I already tested this aspect, you simply roll down the window, put the fan in the gap and then roll the winodw back up until it is firmly in place.  To cover the remaining opening, I will cut out a surround out of cardboard to prevent air from coming back in this way.  So now you have pretty substantial negative pressure inside the van, and fresh air has to come in somewhere to replace it.  Where does the air come in?

Mainly for this you open the two sliding windows at the bottom of the big side windows that are right where the bunk is, so that fresh and cool night air will flow nicely over your body while you nap.  Also air will enter from all the holes cut in the bottom of the van for the pedals and wiring, and that is completely shaded wherever you are parked.  If you are parked over grass, you will be getting REALLY cool air coming in due to evaporation of water off the grass blades.

The advantage of this system is you do NOT need to be parked in an official campsite with an A/C power hookup, you can do it all with your on-board 12V DC power system.  This means you only have to take a for-pay campsite on the very hottest and muggiest days in the hot neighborhoods of the south.  In fact, if I was down in the south at this time of year and it was really cooking out, I would just take a nice air conditioned Bates Motel room for the night.  However, I wouldn't even usually be in such a neighborhood at this time of year anyhow, in mid-summer I would spend my time in the mountains around Maine or in Idaho.  As long as there is gas at the pump that my money will buy, I am free to go anywhere in any season.  In the winter, I drive down to the Florida Keys in Margaritaville  :icon_sunny:, reducing my heating bill, which will be marginal anyhow with such a small space to heat.

Of course this is not true Stealth as in being able to park on some Big Shity street, because your fans buzzing all night in the windows are going to attract the attention of the Gestapo.  As long as you are out in a more rural area or at a Rest Area on the interstate or in a Truckstop, no issues though.  Since I already know all the truckstops and rest areas, this would in fact be where I was spending most of my parked time.  The only time I would venture into a Big Shity would be if I had an engagement to speak at some venue, like say Madison Square Garden. lol.  Otherwise, I will avoid these Death Traps like the plague.

On the other end of the temperature regime, I also am going to test using a 1500W Electric Space Heater in SaVannah over the winter, and see how warm that keeps the interior cabin at sub-zero temps (assuming we get some sub-zero F days this winter).  I suspect it will do pretty good because the size of the box is so small.  I have outdoor electric under my carport, so this is EZ to test out.  Tis saves you money on buying kerosene, and it is of course much more convenient and worry free.  No paranoia about dying from carbon monoxide poisoning.

For cooling, I am also not saying I won't buy a portable air conditioner either.  If I actually go out on the road to live this way, I most likely will. About $250 for an 8000 BTU unit, which has a reasonably small footprint and won't take up too much valuable floor space inside SaVannah. Besides, living this way I most certainly would be pulling a trailer for all the preps and equipment, and the portable A/C would spend most of its time there anyhow. Up here in Alaska though, such a device won't be necessary anytime in my lifetime, night time temps here never even hit 70F. The other thing you might glean from this post is there is NO FUCKING WAY I will leave SaVannah lonesome and parked by herself down in the Lower 48 this winter! I LOVE this vehicle too much already to abandon her that way for so long. If I do use a land vehicle for this year's trip to the Lower 48 either via the Al-Can or the Ferry, it will be the 2002 Ford Explorer. That I could dispense with and leave down there as transportation instead of renting cars, which gets expensive. I can use my 1989 Mazda MPV 4WD for car transportation up here over the winter, so the Ford is extraneous anyhow. The only major risk here is that over the winter due to freeze & thaw cycles the brand new pristine Windshield will develop cracks like all the rest of the cars around here have. I'll risk that though, and buy another new windshield when I head down to the Lower 48 for the final chapter of Brother RE's Travelling Salvation Show. SaVannah however will not leave my side or my sight for more than a few hours at a time for the rest of my life. We are now married. lol. http://www.youtube.com/v/Vzk01O_tBAI RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Nearingsfault on June 17, 2017, 08:06:28 PM When I had the small camper on my ford ranger I used a pair of these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00W8AG2MU/ref=mp_s_a_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1497754651&sr=8-8&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=12+volt+ventilation+fan&dpPl=1&dpID=41ONxD1S8nL&ref=plSrch (https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00W8AG2MU/ref=mp_s_a_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1497754651&sr=8-8&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=12+volt+ventilation+fan&dpPl=1&dpID=41ONxD1S8nL&ref=plSrch) One in one out both with 3 inch vent holes drilled on opposite sides. Tubed in and mounted in an insulated box for silent running. They were quite stealthy. I still miss that camper. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on June 17, 2017, 08:52:06 PM When I had the small camper on my ford ranger I used a pair of these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00W8AG2MU/ref=mp_s_a_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1497754651&sr=8-8&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=12+volt+ventilation+fan&dpPl=1&dpID=41ONxD1S8nL&ref=plSrch (https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00W8AG2MU/ref=mp_s_a_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1497754651&sr=8-8&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=12+volt+ventilation+fan&dpPl=1&dpID=41ONxD1S8nL&ref=plSrch) One in one out both with 3 inch vent holes drilled on opposite sides. Tubed in and mounted in an insulated box for silent running. They were quite stealthy. I still miss that camper. That does look even better. If I was going the whole 9 yards, I would have the holes cut in the floor in the cabin for them. I'll see how this jury rig system works before I go for a permanent installation and customization. That will cost quite a bit. At 2.5A also, they draw a lot more juice. Also not as far as I can see speed variable. The ones I bought are 3 speed. Do you know how many cubic feet/sec of air they push? The specs for them aren't on the Amazon site. RE Title: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: Seeking a Trailer for SaVannah Post by: RE on June 18, 2017, 02:07:59 AM I'm going on a Trailer Hunt! :icon_mrgreen: http://www.youtube.com/v/Y-KAAAaw8dw Note: Karen Kamon was BUILT. That woman did gymnastics from the time she was a little girl. Nobody gets a body like that without working it for a good 10 years. I have located two possibilities to check out next week on my trip down to Anchorage to see the Neurosurgeon Pro from Dover on Tuesday. I found two possibles, one in Eagle River (halfway to Anchorage) and the other in Anchorage itself. The Eagle River Trailer is the cheaper one at list price on CL, it's old (1980) and a converted Horse Trailer. (https://images.craigslist.org/00q0q_6nda0yFkKh4_1200x900.jpg) Asking price:$2500

The Anchorage Trailer is an enclosed 14' Cargo Trailer similar to the one I bought for LD but a bit longer and in Black.

(https://images.craigslist.org/00808_6b328HMFmM_600x450.jpg)

Asking price: $5900 Things I like about the the ER Horse Trailer: 1- It's CHEAP. With the money I save on the purchase price I can have it refurbished and a custom paint job done to match SaVannah. New tires too. 2- It already has windows installed. That's a pretty expensive job to do on a cargo trailer. 3- It has Character and is cute. It would pretty much fulfill my needs although a tad narrow. Things I like about the Anchorage trailer 1- It's practically new. The guy who bought it bought it straight off the lot to drive shit up here and has no room for it. What's not to like about new? 2- It's HUGE. I could pack my whole supply of preps into this trailer. You could run any number of commercial biznesses with it too. In both cases, I think I can Jew them down some. In the case of the ER trailer, I am sure I can get it down to$2000, and maybe even $1500. In the case of the Anchorage trailer,$5000.  That's more than I want to spend for a trailer and it's more than I really need, but that is a real good price for a practically brand new trailer of this type.

Anchorage already got back to me, so far nothing from Eagle River.

If I buy either one, the main issue over the next winter will be where to store it.  I may have to buy another parking spot at the storage facility, that would cost $40/mo and has to be figured in. It might be better just to be patient and wait until spring. There are always trailers for sale up here. On the other hand, I want a Trailer NOW! lol. I wanna get it all set up and ready for the Final Bugout and Brother RE's Travelling Salvation Show! That will keep me bizzy all winter. I will update after I look at the trailers. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Nearingsfault on June 18, 2017, 04:20:10 AM RE those horse trailers tend to be very heavy for their cargo room as you would expect for something that pulls half a tonne of prized pet. The cargo trailers have similar tow capability but only the trailer is built heavy the box is fairly light. As to the bilge blowers that is 2.5 amps at 12 volts not the 120 ac of the other ones. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: Seeking a Trailer for SaVannah Post by: Surly1 on June 18, 2017, 05:44:11 AM Things I like about the Anchorage trailer 1- It's practically new. The guy who bought it bought it straight off the lot to drive shit up here and has no room for it. What's not to like about new? 2- It's HUGE. I could pack my whole supply of preps into this trailer. You could run any number of commercial biznesses with it too. RE At least you know how to drive towing one of these things. Not my money, but you'll never run out of room and kick yourself for not buying the Anchorage trailer. Preps are a gas: they expand to fill all available space. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: Seeking a Trailer for SaVannah Post by: RE on June 18, 2017, 07:15:05 AM Things I like about the Anchorage trailer 1- It's practically new. The guy who bought it bought it straight off the lot to drive shit up here and has no room for it. What's not to like about new? 2- It's HUGE. I could pack my whole supply of preps into this trailer. You could run any number of commercial biznesses with it too. RE At least you know how to drive towing one of these things. Not my money, but you'll never run out of room and kick yourself for not buying the Anchorage trailer. Preps are a gas: they expand to fill all available space. Pulling the trailer doesn't worry me at all. Hooking and Unhooking it does. Cranking the trailer up and off the ball hitch takes a certain amount of muscle power I am not sure I got enough of these days. However, I could use a hydraulic jack if necessary to raise it up of the ball joint. Those take little muscle power, just a lot of lever pumping. I wouldn't be doing that much hitching/unhitching though. Once hooked for a Journey it pretty much will stay hooked. Preps do indeed expand to your available space, and I would in fact still have to do triage even with the big trailer so it isn't so cluttered I can't get in and out of it to get things. My digs are currently stuffed with more shit than I will ever need, duplicates of many things. I could probably pack everything into it, but it would be packed tight and the only accessible stuff being right at the doors. For moving purposes I might do that, then once I get there take 3/4s of it and put it in a storage unit. I have a big one in MO. The way I will lay it out for typical travel purposes is a set of center shelves accessible from either the side door or rear doors with about 4 feet empty space in the rear where the Ewz will go along with cooking gear and fuel of various types (kerosene, propane and spare gas can). Up at the far front, another set of heavy duty shelves with my 12V Electrics gear, generator etc. Shit Bucket/Porta-Potty accessible from the side door. Food, clothing, additional shelters (tents, folding gazebo & screen house) stored on the center shelves. On the big trailer, it really depends if I can Jew him down. I'm NOT going to spend more for the trailer than I spent for the van. It doesn't even have a motor or a tranny for crying out loud! I won't go over$5000 for it.  I'll only go that high because it's brand spanking new, just broken in on one drive on the Al-Can.  If he doesn't sell at $5000, it's No Deal and I'll wait for another one. These cargo trailers sell all the time up here. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on June 18, 2017, 07:35:09 AM RE those horse trailers tend to be very heavy for their cargo room as you would expect for something that pulls half a tonne of prized pet. The cargo trailers have similar tow capability but only the trailer is built heavy the box is fairly light. As to the bilge blowers that is 2.5 amps at 12 volts not the 120 ac of the other ones. Oh that's right! 2.5A at 12V is only 36W, that's even more efficient plus no loss through the inverter. If I go with a permanent installation I'll definitely go with those. I figured out where to install them also without cutting through the sheet metal of SaVannah herself. I'll have them installed at the back of the raised roof, which is fiberglass. That cutout job is EZ. It's pretty vertical with a lip also to keep rain off the openings also, although I will have some kind of louvres to close the openings as well in cold weather. That is ideal location as well since it will pull the hot air out from the top and pull an airflow all the way from front to rear. I'd estimate that installation job at$500.  For now though I'll see how well the jury rigged system works.

Far as trailer weight goes, I think it would be close to the same because the new trailer is so much bigger than the older one.  Profile wise, it's slimmer and less bulky in the rear which makes for easier towing.  Its age and interior volume are the downsides, but it's a big price differential and I really don't need a behemoth just for travelling around.  I could run my Mobile Restaurant out of it though.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Eddie on June 18, 2017, 10:20:58 AM
Your van tranny, if marginal now, would surely crap out pulling either one of those behemoths. Go to the tranny shop and get it checked before you spend money on  a trailer.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Nearingsfault on June 18, 2017, 10:23:52 AM
Flushed, filter changed, radiator installed if it does not have one or changed if it's ancient.  I did all that on my explorer it made a lot of difference in the smoothness of the tranny.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on June 18, 2017, 11:59:54 AM
Got call backs on both trailers, and I'll go look at them on Tue after I see the Pro from Dover.  Big ass trailer in Anchorage first, Horse trailer in Eagle River on the way back to the digs.  I'll give both of them low-ball offers and won't buy on the spot.  I'm not desperate to buy at the moment.  I'll schedule getting the tranny on SaVannah looked at, and also having a second set of leaf springs installed on the rear axle.  The van is set up for that but doesn't have them installed because the guy who owned it only pulled a lightweight open trailer with a 4-wheeler on it.  You want the extra springs for a big trailer.   Also go over to my storage unit guy and see how much he will charge me to store another 14' of trailer on the property.

Then I'll go over to the RV place and see what they will charge me to install the exhaust fans in the roof of Savannah.

This is a fun project!  :icon_sunny:

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on June 19, 2017, 07:59:54 PM
I did a bunch of errands today for sprucing up SaVannah and turning her into the ultimate Road Warrior vehicle.  :icon_sunny:

First stop was at Roger's Garage which is right across the road from my digs.  It's one of those old time mechanic's shops with junk cars in the lot, but I got a good recommendation from somebody at my old job and he has done OK work on both the Ford and Mazda, although I haven't needed anything major done on either one since I moved over to this side of town.  I used to use Fishhook Tire & Auto, which was just a 1/4 mile up the road from my old digs.  That's a much nicer and more professional looking place, with several bays and full time desk staff and a waiting room, etc.

Anyhow, I wanted to get a Price Quote for a few of the things we talked about.  Per DBs advice, I want a quote for a flush & fill of the tranny fluid and installation of a tranny radiator.  Then I want the more Beefy tow package installed, which entails adding another set of leaf springs to the rear and the hook-ups for electric trailer brakes.  All it currently has is the hookups for the lights on the trailer.  No way will I pull a trailer through the mountains of the Yukon Territory without trailer brakes!!!  Then I wanted a price quote on a custom installation of the exhaust fan system I mentioned.

The last one was out, they don't do this type of interior customization, they are strictly the mechanical end of things.  Only 3 people work at the place, the old mechanic Roger in his late 50s maybe 60s, his wife who does the desk and paperwork and a younger guy 30s or so.

On the other two jobs, they will do those but for an accurate estimate I had to make an appointment so Roger could have a look-see on the jobs, and put it up on the lift.  Just getting the estimate costs $85. ::) I will however bring it in for this, because these jobs are necessary to make this a fully fledged Road Warrior vehicle capable of handling the Al-Can, the Rockies and the Appalachians, which actually have steeper grades than the other two. The Appalachians are NASTY. I had a full load of 20 tons of beer once I took a short cut to do off the interstate on a road I thought I could handle. I was, to put it mildly absolutely TERRIFIED the whole way down. My knuckles weren't just white, they were transparent. The brakes were SMOKIN' not even halfway down the slope. That stupidity was in my first year with Schneider National. It was one mistake I never repeated. So for the Exhaust Fan job I headed over to Valley RV to see if they would do it, and for how much? ??? :icon_scratch: After spending some time talking to their chief mechanic, he said they could do the job, but it would probably take around 6 hours at an even higher hourly rate than the auto shop of$115/hr.  This is getting into Doctor, Dentist & Lawyer territory!  Just to get some air moving through the cabin would cost me $1000 including the parts! That Dog won't Hunt either. So I am going with DBs solution of the Bilge Blower, I ordered one online from Amazon. I can run the hose right out the back sliding windows, and it will be masked from view by the bug screen. There will be little to no noise since the fan motor itself is located well inside away from the window. I'll start with one and see how that does, I suspect it will do fine based on how much air it pushes, about 120 cu-ft/minute. That would mean for the size volume of the interior of this van, it would take about 10 minutes to completely exchange the air supply inside on startup. After that it's just maintenance. If it's not enough, I'll buy a second one for the other side. They're only$30 including the shipping.

I forgot to ask the RV PfD what it would cost to have my solar panels mounted on the roof.  That should be a relatively standard job and not too pricy (I hope  ::) ).  I also looked at RV/Wind Turbine units online, and I can get a 400W one for $450 if I catch one ON SALE. :icon_sunny: Together with the 250W of solar panels, that should keep me quite well charged, and with 2 deep cycle marine batts boosting a 1000W inverter, I can probably even run the A/C during the hottest part of the day for an hour or two. If the wind turbine is running, I could rewire 3 of the panels for 36V and directly charge the Ewz in under 2 hours! Finally, I made a stop on the way home at Wally World to pick up ANOTHER AC-DC transformer dedicated to SaVannah. I measured inside the engine compartment and found a space just big enough to permanently mount this transformer. It pushes 8A when plugged in right into the batt. I ran the AC cord out the front grill so just the plug is showing, and the DC side cables over to the batt where I have them semi-permanently clamped to the batt. Any time I am parked within a reasonable range of an AC outlet I can keep a steady flow of 12V/8A/96W of current flowing into the Batt. None of my DC operated shit pulls anywhere NEAR that kind of draw. When I say "reasonable range", I am talking a football field here, because I have 2 100' extension cords, 2 50' ones, and 2 more reel in 25 footers. Then some 8'-12' ones besides that. However, I never expect to be parking more than 100' from an outlet. In Stealth/Pirating Mode, less than that, I'll want to be right up on the outlet so there isn't a lot of cord showing. max there is the 25' reel ups. 8A transformed from 12V to 36V gives me 2.666 :icon_mrgreen: Amps, which should charge the Ewz in about 3 hours. I definitely will have ZERO problem with electricity as long as I am parked either in a legit for pay RV camping spot or at a fellow Diner's Doomstead. On the batts without the AC running, I figure even with no sun and no wind, the two Deep Cycle Marines are good for two weeks, although not with running the Ewz every day. I hope to have the full electric and ventilation system set up by the end of summer. Meanwhile, I will keep taking the test runs with SaVannah up here. I am now confident I could handle at least 5 hours a day behind the wheel, half speed of trucking. Like riding a bicycle, there are some things you never forget once you learned them. RE Title: Solstice 2017 (reprint from Medicine & Health) Post by: RE on June 21, 2017, 09:11:52 AM Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666 Friend us on Facebook Published on The Doomstead Diner June 21, 2017 Discuss this article at the Medicine & Health Table inside the Diner Back home in the digs after a hellishly long, exhausting and frustrating day. I'm was going to just write a couple of posts Inside the Diner on this, one in the Stealth Van thread on the Trailer Purchase issues and then another one for the RE is Dying thread (Diners Only!), but after writing the first couple of paragraphs I realized this was Blog Length material and should be up for the Blog Lurkers to read as well. So, ater a nap on the return home, I knocked this one out in one night. It covers one horrific day in the life of a cripple at the end of the Age of Oil and Industrial Civilization The issues began early with the trip in. I woke up around 5AM with the itches, even though I set my alarm for 6:30. I killed some time on the net and scratched and rubbed, then changed into more respectable clothing for meeting doctors and trailer sellers. Then around 6:30 I felt drowsy again and went to take a Power Nap with the intention of getting on the road at 7:30 which would give me comfortable time to make the 8:45 appointment. I overslept and woke up at 7:45, and it takes me 5 minutes to get out the door and get rolling even if everything is all packed in SaVannah. So to be on time I had to put the pedal to the metal, exceed the speed limit and hope for no traffic. The weather was not cooperating either, it was pouring rain. However, I did pull in to the parking lot at precisely 8:45, but making it from the parking lot to the Pro from Dover's Suite was a real trial in the pouring rain. I had the Ewz with me in SaVannah which I had intended to use for this part of the Journey. However, with the rain pouring down, I would have been soaked to the bone before I even finished getting her out of the van, and besides that takes more time and would have made me later. I had the forethought to bring an umbrella with me, so I hoofed it with the Brolly over my head. It took me 10 minutes to cover the maybe 200 yards total and my calf muscles were SCREAMING in pain. On the upside, they took me right in. Unsurprisingly when they took my vitals for this one, BP was high at 140/90. After the intake nurse left, another very short wait and a NEW Physician's Assistant comes in to discuss the case. Once again, I am not talking directly to the Great Man himself. So I go through a brief recap of my itching etiology and history, and then ask her if she knows what Notalgia Paresthetica is. Nope. This is a PA who is specialized in neurosurgery. Not very encouraging. So then I explain it to her and hand her the 10 page Research Booklet I have put together to educate dim-witted and overpaid medical professionals on Notalgia Paresthetica. Then she asks ME what I would like to do about the problem! This is what Medicaid is paying$600 for. True Professionals assisting you with you Health Care needs. So I list what I would like done here:

1- Referral to the Brain Center in the Valley (maybe somebody there has heard of Notalgia Parasthetica?)

2- Referral to an Accupuncture Clinic so maybe Medicaid will pay for it.

3- Possible scrip for cortico-steroids.

4- New imaging to look at not only my neck but also the rest of the spine.

Notalgia paresthetica is a chronic sensory neuropathy characterized by pruritus of the upper to middle back, typically below the left shoulder blade. Symptoms may include pain, hyperesthesia, paresthesia, and hyperpigmentation of the affected area.

Note: Credit to Diner JDW on researching and locating the condition of Notalgia Paresthetica

PA says this all seems reasonable, and disappears for around 30 minutes. Finally returning, guess who is with her? THE GREAT MAN HIMSELF! It was like being in the presence of God, he has a big white beard and he's an older white guy. He even had the White Flowing Robes! OK, it was a Lab Coat. lol. Now, surely a well experienced M.D. who has been practing Neurosurgery for 30 years and is Board Certified would know what Notalgia Paresthetica is, right? WRONG! He's never heard of it either. Isn't God supposed to be Omnicient? This is a condition described in the medical literature since at least 2011, that's the oldest date I have on it anyhow. According to the literature, about 10% of people with spinal problems end up with this at some point. He's never had a single case of it in 30 years?

In any case, after chatting with him for a full 10 minutes of his valuable time, he does agree to all four of the suggestions I made for a further treatment plan. I should have been a Doctor. It remains to be seen if Medicaid will approve either the Accupunture or the 2 new expensive MRIs. The cortico-steroids I expect they will approve. It also remains to be seen if his referral gets me in to consult with the Neurologist at the Brain Center who rejected the first referral from the NP Bimbo as not being a neurological diagnosis. Any bets on whether this medical professional has ever heard of Notalgia Parasthetica?

Apointment #1 for the day now finished at around 10AM and my next appointment with the Vascular Pro from Dover is not until noon. My plan was to go look at the Anchorage trailer, the huge practically new one to fill in the gap in time. So I shuffle my way back to the van a lot slower than earlier so it is not as pain inducing. The rain has also calmed down to an intermittent drizzle. Once in the driver's seat, I drop in the address for the Anchorage trailer and listen to the directions from the smart phone. I am about halfway into this drive when I realize it's not taking me to another location in Anchorage, it's taking me to the Eagle River trailer location! Somehow, I managed to transpose the addresses and phone numbers of thes two trailers when I wrote them down. RE's screw up there. It was too late to turn around so I finished the drive there even though I knew the seller wouldn't be there. The trailer was though and out in the front yard too so EZ to take a look at. Not going to buy that one. It's a little too small, mainly because of its configuration not its length. Also, even with a new pro paint job and new wheels and tires, it just isn't up to SaVannah's standards, it would make her look cheap. So, hopefully, the Anchorage trailer will be better, and I will go look at that after the consult with the Vascular Pro from Dover.

I arrive at his office suite, which is actually in a separate building and is a consortium of docs called Imaging Associates. Radiologists and Heart docs. It's around 11:15 now and the appointment isn't until Noon. I stay in the van to snooze in the driver's seat, I didn't go in the bunk for this. At 11:45 I shuffle into the offices, fortunately a much shorter shuffle than from the hospital parking lot to the neurosurgeon's offices. Walking up to the receptionist, I tell her my name and I have an appointment with Dr. Arteries & Veins. She looks in the computer and finds no such appointment, which I had just made on the phone the prior day. Then she goes in the back to find out what's up? Turns out, the appointment they made for me was at their offices in the Valley, where I live! They neglected to tell me this when I made the appointment. Then she tells me they will squeeze me in, don't worry. OK. So I sit down and wait, not too long maybe 15 minutes so we are still more or less on time. Intake nurse comes in to take my vitals, and then getting ready to leave tells me, "TJ will be in to see you in a couple of minutes". TJ is the PA for Dr. A&V. I don't WANT to see the PA! I came in to see the Great Man himself! I am not impressed with the knowledge base of all the PAs I have seen in my medical adventures, and Medicaid is not paying good taxpayer money for me to see PAs! This is when she tells me that Dr. A&V is out in the Valley today!

Now I am getting just a little HOT under the collar along with being itchy. Nurse goes out of the exam room to discuss problem with the Office Manager, and comes back to tell me I can see Dr. A&V back up in the Valley at 3PM. I tell her I can't make it by 3 because of other appointments (although as it turns out I could have). We negotiate for a 4PM time. For my trouble and aggravation, she gets me a $15 Visa Gift Card to make me feel better. Now done with this appointment but with another new one for the day scheduled for 4PM, it's time to head over to the Anchorage address and once again I program the smart phone to get me there. This time the right address. Strangely however, it gives me a transit time of around 30 minutes? Anchorage is not that big and generally you can get from one end of the town to the other in 20 minutes, tops as long as there is no traffic, and around 1PM is low traffic. I begin the drive, and around 3/4 in I realize why the transit time is so long. There is only a relatively small patch of flat land at the mouth of the Knik River that is geographically good for setting up the kind of Towns/Cities that we are used to. All surrounding that to the South, East and North are Mountains, big, steep and rugged ones, no gentle slopes there. Where this guy's digs are is RIGHT on the edge of Chugach State Park. The only road that gets out of Anchorage to the North and South is Alaska 1, the Glenn Highway. To the south it runs along the arm of the Turnagin Glacier, to the north along the arm of the Knik Glacier. You don't find any other real good flat land building locations until you get to Soldotna in the south and Palmer-Wasilla in the north. Eagle River has some good spots, but its still pretty mountainous terrain. Where this guy has his digs is RIGHT at the border at the edge of the municipality of Anchorage with Chugach State Park, and it is the foothills of those mountains. As foothills go though, these are pretty serious ones with some VERY steep grades, some that I hit on the way there exceeded 10% even on the paved portions. Even in the Rockies and Appalachia I never hit grades in the double digits, except on some off ramps for short stretches. Yet people built their McMansions in this location, some quite magnificent ones since rich fucks love the beautiful views from their glass enclosed living rooms. Honestly though, I can't imagine driving back and forth to work in downtown Anchorage every day on these roads in winter, even with 4WD. EZ enough to get stuck on flat land in icy conditions, I can't see how these folks get in and out of some of their driveways, which some of them look to me like a 20% grade. Maybe they winch themselves up in the morning? Anyhow, I stuck with it determined to see this other trailer. At least I did until the road I was on turned into a dirt road and had a warning sign of 15% Grades! Still, I soldiered on and went off the road with Savannah to see, even though she is NOT a 4WD vehicle, not to mention fairly large as 4 wheelers go. I went about 1/4 mile down the dirt road, wondering if I would be able to: 1- Turn around, or would I have to back up to GTFO of there? 2- Would SaVannah be able to hold traction to make the climb back out on only 2WD? Engine power was enough, but traction was an issue since the road was still wet from the morning rain. As I came around the first bend in the dirt road about 200 yards ahead of me I saw a big increase in the downslope AND a tight switchback at the end of it. My Trucker Safety ALARM SIREN went off. "DANGER! WARNING WILL ROBINSON!" NO! I will not do this road! "There's a Signpost Up Ahead. You have reached…The Death Zone". At least this time I wasn't driving 75' of Tractor-Trailer. There was a McMansion to my left with a big 2 car garage and leveled land for the driveway. I pulled into that driveway, turned Savannah around and GTFO of Dodge and back to the paved roads, and worked my way back down to the Flatland of downtown Anchorage. So I never even looked at the big ass nearly brand new trailer. What boggles my mind is that the idiot who is selling this trailer actually drove it down this stretch of dirt road fully loaded. This guy definitely has more courage than brains. If he wants to sell it, he needs to drag it back out of there and put it on consignment at a used car dealer in Anchorage. He must be driving one fucking monster of a tow vehicle too, a Ford 350 or something like that. Even with that, I can't imagine taking the hairpin turn I was looking at with that trailer. Anyhow, working my way back out, I still had time on my hands to make a stop for lunch in downtown Anchorage before driving back to the Valley for the last appointment of the day with Dr. A&V. I had planned to hit a Top 10 restaurant in Anchorage Simon & Seafort's Saloon for dinner and then spend the night in SaVannah in a Stealth Van Living experiment, but since I had to head back to the Valley for the last appointment that plan had to be cancelled. I opted instead for lunch at S&S. I programmed the smart phone once again to guide me there, where it is right across the street from Cap'n Cook and the Crow's Nest Restaurant, which I was avoiding because I wasn't happy with my last meal there last year. This is the pricy area of downtown Anchorage where the Oil Tycoons meet & eat, so the hotels are expensive and so are the restaurants. Upon arrival at the location, I pulled into the public parking lot and bought my ticket for 2 hours or less for a cool$10. Then as I dropped it on the windshield I got another one of those untimely Calls of Nature, this time just to piss. The walk over to S&S is just too far, I know I won't make it without pissing my pants. So I go into Savannah to use my piss jar, but it has slid under the back seat and I can't get to it. In the end, I got back out of Savannah and pissed in between her and the car parked next to her, a brand new Hummer. I pissed all over the driver's side tire.

Now relieved and SaVannah legally paid and parked, I took the long shuffle over to S&S and got seated promptly at a nice table for 1 or 2 with a view of the ocean, although it's not really much to see, just water. I ordered the Halibut lunch special, which featured two cuts of Halibut, filet stuffed with Alaska Crab and Halibut Medallions encrusted with an Asiago Cheese breading. Supposedly according to the waiter the medallions have a consistency closer to Scallops which I still like (as much as I like any food eating these days anyhow), but I don't agree with that after sampling them. The meal was accompanied also by Mashed Yukon Gold Alaska Potatoes and briefly steamed heirloom broccoli. I also ordered a glass of Pinot Grigio to wash it down with. No Red Wines on the Wine List, and I am not a big fan of White Wine. It's a Fish place of course, and you're not supposed to have Red Wine with Fish if you are an epicure.

My hope was that eating an expensive and well prepared meal it would encourage me to eat more of it, but this didn't work on this occasion. The Crab Stuffed Fillet was the best, I had 3 bites of that. 2 Bites of the Asiago encrusted Halibut medallions. 2 forkfulls of the Alaska Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes. One forkful of the al dente broccoli which I couldn't chew, if I finish it I will need to steam it some more. All the rest went in a Doggie Bag, about 2/3rd of the meal now in my fridge as leftovers. I'll see what I can work through of that tomorrow. This meal cost $50, but$15 of it was paid for by the Gift Card I got at Dr. A&V's office.

Now it is back on the road for the final leg of this journey, the trip back home to the Valley which was uneventful except for the fact I found myself nodding off from exhaustion and became worried I would fall asleep at the wheel. I kept jarring myself back to wakefulness each time I drifted off looking around the road though, and made it to the offices in one piece. After checking in at the desk, I sat down in one of the chairs and immediately fell asleep, but not sure how long, maybe 20 minutes.

On shuffling my way to the back to the exam room, the intake nurse wanted to do ANOTHER set of vitals on me. That would have been my 3rd for the day. I recused myself from this and told her to call the Anchorage office, they had done them 3 hours earlier. She was amenable to that.

Finally the Great Man arrived to discuss the problems and what to do about them. Unlike the Notalgia Paresthetica, I have no firm idea of the cause of the edema in my legs and neither does the Pro from Dover. With no idea what is causing it, all that he can suggest is to treat the symptom, but none of the treatments thus far have done jack shit. The cardiac workup came out OK, the Blood workup OK and the latest imaging on my leg veins also OK, in that it doesn't look likely to be a cause of the edema. So in this consult he is referring me to a physical therapy center here in the valley that does massages and the like to push the fluid around and hopefully remove some of the discomfort from having legs that look like watermelons. Another one I do not know if Medicaid will pay for. Medicaid don't pay, I don't go.

In terms of possible causes, the most likely one that came up in the discussion was POOR NUTRITION, specifically lack of protein in the diet which sometimes cause edema. This is a good possibility since my nutrition is positively atrocious, but in terms of eating real food I don't see a lot I can do about it. I simply can't stomach much food. I will go out tomorrow and buy some Protein Shakes and see if I can stomach that stuff better.

In terms of solutions, I brought up the possibility of amputation of the lower portion of my legs below the knee. He was very against this, saying it would put me in a wheel chair. I am going to be in a wheel chair soon enough anyhow. At least this way it gets rid of some of the pain and discomfort. We won't be going down this route anytime too soon though. When I start showing up for consults in a wheel chair anyhow though, he will have less of a convincing argument.

Final stop of the day before returning to the digs was at the gas pump, to refill SaVannah and get the first accurate assessment of her gas mileage. After the trip to Talkeetna, local driving there then local driving back here in the Valley, then the drive to Anchorage and local driving there, the tank was down to just over the 1/4 full mark and the odometer at 323 miles. The odometer is NOT linear, it goes down faster once below the halfway mark. After doing the fillup in came out to a little less than 23 gallons, working out to an average around 15mpg, what I expected. A BIG IMPROVEMENT over the Tioga though!

Once back home, I sat down at the keyboard to write a couple of posts, but found I was too fatigued to do it and so went to take a nap. Instead of the posts, you got a nice long winded RE style blog, 3500 words worth in about 3.5 hours. That is averaging 1000 words/hour. All written in 1 draft, stream of consciousness. No outline. No edits except for typos. How many writers can pull off that stunt? Hope you enjoyed it as much as I didn't enjoy the day that inspired it.

Title: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: SaVannah Ventilation Solution
Post by: RE on June 22, 2017, 01:36:53 AM
As regular readers of this thread are aware, I have been looking for good solutions to getting the HOT AIR out of SaVannah when in enviroments where the SUN is shining down on the van and turning it into a rolling GREENHOUSE due to the vast expanse of glass on this vehicle.  Converted to a real greenhouse once parked permanently due to lack of gas, with hydroponics it could probably supply half your daily needs for nourishment. lol.  Of course, given that I am inhabiting the van, getting rid of the HOT AIR is a BIG JOB! lol.

Several ideas/suggestions have already been proposed, and with the exception of one of my own ideas of having a Custom Installation done of exhaust fans in the rear of the roof, I am experimenting with all of them.  I eliminated the custom installation from the list after visiting with the RV pros at Valley RV to get an estimate on this, which comes near $1000. That Dog won't Hunt. I am NOT going to pay$1000 just to move air through the cabin!

Other suggestions have been made, notably DBs suggestion to use a marine bilge blower rather than a straight fan to exhaust the hot air.  That one is on order and shipped, according to tracking from UPS, so should get here in the next couple of days.

Arriving today however was a new 12V DC Fan, 12" in Diameter, aka a Full FOOT.  How much air a fan can push is proportional to the square of its diameter or radius, for a given rpm (fan blade design also matters, but not that much, they are mostly optimized for the given speed the fan runs at).  The Bilge Blower fan is 3" in diameter.  So this fan given the same rpm will push 16X as much air as the 3" one in the bilge blower will, but it doesn't operate at the same rpm, it's slower.  I am not sure how much slower, but it's not 16X slower that is for sure.  Runs on the same type of electric motor.  I would bet on half the speed.

So, upon arrival I did a temporary install of the new fan in the Passenger side window.  Simple proceedure of rolling down the window, then rolling back up until the fan was jammed into place.  Turning on the fan, it moves a SHIT LOAD of air through the small cabin of the van, and this is without sealing the rest of the window, which I need to cut out a cardboard surround for.

I have experience with this, when my ex-wife and I first got married, we were sharing a house in Larchmont, NY with a couple of other 20-somethings and we had the Attic Room as our personal space in the house.  By far the biggest, much bigger than the two bedrooms on the floor below, but of course can be HOT if not well ventilated.  Nicely though, this attic was floor through, with windows on either end.  We installed the biggest fan that would fit on one window as an exhaust fan pointing OUT, and sealing it tight surrounding it.  Open up the window on the other side of the attic, you have an INSTANT 5-10mph breeze coming through the attic.  It was plenty comfortable through most days in summer in Larchmont, since we were not usually actually in the room during the day.  On the days we were, we had an air condiioner I could drop in the window and cool it down that way.

The limitation on using this method is that it is NOT by any means "Stealth".  A big ass fan in the passenger side window running at night is a pretty good indicator somebody is sleeping in the van to the local Gestapo of course. lol.  However, in MOST circumstances I would use it in such as in Truckstops and Rest Areas and FREE Parking day campsites, no problem.  EZ and fast to set up and get running, less than 5 minutes there.

I will of course have the Bilge Blower as a Stealth Backup.  That will be completely invisible from the exterior, and mostly silent from outside as well.

The whole ventilation plan is now coming in at around $100. I am now moving on to getting the Solar Panels installed instead of spending money on ventilation. Mechanical upgrade to the tranny and tow package and suspension estimate to come on Friday. Also looking at RV Wind Turbines for more supplemental electrical generation. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Nearingsfault on June 22, 2017, 08:56:34 AM Bigger panel, bigger battery, and a better charge controller are probably better investments then wind. The charge controller alone can give you a 30 percent increase in production especially on a flat roof mount. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Eddie on June 22, 2017, 10:42:21 AM These people are the best I've ever found for RV kits. Lots of good info on their site. https://www.solar-electric.com/learning-center/mobile-marine-rv/rv-solar-electric-systems-information (https://www.solar-electric.com/learning-center/mobile-marine-rv/rv-solar-electric-systems-information) Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on June 22, 2017, 02:12:50 PM Quote from: DavidB Bigger panel, bigger battery, and a better charge controller are probably better investments then wind. The charge controller alone can give you a 30 percent increase in production especially on a flat roof mount. Not if you are parked somewhere it is cloudy and windy. Where I live, we get a lot more wind than we do sun. I'm going to have them mounted on hinges to tilt up when parked. I'll look inot a better charge controller. Which one would you recommend? My panels are, sadly, 12V. If I had it to do over again I would have bought 48V panels. These people are the best I've ever found for RV kits. Lots of good info on their site. https://www.solar-electric.com/learning-center/mobile-marine-rv/rv-solar-electric-systems-information (https://www.solar-electric.com/learning-center/mobile-marine-rv/rv-solar-electric-systems-information) I'll check them out, but even if they aren't the best, I am not going to buy new panels even though I am sure there are better ones on the market now. What I got is what I got. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Eddie on June 22, 2017, 04:35:28 PM Just get an MPPT charge controller, and make sure the low voltage side has big enough wire to prevent a serious voltage drop. I wouldn't trust just anybody to mount solar panels on my van either, if they're going to be permanently mounted. Tricky job. And get a voltmeter for the battery bank. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on June 22, 2017, 04:47:38 PM Just get an MPPT charge controller, and make sure the low voltage side has big enough wire to prevent a serious voltage drop. I wouldn't trust just anybody to mount solar panels on my van either, if they're going to be permanently mounted. Tricky job. And get a voltmeter for the battery bank. They aren't "just anybody". It's Valley RV, which is the biggest RV repair place in the Mat-Su Valley, and there are a LOT of RVs up here. They are 5 weeks out in making appointments this time of year. At$115/hour, I certainly hope they know what they are doing.  Price doesn't work with doctors though, so no sure thing there.  You got an alternative plan?

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Eddie on June 22, 2017, 05:02:19 PM
Sounds like they're pros. Good.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Eddie on June 22, 2017, 05:08:04 PM
I heard that approximately half of all doctors graduate in the bottom half of their class.

Know what they call the guy in medical school who graduates last in his class?

Doctor.

(I graduated 13th in my class from dental school. (128 graduated out of the original 152 who started).

Part of my philosophy of higher education, which I passed on to my own kids. Never work harder than you have to in order to make the very lowest A in the class. Any harder than that and you're just being OCD.
Title: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: Interior Plan
Post by: RE on June 22, 2017, 06:08:54 PM
I have my interior plan now and it will not entail ripping out the stock interior this conversion van was fitted with.  This will save a TON of money.  :icon_sunny:

All I need to do is take out the captain's chair that sits in front of the side door.  This unlatches easily, no tools necessary.  The captain's chair behind the driver's seat will remain, and this will be my Office Chair, with my laptop on a fold down desk hooked to the back of the driver's seat.

Storage for clothing and other essentials will go in some Sterilite drawer storage containers I already have.  In normal configuration, the rear bench seat will be in the UP position, which leaves good storage area behind it for kerosene (for heat), water, and extra gas can.  also folding table and chair and a big ass 3 room tent for more long term stays at National parks and the like.  In the front, I currently have a standard Cooler for storing food, but I will buy a new thermoelectric cooler for this spot.

For the typical one night stands in truckstops and rest areas. I will shift the stuff stored behind the bench seat up to the front of the van, then lower the seat (push button electric!  :icon_sunny: ) into the bed configuration for napping until I itch too much and wake up.

The Ewz will fit between the rear bench seat and the remaining rear captain's chair for travel.  When parked for the night I can either put it outside the van locked to the bumper, or I can tip it up and put the front wheel on top of the cooler if real Stealth is warranted.

Below the main part of the rear convertible seat-bed which is always there in either configuration I will have my Deep Cycle Marine Batts and my charge controller for the Solar PV and Wind turbine.  Also stored there will be my 12V devices, power cords, inverters, yadda yadda.

I am also going to get a mount for my smart phone so it is EZ to refer to the map on the GPS while navigating around whatever territory I am not familiar with.  I have a Bluetooth Headset already to make it EZ to talk on the phone while driving.

Tomorrow I bring SaVannah in to get an estimate on the new heavy duty tow package and having the tranny flushed and a tranny radiator installed.

Next week I will bring her over to the auto detail shop to get an estimate on the Full Monte of detailing, including a complete cleaning of the engine compartment.

SaVannah, Born in 1999, will be BORN AGAIN!  :icon_sunny:

RE
Title: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: Goodies Arrive!
Post by: RE on June 23, 2017, 08:52:55 PM
More goodies for SaVannah arrived from UPS while I was out on my daily errands!

Today's errands included a trip for a follow up visit to the dermatologist, who when last we checked had no clue exactly what my problem was but prescribed me a couple of ointments which did exactly nothing.  They came free though courtesy of Medicaid and the FSoA Tax Donkeys however, so it doesn't bother me too much.  Other appointment was to get an estimate on spruce ups for SaVannah to make her the Road Warrior Queen from my local mechanic.

Upon arrival back at the digs, there were TWO boxes waiting for me on my doorstep!  Well, there is no step, it's level, but you get the idea.  Very safe little complex I live in overall, a package delivered by UPS can sit outside your door all day and nobody steals it.  Not even the kids just for a prank.

I opened the small package first, it turned out to be the Bilge Blower that DB recommended for ventilating Savannah.  I took a few interior and exterior shots to show where the hot air will be ventilated out, but this is not going to be the placement of the blower in SaVannah.  I will bolt the unit to the roof area to pull out the hot air that rises and run a 3" duct to the window to exhaust the hot air.  The unit conveniently has 2 flanges with screw holes to make this job a snap with an electric drill/screwdriver.  I will drop by Alaska Industrial hardware tomorrow to see if they have the right size ducting in stock, if not I will order online.

I tested it by attaching the electrical leads to one of my 12V Batts, it works GREAT!  I need to pick up a Cigarette Lighter 12V plug to attach to these leads along with a longer wire to reach the nearest 12V DC outlet in the van.  It has 4, two up front and two in the passenger cabin.  I'll buy a 12V DC Extension Cord for this and Cannibalize it, and use the outlet half to attach directly to one of my Batts to be able to plug in independent of the van electrical system if I want to.

Between this unit and the big ass 12" 12V DC Fan I bought which fits in the front roll down windows, ventilation in SaVannah is completely solved.  I seriously doubt I will need a second Bilge Blower although I may buy one anyhow because they are cheap and it's good to have redundancy in such devices.  They do eventually quit on you, and always at JUST the wrong time.  Murphy's Law in action.

(http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/productImages/400/ca/caa426e2-e501-49e3-bee5-93d01f1d7ecb_400.jpg)
Still not sure if I want to invest in a portable A/C unit run on 120V AC electric.  Up here on the Last Great Frontier I'll never need it in my lifetime.  My digs don't have A/C, and nightime temps never get past the 60sF around here (YET!).  Down in the lower 48 though especially in the south it might come in handy to have one of these toys.  The smallest 6000 BTU unit comes in around $250, well within budget and plenty powerful to cool this volume of space. Nevertheless it still takes up valuable cargo space if I am not going to use it much. I'll likely only buy one when I take SaVannah down to the Lower 48 for Brother RE's Travelling Salvation Show. The second larger and heavier box turned out to be the two-tier step-stool I bought initially online after my great frustration in trying to get into the bunk for a nap on the trip to Talkeetna to look at property there for SUN. I was so frustrated after returning home I went online and bought the first most expensive thing in this category I could find. Subsequently, I bought a cheap plastic footstool which does what I need just fine. So I thought the expensive folding footstool would be just a money waste (although not that huge,$50 with the shipping to Alaska), but it turns out not to be the case.  Because of the second step on this unit which matches almost presicely to the height of the interior step of the side door, it provides a lot more surface area for getting your crippled footing before the first step down.  It also has a much more Elegant Look like entryway stairs to a mini-McMansion than the cheap plastic footstool, and is much more Worthy of SaVannah.

In this photo you see the two step folding stool next to the el cheapo plastic stool.  El Cheapo works fine, but doesn't look so classy plus doesn't give you the added foot space entering and exiting the van.  Other items you see in here are the Ramp for getting the Ewz in & out, Acamping chair and folding table under the bunk, and on the far right a bleacher chair which is great for sitting in the bunk and reading or working on the laptop on a tray table (on order).

Bonus from the folding footstool was the packaging it came in, which was not the typical Box but rather 3 sheets of cardboard which are quite long and wide wrapped around it.  I have several Inserts for my windows I need to cut out of cardboard, and this packaging by itself provides just about all the cardboard I will need for this task.  I'll be gluing it to Black or White Foam Core to make it look prettier and stiffen it more, and it will also provide added insulation once done.  I will have one of these for every window in SaVannah including the Windshield, custom sized.  I will use Aluminum Flashing on some to reflect out incoming solar infrared radiation that would otherwise overly heat the van on very sunny days.

Progress is very good here on getting Savannah ready for her new life as my rolling home.  As it stands now, I don't think I really need to pull a trailer at all, except for having more long term preps stored on that.  Inside SaVannah herself, I think I can store enough for 2 months withut cluttering up too badly.

I'm hopeful to have the main stuff done by the time I make the next test run down to Kenai for the dip netting in mid July.  If I do find another Alaskan there to dipnet for me, I got nowhere to freeze and store all the fish!  So put your dibs in now if you want some Alaskan Salmon arriving at your doorstep courtesy of Alaska Airlines or Fed Ex.   My yearly dipnetting limit is 26 Salmon, which after processing and filleting could come in over 200 lbs.  A trade for the dipnetting and processing would leave me around 100 lbs of that.  I'll auction it off to Diners in 20lb lots, you pay the air freight.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on June 24, 2017, 06:41:24 PM
Uggghhh.  I have been struggling for the last hour trying to get out the rear captains chair on the passenger side.  It's not cooperating.  I'm not sure if I'm missing part of the latching mechanism or if I am just too weak.  It's pretty stiff from not being used in the recent past.  I'm going to have to go over to the Ford dealer on monday and see if they will show me/take it out for me.  I'll keep it in my digs once it can be taken out of the van.

I also devised a very novel system for mounting the bilge blower, which I will keep secret until I get it in and running.  8)  I'm waiting for some In-Line switches to come in so I can turn it on and off without having to unplug it every time.

I did discover not EVERYTHING works on Savannah.  The rear 12V DC outlet does not work.  I'm going to try and figure out what fuse that is if it's maybe just a fuse.  If not, it will need to be rewired anyhow when I get the solar panels installed.

RE
Title: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: A visit with the old Bugout Machine
Post by: RE on June 25, 2017, 02:35:38 PM
My upstairs neighbor the Native UE Carpenter helped me get the seat out of the van, so now I don't have to go over to the Dealership to get this figured out/done.  I had the latching mechanism right, I just didn't have the muscle power to pull it out.  It took Eddie (the Native guy, not our Eddie) about 30 seconds, then he carried it and dropped it in my digs for another 30 seconds of work.  I paid him in Barter.  He doesn't drink beer so I gave him a couple of frozen T-Bone Steaks.  :icon_sunny:

With that area now cleared out for storage of Preps and to make a comfortable Office area to work and administer the Diner while on the road, I can now get SaVannah fully Road Ready for this Summer's Adventures here on the Last Great Frontier.  She won't be accompanying me (or carrying me really) down to the Lower 48 for the Total Eclipse of the SUN☼ this year, but next year she will get to tour the crappy part of the FSoA with me, assuming SHTF Day doesn't come between now and then.  For this trip, I am just renting a Dodge Grand Caravan.

Getting SaVannah fully ready though is a pretty big job overall, and I'm not even talking getting the Solar Panels installed or getting a new Heavy Duty Tow Package to pull a big trailer.  Just getting all the right Preps selected and stowed efficiently so I can get to them as needed and also still be able to have good room for sleeping is quite a challenge!  I go out every day to my carport and experiment with different ideas to do things creatively (and as CHEAP as I can!).  For instance, I would like an Awning over the main Side Door entrance when parked at a campsite.  You can get some really nice ones that deploy electrically, and I might go for one of those at some point but they are rather expensive.  Besides that, since they are attached on the outside they do more to ruin the Stealth aspect of the "stock" look than even the solar panels do.  Being on the roof which is raised and laying flat unless angled up  for deployment at a campsite, you really could not see the PV panels from street level, you would need to be about 7'6" to do that.  From the street, it should look more or less like a normal roof rack unless deployed and angled up.

So I have been experimenting with just using a cheap Tarp I picked up at 3 Bears and how to get it attached quickly and easily, and in such a way it will withstand at least a mild breeze without blowing off into the woods.  I'm trying to do this without making any permanent modifications to the exterior, such as installing permanent attachment points.  Overall, I am making the effort keep SaVannah as "stock" as possible both inside and outside.  I'm sure I will have to compromise on this eventually, but so far I have figured out some means of doing everything I want so far without drilling any new holes into SaVannah.

In terms of drilling holes, this finally gave me an excuse to Unbox one of my prep sets purchased a few years ago, a 7 tool set of 18V "ONE+" tools from Ryobi purchased at Home Depot ON SALE.  Drill, Circular Saw, Reciprocating Saw. Light and 2 Batts and the Charger.  I got all that for under $200! Just the batts alone cost$60 for  a set of two Ni-Cads, and Li-I for 2 is $100. Ryobi isn't quite as high quality as Dewalt or Mikita, but it's a huge step up over Black & Decker. For some of the stuff I am doing I will need a jig saw also, so I'll probably hit Home Depot sometime next week for one of those.$50 when I priced it online.   For right now though I have so far been able to get away with using an Electric Turkey Carving Knife for jig type work, since I am using mostly cardboard and foam insulation, and the electric knife is pretty good with cutting those as long as they don't get too thick.  I learned this trick while installing Ethafoam on Gymnastics Spring Floors.  :icon_sunny:

Besides the construction though is the actual STUFF to stuff into the van (sic).  For this, I already HAVE every prep known to mobile man, and a few of them actually made it all the way up here from my OTR years, like my Immersion Heater (great for warming up soup or coffee prior to arguing with a lumper on how much he will charge to unload the box) and my portable Walkie-Talkie style CB Radio (good for being able to get out of the truck and not have to sit by your CB to get your dock call, which if you miss you are probably fucked for another 24 hours.  Nowadays, maybe they use smart phones and text messages for this).

Most of the shit however has been purchased up here in the years since 2008 getting ready for SHTF Day.  Quite a bit of the stuff sits in Tioga, my old Bugout Machine in it's Storage Unit spot where it hasn't moved from in roughly 2 years.  Both batteries are doornail dead and one of the tires on the rear duallies is a bit flat.  Otherwise, I think it still works, but I haven't had a reason to get it working.  It just costs too much gas to drive that mother fucker anywhere.  If it ever gets driven again, it will make one trip out into the Bush and that's where it will remain, along with my frozen body when my Preps run out.

For more current active traveling around, SaVannah is much better of course, though obviously nowhere NEAR so spacious and comfortable inside as Tioga.  Neither is it possible to store anywhere near as many Preps in SaVannah.  So there has to be triage on this, as to what I just really need or want to have with me, on what should generally be no more than a month between resupply trips.  One has to remember Stealth Van living will only last as long as BAU does, AKA the ability to buy affordable gas at the pump.  Once that is gone, SaVannah is parked wherever the last tank of gas and jerry cans ran out, and as permanent living quarters stuck in the middle of nowhere go that is pretty Spartan, although better than a tent.

Anyhow, in terms of getting SaVannah ready, I needed to go over to the storage facility a couple of miles down the road where Tioga resides and pull some of the preps from her and transfer them to SaVannah.  We now have a dual heating system installed, both electric if I have a plug in and kerosene if I don't.  Emergency backup, I can always flip on the engine and use the van heat itself.  Now have 4 forms of cooking available, charcoal in a lovely cast iron Hibachi, propane stove, electric hot plate and Toaster Oven and in a real pinch I can heat stuff up over one of the kerosene lamps.  Also of course the 12V DC immersion heater.  Van cooling while parked has been solved with a 12V DC Bilge Blower along with a 12V 12" diameter exhaust fan for the front passenger window and anohter 8" circuating fan for the interior.  I don't see a need for a portable A/C unit at the moment.

Electrics are gradually coming together, I'm still deciding on how to install my various inverters and whether to run a dedicated line from the starter batt to the inverters inside the cabin, or run an AC line from the engine compartment into the cabin when parked.  I haven't dropped in my Deep Cycle Marine Batt yet, but I know where it will go, under the rear bench seat that converts to a bed.  For Water, I have a 5 Gallon jerry can with a spout valve that will go in the rear, accessible from the rear doors.

Other hardware on the list includes two coolers, folding table and chair, and 9' Beach Umbrella for shade and rain protection over a campsite Picnic table.  I may go for a partable Gazebo/Screen House if I have enough room.  Vaccumm sealed Rice, Dried Beans, Teriyaki Beef Jerky and Vitamins good for around 2 months is going in the overhead compartments.

For clothing and other essentials, I have Sterilite Drawer containers, though I think 2 and maybe 3 are the most I can fit.  Then my stools to be able to get my crippled ass in and out of the van.  I'm hoping to have the whole thing together by the end of next week.

Assuming I do finish the job next week, after July 4th (when I want to go do the Parade in Wasilla on the Ewz), I will head on down the road to the Kenai Peninsula for the Dip Netting Adventure, and then do some further Adventures here in Alaska until the hearing date of Aug 16th.

So far, everything but my health is holding up OK on this plan.  I'll update when I am closer to being finished with Van Modifications and supplies are all in place.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: A visit with the old Bugout Machine
Post by: Surly1 on June 25, 2017, 04:10:44 PM
So far, everything but my health is holding up OK on this plan.  I'll update when I am closer to being finished with Van Modifications and supplies are all in place.

RE

Who knows, but this spate of exercise might end up doing you a little good.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Nearingsfault on June 25, 2017, 04:41:26 PM
I ran ryobi cordless stuff for years.  It's good enough for most of the jobs I had to do.  When you get around to it get the lithium in car charger it is backwards compatible and will do the nicads as well. DO NOT RUN RYOBI CHARGERS ON MODIFIED SIGN INVERTERS they will die.  The in car charger allows you to plug directly into the 12 volt car socket. Dewalt chargers also don't like modified sine by the way same result.
Cheers,   David
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on June 25, 2017, 06:02:39 PM
I ran ryobi cordless stuff for years.  It's good enough for most of the jobs I had to do.  When you get around to it get the lithium in car charger it is backwards compatible and will do the nicads as well. DO NOT RUN RYOBI CHARGERS ON MODIFIED SIGN INVERTERS they will die.  The in car charger allows you to plug directly into the 12 volt car socket. Dewalt chargers also don't like modified sine by the way same result.
Cheers,   David

Car charger now on order for pickup from Home Depot!  I was going over there anyhow to pickup a jig saw anyhow.  Also may buy a 2-pack of Li-I batts, although the Ni-Cads still seem to work fine despite sitting a few years in the box. Thanks for the heads up about modified sine wave inverters with those chargers.

The only problem is this brought me over to the Ryobi tools list on the Depot's web page and now I WANT about a dozen OTHER tools and gadgets that fit these batts.  Besides the jig, a trimming router would be nice.  And boy, doesn't that Mitre Saw look good!  A Ryobi 18V Chainsaw would be nice for cutting up downed branches into firewood, don't you think?  Hey, they have a fan too!  I wouldn't have to run a power line out the door to the picnic table for my current fan!  Nice Hand Vaccum for keeping the interior of SaVanna spic & span, she'll appreciate that!  A Sander and a car polisher would be a plus to have...

Here's a real killer for you though.  The Mitre Saw by itself goes for $299. However, if I buy another one of their package deals, for$269, I get the mitre saw, 2 Li-I bats, another charger, an electric screw driver and another drill, reciprocating saw, circular saw and light!  What's not to like about that deal? ???  ::)

I wish I could substitute out items, I'd trade all the duplicate items for the chainsaw.  Sadly, Ryobi doesn't do that.  :(  So I am going to end up with several duplicate tools.  It makes no sense to buy the Mitre saw by itself, and that one I really WOULD like to have.  When you build a geodesic, it has complex non-45-90 angles in 3 dimensions, and this gives a lot of people fits when mounting stuff to the interior because they don't know how to use a mitre saw properly.  This was my main job for the brief time I spent building geodesic domes one summer.  It was a nice job on the site because I was under an open tent to protect the miter saw if we got rain rather than out in the hot sun doing assembly work.  :icon_sunny:  As I recall, I got $50/hour for that job, because they couldn't find anyone else who could get all the pieces right so they would fit for the interior finishing and fixtures. The miter saw wasn't cordless though in those days. We had a big ass old diesel generator that made a LOT of noise and the whole area smelled like a Greyhound Bus Terminal at rush hour whenever it was running. The foreman on that job was one of the nicest guys I ever worked for. He bought a couple of cases of beer at the end of the day if we met the goals for the day he set, and we did about half the time. He was a good judge of what it was possible to get done in a day. He did fire people if they were incompetent or unreliable, but otherwise he was pretty reasonable. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Nearingsfault on June 26, 2017, 05:15:15 AM I've used the mitre saw for quarter round and mdf it does ok on that. It does not have the depth of cut to do any kind of compound angle in 2X material though and the motor is pretty wimpy. The lithium batteries are a good investment but keep them dry the circuitry in them is sensitive. I prefer the smaller ones as the big ones take too long to charge. My advice would be to wait til you have a job for the tool then buy it. They are available in any home despot no need to tie up resources before the fact. The jig saw is quite good the chainsaw worked better once I installed a better chain. The stock chain has the no kick back back angle to it which makes it slow and is kind of silly in a saw that small. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on June 26, 2017, 08:33:59 AM I've used the mitre saw for quarter round and mdf it does ok on that. It does not have the depth of cut to do any kind of compound angle in 2X material though and the motor is pretty wimpy. The lithium batteries are a good investment but keep them dry the circuitry in them is sensitive. I prefer the smaller ones as the big ones take too long to charge. My advice would be to wait til you have a job for the tool then buy it. They are available in any home despot no need to tie up resources before the fact. The jig saw is quite good the chainsaw worked better once I installed a better chain. The stock chain has the no kick back back angle to it which makes it slow and is kind of silly in a saw that small. They won't ship that Mitre Saw package to Alaska anyhow, and not available for store pickup either. I'm passing on that one for now anyhow, don't really need it at the moment. Jig saw is a definite necessity. Chain saw will come in handy for cutting up the type of downed branches I used to cut up with a camp saw or hand axe for firewood. Nothing thicker than maybe 3". Got a link for the better chain for the chainsaw? RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Nearingsfault on June 26, 2017, 04:53:44 PM When you buy the original bring the chain in to a huskvarna or stihl dealer and have them make you one up. That's what I did. I'm really not sure of the guage, it ended up being stihl's standard 3/32nd chain. That was the older one + blue tools. The green ones seem to use the same bar. The sawsall with a demo blade would probably do in a pinch. Better then a hand saw. David Title: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: Next Adventure Planning Post by: RE on June 26, 2017, 05:25:29 PM I had more errands today for getting SaVannah ready for her Summer Road Adventures this year here on the Last Great Frontier. I found a couple of things online available for store pickup, the 12V charger for the Ryobi cordless power tools at Home Depot, and a 9' Beach Umbrella from Wally World. Unfortunately in both cases, the store pickup was down in Anchorage. So first I dropped in the Wasilla Walmart to see if they would move the Big Brolly up here for a pickup? ??? No go, each store has it's own inventory program and they won't move the item between stores. So I would have to drive to Anchorage (actually Eagle River, a few miles closer but still a half hour drive each way) to pick up the brolly. Somewhat better luck at Home Depot. While they also would not move an item in stock in Anchorage up to the Valley for a pickup, they did have 4 of the chargers in stock, so I cancelled the online order and just bought the unit at the Wasilla store. Since I was there, I also bought the jig saw, a multi tool and a new Li-I batt. ;D On the return trip I decided to take the Scenic Route off the current divided highway of Alaska 1 the Glenn Highway onto the Old Glenn Highway which runs for 18 miles from the mouth of the Knik River into Palmer. I've driven parts of it before, but never the whole stretch of road. It's a great drive well worth the detour and extra half hour or so tacked onto the drive. The end of this week I am going to start Boondocking in Savannah around the Valley for an article on Stealth Van living, and there are some great spots for boondocking along this stretch of road. Here are a few shots from the Knik River Public Use Area:  DetailsKnik 1 Knik 1  DetailsKnik 3 Knik 3 No electricity, water or toilet facilities, but you can park there for FREE :icon_sunny: for up to 14 nights, and totally legal. I think you can even park there for overnight camping in the winter. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on June 26, 2017, 05:30:27 PM When you buy the original bring the chain in to a huskvarna or stihl dealer and have them make you one up. That's what I did. I'm really not sure of the guage, it ended up being stihl's standard 3/32nd chain. That was the older one + blue tools. The green ones seem to use the same bar. The sawsall with a demo blade would probably do in a pinch. Better then a hand saw. David I don't know of a Husqvarna or Stihl dealer in the Valley. Anyhow, I passed on the chainsaw for now also. I don't really need that right now either. Any cooking fires I make will be done in the Hibachi with charcoal. RE Title: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: Ventilation Plan almost complete! Post by: RE on June 26, 2017, 10:02:25 PM Phew! LOOONNG DAY for RE. I got up this morning around 6 and I have been on the move ever since, no naps. This is the first day in months I went so many hours without taking a nap. After the early morning errands including the run to the Eagle River Walmart to pick up the 9' Beach Umbrella (low, low price of$20! Discontinued item.), I headed back to the digs to break out my new Ryobi Cordless tools and work on the surrounds for the rear window duct from the Bilge Blower and the front window exhaust fan.  Much measuring and tracing of shapes to get these things to fit perfectly so there is as little air leakage as possible around the ventilator.

Construction material for the project ended up being double-wall cardboard from some of the boxes that I have been accumulating as more goodies roll in.  I was going to do the job with some 1/2" sheet foam insulation I bought, but for this application the cardboard actually works better.  Also, less stuff going to the Land of Away, at least for a while.  :icon_sunny:  I'll save the insulation material for a later date when/if I remove the back seat to create a better storage/sleeping solution.

Each surround piece is custom cut for the window.  The rear window surround is a single piece with a hole cut in it for the duct to fit into.  It is painted black, and with the screen closed should be virtually invisible, quiet and very Stealth.

The surround for the front window comes in two parts and is painted white to match the fan color.  I used two cans of spray paint for the job, one black, one white.  This when installed is obviously not nearly so Stealth, but quite useful in most day parking situations and I suspect will move even more air through SaVannah than the bilge blower will.  If I have both of them running, I think the interior will turn into a Tornado. lol.

For this job, in the end the Ryobi tools really weren't necessary.  I started using the Rotary Cutter Multi Tool, but that mother fucker is just too sensitive on carboard.  Cuts it like butter of course.  Without a guide though, holding a straight line is about impossible.  So I switched to the jig saw, but the jig actually wasn't as fast as the electric  Turkey Carving knife I had been using, so for most of the cuts I went back to that.  I only really used the multi-tool for starting the cuts for the hole for the rear surround, then finished with the electric knife.  The Ryobi tools will come in handy though when working with tougher materials than cardboard or foam.  So not sorry I bought them.

Each surround is double thick of double walled cardboard sandwiched together.  They are glued together with elmers spray contact cement.  This makes them very stiff even if there are some flaws and bends in the cardboard.  After the construction and painting were done, the next project (not completed yet) is to seal all the open edges with Gorilla Tage or Duct Tape.  For the rear surround, it's black Gorilla Tape, which I prefer.  Tougher and sticks better.  For the front, it's white duct tape.  They don't sell any white Gorilla tape, at least on the shelves around here.  You can only get it in black or camo.

With the paint job (several coats) this makes the cardboard pretty water repellant, although I may add a couple of coats of poly urethane sealer to make them more weather resistant.  However, in strong rainstorms I wouldn't deploy the front exhaust fan anyhow, and the rear surround is pretty well shielded by the screen and the curved shape of the van walls and shouldn't get hit by any direct rainfall.

The only thing I am waiting for now is the In-Line switches I bought for the blower so I can turn it on and off without unplugging it and the ventilation plan will be complete.  That wiring job should take about 5 minutes.

No other construction or modifications will be necessary for the Boondocking trial I will be doing at the end of the week going into the 4th of July.  Just loading in electrics gear mainly, and getting my Mobile Diner Office/Control Center organized up.  I may also bring her in for a Detailing job before the expedition.

I'll have plenty of pics of the setup once I am finished.  :icon_sunny:

RE
Title: Ryobi Li-I Batts are NOT backwards compatible with the old chargers!
Post by: RE on June 27, 2017, 03:23:20 AM
I cracked open the additional Li-I Batt I bought for all the Ryobi Tools I now possess and tried plugging into the charger that came with the original set of tools I bought a few years ago but never had a need to unbox.  No go, the new Batt will NOT fit into the slot of the old AC fed charger.  It only works for the original 2 Ni-Cad batts I got with the set.

On the other hand, the NEW 12VDC-18DC charger I bought on recommendation from DB DOES work with both the old Ni-Cads AND the new Li-I Batts.  :icon_sunny:

There is no need for me to buy an AC charger.  I simply run the DC charger off one of my transformers that takes 120V AC and converts to 12V DC.  Or I run it off one of my numerous 12V SLA Batts in various sizes and configurations.  Or just plug it into the car Ciggy Lighter outlet.

The old chargers likely do not have the necessary circuitry for controlling the charge into a Li-I Batt, so they made some changes to the slot so the new batts would not fit the old chargers, but the old batts will fit the new chargers.  Very clever work on the part of Ryobi!  8)

I'll switch over to all Li-I once the Ni-Cads give up the ghost, but they seem pretty good right now although I haven't really given them a good test like working all day for a week with them to see how fast they charge and how well they hold a charge.  For my very intermittent needs though, I suspect they will last a while.

RE
Title: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: Bilge Blower Ventilation System Testing!
Post by: RE on June 29, 2017, 09:32:15 PM
OK!  :icon_sunny:

(https://i5.walmartimages.com/asr/1a55acd1-6693-44fe-90ba-ac29ab8b87b2_1.5063e0be70616b0de79f0c6af7e1ef16.jpeg?odnHeight=450&odnWidth=450&odnBg=FFFFFF)
I got the Bilge Blower wired up with the In-Line switch and I am currently testing it with one of my 10AH 12V DC Deep Cycle Batts I use for my Ewz.  These are nice and small and compact, if a bit heavy for their size since of course they have Lead in them.  It has currently been running 1.5 hours continuously on one of these batts, and shows no signs yet of slowing down or quitting.  I expect it soon though. (update: done at 1:50)

Calculating it out, since it uses around .5A to run, in theory it should run for 2 hours before the batt is drained completely.  It may quit before that though, since the batt is old and went through a few cycles in the Ewz.

One of the reasons I am doing this test is the non-working DC outlet in the rear compartment I had intended on using to plug in the blower.  To plug it in to the front outlet which does work, I would need to run a really long DC extension cord, and this would clutter SaVannah with wires.  Now, I will simply have a completely separate electrical system running for the cabin with its own batts.  The 10AH Batts are chump change in this, my big ass Deep Cycle Marine Batt is 120AH.  The only time I will connect the two systems is for the purposes of charging up all the batts, either while rolling while the engine is running or when I am plugged in at a campsite or other location I can scarf up electricity.

As it looks right now, I can't even see a reason to install the Solar Panels on the roof.  Just daily driving around, and then the occasional charge up once a week or so is going to keep plenty of juice on board for all the electrics I run.  All I run is the Laptop, Diode Lights, the Fans and maybe a Thermoelectric Cooler.  I haven't decided on that one yet.  I found mine very useful while in the truck, but Van Dweller who is my Guru in this didn't like them.  He is very Old School, and prefers just Block Ice with a regular cooler.

(https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/R6gAAOSwPCVYAZRU/s-l500.jpg)
As I mentioned also, at least up here on the Last Great Frontier, I doubt I will need to run the blower or my exhaust fan for more than a couple of hours a day total.  They move a lot of air, and the volume just isn't that big.  However, switching them on and off all the time manually would be somewhat tedious, so I just ordered a 12V DC Digital Termostat to drop in the line here.  :icon_sunny:  $5.75 on Ebay from China, but won't arrive for a couple of weeks. (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/69/a9/11/69a911f6d25acc2ff99100c8ea50f7d7--lamps-for-sale-lanterns-for-sale.jpg) On the other end of the Temperature regime, also arriving today from China were 4 Kerosene Wick fixtures for Kerosene lamps. Just the brass fixture part at the top that allows you to adjust the wick length out the top for the size of flame you want.$1.50/each.  :icon_sunny:  I will make 4 Kero fueled heaters/stoves/lamps from these using old glass bottles I have hoarded.  A lot cheaper than $15-20 for a Kero Lamp in the camping dept at Walmart! They can get a lot more expensive than that too, Cabela's thinks very highly of some of theirs, retailing them at$100.

In more advice from Van Dweller, what he told me was that in all but the very coldest of situations (he spent 3 years up on the Slope living in his Van, you are talking -50F sometimes up there) he didn't need to run his full blast catalytic kero heater, just running his stoves and lamps was enough.  I am NEVER going up to the Slope in fucking mid-winter!  In fact, even down here in the Mat Valley I have no intention of living full time in SaVannah over the winter.  Either I will be down in the Lower 48 Snowbirding it, or if I am up here I will take an off season Cabin Rental by the month.  That's what I did when I first got up here in Feb of 2007.  I had a by the month off season rental for $850/mo in a local hotel that caters to the tourista trade in the summer. They even came in and cleaned once a week, and changed the sheets. I got free Wi-Fi and free cable TV also. Unfortunately, they kicked me out on May 1st, because during season no Monthly rate is available. In reality, I probably only would need to rent a monthly place for the coldest months of Dec-Feb. In Oct-Nov, temps rarely drop below around 30F at night, and I am sure the lamp heating system can handle that. Same is true for Mar-Apr at the other end of the Winter. I will not of course be able to test out this sytem until we start getting some colder nights, but usually by the end of Aug or early Sep you will get a few nights dropping into the 30sF. I will report on this once we get a cold enough night to run a decent test. Most of the main issues have been resolved now for turning SaVannah into a Stealth Van to haul my crippled ass around Alaska to begin with, then hopefully also the Lower 48 next year. This year, I am just going with a Rent-a-Minivan from Alamo for viewing the TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN☼. Next week however I will be Boondocking around the Mat-Su Valley, and then after that I'll be heading down to Kenai for shooting pics of the Dip netting Melee as all the subsistence Alaskan Fishers try to jockey for position to capture the migrating Salmon. :o RE Title: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: Testing the Big Brolly Post by: RE on June 30, 2017, 09:18:41 AM If you remember, earlier this week I had to take a trip down to the Eagle River Walmart to pick up a big Beach Umbrella which I got ON SALE for the low, low price of$20.  Your own little Totes Umbrella can cost this much.

I didn't get around to testing it until this morning, because I have been too bizzy with the electrics and ventilation issues  The Brolly is equally important in its own way though.

If you are living in a van where you pretty much cannot stand up (although I can almost in this one because it has a raised roof and I am compact sized person. lol.  I just have to duck my head a little at the highest point of the roof, which slopes), you need to spend a good deal of your time OUTSIDE the van.  This allows you to stretch your crippled legs as well as enjoy wonders of nature.

(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/qITgLgbeijc/maxresdefault.jpg)
Now, I do have for more lengthy stays at a given campsite a nice roomy 3 Room tent dimensions 10'X20'X6' on center.  At 200 square feet, this by itself is bigger than some NY Shity or Tokyo apartments!  lol.  However, this tent is rather time consuming to erect, especially for a cripple.  I wouldn't bother with it unless I am staying at a site for a week or more.  I think it would take me half a day to get set up these days, although a healthy person could easily do it in under an hour.

On my Boondocking Adventure next week though, I have no week long stays planned anywhere, I will be changing locations daily, in fact several times a day.  But what if it is Raining, or it is a real clear, bright and sunny day with the New Normal of scalding hot temperatures in Alaska of 75F?  That is getting HOT for RE!  I can't sit comfortably at a picnic table and Admin the Diner at 75F with the SUN☼ beating down on me!  Not to mention it is hard to see the computer screen in bright sunlight, you need some shade for this.  Also, what if it is Cloudy and begins to Drizzle while I am in the middle of an important response which MUST be made immediately over the internet  or Industrial Civilization will Collapse on the spot?

(http://25.media.tumblr.com/2ed82491c9069af4c9925236a3b185e7/tumblr_mme54mwfdq1r8rauqo1_500.png)

To solve these problems, I bought the Big Brolly.  It should do the job of keeping RE Protected from the Elements as long as wind speeds are down under 10mph or so and up to I would say medium to even heavy downpours as long as there is not a lot of wind attached to them.  The big question for the Big Brolly though was, "How long will it take a Cripple to set up?".  This question was not answered until this morning.

The BB is 9' across in diameter when open, 4.5' in Length when folded up.  It's not too heavy,  I can maneuver the closed up Brolly around within reason as long as I don't have to carry it too far, and I shouldn't have to carry it more than around 20' because I will set it up right by the Van side doors if possible.  If I did want to move it further away, I have a wheely I could use for that.  What about setup though?

 DetailsUmbrella Closed Umbrella Closed

SETUP IS EZ! :icon_sunny:  I pull the bag off of it, attach the bottom part of the pole that holds it up, turn it back over so it is right side up, then crank it open!  It takes less than 5 minutes, even for a cripple!

 DetailsUmbrella Open Umbrella Open

The issue of course is keeping it upright once deployed, and as you see in the pics here I simply have it leaning against the corner of my fence.  In most cases I will use it, I can do something similar at a Picnic Table.  These are standard items at campsites and parks,all built basically the same.  I can drop the pole between the seat bench and the table and then just bungee it for a little extra security if there is any wind.  Wind speed picks up too high, down cranks the brolly and back inside SaVannah RE goes to Admin the Diner.

The Big Brolly also has a 3 position Tilt mechanism to position it for the moving SUN☼ during the day, although since I can twist it around it really only needs two positions.  In terms of shade, it will easily cover the portion of a Picnic Table I sit at to keyboard on my laptop.  If it is hot out, I can bring one of my fans out and stay cool in the breeze and under the shade.

 DetailsUmbrella Tilted Umbrella Tilted

Clearly, setting up a Big Brolly is NOT STEALTH!  lol.  The brolly is not going to be set up in parking lots or street parking when I do that.  However, that is mainly for Sleep Time anyhow.  During the day, I go to a park, find an open Picnic Table and I am good to go for the whole afternoon doing precisely what I am doing at this very moment, sitting at my keyboard and Admining the Diner!  There is almost no difference at all!  I even have a seating system worked out so my butt should be just as comfortable as it is in my current office chair!

I am really looking forward to next week's Boondocking Adventure.  This will be fun!  :icon_sunny:

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 01, 2017, 09:10:51 PM
I am   at a previously unscheduled Adventure with Savannah. I am on a three-day camping trip for the 4th of July holiday weekend. I spent all afternoon getting the campsite organized and getting Savannah organized also for stealth van living. Currently I am having dinner which is a Subway sandwich. It is raining lightly but I am sitting and eating under the big Broly.

only one disaster which is both of the laptops which I brought along which I thought still worked and would connect to the internet would not connect. so I have to use my cell phone right now for internet connection. tomorrow I am going to go over to Walmart and buy a new laptop.

one piece of real good news is I am able to charge up my scooter using Savannah as the power source.   I took her for a cruise around the campsite and then afterwards I plugged her back into Savannah. it didn't take long to get the scooter fully charged again. only about an hour. so I will be able to use the scooter all three days even though I am in a primitive campsite with no electricity or water.

I'll have pictures tomorrow that I shot during the day today wHilegetting the campsite organized.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 02, 2017, 01:57:01 AM
OK!   :icon_sunny:  I got one of the laptops to work!  :icon_sunny: I don't HAVE to go to Wally World 2moro to get a new one!  I probably will though because this one still has all the same keyboard idiosyncracies and issues it did before, which caused me to buy the new Dell All-in-One which I use in the digs.

The problem with this one was the battery was pretty dead, and plugged in to the low power inverter I am using it wasn't charging.  I shut it off and charged it off SaVannah's Batt,  and on starting up again once fully charged (it took a couple of hours), SHE WORKS!   :icon_sunny:

We're getting  pretty steady rainfall now, but I'm still working in the Outdoor office of the Diner under the Big Brolly and both me and the laptop are staying quite dry.  No wind at the moment.  Temps have dropped now to the 50sF as night has fallen (we do get some night time here now at this hour, though it is not completely dark), which is still comfortable for me without bundling up very much.  The fan ventilation systems definitely will not be necessary tonight!  I'm pretty sure for sleeping tonight in SaVannah that the sleeping bag  I brought along plus a comforter and an Emergency Aluminized Space Blanket will be enough without resorting to one of my heating systems brought along for the trial run.  I'll see on that when I feel ready for some shut-eye.  It's just after midnight now, I'll probably call it a night in around an hour or so.

One cool thing about the Outdoor Office of the is that now I can SMOKE while I am at the computer.  :icon_sunny:  I don't have to go outside like at the digs, because I am ALREADY outside!  :icon_sunny:

I also have experienced the "call of nature" a few times, mostly to piss but once also to shit.  For the pissing, I just go back into the wods a few feet behind my campsite and fertilize one of the old growth big ass Cottonwood trees that grow here.  The Pooping Adventure saw the first use of my Shit Bucket Porta-Pottie arrangement.  :icon_mrgreen:  I'll write about that in more detail 2morrow.  LOL.

I did pretty good for the preps necessary for this first trial run, and after getting SaVannah organized, there is still room for a good deal more.  Most of what I might add is not absolutely ESSENTIAL gear though, and some not useful in this type of site with no electric hookup.  However, I would like to have my electric cooking gear and heating gear along with me, and for that stuff I either need to access Grid Power or run my generator (also not with me on this trip).  I also did not bring along a store of long term food preps.  In general though, a trailer is completely unnecessary for me just for the purpose of Stealth Van living while BAU continues here in the FSoA.  The only reason for it would be to carry along a much larger supply of Peps that could keep me going for a year or more in a fishow and Mobile nal Bugout Location to retreat to after TSHTF and I can't get gas to move SaVannah around.   Or to run Brother RE's Travelling Salvation Show and Mobile Food Truck for the Homeless & Crippled.  I'll hold off on buying a trailer until next spring assuming all goes well at my hearing on  Aug 16th.

OK, that's it for this Update from the Diner Mobile Command & Control Center, currently located at an Undisclosed Location in the woods on the Last Great Frontier.   8)

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 02, 2017, 04:34:11 AM
am in Savannah for the night. The van is now in lockdown mode. I am  in the bunk and comfortably warm under the covers.  not using any heating at these temperatures. campsite is also black down for the night.
the umbrella is rolled down in case the wind picks up tonight while I am sleeping. just about everything else is inside the van with me. I will report again tomorrow after I wake up.

RE
Title: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: Day 2 of the July 4th Shakedown Trip
Post by: RE on July 03, 2017, 05:45:34 AM
OK! Day 2 of the July 4th Weekend Stealth Van Testing now done!  :icon_sunny:

I got up early (for me) this morning around 9AM with quite a few projects to accomplish.  Although a good deal more organized than when I took off on the Adventure, SaVannah was still not up to snuff to have such a small space well enough organized to move around.  This became clear early in the morning when I first woke up and because of all the clutter from the campsite I threw back into her for the night, I couldn't move around easily to get myself dressed for the day.  So on the list for more stuff to buy went a couple of more organizing containers/plastic drawers.

By early morning also it was pretty cold, around 50F (10C).  While I was toasty warm in my sleeping bag, once out of it and trying to get dressed (which takes me quite a while), it was rather chilly. I had to fire up the engine and get the Van heating system going, running the engine for around 20 minutes.  So tonight I am implementing the first of my several levels of Heating Plans.  I am utilizing a kerosene lamp as a heater overnight.  This is straight out of the Van Dweller Handbook.

 DetailsBoondocks Heating 1 Boondocks Heating 1

When I fired up the lamp around 8PM, temps were still a comfortable 63F both inside and outside SaVannah.  As the night approached around 11PM, outside temps had dropped to around 55F, while the interior of SaVannah was up to 65F, a full 10F of gradient there on one kero lamp!  I think 1 lamp runnig overnight will work at these temps.  Going down to 40F, I might have to run 2 or 3 lamps.  Because the volume of the space is so small, you get a lot of bang for your buck on heating this way.  Kero lamps burn miniscule amounts of kero, a Liter will last at least a week.  I'll report tomorrow on where the temps were at when I wake up.  For still colder temps, I can run more of these lanterns.  2 more should take me down to close to freezing I think.  After that, it may be necessary to fire up the Catalytic Kero Heater which pops out a whopping 8000 BTUs.  That should warm up the cabin in minutes, I doubt I would have to run it continuously unless outside temps were in the Slope territory of -30F and below, and I NEVER expect to be in that situation.

The most important additional prep to buy today was a NEW LAPTOP!  :icon_sunny: The one I am currently using is just beat to shit, I am lucky I even got the mother fucker to work!  That's why I bought the new Dell All-in-One as my primary computer at home in the digs.  So all of this essential shit required a drive back to "civilization" at Walmart, and since my digs are on the way there I cheated and made a stop off there in mid afternoon. ;D  That's when I wrote my fairly long post on the HOA topic.

 DetailsBoondocks New Laptop Boondocks New Laptop

My intention was to get the new laptop set up tonight at the campsite, but I decided against that and will wait until the trip is finished on the 4th and do it at home.  The batt probably needs a good charge, and it is steadily raining which while I was protected by the Big Brolly does not give me much room to move around. Besides, setting up a new compute and downloading all your favorite software takes hours, and I would have to do that over my Wireless 4G connection and burn up the limited bandwidth.   So tonight I am suffering again on the old laptop with its keyboard idiosyncracies which makes keyboarding out this post twice as long as it should take.  The new laptop should be ready for the next Adventure down to the Kenai Peninsula for another Property Search as well as shooting pics of the Dip Netting melee. lol.

While all this stuff might seem simple to you healthy folks out there, for me it is thoroughly exhausting.  Every trip of 50 feet between me and SaVannah makes my legs ache, and I have to sit down and rest them all the time.  Simple tasks like disposing of packaging materials requires a new round trip to SaVannah, to be dropped into another garbage bag and dropped into a dumpster for itd finsl trip to the Land of Away.  It's also getting ever more difficult yo get into and out of her to access everything.  Nevertheless, I soldier onward.   ::)

RE
Title: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: Lessons Learned so far
Post by: RE on July 03, 2017, 09:29:02 AM
On awakening this morning, SaVannah was still at a comfortable 61F with exterior temps around 51.  One kero lantern running works to put out enough heat overnight to make a 9F gradient, adding in of course your body heat escaping from the sleeping bag.  I will install more permanent Hooks for lanterns and run up to four of them on cold nights.  This should cover me down into the 30sF, possibly 20s.  Colder than that, I go to the Catalytic Kero Heater.  However, at least in the near future I do not expect to have to be battling sub-zero cold.  I'll be Sunbirding down in the Lower 48 over the coldest months of the winter up here, Dec-Feb.

On the Electrics front, I already have new knowledge.  For the electrics I normally use, I do NOT really need the big ass Deep Cycle Marine Batt I have.  Working on the computer into the wee hours and running my rechargeable diode light and using my smart phone as a wireless router, one 10AH 12V Deep Cycle Werker Batt was enough.  I also have a second one of those to deploy if the first one runs out of juice.  By morning, leaving them charging all night off SaVannah's batt, all the portable rechargeable batts were fully charged again in the morning for another day of work.  Did not touch SaVannah's starting ability, she started as easily as always, with the alternator then kicking in and recharging her batt.  Solar panels are completely unnecessary for these applications.

If I was out on the road long term, I still would have the big batt along for the ride, and a more powerful router.  Even the biggest Marine Deep Cycle Batt doesn't have a footprint that big, they just weight a ton.  Same with a big ass Inverter.  In fact, I saw a TRUE SINE WAVE 1000W Inverter ON SALE while surfing the net for purchases, and I ordered it.  Only $130! :icon_sunny: I can run a microwave with that! (Not that I would, but I could) Similarly, I don't need a major league Inverter either for these tasks. I did both using the cheap shit 140W Modified Sine Wave inverter I picked up for$12 a couple of months ago ON SALE.  I brought my 500W inverter along in case I needed it, but never used it so far.  I also will load my 2000W Yamaha portable generator for longer expeditions.  Bigger footprint than the Big Batt, but now with SaVannah better organized, there is room to drop in to the on-board prep items.

On the Refrigeration Front, I am now on day 3 with the Block Ice Cube I bought for $2.50 at Kroger. It looks to me like I have until 2morrow before this cube is melted through. So that is 4 days, around 65 cents a day for refrigeration. Less than what Van Dweller claimed (he said he got a week out of a cube of block ice), but still quite respectable. At this rate, if I used it every day year-round, at say 2 blocks of ice/week it would cost 104X$2.50 for refrigeration.  That is $260/year! I can buy a new Thermoelectric cooler every year cheaper than that, and my experience with those while trucking is they last around 2 years, so I don't agree with Van Dweller on this one and likely invest in a Thermoelectric cooler. The cool electric convertible bed in Savannah is not very comfortable, I could do a much better job in terms of storage and sleeping by pulling it out, but for now I will leave it in. I would have to store it because I couldn't bring myself to send it to the Land of Away, and it's rather large and bulky to store. I'll see about making it more comfortable with a memory foam sleeping pad added to it. In terms of protection from the elements, the Big Brolly works extremely well, even in heavy rain as long as there is not too much wind attached to it. It would do equally well in snowfall to keep the flakes off me and my computer while outside SaVannah. For those days that include heavy winds, it's hole up in the van time. Even if I set up my big ass tent, I would probably elect to spend the day inside SaVannah. However, I may buy some Mosquito Netting for the Big Brolly. Mosquitos are pretty heavy at certain times of the day, and while they do not usually bite me, they are still a major annoyance. Plus no-see-ums and other annoying bugs I ran a couple of Citronella Candles to fend them off, and this worked OK although one of them found its way into my Screwdriver. I swallowed it. :icon_mrgreen:  DetailsBoondocks Bug Drink Boondocks Bug Drink RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: Lessons Learned so far Post by: Surly1 on July 03, 2017, 10:54:12 AM On awakening this morning, SaVannah was still at a comfortable 61F with exterior temps around 51. One kero lantern running works to put out enough heat overnight to make a 9F gradient, adding in of course your body heat escaping from the sleeping bag. I will install more permanent Hooks for lanterns and run up to four of them on cold nights. This should cover me down into the 30sF, possibly 20s. Colder than that, I go to the Catalytic Kero Heater. Maybe I missed this, but are you accounting for CO buildup? I read in an earlier installment about the fan system you hooked up, but that was for cooling. Just wondering about ventilation with all those kero appliences. Let's not do The Big Sleep too early. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: agelbert on July 03, 2017, 11:34:33 AM On awakening this morning, SaVannah was still at a comfortable 61F with exterior temps around 51. One kero lantern running works to put out enough heat overnight to make a 9F gradient, adding in of course your body heat escaping from the sleeping bag. I will install more permanent Hooks for lanterns and run up to four of them on cold nights. This should cover me down into the 30sF, possibly 20s. Colder than that, I go to the Catalytic Kero Heater. Maybe I missed this, but are you accounting for CO buildup? I read in an earlier installment about the fan system you hooked up, but that was for cooling. Just wondering about ventilation with all those kero appliences. Let's not do The Big Sleep too early. :emthup: :emthup: :emthup: About 20 years ago, when I still smoked, I participated in a smoking study at UVM. They would measure the amount of carbon monoxide in my lungs at intervals. When I would walk in, they would check the level before starting the test. Normally it was next to zip. But one day it was off the charts. I was also feeling rather groggy that day after sleeping rather heavily the night before. The researcher's eye brows went up and he asked me if I had been chain smoking just before arriving. I hadn't. But I had woken up really groggy with a bit of a scare. I was renting a tiny efficiency apartment in Burlington at the time and my wife was not with me there yet. I had lit one of those incense candles that are in large square glass containers and placed it on the floor. When I awoke in the morning, the rug was partially scorched. Luckily, the place had not caught fire, because the CO (not just the CO2 - you ALWAYS get some incomplete combustion when burning hydrocarbons) from that candle had knocked me out just enough to keep me asleep but not quite enough to kill me, unless there was a fire. I never lit one of those incense candles again. :-[ We live, and we learn. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Nearingsfault on July 03, 2017, 11:42:25 AM They do sell carbon monoxide detectors that take 3 aa batteries and also one with a digital display. The current draw is negligible life is not. https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000OCSAUQ/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499107278&sr=8-1-spons&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=battery+carbon+monoxide+detector&psc=1 (https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000OCSAUQ/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499107278&sr=8-1-spons&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=battery+carbon+monoxide+detector&psc=1) Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: Lessons Learned so far Post by: RE on July 03, 2017, 02:50:23 PM On awakening this morning, SaVannah was still at a comfortable 61F with exterior temps around 51. One kero lantern running works to put out enough heat overnight to make a 9F gradient, adding in of course your body heat escaping from the sleeping bag. I will install more permanent Hooks for lanterns and run up to four of them on cold nights. This should cover me down into the 30sF, possibly 20s. Colder than that, I go to the Catalytic Kero Heater. Maybe I missed this, but are you accounting for CO buildup? I read in an earlier installment about the fan system you hooked up, but that was for cooling. Just wondering about ventilation with all those kero appliences. Let's not do The Big Sleep too early. The Van leaks too much air for CO to build up, especially running just one kero lamp. CO only forms if there isn't enough O2 around for the combustion to be complete and form CO2. Maybe if I was running all 4 it might be an issue, but I doubt it. The kero catalytic heater is indoor safe and has a CO detector and automatic shut-off. If that doesn't shut itself down, then 4 kero lamps definitely won't be producing CO in any great magnitude. The heater puts out 8000 BTU. A kero lamp? Maybe 500 BTU. I may buy a separate CO detector though just to get some numbers on this. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: agelbert on July 03, 2017, 06:28:08 PM On awakening this morning, SaVannah was still at a comfortable 61F with exterior temps around 51. One kero lantern running works to put out enough heat overnight to make a 9F gradient, adding in of course your body heat escaping from the sleeping bag. I will install more permanent Hooks for lanterns and run up to four of them on cold nights. This should cover me down into the 30sF, possibly 20s. Colder than that, I go to the Catalytic Kero Heater. Maybe I missed this, but are you accounting for CO buildup? I read in an earlier installment about the fan system you hooked up, but that was for cooling. Just wondering about ventilation with all those kero appliences. Let's not do The Big Sleep too early. The Van leaks too much air for CO to build up, especially running just one kero lamp. CO only forms if there isn't enough O2 around for the combustion to be complete and form CO2. Maybe if I was running all 4 it might be an issue, but I doubt it. The kero catalytic heater is indoor safe and has a CO detector and automatic shut-off. If that doesn't shut itself down, then 4 kero lamps definitely won't be producing CO in any great magnitude. The heater puts out 8000 BTU. A kero lamp? Maybe 500 BTU. I may buy a separate CO detector though just to get some numbers on this. RE I think that would be prudent. Your assumption that high oxygen availability guarantees complete combustion in a kerosene lamp is erroneous. I won't argue with you about how much oxygen is available. I'm sure you are okay in that regard. Of course there is a gradient involved in the percentage of combustion products when the oxygen supply varies. Of course a van is not as tight as a building, so CO poisoning is less likely. BUT you DO turn on the engine every now and then when it is parked and a MASSIVE amount of CO comes out of that tail pipe and hangs around the van. I had no tail pipe in my efficiency apartment and plenty of oxygen but I still almost bought the farm. My apartment was, of course, well insulated, unlike your van, which compounded my problem and lessens yours, but I didn't have a tail pipe a few feet away. So if you think that lamp of yours isn't putting out CO, talk to me again when you have bought the monitor. Quote 500 ppm Often produced in garage when a cold car is started in an open garage and warmed-up for 2 minutes. (Greiner, unpublished, 1997). 800 ppm Dizziness, nausea and convulsions within 45 minutes. Unconsciousness within 2 hours. Death within 2-3 hours. Maximum air-free concentration from gas kitchen ranges (ANSI). 1600 ppm Headache, dizziness and nausea within 20 minutes. Death within 1 hour. Smoldering wood fires, malfunctioning furnaces, water heaters, and kitchen ranges typically produce concentrations exceeding 1,600 ppm. 3200 ppm Concentration inside charcoal grill (Greiner, single example). Headache, dizziness and nausea within 5-20 minutes. Quickly impaired thinking. Death within 30 minutes. 6400 ppm Headache, dizziness and nausea within 1-2 minutes. Thinking impaired before response possible. Death within 10-15 minutes. 12,800 ppm Death within 1-3 minutes. (http://www.coolassparts.com/images/exhaust.jpg) 35,000 ppm Measured tailpipe exhaust concentration from warm carbureted gasoline engines without catalytic converters. (Greiner, unpublished field study, January 1997) Many years ago I used kerosene lamps under banana plants to get them to flower quicker. It's a long story but there was PLENTY of oxygen in my back yard and i STILL was getting products of incomplete combustion. Kerosene is called that because there are several different groups of long chained hydrocarbons in the mix. Some, as you know, burn faster than others... Quote Regardless of crude oil source or processing history, kerosene's major components are branched and straight chain alkanes and naphthenes (cycloalkanes), which normally account for at least 70% by volume. Aromatic hydrocarbons in this boiling range, such as alkylbenzenes (single ring) and alkylnaphthalenes (double ring), do not normally exceed 25% by volume of kerosene streams. Olefins are usually not present at more than 5% by volume.[10] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerosene (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerosene) In my yard I was goosing my plants with ethylene, the ripening hormone, but I knew there was some CO, CO2 and H2O coming out of that kerosene witches brew. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 03, 2017, 06:40:42 PM It's another rainy and chilly early Summer's Day here on the Last Great Frontier, but I am still out here braving the elements and keyboarding out the Doom from my mobile outdoor office. :icon_sunny: Many of the less tough campers have given up today and driven off, even those with luxurious trailers and RVs with Slide Outs. Temps are in the mid-50sF with constand drizzle occassionally picking up to a steady rainfall. I am bundled up with a sweatshirt, an insulated vest and a medium weight winter jacket. I'm reasonably comfortable with no fire going, though I could make one in the fire ring if it was colder than this. It's right behind where i am sitting at my outdoor work station, so the heat from the fire would hit right across my core body on my back. I suspect with fire, I would be good outdoors here Admining the Diner down to the low 40sF and possibly 30sF, long as it wasn't too windy. Wind picks up, time to head into SaVannah and work from my inside office there. I switched over from my old crappy laptop to using my Mobile arrangement with the Lenovo Tablet and Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. This is working much better than fighting with the keyboard idiosyncracies of the laptop. However, it's harder to load pics from my camera and then edit them to put up on the Diner, so you will have to wait for more pics until I get back to the digs. I'll write a full article for the blog on this adventure including the pics. SaVannah is now organized quite well for this level of preps, which could keep me going anywhere from 2 weeks to a month I estimate. After I return to the digs, I will be loading the overhead compartments which really aren't useful for much with long term food preps, vaccuum sealed rice & beans and beef jerky, along with Vitamins. I think there is enough room in these 4 compartments for about 6 months of long term food storage. I will also load her with my 2000W Yamaha Generator, electric cooking gear (Toaster Oven, Hot Plate/Burner & Slow Cooker) and the new 1000W Pure Sine Wave Inverter when it arrives. Everything will be in place stored in SaVannah for the EMERGENCY BUGOUT if/when it comes, to be able to exit the digs in under 5 minutes in an evacuation situation and be able to live OK for months. For me, such an evac could come in 3 forms primarily. 1-Wildfire- I live in a heavily wooded area and when it is dry, we get wildfires consuming subdiisions all the time. Willow lost a lot of McMansions last year. So far this year though spring and summer have been pretty wet, and fire danger is low right now. 2- Volcanic Eruption- I live quite close to Mt. Redoubt, an Active Volcano. I also live downwind of it in the normal prevailing winds. The trick would be to GTFO Dodge before the Ashfall starts coming down, and that would have to be a very rapid evac. The ashfall if at all heavy would kill the engine. I would need to be in SaVannah and putting distance between me and Mt. Redoubt within minutes, and put the Pedal to Metal to beat the wind speed and the ashfall heading east. I think i would be in OK shape if I could make 300 miles east in the first 6 hours of the eruption. 3- Earthquake- With a quake there is no real warning, but n all the quakes I have experienced to date with the exception of one that came while I was asleep, I have been able to get up from my desk and get outside in under 10 seconds, before the quake even finished. So I think in most circumstances I can get out of the digs before I am crushed under the falling debris. Anchorage had one of the biggest quakes ever recorded, a 9.1 in 1964. The only bigger one was in Chile, a 9.3. The Sendai Quake (Fukushima) was a 9.0. Assuming SaVannah also survives as she is outside, even if my digs become a pile of rubble I should also have a domicile to live in while I pick through the rubble looking for more of my preps. Obviously, this is not a long term survival plan, it's a bugout plan for emergency situations which in theory I could handle with no resupply for 6 months. To be able to move SaVannah around I of course need GAS, but my current thinking has that stuff still available at least with rationing for another 5 years, longer than I will probably live. My current hope for my death is to die frozen to death inside SaVannah somewhere in the Yukon Territory approximately 6 mo to 1 year after SHTF day comes to my neighborhood. :icon_sunny: RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: Lessons Learned so far Post by: Surly1 on July 03, 2017, 06:56:08 PM The kero catalytic heater is indoor safe and has a CO detector and automatic shut-off. If that doesn't shut itself down, then 4 kero lamps definitely won't be producing CO in any great magnitude. The heater puts out 8000 BTU. A kero lamp? Maybe 500 BTU. I may buy a separate CO detector though just to get some numbers on this. RE CO detector is a good idea, it sez here. "The kero catalytic heater is indoor safe" sounds too much like famous last words to me. I've just read too many stories of families dead by way of kerosene heater down in the lower 48 to feel too good about it. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Surly1 on July 03, 2017, 07:02:39 PM On awakening this morning, SaVannah was still at a comfortable 61F with exterior temps around 51. One kero lantern running works to put out enough heat overnight to make a 9F gradient, adding in of course your body heat escaping from the sleeping bag. I will install more permanent Hooks for lanterns and run up to four of them on cold nights. This should cover me down into the 30sF, possibly 20s. Colder than that, I go to the Catalytic Kero Heater. Maybe I missed this, but are you accounting for CO buildup? I read in an earlier installment about the fan system you hooked up, but that was for cooling. Just wondering about ventilation with all those kero appliences. Let's not do The Big Sleep too early. :emthup: :emthup: :emthup: About 20 years ago, when I still smoked, I participated in a smoking study at UVM. They would measure the amount of carbon monoxide in my lungs at intervals. When I would walk in, they would check the level before starting the test. Normally it was next to zip. But one day it was off the charts. I was also feeling rather groggy that day after sleeping rather heavily the night before. The researcher's eye brows went up and he asked me if I had been chain smoking just before arriving. I hadn't. But I had woken up really groggy with a bit of a scare. I was renting a tiny efficiency apartment in Burlington at the time and my wife was not with me there yet. I had lit one of those incense candles that are in large square glass containers and placed it on the floor. When I awoke in the morning, the rug was partially scorched. Luckily, the place had not caught fire, because the CO (not just the CO2 - you ALWAYS get some incomplete combustion when burning hydrocarbons) from that candle had knocked me out just enough to keep me asleep but not quite enough to kill me, unless there was a fire. I never lit one of those incense candles again. :-[ We live, and we learn. Excellent anecdote. Also, seems like a winter never goes by without some family perishing from CO poisoning from some kero heater. They have the virtue of cheap, but they're deadly. Buy the monitor david B. suggested, RE! Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 03, 2017, 07:09:14 PM On awakening this morning, SaVannah was still at a comfortable 61F with exterior temps around 51. One kero lantern running works to put out enough heat overnight to make a 9F gradient, adding in of course your body heat escaping from the sleeping bag. I will install more permanent Hooks for lanterns and run up to four of them on cold nights. This should cover me down into the 30sF, possibly 20s. Colder than that, I go to the Catalytic Kero Heater. Maybe I missed this, but are you accounting for CO buildup? I read in an earlier installment about the fan system you hooked up, but that was for cooling. Just wondering about ventilation with all those kero appliences. Let's not do The Big Sleep too early. The Van leaks too much air for CO to build up, especially running just one kero lamp. CO only forms if there isn't enough O2 around for the combustion to be complete and form CO2. Maybe if I was running all 4 it might be an issue, but I doubt it. The kero catalytic heater is indoor safe and has a CO detector and automatic shut-off. If that doesn't shut itself down, then 4 kero lamps definitely won't be producing CO in any great magnitude. The heater puts out 8000 BTU. A kero lamp? Maybe 500 BTU. I may buy a separate CO detector though just to get some numbers on this. RE I think that would be prudent. Your assumption that high oxygen availability guarantees complete combustion in a kerosene lamp is erroneous. I won't argue with you about how much oxygen is available. I'm sure you are okay in that regard. Of course there is a gradient involved in the percentage of combustion products when the oxygen supply varies. Of course a van is not as tight as a building, so CO poisoning is less likely. BUT you DO turn on the engine every now and then when it is parked and a MASSIVE amount of CO comes out of that tail pipe and hangs around the van. I had no tail pipe in my efficiency apartment and plenty of oxygen but I still almost bought the farm. My apartment was, of course, well insulated, unlike your van, which compounded my problem and lessens yours, but I didn't have a tail pipe a few feet away. So if you think that lamp of yours isn't putting out CO, talk to me again when you have bought the monitor. Quote 500 ppm Often produced in garage when a cold car is started in an open garage and warmed-up for 2 minutes. (Greiner, unpublished, 1997). 800 ppm Dizziness, nausea and convulsions within 45 minutes. Unconsciousness within 2 hours. Death within 2-3 hours. Maximum air-free concentration from gas kitchen ranges (ANSI). 1600 ppm Headache, dizziness and nausea within 20 minutes. Death within 1 hour. Smoldering wood fires, malfunctioning furnaces, water heaters, and kitchen ranges typically produce concentrations exceeding 1,600 ppm. 3200 ppm Concentration inside charcoal grill (Greiner, single example). Headache, dizziness and nausea within 5-20 minutes. Quickly impaired thinking. Death within 30 minutes. 6400 ppm Headache, dizziness and nausea within 1-2 minutes. Thinking impaired before response possible. Death within 10-15 minutes. 12,800 ppm Death within 1-3 minutes. (http://www.coolassparts.com/images/exhaust.jpg) 35,000 ppm Measured tailpipe exhaust concentration from warm carbureted gasoline engines without catalytic converters. (Greiner, unpublished field study, January 1997) Many years ago I used kerosene lamps under banana plants to get them to flower quicker. It's a long story but there was PLENTY of oxygen in my back yard and i STILL was getting products of incomplete combustion. Kerosene is called that because there are several different groups of long chained hydrocarbons in the mix. Some, as you know, burn faster than others... Quote Regardless of crude oil source or processing history, kerosene's major components are branched and straight chain alkanes and naphthenes (cycloalkanes), which normally account for at least 70% by volume. Aromatic hydrocarbons in this boiling range, such as alkylbenzenes (single ring) and alkylnaphthalenes (double ring), do not normally exceed 25% by volume of kerosene streams. Olefins are usually not present at more than 5% by volume.[10] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerosene (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerosene) In my yard I was goosing my plants with ethylene, the ripening hormone, but I knew there was some CO, CO2 and H2O coming out of that kerosene witches brew. OK, I'll pick up a CO monitor to get some numbers on this. I am quite sure it is not a problem though, since Van Dweller is still alive after 50 years living this way. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 04, 2017, 09:23:15 AM OK! Day 3 of the Great SaVannah Shakedown Adventure now complete! :icon_sunny: I have done the last of my major Admin tasks for the Diner of publishing today's feature article from Mark Garavan of FEASTA on Water Commons issues. I am ready for bedtime and inside SaVannah in the bunk as I keyboard out this post. The Kero Lantern is fired up and burning, and since I survived last night without being poisoned by Carbon Monoxide I hope to be alive in the morning once again. I will report tomorrow if I am still alive. If there is no report, you will know I was wrong and in fact 1 kero lantern burning inside a van can kill you. Overall, Day 3 was very successful. With most of the organizational tasks for SaVannah complete, there wasn't that much to do of the physical kind, so I spent most of the day in my outside office surfing the web for doom and responding to periodic Diner posts. Rain persisted until late afternoon when it finally cleared off to just overcast. This was good because I wanted to get the campsite packed for an early exit tomorrow morning, and I didn't want to have to pack up a big wet brolly. It had enough time to get pretty well dried out before I cranked it down and stowed it inside SaVannah. In terms of electrics and internet today, I stayed on continuously for around 10 hours, utilizing only my two small 10 AH Werker Batts for power source and the small 120W El Cheapo Inverter. This kept both my Smart Phone (functioning as a wireless router utilizing the 4G network) and my Lenovo 8" Tablet running all day, and both still have a full charge on their own internal batts, good for at least 2 more hours. The Werker Batts are now charging off of SaVannah's Batt. In the afternoon once the rain finally cleared off I went for a shuffle around the campsites to take some pics of various set-ups and rigs different campers use. Gotta wait until I get back to the digs to edit those for publication as well, so you have to wait on that one too. While shuffling around, I met a real nice guy, his wife and two young kids, ages 2 & 8 I would estimate. He invited me to share dinner and his campfire which I accepted, and I was polite and thankful for the meal, despite the fact it was REALLY bad open pit cooking. He's a teacher who came up here right after graduation 18 years ago and never left. His wife is a Native from one of the villages. He took the summer off this year and elected not to teach Summer School for the extra money, but rather cruise in his own rig which is basically a Pickup Truck with some tenting gear and a HUGE tarp. We chatted about various means and methods of car camping and a little about the Collapse of Industrial Civilization. I showed him the Homepage of the Doomstead Diner blog on my big ass Galaxy Mega smartphone. They are heading down towar Kenia for dipnetting at the end of July when I was planning to visit that neighborhood myself to shoot some pics of the dipnetting melee, so I offered him half of my quota if he would fish it for me. We exchanged phone numbers and he's supposed to call me when it gets closer to the dates. Tomorrow it's back to Civilization and I may do the Parade in Wasilla and go to the Fireworks show as well. I'll see how I feel. Right now I am pretty beat. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Eddie on July 04, 2017, 09:41:44 AM Sound like you're having fun. I hope the dipnetting trade works out. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Surly1 on July 04, 2017, 10:44:24 AM Tomorrow it's back to Civilization and I may do the Parade in Wasilla and go to the Fireworks show as well. I'll see how I feel. Right now I am pretty beat. RE Why bother coming back so soon? You've got the Diner on the road and it sounds like you are having the time of your life. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: agelbert on July 04, 2017, 11:28:01 AM Quote OK, I'll pick up a CO monitor to get some numbers on this. I am quite sure it is not a problem though, since Van Dweller is still alive after 50 years living this way. RE (http://www.clker.com/cliparts/c/8/f/8/11949865511933397169thumbs_up_nathan_eady_01.svg.hi.png) (http://renewablerevolution.createaforum.com/gallery/renewablerevolution/3-020617175335.png) Just remember that in all those examples of CO concentration I quoted, the oxygen concentration was around normal atmosphere (about 21 to 23% if you aren't next to a refinery or in a traffic jam, of course ;D). So, even with 210,000 PPM of Oxygen, a mere 1,600 PPM of of CO from a kitchen stove can waste you in about an hour. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 04, 2017, 11:56:57 AM Tomorrow it's back to Civilization and I may do the Parade in Wasilla and go to the Fireworks show as well. I'll see how I feel. Right now I am pretty beat. RE Why bother coming back so soon? You've got the Diner on the road and it sounds like you are having the time of your life. Well, first off this campsite isn't FREE, although the charge for the primitive sites is pretty nominal at$15/night.  Still, if I stayed there all month (I am back in the digs now), that would be an extra $450 on top of rent I already am paying. If I gave up the digs I would definitely stay there often, it's a really nice campground, friendly people and quiet. It's not a well known place. However, it shuts down after season in mid-September sometime. Then it also has no Free Wi-Fi. To Admin the Diner there I have to use my Wireless 4G which has limited bandwidth. If I use that too much, I'll start getting extra charges on my cell phone bill. Using it for a few days, no problem. Using it for a couple of weeks, I would go over the bandwidth limitation on my plan. I also have other plans for Boondocking next week (that is parking in FREE :icon_sunny: places ) and this is all part of a larger series of articles I will be writing over the next month going into the TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN☼ Adventure down in Idaho on Aug 21st. So I am taking a few days back in Civilization to prepare for next week's Adventures. In addition, I am not yet up to snuff for Admining the Diner fully with the computer setup I used for this. For one thing, it's not set up for me to edit my pictures. I need to get the new laptop setup with all the software I use at home. It is still in the box, I will probably start the setup work on that tonight or tomorrow. Finally, I still have a bunch of stuff I ordered online due to arrive, so I have to check my mailbox and my doorstep for deliveries. I can drive back from the campground every day, but it's a bit far. Staying more local with the Boondocking, I can easily drop by the digs every day to check the mail. The Campground however is now the New Home for SUN☼. :icon_sunny: I didn't have to buy it, instead I have Adopted it. ;D It's really perfect and a great place to hold a Diner/SUN☼ Convocation next summer if Diners are interested in visiting the Last Great Frontier. If I can get wider interest, I'll look for Pro Presenters on Collapse issues to give Seminars. Suggestions are :hi: for possible candidates you would be interested in hearing speak. Really, the place is better in some respects than places like The Farm, 4 Quarters or Turtle Island to have one of these Workshops. It's specifically set up for Camping. I will have pics in my next article. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Nearingsfault on July 04, 2017, 04:40:35 PM Sounds like the van is giving you new energy. Maybe mid continent convocation? Some day I'll do the Alaska highway in summer but not in my prime building years with young kids. Camp grounds are perfect venues. My woodgas group meets every year at a fair ground which stands vacant most of the year. All medium rural towns have one usually with a campground and facilities attached... Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 04, 2017, 04:53:22 PM Some day I'll do the Alaska highway in summer but not in my prime building years with young kids. You don't need to drive the Al-Can. You can fly out of Edmonton for$550.  If you drive to Seattle, you can fly R/T for $200. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Nearingsfault on July 04, 2017, 07:48:49 PM One person round trip about 900 canadian which is pretty reasonable... alone. You multiply by 4 add in a rental places to stay activities for kids etc it become an expensive enterprise for a family vacay. Would probably be fun though. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 04, 2017, 08:02:40 PM One person round trip about 900 canadian which is pretty reasonable... alone. You multiply by 4 add in a rental places to stay activities for kids etc it become an expensive enterprise for a family vacay. Would probably be fun though. You don't need rental places to stay. Your campsite comes as part of your$300 registration fee.  Also all your food is included, I will be cooking breakfast and dinner for everyone who comes.  You don't even need a car, just bring your own tents and sleeping bags and pad.  However, I would recommend renting a car as that will allow you freedom to travel around beyond the campsite.

In terms of total cost, I think you would do better to drive the family to Seattle and fly from there at $200 per person. Costs you an extra day, but substantial monetary savings with a family that size. RE Title: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: Instead of a Cargo or Camper Trailer, a BOAT? Post by: RE on July 05, 2017, 01:28:57 PM I have been looking around into Alternatives to yanking around a Camper Trailer to increase my Comfort Level living OTR out of SaVANnah. Folks selling these even quite old and used think very highly of them, and ask prices in the 5 digits. I don't go that high. I am a cheapskate and keep my deals in the 4 digits. A Cargo trailer is an option, but it would mainly be for storing Preps, not for living in. I came up with another perhaps better option than the cargo trailer though, for around the same price. A small fishing boat on a trailer! Here is the one I am looking at right now, available locally here in Palmer for$5500 OBO, although the seller hasn't got back to me yet text or email.

(https://images.craigslist.org/00T0T_4t9DR7bLiz4_1200x900.jpg)

For this price, it comes with a 75HP outboard motor, which is a WHOPPING BIG motor for a boat this size.  You could push upstream into a 10 knot current and 30mph winds with that mother fucker powering the boat!  You could pull Water Skiers!

(https://newcontent.westmarine.com/content/images/catalog/full/17981929_FUL.jpg)
If I buy, I will add to it 2 Electric Trolling motors to use as primary propulsion for Water SaVANnah, at between 10-20HP each.  At right you see a 20HP Torqeedo, which is great but IMHO seriously overpriced.  I can do better than this with a couple of 5000 watt electric motors at 1/10th the price.

Beyond the electric propulsion, I will add SAIL.  :icon_sunny:  A Simple Unstayed Mast with a square rig made from a 20'X20' Tarp and some PVC piping from Home Depot.  Only good for sailing downwind, but out in the bay you sail OUT with the offshore breeze in the morning, then back IN with the onshore breeze later in the day.  If the wind isn't cooperating, you flip on the electric motors.  If they are not doing the trick of getting you back to safety, you fire up the big ass gas powered outboard and speed your way back to the dock!  With this rig, I think I could go as much as 10 miles offshore safely and have my pick of Halibut to bring in for the day's catch.  I am working on winching systems to pull in the fish so I don't need to use my crippled muscle power for this task.

As currently fitted out, the boat will have plenty of storage room for Preps, clearing out the land based SaVANnah space for living and moving around better.  However, I will ammend to this and deck over the bow area of the boat with some marine grade plywood and Teak trimming to make it look nice and traditional as kind of a miniature Square Rigger.  :icon_sunny:  Beneath the deck will be another 2 person bunk for sleeping.

Charging the Batts for the boat will mostly be land based, but I will install my solar PV panels on the roof of the cabin.  I'll use 3-4 big ass marine deep cycle batts for storage of electric power, centrally located in the middle and bottom of the hull which will add stability as a kind of keel weight.  For sailing purposes with the square rig, I will install side Daggerboards to help it stay on track, although the v-hull should do OK with this except in high winds.  In high winds, you drop sail and go to the electrics or gas, so not a problem there.

Mostly I would use it only on local lakes and rivers anyhow, not out in the Gulf of Alaska/Prince William Sound.  In terms of it's land based Prep Stowage ability, it probably gives me more volume than a 10' cargo trailer.  I think I get more bang for the buck this way, and more resilience.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Eddie on July 05, 2017, 04:16:51 PM
B*O*A*T is really an acronym.

Bring out another thousand!
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: vwclown on July 05, 2017, 04:57:57 PM
I like the boat idea.  I used to have a pop-up camp trailer, which I liked, but there wasn't much storage space.  Have you figured out a way to pack the electric scooter?
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: Instead of a Cargo or Camper Trailer, a BOAT?
Post by: Surly1 on July 05, 2017, 05:52:30 PM

I came up with another perhaps better option than the cargo trailer though, for around the same price.  A small fishing boat on a trailer!  Here is the one I am looking at right now, available locally here in Palmer for $5500 OBO, although the seller hasn't got back to me yet text or email. RE Stop. Stop. Just stop now. Listen to Eddie, if not me. I've owned a boat. It truly is a hole in the water into which you pour money. And time. Bring Out Another Thousand, indeed. I would have you light your fucking birthday cake with kerosene lanterns before you buy a boat. Stop it. This way lies madness. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: Instead of a Cargo or Camper Trailer, a BOAT? Post by: RE on July 05, 2017, 06:09:00 PM I would have you light your fucking birthday cake with kerosene lanterns before you buy a boat. Stop it. This way lies madness. No worries, the seller never got back to me after 3 tries on this one. :( However, I found another one to look at. :icon_sunny: Appointment tomorrow after 6PM. ;D Listing at$4500 with a 50HP Johnson.  I like Mercs better, but oh well.  I  won't buy though unless I can jew him down to $3500. This one I would have to deck out and build a Doghouse for it myself, it's currently an open Johnboat. That would be a really fun project! 8) (https://images.craigslist.org/00Y0Y_927FSfT7Hyo_600x450.jpg) RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Petty Tyrant on July 05, 2017, 06:11:41 PM Wtf has the new topic button gone? I need to make a new topic of 'dog gone' because my dog has gone psycho and i need any ideas on what to do before i lose a digit or whole hand. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 05, 2017, 06:49:46 PM I like the boat idea. I used to have a pop-up camp trailer, which I liked, but there wasn't much storage space. Have you figured out a way to pack the electric scooter? The Ewz currently fits inside SaVANnah.  DetailsBoondocks Ewz stowage Boondocks Ewz stowage However, if I buy the Johnboat, when I deck it out I will design in a dedicated storage compartment for the Ewz. :icon_sunny: RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Palloy2 on July 05, 2017, 08:31:00 PM Quote For sailing purposes with the square rig, I will install side Daggerboards to help it stay on track, although the v-hull should do OK with this except in high winds. The dagger boards need to be STRONG, and the fittings, otherwise the aluminium will rip open like a sardine can. In other words, a tinnie with shallow draft and huge windage and a huge chunk of metal on the stern is not really a sensible basis for a square-rigger. (http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/3706bba4346881286dccd8c5c904338e) Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 05, 2017, 09:27:04 PM Quote For sailing purposes with the square rig, I will install side Daggerboards to help it stay on track, although the v-hull should do OK with this except in high winds. The dagger boards need to be STRONG, and the fittings, otherwise the aluminium will rip open like a sardine can. In other words, a tinnie with shallow draft and huge windage and a huge chunk of metal on the stern is not really a sensible basis for a square-rigger. (http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/3706bba4346881286dccd8c5c904338e) I'll reinforce with steel plate. Thanks for the heads up. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: luciddreams on July 06, 2017, 07:36:15 AM Well, aside from Eddie and Surly's rather sensible warnings on the topic...if you are hauling a boat around you will lose your "steath" nature. You are more likely to be screwed with if you have a boat. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 06, 2017, 07:38:55 AM Well, aside from Eddie and Surly's rather sensible warnings on the topic...if you are hauling a boat around you will lose your "steath" nature. You are more likely to be screwed with if you have a boat. If I buy one, it will stay in my storage unit space most of the time. RE Title: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: New Laptop Setup Post by: RE on July 06, 2017, 02:19:02 PM It's a good thing I didn't try to get my new laptop setup while on the road with SaVannah. At least not on my smart phone plan. The Windows Update by itself is 4GB. My current plan only gives me 1GB a month before you get overcharges. It's the cheapest plan they offer that has 4G wireless. If you go over, it's$10/GB.

I am glad I bought it though.  I hate not having a solid backup computer ready to go if my primary computer goes south and shows me the Blue Screen of Death.  I do have my phone and tablet now of course, but in neither case are they "full service", as being able to do all the tasks I do with a regular computer.

This new one is an HP, and at $450 a little more expensive than the one I bought 3 years ago for$350.  Instead of buying the bottom of the line/cheapest on the shelf full size laptop, I bought one about the middle of the line Walmart sells, which maxes out in the $700 range. Don't get on my case for buying at Wally World either, there's nobody else with anything better here in the Valley. I have to drive to Anchorage to go to Best Buy. Besides, I don't buy 4-digit priced laptops anyway. For the extra$100 I got a bigger hard drive with 500GB of storage and a faster processor.  I also like the full size because of the big screen and a full keyboard including the 10-key numerical pad.  It also still sports a DVD read/write drive which I like to play some of my old favorite movies I have on DVD, like Last of the Mohicans and the Outlaw Josey Wales.  :icon_sunny:  The Dell All-in-One also has a DVD drive, and the screen on that is bigger than just about all the old Cathode Ray Tube TVs I ever owned.

OK, gotta go check and see if the Windows Update has finished and I can get bizzy downloading more programs.  ::)

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: New Laptop Setup
Post by: RE on July 06, 2017, 03:09:32 PM
I wuz wrong.  It might be a full day job, not a half a day.  The Windows Update is STILL working.  Download finished, but now the computer is processing all the updates and only at 24% after another hour.  HTF do they have THAT many updates between the time this unit was manufactured and when I unboxed it? ???  :icon_scratch:  The screen sez "Pleez do not turn off your computer.  This will take a while."  Yea, like all fucking day!  This is with a relatively fast processor!

I once made the mistake of shutting down the computer in the midst of one of these massive updates.  Totally fucked it up.  Fortunately, Harry was able to fix it and get it working again.  Now I won't shut it down if it takes all WEEK to get updated!  ::)

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Palloy2 on July 06, 2017, 05:20:23 PM
It sounds like your version of Windows was 10.0, that is before the Windows Anniversary edition (10.1) came out.  This was a complete re-issue of Windoze because there were so many changes involved.  Selling old versions of Windows is a common ploy amongst retailers fighting to keep prices down in a competitive market.

Don't forget to do a System Restore after your have all your software loaded and defaults tweaked, otherwise you will have to go through it all again. Save the Restore file to DVD and label it and lock it in your fireproof safe.
Title: RE Gets a Stealth Van! New Laptop now LAUNCHED!
Post by: RE on July 06, 2017, 07:27:43 PM
Phew.  It only took like 5 hours, not weeks.  ::)

Windows finally got itself set up after about 3 hours, then the task was getting software loaded.

In any event, as of now all the important programs are loaded, including a new FREE graphic design program I am looking forward to trying out.  I'll load it to the Dell also if I like it.

The Boondocking Adventure scheduled for next week now has all the technical gear it needs for full Diner Admin work, and I have a solid list of places offering FREE Wi-Fi so I shouldn't have to use my wireless 4G account too much.  I have a Doc appointment tomorrow with the Dermatologist, so I will make a stop off at Wally World to buy a CO monitor to start getting some numbers on CO accumulation in SaVANnah when running the Kero Lanterns.  Not going to test the the Kero Heater or Propane heater at this time, it's just not cold enough for that.  That will have to wait for fall or winter.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Palloy2 on July 06, 2017, 10:05:42 PM
System Restore BEFORE installing free graphic design software?
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 06, 2017, 10:53:06 PM
System Restore BEFORE installing free graphic design software?

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Palloy2 on July 07, 2017, 12:20:01 AM
No, to save 10.1 before mucking everything up by installing free software.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 07, 2017, 12:41:41 AM
No, to save 10.1 before mucking everything up by installing free software.

Nothing is mucked up. It's running fine.  Don't fix it if it ain't broke.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Palloy2 on July 07, 2017, 01:51:25 AM
Quote
It's running fine.

Famous last words.
Why do I bother?
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 07, 2017, 01:55:25 AM
Quote
It's running fine.

Famous last words.
Why do I bother?

As I recall, you resigned as Chief Code Jockey & Tech Guru on the Diner.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Eddie on July 07, 2017, 06:45:05 AM
Quote
It's running fine.

Famous last words.
Why do I bother?

Because you care. For you it's too late to start not caring, no matter how hard you try. LOL.
Title: RE Gets a Stealth Van! MOAR Goodies Arrive!
Post by: RE on July 07, 2017, 09:46:13 PM
Today was a big day at the mailbox and USPS Pickup Counter.  I had 3 small packages in my mailbox that fit, and 3 more larger ones I had to go pick up after my appointment at the Dermatologist.  :icon_sunny:

Small items, I got some electric switches to wire in line on some DC appliances.  I also got Shades for the two front windows on the passenger side and driver's side.  All the rear windows already have privacy shades.  Also arriving on the smaller end was a new 36V Charger for my Ewz.  This one runs at 3 amps not 1.5, so it will cut my max charging time from completely drained to fully charged from around 6 hours to around 3.  Of course, I never fully drain the batt set, that's not good for SLA Batt longevity.

The fast charger considerably ups my range and resilience with the Ewz.  I can for instance now drive it say 10 miles to the new Library we got in Wasilla (you'll read more about that in upcoming articles in the Boondocking the Last Great Frontier series), plug the Battset into the wall grid access point along with my laptop, and it will be fully charged again for the drive home in around 2 hours.  Only issue right now is I could only get it with a 3 prong XLR connector, and my Ewz takes a 4 prong.  I'm either going to snip off the 3 prong and wire in a 4 prong, or use an adapter.  I did this wiring before on one of my other 36V chargers (I have 3 others @ 1.5 A, all bought ON SALE at really low prices from Monster Scooter Parts over the last 4 years of EwZ ownership.  So very good redundnacy in this department.).

The other big electric improvement was the arrival of a 1000W Continuous/2000W Surge Pure Sine Wave inverter.

(https://i5.walmartimages.com/asr/6f9fc144-b7bd-4ffb-938d-cc490d2c8c9f_1.aa9e7a8d511f3fe80a7ca5c8eaebc9ac.jpeg?odnWidth=921&odnHeight=921&odnBg=ffffff)

Back in my trucking years, a Pure Sine Wave Inverter cost about TRIPLE what a modified sine wave/square wave inverter cost, so I never bought one.  I also never bought one over around 250W that you need to wire directly to the batt, because it would blow the fuse on a ciggy lighter 12V car/truck outlet.  Those circuits will generally only handle 10A-20A of 12V current for betweee 120-240 Watts.  For most applications of computers, diode lights, cell phones etc, a 120W El Cheapo inverter works fine, and that's what I used on SaVANnah's Maiden Voyage over the July 4th Holiday Weekend.  I brought along also a modified sine wave 500W inverter, but I never used it.

However, I got warnings as usual from my fellow 12V people here on the Diner, Eddie & DB about the deficiencies and dangers of modified sine wave inverters, specifically DB warned me about the AC powered chargers for Ryobi 18V power tools.  I avoided this problem to begin with by purchasing a direct DC-DC12V--->18V charger from Ryobi specifically designed to fit their batts.  So I really did not NEED a big ass 1000W pure sine wave inverter, but when I saw one ON SALE for $115, it was a must buy. lol. Wired up to my Big Ass Deep Cycle Marine batt, I can power just about any Home Appliance known to man! Hard to imagine circumstances I would do that in, but I can do it now. ::) (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51PZXINhGBL.jpg) On the Heating front, also arriving today were 2 12V DC Electric Blankets. I only ordered one, but I got 2 and checked the shipping manifest and only one was listed. I got a freeby from the bozos at the shipping department! :icon_sunny: The trick with heating in a Freightliner Tractor or a Stealth Van when you are not idling the engine is to KEEP THE HEAT WHERE YOU ARE, not try to heat the whole cabin up to comfortable room temps in the low 60sF for me. So if you drape the EB over the chair you sit on while working at your laptop, the heat flows straight from the blanket into the core of you body through your (itchy) back and (constipated) ass while you rest your (aching) legs. In the bunk, you can stuff it inside your sleeping bag and if not careful and set it too high you will be Rare in about an hour, Medium in about 2 and Well Done in 3. Temps below freezing (32F, 0C) can require a bit more than this I think, but I never tested it in the truck. When I was OTR, temps below freezing I would Idle the truck continuously when parked. You simply get too many start up problems with Diesels at temps below freezing. The Ice Road Truckers up here don't turn off their trucks the whole winter unless they are in the terminal for maintenance. Gasoline engines though have few start up problems at low temps, comparatively speaking. It's mostly starter batt problems there, not the engine. I won't idle unless I absolutely have to, I would put that temp at -20F or below for a gas engine, which is a very rare occurence in this part of Alaska. (https://i5.walmartimages.com/asr/72c476be-1fe3-4824-a88c-3886d3642bdd_1.cf06ab49eea0cfdbf517ff0c8e409a81.jpeg?odnHeight=450&odnWidth=450&odnBg=FFFFFF) I also dropped in at Wally World for a few more Heating Preps. I bought the CO Monitor all the Diners concerned that I would asphyxiate myself suggested I buy. I bought the more expensive model with a digital readout so I could get NUMBERS on the PPM when running my various tests.$30, Battery Operated. I may run some tests early next week when out Boondocking, but really I need to wait for the nights to get more chilly than they currently are for a good test, at least down in the 40sF or preferably below freezing at 32F or 0C.  So it may be a couple of months before I get to a full test of heating systems for a Stealth Van.

All in all, SaVANnah is shaping up quite well, although there are still quite a few projects to get her up to snuff over the summer here going into the fall.  Along with the Diner Admining, it should keep me Bizzy and occupied.  By the time I am done I will have the best Stealth Van arrangement on the Planet done.  Then I'll probably die the next day. Isn't it Ironic?

Title: RE Gets a Stealth Van! DIY Kero Heaters- Test 1
Post by: RE on July 08, 2017, 08:57:39 PM
I am currently doing my first outdoor test of my El Cheapo Kero Heating system for SaVannah.

 DetailsBoondocks DIY Heater 1 Boondocks DIY Heater 1

This is an even CHEAPER althernative than the El Cheapo Kero Lantern purchased a while back from Wally World ON SALE for $8 a piece. I have 2 of them. (http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Boondocks-Heating-1-768x1024.jpg) What you see here is just the Burner Part ordered from China for$1 each.  I ordered 4 of them.

The trick to using them has been to find a jar with the right opening diameter and screw thread turns to screw the thing onto tight.  At first I tried just resting it on the glass resealable jar you see also pictured, but it fit too unbalanced and loose and I didn't like that.  I finally found the right size jar in of all things, Vitamin Bottles!  :o  I emptied my remaining vitamin C tablets into another container, filled the jar with about half a pint of kero, and lit it up out on the porch for the first test.  I didn't want to burn down the digs or asphyxiate myself testing this indoors!  I would have preferred Glass to Plastic for the Jar, but it's not a problem at least so far as the wick arrangement only gets really hot near the top.

It's been running now for an hour, with really no noticeable level of change in the reservoir of kerosene in the jar.  I'm sure it would run all night if I left it burning, which I won't of course.

As to how many BTUs of heat it puts out per hour, this I have no clue on but it's not huge.  More than a candle, less than a can of Sterno which burns quite hot.  The Sterno formula is maximized for heat output.  However, Kero purchased in quantity is a lot cheaper than Sterno cans.  The cheapest way to buy Kero generally is in 5 Gallon cans, which go for around $40, or$8/gallon.  However, those cans are usually only available at Wally World and Home Depot in the cold season.  Next best are 1 gallon containers which go for $10 each in the camping dept. The main problem I see right now is not so much CO as it is the Kero SMELL you get, no matter how carefully you adjust your wicks for clean burning (and you really do have to do this right or you get a smokey flame that isn't doing a complete combustion). I could use Liquid Paraffin instead of the Kero and this stuff is almost odorless, but I would lose the savings I get using Kero. Going that route, I probably would be better off just lighting up a bunch of Tealight Candles which come quite cheap, you can get a bag of 200 of them for about$8.

The real tests on the various Heating Symstems I am devising will have to wait at least to October I would say, it's not cold enough at night now through Sept for a real good test.

STAY WARM IN COLLAPSE HERE ON THE DOOMSTEAD DINER!  :icon_sunny:

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Nearingsfault on July 08, 2017, 09:18:03 PM
135000 btu per gallon...
http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/energy-content-d_868.html (http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/energy-content-d_868.html)

That kero smell is of course unburned hydrocarbons.  The glass on those lanterns is not an ornament its part of the design. It heats up and creates a chimney effect to help with combustion.  If you are getting smoke and odor you are getting  incomplete combustion. Even the cheap storm lanterns are not a optimised design. Pay a few dollars more and get a better lamp you will get more clean btu's and less crap in the air.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerosene_lamp (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerosene_lamp) a fascinating read.  I always went for mantle lights myself.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 08, 2017, 09:48:01 PM
135000 btu per gallon...
http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/energy-content-d_868.html (http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/energy-content-d_868.html)

That kero smell is of course unburned hydrocarbons.  The glass on those lanterns is not an ornament its part of the design. It heats up and creates a chimney effect to help with combustion.  If you are getting smoke and odor you are getting  incomplete combustion. Even the cheap storm lanterns are not a optimised design. Pay a few dollars more and get a better lamp you will get more clean btu's and less crap in the air.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerosene_lamp (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerosene_lamp) a fascinating read.  I always went for mantle lights myself.

I have a solution coming, but first I gotta finish this test.  I'll have a full write up once I work through all the tests, and there are many I have to make here.  It will keep me Bizzy for a while.

I get the smell right now almost no matter what, even when the stuff is NOT burning.  The caps on the containers are liquid tight, but not vapor tight.  I am working on a solution for that problem also.

RE
Title: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Incomplete Combustion Problem Solving 1
Post by: RE on July 08, 2017, 10:34:23 PM
135000 btu per gallon...
http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/energy-content-d_868.html (http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/energy-content-d_868.html)

That kero smell is of course unburned hydrocarbons.  The glass on those lanterns is not an ornament its part of the design. It heats up and creates a chimney effect to help with combustion.  If you are getting smoke and odor you are getting  incomplete combustion. Even the cheap storm lanterns are not a optimised design. Pay a few dollars more and get a better lamp you will get more clean btu's and less crap in the air.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerosene_lamp (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerosene_lamp) a fascinating read.  I always went for mantle lights myself.

I have a solution coming, but first I gotta finish this test.  I'll have a full write up once I work through all the tests, and there are many I have to make here.  It will keep me Bizzy for a while.

I get the smell right now almost no matter what, even when the stuff is NOT burning.  The caps on the containers are liquid tight, but not vapor tight.  I am working on a solution for that problem also.

RE

I believe I have the incomplete combustion problems solved, utilizing an old can of Tomato Sauce and a Rock.  :icon_sunny:

 DetailsBoondocks DIY Heater 2 Boondocks DIY Heater 2

There is almost no Kero Smell now, even if I put my nose right upto the space between the rock and the tomato sauce can.

Obviously, this can is a bit too small for the job, and the arrangement is very unbalanced. I'm going to need a bigger can.  ;D

I think a Tomato Juice Can will be about right.  I'll need a slightly larger rock also.

This doesn't produce any additional BTUs (other than cleaner burning) but it keeps the heat produced concentrated, it doesn't spread out 360 but is concentrated upward.  The Rock provides Thermal Mass and spreads this heat distribution out over time.  In addition, I can switch out Hot Rocks and take the hot ones and drop them wherever I happen to be as a Personal Heater.

This system will work very well I think.

RE
Title: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Incomplete Combustion Problem Solving 3
Post by: RE on July 08, 2017, 11:50:24 PM
OK!  :icon_sunny:  I solved the problem of an Unbalanced Soup Can by creating a Surround & Support out of cardboard!  :icon_sunny:

The Heater is now operating PERFECTLY with little odor of kerosene and very balanced and stable.  I am using a Bigger Rock now also.  :icon_mrgreen:

 DetailsBoondocks DIY Heater 3 Boondocks DIY Heater 3

Temps outside right now in the low 50sF, and I have had the DIY Heater running from Dead Cold (the rock for this one was grabbed outside covered with cold water from the ongoing rain), and the rock is now too hot to touch and radiating steady infrared outward much greater than the outside temps can suck it out.  In an enclosed and somewhat insulated living space of small volume, it would warm it up considerably I am sure.

It takes some time to heat up though, so it's not going to be Instant Heat in the morning when it's time to crawl out of the sleeping bag if it hasn't been running all night.  I have solutions to that problem already though, I could use my Mr.Buddy Propane fired heater to quickly warm up the cabin in the morning, then fire up the DIY Kero Heaters.  The propane heater would take no more than 10 minutes to make the interior of the cabin toasty warm for getting dressed.  Utilizing that no more than a half hour a day, my propane cost would be minimal.

I don't think I will need to implement the Big Ass Kero Catalytic Heater at all in this size space at any temp I might reasonably face down.  I will reserve that for if I rent a garage to park in or build a smal geodesic dome to heat that with.  If I find a SUN☼ property for $10K unrestricted enough I can set up camp, I'll just need a$10K F-Dome and able to survive the Alaska winters there.  :icon_sunny:  That is IN budget!  ;D

RE
Title: I Spy Doom RETURNS!
Post by: RE on July 11, 2017, 01:53:52 AM
Sorry for being so scarce all day, but I was bizzy hard at work on a new project for SaVannah.  :icon_sunny:

Besides working on the project with all my cool Power Tools  ;D, I am also making videos for other Wannabee Stealth Van Bugout Machine Dwellers & Homeless people.  It's a LOT of work for a cripple!  ::)  Staying on my feet all day measuring, cutting, gluing and taping has left my legs and lower back totally aching.  For a normal person they probably could have got this project done in 2 hours, but I needed to take frequent breaks to rest my legs and scratch my itches, plus working with only one good arm sometimes makes the cutting jobs tricky and I have to go slow to make sure all my cuts are straight.  So the project with the videos took around 7 hours.

When I start publishing the Vids on Utoob I will resurrect my old I Spy Doom franchise which has lain dormant a couple of years.  Since there was such a long hiatus and I am not sure how many of those I made, I am calling this "Volume 2" of I Spy Doom and the first Vid will be Vol 2 Issue 1.

The first series of vids will be on Heating & Insulation principles for Homeless/Stealth Van living.  I have come up with numerous new solutions and have completely solved the issues of both possible CO buildup and residual Kerosene SMELL from incomplete burning.  After that series, I will likely have one on Stealth Van living around the Matanuska-Susitna River Valley.  Then one on the Dipnetting Expedition down to the Kenai Peninsula.  Then one on 12V-48V DC electrics for Van Dwelling.  Even if I can put one out a week this will carry me through to the end of 2017, assuming I live long enough to complete them.

The Diner had a nice Bump Up in readership when I was doing regular Utoob Vids, so I hope renewing our presence on YT will give us another leg up.  Over the last half of the 3rd Quarter we have had a decent bump up from an average of around 350 Users/Day to 400.  I'd like to get to 500 Users/Day by the end of 2017.  Another important aspect to getting total readership up is more Original Articles from Native Diners.  So I encourage all the Diners to submit blogs as often as they feel inspired to write!

Finally for today's Update, tomorrow I have a Neurologist appointment in the afternoon, and errands to run after that, so I probably won't be around much tomorrow either.  Keep the Diner hopping while I am leading my Bizzy Crippled Life!  :icon_sunny:

RE
Title: Boondocking the Last Great Frontier
Post by: RE on July 12, 2017, 02:03:09 AM

Off the keyboard of RE

Published on The Doomstead Diner July 12, 2017

As regular readers of the Diner know, I recently purchased a Stealth Van, a used 1999 Ford Conversion Van that I have christened SaVannah.  Over the last few weeks, I have been modifying and equipping SaVannah for the necessities of Living On The Road, aka HOMELESS without a domicile but still solvent enough to afford a vehicle to live in.  This is something I am well experienced with, I lived for almost 7 years in my Freightliner tractor while working as an Over the Road (OTR) Trucker.  You can read the Over the Road series if you are interested in more details of the OTR Trucker life.

The objective of this series of posts will be to examine how to live in a given neighborhood in a Stealth Van, staying Under the Radar of the local Gestapo who generally do not look favorably on people who live in their vehicles, unless of course those vehicles are practically brand new super expensive Class 1 Diesel Pusher RVs and are parked for the night in for-pay Campgrounds with full hookups for electricity, water and sewer.  You get less respect if you are using a Class 3, especially if it is older, and in terms of the RV crowd, you're down in the Boondocks if you're down to Van size.  Car campers aren't really considered part of the RV crowd overall, and if you LIVE out of your car, you're a HOMELESS person, not a "camper".

The neighborhood I chose for this experiment and series of articles is my own, the Matanuska-Susitna River Valley of Alaska.  Peculiarities of this neighborhood make some things easier than you would find possible in the Lower 48, but overall most of the techniques I will describe will work anywhere in the FSoA. Just the Scenery won't be quite so nice most of the time. lol. The main question to be answered though is about the MONEY!  How much does it cost you to live this way in current FSoA FRNs each week, and how much do you need in Investment Capital to begin living this way?  I will be detailing all the costs to get started and the weekly budget.

First caveat in this respect is that this is NOT a lifestyle that can persist once TSHTF in earnest and Gas is either not available or too expensive to afford.  However, when that day does finally arrive, EVERYBODY will be thoroughly FUCKED and you might actually be better off than most if you at least still have one full tank of gas and a good Bugout Location picked out in advance to park your mobile home permanently.  That is a whole other topic though, for this one we are just analyzing how to live mobile while some semblance of BAU is running in the Western countries.  Not just the FSoA, I include the Great White North of Canada in this and Oz also.  Also Western Europe, although over there gas is rapidly becoming unaffordable for much of the population, particularly in the southern PIGS nations of Portugal, Italy, Greece & Spain.  In the main though, we are talking about Amerika, the Land of Happy Motoring.

Another important consideration here in analyzing this methodology is that it is mostly restricted to Single people, and usually Males.  There are a few Females who pursue this lifestyle, just as there are a few OTR women out there driving the Big Rigs and just as there are a few women haunting the Collapse Blogosphere.  Statistically speaking though, it's a small percentage in all cases.  Couples are plausible, at least if you can stand to be with your Significant Other in a confined space all the time.  I know of few couples who can manage that over the long haul. lol.  Trucker Marriages with both on the road have a horrendous life expectancy.  Beyond that,  once you have kids, the whole paradigm becomes extremely dicey to pursue.  It's not IMPOSSIBLE, but it is orders of magnitude more difficult.  You have to Homeschool obviously, and a kid confined to a vehicle sized abode is generally not a very happy kid.  Then you have Child Protective Services to deal with as well.  It's about the same I suppose as trying to take a child into an off grid living situation on a fixed Doomstead, with a few extra Knuckleballs thrown in.  Or Yachties who take their kids circumnavigating on a small sailboat.  I have run into all these types over the years, but they are exceedingly rare, they are outliers.

It is also important to note that I am NOT in fact Homeless and living in SaVannah!  I avoided this potential outcome when I got my SS Bennies and won my Workman's Compensation case.  However, I lived in desperate fear of this outcome for 7 months before the first check from SS was deposited into my account.  Each night I had nightmares I would end up as a Homeless Cripple Freezing to Death on the Streets of Palmer, Alaska © .  Fortunately for me as a Doomer, I HAD enough Savings to carry me through this period, most people in Amerika do not.  60% of people have less than 1 month in savings to carry them through hard times, much less make it for 7 months.  My scum sucking bottom feeder lawyer told me more than half of his clients ended up Homeless before they ever saw an award from WC, and many of course never saw one.  You can be off the cliff in the Blink of an Eye, all it takes is an injury at work, a car accident or a debilitating illness like Cancer.  In all of those cases also, Medical Bills can and usually will play a large part in bankrupting you.  If you do not protect yourself, the "social welfare net" will NOT protect you in the FSoA.  You too will become a Homeless Person, an an early victim of the Collapse of Industrial Civilization.

My close call with this outcome however makes me very aware of the problem so many in our failing Industrial Civilization now have, and it is a lesson I will never forget even after I pass into the Great Beyond.  In my writings, these are the people I really write for, even though they mostly are not here to read the stuff.  If you are that far off the cliff, it's unlikely you are spending much time on the computer surfing doom, although it is possible to do as this series is intended to demonstrate.

Before we go on the Journey though, one more caveat.  Although I intend for this series to be an accurate depiction of events, they may not always occur in the order in which they happened.  I may shuffle things around some for the purposes of the narrative.  I may fictionalize some names and places so as to preserve anonymity to an extent for myself and for others I might encounter along the way.  It should however be a fairly accurate rendition of living the life of a Boondocker.

What IS a Boondocker?

It's not the original meaning of the word "Boondocks", which is where "Boonies" comes from as in "I grew up in the Boonies".  When people say that, they mean they grew up in the "sticks", some backwater place where most if not all the people were poor and just getting by.  In recent years though, Van Dwellers glommed the term, and what they mean by Boondocking is parking your van for the night in places that cost you no money to do it.  Sometimes these places are legal, other times they are not.  The more rural the area you are in, the more places you can generally find which are at least quasi-legal and that of course is what is going to make my little adventure quite a bit easier than if I was doing it in NY Shity for example.  However, I DID live in my Astro Van for 6 months on the streets of Manhattan, a stones throw from Wall Street and you can do it there too.

I'm also not going to STRICTLY Boondock for the week.  I'll take a couple of planned nights in For-Pay campsites too, for a variety of reasons I will detail as we get to them.  What you are looking at here is a total Weekly Budget, and if you can afford some more comfortable nights in a pay for parking and services campsite, that's GREAT!  I could afford every night this way right now, but then I wouldn't have a Boondocking article to write, it would be a review of Campsites which are a dime a dozen on the RV websites.  The plan for the week currently is for 2 out of the 7 nights to be in for pay campsites, the other 5 will be Boondocking.

Finally before we actually get out on the road here I need to make a distinction between 2 different types of Boondocking and Van Dwelling in general.  One type is what I would call "Local" Boondocking.  This is done all in one general neighborhood where you probably USED to have a McMansion before you were laid off, your UE Bennies ran out and the bank Foreclosed on the mortgage.  All your ties are still to that neighborhood though, it's what you know.  That gives you something of an advantage in terms of finding good boondocking locations.  You "hang out" in this location, you don't cruise the whole country all the time.

The other great advantage of Local Boondocking is that you don't have to be entirely self-contained in a Van (and maybe a trailer).  You can lease a Storage Unit, and in my week of Van Dwelling here I will be utilizing my Storage Unit quite a bit I imagine.  The storage unit allows you to keep a lot more stuff (including food preps) than you could possibly keep in a van without ridiculously cluttering it up.  Also there are Seasonal changes to handle.  You don't need to be carrying heating equipment around every day in the summer, nor do you need all those layers of winter clothes.  You don't need the fans and the air conditioner if you spring for one of those in the Winter.  You don't need to carry nearly any food preps, just what you will eat over the next day or two.  When you are out Over the Road you have no storage facitlity for all you would like to have with you all the time, so this is a much more difficult paradigm to pursue long term.  You might travel fairly far and wide, but you always need a Home Base of some sort as a Nomad.  Even the old time H-Gs returned each year to a known location for a Summer Gathering with other tribes of Nomads.  My Home Base as a Stealth Van Dweller is my 24/7 Storage Unit facility, which costs me $40/mo. That's a LOT cheaper than renting an apartment! I do have one of those too though, just not using it this week except for occasional cheats if I forgot to bring something along. lol. OK! Now with the Preamble done and all the Caveats and Disclaimers made, let's get ON THE ROAD Boondocking the Matanuska-Susitna River Valley of Alaska, My Hometown. Where will we BEGIN this adventure? There can be ONLY ONE place to begin. The Walmart Parking lot in Wasilla. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: luciddreams on July 12, 2017, 05:49:20 AM The only way that this lifestyle would be possible with kids is because you have no other choice. Of course as soon as social services catch up with you by way of the police the gig would be up, and you would lose your kids. Good article though. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 12, 2017, 11:30:45 AM The only way that this lifestyle would be possible with kids is because you have no other choice. Of course as soon as social services catch up with you by way of the police the gig would be up, and you would lose your kids. Good article though. No, that's not true. I ran into 2 couples OTR who had a kid with them. Both had extended cab tractors and were doing the moving bizness. Whoever wasn't driving did the homeschooling. Yachties also take their kids out of school to spend a year or two sailing the bahamas or south pacific. It can be done. (https://keyassets.timeincuk.net/inspirewp/live/wp-content/uploads/sites/21/2015/04/P1165974.jpg) (http://www.boatsandoutboards.co.uk/upload/sailingyogafamilyfinal.png) RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: luciddreams on July 12, 2017, 04:34:24 PM The only way that this lifestyle would be possible with kids is because you have no other choice. Of course as soon as social services catch up with you by way of the police the gig would be up, and you would lose your kids. Good article though. No, that's not true. I ran into 2 couples OTR who had a kid with them. Both had extended cab tractors and were doing the moving bizness. Whoever wasn't driving did the homeschooling. Yachties also take their kids out of school to spend a year or two sailing the bahamas or south pacific. It can be done. (https://keyassets.timeincuk.net/inspirewp/live/wp-content/uploads/sites/21/2015/04/P1165974.jpg) (http://www.boatsandoutboards.co.uk/upload/sailingyogafamilyfinal.png) RE Yeah, yachties are rich as fuck and an extended cab tractor is not a van. Show me some pictures of a family of four living out of a van full time. I'm sure they are out there, but they are not doing that by choice. Nobody would live in a van with a wife and two kids by choice. That is ridiculous. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 12, 2017, 07:51:00 PM Yeah, yachties are rich as fuck and an extended cab tractor is not a van. Show me some pictures of a family of four living out of a van full time. I'm sure they are out there, but they are not doing that by choice. Nobody would live in a van with a wife and two kids by choice. That is ridiculous. Not all Yachties are rich as fuck. There are lots of used boats that come quite cheap. Eddie and me periodically salivate over them. The 30' Catalina below is selling for just$6000 and available in Little River, SC right now.  That's a good deal less than you paid for your Hemi Pickup, and less than you spent on GMs Canon and Camera Equipment too!

By itself, a Stealth Van would be too cramped with 2 kids.  You would need to pull a trailer of some type.  It can be done, and in fact many Gypsy families live this way and have for 100s of years.

Here's their Old Models:

Here's their New Models

Gypsies INVENTED the Tiny Home!  :icon_sunny:

Over on the Van Dweller Forum while I was participating there, one of the most active posters was a 17 year old girl who just got her own Van.  She grew up Van Dwelling, her parents were Van Dwellers.  It was a big Rite of Passage for her getting her own Van and she was very enthusiastic about all the changes she was making to it.  Her dad was an itinerant Jack of All Trades and her mom ran a Bizness on Ebay.

Before the Circus finally went outta Biz with the closing of Ringling Brothers this year, many Circus families lived on the road.  My Grandparents came from a Circus Family in Europe.  Wire Walkers and Trapeze though, not tattoos. lol.

(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/c7/32/73/c73273c1a063b05200b99eafbbb7d15f.jpg)

It can be done LD.  It's not a very conventional choice of lifestyle but it's not illegal.

Ridiculous?  You should know more about the subject before you make statements like that.  Yachties and Gypsies would not find your disdain for their lifestyle amusing.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: luciddreams on July 13, 2017, 06:14:27 AM
BOAT, break out another thousand.  With my experience with boats this is very true.  I imagine a 32 year old yacht would be more like "break out another ten thousand."

Gypsies are thieves and mostly make their money with petty thievery.  Granted, I know there are gypsies that make their money a bit more legitimately.  Also, gypsies represent a community with their own set of rules.  However, they are a community, not lone individuals.  In fact, all of their wealth goes to one person who then allocates it based on need...among other reasons.  The best one can do is to marry into a Gypsie family, but you are considered subservient within the community.  You are seen as less then.  Not quite "gadjo" but not quite Roma either.  I'm already married.

Anything is possible RE, but that doesn't mean that it's advisable or a good idea.  Our kids drive us bonkers in an 1800 square foot house on 1.6 acres to run around on.  They have a LOT of energy.

Also, I'm not saying that any of these ways of life are ridiculous.  I'd love to live on a yacht full time.  That would be a dream come true for me.  GM on the other hand...I brought up the idea once and she laughed at me "you're joking right?"  Hell just trying to live in a camper would be challenging enough, but I'd still do it.  However, in that case I'd have to have a good bit of land.  The camper would just be a place to sleep and stay warm...mostly.  I'm only 25% of the equation.  GM is 50% and the kids are another 25% of that equation.

I think you would be doing your children a great disservice by trying to live in a Van.  Unless you could find an actual community of other "van dwellers."  Children need other children to play with.  What are they gonna do?  Loiter in the Walmart parking lot in an attempt to find other children to play with them...in the Walmart parking lot?  "Sure Johnny, you can play in the parking lot while Mama gets her fried cheese doodles and tampons...just watch out for cars!"  Like I said, ridiculous.

Yachts are expensive to maintain.  A 32 year old yacht would be ridiculously expensive to maintain.  Even if I had the money to make that happen I'd have to have a way to continue making money.  I have enough trouble doing that now, living in a house that I don't have to pay for.  Food would be a big challenge on a yacht with kids.  The biggest challenge would be not going completely nuts with all of their energy.  It would be fun for a couple of hours at most, but once the kids got bored and their legs started torturing them with all of the energy that needed to be ,it would be game over.  I'd end up throwing them overboard and then kill myself from grief and regret.  No fuckin' way dude, not without being rich and having a yacht big enough for them to run around on.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 13, 2017, 08:23:50 AM
Also, I'm not saying that any of these ways of life are ridiculous.

That's exactly what you said.

Nobody would live in a van with a wife and two kids by choice.  That is ridiculous.

Yachties, Gypsies and the Van Dweller sub-culture all live that way by choice.  You called it ridiculous.  Own up to what you said.  You think it is ridiculous because you won't/can't make that choice because GM would not want to live that way and because you could not stand to be in such close quarters with your kids all the time, but to call the choice other people make ridiculous is incredibly self centered and judgemental.  These are your own personal limitations, they are not limitations for everyone.

Ray Jason has lived on his boat for 30 years now.  He supported himself and his boat financially by doing Street Juggling for most of those years. 30 year old boats are very sound boats, if the fiberglass hasn't delaminated in 30 years, the boat is good for 100.  I would buy a 30 year old fiberglass boat before I would buy a new one, and not just because new ones are ridiculously over priced.  Do you have maintenance costs?  Yes you do, but the maintenance costs on a McMansion are far greater.  How much did you spend to get the pipes fixed at Aunt Bee's place?  How much does a new roof every 5 years or so cost?  How much does a new hot water heater cost?  Break out another Hundred Thousand.

In your very first post on this topic you said people with kids can't live this way.  I demonstrated that they can and in fact do, and then you called that ridiculous.  It's not ridiculous, it's just culturally frowned on, and that's why all 3 examples of yachties, gypsies and van dwellers are all sub-cultures.  They are sub-cultures that exist though, just not ones you will do because of your own personal limitations.  In fact, for most of our existence on Earth people lived in and raised families in spaces just this size.  Inuit and Aleuts up here raised their children in Igloos through the winter.  Lakota and Apache did it in TeePees which have a little more square footage than a Van, but not as much as a Van & Trailer.  In Europe, people lived in small huts, because the bigger your space, the more expensive it becomes on an energy level to heat, and finding enough money to buy a lump of coal to heat your hovel was never EZ for most of the population.

By no means am I recommending you do this, it is not for you.  You are too culturally immersed in the way we live now to make such a change over and your marriage would not survive it.  It IS possible though, and it is NOT ridiculous.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: luciddreams on July 13, 2017, 03:38:21 PM

Yachties, Gypsies and the Van Dweller sub-culture all live that way by choice.  You called it ridiculous.  Own up to what you said.  You think it is ridiculous because you won't/can't make that choice because GM would not want to live that way and because you could not stand to be in such close quarters with your kids all the time, but to call the choice other people make ridiculous is incredibly self centered and judgemental.  These are your own personal limitations, they are not limitations for everyone.

Self centered and judgmental? WTF?  How the fuck is it self centered?

As far as being judgmental goes...what's the difference between being judgmental and having an opinion?  Yeah, I have an opinion on the matter.  Own up to it?  It is ridiculous to think that I could live in a van with my wife and two kids.  I own up to thinking that.  Maybe it's not ridiculous for other people, but it is for me.  A family of four can't live in a van.  Find me one example of it where it's something being done by choice and not due to necessity.  The best you'd be able to do is find examples of families living in campers.  Campers aren't vans.

A yacht, within my reach, would be way to small.  It would probably be even harder then trying to live in a van.  In fact, I know it would be.  At least in a van you can park it and let the kids run around.  Parking a yacht and letting the kids run around is going to cost money in marina fees.  Plus you have to have a form of income that can travel with you.  Either government checks, retirement, or using the computer to make money via writing or some other thing.

The gypsies are a community that a Gadjo cannot join, so that's not even an option for me.

I think you need to chill out RE.  Sounds to me like you are taking it personally.  I'm not criticizing you for wanting to pretend that you live in a van.  You are one individual.  You are keeping your apartment and you are just one individual.  Don't get all bent out of shape just because I think living in a van with a wife and two kids is a ridiculous sentiment.  It is, and I stand by that.  So I apologize for saying that it's not ridiculous.

I'm owning up to it.  It's ridiculous for a family of 4 to live in a van, unless they are doing so because they have no other choice.  A family of four would be better off living in a tent then they would in a van.

Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 13, 2017, 04:13:38 PM

Yachties, Gypsies and the Van Dweller sub-culture all live that way by choice.  You called it ridiculous.  Own up to what you said.  You think it is ridiculous because you won't/can't make that choice because GM would not want to live that way and because you could not stand to be in such close quarters with your kids all the time, but to call the choice other people make ridiculous is incredibly self centered and judgemental.  These are your own personal limitations, they are not limitations for everyone.

Self centered and judgmental? WTF?  How the fuck is it self centered?

As far as being judgmental goes...what's the difference between being judgmental and having an opinion?  Yeah, I have an opinion on the matter.  Own up to it?  It is ridiculous to think that I could live in a van with my wife and two kids.  I own up to thinking that.  Maybe it's not ridiculous for other people, but it is for me.  A family of four can't live in a van.  Find me one example of it where it's something being done by choice and not due to necessity.  The best you'd be able to do is find examples of families living in campers.  Campers aren't vans.

A yacht, within my reach, would be way to small.  It would probably be even harder then trying to live in a van.  In fact, I know it would be.  At least in a van you can park it and let the kids run around.  Parking a yacht and letting the kids run around is going to cost money in marina fees.  Plus you have to have a form of income that can travel with you.  Either government checks, retirement, or using the computer to make money via writing or some other thing.

The gypsies are a community that a Gadjo cannot join, so that's not even an option for me.

I think you need to chill out RE.  Sounds to me like you are taking it personally.  I'm not criticizing you for wanting to pretend that you live in a van.  You are one individual.  You are keeping your apartment and you are just one individual.  Don't get all bent out of shape just because I think living in a van with a wife and two kids is a ridiculous sentiment.  It is, and I stand by that.  So I apologize for saying that it's not ridiculous.

I'm owning up to it.  It's ridiculous for a family of 4 to live in a van, unless they are doing so because they have no other choice.  A family of four would be better off living in a tent then they would in a van.

I never said a family of 4 had to live in a Van, just live on the road.  I didn't specify the size of vehicle you would need.  I did say you would require a trailer of some type.  You call them "Campers", I call them "Trailers", because I was a professional Trucker, which you are not yet.

Insofar as "pretending" I am living in a Van, I don't have to pretend anything because I already did it for 7 years in my Freightliner and for 6 months in my Astro Van.  The cabin of a standard freightliner is smaller than the sapce you have in the cabin of a raised roof Van.  Get back to me when you have been OTR for at least a year and know something of what you speak.

What I am doing now is adapting systems because I am a disabled man, which you also are not.  It would be foolish of me to go on my Journeys if I didn't know how to handle these problems when on the road.  You need to chill out and not get all bent out of shape because you make value judgements on the way other people choose to live, but you do not.  The goal for all these peoples, the Yachties, the Gypsies and the Van Dwellers is to get just as far away from the Matrix as they can.  Isn't that what you purport to want to do?

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: luciddreams on July 13, 2017, 04:20:25 PM

Yachties, Gypsies and the Van Dweller sub-culture all live that way by choice.  You called it ridiculous.  Own up to what you said.  You think it is ridiculous because you won't/can't make that choice because GM would not want to live that way and because you could not stand to be in such close quarters with your kids all the time, but to call the choice other people make ridiculous is incredibly self centered and judgemental.  These are your own personal limitations, they are not limitations for everyone.

Self centered and judgmental? WTF?  How the fuck is it self centered?

As far as being judgmental goes...what's the difference between being judgmental and having an opinion?  Yeah, I have an opinion on the matter.  Own up to it?  It is ridiculous to think that I could live in a van with my wife and two kids.  I own up to thinking that.  Maybe it's not ridiculous for other people, but it is for me.  A family of four can't live in a van.  Find me one example of it where it's something being done by choice and not due to necessity.  The best you'd be able to do is find examples of families living in campers.  Campers aren't vans.

A yacht, within my reach, would be way to small.  It would probably be even harder then trying to live in a van.  In fact, I know it would be.  At least in a van you can park it and let the kids run around.  Parking a yacht and letting the kids run around is going to cost money in marina fees.  Plus you have to have a form of income that can travel with you.  Either government checks, retirement, or using the computer to make money via writing or some other thing.

The gypsies are a community that a Gadjo cannot join, so that's not even an option for me.

I think you need to chill out RE.  Sounds to me like you are taking it personally.  I'm not criticizing you for wanting to pretend that you live in a van.  You are one individual.  You are keeping your apartment and you are just one individual.  Don't get all bent out of shape just because I think living in a van with a wife and two kids is a ridiculous sentiment.  It is, and I stand by that.  So I apologize for saying that it's not ridiculous.

I'm owning up to it.  It's ridiculous for a family of 4 to live in a van, unless they are doing so because they have no other choice.  A family of four would be better off living in a tent then they would in a van.

I never said a family of 4 had to live in a Van, just live on the road.  I didn't specify the size of vehicle you would need.  I did say you would require a trailer of some type.  You call them "Campers", I call them "Trailers", because I was a professional Trucker, which you are not yet.

Insofar as "pretending" I am living in a Van, I don't have to pretend anything because I already did it for 7 years in my Freightliner and for 6 months in my Astro Van.  The cabin of a standard freightliner is smaller than the sapce you have in the cabin of a raised roof Van.  Get back to me when you have been OTR for at least a year and know something of what you speak.

What I am doing now is adapting systems because I am a disabled man, which you also are not.  It would be foolish of me to go on my Journeys if I didn't know how to handle these problems when on the road.  You need to chill out and not get all bent out of shape because you make value judgements on the way other people choose to live, but you do not.  The goal for all these peoples, the Yachties, the Gypsies and the Van Dwellers is to get just as far away from the Matrix as they can.  Isn't that what you purport to want to do?

RE

How have I been self centered?  Let's start there.

This should be good.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Surly1 on July 13, 2017, 04:39:00 PM

How have I been self centered?  Let's start there.

This should be good.

This from RE?

Dafuq?
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 13, 2017, 04:46:39 PM

How have I been self centered?  Let's start there.

This should be good.

;D

Because all your arguments have been about why YOU can't live this way.

1- Your wife was against living on a boat.
2- Your kids have lots of energy and require a minimum of 1600 sq ft to run around in Aunt Bee's place.
3- You would go nuts being in that close quarters with your boys all the time
4- Child Protective Services would take away my kids

I demonstrated why the first two self-centered arguments were untrue, both historically with the way the Inuit, Aleuts, Apache and Lakota lived and raised their kids, and the current fact of life that CPS does NOT take your kids away if you go live on a boat and homeschool them.

As for GM's recalcitrance on wanting to live this way, for that I have no solution.  It is however quite possible and also not "ridiculous".  Your inability to live with your boys on top of you every minute of the day is YOUR problem, not a general problem for all people.  Wasn't a problem for the Inuit in any event. You have personal issues that make this form of living impossible and "ridiculous" for YOU, but it is not so for all people.  It's a VERY self-centered argument.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: luciddreams on July 13, 2017, 06:44:54 PM

How have I been self centered?  Let's start there.

This should be good.

;D

Because all your arguments have been about why YOU can't live this way.

1- Your wife was against living on a boat.
2- Your kids have lots of energy and require a minimum of 1600 sq ft to run around in Aunt Bee's place.
3- You would go nuts being in that close quarters with your boys all the time
4- Child Protective Services would take away my kids

I demonstrated why the first two self-centered arguments were untrue, both historically with the way the Inuit, Aleuts, Apache and Lakota lived and raised their kids, and the current fact of life that CPS does NOT take your kids away if you go live on a boat and homeschool them.

As for GM's recalcitrance on wanting to live this way, for that I have no solution.  It is however quite possible and also not "ridiculous".  Your inability to live with your boys on top of you every minute of the day is YOUR problem, not a general problem for all people.  Wasn't a problem for the Inuit in any event. You have personal issues that make this form of living impossible and "ridiculous" for YOU, but it is not so for all people.  It's a VERY self-centered argument.

RE

Your examples using Native Americans does not apply to me, or you, or anyone else living in this industrial anti-culture.  Native peoples lived in tribes as hunter-gatherers with complete cultures composed of spiritualty, myth, and community.  They were communal and provided everything they needed from nature.  They had a way of life that was nomadic.  They slept in their teepees or igloos, but they lived outside in nature.  Their way of life is all but outlawed.  The only way to live that way now is to break the rules of society.  That is fine for individuals or even couples.  It is not fine with children.  Not that it can't be done.  It can be, but it's most certainly against the law.

You did not demonstrate how the first two arguments are not true.

1.  My wife is against living on a boat.  That is fact.  How did you demonstrate that this is not the case?   :icon_scratch:

2.  I said nothing about a minimum of 1600 square feet.  That just happens to be where we live now.  It's actually a detriment, and I would prefer to live in a smaller dwelling for many reasons.  If it were smaller there wouldn't be the room for them to run around in the house.  They aren't supposed to be running in the house, but they are young kids, and they frequently lose their minds.

You have never had any kids, so get back to me when you have had kids, so you know what you are talking about.  If I don't know what I'm talking about because I have not worked as an OTR truck driver, then you most certainly do not know what you are talking about with respect to raising young children while living in a Van.  It's a ridiculous idea.  Conjuring the Native American's rich cultural life ways to somehow bolster your argument is even more ridiculous then the assertion that a family of four can live in a Van.

A family of four cannot live in a Van, or on a small yacht.  Yes, it can be done.  However, it is ill advised.

Like I said, get married and have a couple of kids and then get back to me.

Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: luciddreams on July 13, 2017, 06:50:44 PM

Because all your arguments have been about why YOU can't live this way.
RE

Yes, they have been about me.  That is the case because I am typing using my mind and my experience with being a husband and father.  However, my experience applies to all Merikan family men.  I know what I'm talking about here because I have a wife and two children, and I live with them everyday.

This does not make me self centered.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: luciddreams on July 13, 2017, 06:53:20 PM

How have I been self centered?  Let's start there.

This should be good.

This from RE?

Dafuq?

I know, it's preposterous as well as ridiculous.  That's fine.  He can't possibly win.

But we all know it won't keep him from trying, or from believing that he's won.

He's arguing that a family of four should live in a Van.  This while he's having trouble figuring out how to live in the Van by himself.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: luciddreams on July 13, 2017, 07:05:08 PM
:D

Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Palloy2 on July 13, 2017, 07:13:35 PM
I think you are both not willing to make any compromise over luxury versus simplicity.  That's what is holding you both back. Practicing for when the fuel stops and electricity stops is pointless if you fill your life with vehicles and electric gadgets, and want it not too hot and not too cold.

I lived and traveled in Australia in a Mazda B1500 + small box trailer with 3 dogs and a cat for 8 months. The inside had mesh behind the front seats and the rest was naked cargo area. I fitted it out with a 6' x 2' x 2' box for storage, and some roll-up fencing that acted as a dog pen. Here in Northern Territory the cat escaped and was lost for 2 days. I eventually found her hiding under a burnt out car body.  In Darwin the police didn't want people sleeping over in the public parks, but said they were happy to have you camp out of town at the beach.  They patrolled there every night but didn't do anything.  Even though you were low-life, you weren't as low as the Aborigines.

Often bridges over rivers have service roads that go down to the bridge footings, and you can stay overnight there. Also car parks outside National Parks, sometimes with toilets.

I also used to camp over weekends in this station wagon, which had full length sleeping room.

But for long term, you need to be static in a 17' caravan with a roof over and decking front and back.  Sheer bloody luxury.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: K-Dog on July 13, 2017, 07:20:17 PM
Raising children in a van is a dumb idea.  To develop normally structure is needed.  One could argue that there have always been nomads yes.  Trouble is nomads may also rape and pillage like Huns of yore.  Why?

Lack of structure and a stable environment.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Nearingsfault on July 13, 2017, 07:21:41 PM
LD I think you hit it dead on with the first nations example.  Same goes with the roma or the inuit or myself really; you don't live in that cramped space you use it as a protective shell. Sleep in it cook in it maybe curl up on an awful day but life happens elsewhere.
I've Lived in a tent, a shed, the camper on my truck, alone and fairly happily. 6 months in a small trailer with my wife and I agree with you most families should not do that other than  in desperation.
Cheers,   David
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 13, 2017, 10:34:13 PM

How have I been self centered?  Let's start there.

This should be good.

;D

Because all your arguments have been about why YOU can't live this way.

1- Your wife was against living on a boat.
2- Your kids have lots of energy and require a minimum of 1600 sq ft to run around in Aunt Bee's place.
3- You would go nuts being in that close quarters with your boys all the time
4- Child Protective Services would take away my kids

I demonstrated why the first two self-centered arguments were untrue, both historically with the way the Inuit, Aleuts, Apache and Lakota lived and raised their kids, and the current fact of life that CPS does NOT take your kids away if you go live on a boat and homeschool them.

As for GM's recalcitrance on wanting to live this way, for that I have no solution.  It is however quite possible and also not "ridiculous".  Your inability to live with your boys on top of you every minute of the day is YOUR problem, not a general problem for all people.  Wasn't a problem for the Inuit in any event. You have personal issues that make this form of living impossible and "ridiculous" for YOU, but it is not so for all people.  It's a VERY self-centered argument.

RE

Your examples using Native Americans does not apply to me, or you, or anyone else living in this industrial anti-culture.  Native peoples lived in tribes as hunter-gatherers with complete cultures composed of spiritualty, myth, and community.  They were communal and provided everything they needed from nature.  They had a way of life that was nomadic.  They slept in their teepees or igloos, but they lived outside in nature.  Their way of life is all but outlawed.  The only way to live that way now is to break the rules of society.  That is fine for individuals or even couples.  It is not fine with children.  Not that it can't be done.  It can be, but it's most certainly against the law.

It is NOT against the rules of society to live aboard a boat with your kids.

You did not demonstrate how the first two arguments are not true.

The arguments I showed were untrue were:

1- That Child Protective Services would take away your kids
2- That kids need big houses to live in so they have room to get out their "energy".

The order got changed as I was composing the post.  Sorry for the confusion.

1.  My wife is against living on a boat.  That is fact.  How did you demonstrate that this is not the case?   :icon_scratch:

I said there was nothing I could do about that, but it's a personal problem for you, not a general problem

2.  I said nothing about a minimum of 1600 square feet.  That just happens to be where we live now.  It's actually a detriment, and I would prefer to live in a smaller dwelling for many reasons.  If it were smaller there wouldn't be the room for them to run around in the house.  They aren't supposed to be running in the house, but they are young kids, and they frequently lose their minds.

You gave the example of your current abode and you defined it as having 1600 square feet.  The implication was your kids couldn't live on say a 38' Sailboat like a Caliber 38 which IMHO would be about right for a family of four, and on the used market can be found for around $25K. That is a LOT cheaper than any McMansion you could buy, and the maintenance costs would be less too. (http://www.sailboatlistings.com/sailimg/m/22985/main.jpg) You have never had any kids, so get back to me when you have had kids, so you know what you are talking about. If I don't know what I'm talking about because I have not worked as an OTR truck driver, then you most certainly do not know what you are talking about with respect to raising young children while living in a Van. It's a ridiculous idea. Conjuring the Native American's rich cultural life ways to somehow bolster your argument is even more ridiculous then the assertion that a family of four can live in a Van. Get back to me after you have spent 35 years teaching thousands of kids and observing their behaviors and how to train them to do anything. I spent more time with my gymmies than their parents did, 6-8 hours a day in the cases of the elite programs I coached. They were doing school work (at the gym) another 3 hours. All they went home to do was eat and sleep. A family of four cannot live in a Van, or on a small yacht. Yes, it can be done. However, it is ill advised. I already put up pics of families of Live-aboards. Pick Up Cruising World Magazine some time, plenty of families do it. I ran into several while sailing the Greek Islands. I also provided the example of the 17 year old girl on the Stealth Van site who grew up with Van Dwellers and just got her own Van and was very proud of it. You have a severe cultural bias against this type of living and it shows in every post you make. Like I said, get married and have a couple of kids and then get back to me. Like I said, raise thousands of successful gymnasts for 35 years and get back to me. Or, we can both be adults. Your choice. We are both being "adults". So far this debate has been on topic and napalm free. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 14, 2017, 12:16:39 AM He's arguing that a family of four should live in a Van. That is a misrepresentation of what I am arguing again. First off, I don't restrict it to a Van, I have already stipulated if you have a family you will need to pull a trailer. You continue to try and make it seem like I am putting 4 people in a Van to make your point. That is just a bald faced LIE. A Van by itself is just too tight a space for four people to live in full time. You're going to need a trailer at least, and probably a Storage Unit also. I covered this issue in my article, but you do not acknowledge it because it doesn't fit your agenda and your cultural bias. Second, I don't argue that a family SHOULD live this way, just that they CAN and it is not "ridiculous", which is what you assert. YOU say people CAN'T live this way, and if they do they are doing a disservice to their kids if they do. I demonstrate that people in fact DO live this way, and their kids don't end up any different than kids raised in McMansions, some come out OK, others are messed up. Based on reading her stuff on the Van Dweller Website, I think Emily came out OK growing up in a Van Dweller family. You cannot win this argument although no matter what, you will believe you did. Factually, you are wrong on all levels. Only your cultural bias prevents you from seeing that. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Petty Tyrant on July 14, 2017, 02:20:43 AM If its living in a stealth van, then the van and trailer must look commercial, not an rv campervan and caravan, i think that would be very difficult for a family. Mpg towing a caravan, with total weight of tow vehicle and trailer at 4 or 5 tons would make the economics of moving around vs just a single van mpg a lot worse. Where you can boondock with the trailer would probably be a lot less options too. I can think of 2 relevant trips/holidays that are memorable for the wrong reasons. In 2000 I hired a high top campervan to drive 4000km from Perth WA to Darwin NT as i wanted to see the west coast. Junior was a baby and when we stopped to camp for the night he cried and cried until we decided to find a hospital to get him checked, but as soon as we set off he settled down. Doing the extra driving at night was necessary anyway because i didnt realise that 5 days rental counts the days you collect and drop off during only business hours. So i really had only 3 full days to drive this very slow and thirsty thing at 80-100kmh 4000km or about 3000 miles at 50-60 mph. Instead of nice campgrounds with petting animals and playgyms, stopping early, it ended up as truck stops and as palloy mentioned, camp areas beside rivers and bridges late at night. In 2002 we went to Albany by car and had a decent holiday. My car computer / ECU, stuffed up while i left the engine idling with aircon on for the family while i checked out. I came out and found them all crying as smoke wafted out from under the dash. We then stayed in a holiday inn another week while the part was ordered and fitted. I hired another car but we had been everywhere already anyway. The girls were about 5 and 6 at the time and were hell on wheels, so noisy we were totally embarrassed and expecting to be booted out at any moment. We vowed to never take them together on another holiday after that. Moral of the story is you cant seperate petrol and matches kids in a confined space. Holiday in hell below; Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 14, 2017, 03:35:39 AM If its living in a stealth van, then the van and trailer must look commercial, not an rv campervan and caravan, i think that would be very difficult for a family. Mpg towing a caravan, with total weight of tow vehicle and trailer at 4 or 5 tons would make the economics of moving around vs just a single van mpg a lot worse. Where you can boondock with the trailer would probably be a lot less options too. I can think of 2 relevant trips/holidays that are memorable for the wrong reasons. In 2000 I hired a high top campervan to drive 4000km from Perth WA to Darwin NT as i wanted to see the west coast. Junior was a baby and when we stopped to camp for the night he cried and cried until we decided to find a hospital to get him checked, but as soon as we set off he settled down. Doing the extra driving at night was necessary anyway because i didnt realise that 5 days rental counts the days you collect and drop off during only business hours. So i really had only 3 full days to drive this very slow and thirsty thing at 80-100kmh 4000km or about 3000 miles at 50-60 mph. Instead of nice campgrounds with petting animals and playgyms, stopping early, it ended up as truck stops and as palloy mentioned, camp areas beside rivers and bridges late at night. In 2002 we went to Albany by car and had a decent holiday. My car computer / ECU, stuffed up while i left the engine idling with aircon on for the family while i checked out. I came out and found them all crying as smoke wafted out from under the dash. We then stayed in a holiday inn another week while the part was ordered and fitted. I hired another car but we had been everywhere already anyway. The girls were about 5 and 6 at the time and were hell on wheels, so noisy we were totally embarrassed and expecting to be booted out at any moment. We vowed to never take them together on another holiday after that. Moral of the story is you cant seperate petrol and matches kids in a confined space. Holiday in hell below; There are many work-arounds to maitaining Stealth, but I agree that a typical "Camper" trailer is not ideal for stealth. You need to utilize a cargo trailer for your supplies, and the van itself is just a sleeping accommodation. In fact, 4 people can sleep comfortably in a raised roof van, if 2 of them are shorties like kids. They sleep cross-wise in the van, adults sleep long ways. Your cabin is about 10-12' in length, depending on the type of van. If you were trying to do this with 4 people, go for the longest extended bed van you can find on Craig's List at a price you can afford. Then you need your Storage Unit, preferably a 24/7 one you can access anytime you need changes of clothing, etc. Said storage facitlity should also have a place to park your trailer when you don't need to be dragging it around, which is most of the time. I pay$40 for my parking spot for my Tioga, and another $40/month for my storage unit. That is my$80/mo bill for living this way.  Currently, I am maintaining both lifestyles while I figure out if I can go back to road living with my crippled ass.  It's an order of magnitude less than my normal rent bill.  Beyond THAT, I have ANOTHER storage unit I maintain in the Lower 48 in MO.  It's a fucking big one and costs me $80/mo. I could drive the Al-Can any day and set up shop in Springfield, MO exactly the same way. In that storage unit I currently have yet ANOTHER car too! lol. How many people could make such a move at the drop of a hat, just by jumping into the seat of the car and making the drive between locations? As I prep up SaVANnah, I am making her ready enough that on any day I can run (sort of) out the door of the digs and with nothing but my wallet and smart phone and be good to make the drive to the lower 48 if I have to. I will NOT die trapped in a location, if/when collase kills me I will be OTR, Over the Road, trying to find my way to FREEDOM and SAFETY. I will lose this battle at some point of course, but I won't stop trying until the GrimReaper finally pulls me in. If you have not spent enough time living on the road, all this seems "ridiculous" to you. It's NOT ridiculous. It's quite doable, even with kids. I will grant you that having kids along for the ride makes it more difficult, but hardly impossible and certainly not "ridiculous". That is just cultural conditioning at work. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: luciddreams on July 14, 2017, 06:36:08 AM If you have not spent enough time living on the road, all this seems "ridiculous" to you. It's NOT ridiculous. It's quite doable, even with kids. I will grant you that having kids along for the ride makes it more difficult, but hardly impossible and certainly not "ridiculous". That is just cultural conditioning at work. RE First off, teaching kids gymnastics is not the same as raising children. Did you ever change a gymies diaper or listen to them cry because they didn't get their 2-5 year old way? Did you ever hold them while they ran a high fever and clean up their puke that got all over you and the bed worried if they would make it or not, if it would require a hospital trip? Did you ever try to read or write while they made crazy kid sounds and interrupted you ever two minutes? Did you clothe and feed those gymies? No, you didn't, you taught them gymnastics. You were not responsible for the people that they would become. They were not your responsibility. You had strict rules, and if they broke them, they got kicked out of your gym. You can't just kick your kids out when they don't listen. You have to convince the to behave, and you have to provide the with EVERYTHING they need emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, and physically. At least in our anti-culture you do. In the tribal h-g paradigm you have help with your community, and that makes for a much healthier human being. Kids need more then their parents can provide them. That's the main good that church does here in Merika, it provides a type of community to belong to, unfortunately it comes with the requirement that you believe in a flying spaghetti monster with a beard whom lives in a cloud. As far as community goes, living in a Van isn't much worse then how most Merikans live. Most of us are estranged from our families and have no community what so ever. The closest thing we have to community is our peers at work, where we busy ourselves at pointless tasks to keep capitalist pigmen rich while we sell ourselves for an hourly rate that isn't even enough to afford decent housing and food. Hell, prisoners have more of a community then free Merikans so, and that's the ironic truth. In prison, there is a community, granted there are harsh rules and you literally get fucked in the ass if you lose. Don't cry cultural conditioning to me RE. What culture conditioned me? I have no culture. You could possibly say I've been "anti-culturally conditioned." ::) But even then it's not true. My mind is free from the delusions that are rife in the Merikan Delusion. I'm under no delusion with exception to the wish to be free. I'm still hanging onto that one with one finger nail. There is a miniscule iota off idealism left in me, but at this point its all but vanished. That vanishing of ideals is more likely a function of age then anything else. Truth be told I'd fuckin' love to live on a yacht like what you pictured above. I can think of no better life. It's a life that would be about as close to free as one could get in our techno-industrial world. However, it requires one pay ones toll. It is not a life that can be lived without money, and there's the rub...it's always the rub. I "bought" my truck for 27K. Not really though. Really I bought it for$1k in cash and traded my old truck in, and I agreed to pay $386 a month for 7 years (I know, ridiculous, but I'm a man of limited means). Whether that was a good idea or not is beside the point (I still maintain that it was better then buying another piece of shit, or attempting to fix my old truck). Could I get a yacht for$1k and trade my truck in?  Even if I had my old truck that I owned...no I could not.  No bank is going to finance a used yacht.  Lets say I sold my land for 30k though (which I hope will happen before the end of the year).  Ok, I'd have the money to buy a yacht.  So I buy a yacht and tow it to the ocean and get rid of my truck.  I move my family onto the yacht.  I'd probably need another 5k or so to get the yacht to the ocean stocked with all of the shit I'd need.  Now I'm on a yacht in the ocean with my family and maybe a couple months worth of food.

How do I make money to continue to live this way?  What happens when the boat is damaged, or the motor breaks, or some piece of vital equipment stops working?  How do I pay for it?  Kids need more then just food, even when you are living on a boat.  Of course, GM is not going to live on a fucking yacht.  But for the sake of argument, say that I could convince her to do so.

So, okay, how about the landlubber version.  I've strongly considered that option.  I sell the land and buy the biggest camper my truck can realistically handle.  This would be somewhere in the 20' range.  I could pull a 30' camper, but not stocked, not up mountains, and definitely not without eventually tearing my truck up.  There are many challenges with living this way, but it can be done.  Are you more free though?  Would my life be any better?  I'd still be living in the midst of a terrible anti-culture.  My kids would be considered homeless by the system.  I'd still have to make money to buy food.  I'd be able to skirt paying for a place to park the camper because my Mom owns 11 acres down by the river a few miles from me.  Would I be any more free then I am now?

However, most women are not going to live this way.  They are out there, but I didn't marry one of them.  Does that make me self centered?

I'll just chalk our little argument up to a misunderstanding on my part.  I thought you were saying that I should live in a van down by the river with my family of 4.  If you are saying I should live in a camper down by the river...well...that's another thing entirely.  That's actually something that's within my reach as well.  My Mom bought 11 acres down by the river.  We sell our land for 30k (which is achievable) and I could acquire a camper.  I could park it down by the river.  We would have to homeschool though.  Again, I'd love to do that, but one of us has to make money.  Currently I'm the one making money with my business.  I can't homeschool my kids.  GM would have to do it.  She thinks that the public school our oldest has been attending is a good one.  We've had some good experiences with it.  Personally I don't think public school is too indoctrinating until about middle school.  Grade school is more about learning to read, write, and do arithmetic then it is about indoctrination.  My plan, if I have my way at least, is to yank the out of public school after grade school, but I'm only half of the equation.

There is a good chance that I will move my family into a camper down by the river in a few more years.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 14, 2017, 06:55:16 AM
I "bought" my truck for 27K.  Not really though.  Really I bought it for $1k in cash and traded my old truck in, and I agreed to pay$386 a month for 7 years (I know, ridiculous, but I'm a man of limited means).  Whether that was a good idea or not is beside the point (I still maintain that it was better then buying another piece of shit, or attempting to fix my old truck).  Could I get a yacht for $1k and trade my truck in? Even if I had my old truck that I owned...no I could not. No bank is going to finance a used yacht. Lets say I sold my land for 30k though (which I hope will happen before the end of the year). Ok, I'd have the money to buy a yacht. So I buy a yacht and tow it to the ocean and get rid of my truck. I move my family onto the yacht. I'd probably need another 5k or so to get the yacht to the ocean stocked with all of the shit I'd need. Now I'm on a yacht in the ocean with my family and maybe a couple months worth of food. Sigh. "How will *I* do this?" *I* bought my truck for$27K on time payments from the bank. *I* can't buy a boat because a bank will not finance that for me.  I, I, I, it's always a self-centered argument about why YOU can't do this, but it's not generally an impossibility to do it, and in fact you really could do it, if you get a job driving truck for a couple of years and the economy holds up some and you put all your income toward it, but you won't.  The income will go toward getting out of Aunt Bee's place for GM and the boys and into some other McHovel, while you live inside the box of your Freightliner and "Sacrifice your Life" for your kids, as you phrased it in another thread.

As I said when this debate began LD, this is very self-centered on why YOU cannot make these choices and decisions on a way to live.  But they are not universal problems, and to call living this way "ridiculous" is in itself ridiculous and a justification for your inability to make such choices.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: luciddreams on July 14, 2017, 07:13:53 AM
I "bought" my truck for 27K.  Not really though.  Really I bought it for $1k in cash and traded my old truck in, and I agreed to pay$386 a month for 7 years (I know, ridiculous, but I'm a man of limited means).  Whether that was a good idea or not is beside the point (I still maintain that it was better then buying another piece of shit, or attempting to fix my old truck).  Could I get a yacht for $1k and trade my truck in? Even if I had my old truck that I owned...no I could not. No bank is going to finance a used yacht. Lets say I sold my land for 30k though (which I hope will happen before the end of the year). Ok, I'd have the money to buy a yacht. So I buy a yacht and tow it to the ocean and get rid of my truck. I move my family onto the yacht. I'd probably need another 5k or so to get the yacht to the ocean stocked with all of the shit I'd need. Now I'm on a yacht in the ocean with my family and maybe a couple months worth of food. Sigh. "How will *I* do this?" *I* bought my truck for$27K on time payments from the bank. *I* can't buy a boat because a bank will not finance that for me.  I, I, I, it's always a self-centered argument about why YOU can't do this, but it's not generally an impossibility to do it, and in fact you really could do it, if you get a job driving truck for a couple of years and the economy holds up some and you put all your income toward it, but you won't.  The income will go toward getting out of Aunt Bee's place for GM and the boys and into some other McHovel, while you live inside the box of your Freightliner and "Sacrifice your Life" for your kids, as you phrased it in another thread.

As I said when this debate began LD, this is very self-centered on why YOU cannot make these choices and decisions on a way to live.  But they are not universal problems, and to call living this way "ridiculous" is in itself ridiculous and a justification for your inability to make such choices.

RE

Right on, thanks for enlightening me RE.  I apologize for being so self-centered.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 14, 2017, 07:21:30 AM
I "bought" my truck for 27K.  Not really though.  Really I bought it for $1k in cash and traded my old truck in, and I agreed to pay$386 a month for 7 years (I know, ridiculous, but I'm a man of limited means).  Whether that was a good idea or not is beside the point (I still maintain that it was better then buying another piece of shit, or attempting to fix my old truck).  Could I get a yacht for $1k and trade my truck in? Even if I had my old truck that I owned...no I could not. No bank is going to finance a used yacht. Lets say I sold my land for 30k though (which I hope will happen before the end of the year). Ok, I'd have the money to buy a yacht. So I buy a yacht and tow it to the ocean and get rid of my truck. I move my family onto the yacht. I'd probably need another 5k or so to get the yacht to the ocean stocked with all of the shit I'd need. Now I'm on a yacht in the ocean with my family and maybe a couple months worth of food. Sigh. "How will *I* do this?" *I* bought my truck for$27K on time payments from the bank. *I* can't buy a boat because a bank will not finance that for me.  I, I, I, it's always a self-centered argument about why YOU can't do this, but it's not generally an impossibility to do it, and in fact you really could do it, if you get a job driving truck for a couple of years and the economy holds up some and you put all your income toward it, but you won't.  The income will go toward getting out of Aunt Bee's place for GM and the boys and into some other McHovel, while you live inside the box of your Freightliner and "Sacrifice your Life" for your kids, as you phrased it in another thread.

As I said when this debate began LD, this is very self-centered on why YOU cannot make these choices and decisions on a way to live.  But they are not universal problems, and to call living this way "ridiculous" is in itself ridiculous and a justification for your inability to make such choices.

RE

Right on, thanks for enlightening me RE.  I apologize for being so self-centered.

You asked for it, you got it.  Are you not entertained?

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: luciddreams on July 14, 2017, 07:32:12 AM
I "bought" my truck for 27K.  Not really though.  Really I bought it for $1k in cash and traded my old truck in, and I agreed to pay$386 a month for 7 years (I know, ridiculous, but I'm a man of limited means).  Whether that was a good idea or not is beside the point (I still maintain that it was better then buying another piece of shit, or attempting to fix my old truck).  Could I get a yacht for $1k and trade my truck in? Even if I had my old truck that I owned...no I could not. No bank is going to finance a used yacht. Lets say I sold my land for 30k though (which I hope will happen before the end of the year). Ok, I'd have the money to buy a yacht. So I buy a yacht and tow it to the ocean and get rid of my truck. I move my family onto the yacht. I'd probably need another 5k or so to get the yacht to the ocean stocked with all of the shit I'd need. Now I'm on a yacht in the ocean with my family and maybe a couple months worth of food. Sigh. "How will *I* do this?" *I* bought my truck for$27K on time payments from the bank. *I* can't buy a boat because a bank will not finance that for me.  I, I, I, it's always a self-centered argument about why YOU can't do this, but it's not generally an impossibility to do it, and in fact you really could do it, if you get a job driving truck for a couple of years and the economy holds up some and you put all your income toward it, but you won't.  The income will go toward getting out of Aunt Bee's place for GM and the boys and into some other McHovel, while you live inside the box of your Freightliner and "Sacrifice your Life" for your kids, as you phrased it in another thread.

As I said when this debate began LD, this is very self-centered on why YOU cannot make these choices and decisions on a way to live.  But they are not universal problems, and to call living this way "ridiculous" is in itself ridiculous and a justification for your inability to make such choices.

RE

I'm not going to stay here and acquiesce to your abuse.

You want to shut me down by saying I'm "self-centered" because I* share my empirical experiences here in the first person?  That's bullshit.

I* actually have a family.  I* actually am a family man with a wife and two children.  I* am likely going to be around to live through the next 30 years of collapse, with a family.  The challenges that face me are overwhelmingly daunting.  This makes me self-centered?  I'm* awake to the truth of our world, and I* care greatly about making the right decisions.  I* care greatly about the well being of all the people on this Earth.  I'm* in existential crisis about the specter of the near future and what I* should do about it.  I* am in service to my family, and somehow this makes me self-centered?

Yeah...

Enjoy playing at "saving as many as you can" while living in a van for pictures for the Diner.  Except for when it's too cold, then you can huddle up in your apartment.  You're so cavalier RE.  So experienced and all knowing.  Always right, never wrong.

Fuck it...

I've* got a life, and three other lives, that need me to navigate through collapse.  Maybe I* should just stop thinking and do what the great RE says.  The great RE that's never raised a family.

Or maybe I* should just stop sharing.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 14, 2017, 07:44:02 AM
I "bought" my truck for 27K.  Not really though.  Really I bought it for $1k in cash and traded my old truck in, and I agreed to pay$386 a month for 7 years (I know, ridiculous, but I'm a man of limited means).  Whether that was a good idea or not is beside the point (I still maintain that it was better then buying another piece of shit, or attempting to fix my old truck).  Could I get a yacht for $1k and trade my truck in? Even if I had my old truck that I owned...no I could not. No bank is going to finance a used yacht. Lets say I sold my land for 30k though (which I hope will happen before the end of the year). Ok, I'd have the money to buy a yacht. So I buy a yacht and tow it to the ocean and get rid of my truck. I move my family onto the yacht. I'd probably need another 5k or so to get the yacht to the ocean stocked with all of the shit I'd need. Now I'm on a yacht in the ocean with my family and maybe a couple months worth of food. Sigh. "How will *I* do this?" *I* bought my truck for$27K on time payments from the bank. *I* can't buy a boat because a bank will not finance that for me.  I, I, I, it's always a self-centered argument about why YOU can't do this, but it's not generally an impossibility to do it, and in fact you really could do it, if you get a job driving truck for a couple of years and the economy holds up some and you put all your income toward it, but you won't.  The income will go toward getting out of Aunt Bee's place for GM and the boys and into some other McHovel, while you live inside the box of your Freightliner and "Sacrifice your Life" for your kids, as you phrased it in another thread.

As I said when this debate began LD, this is very self-centered on why YOU cannot make these choices and decisions on a way to live.  But they are not universal problems, and to call living this way "ridiculous" is in itself ridiculous and a justification for your inability to make such choices.

RE

I'm not going to stay here and acquiesce to your abuse.

You want to shut me down by saying I'm "self-centered" because I* share my empirical experiences here in the first person?  That's bullshit.

I* actually have a family.  I* actually am a family man with a wife and two children.  I* am likely going to be around to live through the next 30 years of collapse, with a family.  The challenges that face me are overwhelmingly daunting.  This makes me self-centered?  I'm* awake to the truth of our world, and I* care greatly about making the right decisions.  I* care greatly about the well being of all the people on this Earth.  I'm* in existential crisis about the specter of the near future and what I* should do about it.  I* am in service to my family, and somehow this makes me self-centered?

Yeah...

Enjoy playing at "saving as many as you can" while living in a van for pictures for the Diner.  Except for when it's too cold, then you can huddle up in your apartment.  You're so cavalier RE.  So experienced and all knowing.  Always right, never wrong.

Fuck it...

I've* got a life, and three other lives, that need me to navigate through collapse.  Maybe I* should just stop thinking and do what the great RE says.  The great RE that's never raised a family.

Or maybe I* should just stop sharing.

I never made any promises the Diner would be an EZ place to hang out.

I get abused all the time for the way I live an my choices in life, and I deal with that as I need to when it arises.

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.  I am not forcing you to remain here, it's your choice to do that.  I hope you will remain, but I sure won't give you a pass on comments like calling Yachtie living "ridiculous", any more than you would give Knarf a pass on his Buddhist philosophy.

So, go Walkabout or Quit if you want to.  I will still be here though, I don't quit.  I can't if I want the Diner to stay open for bizness.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: luciddreams on July 14, 2017, 10:01:34 AM
I "bought" my truck for 27K.  Not really though.  Really I bought it for $1k in cash and traded my old truck in, and I agreed to pay$386 a month for 7 years (I know, ridiculous, but I'm a man of limited means).  Whether that was a good idea or not is beside the point (I still maintain that it was better then buying another piece of shit, or attempting to fix my old truck).  Could I get a yacht for $1k and trade my truck in? Even if I had my old truck that I owned...no I could not. No bank is going to finance a used yacht. Lets say I sold my land for 30k though (which I hope will happen before the end of the year). Ok, I'd have the money to buy a yacht. So I buy a yacht and tow it to the ocean and get rid of my truck. I move my family onto the yacht. I'd probably need another 5k or so to get the yacht to the ocean stocked with all of the shit I'd need. Now I'm on a yacht in the ocean with my family and maybe a couple months worth of food. Sigh. "How will *I* do this?" *I* bought my truck for$27K on time payments from the bank. *I* can't buy a boat because a bank will not finance that for me.  I, I, I, it's always a self-centered argument about why YOU can't do this, but it's not generally an impossibility to do it, and in fact you really could do it, if you get a job driving truck for a couple of years and the economy holds up some and you put all your income toward it, but you won't.  The income will go toward getting out of Aunt Bee's place for GM and the boys and into some other McHovel, while you live inside the box of your Freightliner and "Sacrifice your Life" for your kids, as you phrased it in another thread.

As I said when this debate began LD, this is very self-centered on why YOU cannot make these choices and decisions on a way to live.  But they are not universal problems, and to call living this way "ridiculous" is in itself ridiculous and a justification for your inability to make such choices.

RE

I'm not going to stay here and acquiesce to your abuse.

You want to shut me down by saying I'm "self-centered" because I* share my empirical experiences here in the first person?  That's bullshit.

I* actually have a family.  I* actually am a family man with a wife and two children.  I* am likely going to be around to live through the next 30 years of collapse, with a family.  The challenges that face me are overwhelmingly daunting.  This makes me self-centered?  I'm* awake to the truth of our world, and I* care greatly about making the right decisions.  I* care greatly about the well being of all the people on this Earth.  I'm* in existential crisis about the specter of the near future and what I* should do about it.  I* am in service to my family, and somehow this makes me self-centered?

Yeah...

Enjoy playing at "saving as many as you can" while living in a van for pictures for the Diner.  Except for when it's too cold, then you can huddle up in your apartment.  You're so cavalier RE.  So experienced and all knowing.  Always right, never wrong.

Fuck it...

I've* got a life, and three other lives, that need me to navigate through collapse.  Maybe I* should just stop thinking and do what the great RE says.  The great RE that's never raised a family.

Or maybe I* should just stop sharing.

I never made any promises the Diner would be an EZ place to hang out.

I get abused all the time for the way I live an my choices in life, and I deal with that as I need to when it arises.

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.  I am not forcing you to remain here, it's your choice to do that.  I hope you will remain, but I sure won't give you a pass on comments like calling Yachtie living "ridiculous", any more than you would give Knarf a pass on his Buddhist philosophy.

So, go Walkabout or Quit if you want to.  I will still be here though, I don't quit.  I can't if I want the Diner to stay open for bizness.

RE

You have a peculiar way of ignoring the vast majority of what I have said.  I did not call "yachtie living ridiculous" in a void.  There was context.  I don't even think I said that.  I said living in a van with a family of four is ridiculous because it is.

At any rate, this conversation has become ridiculous, so I will stop contributing to it.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 14, 2017, 01:16:33 PM
At any rate, this conversation has become ridiculous, so I will stop contributing to it.

RE WINS by a knockout!  :icon_sunny:

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Surly1 on July 14, 2017, 02:13:10 PM
At any rate, this conversation has become ridiculous, so I will stop contributing to it.

RE WINS by a knockout!  :icon_sunny:

RE

I guess being an asshole is all you have left?

(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-CtvreVM0IiA/VKefPWXxgTI/AAAAAAAAEn8/nw0b_A0Sxsk/w1200-h630-p-k-no-nu/FRIENDS+&+IDIOTS.jpg)
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 14, 2017, 02:51:31 PM

I haven't lost any friends.  I just annoy the hell out of them.  :icon_sunny:

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Nearingsfault on July 14, 2017, 05:34:16 PM
To continue the fight analogy at best you won on points and by a split decision probably because one of the judges missed several kidney shots you took on a friend.  Hope it was worth it.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 14, 2017, 06:19:58 PM
To continue the fight analogy at best you won on points

No, when somebody else quits a debate, it's a Knockout.  Debates can go many rounds, more than the 15 in the typical Boxing Match, we have had some here that went 40 pages deep at 15 posts to a page.  However, when your opponent doesn't show up for the next round, you win by knockout.

This is how I am built.  My friends get pissed at me because of this, but I have always been this way and it is unlikely I will change before I buy my ticket to the Great Beyond.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 14, 2017, 07:24:01 PM
I went out yesterday to make another Video in my new I Spy Doom series on Heating methods to use if you are Homeless and living in a Stealth Van or even a Tent or a Refrigerator Box (I have 5 videos now in the can for the new series).  For this video as backdrop I went to another one of my Boondocking locations, one of the Alaska State Parks that is not too far from where I live.  It's a very nice spot right on one of the many lakes around here.

 DetailsBoondocks Lake Boondocks Lake

It's not a real "boondocking" location though, because there are charges attached even just for parking for the day and not camping overnight.  Here's the list of charges:

 DetailsBoondocking Park Fees Boondocking Park Fees

So to be strictly legal on this, I paid the $5 Daily Parking fee and then set up my JVC on the tripod to make the Vid. I considered not paying the fee to see if I would get caught, but it was a good thing I paid because the "Camp Host" wanders around all day checking the receipts in your windshield to see if you paid up. My setup also garnered the attention of the Camp Host since it was very uncommon. He wanted to know WTF I was doing? ??? :icon_scratch: I explained to him that I run a website concerned with Survival Issues and I was making a video on Heating. It's not against Park Rules to make videos! He nodded that was true and then puttered off to check more windshields for their receipts as more folks rolled into the park to launch their boats and do some fishing. Camp Hosts are usually Old Guys who spend all season living in their RVs of various types and sizes for free, and in return they monitor the park to make sure people Obey the Rules and PAY UP!$5 was not a lot to pay to make this particular video, I got a real nice backdrop out of it.  What really got to me though were the charges for overnight camping and for launching a boat off the ramp!

$25 for an overnight campsite and then another$15 to launch your boat each day off the ramp.  That is $40/day to do your fishing in this location! I asked two of these fishers if they caught anything, and both said "no, nothing much". What they caught was too small and they threw it back. For$40, I can go over to 3 Bears and buy 2 lbs of fresh Halibut or 3 lbs of fresh salmon!  Already Filleted and ready for the grill or the smoker if I am going to make Nova Lox!

On top of the daily cost to use this location, you of course also have the cost of your boat and the fuel you use for it, and the big ass pickup truck you use to haul the boat around on its trialer and launch off its trailer into the lake, and then retrieve it with the big ass winch attached to your trailer.

Bottom line on this is that under BAU, fishing in this manner is not economical at all, it's just entertainment.   For the Prepper though, once Da Goobermint collapses, knowing these places could become a source of food once no Camp Hosts are around and there is no State to pay fines to if you are caught not paying your camping fee or boat launch fee.

Overall though as I boondock around here, I prefer the Public Use areas that are NOT state parks, and for which there is no fee attached to use them.  There are no facilities at all in these spots (read that no bathrooms or even porta-potties), but otherwise are better in almost every way.  Since there are no Hookups, the RV Tourista crowd don't use them.  They are empty almost all the time.  They are QUIET, no Motor Boats being launched off the ramp!  In my video, some jackass launched his boat and it was buzzing for around 2 minutes of the vid and I had to talk over that using my gym voice.

Far as pricing and budget go, you have to keep the number of days you spend in Private Campgrounds or State and National Parks to a minimum.  You could buy a Bates Motel room for these prices!  My experimental regime here this week has 2 nights of For-Pay sites to park SaVannah, and 5 of true Boondocking for FREE.   :icon_sunny:

RE

Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Palloy2 on July 14, 2017, 07:52:08 PM
You only truly win the argument in the eyes of your peers if you have hit the nail precisely on the head. I think you have missed a bit in that you focused on "I", when you should have focused on the "can't".  As in "I can't do this because THEY won't let me (and I've GOT TO stick to the rules of my society, which I hate)".  My friends used to avoid childrens' tantrums by MAKING the little brats go outside until they've cooled off, even in the dark. It works a treat and is simple Pavlovian training.  "I can't live in a tiny house because my children want to run around in house" then becomes "I can't live in a tiny house because I don't want to teach my children to behave, and anyway SOCIETY EXPECTS me to live in a large house." (feed them junk food, play with smartphones, wear the latest expensive fashion shoes, etc).

I did once give my daughter a sharp slap on the shoulder when she kicked the dog, and she turned out OK - covered in tattoos and piercings and getting married in her roller-derby gear at age 37.   ::)
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: K-Dog on July 14, 2017, 07:54:27 PM
In a collapse scenario living in a poorly insulated vehicle that no longer can move around easily to offset that disadvantage makes no sense.  Most of travel pre-collapse amounts to aimless wandering.  Post collapse there will be none of that.  Those that do will be bones.  Fuel will be too precious to waste.  Those who would sail won't have the same fuel issue but they will not be able to re-supply when stores run low.  They will not be welcome wherever they anchor.

It would be good to write a narrative about the fate of a couple of sailors.  Perhaps they start out as two men sharing one woman but otherwise normal.  Then when pirates abduct her and serially rape her it will be a natural transition.

In hard collapse the best thing will be to be in a place where you can hunker down.  Travelers will be subject to ambush.

I'm having coffee in front of a coffeeshop that is having an art show.  The artist is behind me sketching the front of the building.  I am watching genteel eaters wander in and out.  Couples mostly.  Nothing that is happening here is serving any practical purpose.  In hard collapse most of the eaters will be eaten and there will be no art shows.

Having a stealth van is cool but the purpose of a stealth van is to get on to a place where you can hunker down.  Once there you may as well burn the van.  That actually might be a good idea because then all the stealth van would be is an attractive nusance.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Petty Tyrant on July 14, 2017, 09:16:13 PM
I dont see it like that kdog.

I see this as a single person or couples option though,
Its Only a family option with a bigger RV or pulling a caravan, but i dont see stealth living being feasible for a family.

Eg, i have several relatives in Melbourne but the one i prefer to stay with there is not the one with a clean house and spare room in an expensive area,  its the trucker and my nephews with a 2 bedroom apartment full of clutter. Lets say i had no work locally and there was work in Melbourne. I could take a van and park it in his front yard or even on the street. I could go in and cook,  chat,  watch tv shower etc and pay bugger all, zip, zero,  nada, nothing instead of ridiculous rent. If the job is 2 hrs away i can park nearby and save all that fuel and time too. I can even stash my sleeping and other gear and work as a courier van. If u have plumbing, building or other skills u can carry tools to do this with your van too. Hell, u could even use your cooking gear to make a roadside food stall and support yourself.

My dipshit brother is here for 3 weeks with me getting off of drugs, hes made about 2 weeks already. Nothing to do this weekend we are sitting around with nothing to do except buy beer. So im going to get a van and if he stays clean he gets the van to do plumbing again, if not i will keep it for a stealth living and working option.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: K-Dog on July 14, 2017, 09:30:54 PM
But we are not talking about the same thing.  We need to define terms here.  What exactly is a stealth van?  If you are using it to travel to a job that is a pre-collapse situation.  Civil order remains.  Then it is just a van.

I pass vans camping under the Spokane street viaduct 5 days a week.  The people in them are called homeless and there are a lot of these vans.  Even for them it is a lifestyle dependent on civil order and as long as they are law abiding they are protected.  When it was cold burning barells were tolerated until a camper van burned up under the viaduct.  The city provides free phones so they can look for work.  I do not know the details.

Heating in a van did not cut it.  They had to sit in front of barrels of burning wood.  Of course now it is summertime and living is easy.

If RE means living like a bum but really not being a bum then 'stealth' makes sense but as long as civil order remains the van has nothing to do with collapse and is just a van.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Palloy2 on July 14, 2017, 10:21:47 PM
Thought I would cheer myself up by watching a post-nuclear film last night: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdySRhTIcQc (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdySRhTIcQc) "Unimaginable Horror".  I don't know why, but everyone who survives WW3 seemed intent on killing everybody else.  "Knock, knock" -  "Bang!". No "Welcome to the community of Survivors,  lets plant a new garden in the radioactive ash."  The last person standing, of course, survives, but I would give him much of a chance, if that scenario were to prove realistic.  Not many laughs. 0 stars.

Then on to "By Dawn's Early Light" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rM-hcgv0J3k (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rM-hcgv0J3k) .  Here WW3 starts with a nuclear missile from Turkey hitting Russia, and before the nuclear codes reach the Oval Office, a nuclear blast hits the White House, which the President somehow survives. But his helicopter to rendezvous with Air Force 1 crashes and someone else takes over. He is a hawk and orders the B1s to flatten Russia, hoping to shoot their retaliatory bombers down.  Meanwhile on the B1, there is a mutiny and they turn back. The real President (who miraculously isn't dead again) contacts the permanent flying HQ and thru a quirk of needing 2 sets of security codes to change orders, they crash their plane into Air Force 1 and save the world from the mad President. And they all lived happily ever after. The End.  Unbelieveable, but at least there was a plot. 2 stars.

The thing both films had in common was nobody knew what the hell was going on from start to finish. No "civil order" or not.

Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 14, 2017, 11:15:01 PM
But we are not talking about the same thing.  We need to define terms here.  What exactly is a stealth van?  If you are using it to travel to a job that is a pre-collapse situation.  Civil order remains.  Then it is just a van.

I pass vans camping under the Spokane street viaduct 5 days a week.  The people in them are called homeless and there are a lot of these vans.  Even for them it is a lifestyle dependent on civil order and as long as they are law abiding they are protected.  When it was cold burning barells were tolerated until a camper van burned up under the viaduct.  The city provides free phones so they can look for work.  I do not know the details.

Heating in a van did not cut it.  They had to sit in front of barrels of burning wood.  Of course now it is summertime and living is easy.

If RE means living like a bum but really not being a bum then 'stealth' makes sense but as long as civil order remains the van has nothing to do with collapse and is just a van.

OMFG.  Now I see the problem here.  You folks confuse the STYLE of Road Living with the SIZE of the vehicle you do it in!  ::)  You ALSO make value judgements on the people who live this way as being "Bums".

This is one type of "Van".  It has enough room for one or two people.  It is similar to my own SaVANnah.

(http://www.absolutemobilitycenter.com/resrc/media/image/394114/used-2001-gmc-savana-limitedse_id286838936_o.jpg)

This is a larger Van.  By itself not pulling a trailer, probably large enough for 4-8 people to live in.

(https://www.penskeusedtrucks.com/usedtrucks/JpgServlet/574940_1.jpg)

Here is a fucking BIG ASS Van.  I could fit a whole TRIBE in this one!

Here is a small Van pulling a trailer.   This one OK for 4 people, if 2 of them are small kids.

Now, on the issue of poor people who live this way being "bums", WTF is a "bum"?  It's a pejorative term against poor people is what it is. Now, unlike Yachties, Gypsies and the Van Dweller sub-cultures, most of these folks don't WILLINGLY live this way, they just had to live this way because financial circumstances demanded it.  But does that make them worse people because they hit financial hard times?  Now they are "Bums" to be spat on?

Yachties and Van Dwellers are no different other than one does it by sea, the other by land.  If you are single, you can get away with this size boat.  It's a nice 30' boat numerous people have circumnavigated.

(http://www.boatdejour.com/wp-content/gallery/misc/baba30.jpg)

If you are married with two kids, "you're going to need a Bigger Boat." lol.  A 38 footer is about right for this.  This one now ON SALE for $30K. (http://images.boats.com/resize/wp/2/files/2012/10/CaboRico38profile.jpg) If you want to house a whole tribe like the big ass Van above, you're going to need a VERY big boat! ::) (http://www.seacloud.com/fileadmin/_migrated/textmedia_images/Sea_Cloud_CB.jpg) I am NOT talking about the size of vehicle you choose or how you rig up in my work on Van Dwelling, I am talking about the TECHNIQUES of living OTR, and I have more experience with this than any other Diner. The smaller the vehicle or rig you can work with the better, but OBVIOUSLY more people takes a bigger rig set up. I would have thought this was clear in my talk about trailers, but obviously it was not because almost everyone did not grasp it. I hope I have now made myself clear. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: K-Dog on July 14, 2017, 11:16:32 PM Quote I don't know why, but everyone who survives WW3 seemed intent on killing everybody else. Well, perhaps just maybe, watching hundreds of cold blooded murders enacted on the home video god primed them to react that way? We my friend are too refined for this but entertainment like 'Game of Thrones' has spawned a new series of high production value video offerings which are quite graphic in glorifying murder. Gone are the days when at least good did in evil and the sensationalism was disguised behind the facade of a modern day morality play. Now evil is likely to triumph because that gets ratings. Far fetched K-Dog? No not at all. Study a bit of how propaganda works and you will understand that appeal is made to the primitive brain and reasoning powers are bypassed by repetition. Advertisement primes people to buy and they do not know it just as modern entertainment now primes people to kill and they do not know it. Repetition escalates as a consequence of competition for the advertising dollar and in this I do not refer to the ads as escalating but the portrayal and consequent glorification of murder. (https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/MMbut_YE4a3EcUQiVWBBLg--/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjtzbT0xO3c9NTAwO2g9Mjc5/http:/33.media.tumblr.com/07576ec83a21f4fbcf5eb74b341760b1/tumblr_inline_o62t75AQHt1tdxckh_500.gif) Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: K-Dog on July 14, 2017, 11:22:09 PM http://www.youtube.com/v/8uKbIkYGsIg Going for the straw man are you. Now: Regardless of the size of your vehicle the lifestyle still depends on civil order or simply enough, had you the fuel roads would soon be impassible. The highwayman returns. But if you are not talking about collapse then it is not stealth. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 15, 2017, 12:03:54 AM Going for the straw man are you. Now: Regardless of the size of your vehicle the lifestyle still depends on civil order or simply enough, had you the fuel roads would soon be impassible. The highwayman returns. But if you are not talking about collapse then it is not stealth. I stipulated in the article that this lifestyle cannot be perpetuated after TSHTF. You need GAS. Please read for comprehension. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! -Preppers! who needs them Post by: knarf on July 15, 2017, 02:32:12 AM https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doomsday_Preppers (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doomsday_Preppers) Doomsday Preppers Those involved in this forum on the dinner do this one way or the other. That's why we are here. A little letting go of an argument is a victory for RE. LD has his own situation he HAS to deal with ALL the time. Come on people. We are forgetting our commitment to be doing something while the our world collapses. We all are doing the best we can to stay sane in an insane world. THAT is mental health. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Petty Tyrant on July 15, 2017, 03:18:37 AM Kdog, how do u know the 'homeless' are not doing what i suggested hmm? How do they pay their insurance and registration otherwise i wonder. Anyway we have a van now. Yes it was a 'hold my beer' decision, but my brother could drive, so we went to Hobart the capitol and picked one up, its 2 hrs drive from my place in the highlands. I got a Mitsubishi Express 2.5 diseel, 1 ton, 5sp manual. Ive had great reliability and performance with my current and last two Mitsubishis so went with it. Its dark and -6c right now at 8.30pm pm so no foto but tomoz i will. I had sobered up enough to legally drive it home by the time i bought it and this is my report: first off this is a 94 model but they made these for over a decade after that and they all look the same, so it doesn't look old. Theres millions of these on the road. Its the size of the van RE posted as 'small' in a foto above. Vendor was a 60 yr old guy who is in slim good shape and still runs marathon. We built a rapport talking about running/fitness and how junior is a sprinter, world class for his age. This has 298k km but has been used for camping in the decade hes owned it. Diesels are good for 400k with towing and city, so 300 of country miles without load still has many years of life. This has no play in the steering or gearshift and not much wear on the clutch pedal so i believe its done long distance not city cycle. I looked at the service history and noted it hasnt had a timing belt done for 90k km and its due every 100k km. Its almost due. So that is about a 900$ job, and i said that had to come off the price. Of course i will do it myself for the price of the belt hehehe. Also i will repaint it as my hobby is restoring classic cars. I am tempted to do a 3 tone colour scheme. Yellow front blending into orange middle blending into red rear. I will contain myself however and do plain original white to stay stealth.

On the road, a size 13 boot does not have any room in the footwell on the accelerator. You cant move your foot back to place your toe in the pedal and the spring is too soft. I would need to move the pedal forward and make the spring harder if i was to drive any distances.

The speed is slow but legal. 100 or 110 is plenty fast for it, the speed limit only. Noise from the back coming into the front is a lot, maybe a matress and other things would change that, otherwise road and differential noise is too much.

Anyway i booked a drug test for my dipshit brother in august and if he passes, well done he gets the van. Hes a plumber by trade but prefers to be a lazy bum, wheeling and dealing at a used car lot. I want him to get back into his trade, but if he doesnt stay clean after a month here, then a month at home it gives me an excuse to fight. Dipshit below;

Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: K-Dog on July 15, 2017, 08:24:24 AM

Going for the straw man are you.

Now:  Regardless of the size of your vehicle the lifestyle still depends on civil order or simply enough, had you the fuel roads would soon be impassible.  The highwayman returns.

But if you are not talking about collapse then it is not stealth.

I stipulated in the article that this lifestyle cannot be perpetuated after TSHTF.  You need GAS.  Please read for comprehension.

RE

Then just staying under the radar of the local gestapo does not make you different than everybody else with a van.  Nothing stealthy about it.  Many of our vans were using Wallmart parking lots for overnight for a while but I don't know if they can still do that.  I do not believe our local gestapo cares about vans as long as rules are followed.  Homeless people have been part of the Seattle landscape for a long time and the rule here is live and let live.  There are places where vans can park and places where they can't.  I think the gestapo will have   van people move their vans periodically so they don't create a permanent residence situation.  That is also something that is done with our homeless camp.  From time to time the camp has to move.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: luciddreams on July 15, 2017, 08:37:43 AM
What exactly is it that you won RE?  Did you win the debate because you proved me wrong on some account, or just because I got tired of arguing with you?  It's really more like I got tired of you only addressing a small part of what I was saying.  The main issue here is not winning a debate, at least not for me.  I come here with an open mind.  I share my life on the Diner because people here are collapse aware.  IRL I only have one friend who is collapse aware, and he lives 3 hours away, but he does have a wife and two kids.  What annoys the shit out of me about you RE is that in a debate you only care about winning.  A big part of debating is winning, but that's not the entire point.

Humility is necessary to grow.  Otherwise you ignore everything that won't help you win.  It gets narrowed down to just winning and nothing is learned.  I don't know that I've ever seen you admit that you were wrong RE.  Are you capable of it?  I'm not so sure.  If you are not capable of it, then debating with you is finally pointless...and even a ridiculous waste of time.  You ignored the bulk of my argument and then came up with this absurd sentiment that I was somehow self-centered for arguing from my vantage point.  I'm not just arguing for me but for all family men in Merika who are poor and have limited financial means.

What I'm interested in is the best strategy to thrive in a collapsing world.  Obviously I feel that our techno-industrial civilization is collapsing, and that other modes of existing are going to be necessary.  Adopting these modes sooner rather than later is intelligent because it gives you an advantage.  Is it your contention that the best possible strategy for thriving in the future is a "stealth van," and that this is true regardless of whether for a lone individual such as yourself or for a family man with two young children?  For a lone individual these modes of existing may be the best possible.  However I think that your "stealth van" strategy is largely inflated with fantasy and a preoccupation with doomer porn.  If it won't be a viable lifestyle after petroleum because unavailable or too expensive what is the fucking point of it?  Why bother with it for any reasons other then to keep yourself busy and distracted and supply a modicum of delusional hopium.

You see, it doesn't matter for you.  You are near dying due to a lifetime of abusing your body with alcohol and cigarettes.  You are alone and have no dependents.  You are free to do as you please.  I am not.  Why the fuck would I invest all of my limited means into a strategy that's doomed from the outset?  How is a "stealth van" going to help me or my family?  Living on a yacht with young children would be next to impossible.  Posting up a couple of pictures of a family of four on a yacht proves nothing other then a family of four was on a yacht.  You got a link to a blog written by a parent living this way, or some other proof that it's being done?  I contend that whomever is living that way with small children must have a small fortune in the bank.

The main responsibility as a family man is to provide as much security as possible to your family.  Unfortunately, in our society, this largely means providing as much money as you can.  After that it means providing stability in the living arrangement.  I am where I am by choice.  I saw an opportunity and took it.  I knew that it would require compromise and adaptability on my part.  There were many unknowns in this opportunity.  There were and still are many challenges.  The end result is that I'm living in an 1800 square foot double wide trailer on 1.6 acres that I don't have to pay for and which is being left to my family.  Are you saying that I'd be better off "boondocking" in a camper with my family?  You've admitted that I would need a camper which you said you call a "trailer" because you used to be a truck driver and apparently everything towed behind a vehicle is classified as a "trailer."  That's a rather nebulous tactic for winning this argument.  A 30' camper is not the same thing as a 6X12' box trailer.

Yes, I am arguing from a somewhat self centered position, as are you, and that is because how else is one to argue?  You did not knock me out.  I threw down my gloves and quit the fight because I was tired of the kidney shots.

This is not a matter of can or can't either Palloy.  This is a matter of should or shouldn't?  This is a matter of figuring out the best strategy to employ for maximum thriving in a collapsing techno-industrial civilization...with children.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: luciddreams on July 15, 2017, 08:48:24 AM

Going for the straw man are you.

Now:  Regardless of the size of your vehicle the lifestyle still depends on civil order or simply enough, had you the fuel roads would soon be impassible.  The highwayman returns.

But if you are not talking about collapse then it is not stealth.

I stipulated in the article that this lifestyle cannot be perpetuated after TSHTF.  You need GAS.  Please read for comprehension.

RE

Then just staying under the radar of the local gestapo does not make you different than everybody else with a van.  Nothing stealthy about it.  Many of our vans were using Wallmart parking lots for overnight for a while but I don't know if they can still do that.  I do not believe our local gestapo cares about vans as long as rules are followed.  Homeless people have been part of the Seattle landscape for a long time and the rule here is live and let live.  There are places where vans can park and places where they can't.  I think the gestapo will have   van people move their vans periodically so they don't create a permanent residence situation.  That is also something that is done with our homeless camp.  From time to time the camp has to move.

I need a strategy that will be employable after tshtf.  Why would I waste resources on anything other when I have a 7 and 4 year old depending on me to find that pathway.

Also, Kdog brings up a very valid aspect to this, and it's one that I've brought up multiple times.  A stealth van is nothing more then a homeless lifestyle.  Therefore you are arguing that I'd be doing a better job as a husband and father by taking my family into a homeless situation.

I fail to see how being homeless is going to increase either my quality of living or provide me with more security for a post collapse society.  At least here I have a food forest, chickens, and lots of bamboo.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Surly1 on July 15, 2017, 12:43:19 PM

Going for the straw man are you.

Now:  Regardless of the size of your vehicle the lifestyle still depends on civil order or simply enough, had you the fuel roads would soon be impassible.  The highwayman returns.

But if you are not talking about collapse then it is not stealth.

I stipulated in the article that this lifestyle cannot be perpetuated after TSHTF.  You need GAS.  Please read for comprehension.

RE

Then just staying under the radar of the local gestapo does not make you different than everybody else with a van.  Nothing stealthy about it.  Many of our vans were using Wallmart parking lots for overnight for a while but I don't know if they can still do that.  I do not believe our local gestapo cares about vans as long as rules are followed.  Homeless people have been part of the Seattle landscape for a long time and the rule here is live and let live.  There are places where vans can park and places where they can't.  I think the gestapo will have   van people move their vans periodically so they don't create a permanent residence situation.  That is also something that is done with our homeless camp.  From time to time the camp has to move.

I need a strategy that will be employable after tshtf.  Why would I waste resources on anything other when I have a 7 and 4 year old depending on me to find that pathway.

Also, Kdog brings up a very valid aspect to this, and it's one that I've brought up multiple times.  A stealth van is nothing more then a homeless lifestyle.  Therefore you are arguing that I'd be doing a better job as a husband and father by taking my family into a homeless situation.

I fail to see how being homeless is going to increase either my quality of living or provide me with more security for a post collapse society.  At least here I have a food forest, chickens, and lots of bamboo.

FWIW, both you and K-Dog are both correct.

It's easy for RE to pontificate because he has never had to be responsible for another human being. When you don't have to consider other people, it is much easier to live in theory and make your own whim become fact. When you have others looking to you for substance-- and for example-- your calculations become more complicated.

That's not judgmental, by the way; it's simply a fact of life.

You are making sound decisions. RE likes to argue about things because that's simply what he does. Argument to RE is as light to a moth.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 15, 2017, 01:12:31 PM
What exactly is it that you won RE?

I won the debate. You quit.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 15, 2017, 01:29:56 PM
It's easy for RE to pontificate because he has never had to be responsible for another human being.

No, it's EZ for RE to pontificate because he can read about the way different subcultures live their lives.

I keep hearing "This is Impossible" or "This is Ridiculous", when I KNOW both those statements are untrue.  Here is one example of a family of Yachties.

RE

FREEDOM
Sailing around the world for eight years with three kids taught us to live without structure

(https://qzprod.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/shell-phones-ninigo-islands-png-nov-2012.jpg?quality=80&strip=all&w=3200)
The Giffords on the bow of Totem, holding their "shell phones". (Behan Gifford)

Written by
Erik Olsen
Obsession
Life as Laboratory
October 08, 2016

Behan Gifford and her husband Jamie had it all. Three young children, a lovely home on an island near Seattle and two well-paying professional jobs. So why did the couple leave it all behind and decide to live aboard a sailboat for eight years?

“It’s just so easy to be caught up in the pattern of life and what you’re supposed to do next, whether it’s a house on the beach or another car. It’s so easy to grow your life in a direction that you feel like your life is expanding, but maybe it isn’t necessarily,” said Behan.

So they decided to leave and grow their lives in a new direction. In their years sailing the world, they have seen more than 30 countries and sailed every ocean on the planet. It has also been a voyage of self-discovery, they say, a choice of lifestyle that has presented countless challenges—and rewards—and that has tightened their bonds as a family.

The Giffords are part of a growing, but little-known community of people called cruisers. (A 2011 survey placed the global total number of cruising boats at 10,000.)  “Cruising requires that you learn to live without structure. And some people are really afraid of that.”  While many cruisers are couples or individuals who have given up the rat race to live a life-long dream, some are families who spend months, even years at sea or living on a boat in distant lands.

“It’s about the absolute sense of freedom. You get to explore the world and bring your home along with you,” says Lin Pardey, an author and 45-year veteran of the cruising lifestyle who, with her husband Larry, literally wrote the book on it. “But cruising requires that you learn to live without structure. And some people are really afraid of that.”

(https://qzprod.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/family-totem2-26.jpg?quality=80&strip=all&w=640)
On board the Totem. Jamie Gifford with his three children Niall (17), Siobhan (12) and Mairen (14)

In many ways, it’s been a big experiment for the couple. There’s little available data to establish whether pulling kids out of their schools and plying the seas is going to be good for them. Behan says her primary concern was making sure that their children could adapt to and even thrive in such an unusual environment.

For decades, there has been a community known as third culture kids, defined as individuals “who have spent a significant part of their developmental years outside their parents’ culture.” They are often the kids of diplomats or expats working for companies overseas. Some studies have shown that third culture kids actually have a higher rate of “cultural intelligence,” or ability to relate effectively across cultures. Another shows a far higher rate of college degrees among children brought up abroad. Conversely, third culture kids can suffer from a prolonged adolescence, where forming lasting relationships into adulthood is difficult.

But cruising is in many ways different and perhaps more challenging. The cruising community rarely stays in one place for more than a few months, and while they sometimes will rent a home in a foreign city, the die-hards live aboard their boats full-time. Behan and Jamie say they know several families who gave up early on the cruising lifestyle, that the lengthy time together in such close confines became too much to endure.

The Gifford’s say that their kids have managed the experience well and that it has given them tools that they will carry into adulthood. Take friendships. Since they are so often on the move, making new, lasting friendships can be a challenge. But Behan insists that the cruising community is large enough that there are ample opportunities for their children to meet other cruising kids and form long-term bonds with them. It just takes more work to build relationships and then to stay in touch. They say they frequently ask the kids if the life they are choosing works, and no child has so far wanted to return full-time to the US.

“It’s a wonderful, wonderful life,” she says.

Not a vacation

Behan is quick to point out that these last eight years have not been a vacation. The couple has often had to work while at sea or while aboard the boat in a port somewhere. Money has been tight. “People assume we’re independently wealthy, when we actually live on a budget that’s below the poverty line.” To make ends meet, Behan writes for magazines and Jamie, a professional sailmaker, has had several consulting projects. The couple says they have managed to survive on around $25,000 a year. Behan says that the lack of long-term financial security has been her greatest worry. “That’s actually the first question we usually get,” says Behan. “How much does it cost? I tell people, if you plan and live frugally, it does not have to be something for millionaires. People assume we’re independently wealthy, when we actually live on a budget that’s below the poverty line.” They didn’t enter into their new life as paupers. They began planning in 2002, after Jamie’s mother died of cancer. Planning meant saving as much money as possible and developing the technical skills to manage living on a boat for long stretches. It also meant waiting until their kids were old enough to understand the responsibilities and dangers of living at sea. Their youngest child, Mairen, was four years old when they set out. She says she has no recollection of life before then. The couple left Seattle in 2008, selling off most of their belongings and putting their home up for sale. They hoped to use the money from the sale to help finance the adventure, but the economic downturn devalued their house so much that they decided to rent it out. The rent covered the mortgage, but not taxes or insurance, so they had to delve into savings, something that frightened them. Behan was working for a software startup in Seattle and Jamie ran a small medical device import business. They say they had saved about five years worth of income to go cruising, although the plan was to be gone for just two or three years. “I feel like I have a much better idea of what the world outside the US is like, and I’ve really found that it’s ok to be different.” When they finally decided to make the leap, though, they say they knew it was time, that the frenetic pace of life with two wage earners in the household had already taken a toll. In 2007, they bought a Stevens 47 sailboat, nearly 50 feet long with two sleeping cabins and a kitchen. They christened it Totem. Both Behan and Jamie had grown up sailing, so they knew their way around a sailboat, but it still took months for the whole family to develop the skills they felt were required before setting out. (https://qzprod.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/family-totem2-3.jpg?quality=80&strip=all&w=640) The family has transitioned from paper books to reading on four Kindles which are loaded up with ebooks. What we learned Along the way, they have homeschooled their three children, Niall (17), Siobhan (12) and Mairen (14). Teaching has transcended traditional ABCs though. The whole family has learned critical lessons about self and survival. It’s okay to be different Behan says that while they were planning their new life, many friends and family members questioned the move and cautioned them against it. She says it took a great deal of mental effort and anguish to overcome their own uncertainties bred from other people’s fears. But over time, they came to realize that they had made the right choice, even if few people at the time agreed. As their uncertainties melted away, a rising confidence in their own decision-making began to percolate into other aspects of their lives. They realized that it was unnecessary, and in fact, potentially harmful, to be beholden to others’ opinions. “I feel like I have a much better idea of what the world outside the US is like, and I’ve really found that it’s ok to be different,” says their son Niall. “I don’t think I would be as mature or confident if I’d grown up on land.” Adaptability is a skill The Giffords say that each new country they visit offers a brand new environment, requiring the family to embrace a new culture, a new language, another way of looking at life. That has bred a level of adaptability that the parents believe will serve their children well into adulthood. Their ability to adapt helped immensely when it came to formulating a home school curriculum that best took advantage of their new lifestyle. Initially, they looked into popular homeschooling options like Calvert Education. But the program turned out to be wrong for them. The curriculum comes in a big box, one for each child, which they found burdensome on a small boat. And the lessons were too general, and didn’t seem to apply to the experiences they were having. “We take advantage of all these cool places we’ve been. Our lifestyle is like a living field trip.” “There’s efficiency in having kids learning similar things even at different ages,” says Jamie, “but to take advantage of all these cool places we’ve been, that’s where great learning takes place. Our lifestyle is like a living field trip.” So they dropped Calvert and developed their own curriculum using resources online and talking at length with other cruisers. The children are avid readers because, well, what else is there to do at sea for days on end? “Face it, there’s a lot of slow time on the boat,” says Jamie. While initially they had dozens of books on board, they slowly transitioned to reading on four Kindles which are loaded up with ebooks. While at sea, they have only enough bandwidth through a satellite phone to download text-only email. One indulgence which Behan was particularly adamant about was having a set of encyclopedias on board, which to most of us, in the age of Google and Wikipedia, seems quaint. Jamie was initially against having the large tomes aboard because of space constraints, but now says it was a great decision. “The kids looked stuff up all the time and then would just keep reading through other passages. It’s sounds antiquated, but it’s a great way to learn,” he says. Real life makes an excellent classroom Over the first year or two, the family came to appreciate how much more valuable the real world can be as a classroom than the traditional four walls and a blackboard most of us grew up with. On a reef in French Polynesia, where the couple spent weeks living and snorkeling, they brought scientists aboard (fellow cruisers with PhDs) who would school the children in marine biology. A book with pictures of a thriving reef, or a dying one, is no match for the real thing. (https://qzprod.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/family-totem2-32.jpg?quality=80&strip=all&w=640) Sometimes a coral reef becomes a classroom. “It’s a learning-rich environment,” says Jamie. In every new country, the family tries to learn the language. They have picked up Spanish and a smattering of others. “We were in Indonesia for six months and they got pretty good at Indonesian,” Jamie says. Perhaps of equal value, they have also learned for themselves how dramatically humans are impacting the globe. Some areas they have visited are virtual cesspools of pollution. Several spots around Southeast Asia are so ravaged by garbage and untreated sewage that entire swaths of ocean have become dead zones, literally bereft of life. “We’ve seen horrible environmental devastation, barges in Borneo loaded with trees illegally logged for palm oil and illegal gold mining operations that ruin the waterway. We have learned so much about these problems by seeing them firsthand,” says Jamie. The thread connecting all these lessons, of course, has been the need to live life without structure. There are routines, but every day is different, and often they are not sure what their new destination will be or what it will be like once they get there. A single bad decision or a bout of bad luck could bring their world crashing down, and that can be stressful when family and traditional support structures are ten thousand miles away. There have been several close calls when they worried about the safety of the family. They say that the lifestyle sometimes draws gasps from other so-called “helicopter parent” families, whose kids live intensely structured lives of school, sports and extracurricular activities. Despite the inherent risks, for the family, that seems to be the point of choosing this lifestyle. “I feel like our life is the polar opposite of that,” says Niall. “We are so out there. Everything we do is about NOT being cooped up in our own little world.” (https://qzprod.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/something-wicked-this-way-comes-squall-cell-in-southeast-asia.jpg?quality=80&strip=all&w=640) A squall looms on the horizon. (Behan Gifford) Not always perfect So has it all been so rosy? Not at all. The couple says that there have been several close calls when they worried about the safety of the family. One of the more terrifying moments actually happened in the US, off the coast of California when a powerboat lost control in Avalon Harbor on Catalina Island and almost rammed them. Dozens of other boats were destroyed, causing millions of dollars worth of damage, but the powerboat luckily missed them by a meter or so. In Dominica, the kids were just feet away when a fight broke out over drugs between a man wielding a machete and another man. They wrestled on the ground and the crowd pulled them apart. No one was badly hurt, but the experience was jarring. They have sailed into storms that were not reported on the marine radio, there have been lightning storms, and foodborne illness is always a concern. But usually the weather reports are accurate so they can avoid bad weather. And Behan says they take great care to make sure that the food they buy and eat is fresh and healthy. “We try to eat local whenever we can,” Behan says. They catch fish, but will stock up on staples like fruit, vegetables, pasta and rice when they reach a port. The family is close, but there have been stressful moments with everyone living on top of each other. In moments of tension, which the couple claims are rare, a family member might get off the boat and paddle a kayak or play on the beach. The biggest issue is the lack of a safety net. “Yeah, like any family, we argue, we get into a fight,” says Niall. “We’ll exchange some words and then go off and do our thing.” “We have a very big backyard,” jokes Jamie. The biggest issue is the lack of a safety net. “On land you’ve got 911,“ Jamie says. “But if you are in the middle of the ocean it can take days for someone to get to you.” (https://qzprod.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/totems-bow-reflected-in-clear-s-china-sea-waters-while-dolphin-swims-below.jpg?quality=80&strip=all&w=640) A dolphin swims off the Totem’s bow in the South China Sea. “It has brought us closer as a family.” Over these eight years, Behan has learned enough lessons, in fact, that she wrote a book with two other cruising parents that she hopes will enlighten and inform people who might want to give the cruising lifestyle a try. It’s not a life for everyone, they say, but for those who believe that the world offers a far richer life experience than an office job and a suburban home, the payoffs, they say, can be immense. “We’ve had to do this thing together,” Says Behan. “And that has brought us closer as a family. You really can’t ask for more than that.” Eight years into their adventure, the family is not stopping. In August, they sailed to Connecticut to spend time with Jamie’s aunt, who is in ill health. They are living with family and rekindling old friendships. Their son Niall is applying to college, and the couple is hoping that his unconventional schooling will be seen as a benefit to college admissions officers. In early October, they headed out again. The whole family took a vote and it was unanimous that the adventure should continue. They are now setting sail for the Bahamas and from there, well, they are not sure. There is an open horizon ahead and they are going to sail into it. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: K-Dog on July 15, 2017, 02:49:45 PM TOTAL BULL Quote Behan Gifford and her husband Jamie had it all. Three young children, a lovely home on an island near Seattle and two well-paying professional jobs. So why did the couple leave it all behind and decide to live aboard a sailboat for eight years? That would be Bainbridge or Vashon and I have lived on Bainbridge. A family income on either of these islands is$200 K Plus with a capital P.

This couple has the means to sail just as you in your so called stealth van will have the means to live like a well paid bum on your SS payments.  You portrayed a fantasy then you try and overwhelm us with lengthy posts which we all know is your secret weapon because you have told all of us this many times.

This family had an extended vacation they paid for with savings and that is all that is going on here.  A mobile lifestyle will produce no sustenance and must depend on depleting stored resources or a fixed income to fuel it.  The contribution of such a lifestyle to a collapse blog is ZERO!

Give it all up and sail away - HA !  With a bit more in the bank they could have given it all up and sailed the world in something like this.

Quote
The couple left Seattle in 2008, selling off most of their belongings and putting their home up for sale. They hoped to use the money from the sale to help finance the adventure, but the economic downturn devalued their house so much that they decided to rent it out. The rent covered the mortgage, but not taxes or insurance, so they had to delve into savings, something that frightened them. Behan was working for a software startup in Seattle and Jamie ran a small medical device import business. They say they had saved about five years worth of income to go cruising, although the plan was to be gone for just two or three years. “I feel like I have a much better idea of what the world outside the US is like, and I’ve really found that it’s ok to be different.” When they finally decided to make the leap, though, they say they knew it was time, that the frenetic pace of life with two wage earners in the household had already taken a toll.

Five years at $200 K is a million dollars. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: agelbert on July 15, 2017, 03:22:24 PM Interesting comments. (http://www.luxury-design.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Yacht-Island-Design-Monaco-exterior-690x345.jpg) I have a question. How many here actually believe that living in this epitome of empathy deficit disordered materialistic bling would make them happy in a society LIKE OURS where moral behavior, when it isn't aggressively punished, is mostly absent? Anyone that knows anything about supply lines, mechanical maintenance in or on a salt water environment and logistics, like me ;D, looks at the above and recognizes it as logistics NIGHTMARE. But it looks mighty pretty, doesn't it? EVERYTHING about that vehicle is pure eye candy for the basest instincts humans have. Yet many see that as the epitome of "high class living". :emthdown: :( I pity anyone who actually see the above as the top level "self-actualization" fulfillment of Maslow's hierarchy, never mind spiritual needs of humans that Maslow failed to address (that many here do not even believe exist). If you would envy someone who owns and lives on that floating pollution factory, then you are part of the problem that is dooming humanity. If you want a better society, you need to repent of envying those idiots who wallow in luxury while billions of people and animals barely survive. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: luciddreams on July 15, 2017, 04:16:42 PM It's easy for RE to pontificate because he has never had to be responsible for another human being. No, it's EZ for RE to pontificate because he can read about the way different subcultures live their lives. I keep hearing "This is Impossible" or "This is Ridiculous", when I KNOW both those statements are untrue. Here is one example of a family of Yachties. RE Really, you can pontificate because you can read? That's interesting. By that measure I can pontificate all day long about life as an over the road truck driver. Never done it, but I can read, and know about it. The little story about the family of yachties that you posted up only proved my point about that lifestyle. You gotta be rich bitch. You didn't win shit RE, cept the prize of being a legend in your own mind. You aren't foolin' anyone but yourself. But hey, are you not entertained ::) Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 15, 2017, 04:56:25 PM TOTAL BULL Quote Behan Gifford and her husband Jamie had it all. Three young children, a lovely home on an island near Seattle and two well-paying professional jobs. So why did the couple leave it all behind and decide to live aboard a sailboat for eight years? That would be Bainbridge or Vashon and I have lived on Bainbridge. A family income on either of these islands is$200 K Plus with a capital P.

They specifically state they live below the poverty line on income, @ $25,000/year for a family of 5. They're not independently wealthy. The husband is a sailmaker and the wife writes for sailing magazines. Now, they bought a 47 footer, which is a lot of boat, but a family of 5 wants some room. A boat of 30' in length is good for one person, so a rule of thumb would be to add 5' for each additional person living aboard. For 4 people, 45', 3 people 40' etc. On the used market, you can pick up a 45' boat for anywhere from$40K-80K, a good deal less than you will pay for a McMansion anywhere.  This Hardin 45 is going for $66K (http://newimages.yachtworld.com/resize/1/85/0/4808500_20140907060759708_1_XLARGE.jpg?f=/1/85/0/4808500_20140907060759708_1_XLARGE.jpg&w=924&h=693&t=1410109772000) This couple was likely earning a high income and lived in a nice McMansion, but they gave up their high paying jobs to buy the boat and live that way instead. Along with the high pay, their expenses were high too. They likely sold off their McMansion and used the equity they had built up to buy the boat. Now, if you were to do the land based version of this with a family of 5, you would need a similar size rig, a 20' length extended van and a 20' trailer would be about right. This because you have more usable living space than a similar size sailboat, and with the boat you have your Sails which take up a good deal of room in the sail locker at the front. You can get 20' trailers of many kinds, at prices anywhere from$3K to $50K, depending whether you go used or new and the type of trailer. A 20' cargo trailer like this goes for$6500 brand spanking new:

You would need to do some modifications to it, put in some windows and build your interior, but this comes in cheaper than buying a trailer that is all fit out already.  This 33' Catalina comes in at $37K brand spanking new: (http://www.rvhotlinecanada.com/4510/IMG_20160229_125340958_HDR_1747.jpg) This mother fucker is big enough for 6 or 7 people to live in! It's got the WORKS, slide outs and everything! :icon_sunny: You are still way under the cost of normal fixed housing. Now, in terms of either docking or parking, it's exactly the same for the Yachties as the Van Dwellers. The Yachties stay mostly at Marinas where they pay a docking fee that gets you electricity and fresh water usually, and sometimes a sewer line too. Here they pay a nightly, weekly or monthly fee which is charged by the foot, so the bigger your boat, the more you will pay. For a small boat, depending on the neighborhood a monthly charge of$100/mo is fairly common.  Larger boats in pricier Marinas it probably costs $500/mo to live all hooked up. But full time live aboards don't spend ALL their time in for pay Marinas, they go out and anchor in some remote cove for a couple of weeks for FREE :icon_sunny: and do some snorkeling. If you are a Van Dweller, it is similar. If you want all the hookups for electricity/water/sewer, this comes at a cost at the for pay campgrounds, between$25-40/night usually.  It comes cheaper if you buy by the week or month.  However, once again a Van Dweller doesn't spend all days at for pay campgrounds, most of them are spent at FREE  :icon_sunny: and LEGAL parking spots.  These places are not just Walmart lots.   You can park on Goobermint land administered by the Bureau of Land Management for FREE & LEGAL :icon_sunny: for usually 7-14 days at a stretch, we have a lot of these spots to park in Alaska, one of which I will be staying at during my Boondocking adventures.  Their are many such places down in the Lower 48 also.  Go to the FREE :icon_sunny: CAMPING (https://freecampsites.net/) website to find them.  Go out and do some hiking in the woods.  If you have a canoe or kayaks strapped to your roof rack, go do some fishing in the lake or the river.  Enjoy nature while there is still some left.

 DetailsBoondocks River 1 Boondocks River 1

Now, one more time here on the issue of "sustainability" of this lifestyle after TSHTF.  I ALREADY stipulated it's not sustainable, at least not to keep moving around.  Boats need a haul out and a bottom job every few years, and there are always maintenance issues to take care of.  Winches break, and have to be ordered online from China and shipped to your local Marina if they don't have one in stock.  Auxiliary engines take maintenance, not to mention diesel fuel which you probably will not be able to get after TSHTF.

Vans have maintenance issues too of course.  You need new tires every few years if you drive them around a lot.  You need to change the oil a few times a year if you drive it around a lot.  Most of all, you need GAS to fuel the thing!  This also unlikely to be available after TSHTF.

What is the advantage or reason for living this way RIGHT NOW though, and even for after TSHTF?

1-  It's a LOT cheaper than typical McMansion living and you can cut your expenses to the BONE.  Our Family of 5 example of Yachties lives below the poverty line at $25K/year. This means you pay NO TAXES to the Military Industrial Complex. You also qualify for Bennies for Poor People like SNAP cards and Medicaid, for as long as they last anyhow. 2- It takes you a little outside the Matrix and a little Closer to Nature, and gives you a measure of FREEDOM to move where you please, when you please. You're still going to need some source of income, but much less than a fixed abode existence. You can take Gig Economy jobs wherever you are parked or moored if you don't have a portable job like a Writer or IT Programmer or Journeyman Carpenter or OTR trucker. 3- When TSHTF in your neighborhood, you can GTFO of Dodge in a Heartbeat. You're not stuck there waiting for the Hurrican to roll in and blow away your McMansion. You don't have to wit for the Rising River to overflow its banks and flood it either. You drive to the High Ground and wait until the river recedes to go back to your favorite FREE :icon_sunny: parking spot by the river. 4- For the FINAL BUGOUT, in the case of the Yachtie you have a chart to get to a place no land lubber can get to, perhaps the fjords of British Columbia where Peter lives. You stuff your boat with as many preps as she will hold and you set sail and GTFO of Dodge one last time. You will never go back. You will have aboard food for a year, heirloom seeds to plant and fishing and crabbing equipment aboard, and a bow and arrow and traps for land based mammals. You will either make it or not living off the land. You will have an abode to live in until you can build shelter on the land. For the Van Dweller, you make the FINAL BUGOUT to the Yukon Territory, or the Rocky or Appalachian Mountains to a remote location off some logging road you found that isn't even on Google Maps. You have enough fuel on board to make the One-Way trip and park the rig for good. You are never going back. You have stowed in your trailer enough food for a year, heirloom seeds to plant and fishing and hunting and trapping equipment. You will either make it or not living off the land. You will have an abode to live in until the thing rusts out completely, by which time you should have built something alse to live in. An aluminum trailer lasts a LONG time without rusting. Tomorrow I will publish the next article on Boondocking the Last Great Frontier. It's about the means and methods to live real cheap on the road. It's not about the SIZE of the vehicle you need to live this way, it should be fairly obvious that more people takes a bigger rig, I don't see why this concept has been so hard for the Diners to grasp. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Petty Tyrant on July 15, 2017, 05:57:51 PM The cargo/freight trucks you posted previously as suitable for families could be parked at truckstops, at least there are truck stops in cities and near work im not sure u would get away with it if u put in windows and vents. U do need a job to fuel up a 10 ton truck with a 10L engine. You can not go any of the normal places people go in cars though, even if you get it into the street or road, you cant stop. No visiting friends, no walmart unless you have a load for walmart. Towing huge modern caravans can only be done as a vacation / holiday, no truckparking. At least there is windows and air though. Also the tow vehicle can be unhooked to go all regular places. There is no stealth, you are clearly camping. You are getting about 10mpg to go between national parks hauling 5 or 6 ton of van and trailer though. There are no work options unless you know someone with space to park this setup near enough to the job. You have depreciating assets of a tow vehicle and caravan /camper trailer. At least 40k worth, which would be better invested in real estate or land. Theres no growing vegetables or raising chickens etc possible, again unless you know someone with land where you can park and stay. There could be fishing. You are really only on holiday and spending money this way with no means of making it back once it's spent. Meanwhile kids have no regular friends, which is important to have. I see no viable way of life for a family here. For a single person or couple, its a good option that can allow moving around for work without actually moving out, or even having a permanent place, as well as camping and preparing a bugout destination. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: azozeo on July 15, 2017, 06:10:52 PM In the great state of Arizona the BLM lets up set up shop for 90 days at a stretch. After 90 days the move must be 15 miles. That's nothing in The Mohave. We'll be seeing the red maple leafs down here by October. Canucks love this place 6 months a year. & NO BUGS !!!! Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Surly1 on July 15, 2017, 06:25:18 PM You didn't win shit RE, cept the prize of being a legend in your own mind. You aren't foolin' anyone but yourself. He's not fooling anybody. He embarrassed himself badly posting the Foreman/Ali vid. But this is what he does, again and again and again. Lather, rinse, repeat. RE is as immune to shame as Ted Fucking Cruz. (https://media.giphy.com/media/Sb6NAVTwjcUcE/giphy.gif) (https://media.giphy.com/media/PJTWwUppk5ciY/giphy.gif) But hey, are you not entertained ::) (https://media.giphy.com/media/rvaQRHCzisFeo/giphy.gif) Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 15, 2017, 06:30:39 PM You didn't win shit RE, cept the prize of being a legend in your own mind. You aren't foolin' anyone but yourself. He's not fooling anybody. He embarrassed himself badly posting the Foreman/Ali vid. But this is what he does, again and again and again. Lather, rinse, repeat. RE is as immune to shame as Ted Fucking Cruz. At least I don't embarrass myself as often as you do with your nonsense about Civil War Statues! Talk about being immune to shame and a legend in your own Surly mind! You aren't foolin' anyone but yourself. :P RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Surly1 on July 15, 2017, 06:33:25 PM What exactly is it that you won RE? I won the debate. You quit. RE Dafuq. Really? (https://media.giphy.com/media/l46CgcFkYZ5bac89i/giphy.gif) Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 15, 2017, 06:39:24 PM I see no viable way of life for a family here. FFS, I put up an entire ARTICLE on a family of 5 doing this type of living on a budget of$25K a year!  It's easier and cheaper to do it with a Land Yacht.  There are tons of places to FREE park that are legal.  How many friends does a Yachtie kid have to play with when sailing from Rapa Nui to Tahiti?  They make new friends when they get to the location.  Kids make friends with other kids quite easily, you get to a campsite, there are INSTANT friends made with any other kids at the site.

The cultural conditioning evident here on the Diner absolutely boggles my mind.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Surly1 on July 15, 2017, 06:40:48 PM

You didn't win shit RE, cept the prize of being a legend in your own mind.  You aren't foolin' anyone but yourself.
He's not fooling anybody. He embarrassed himself badly posting the Foreman/Ali vid. But this is what he does, again and again and again.
Lather, rinse, repeat. RE is as immune to shame as Ted Fucking Cruz.

At least I don't embarrass myself as often as you do with your nonsense about Civil War Statues!  Talk about being immune to shame and a legend in your own Surly mind!  You aren't foolin' anyone but yourself. :P

RE

Why should I be ashamed of my opinion about racist monuments?

At least 'm not trying to elevate myself by claiming victory in some bullshit argument. But you just keep claiming "victory." You'll be at Trump levels of approval in a couple of weeks.

(https://media.giphy.com/media/yL0IJnQgFpX3i/giphy.gif)
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 15, 2017, 06:43:09 PM
What exactly is it that you won RE?

I won the debate. You quit.

RE

Dafuq. Really?

Yes, really.  If you QUIT, you lose.  If you play a baseball game and don't come out for the 9th Inning, it doesn't matter if you are ahead or behind on runs, you LOSE.

Now, after QUITTING once, LD returned for another inning, so the Game is still on.  :icon_sunny:

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 15, 2017, 06:47:04 PM
You'll be at Trump levels of approval in a couple of weeks.

When have you ever known me to be concerned with my Approval Ratings? ???   :icon_scratch:

The only ratings I mull over are readership numbers.  Controversy gets readers!  :icon_sunny:  We have bumped up nicely in the last couple of months!

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Petty Tyrant on July 15, 2017, 07:45:17 PM
I see no viable way of life for a family here.

FFS, I put up an entire ARTICLE on a family of 5 doing this type of living on a budget of $25K a year! It's easier and cheaper to do it with a Land Yacht. There are tons of places to FREE park that are legal. How many friends does a Yachtie kid have to play with when sailing from Rapa Nui to Tahiti? They make new friends when they get to the location. Kids make friends with other kids quite easily, you get to a campsite, there are INSTANT friends made with any other kids at the site. The cultural conditioning evident here on the Diner absolutely boggles my mind. RE 25k a year in places where a coconut or a beer is a dollar, Or if u buy it in a bar, 2$ and a pack of marlboro is 2$.... AFTER 2x 6 figure incomes saved up for 5 years, thats an extra million dollars even before the sale of all their possessions they had to do, another 100k at least. They also rented out their house not 'probably sold it'.... possibly because they want to leave the 3 offspring an inheritance. Some kids are extravert and could make new friends if there were other kids on other yachts while paying mooring fees, but that would be rare. Language barrier and being different to the locals would make it hard to make new friends. Most kids have a best friend or a few good friends and these are very important to them. Even former military base raised kids complain about being uprooted from friends every few years. Campsites dont have a bunch of short term kids except on school holidays. Of course if u stay in a permanent trailer park there are unfortunate urchins. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Palloy2 on July 15, 2017, 08:37:34 PM Quote Theres no growing vegetables or raising chickens etc possible, again unless you know someone with land where you can park and stay This is another "can't" argument - I have found there are lots of people living on small farms that are only too pleased to have someone park their caravan on their land, just so there is another pair of hands to help out when those two-person jobs come along - fencing, laying pipes, pulling their car out of the bog on the road, taking their kids to hospital when their car isn't going. I have helped build houses, put out house fires, saved kids from drowning in the dam. If they have animals, they need someone to look after them when they want to go away, and keep an eye out for them anytime. In return I was allowed to build roof over the caravan, keep chickens, ducks, peafowl, breed litters of dogs, start an orchid farm, I even had a Shetland pony to eat down the grass. If you have some real farm skill like shoeing horses, or slashing/mulching round the fruit trees, or fixing the tractor, then you would be welcome anywhere. If you both have kids, that is an additional angle - do you think that farm-kids have enough friends to play with, or farm-wives have enough women to talk to? Even in small towns people are kind of isolated. I remember when my Mazda broke down I was stuck in a dump called Julia Creek and I spent a lot of time walking my dogs around the town to kill time, and one evening I met a guy with 3 Great Danes walking in the opposite direction. He wanted to know if showed my dogs, as he showed his Danes, and we struck up a friendship on that and he told all his friends about my money troubles with the Mazda, and they came around and bought my camera equipment so I could pay the garage mechanic. Later I was in the pub when it started raining for the first time in years, and everybody piled outside to dance in the rain. At times like that everybody would agree to let me camp on their land on a "leave no footprints" basis. Life only happens you forget about what you can't do, and just start doing it. :icon_sunny: Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 15, 2017, 09:20:11 PM I see no viable way of life for a family here. FFS, I put up an entire ARTICLE on a family of 5 doing this type of living on a budget of$25K a year!  It's easier and cheaper to do it with a Land Yacht.  There are tons of places to FREE park that are legal.  How many friends does a Yachtie kid have to play with when sailing from Rapa Nui to Tahiti?  They make new friends when they get to the location.  Kids make friends with other kids quite easily, you get to a campsite, there are INSTANT friends made with any other kids at the site.

The cultural conditioning evident here on the Diner absolutely boggles my mind.

RE

25k a year in places where a coconut or a beer is a dollar

I will cover the economics of it in DETAIL for my own location of the Matanuska-Susitna River Valley of Alaska in my Boondocking the Last Great Frontier articles.  The only scale up in costs for what I do and for a family of four would be you would need to pull a trailer of some kind and have a bigger rig, but that would not change your parking costs for rigs.  On land, they don't charge by the foot like the Marinas do for boats.  I get screwed on this when I take a for pay hookup campsite, because for my 16' Van I pay the same thing somebody driving a fucking 30' Diesel Pusher pays.  Obviously, you have higher food costs also, but then you also qualify for more SNAP card bennies with extra people.

I lived OTR for 7 years chief.  I know what it costs and how to do it.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: K-Dog on July 15, 2017, 10:06:23 PM
The couple in the fifty foot yacht had money to start with to establish their lifestyle and now they can maintain what they have with less than someone who lives on land.  I am not impressed.  The fact remains people living a vagabond existence all start out with a pile of money.  Grandma and grandpa will be putting the children through college we can assume.  And if they don't miss getting rammed the next time around and they can find there way to Baton Rouge we can know what song they will be a singin waitin for a train because they will be busted flat.

Regarding local royalty how much was that stealth van again?  Help, too many yachts to scroll up through to find out.  How long will 'everything work'.  These are questions descerning diners want to know.  I do recall the van was more than I could afford a few years ago but I forgot exactly how much.  I do recall saying to myself Alaska prices are high!

Agelbert, thank you for the comments you made about the ridiculous floating palace I found.  Sadly there are people who would actually call that living off-grid and others who would aspire to living in such a monster.

Those kids are going to grow up twisted.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 15, 2017, 10:19:19 PM
Those kids are going to grow up twisted.

Kids growing up in McMansions in Suburbia don't grow up twisted?

I met quite a few Yachtie kids when sailing in the Greek Islands.  They were not that much different from 'normal' kids.

The costs do exist for both forms of living, but they are cheaper than the standard costs of fixed abode.  I will detail cost in my articles on Boondocking.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Petty Tyrant on July 15, 2017, 10:22:23 PM
Quote
Theres no growing vegetables or raising chickens etc possible, again unless you know someone with land where you can park and stay

This is another "can't" argument - I have found there are lots of people living on small farms that are only too pleased to have someone park their caravan on their land, just so there is another pair of hands to help out when those two-person jobs come along - fencing, laying pipes, pulling their car out of the bog on the road, taking their kids to hospital when their car isn't going.  I have helped build houses, put out house fires, saved kids from drowning in the dam.  If they have animals, they need someone to look after them when they want to go away, and keep an eye out for them anytime.

In return I was allowed to build roof over the caravan, keep chickens, ducks, peafowl, breed litters of dogs, start an orchid farm, I even had a Shetland pony to eat down the grass.  If you have some real farm skill like shoeing horses, or slashing/mulching round the fruit trees, or fixing the tractor, then you would be welcome anywhere.  If you both have kids, that is an additional angle - do you think that farm-kids have enough friends to play with, or farm-wives have enough women to talk to?

Even in small towns people are kind of isolated.  I remember when my Mazda broke down I was stuck in a dump called Julia Creek and I spent a lot of time walking my dogs around the town to kill time, and one evening I met a guy with 3 Great Danes walking in the opposite direction.  He wanted to know if showed my dogs, as he showed his Danes, and we struck up a friendship on that and he told all his friends about my money troubles with the Mazda, and they came around and bought my camera equipment so I could pay the garage mechanic.  Later I was in the pub when it started raining for the first time in years, and everybody piled outside to dance in the rain. At times like that everybody would agree to let me camp on their land on a "leave no footprints" basis.

Life only happens you forget about what you can't do, and just start doing it.   :icon_sunny:

"Unless" doesnt mean "cant", but how were you paying for fuel and food before you broke down?
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Petty Tyrant on July 15, 2017, 10:33:43 PM
Those kids are going to grow up twisted.

Kids growing up in McMansions in Suburbia don't grow up twisted?

I met quite a few Yachtie kids when sailing in the Greek Islands.  They were not that much different from 'normal' kids.

The costs do exist for both forms of living, but they are cheaper than the standard costs of fixed abode.  I will detail cost in my articles on Boondocking.

RE

I know you can cook very economically. How about invite 3 other people and take the Toga. That way the food bill and mass/mpg a family needs with a trailer are comparable. I also want to know what help wanted and jobs seasonal or permanent are in the overall area, because your mailbox money isnt a given for everybody.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Petty Tyrant on July 15, 2017, 10:43:44 PM
Below is the van I mentioned yesterday,  on jackstand to get under and do a service. Goodies are new filter, synthetic 10w oil for freezing westher and teflon friction treatment.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 15, 2017, 10:44:37 PM
Those kids are going to grow up twisted.

Kids growing up in McMansions in Suburbia don't grow up twisted?

I met quite a few Yachtie kids when sailing in the Greek Islands.  They were not that much different from 'normal' kids.

The costs do exist for both forms of living, but they are cheaper than the standard costs of fixed abode.  I will detail cost in my articles on Boondocking.

RE

I know you can cook very economically. How about invite 3 other people and take the Toga. That way the food bill and mass/mpg a family needs with a trailer are comparable. I also want to know what help wanted and jobs seasonal or permanent are in the overall area, because your mailbox money isnt a given for everybody.

$10-15/hr Gig jobs are available here all over the place, from part time carpentry to stocking shelves to flipping burgers. You can go out on a commercial fishing boat for a week in the summer and make around$200/day.  In the winter, if you have a plow attachment for your truck, you can make $1000/parking lot you do, if it is a big enough one. You can bartend or you can waitress. Lotta ways to make some money if all you need is$25K to get by.

RE
Title: Boondocking the Last Great Frontier: Day 1
Post by: RE on July 16, 2017, 02:27:39 AM

Off the keyboard of RE

Published on The Doomstead Diner July 16, 2017

I am now off on the Great Boondocking Adventure!

As I mentioned in the introduction to this series, I will be starting the adventure by Boondocking the Wasilla Walmart.  The Wasilla Wally World is very friendly to RVers in the Tourista Season, they spend a LOT of money on supplies offered at Low, Low Prices Every Day by the Walton family.  Nobody bothers you if you overnight in the Walmart parking lot in Wasilla, not Walmart staff and not the Gestapo either.  However, it's really bare bones, because this Walmart is not open 24/7, it shuts down at 11PM which means no access to bathrooms until they reopen at 7AM.  For me that is a significant downside, because when Nature Calls, I need to hit a bathroom PDQ.  However, I have this covered with an emergency Piss Jar and emergency Shit Bucket, both of which I prefer to use outside the van, but can use inside if necessary as you probably want to do in a Walmart parking lot, although at 2AM nobody is around to see you relieving yourself of your biological waste.

Even though Wally World is going to be the property I borrow for the night from the Walton family that "owns" this patch of the Earth, I am NOT going to spend all day sitting on my ass in their parking lot!  This is only where I plan to spend the night sleeping in SaVANnah.  I will be using a few other parking lots through the day as I fill it up with things to do with my Unemployed & Crippled Self.  Time spent in these lots may run from 1 hour to as much as 8, depending on what there is to do with myself that is close enough to that parking lot I don't need to move SaVANnah.  I have a very good range there, because my Ewz electric scooter will cover a good 15 miles on a single charge, although usually I will cruise around no more than about 5 miles from where SaVANnah is parked.  For the Uncrippled out there, you could do the same thing with a Bicycle.  You should have some good means of local transportation to use in conjunction with your Stealth Van.  It saves you a LOT on burning gas moving around a neighborhood.

I woke up early in the morning (4AM) to begin the adventure.  The Scenario is this (Semi-fictional.  The scenario set up is mostly fiction, although it parallels my own experience in becoming disabled.  The rest of the day is non-fiction.):

I was a Tree Surgeon making $50K/year 6 months ago, but then I fell out of one of the trees I was pruning branches on and broke both arms in multiple places. Many screws were put in and recovery time was estimated by the orthopedist Pro from Dover to be 3-6 months. The costs of the operations were enormous as the Criminal Racketeers in the Medical Profession took their Vigorish. I couldn't get Unemployment Insurance because I wasn't able to take a job while healing. Applying for SS Disability, I couldn't get that for a minimum of 5 months after the injury, and unless approved on the first round before appeals, it could take 2 years or maybe never. On the first try, only 40% are approved. Second Try, another 40%. 20% get left Twisting in the Wind. My Workman's Compensation case against my Tree Surgery Employer would also take over a year to work out, and drive a huge rift between me and the old employer as I pursued the case. Even after I recovered, there was no way he was going to re-hire me, and besides shortly after I fell he replaced me with a cheaper young Chainsaw Jockey, recently immigrated from Nicaragua. There would be no job waiting for me when I finally recovered. I was among the fortunate and got my SS Disability bennies after 7 months. I was fortunate because I was a Doomer and regularly read the Doomstead Diner. Although I didn't have much savings, I had some, enough for 2 months of my usual bills. However, I STOPPED paying all bills immediately! I knew this meant I would be evicted, so I got prepped for that if/when it happened and I didn't get a new source of income. I sold my 3 year old Dodge Ram Pickup and bought a 1999 Ford Raised Roof Conversion Van. I sold my furniture in Garage Sales for 2 months until I was rid of almost everything. I leased a Storage Unit for$40/mo a couple of miles from my McMansion, soon to be repoed by the Bank.  After all was said and done, I had a couple of thousand FRN digibits left in the bank and a paid off 1999 Ford Conversion Van, I named SaVANnah.  I had no debt at all after I finished selling off everything and dumping the remaining debt on the McMansion on the Banksters with the Jingle Mail.

I left early in the morning the Sherrif was due to arrive, with the keys to the McMansion taped to the front door as Jingle Mail. Since Alaska is a non-recourse mortgage state, the banksters were SOL despite the fact I was 3 months behind on mortgage payments and the property was underwater, having lost value since I bought it at the top of the market when I moved up here in 2006, right before the 2008 financial crash.

Heading out in the morning from my old McMansion at the bright and early time of 5AM, I headed over to the Alaska Club, a fitness gym where I invested in a Gold Membership costing me $93/mo. The gym is open 5:00AM to 10PM every day except for a few holidays, and I am welcome there anytime between these hours with my Photo ID Card, plus pretty safe to park in their lot an hour or two before or after if I want to. I go for a swim in the pool as part of my rehab exercises for my broken arms, then I take a Sauna and a Steam Bath prior to taking a shower and shaving and dressing for the day. I now look like a respectable member of society, not a smelly and decrepit Homeless Person. I spend about 2 hours doing these tasks at the Alaska Club, then about another hour online utilizing their FREE Wi-Fi and doing early morning Admining tasks on the Diner. Once done with my morning rehab exercise, sauna, steam and shower and surfing the net after around 3 hours at 8:30 AM, I drive SaVANnnah from the Alaska Club a short distance away to a Mini-Strip Mall location which has a lot of great spots to spend the day, with FREE Wi-Fi! First I drop in to Kalahdi Brothers Coffee Shop, arriving there almost 9AM. I order myself a 12 oz Sludge with 2 shots of Espresso, an expensive coffee drink @$3 but it sure does light you up!  lol.  I plug in both my laptop and one of my 10AH 12V Batts for a recharge while I surf the web for Doom and admin the Diner.  I spend almost 2 hours there from 9-11, refilling my coffee cup with FREE refills of plain coffee of the day, which at Kalahdi Brothers is still pretty strong coffee even without the X-tra shots of Espresso.  I am now pretty wired on caffeine. lol.

I leave SaVANnah in the parking lot of the Strip Mall, and drive less than 1/2 mile on my Ewz to the brand spanking new Wasilla Library, which will be my Home Base for many hours on many days.  They let me drive my Ewz right into the library since I am a Cripple, and I park myself at a nice desk and set up my laptop and batt arrangement and plug in again. Now the laptop, the 10 AH Batt and the Ewz are all being charged up.  I am scarfing up FREE electricity everywhere!   A few more messages and emails have rolled in on the Diner and my Email which I respond to and then do some work editing some of the videos I made in the last week on the issue of staying WARM and HEATING your van when it gets cold, so you don't end up Freezing to Death parked in your Van on the Streets of Palmer, Alaska in the winter. (These Videos will be Coming Soon to a Laptop Near You here on the Doomstead Diner.  Tune in to see the How-to-do -it video manual on Boondocking Techniques).

Getting burned out now on my Internet Collapse habit, I shut off the laptop and go to the shelves of the latest Research Journals and pull out one on First Nations people history & archaeology, one of my favorite topics.  I read this journal issue cover to cover, taking me about an hour.  Then I go look for a book on the collapse of the Roman Empire I haven't already read, and spend another hour reading that.

It's now the late afternoon and I haven't eaten anything all day, the only things I have ingested so far are Kalahdi Brothers Coffee and most of a bottle of water.  I'm not hungry (I never am these days and find eating a chore), but I know I have to eat if I am to keep living and take some Vitamins too!  So I pack up the laptop, unplug from Library power and get back on the Ewz for the short trip back to the Strip Mall parking lot where SaVANnah has been patiently waiting for me to return all day.  I head into Carr's Grocery, the local Alaska affiliate of the Safeway chain and hit the hot Deli Counter for a Smoked Kielbasa Sausage, which costs me $2. I go over to the tables they have there to consume the food you buy, and once again pull out my Laptop to check the Diner on their FREE Wi-Fi, and a few new posts have come in, a couple of which are on topics of interest to me so I chip in my 2 cents on them. I eat my Smoked Kielbasa at a leisurely pace, because I don't really enjoy eating it, it's just a chore I know I need to do and then I take a few vitamin pills after finishing it. The whole time at Carr's grocery and deli is about 2 more hours, and it is getting to be close to 6PM or so. I cruise out of Carr's on the Ewz over to SaVANnah in the parking lot, and get the Ewz loaded back into her, which is something of a chore despite the fact I have a ramp arrangement for this set up now. I am working on getting a more Custom Arrangement for this set up with a local welder I know, hopefully to get done in the next month. He's pretty bizzy this time of year. Leaving the parking lot at Carr's/Kalahdi Brothers, I drive over to a different location of the Alaska Club in Wasilla and spend another hour with a quick Sauna and utilizing their FREE Wi-Fi again. Now it is getting late after a fairly long day with no Naps, and it is time to retire for the night. I point SaVANnah in the direction of the Walmart parking lot, about 3 miles away. Upon arrival at Walmart, many other Summer RV Touristas are populating the edge of the parking lot, where they all get their spots if early enough in the day. There is still room for me on the edge with them since my rig is so small, and I do a little NY Shity style parallel parking and wedge myself between a Big Ass Diesel Pusher and another retiree with a fucking HUGE 5th wheel arrangement I swear was nearly as long as my fucking Tractor-Trailer with 22' of Tractor and 53' of trailer. His tow vehicle was a Ford 350 pickup, itself a monster size vehicle, forget the fucking trailer. Fucking FLORIDA plates on this rig! I met him and his wife the following morning, and he was older than me, I am guessing late 60s/early 70s there, but he was in a good deal better health than me. He was a retired NY Shity cop, and we exchanged some NY Shity stories and he invited me in to have a look at his trailer. This one had not 1, not 2 but THREE slide outs! Forget raising a family in this behemoth, you could house an entire TRIBE in there! lol. He was heading up for Denali National Park to spend a month there and we exchanged phone numbers and email addys and he invited me to join him at his campsite, but I don't think I will be able to fit a trip to Denali into my schedule while he is there. Anyhow, my Boondock level Van did squeeze in easily between the Monster Rigs, and even if it did not I could have just plopped into one of the regular parking spots with all the other Carz. Once parked, it is still fairly early, Walmart has not closed up shop for the night yet. I head into Wally's to make a visit to the toilet and hopefully rid myself of internal waste so I don't have a middle of the night emergency. In this case, I was successful. I also bought a bunch of Bananas for$2 and ate one of them before going to sleep.  I also spent some time cruising the aisles on one of the electric Go-Karts for Cripples, looking at preps to decide on stuff I don't have yet that might prove useful.  I didn't find anything on this shopping expedition though to buy.  I have pretty much exhausted what is available at the typical Walmart in my Prep runs since 2008.  These days, a shopping expedition at Home Depot or Lowes for hardware of various types is much more productive.

Now it's getting quite late, around 9-10 PM and I head back out to SaVANnah to pack it in for the night, although I connect up to the internet via the 4G Network on my smart phone to make a last check on the Diner for the night, but there is nothing all that new in the last couple of hours to make a comment on.  I check Google Newz for any late breaking Collapse Newz, but nothing new there either except for further buffonery from the Trumpovetsky crowd currently running the FSoA criminal racket, so I crawl into the sleeping bag in the bunk for the night.  The temps are a little cool for summer at night, in the low 50sF, but this is not too cold for sleeping with no heat if you have a sleeping bag good to 40 Below, which I have.  I snooze peacefully, quite late into the morning actually for Boondocking since nobody bugs you in a Walmart parking lot, at least up here in Wasilla.  If you are in a less friendly Boondocking parking lot, usually you want to be out of there by 5-6 AM. I got up around 9AM and headed into Walmart to do a little cleanup with a sponge bath in the big toilet stall for Cripples and shaved with my electric rechargeable Phillips shaver back in the van.  Then back on the road for another day of Boondocking.

Now we have to tally expenses for today's Van Dwelling existence.  First I will define the terms.

Rent:  My rent is the cost of my 24/7 storage unit per month divided by 30 days + the cost of my gym membership at the Alaska Club + cost of Insurance on the van to keep it legal + the cost of my UPS 24/7 accessible Mailbox, $300/year or about$0.90 a day..  The storage unit costs $40/mo, so that is$1.33/day, call it $1.50 to account for months with 31 days. My gym membership costs$93/mo for $3.10/day. Insurance for the Van is$1000/year divided by 365 days for $2.75 (this actually includes other vehicles I have, it would be lower if I just had the van). I don't have a registration fee for the van anymore because it is old enough to qualify for Permanent Registration here on the Last Great Frontier and there is no yearly Inspection required either. Total rent when Boondocking and not buying a for pay campsite is$8.25/day.

Electricity:  The only time I would be calculating an electricity cost is if I run my generator.  I don't expect to have to do that this week at all.  I will generate or collect most of the electricity from the van alternator, and any electricity in spots I can plug into grid power like the library and coffee shop.

Heat:  Heat cost is what I use any day in candles, kerosene or propane to warm up SaVANnah while not running the engine.  I may have to use some this week, but the first night was pretty tolerable even before getting in the sleeping bag. Obviously, winter time would require more than it does now in the summer, but I seriously doubt at any temp it will cost me more than $2/day to heat this space to my comfort zone of 60sF. I will explain more of this in my upcoming video series on Heating on the Doomstead Diner You Tube channel Communications: This is my monthly phone bill including wireless 4G divided by 30 days.$75/mo, $2.50/day Food: What I spend at the grocery store or in restaurants. Gasoline: Whatever I use either driving around or idling the van to stay warm or generate electricity. To be calculated at the end of the week and divided by 7 days for a daily average. It probably would be somewhat higher in the winter than in the summer, but all we can get for now is the summertime average. For today's expenses: Rent:$8.25

Electricity: $0 Heat:$0

Communications: $2.50 Food:$7.00

Gasoline: To be calculated at the end of the week

Current Total: $16.85 After I finish today's excursions, my Boondocking location will be one of the "Public Access" areas we have here on the Last Great Frontier. Much nicer scenery than a Walmart parking lot, but absolutely ZERO in terms of facilities, no bathrooms, nada. Day 2 log will be Coming Soon to a Laptop Near You here on the Doomstead Diner. Also be sure to tune in to the Diner for the upcoming I Spy Doom Video series on STAYING WARM when your environment for Boondocking starts to get COLD in the Winter! Note: I did most of the photography for this adventure either before or after it, not during it. So the pics used to illustrate are not always precise illustrations of the exact moment. Setting up to get good shots itself is time consuming, and I did not want to have to do that while actually "living the life". A few in this series will be live shots though, as I do carry around my El Cheapo Samsung WB-250 most of the time, and it still works most of the time too. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Nearingsfault on July 16, 2017, 07:14:08 AM It's a leisurely life. I'll admit I'm struggling with finding much of use to my life except some of the mechanical elements. One thing that pops to mind is the the nomadic life has been with us forever. Caravans on the silk road, galleys in the Mediterranean spice ships to the far East, trains, cargo ships, and long distance trucking today. All of them spawned their pools of professionals and camp followers who created recreational versions of said transportation systems. It is fun and perhaps cheap for the single user but the roads, stops, sites, docks, facilities, exist only to keep the transportation system alive and you are living as a non productive attachment to it. It's a vulnerable position in the long run but fun while it lasts. Enjoy. David B. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 16, 2017, 08:09:57 AM It's a leisurely life. I'll admit I'm struggling with finding much of use to my life except some of the mechanical elements. One thing that pops to mind is the the nomadic life has been with us forever. Caravans on the silk road, galleys in the Mediterranean spice ships to the far East, trains, cargo ships, and long distance trucking today. All of them spawned their pools of professionals and camp followers who created recreational versions of said transportation systems. It is fun and perhaps cheap for the single user but the roads, stops, sites, docks, facilities, exist only to keep the transportation system alive and you are living as a non productive attachment to it. It's a vulnerable position in the long run but fun while it lasts. Enjoy. David B. Nomadic Life is always POSSIBLE at some level, and it is not RIDICULOUS, as LD maintains. He just can't make this choice for various personal reasons. So he calls it ridiculous for all people, but it is not. I am a born Nomad, a true Gypsie. It's built into me. I have been Over The Road in one sense or another since I left NY Shity in the early 1990s, call it 25 years or so. I want to finish my life as a Gypsie. It is hard for me, I cannot tell you how hard it is. It is hard just to climb into the driver seat of SaVANnah for me. It is hard to do every setup I do for my videos. But I will not QUIT, I will not stop because it is hard. It is a better way to live than being a suburban McMansion Dweller, and I will demonstrate how you can do it on a very low budget. I will NOT allow or accept the idea it is "Impossible" or "Ridiculous" even with a family, because I KNOW it can be done and has been demonstrated by others. I can only demonstrate the techniques here, and I will do that. How a person with a family applies them is up to them. Or they can choose to rent or buy a suburban McMansion and live that way. That is their choice. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Nearingsfault on July 16, 2017, 08:24:26 AM I would suggest an all in scenario then. Cut the ties to the apartment move the preps to the storage locker and go for it. That safety net dilutes your moral authority and allows room for half measures. I am firmly established in a world I love. I'm no mcmansion victim the nomadic life is not for me. I do respect commitment though. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 16, 2017, 08:36:20 AM I would suggest an all in scenario then. Cut the ties to the apartment move the preps to the storage locker and go for it. That safety net dilutes your moral authority and allows room for half measures. I am firmly established in a world I love. I'm no mcmansion victim the nomadic life is not for me. I do respect commitment though. I'm working on it. First off I need to get through the SS Hearing in Aug and see the results of that. Then I need to work out my systems to manage my disabled self while OTR. This is quite a difficult problem. If I was healthy, I could pull this shit off in a heartbeat. As it is, I gotta be VERY creative with work arounds. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Matt Foley is a brilliant man! Post by: knarf on July 16, 2017, 08:40:07 AM http://www.youtube.com/v/qFbvwVfWFpE&fs=1 Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: luciddreams on July 16, 2017, 08:53:04 AM Nomadic Life is always POSSIBLE at some level, and it is not RIDICULOUS, as LD maintains. He just can't make this choice for various personal reasons. So he calls it ridiculous for all people, but it is not. RE WTF RE? :icon_scratch: ??? :WTF: When did I ever say that a nomadic life is ridiculous? In fact I believe the exact opposite. The nomadic life is the pinnacle of human life pathways. It is the only truly sustainable way to exist on this Earth. Please check yourself before making preposterous claims about what I think. Would you please demonstrate by way of a quote from me where I said that the nomadic life is ridiculous? Don't attribute words to me that I have not typed. If I lose trust than I will be gone. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 16, 2017, 09:06:47 AM Nomadic Life is always POSSIBLE at some level, and it is not RIDICULOUS, as LD maintains. He just can't make this choice for various personal reasons. So he calls it ridiculous for all people, but it is not. RE WTF RE? :icon_scratch: ??? :WTF: When did I ever say that a nomadic life is ridiculous? I know, it's preposterous as well as ridiculous. That's fine. He can't possibly win. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: luciddreams on July 16, 2017, 10:22:12 AM Nomadic Life is always POSSIBLE at some level, and it is not RIDICULOUS, as LD maintains. He just can't make this choice for various personal reasons. So he calls it ridiculous for all people, but it is not. RE WTF RE? :icon_scratch: ??? :WTF: When did I ever say that a nomadic life is ridiculous? I know, it's preposterous as well as ridiculous. That's fine. He can't possibly win. RE :icon_scratch: Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: K-Dog on July 16, 2017, 12:15:02 PM Kids in McMansions are a different subject because I do not advocate that as an alternative. This is number one. Nomads have always been with us and so have barbarian invaders who are the extreme of the nomad lifestyle. To say they have always been with us with the implication that that makes it ok commits a second logical fallacy. Everybody is trying to justify their position but the truth is RE wants to go on road trips so he is advocating a nomadic lifestyle to the rest of us. He is doing this because he is aflame with cognitive diissonance. Sparks of his madness are flying over the net and landing on us. There is nothing wrong width permanently camping in a van (if you are not collapse aware) but for years RE has concerned himself with collapse issues and now he drops out of all of that by getting a van and calling it stealth. Stealth because he is 'dropping out' of the collapse movement Timothy Leary style and not Stealth to fool the gestapo who know all about vans. It is a bait and switch the inner folds of his cranium may not even be aware of. The switch is he thinks he is dropping out is society by becoming a nomad just as being collapse aware also flows against the social mainstream. His brain has equivocated them to protect the consistency of his self identity but this is self deception because they are in reality totally different things. So now the Doomstead becomes RE's traveling medicine show. A travel blog. The biggest contradiction is that dealing with collapse is all about preparation and vagabonding is all about preparing for nothing at all. Once you stop moving and get that fiveteen bucks an hour job you are not in the lifestyle any more. To get the$25 K you will need to keep moving means working full time at fiveteen an hour.  All the while living in a Wall Mart parking lot eating food imported from China.  In terms of being part of the solution to anything you are no different from someone who lives in a McMansion.  You are part of the problem.

In other words you are homeless and like the homeless every day is just about getting through till tomorrow.  No fixed schedule from which you can hammer out some creative time for yourself because all your creativity is spent on survival.

Consider too that any Joe Six Pack can live in a van but not everybody can get it together to manage a blog.  RE has subjected himself to some strange romantic notions to want to step down in lifestyle and creative expression.

Lipstick on a pig.

Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: luciddreams on July 16, 2017, 12:38:08 PM
Kids in McMansions are a different subject because I do not advocate that as an alternative.  This is number one.  Nomads have always been with us and so have barbarian invaders who are the extreme of the nomad lifestyle.  To say they have always been with us with the implication that that makes it ok commits a second logical fallacy.

Everybody is trying to justify their position but the truth is RE wants to go on road trips so he is advocating a nomadic lifestyle to the rest of us.  He is doing this because he is aflame with cognitive diissonance.  Sparks of his madness are flying over the net and landing on us.

There is nothing wrong width permanently camping in a van (if you are not collapse aware) but for years RE has concerned himself with collapse issues and now he drops out of all of that by getting a van and calling it stealth.  Stealth because he is 'dropping out' of the collapse movement Timothy Leary style and not Stealth to fool the gestapo who know all about vans.  It is a bait and switch the inner folds of his cranium may not even be aware of.  The switch is he thinks he is dropping out is society by becoming a nomad just as being collapse aware also flows against the social mainstream.  His brain has equivocated them to protect the consistency of his self identity but this is self deception because they are in reality totally different things.

So now the Doomstead become RE's traveling medicine show.  A travel blog.

The biggest contradiction is that dealing with collapse is all about preparation and vagabonding is all about preparing for nothing at all.  Once you stop moving and get that fiveteen bucks an hour job you are not in the lifestyle any more.  To get the $25 K you will need to keep moving means working full time at fiveteen an hour al the while living in a Wall Mart parking lot eating food imported from China. In other words you are homeless and like the homeless every day is just about getting through till tomorrow. No fixed schedule from which you can hammer out some creative time for yourself because all your creativity is spent on survival. Consider too that any Joe Six Pack can live in a van but not everybody can get it together to manage a blog. RE has subjected himself to some strange romantic notions to want to step down in lifestyle. Lipstick on a pig. All pretty true I'd say Kdog. The nomadic lifestyle is a good one in the context of a Tribe of H/Gers. Outside of that context it just becomes another unsustainable lifestyle dependent on fossil energy just like the Suburban Sprawl lifestyle. There is no escaping any of it. At this point it's about minimizing your exposure to it. Dmitri Orlov does a very good job breaking this down in his latest book Shrinking the Technosphere. It's a great read if you haven't read it yet, not that he's correct about everything. What's coming into view for me is that nothing will stop the collapse of our techno-industrial civilization due to Peak Oil. I've known that since about 2007. There are stages to get to a complete psychological understanding of what all this entails. Especially with kids. So now I'm trying to decide what the best course of action to take is. We are in an age of hopeless transition. How best to make that transition? Honestly, if it's a solution that won't apply to families with kids then what's the fucking point of it? Is it even a solution if kids need not apply to it? If that's the case then we might as well all kill ourselves, or each other, cause we'd just be doing ourselves a favor. There's nothing wrong with RE wanting to "boondock" in a van. It gives him something to do. The problem is thinking that his choice to do that somehow applies to everybody. He's accused me of being self centered for pointing out that this is not the best choice for young kids. He thinks it's due to societal indoctrination. I say that's laughable. Anyone contributing any amount of time participating on the Diner is obviously not indoctrinated by society. To be collapse aware is to remove yourself from that indoctrination by definition IMO. The only hope I see is in engaging with nature in a communal fashion. I just read Communities that Abide and Unlearn, Rewild and now I'm reading Morris Berman's Coming To Our Senses and so that's sort of where my mind is with all of this. The influence is obvious in my current writing. I'd say the biggest difference in my thinking lately is due to sobriety. The impact that drinking daily has on your life cannot be overestimated. At least that's true for me. But then I've never been sober for longer then a couple of days in my entire adult life. There are things I like about it, but there are just as many that I can't stand. No break from the tyranny of Monkey Mind is one of the things I can't stand. I'm learning to shut the Monkey down consciously though. But don't worry, I won't be trying to convince anyone here to stop drinking. I'm only doing it to get my mind as clear as possible to facilitate a stone cold assessment of where my life is, and what direction I should head next. Everyday I wake up thinking about what I should do. Should I go get a job, should I keep doing what I'm doing...and there is nobody qualified to tell me. There is no such entity. We all must decide for ourselves what is the best course of action. For me, that is what this conversation is presently about. It's damn sure not about winning a fucking argument to bolster my ego. I could care fuck less about ego inflation via the internet. I'd rather masturbate (but fortunately I do not have to...one of the perks of a healthy marriage). Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: K-Dog on July 16, 2017, 01:41:26 PM LD, That was a good response and were it shorter I'd quote it. It is hard the accept the inevitability of peak oil /overpopulation collapse but the forces of and the forces behind the denial of this fact are overwhelming as you have known since 2007. We have learned that prediction of exactly when is an expenditure of energy that gives liittle in return. It is hard to know what to do but the watchword is clear, prepare. We are all in different situations, you with children are in a complicated situation indeed. My situation is less complicated but both of us have to consider other people and RE does not. On the surface I look like an average McMansion owner with long hair in a ponytail. I currently have a job that pays very well and my answer to our preparation is to bank as much as I can and resemble a well off Seattlite in the meantime. I hope we don't have a hard collapse for a few years while I save enough to buy some property away from the city with good southern exposure. A few acres of arable land in a place that can be protected. Get it, sell the city house and hunker down. Get self sufficient to the degree I can. I am a peculiar outlier. After years of getting the short end of the stick I blundered into the strange situation of living the classic American dream. Our house is paid off so I can save like others can't and by playing along I can buy some collapse protection in a few years. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 16, 2017, 02:19:27 PM Kids in McMansions are a different subject because I do not advocate that as an alternative. This is number one. Nomads have always been with us and so have barbarian invaders who are the extreme of the nomad lifestyle. To say they have always been with us with the implication that that makes it ok commits a second logical fallacy. Everybody is trying to justify their position but the truth is RE wants to go on road trips so he is advocating a nomadic lifestyle to the rest of us. He is doing this because he is aflame with cognitive diissonance. Sparks of his madness are flying over the net and landing on us. There is nothing wrong width permanently camping in a van (if you are not collapse aware) but for years RE has concerned himself with collapse issues and now he drops out of all of that by getting a van and calling it stealth. Stealth because he is 'dropping out' of the collapse movement Timothy Leary style and not Stealth to fool the gestapo who know all about vans. It is a bait and switch the inner folds of his cranium may not even be aware of. The switch is he thinks he is dropping out is society by becoming a nomad just as being collapse aware also flows against the social mainstream. His brain has equivocated them to protect the consistency of his self identity but this is self deception because they are in reality totally different things. So now the Doomstead becomes RE's traveling medicine show. A travel blog. The biggest contradiction is that dealing with collapse is all about preparation and vagabonding is all about preparing for nothing at all. Once you stop moving and get that fiveteen bucks an hour job you are not in the lifestyle any more. To get the$25 K you will need to keep moving means working full time at fiveteen an hour.  All the while living in a Wall Mart parking lot eating food imported from China.  In terms of being part of the solution to anything you are no different from someone who lives in a McMansion.  You are part of the problem.

In other words you are homeless and like the homeless every day is just about getting through till tomorrow.  No fixed schedule from which you can hammer out some creative time for yourself because all your creativity is spent on survival.

Consider too that any Joe Six Pack can live in a van but not everybody can get it together to manage a blog.  RE has subjected himself to some strange romantic notions to want to step down in lifestyle and creative expression.

Lipstick on a pig.

Thank you Sigmund K-Dog.  Like the original Sigmund, you are wrong on all levels.

1-  I'm NOT dropping out of the collapse community.  People who live in vehicles are PART of collapse.  I get a little window into the life of someone who has to live this way because they lost their job and their McMansion to foreclosure.  Helps with the writing about collapse issues.  I'm not really forced to do it myself, I have enough money to rent an apartment.  I don't have to scrimp as much as most people forced into the situation.  I still do it pretty cheap though.

2- I advocate for living this way because it's CHEAP.  You can do it on a Min Wage job.  You CAN'T live in a McMansion on a Min Wage job.  In many Big Shities, you can't even rent an apartment on Min Wage.  These days Min Wage is $15/hr,$600/week for 40 hours.  I am going to come in at under $300 for the week, 1/2 of that. So I would only need 20 hours of work flipping burgers at Mickey D's to support the lifestyle. The cheaper you can live, the more resilient you are and the more flexible you are. You have added flexibility with this mode of living because you are like a turtle and take your home with you everywhere. 3- I have said a dozen times already that this is not a solution to collapse nor will it fix the planet if everyone lives this way. You don't seem to be able to grasp this fact. It's merely an alternative way to live right NOW while you can still buy gas which is CHEAPER than living in a McMansion. It's also more energy efficient since you have a much smaller space to heat and cool. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: azozeo on July 16, 2017, 02:38:55 PM There's still the peculiar mental twist of living in a box affixed to the ground. Mental conditioning there Watson..... It can and HAS to be done in some situations. This area of the country is loaded with Veterans that live that way & prefer it. Close to the VA & a big desert to play in.... Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Eddie on July 16, 2017, 03:11:18 PM Other than just the sheer austerity of living with very little "stuff" (probably a good thing once you get used to it) the main thing I worry about for RE is the possibility of a breakdown a long way from anywhere. You need to have a contingency plan. Do you buy another cheap van if this one claps out unexpectedly? Put in a new motor or tranny? (Not as easy to find someone who can and will do that kind of rehab anymore, in my experience. I have had a transmission overhauled fairly recently, and the result was not a good longterm fix. It went down again in less than a year.) You could go through a lot of money trying to keep the van running if it started giving trouble. Hopefully it won't be an issue, but it's one to think about. That's all I'm sayin. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 16, 2017, 03:52:06 PM Do you buy another cheap van if this one claps out unexpectedly? Yup. That is exactly what I would do. Coincidentally, last week I drive into 3 Bears parking lot and there is a Dodge Ram 2002 vintage conversion van with a FOR SALE sign on it for$3400!  Only 50K miles on the odometer!  That is $1600 cheaper than what I paid for SaVANnah! I am now of course kicking myself for being a lousy Used Car shopper. lol. I ALSO considered buying this one to have a spare, but I passed up on that idea. Somebody else got that bargain 2 days later, it was gone from the parking lot. I don't expect any major problems to occur anytime soon with SaVANnah. I am real experienced with driving vehicles of all types, and how the engine and tranny respond and when they are good or not good vehicles. I have never bought a lemon in my life. SaVANnah is a solid vehicle. Unless I wreck her, she will last the the rest of my life. I gotta put in my Last Will & Testament I want to be Buried in her with my Laptop and my preps. lol. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: agelbert on July 16, 2017, 04:12:46 PM The couple in the fifty foot yacht had money to start with to establish their lifestyle and now they can maintain what they have with less than someone who lives on land. I am not impressed. The fact remains people living a vagabond existence all start out with a pile of money. Grandma and grandpa will be putting the children through college we can assume. And if they don't miss getting rammed the next time around and they can find there way to Baton Rouge we can know what song they will be a singin waitin for a train because they will be busted flat. Regarding local royalty how much was that stealth van again? Help, too many yachts to scroll up through to find out. How long will 'everything work'. These are questions descerning diners want to know. I do recall the van was more than I could afford a few years ago but I forgot exactly how much. I do recall saying to myself Alaska prices are high! Agelbert, thank you for the comments you made about the ridiculous floating palace I found. Sadly there are people who would actually call that living off-grid and others who would aspire to living in such a monster. Those kids are going to grow up twisted. You are welcome, K-Dog. (http://www.clipartbest.com/cliparts/xig/ojx/xigojx6KT.png) I know of many home schooled kids, which is basically what the yacht kids RE posted on are, that do quite well. As you have posted about from time to time, our schools are indoctrination facilities. I don't see people growing up away from the system as being negatively impacted psychologically. Yes, victims of cult worship certainly can be twisted all out of proportion, but home schooling and off grid living, when that is part of the package, is often more beneficial for the development of critical thinking skills than a "normal" education. Here in Vermont a black lady had to pull her kid out of school and home school him because a group of clever Vermont families would have their kids pick on him on different days. Consequently, the principal decided the "troublemaker" was the black kid and expelled him... It turned out to be a blessing in disguise because his test scores improved. Good for that black lady and her son! (http://www.pic4ever.com/images/19.gif) But another black mark on Vermont ubiquitous, but very clever, racism. (http://www.createaforum.com/gallery/renewablerevolution/3-200714183337.bmp) That was a few years ago. Just last year a group of fantastic athletes graduated from a high school in Rutland, Vermont. Their coach loved them and their teachers did too. They are all good students and they were all recruited from a New York inner city black neighborhood to make the sports team of the high school in Vermont a winner. It worked. BUT, average Vermont families accused those kids over and over again of everything from stealing to attempted rape, ALL without a SHRED of evidence. These kids probably ARE twisted psychologically now, thanks to the undeserved treatment from their peers. It will be a wonder if they are not biding their time to get revenge for all the attempted injustices visited on them. In most areas of this country, kids like that get sent to prison while in high school, often, but not always, because they are set up. In all cases, they are being deliberately provoked without any cause but unwarranted and totally irrational racism. (http://www.pic4ever.com/images/www_MyEmoticons_com__burp.gif) Society is screwed up badly. Racism is just a small part of the Cult of Bully Militarism that has taken over this "might is right" worshiping country. On a lighter note, I think that RE and Surly are having a food fight. It is entertaining. They are very creative fellows. (http://www.pic4ever.com/images/2mo5pow.gif)(http://www.pic4ever.com/images/swear1.gif) (http://www.pic4ever.com/images/4fvfcja.gif) Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 16, 2017, 04:22:10 PM On a lighter note, I think that RE and Surly are having a food fight. It is entertaining. They are very creative fellows. The Diner is one long running Food Fight. :icon_mrgreen: http://www.youtube.com/v/hLdO2V1CTF0 RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: agelbert on July 16, 2017, 04:47:30 PM On a lighter note, I think that RE and Surly are having a food fight. It is entertaining. They are very creative fellows. The Diner is one long running Food Fight. :icon_mrgreen: (http://www.desismileys.com/smileys/desismileys_0293.gif) Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Petty Tyrant on July 16, 2017, 05:18:34 PM Did u know the trans was shot on the one u needed replacing? Do u know the service specs of this van, i dont recall this being mentioned yet. Just driving all kinds of vehicles doesnt inform u what these are or when they need replacing. Some let go without warning and cause a catastrophic failure. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: K-Dog on July 16, 2017, 05:20:34 PM Kids in McMansions are a different subject because I do not advocate that as an alternative. This is number one. Nomads have always been with us and so have barbarian invaders who are the extreme of the nomad lifestyle. To say they have always been with us with the implication that that makes it ok commits a second logical fallacy. Everybody is trying to justify their position but the truth is RE wants to go on road trips so he is advocating a nomadic lifestyle to the rest of us. He is doing this because he is aflame with cognitive diissonance. Sparks of his madness are flying over the net and landing on us. There is nothing wrong width permanently camping in a van (if you are not collapse aware) but for years RE has concerned himself with collapse issues and now he drops out of all of that by getting a van and calling it stealth. Stealth because he is 'dropping out' of the collapse movement Timothy Leary style and not Stealth to fool the gestapo who know all about vans. It is a bait and switch the inner folds of his cranium may not even be aware of. The switch is he thinks he is dropping out is society by becoming a nomad just as being collapse aware also flows against the social mainstream. His brain has equivocated them to protect the consistency of his self identity but this is self deception because they are in reality totally different things. So now the Doomstead becomes RE's traveling medicine show. A travel blog. The biggest contradiction is that dealing with collapse is all about preparation and vagabonding is all about preparing for nothing at all. Once you stop moving and get that fiveteen bucks an hour job you are not in the lifestyle any more. To get the$25 K you will need to keep moving means working full time at fiveteen an hour.  All the while living in a Wall Mart parking lot eating food imported from China.  In terms of being part of the solution to anything you are no different from someone who lives in a McMansion.  You are part of the problem.

In other words you are homeless and like the homeless every day is just about getting through till tomorrow.  No fixed schedule from which you can hammer out some creative time for yourself because all your creativity is spent on survival.

Consider too that any Joe Six Pack can live in a van but not everybody can get it together to manage a blog.  RE has subjected himself to some strange romantic notions to want to step down in lifestyle and creative expression.

Lipstick on a pig.

Thank you Sigmund K-Dog.  Like the original Sigmund, you are wrong on all levels.

1-  I'm NOT dropping out of the collapse community.  People who live in vehicles are PART of collapse.  I get a little window into the life of someone who has to live this way because they lost their job and their McMansion to foreclosure.  Helps with the writing about collapse issues.  I'm not really forced to do it myself, I have enough money to rent an apartment.  I don't have to scrimp as much as most people forced into the situation.  I still do it pretty cheap though.

2- I advocate for living this way because it's CHEAP.  You can do it on a Min Wage job.  You CAN'T live in a McMansion on a Min Wage job.  In many Big Shities, you can't even rent an apartment on Min Wage.  These days Min Wage is $15/hr,$600/week for 40 hours.  I am going to come in at under $300 for the week, 1/2 of that. So I would only need 20 hours of work flipping burgers at Mickey D's to support the lifestyle. The cheaper you can live, the more resilient you are and the more flexible you are. You have added flexibility with this mode of living because you are like a turtle and take your home with you everywhere. 3- I have said a dozen times already that this is not a solution to collapse nor will it fix the planet if everyone lives this way. You don't seem to be able to grasp this fact. It's merely an alternative way to live right NOW while you can still buy gas which is CHEAPER than living in a McMansion. It's also more energy efficient since you have a much smaller space to heat and cool. RE 1- People who live in vehicles are PART of collapse. As will heroin addicts be part of collapse. Come to think of it everybody who is still kickin will be part of collapse. You got some neurons chasing their tail there. Sigmund K-Dog indeed. That will be 25 cents please. I see people force to live this way every day. They are called bums. Bums don't have the luxury to prepare for collapse so you will indeed be dropping out. 2- Living on a Min Wage job is not living. All you can ever do on a minimum wage job is play catch up. You will have to spend all your time trying to get your twenty hours a week so you might as well settle down and work forty. That way you get double the money and MORE time off. A mobile lifestyle simply does not qualify as a minimalist lifestyle no matter how you cut it. There are other options besides a McMansion which are not on the table. You could join the small house movement for instance. Pulling in a McMansion is trying to put another straw man up. Your energy bill would go way down and you would live cheaper if you had a 400 square foot house. Christ on a crutch. YOU WOULD BE PART OF THE SOLUTION! But we get it. The glamor of the open road has sucked you in. 3- I could care less if it was a solution for collapse because we have not yet collapsed and the planet is not going to get fixed. The point which you don't get is that living that way will prevent you for being able to prepare for collapse which at the end of the day is all we can do now. As Eddy points out you will have large expenses when things break down and simply answering the problem through savings is no answer unless you have a lifetime of savings. Which you do not. You are putting yourself at risk and you will be taken out like a duck in a pond when TSHTF. (http://digilander.libero.it/guido_1953/pics/x-easy-rider/easy-rider-73.jpg) You choose to go out like Easy Rider. That is the choice a single man can make; all you fuck over are your friends. Or tell us RE. Could it be you don't really think collapse is going to happen? Quote this is not a solution to collapse So why do it? Seems to me that is what you are telling us! Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 16, 2017, 05:29:24 PM Did u know the trans was shot on the one u needed replacing? The tranny wasn't shot, it was the differential that pulled the power to the rear wheels of a native FWD vehicle. It ran fine on FWD only, but I wanted the full 4WD. And I didn't catch it, I missed that one. LOL. So I had to invest another$1500 into a car I bought for $1500 to fix it up. Total,$3000.  Said Toyota lasted me 10 years after that, all through my trucking years.

The tranny did finally give up the ghost at around the 20 year old birthday of the Toyota, I lost first gear completely and had to roll out of stops slipping the clutch in second gear.  I wasn't going to replace her at that point, she went to the Land of Away at the Junkyard and I got $50 for her there. Then I bought my Jeep Grand Cherokee for$3500 from a Little Old Lady at the Senior Center who was a friend of my mom.  I still own that car, it sits in a storage unit in Springfield, MO.

Here's the model Toyota Tercel 4WD Wagon I owned.   Mine was Blue, not white and some more rust on it but not that much.

(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/8d/1e/e0/8d1ee0223867264e2da21b72f8bf3064.jpg)

Quote
Do u know the service specs of this van,  i dont recall this being mentioned yet. Just driving all kinds of vehicles doesnt inform u what these are or when they need replacing. Some let go without warning and cause a catastrophic failure.

If it "lets go and causes a catastrophic failure"  I'll buy another one.  They are a dime a dozen on the used market.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 16, 2017, 05:35:58 PM
I see people force to live this way every day.  They are called bums.  Bums don't have the luxury to prepare for collapse so you will indeed be dropping out.

You have a real issue with poor people and dropping pejoratives on them like "bums".  They are not "bums".  They are people who succumbed to collapse early on in the game.  You don't respect them, you vilify them.

I personally at the moment am not "dropping out", since I maintain BOTH styles of living.  LOL.

Thanks for playing, try again.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Palloy2 on July 16, 2017, 05:52:13 PM
I once had an F-100 truck with a canopy over the back, it had a "canadian six" 4.8 litre motor, which drank fuel faster than I drink beer.  When I took the canopy off for a big load it took four guys to not be able to lower it gently to the ground, and it never got it put back on.  It had a double chain driving the OHV gear, and when it broke I was unable to get a replacement chain and housing, plus the engine had to come out for replacement.  The task made it a write-off, so I sold it to the garage at a loss, and went to the city to buy a 185cc trail bike.

That was when I was forced to consider stopping doing Life the Macho way, and switch to doing it the small, simple way . Our chosen vehicles are part of our personality, so I ceased to be the go to guy for a heavy towing job.  When I see RE's V-8 van (which we still don't know the engine size or fuel consumption or how it handles rough tracks) I only see financial ruin and on-going system dependency - no solution at all to the GTFOD problem, and no help at all towards the real problem of eating during and after the collapse.  Prepping seems to be about storing lots of stuff, which only creates demand for the system's stuff now and actually HELPS it continue.

Another point to chuck into the mix: I saw a video (don't know if it was from  a link here) which followed the tent dwellers under a freeway in LA.  The city health department needed to clean up and hose down/disinfect once a month, and told everyone they had to move out and could move back in a day later.  The ones who had lots of stuff, could be bothered moving it all, and were devastated to see it all being chucked in the rubbish truck.  They were better off afterwards being rid of the stuff, at least they were relieved of worrying about being robbed.  Attachment to stuff is the problem.

You would do better to be growing food in tubs on a table, to save bending down all the time.  Life is going to be about survival and is not going to be for the old and crippled, ransacking the corpse of society for tins of baked beans with a gun in your hand ready to blow the brains out of competitors before they do it to you.  Next time you see footage of the latest mass shooting, watch the reactions of people, which is to run and hide, not to whip out your Magnum 45 and start shooting back.

I think videos about how to get away with being homeless and still enjoy an internet connection and avoidance of any form of austerity, and all for only $25,000 makes a farce out of what this site should be about. Civilisation is going to go back to the Stone Age, and the Primitive Living thread is the only thing here of any practical use. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: azozeo on July 16, 2017, 05:54:23 PM Did u know the trans was shot on the one u needed replacing? Do u know the service specs of this van, i dont recall this being mentioned yet. Just driving all kinds of vehicles doesnt inform u what these are or when they need replacing. Some let go without warning and cause a catastrophic failure. Bob's right..... You need to get your happy self under that rig & report back mucho pronto amigo. Photos as well. We (the diner) will be the final verdict on your new mistress. For all you know she could have been one of those Hertz girls :evil4: Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 16, 2017, 06:11:44 PM When I see RE's V-8 van (which we still don't know the engine size or fuel consumption or how it handles rough tracks) I did provide gas mileage. It gets 16 mpg highway. Now I have local driving as well, 12 mpg. (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/23/2003_Ford_Mustang_Cobra_32v_Supercharged_engine.jpg) It is a Ford Triton 5.4L V-8. Here are the Specs: Ford 5.4L Modular V-8 Specs Engine: 5.4L 16v SOHC, 24v SOHC, 32v DOHC V-8 Engine Family: Ford Modular, "Triton V-8" Production Plant(s): • 2v produced at Windsor Engine Plant in Windsor, Ontario • 3v produced at Essex Engine Plant in Windsor, Ontario Applications: 1997 - 2010 model year Ford F-150/F-250/F-350 pickups (Supercharged versions of the engine found in F-150 Harley, F-150 Lightning, Shelby Mustang, and Ford GT) Displacement: 330 cid, 5.4 liters Firing Order: 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8 Engine Block Material: Aluminum, cast iron depending on model year Cylinder Head Material: Aluminum Deck Height: 10.079" Cylinder Bore: 3.55" Cylinder Stroke: 4.17" Compression Ratio: 9.8 : 1 Aspiration: Naturally aspirated in standard F-150 models; supercharged engines available in Harley Davidson and Lightning models Valvetrain: Single overhead camshaft, available in 16 valve (2 valves per cylinder) or 24 valve (3 valves per cylinder). Ford also built a high performance 32 valve 5.4L, but it was never offered in the Ford F-150. Ignition: Individual coil-on-plug ignition system Fuel System: Sequential multi-port fuel injection Engine Oil Capacity: 7 quarts w/ filter Peak Horsepower: 235 hp @ 4,250 rpm (1997 2v ratings) 310 hp @ 5,000 rpm (2010 3v ratings) Peak Torque: 335 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm (1997 2v ratings) 365 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm (2010 3v ratings) It's NOT a real "off road" vehicle, it's not 4WD. I have taken her on some pretty decent grades on dirt roads though, over 10% which you never see in the lower 48. The engine has plenty of power to handle those grades, and frankly I try to avoid them because they are kind of scary to go DOWN. There are a couple of lakes around here I like to go to though and the only way in are on these dirt roads with the steep grades. I would never try it in the winter with snow or even on a rainy day in this vehicle. Gotta have 4WD for that. I would use my Explorer SUV for that. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: K-Dog on July 16, 2017, 07:00:59 PM I see people force to live this way every day. They are called bums. Bums don't have the luxury to prepare for collapse so you will indeed be dropping out. You have a real issue with poor people and dropping pejoratives on them like "bums". They are not "bums". They are people who succumbed to collapse early on in the game. You don't respect them, you vilify them. http://www.youtube.com/v/QpU5A4WZc-M I personally at the moment am not "dropping out", since I maintain BOTH styles of living. LOL. Thanks for playing, try again. RE They are people without means to support themselves. That is what a bum is. Any perjoritive interpretation is between your own two ears. I do not disparage them but the fact is the more down on your luck the less good you are to other people. Bums hit people up for spare change but I have never seen one of them ever passi any coins out. So I have a problem with you having a problem. It is you problem not mine. Now we are a travel blog with a gear-head section. This weeks subject 'Transmissions'.. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 16, 2017, 07:09:57 PM They are people without means to support themselves. That is what a bum is. Any perjoritive interpretation is between your own two ears. I do not disparage them but the fact is the more down on your luck the less good you are to other people. Bums hit people up for spare change but I have never seen one of them ever passi any coins out. So I have a problem with you having a problem. It is you problem not mine. You disparage them as soon as you drop the "Bum" label on them. This is your problem, not my problem. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 16, 2017, 07:13:46 PM Now we are a travel blog with a gear-head section. This weeks subject 'Transmissions'.. If you think the topics I write on are not comprehensive enough or covering the correct aspects of collapse you think are important, then write your own fucking blogs and we'll publish every last one of them on the Diner. Put up or shut up. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: K-Dog on July 16, 2017, 07:30:12 PM They are people without means to support themselves. That is what a bum is. Any perjoritive interpretation is between your own two ears. I do not disparage them but the fact is the more down on your luck the less good you are to other people. Bums hit people up for spare change but I have never seen one of them ever passi any coins out. So I have a problem with you having a problem. It is you problem not mine. You disparage them as soon as you drop the "Bum" label on them. This is your problem, not my problem. RE n. A tramp; a vagrant. n. A lazy or shiftless person, especially one who seeks to live solely by the support of others. n. An incompetent, insignificant, or obnoxious person: The batter called the pitcher a bum. It is an appropriate definition for certain people down on their luck who have been made a subject in this thread. Bums are not collapse aware and depend on the graciousness of other people. They do not contribute which makes all my references to them valid. Now cut the shit, I have used the word BUM because you want to live like one but we have not been talking about other people so I have not disparaged anyone. You equated poor people and bum not I. Poor people are people perhaps who are only down on their luck and may not be bums at all. Now we are restricting vocabulary in the diner and defining my definitions. What is next? But you want to live like a bum and I disparage nobody by pointing out you are better than that. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 16, 2017, 07:42:54 PM But you want to live like a bum. I NEVER purported to wanting to be living "like a Bum". That is YOUR interpretation of this style of living. YOU brought up the "Bum" term to begin with. I am living like a Van Dweller. Van Dwellers are not "Bums". Van Dwellers have jobs, although low paid ones. Van Dwellers are clean and neat people with a cell phone and an ISP account who hang out at Libraries and shower at the gym every day. You insist on calling me a "Bum" to demonstrate living this way. You have a very fixed and negative view of Van Dwellers, reflected by your use of the term "Bum" to describe that. I take exception to this characterization, because I am NOT a "Bum". Would you call me a "Bum" if I was doing the same thing inside a Freightliner tractor instead of a Raised Roof Van? No, then you would call me an OTR Trucker, which I was. It is NO DIFFERENT, other than different vehicles. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: K-Dog on July 16, 2017, 10:29:09 PM But you want to live like a bum. I NEVER purported to wanting to be living "like a Bum". That is YOUR interpretation of this style of living. YOU brought up the "Bum" term to begin with. I am living like a Van Dweller. Van Dwellers are not "Bums". Van Dwellers have jobs, although low paid ones. Van Dwellers are clean and neat people with a cell phone and an ISP account who hang out at Libraries and shower at the gym every day. You insist on calling me a "Bum" to demonstrate living this way. You have a very fixed and negative view of Van Dwellers, reflected by your use of the term "Bum" to describe that. I take exception to this characterization, because I am NOT a "Bum". Would you call me a "Bum" if I was doing the same thing inside a Freightliner tractor instead of a Raised Roof Van? No, then you would call me an OTR Trucker, which I was. It is NO DIFFERENT, other than different vehicles. RE http://www.youtube.com/v/Yh-QWKGbm2Q?ecver=2 Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 16, 2017, 11:00:41 PM But you want to live like a bum. I NEVER purported to wanting to be living "like a Bum". That is YOUR interpretation of this style of living. YOU brought up the "Bum" term to begin with. I am living like a Van Dweller. Van Dwellers are not "Bums". Van Dwellers have jobs, although low paid ones. Van Dwellers are clean and neat people with a cell phone and an ISP account who hang out at Libraries and shower at the gym every day. You insist on calling me a "Bum" to demonstrate living this way. You have a very fixed and negative view of Van Dwellers, reflected by your use of the term "Bum" to describe that. I take exception to this characterization, because I am NOT a "Bum". Would you call me a "Bum" if I was doing the same thing inside a Freightliner tractor instead of a Raised Roof Van? No, then you would call me an OTR Trucker, which I was. It is NO DIFFERENT, other than different vehicles. RE http://www.youtube.com/v/Yh-QWKGbm2Q?ecver=2 One more time, and see if you can get it to register in your brain. "Bums" have no source of income, no job. Your own Video clip from Pulp Fiction says that. Van Dwellers HAVE jobs and sources of income. They work as Barristas at Starbucks or stocking shelves at Walmart. In my case, I get Mailbox Money after 40 years of paying my SS Dues. I am not a Bum, Van Dwellers are not Bums, and YOU are very prejudiced against poor people. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: luciddreams on July 17, 2017, 08:11:00 AM Sigh... :-\ http://www.youtube.com/v/O5epuPMf-7Y Yes, get a fuckin' job. That's what our parents did, and there parents, and so we must because money. Get a stupid job, a pointless job, a job that means nothing to nobody, a job that is a waste of time and energy and potential. Because your potential and talents mean nothing to nobody. Because we're all slaving away to pay the bills. Because we've all given up on our soul. What choice do we have anyways? It's that bullshit puritan work ethic that is most certainly cultural conditioning. If you aren't working your life away you are a piece of shit. It's Stockholm Syndrome with the proletariat the captor of the Corporatocracy: Quote Stockholm syndrome (sometimes erroneously referred to as Helsinki syndrome)[1][2] is a condition that causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors as a survival strategy during captivity.[3] These feelings, resulting from a bond formed between captor and captives during intimate time spent together, are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims. Generally speaking, Stockholm syndrome consists of "strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other."[4] The FBI's Hostage Barricade Database System shows that roughly eight percent of victims show evidence of Stockholm syndrome.[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_syndrome (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_syndrome) It's attached to the same phenomenon that has the conservative redneck voting for the snakes that are responsible for his demise. But they've got quiver fulls and publically praise Jebus. Not that the democrats want to change the program much. The system wants slaves. It's always had slaves, and it always will have them, because the populace thinks that if you aren't slaving away then you are a bum. Our society has no redeeming qualities. It's destructive from the ground up, and all for profit. My entire life I have resisted this notion that working a job is what life is about. That's why I'm in the place that I'm in. Everyday I wake up thinking about getting a job. Going back to the Ambulance, going OTR trucking, going to work at the BMW plant for 15 an hour. Then I think, "and this is finally what my life has come to? Just working at pointlessness because that's what I'm supposed to do, because I need money?" I need money because I have children, and I have to care for them, and in our society that means money. I'm willing to do whatever I have to do to care for my children, but I'm still not ready to give up and be a proletariat slave. Why not? Mainly because I don't want to believe that life is just about working a stupid job. If that's what it comes down to for me, then how can it be any different for them? I'm to be an example for my children. I don't want to show them that life is just about working a stupid job, getting fat with depression, coming home and downing cheap beer and smoking cigarettes to pass the couple of hours of "free" time that you have every day, getting on fukitol to delay blowing your fucking head off a few more years because it's all so god damn depressing. "Look at me sons, don't be like me, don't be a proletariat debt slave just to pay bills." Am I am bum? I receive Medicaid, I live in a house that is not mine, the utilities are paid for by government mail box money (that is not mine...I didn't "earn" it), I'm in line for food stamps, and I get earned income credit because our combined taxable income was only 11k. Am I a bum? I do work. I have a business, and when I work it's a motherfucker. It's hot as fuck, and often I have to stop working so that I don't get heat exhaustion. However, my business does not pay enough to better our lifestyle. It pays enough to put food on the table and buy the kids what they need (food stamps will help us tremendously). I could go get a stupid fucking job, and I may end up doing that, but I don't want to give up on life being about more then working. I want my business to grow into more then conventional landscaping. I want to make a living with bamboo, which is my bliss. I love bamboo. I love working with it and everything about it. It is not a "job," but my bliss. I don't want to give up on that. Finally, I am not a bum. I just refuse to give up on life being about more then just making money. It should be obvious that I gave up on OTR trucking. It was a bout of temporary insanity brought on by sobriety. I may end up giving up and lying down to die in a pointless job. If that happens I'll be getting on fukitol because my spirit will have effectively been murdered by the system. I don't want to be alive and cognizant while living the life of a proletariat slave. Obviously I will be no good to my children or wife at that point...just making the money we need. I'd be more use to my children as a bum, so long as I can hold my head up. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: azozeo on July 17, 2017, 08:54:34 AM There is a cross section of America that prefers the gypsy lifestyle. They follow the Sun :icon_sunny: There called snow birds but they're never in season to hunt for their flesh, just assets. Dude retires, sells the farm, buys the rig, either kicks the old lady to the curb or keeps her stepford wife duties, and call it good. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Petty Tyrant on July 17, 2017, 09:18:05 AM There is a cross section of America that prefers the gypsy lifestyle. They follow the Sun :icon_sunny: There called snow birds but they're never in season to hunt for their flesh, just assets. Dude retires, sells the farm, buys the rig, either kicks the old lady to the curb or keeps her stepford wife duties, and call it good. We have plenty of those in Oz too. They dont sell the farm or house though, just buy a Winnebago with their payout. They are a particular generation or lucky enough to have all those benefits and stability which enables that. A lot of others in the latest generation dont have that option, they have to be creative just to scrape by. A week or a months work picking fruit or at a building site here and there. Time and fuel cost to get there, or it not being worth finding accommodation makes living in a van an option. If living on a farm growing your own food is another part of the life, you also have transport. and accomodation any time. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 17, 2017, 12:50:35 PM I want my business to grow into more then conventional landscaping. I want to make a living with bamboo, which is my bliss. I love bamboo. I love working with it and everything about it. It is not a "job," but my bliss. I don't want to give up on that. That's a good goal. You need to find a way to make money over the winter though. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: K-Dog on July 17, 2017, 03:14:25 PM A van dweller can't make enough to travel on a minimum wage. They would be working all the time and they would waste valuable time in which they still need food and fuel at each new location looking for new work. Did jobs start growing on trees? You travel or work. You can't possibly have both for any length of time. You persue a fantasy that is only good for singing the the blues. As far as being a bum, I never called you that and with your SS you would not be one. You would just be living like one. Specifically I wrote you would be living like a well paid bum which is an oxymoron. Rather than see the humor you pulled some holier than though shit and tried to portray me as cruel for using a word which happens to be in the English language. Problem is you can't point a finger at anyone I was disparaging because I was not. Your attempted character assasination is not working and shows your desperation in trying to defend an indefensible position. You made a bum move. One thing about the protestant work ethic. It keeps people from being bums and leaching off other people. I approve! As I may have to defend the Protestant work ethic let's be clear. Nobody here is a bum. RE just wants to be and it probably has something to do with his childhood. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: K-Dog on July 17, 2017, 03:26:18 PM I want my business to grow into more then conventional landscaping. I want to make a living with bamboo, which is my bliss. I love bamboo. I love working with it and everything about it. It is not a "job," but my bliss. I don't want to give up on that. That's a good goal. You need to find a way to make money over the winter though. RE Or he can just hit the open road in a van and according to your formula the money will find him. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: luciddreams on July 17, 2017, 03:49:27 PM I want my business to grow into more then conventional landscaping. I want to make a living with bamboo, which is my bliss. I love bamboo. I love working with it and everything about it. It is not a "job," but my bliss. I don't want to give up on that. That's a good goal. You need to find a way to make money over the winter though. RE Or he can just hit the open road in a van and according to your formula the money will find him. LOL! :laugh: I know I'm not a bum. We cost a bit more in utilities living here, but not much more. That's made up by bringing life into the house as well as taking care of shit when it breaks, managing the landscape, and feeding aunt Bee. She can't cook, never learned how to, and has no desire to. Plus we do pay to help with utilities when need be. At any rate she's collecting Airforce pension, SS, and disability for the mental disorder. We're collecting Medicaid, and hopefully food stamps soon, plus the earned income credit. I know a lot of people would call me a bum, and I really don't give a shit. I bombed Afghanistan and worked as a medic for 8 years. But all of that aside, what I'm doing is just smart IMO. Why work your ass off at a stupid job if you don't need to. Acquiring the house is probably 50% or more of the Merikan dream anyways. I found a crack and got in it. Hopefully my roots will crack even more of the concrete. My goal is to participate with BAU the least amount necessary. What I'm doing runs contrary to the programming though, so there is constant psychic resistance from our society. If you aren't following the program then you are different and people can tell, and they don't like it. Also, a lot of it is due to my own conditioning I'm sure. That's the waking up everyday thinking that I need to get a job part. Phew...that's a lot of "I's"...I need to stop being so self centered. My apologies. I'm sure the Big Lebowski would say I'm a bum. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 17, 2017, 04:01:39 PM A van dweller can't make enough to travel on a minimum wage. Wrong again. Min Wage here is$15/hour.  I am going to spend under $300 this week. That means I would need 20 hours/week as a Barrista at Starbucks as a Van Dweller. The next time you call Van Dwellers "Bums" or say I want to live like a Bum your post will be deleted. People who live alternative lifestyles to your expensive paid off McMansion you needed to find a high paying job to support aren't "bums". Yachties are not "Bums" either. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: luciddreams on July 17, 2017, 04:56:13 PM http://www.youtube.com/v/xJjCnWm5cvE 8) Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: luciddreams on July 17, 2017, 05:05:37 PM A van dweller can't make enough to travel on a minimum wage. Wrong again. Min Wage here is$15/hour.  I am going to spend under $300 this week. That means I would need 20 hours/week as a Barrista at Starbucks as a Van Dweller. The next time you call Van Dwellers "Bums" or say I want to live like a Bum your post will be deleted. People who live alternative lifestyles to your expensive paid off McMansion you needed to find a high paying job to support aren't "bums". Yachties are not "Bums" either. RE Shit, not in most of the lower 48. I think in SC minimum wage is$7.40 an hour.  At 40 hours a week, after taxes, that's around $250 a week take home. You just about have to live in a van if you work at McD's for minimum wage. Around here they live in trailer parks where it's about$500-600 a month to live in a singlewide in a trailer park.  That constitutes about half of what you make with a minimum wage job working full time.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 17, 2017, 05:28:29 PM
A van dweller can't make enough to travel on a minimum wage.

Wrong again.  Min Wage here is $15/hour. I am going to spend under$300 this week.  That means I would need 20 hours/week as a Barrista at Starbucks as a Van Dweller.

The next time you call Van Dwellers "Bums" or say I want to live like a Bum your post will be deleted.  People who live alternative lifestyles to your expensive paid off McMansion you needed to find a high paying job to support aren't "bums".  Yachties are not "Bums" either.

RE

Shit, not in most of the lower 48.  I think in SC minimum wage is $7.40 an hour. At 40 hours a week, after taxes, that's around$250 a week take home.  You just about have to live in a van if you work at McD's for minimum wage.  Around here they live in trailer parks where it's about $500-600 a month to live in a singlewide in a trailer park. That constitutes about half of what you make with a minimum wage job working full time. That's a good reason not to live in SC. In any event, I'll probably come in under$250 for the week.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 17, 2017, 05:38:04 PM
A van dweller can't make enough to travel on a minimum wage.

Wrong again.  Min Wage here is $15/hour. I am going to spend under$300 this week.  That means I would need 20 hours/week as a Barrista at Starbucks as a Van Dweller.

The next time you call Van Dwellers "Bums" or say I want to live like a Bum your post will be deleted.  People who live alternative lifestyles to your expensive paid off McMansion you needed to find a high paying job to support aren't "bums".  Yachties are not "Bums" either.

RE

Shit, not in most of the lower 48.  I think in SC minimum wage is $7.40 an hour. At 40 hours a week, after taxes, that's around$250 a week take home.  You just about have to live in a van if you work at McD's for minimum wage.  Around here they live in trailer parks where it's about $500-600 a month to live in a singlewide in a trailer park. That constitutes about half of what you make with a minimum wage job working full time. That's a good reason not to live in SC. In any event, I'll probably come in under$250 for the week.  You could take a schoolbus driver job for $17/hr 30 hrs/week and make$510/week.  They are always looking for schoolbus drivers.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: agelbert on July 17, 2017, 06:28:54 PM
Hey RE, that 7.4 quake is sort of near your area.  :o It's technically in Russian waters but it is west of Alaska.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Petty Tyrant on July 17, 2017, 06:59:53 PM
I think nobody wants to do schoolbus driver because of the behavior problems they have to deal with. U need a HR (heavy rigid) truck licence,  involving cost of lessons and tests as well as other checks for working with children that  dont come free. An investment of at least 500$. Not that it isnt an option but its got considerations. Im also guessing its only 2 hrs a day, max 10 hrs a week, suitable for someone with a disability who is allowed to make an amount of part time work otherwise their pension is reduced. Ive signed off on disability pension claims for mental illness, and they are allowed to make 200$ a week, in addition to about 350$for the pension, not living large but nothing to sneeze at. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 17, 2017, 07:22:37 PM U need a HR (heavy rigid) truck licence, involving cost of lessons and tests as well as other checks for working with children that dont come free. No you don't, at least not here in Alaska. You don't need a Class A CDL, a Class B does it and the School District trains you for free. It's a 2 week training course. They also train you on how to deal with the kids, safety, discipline, etc. On buses with very young children, there is also a rider with you to help take care of them. You do of course have to pass a background check, have a clean driving record and so forth. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 17, 2017, 07:26:39 PM Hey RE, that 7.4 quake is sort of near your area. :o It's technically in Russian waters but it is west of Alaska. Didn't feel that one. Too far away. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: K-Dog on July 17, 2017, 08:21:33 PM A van dweller can't make enough to travel on a minimum wage. Wrong again. Min Wage here is$15/hour.  I am going to spend under $300 this week. That means I would need 20 hours/week as a Barrista at Starbucks as a Van Dweller. The next time you call Van Dwellers "Bums" or say I want to live like a Bum your post will be deleted. People who live alternative lifestyles to your expensive paid off McMansion you needed to find a high paying job to support aren't "bums". Yachties are not "Bums" either. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: K-Dog on July 17, 2017, 09:07:22 PM A van dweller can't make enough to travel on a minimum wage. Wrong again. Min Wage here is$15/hour.  I am going to spend under $300 this week. That means I would need 20 hours/week as a Barrista at Starbucks as a Van Dweller. The next time you call Van Dwellers "Bums" or say I want to live like a Bum your post will be deleted. People who live alternative lifestyles to your expensive paid off McMansion you needed to find a high paying job to support aren't "bums". Yachties are not "Bums" either. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: K-Dog on July 17, 2017, 09:12:38 PM I seem to be banned since a very long response I tried to post did not go through. If this does then I am saying goodbye. I don't like threats so I'm moving on. The quote part posted but not the rest. RE knows I was poor only a few years ago. Before I got my current job I had less than$1000 in savings.  RE did not know that but he does know I had been unemployed for a very long time so I have a problem with him having a problem with me supposedly having a problem with poor people.  He owes me an apology, seriously.

It has been fun, I wish all of you well.

Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 17, 2017, 09:28:43 PM
You have not been banned, and none of your posts have been deleted to date.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 17, 2017, 09:52:31 PM

RE knows I was poor only a few years ago.  Before I got my current  job I had less than $1000 in savings. RE did not know that but he does know I had been unemployed for a very long time so I have a problem with him having a problem with me supposedly having a problem with poor people. He owes me an apology, seriously. Yes, I know you fell off the cliff a few years ago and came close to the brink of Homelessness, and so did I. You could have been one of those "Bums" you now vilify. The difference here between you and me is that I don't consider Van Dwelling to be a "bum" existence, anymore than I think living in your Freightliner tractor is or living aboard a Sailboat is. To me, these are just alternate lifestyles which are CHEAPER than living the McMansion life. In my next article, I will demonstrate the community of Van Dwellers, which is a sub-culture much like the Yachtie sub-culture. These folks are not "bums". For myself, I realized just how fast I could fall off the cliff, and set myself the task of preventing that from happening, best I can on my budget. I knew there was only one way I could afford to do that and not become a Homeless Cripple Freezing to Death on the Streets of Palmer Alaska, and that was to go out OTR one more time if I can manage it with my disabilities, which you do not have. So now I go out and test my systems for living this way, and so far I can manage it. I WALK THE WALK. No, at the moment I am NOT forced into living this way, but I do NOT disrespect it as you do. To you, Van Dwellers are "bums". Not to me. To me they are people who choose to live a cheaper lifestyle which is less energy intensive, because it costs less money. What are your monthly bills even after your McMansion is now paid off? I bet your property taxes alone are more than I spend while Boondocking. http://www.youtube.com/v/rwXO0sbN4pc RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: K-Dog on July 17, 2017, 10:53:01 PM I am not vilifying van people, you are making that up and I have nothing against you living in a van as long as you don't make of it more than it is. You have because you have a 'stealth' van, aka a 'collapse' van by implication, and I consider that to be an oxymoron. The allegation of me having a thing against poor people you have pulled from your ass and you do owe me an apology for that. It is insulting. Consider: 1) A mobile lifestyle will not prepare you for collapse nor will it be a viable lifestyle after collapse. 2) We have been down this road before. Years ago Orlov advocated the 'boat' lifestyle and everyone went Bah Bah Bah. 3) A boat as a means to survive collapse is ridiculous when you think about it. In the best of times boats are holes in the water you have to throw money into. In the worst of times they sink. In collapse you will not be able to throw money into the boat to keep it afloat. It is as simple as that. 4) That bum now crowdsources boat engines for his yacht but when collapse hits he will be in Russia having his minions grow his vegetables. I posted the definition of bum and Orlov qualifies. Did you know that he and I have the same education but that he never used his. He did 'not want to work that hard' by his own words and I would not call myself an engineer under those circumstances. That is something only a bum would do and he does. 5) I used my education to pay for our 'McMansion' by working for thirty years as the engineer Orlov claims to be but isn't. Perhaps I should write a collapse book. I think we all know I can. Good thing I did get a job and did not have to go into foreclosure. The mortgage holders would have made a lot of money off of us when we had to hit the road as one of the nameless forgotten. Please put the above five points together and contemplate taking this exchange in a new direction RE. Don't be an Orlov. Your opinion of me has been on a self-serving runaway train and I'll be waiting for that apology. I am not an elitist. If you think so read point number 1 again because that is where I am coming from and have been all along. Is it a 'McMansion' if it is over twenty years old? Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: K-Dog on July 17, 2017, 11:04:19 PM The big thing against being mobile in collapse is that you are subject to ambush. Pirates will have working radar good for sixty miles and a rife can take out a driver from a duck blind along the side of the road in a heartbeat. A driver would never know what hit him. Note I did not use 'van driver', I am being nice. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 17, 2017, 11:19:13 PM I am not vilifying van people, you are making that up As soon as you use the word "bum" to describe them, then you are vilifying them. "Bum" is a pejorative term to define lazy good for nothing people. Van Dwellers are not "bums". Quote bum1 [buhm] 1. a person who avoids work and sponges on others; loafer; idler. 2. a tramp, hobo, or derelict. Stop referring to Van Dwellers as "Bums" or as me wanting to be a Bum and we can have a more civil conversation here on this topic. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 17, 2017, 11:25:31 PM The big thing against being mobile in collapse is that you are subject to ambush. Pirates will have working radar good for sixty miles and a rife can take out a driver from a duck blind along the side of the road in a heartbeat. A driver would never know what hit him. FFS, I have been over a dozen times already this in NOT a viable living system post-SHTF. What can you not grasp about this fact of life? It's just a good way to live on the cheap NOW, and it gives you a lot of flexibility as to where you go to live and perhaps find some work and way to make money. It's within affordability range for Millenials not fortunate enough to get on the industrial economy gravy train as Baby Boomers. You can do it on a Strabucks Barrista salary, I am demonstrating that as we speak. You CAN'T buy a McMansion or even rent an apartment in Seattle on that salary. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: K-Dog on July 17, 2017, 11:57:09 PM The big thing against being mobile in collapse is that you are subject to ambush. Pirates will have working radar good for sixty miles and a rife can take out a driver from a duck blind along the side of the road in a heartbeat. A driver would never know what hit him. FFS, I have been over a dozen times already this in NOT a viable living system post-SHTF. What can you not grasp about this fact of life? It's just a good way to live on the cheap NOW, and it gives you a lot of flexibility as to where you go to live and perhaps find some work and way to make money. It's within affordability range for Millenials not fortunate enough to get on the industrial economy gravy train as Baby Boomers. You can do it on a Strabucks Barrista salary, I am demonstrating that as we speak. You CAN'T buy a McMansion or even rent an apartment in Seattle on that salary. RE You don't have a Barrista's salary. You don't have to work so living in a van will work for you. Barristas have to work and these days most jobs have some sort of background check so you don't just show up and start working. It takes days. For really good jobs weeks or months. Then it is impossible to work and drive at the same time. But if you are not driving what do you need a van for? I think it has been a long time since you looked for a job RE. These days employers expect a long term commitment and it is to your advantage to give them what they want to hear but if they know you are in a van that is hard to do. If you live in a van you would do well to lie about it because an employer is not going to hire someone who might just drive away. A van will not work for everybody and you did not read point number one in full: 1) A mobile lifestyle will not prepare you for collapse nor will it be a viable lifestyle after collapse. 1) A mobile lifestyle will not prepare you for collapse nor will it be a viable lifestyle after collapse. 1) A mobile lifestyle will not prepare you for collapse nor will it be a viable lifestyle after collapse. 1) A mobile lifestyle will not prepare you for collapse nor will it be a viable lifestyle after collapse. So you want to live on the cheap in the meantime. How long are you going to wander the earth then before collapse happens because at some point you are going to have to prepare for it. I see only two possibilities here. 1) You know exactly when collapse will happen and know how long you can play in your van. 2) You don't really believe collapse will happen. You do need to apologize and you have insulted me again by this: Quote Posted by: RE « on: Today at 11:19:13 PM » Insert Quote Quote from: K-Dog on Today at 10:53:01 PM I am not vilifying van people, you are making that up As soon as you use the word "bum" to describe them, then you are vilifying them. "Bum" is a pejorative term to define lazy good for nothing people. Van Dwellers are not "bums". Quote bum1 [buhm] 1. a person who avoids work and sponges on others; loafer; idler. 2. a tramp, hobo, or derelict. Stop referring to Van Dwellers as "Bums" or as me wanting to be a Bum and we can have a more civil conversation here on this topic. RE because my previous post was pretty clear about where I was coming from and you are ignoring everything I wrote by posting the above. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 18, 2017, 12:09:50 AM You don't have a Barrista's salary. Yes I do, and in fact I am doing this on less than a Barrista Salary. Instead of spending 6 hours at the library reading up on First Nations people Archaeology, I could have been at Starbucks making Frappucinos for the day for my daily expenses. You are the one owing me an apology for saying I "want to be a bum". I don't want to be a bum. I don't even want to be a full time Van Dweller unless it's absolutely necessary. I am just demonstrating how to live this way, and it is NOT "bum" living. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: luciddreams on July 18, 2017, 06:34:02 AM The big thing against being mobile in collapse is that you are subject to ambush. Pirates will have working radar good for sixty miles and a rife can take out a driver from a duck blind along the side of the road in a heartbeat. A driver would never know what hit him. FFS, I have been over a dozen times already this in NOT a viable living system post-SHTF. What can you not grasp about this fact of life? It's just a good way to live on the cheap NOW, and it gives you a lot of flexibility as to where you go to live and perhaps find some work and way to make money. It's within affordability range for Millenials not fortunate enough to get on the industrial economy gravy train as Baby Boomers. You can do it on a Strabucks Barrista salary, I am demonstrating that as we speak. You CAN'T buy a McMansion or even rent an apartment in Seattle on that salary. RE Alright, so living in a van is not something that would make sense as far as preparing for collapse, or the shtf, correct? We all agree on that, as far as I can tell. The main motivation here for RE is to show that it can be done on a barista salary which is what he's using as his benchmark job for minimum wage earners. I contend that there is a better strategy and it's the one that I'm employing. That is, stay at home. Talk about cultural conditioning. "Growing up," to get married and have a family and live in your own house is more of a Merikan thing isn't it? I mean traditionally, even in Merika, there were multi-generational households. This makes sense when you are poor because it's cheaper to pool resources. Families are communist units, at least healthy ones are. Everybody puts their money in a pot and it goes towards keeping the family fed, clothed, and sheltered. In other words, these families work according to ability and give according to need. My whole experiment here with Aunt Bee was my strategy for collapse. I saw the writing on the wall. 2008 destroyed my wife's burgeoning business. My check from EMS was gone after mortgage (which was only$800 a month, we bought our house in 2007 for 110k and we were approved for around $180k on our salaries), car payments, insurance, and utilities. Each year they managed to pay us less by tricky fucking schemes like fucking with our hours. I made the most money of any year my first year working EMS as an emt-basic. I advanced to intermediate and after 6 years and several "raises" I was making less then the first year. Plus they were removing intermediate as a position and replacing it with "advanced emt," so I was going to be getting a demotion in skill set which meant less money yet again. Plus our insurance was changing and I was going to have to pay$600 a month with a 5k deductible.  I was paying $400 a month previously with a 2k deductible. This has been the trend in the 21st century. It is less and less pay with benefits that cost more and do less. The best strategy to employ is to fucking stay at home, if it's possible. What needs to go is the idea that we all need to have our own ticky tacky box to live in. It was nice, but more energy intensive and in aggregate it means using a lot more resources. We are headed into third world status, not AI enhanced colonization of Mars with energy that's too cheap to monitor. Industrial agriculture is on it's way out as well. There are a lot of compromises that are made living with older family members. They are worth it. A married couple really needs no more privacy then a closed bedroom door. Yes, it is nice to have your own ticky tacky, but it comes at a great cost, and it's one that's not worth it. I thought that we grew up, went to college, got a career, got married, bought a house, and then had children, and then retired to go RV'in with a boat for the rest of our lives. Those days are over for the majority of us. Now we grow up, get in debt going to college, work as baristas and live in vans? I guess gettin' married and buying a house and retiring with the boat and RV are over with. I suppose living in a van could be a step up from staying at home. I mean, I'm not exactly "living at home," but effectively it's the same thing. Still, living in a van is not really that much better then just living in a tent. What does the van provide that a car doesn't? Just a place to sleep that's a bit more comfortable really. You can sleep in the back seat of most cars, or even just lay a front seat down all the way. I've done that many times on my travels. Or just pitch a tent. Living in a van is really just glorified glamping. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: luciddreams on July 18, 2017, 06:45:19 AM Or better yet, just buy one of these deals:  DetailsMicro Camper Micro Camper They come with kitchens and two people can comfortably sleep in them. They can be pulled with cars as well. I believe the one pictured is made by the Mini Cooper car manufacturer. If it was just GM and I, and we weren't going to have kids, this would be an awesome way to live. Basically, the unfortunate bottom line in todays world is that most of us should not be getting married and having children. I don't regret having children. I had them both, and I was collapse aware for years beforehand. I spent a couple of years debating whether to have our first or not. It's tough. I don't regret having children, but it sure does make living, with my world view, very difficult. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 18, 2017, 07:23:22 AM The big thing against being mobile in collapse is that you are subject to ambush. Pirates will have working radar good for sixty miles and a rife can take out a driver from a duck blind along the side of the road in a heartbeat. A driver would never know what hit him. FFS, I have been over a dozen times already this in NOT a viable living system post-SHTF. What can you not grasp about this fact of life? It's just a good way to live on the cheap NOW, and it gives you a lot of flexibility as to where you go to live and perhaps find some work and way to make money. It's within affordability range for Millenials not fortunate enough to get on the industrial economy gravy train as Baby Boomers. You can do it on a Strabucks Barrista salary, I am demonstrating that as we speak. You CAN'T buy a McMansion or even rent an apartment in Seattle on that salary. RE Alright, so living in a van is not something that would make sense as far as preparing for collapse, or the shtf, correct? We all agree on that, as far as I can tell. The main motivation here for RE is to show that it can be done on a barista salary which is what he's using as his benchmark job for minimum wage earners. I contend that there is a better strategy and it's the one that I'm employing. That is, stay at home. Talk about cultural conditioning. "Growing up," to get married and have a family and live in your own house is more of a Merikan thing isn't it? I mean traditionally, even in Merika, there were multi-generational households. This makes sense when you are poor because it's cheaper to pool resources. Families are communist units, at least healthy ones are. Everybody puts their money in a pot and it goes towards keeping the family fed, clothed, and sheltered. In other words, these families work according to ability and give according to need. My whole experiment here with Aunt Bee was my strategy for collapse. I saw the writing on the wall. 2008 destroyed my wife's burgeoning business. My check from EMS was gone after mortgage (which was only$800 a month, we bought our house in 2007 for 110k and we were approved for around $180k on our salaries), car payments, insurance, and utilities. Each year they managed to pay us less by tricky fucking schemes like fucking with our hours. I made the most money of any year my first year working EMS as an emt-basic. I advanced to intermediate and after 6 years and several "raises" I was making less then the first year. Plus they were removing intermediate as a position and replacing it with "advanced emt," so I was going to be getting a demotion in skill set which meant less money yet again. Plus our insurance was changing and I was going to have to pay$600 a month with a 5k deductible.  I was paying $400 a month previously with a 2k deductible. This has been the trend in the 21st century. It is less and less pay with benefits that cost more and do less. The best strategy to employ is to fucking stay at home, if it's possible. What needs to go is the idea that we all need to have our own ticky tacky box to live in. It was nice, but more energy intensive and in aggregate it means using a lot more resources. We are headed into third world status, not AI enhanced colonization of Mars with energy that's too cheap to monitor. Industrial agriculture is on it's way out as well. There are a lot of compromises that are made living with older family members. They are worth it. A married couple really needs no more privacy then a closed bedroom door. Yes, it is nice to have your own ticky tacky, but it comes at a great cost, and it's one that's not worth it. I thought that we grew up, went to college, got a career, got married, bought a house, and then had children, and then retired to go RV'in with a boat for the rest of our lives. Those days are over for the majority of us. Now we grow up, get in debt going to college, work as baristas and live in vans? I guess gettin' married and buying a house and retiring with the boat and RV are over with. I suppose living in a van could be a step up from staying at home. I mean, I'm not exactly "living at home," but effectively it's the same thing. Still, living in a van is not really that much better then just living in a tent. What does the van provide that a car doesn't? Just a place to sleep that's a bit more comfortable really. You can sleep in the back seat of most cars, or even just lay a front seat down all the way. I've done that many times on my travels. Or just pitch a tent. Living in a van is really just glorified glamping. First of all, I suggest you wait for Part II before making your judgements, and probably you should wait until the whole series of articles is finished. There's a LOT more to come. Second, it is you who tell me that living with your older relative has been intolerable, and that's why you were going to go out and "sacrifice yourself" by trucking so that GM and the boys could move out of the situation. Third, not everyone HAS an older relative willing to house them and give them free rent. That is another aspect very personal to your own situation, not a general situation anyone could pull off on a Barrista salary. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: K-Dog on July 18, 2017, 08:31:15 AM I have to work so I can't read all of the above, which is my point exactly about the barista. It is not about the money. It is about the time. I will come back to read. But I have time to say this. RE has been a Long Haul Trucker and is comfortable living in a vehicle. People follow passions and while I have not seen one for years I recall 'Van Living' magazines on drugstore racks. The babes and paint jobs were never as hot as on the low-rider Chevy mags. The van conversions were cool and more interesting than the Chevys though. The owners of these vehicles were not bums. Some people are into medieval jousting. Some people jump out of airplanes and we are not going to get terribly pissed about someone burning gas if they want to jump out of an airplane are we! Some people fly fish and are into lures. Some people do woodwork. Some people shoot animals. People follow passions and some people even make living out of a van into an art form. They are not bums. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 18, 2017, 08:37:59 AM I have to work so I can't read all of the above, which is my point exactly about the barista. It is not about the money. It is about the time. I will come back to read. But I have time to say this. RE has been a Long Haul Trucker and is comfortable living in a vehicle. People follow passions and while I have not seen one for years I recall 'Van Living' magazines on drugstore racks. The babes and paint jobs were never as hot as on the low-rider Chevy mags. The van conversions were cool and more interesting than the Chevys though. The owners of these vehicles were not bums. Some people are into medieval jousting. Some people jump out of airplanes and we are not going to get terribly pissed about someone burning gas if they want to jump out of an airplane are we! Some people fly fish and are into lures. Some people do woodwork. Some people shoot animals. People follow passions and some people even make living out of a van into an art form. They are not bums. Van Dwelling is a lot different IRL than the magazines you remember from the 1970's. There's a good deal more to it than making a "Shaggin' Wagon". And no, Van Dwellers are not Bums, and I do not want to be one, as you said I did. You owe me an apology for calling me a Wannabee Bum. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: agelbert on July 18, 2017, 11:02:37 AM I don't know if this helps to unruffle any feathers here but I firmly believe there is an agreement by all here, whether they voice it or not, that leisure time to think, ponder, love, build, etc. is desirable. That said, the Capitalist propaganda has always been rather Orwellian in our society. We want to boast about our work ethic and how many years we did this, that and the other, while throughout that period what we were ACTUALLY after was leisure time plus freedom from want. EVERYONE likes to do productive stuff WHEN THEY ARE NOT FORCED TO DO IT. The evil society we are in has flipped all of that hard truth abut humans on its head to demonize those who wish to work less, when it is the rich bastards with inherited wealth, or who are born on third base, that don't do ZIP most of the lives, while they preach to the rest of us about the "work ethic". I could say a lot more, but I think you all get the idea. The pejorative language directed by the media at those who do NOT want to be busy bees all the time is absolute BULLSHIT. Ninety PERCENT or more of those living out of vehicles certainly are NOT lazy, though many may suffer depression that compromises their ability to hold a job. THAT is NOT their fault. THAT is the fault of an empathy deficit disordered, greed based society. The TRUE LAZY BUMS in our sick society are the idle rich, PERIOD. Quote Together with a culture of work, there must be a culture of leisure as gratification. To put it another way: people who work must take the time to relax, to be with their families, to enjoy themselves, read, listen to music, play a sport. Pope Francis Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: luciddreams on July 18, 2017, 11:59:18 AM First of all, I suggest you wait for Part II before making your judgements, and probably you should wait until the whole series of articles is finished. There's a LOT more to come. Before making my judgement about what? Do you want to address the car and micro camper setup that I suggested? We've already established that the "stealth" part of the "steath van" is not really much of a benefit. What is the benefit towards being in a "steath van" rather then a micro camper? Quote Second, it is you who tell me that living with your older relative has been intolerable, and that's why you were going to go out and "sacrifice yourself" by trucking so that GM and the boys could move out of the situation. First of all I don't like your tone much. You keep bringing up that I said I was going to sacrifice myself for my family like it's some negative. Yes, I'm willing to sacrifice myself to the life of a proletariat if that's what I have to do. My children are my responsibility. They did not ask to be born. I will do whatever I have to do to make sure that they have what they need. Yes, I view going over the road as a truck driver an act of sacrifice. You got a problem with that? Do you want to explain what's really behind you bringing that up over and over again? Yes, living with Aunt Bee has been intolerable for a number of reasons. She has a psychological disorder, among other things that makes it hard to live with her fro time to time. Plus there is the dynamics between GM and her. When your wife ain't happy you ain't happy. When your wife ain't happy it can make shit intolerable. Second, I actually quit drinking alcohol, quite smoking herb, and quit smoking cigarettes. I have no chemical vices besides morning coffee. At this point I could give that up as well. A lot of the shit I have said, and gone through, in the last couple of months have been due to emotional swings due to removing these dependencies from my life. As sobriety has descended around my consciousness, it has brought insights with it. The fact is that we cannot improve upon the situation we have now. Any improvement would mean both GM and I work full time jobs. That would mean child care. It would also mean that we would lose Medicaid, earned income credits, and food stamps (pending that we get them). Let's tally that up shall we: Medicaid: using the medical insurance situation I had last with EMS we can put the worth of this at$12,200 a year, and that was five years ago and only one child, I have two now, so I'll round that up to 13K.

EIC:  $5000 a year (and this is what I can make in taxes...I pay nothing). EBT:$3600 a year

Child Care:  $7200 a year (approximately$600 a month for two kids).

That amounts to $27,800 a year in benefits we get by playing the game the way we are playing it. Now let's figure what we would have to pay to live on our own, since that would be the point of us both going to work to escape this situation. Rent:$1100 per month which is the average 3 bedroom apartment around here, and you can also find a house for that to rent, but houses cost more in utilities plus you usually have to manage the landscape as well.

Utilities:  Apartment living would be around $150 a month for electrical and water. That's another$15,000.

So for us to leave this living arrangement to go live in an apartment it would cost us $42,800 a year. We would see our children around 70% less then we do now with us both working. We would lose the food forest, the chickens, and the bamboo. We would lose two two car garages which are both awesome assets. This break down doesn't even include the cost of internet, cell phones, and insurance. It doesn't include food, clothing, gasoline, truck payment, or any other aspects of the modern life. When you look at those numbers, and figure the sacrifices we would have to make with us both becoming proletariat debt slaves, with our children raised by other people...and likely getting on fukitol to deal...what kind of choice is that to make? Another aspect of this way of life is that we plan to homeschool our kids after elementary school. That would be out the window as well. I really don't want my kids going to middle school and high school in public school. I would also have to give up my bamboo internship. Quote Third, not everyone HAS an older relative willing to house them and give them free rent. That is another aspect very personal to your own situation, not a general situation anyone could pull off on a Barrista salary RE True, but a lot of people could pull off this arrangement. A lot of people have parents with houses, or other relatives. Given you can find such an arrangement it's better then living in a van. Hell, just living with roommates could get you in a house at close to the cost of living in a van. Not to mention, a lot of people don't have the money to outright buy a van. Not every situation applies to everyone does it? Yet still, everyday I wake up thinking that I should go get a job. Or go back to school to get a job. The main driver behind that is thinking about when I'm 60. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: K-Dog on July 18, 2017, 12:57:51 PM I have to work so I can't read all of the above, which is my point exactly about the barista. It is not about the money. It is about the time. I will come back to read. But I have time to say this. RE has been a Long Haul Trucker and is comfortable living in a vehicle. People follow passions and while I have not seen one for years I recall 'Van Living' magazines on drugstore racks. The babes and paint jobs were never as hot as on the low-rider Chevy mags. The van conversions were cool and more interesting than the Chevys though. The owners of these vehicles were not bums. Some people are into medieval jousting. Some people jump out of airplanes and we are not going to get terribly pissed about someone burning gas if they want to jump out of an airplane are we! Some people fly fish and are into lures. Some people do woodwork. Some people shoot animals. People follow passions and some people even make living out of a van into an art form. They are not bums. Van Dwelling is a lot different IRL than the magazines you remember from the 1970's. There's a good deal more to it than making a "Shaggin' Wagon". And no, Van Dwellers are not Bums, and I do not want to be one, as you said I did. You owe me an apology for calling me a Wannabee Bum. RE 'Some people even make living in a van an art form.' THAT IS AN APOLOGY YOU INGRATE ! Read it again and get your head out of your ass. You have not been reading what I have been writing with any comprehension and you refuse to address my questions. You are acting as if collapse is not going to happen and that everybody needs to get on with happy motoring and experience the same RISK OF MISHAP that a BUM does. In that respect there are things in common and pointing that out disparages nobody! It is living in reality. You are playing games. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: jdwheeler42 on July 18, 2017, 02:25:45 PM The big thing against being mobile in collapse is that you are subject to ambush. Pirates will have working radar good for sixty miles and a rife can take out a driver from a duck blind along the side of the road in a heartbeat. A driver would never know what hit him. Note I did not use 'van driver', I am being nice. The big thing about defending a fixed location in collapse is that raiders can choose to attack your position at any time, so you have to be constantly vigilant. Lord Bison (aka James Dakin) had been over this many times.... http://bisonprepper.blogspot.com/ (http://bisonprepper.blogspot.com/) Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 18, 2017, 02:33:49 PM First of all, I suggest you wait for Part II before making your judgements, and probably you should wait until the whole series of articles is finished. There's a LOT more to come. Before making my judgement about what? Before making your judgements about road living. Do you want to address the car and micro camper setup that I suggested? Too small. We've already established that the "stealth" part of the "steath van" is not really much of a benefit. What is the benefit towards being in a "steath van" rather then a micro camper? Quote Second, it is you who tell me that living with your older relative has been intolerable, and that's why you were going to go out and "sacrifice yourself" by trucking so that GM and the boys could move out of the situation. First of all I don't like your tone much. You keep bringing up that I said I was going to sacrifice myself for my family like it's some negative. Yes, I'm willing to sacrifice myself to the life of a proletariat if that's what I have to do. My children are my responsibility. They did not ask to be born. I will do whatever I have to do to make sure that they have what they need. Yes, I view going over the road as a truck driver an act of sacrifice. You got a problem with that? Do you want to explain what's really behind you bringing that up over and over again? Because I don't like your tone much. You set yourself as some kind of martyr. Yes, living with Aunt Bee has been intolerable for a number of reasons. She has a psychological disorder, among other things that makes it hard to live with her fro time to time. Plus there is the dynamics between GM and her. When your wife ain't happy you ain't happy. When your wife ain't happy it can make shit intolerable. You're the one who said living with an older relative was a better choice. Second, I actually quit drinking alcohol, quite smoking herb, and quit smoking cigarettes. I have no chemical vices besides morning coffee. At this point I could give that up as well. A lot of the shit I have said, and gone through, in the last couple of months have been due to emotional swings due to removing these dependencies from my life. You still said it. I just respond to what you say, I have no control over your mood swings. As sobriety has descended around my consciousness, it has brought insights with it. The fact is that we cannot improve upon the situation we have now. Any improvement would mean both GM and I work full time jobs. That would mean child care. It would also mean that we would lose Medicaid, earned income credits, and food stamps (pending that we get them). Let's tally that up shall we: Medicaid: using the medical insurance situation I had last with EMS we can put the worth of this at$12,200 a year, and that was five years ago and only one child, I have two now, so I'll round that up to 13K.

EIC:  $5000 a year (and this is what I can make in taxes...I pay nothing). EBT:$3600 a year

Child Care:  $7200 a year (approximately$600 a month for two kids).

That amounts to $27,800 a year in benefits we get by playing the game the way we are playing it. Now let's figure what we would have to pay to live on our own, since that would be the point of us both going to work to escape this situation. Rent:$1100 per month which is the average 3 bedroom apartment around here, and you can also find a house for that to rent, but houses cost more in utilities plus you usually have to manage the landscape as well.

Utilities:  Apartment living would be around $150 a month for electrical and water. That's another$15,000.

So for us to leave this living arrangement to go live in an apartment it would cost us $42,800 a year. We would see our children around 70% less then we do now with us both working. We would lose the food forest, the chickens, and the bamboo. We would lose two two car garages which are both awesome assets. This break down doesn't even include the cost of internet, cell phones, and insurance. It doesn't include food, clothing, gasoline, truck payment, or any other aspects of the modern life. When you look at those numbers, and figure the sacrifices we would have to make with us both becoming proletariat debt slaves, with our children raised by other people...and likely getting on fukitol to deal...what kind of choice is that to make? Another aspect of this way of life is that we plan to homeschool our kids after elementary school. That would be out the window as well. I really don't want my kids going to middle school and high school in public school. I would also have to give up my bamboo internship. Quote Third, not everyone HAS an older relative willing to house them and give them free rent. That is another aspect very personal to your own situation, not a general situation anyone could pull off on a Barrista salary RE True, but a lot of people could pull off this arrangement. A lot of people have parents with houses, or other relatives. Given you can find such an arrangement it's better then living in a van. Hell, just living with roommates could get you in a house at close to the cost of living in a van. Not to mention, a lot of people don't have the money to outright buy a van. Not every situation applies to everyone does it? Yet still, everyday I wake up thinking that I should go get a job. Or go back to school to get a job. The main driver behind that is thinking about when I'm 60. It's a tossup as to which choice is better. If it was me and the choice was between living in a suburban tract house with a crazy relative or living as a gypsy in a van and trailer, I would pick the latter. But I have lived this life before so I know how to do it. You are not me of course, and GM definitely is not me. The economics are similar, you would still qualify for medicaid, EIC etc. You still could do your bamboo internship. You would certainly be spending a lot more time in spots closer to nature. The next article is in a very nice location, big improvement over the Walmart parking lot for sure! lol. Also free and legal. Pretty much anyone can get into this style of living as long as you can get a job. You may have to start by couch surfing for a while to save up enough money to buy a used van if you have no savings going into it. Once you have your starter vehicle, you gradually upgrade. You're always saving money because you live so cheap. You don't have any problems on this end though, you already have the tow vehicle in your truck and you already have the trailer I bought. All you need is to drop a camper on the truck and fit out the trailer with beds for the boys and storage for your road gear. Of course, GM would never go for this, but that is a separate problem. . Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: K-Dog on July 18, 2017, 02:39:14 PM The big thing against being mobile in collapse is that you are subject to ambush. Pirates will have working radar good for sixty miles and a rife can take out a driver from a duck blind along the side of the road in a heartbeat. A driver would never know what hit him. Note I did not use 'van driver', I am being nice. The big thing about defending a fixed location in collapse is that raiders can choose to attack your position at any time, so you have to be constantly vigilant. Lord Bison (aka James Dakin) had been over this many times.... http://bisonprepper.blogspot.com/ (http://bisonprepper.blogspot.com/) That is why the fixed location needs to be in a collapse community where the vigilance burden can be shared. A network of connections has to be built up and you can't do that in a mobile lifestyle because these connections will take time to build up and people who are always coming and going can't be considered trustworthy. Trust depends on establishing a long term relationship which the vagabond can't do. In any military strategy the maxim of divide and conquer holds true because there is a mathematical basis behind it. Going mobile makes you vulnerable. You have 'divided' yourself by choice and sedentary opportunists will be able to concentrate fire against you and you will be outnumbered and then the math says you are toast. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 18, 2017, 03:08:23 PM Going mobile makes you vulnerable. You have 'divided' yourself by choice and sedentary opportunists will be able to concentrate fire against you and you will be outnumbered and then the math says you are toast. True Van Dwellers are a community. (https://i2.wp.com/images.cheaprvliving.com/RTR-line-good.jpg?w=640) When there is Danger, you Circle the Wagons. (http://www.wordyard.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/CircleWagons.jpg) Women and children go on the inside, to load the weapons. Men go on the outside to aim and shoot. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 18, 2017, 03:32:05 PM If you folks will recall, a while back I did a 3D rendering of a prototypical Mobile SUN☼ Community of Van Dwellers. (http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/SUN-Van-Community.png) This community features 5 family units, each with their own Van and Trailer and F-Dome, plus one larger F-Dome for the whole community. The van and trailer comes in under$10K used, the small F-Dome also under $10K. The larger F-Dome for the community,$20K so that is $4K per family unit. You set up a community kitchen in the big F-Dome and your schoolroom for academic type learning for the kids. You can use it for community meetings as well if the weather outside by your fire ring is not too good. So to become part of this community it costs you around$24K, although you could come in cheaper with some good van and trailer shopping.  This is a lot cheaper than you can get into a McMansion.

All the equipment for setting up the F-Domes and connectors is carried on your Roof Racks.  They are really just very big and more sturdy tents.

(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/09/b1/ec/09b1ecaf18529c68cbd5a1fc8f4c694a--dome-tent-dome-house.jpg)

You could of course get cheaper here if you downsize to 4-room Dome Tents found at Walmart for the Low, Low Price every day of around $300. (http://www.camptents.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Cabin-Tent-Delux-Four-Room-FrontView.jpg) RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Palloy2 on July 18, 2017, 04:53:45 PM The Amerikan Dream of owning your own home is not unique - it applies in UK and Australia just as strongly. It is a trick, set up by constant repetition by the Government in the full knowledge that these boxes are so expensive to build that no young couple starting out in life can afford them. So they agree to sign up to a contract, to pay it off in installments over 30 years. This requires that they work a job every week for the next 30 years, something that absolutely nobody can guarantee. As the house fills up with kids and lots of stuff, it becomes even more important not to lose it by losing your job. Even if the boss says we are going to cut your hours or reduce your pay rate, you CAN'T say "if you do that, I'll quit". So you are trapped by the system - a workforce in debt is a compliant workforce. That's what the owners of production and their government accomplices want. Another part of the Dream is to go to university to get a qualification, which should improve your income and your job prospects. If a university education is free (as it was for me in the UK, and was effectively in Australia) you should always take it, but where it's not (US), you should not take it because it the same trick as housing - you promise to pay it off with future earnings, which you can't guarantee you will have. Same with cars. A new car loses about a third of its value the moment it is bought, and you will probably pay about three times its value in installments before you really own it, at which point you are supposed to start again and buy the latest model, which is so much better than your model because it has servo-assisted disc brakes, overhead camshaft, electronic fuel injection (none of which are in reality any better). People fall for this shit over and over again. I did, but I soon learned not to do it again. This was due to exposure to Socialist ways of thinking, that would probably get you arrested for sedition if voiced in the US. The demonisation of socialism, and the promotion of true Amerikan self-reliance, shows up in everything being written here. I think RE cheated on his expenses break-down - fuel costs "will be averaged over 30 days". No it won't! Fuel will be paid for up front! Tell us how much it actually costs you to fill up the Stealth Van's tank and how many actual miles you drive before you have to do it again, not some number out of a book. I reckon a tankful of fuel will take more than your weekly budget for living, but please supply actual figures so we can see. Quote They are really just very big and more sturdy tents. Anyone can see that is not true. Domes don't use guy ropes to put the skin under tension. The dome has to be fixed to a raised floor (do you carry that with you?) Where is the standard doorway which you must have to be able to dock with the standard corridor to the main dome? Is such a standard actually standard for all the different vehicles you show? Libyan refugees (who all had nothing and thought this was better the nothing): (http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/03/03/article-0-0D737EA1000005DC-302_634x357.jpg) Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 18, 2017, 05:03:34 PM I think RE cheated on his expenses break-down - fuel costs "will be averaged over 30 days". No it won't! Fuel will be paid for up front! Tell us how much it actually costs you to fill up the Stealth Van's tank and how many actual miles you drive before you have to do it again, not some number out of a book. I reckon a tankful of fuel will take more than your weekly budget for living, but please supply actual figures so we can see. WRONG! Not numbers out of a book, those were figures I calculated by filling the tank completely, then driving around 300 miles, then refilling to see how much gas I used. In the first case, it was mostly highway driving up to Talkeetna and back and down to Anchorage and back. In the second case on the next tank it was mostly stop and go local puttering around the Mat-Su Valley. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 18, 2017, 05:08:58 PM Anyone can see that is not true. Domes don't use guy ropes to put the skin under tension. The dome has to be fixed to a raised floor (do you carry that with you?) No it doesn't. You can drop them straight on the dirt or sand. (http://www.glamping-domes.info/img/wopr.jpg) For the connectors, you make those out of 1.5" PVC tubing and plumbing connectors you buy at Home Depot. You cover them with heavy duty clear plastic sheeting, also available by the roll at Home Depot. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 18, 2017, 05:23:56 PM Where is the standard doorway which you must have to be able to dock with the standard corridor to the main dome? Is such a standard actually standard for all the different vehicles you show? On the doorway issue, the single round hole is the standard opening for these domes, but you can order the frame and cover with three of them, which I would. When you back up a van or trailer to this opening, it is slightly larger and round, while the van and trailer are rectangular. So if it is cold, you will want to stuff some insulation material into the gaps. Entry and exit to your living arrangement is either through your Van Doors or your Trailer side door. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 18, 2017, 05:49:06 PM Now, how do you use this rig set up with your Survival Community of SUN☼ Van Dwellers? First, before TSHTF you organize up your community of Heliopaths Online on the Doomstead Diner. You find 4 other people or families concerned about what they will do when collapse arrives, but they do not have enough money to buy and maintain a Doomstead. They also have some regular jobs and don't want to bugout yet, because they are still doing OK in the industrial economy. Most of them already have a Pickup Truck, An SUV or a Mini-Van to get around to work and so forth, so no additional cost there for them to join the community. They may not have a trailer with their preps loaded aboard, but they can pick one up on the used market for$2K.  They may not be able to afford an F-Dome, but they can pick up a 4 room dome tent at Walmart for $300 to substitute. The only thing left to be part of the community is your$4K contribution for the big community F-Dome.

You meet up periodically at Convocations at various locations around the North American continent that have the potential to be good Bugout location and you CIRCLE THE WAGONS and practice and test your systems.  Then after a week or two at the SUN Convocation, you drive back to your BAU life while it is still ongoing.

SHTF Day ARRIVES! The ATMs have shut down.  You get to the gas station quickly and load up with enough fuel to get to your destination with no stops, paying CASH. You are all in contact regularly on the Doomstead Diner, and the BRAZOS call goes out in PM to your fellow community members, it is TIME to GTFO of Dodge.  RE is inside SaVANnah inside an hour after throwing as many of his preps as he can fit into the trailer.  A location from one of the many you have visited at the Convocations is specified, with the Lat/Lon of meeting points along the way there that community members can use to join up and form a Convoy for better security on the way there.

You arrive at your chosen location and you set up your encampment.  You are never going back.  You will either make it or you won't living off the land.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Surly1 on July 18, 2017, 05:51:52 PM
I don't know if this helps to unruffle any feathers here but I firmly believe there is an agreement by all here, whether they voice it or not, that leisure time to think, ponder, love, build, etc. is desirable. That said, the Capitalist propaganda has always been rather Orwellian in our society. We want to boast about our work ethic and how many years we did this, that and the other, while throughout that period what we were ACTUALLY after was leisure time plus freedom from want.

EVERYONE likes to do productive stuff WHEN THEY ARE NOT FORCED TO DO IT. The evil society we are in has flipped all of that hard truth abut humans on its head to demonize those who wish to work less, when it is the rich bastards with inherited wealth, or who are born on third base, that don't do ZIP most of the lives, while they preach to the rest of us about the "work ethic".

I could say a lot more, but I think you all get the idea. The pejorative language directed by the media at those who do NOT want to be busy bees all the time is absolute BULLSHIT. Ninety PERCENT or more of those living out of vehicles certainly are NOT lazy, though many may suffer depression that compromises their ability to hold a job. THAT is NOT their fault. THAT is the fault of an empathy deficit disordered, greed based society.

The TRUE LAZY BUMS in our sick society are the idle rich, PERIOD.

Word.

(https://media.giphy.com/media/l2JhMMeXghvBnUpyg/giphy.gif)
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: agelbert on July 18, 2017, 06:33:27 PM
I don't know if this helps to unruffle any feathers here but I firmly believe there is an agreement by all here, whether they voice it or not, that leisure time to think, ponder, love, build, etc. is desirable. That said, the Capitalist propaganda has always been rather Orwellian in our society. We want to boast about our work ethic and how many years we did this, that and the other, while throughout that period what we were ACTUALLY after was leisure time plus freedom from want.

EVERYONE likes to do productive stuff WHEN THEY ARE NOT FORCED TO DO IT. The evil society we are in has flipped all of that hard truth abut humans on its head to demonize those who wish to work less, when it is the rich bastards with inherited wealth, or who are born on third base, that don't do ZIP most of the lives, while they preach to the rest of us about the "work ethic".

I could say a lot more, but I think you all get the idea. The pejorative language directed by the media at those who do NOT want to be busy bees all the time is absolute BULLSHIT. Ninety PERCENT or more of those living out of vehicles certainly are NOT lazy, though many may suffer depression that compromises their ability to hold a job. THAT is NOT their fault. THAT is the fault of an empathy deficit disordered, greed based society.

The TRUE LAZY BUMS in our sick society are the idle rich, PERIOD.

Word.

(https://media.giphy.com/media/l2JhMMeXghvBnUpyg/giphy.gif)

(http://www.pic4ever.com/images/looksmiley.gif)

Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: luciddreams on July 18, 2017, 07:06:36 PM

[color blue]Because I don't like your tone much.  You set yourself as some kind of martyr.[/color]

So now I'm a martyr as well as self-centered?

Also, you didn't "buy me that trailer" as you are so fond of bringing up over and over again for all to see here on the Diner.  I don't have a cookie for you, but you can have this :thefinger:

Sun bought me that trailer, at least that's what I thought.  It's funny how it's Sun buying shit when it's saintly RE and it's RE buying shit when it's being an asshole RE.  I told you when Sun bought that trailer that I was grateful, and that I did not owe anything, and that I considered it payment for the work that I had done for Sun up to that point (and Surly was there so he can be my witness).  Which between me and GM was a LOT of fucking work.

I did several presentations in public venues in Inman as Sun.  I brought the ONLY god damn actual skill set related to Sun's mission to the Harvest day festival with splitting bamboo and building tripods to hold the sign up.  GM and I did several economic development meet ups.  GM entered into the chamber of commerce in Inman to further advance Sun's agenda.  Then you decided after spending more then 10K winning and dining the Inman politicos that it was too expensive and developed in Inman, and that there were too many reactors in close proximity.  What, you didn't know the price of land in Inman or that the reactors existed before you spent all of that money?

You say Sun will pay for my family to come to the next convocation in Alaska, but RE bought the trailer?

I'm a self centered martyr?

Go fuck yourself.  So many people around here talk about quitting all of the time because of you RE.  It's your fuckin' house and you know what, truth be told, you are the one that's self centered.

And for the record, it's not martyrdom when you sacrifice your time for your family.  It's just doing what you are supposed to do.

I'm done imbuing the Diner with my spirit.  Enjoy your fuckin' part time traveling snake oil show in your "stealth van."

Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 18, 2017, 07:23:24 PM
Sun bought me that trailer, at least that's what I thought.

SUN is 100% Funded by RE at this point.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Palloy2 on July 18, 2017, 07:40:09 PM
Quote
plumbing connectors you buy at Home Depot.

What? Geodesic plumbing connectors? The only plumbing connectors I've seen would only build you a cube.

Plastic sheeting in a roll would fit a cube, but would only fit a dome if it was the same width as the height of your triangle,  and then you would have lots of joins to do. And how do you get up there to do it?

"Stuff some insulation in the gaps" between your round doorway and the rectangular back end of a truck. Yeah, right   :icon_scratch:

A dome is an awful solution to our rectangular world. You can't even put a bed or a desk up against the walls where there isn't enough height to stand.  You will learn a lot by actually doing it and see for yourself.

Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 18, 2017, 07:52:01 PM
Quote
plumbing connectors you buy at Home Depot.

What? Geodesic plumbing connectors? The only plumbing connectors I've seen would only build you a cube.

Ugh.  NO, not plumbing connectors for the domes themselves, although they do exist.

(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/86/bd/ab/86bdab4e57094bf4d248fde04e53b175.jpg)

The F-domes themselves come with all the connectors for the geodesic structure.  You don't need anything extra for them.  You can assemble them right out of the box with no additional hardware.

The plumbing connectors and piping is for the little Greenhouse structures that connect the domes together to the big dome.  Those are all rectangular boxes that use standard 90 and 45 degree connectors.  The clear plastic sheeting goes over those.  They are rectangular and you just drape it over and staple in place.  The Dome comes with a custom fitted vinyl cover that fits exactly over the frame it is shipped with.  You have no custom cutting of plastic sheeting to do for this.

(http://media.pvcfittingsonline.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/650x/040ec09b1e35df139433887a97daa66f/3/-/3-way-005.png)

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 18, 2017, 08:00:33 PM
You will learn a lot by actually doing it and see for yourself.

I HAVE actually "done it" chief.  I wrote about building domes.  I guess you missed it.  Why do you think I know so much about geodesics?  I have been into them for decades.

People have been living in dome shaped structures for millenia.  You get a lot of space and bang for your buck with them, and they self support.  Very little space in a dome over around 20' in diameter is "unusable".  You just don't square up all your interior furniture, of which there is not much.  Just some portable folding tables and so forth.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: K-Dog on July 18, 2017, 09:27:04 PM
The Amerikan Dream of owning your own home is not unique - it applies in  UK and Australia just as strongly. It is a trick, set up by constant repetition by the Government in the full knowledge that these boxes are so expensive to build that no young couple starting out in life can afford them.  So they agree to sign up to a contract, to pay it off in installments over 30 years.  This requires that they work a job every week for the next 30 years, something that absolutely nobody can guarantee. As the house fills up with kids and lots of stuff, it becomes even more important not to lose it by losing your job.  Even if the boss says we are going to cut your hours or reduce your pay rate, you CAN'T say "if  you do that, I'll quit".  So you are trapped by the system - a workforce in debt is a compliant workforce.  That's what the owners of production and their government accomplices want.

Another part of the Dream is to go to university to get a qualification, which should improve your income and your job prospects.  If a university education is free (as it was for me in the UK, and was effectively in Australia) you should always take it, but where it's not (US), you should not take it because it the same trick as housing - you promise to pay it off with future earnings, which you can't guarantee you will have.

Same with cars. A new car loses about a third of its value the moment it is bought, and you will probably pay about three times its value in installments before you really own it, at which point you are supposed to start again and buy the latest model, which is so much better than your model because it has servo-assisted disc brakes, overhead camshaft, electronic fuel injection (none of which are in reality any better).

People fall for this shit over and over again.  I did, but I soon learned not to do it again.  This was due to exposure to Socialist ways of thinking, that would probably get you arrested for sedition if voiced in the US. The demonisation of socialism, and the promotion of true Amerikan self-reliance, shows up in everything being written here.

I think RE cheated on his expenses break-down - fuel costs "will be averaged over 30 days".  No it won't! Fuel will be paid for up front!  Tell us how much it actually costs you to fill up the Stealth Van's tank and how many actual miles you drive before you have to do it again, not some number out of a book. I reckon a tankful of fuel will take more than your weekly budget for living, but please supply actual figures so we can see.

Quote
They are really just very big and more sturdy tents.

Anyone can see that is not true.  Domes don't use guy ropes to put the skin under tension.  The dome has to be fixed to a raised floor (do you carry that with you?) Where is the standard doorway which you must have to be able to dock with the standard corridor to the main dome? Is such a standard actually standard for all the different vehicles you show?

Libyan refugees (who all had nothing and thought this was better the nothing):
(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/03/03/article-0-0D737EA1000005DC-302_634x357.jpg)

The dream of owning your own home is not new or a trick.  People who buy more house than they can afford and live paycheck to paycheck trap themselves not the government.    Boxes so expensive to build that no young couple starting out in life can afford them has been true for hundreds of years.  The mortgage was invented a long time ago to solve that problem and it has.

As long as your debt to earning ratio is reasonable you could tell that boss to take his job and shove it while you reposition yourself.  Life is about choices and while we are indeed bounced by fate and chaos buying into societies trap has always been a choice.  All you have to do is feed your piggy bank before you tell the boss to kiss it.  It you don't that is not the governments fault.  A few years ago people were refinancing when they should have been paying down their debt because they wanted to have more money and now you tell them that it was a trick pushed on them by the government.  Exactly what they will want to hear but the truth is they were stupid and did not save money and pay their mortgage down.

The point of paying off your home is so that in 'the dream' you are then able to save rapidly for retirement.  The system has worked out for hundreds of millions of people, possible billions of them.  Only since regulation was abandoned and greed was allowed to rear its head has it failed.

My education cost me money which I was able to recoup despite stints of unemployment that reduced my overall income averaged over my entire work history.  It is a matter of being smart or stupid.  Currently you could choose this.

Journalism - Median starting salary: $35,800 Not a good move. or: Advertising, Marketing, Promotions - Minimum required years of higher education: 4. Cost of degree:$52,596.  Median pay: $107,950. Annual repayment at 10 percent of salary:$10,795  This one you can pay off in just shy of five years.  Not a bad deal at all.  The choice is yours, do your research.

I don't buy new cars.  I only have ever bought used cars.  Doing otherwise is another stupid thing that is done by you not the government.  My current used car is beautiful and clean.  If you must have a vehicle get a used one, but best one not too used.

To each according to their need and from each according to their ability.  But people take more than they should.  Socialism has to be well managed or it won't work any better the madness we have now.  People will need incentives to do the right thing and it will take people of strong backbone to set a new system up.

Yet the problem is not really socialism or capitalism as much as that we live in a society which has lost its mind.  Much trivia is considered essential to life and the essentials of life are considered trivial.  Additionally people lack gratitude.  People complain of meaningless jobs yet the meaningless job puts a roof over a their head, clothes on their back, and food in their belly.  That is not meaningless.  People complain of the maddening crowd yet they follow that same crowd with eagerness gusto and aplomb.  Currently techno-narcissism runs rampant in the Diner.  We are crazy but rather than admit it we always want someone else to blame.

Title: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: Small Dome Space Utilization
Post by: RE on July 18, 2017, 09:47:24 PM
The problem with many people is they are culturally conditioned to living in boxes.  Most people did not live in boxes in the Good Old Days.  They lived in dwellings like Yurts, TeePees and Igloos, all round.  People brought up in boxes tend to think in box terms.

Round shapes are quite livable, you just utilize the space a bit differently.  The center has your standing headroom, the edges are for storage of your preps.  Here's a typical 20' Dome layout:

 DetailsSmall Dome Space Small Dome Space

Although you can't walk around at the outer edge of a small dome like this, the space is very useful for storing things.  In the case of the Van Dweller, you can get stuff out of the van or trailer and store it in the dome, thus freeing up living space in those areas.

When you go bigger than 20', you have even less "unusable" square footage, because you can get closer to the edge of the dome and still have standing headroom.  You can also build a center loft at this point if your dome is 30' diameter and 15' on center, giving you still more living space.

You lose no space to interior walls to support the structure, it entirely self supports.  You have no material costs for building supporting walls either.  It's a very efficient dwelling structure, and that is why it persisted for so many millenia before we started building stick & box dwellings.

(http://www.motherearthnews.com/-/media/Images/MEN/Editorial/Articles/Magazine-Articles/1971/03-01/Building-a-Yurt/yurt.jpg)

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 18, 2017, 10:32:46 PM
The system has worked out for hundreds of millions of people, possible billions of them.  Only since regulation was abandoned and greed was allowed to rear its head has it failed.

That is just nonsense.  "Home Ownership" on the grand scale has only existed since the end of WWII and the advent of the GI Bill which provided cheap mortgages for people to buy a tract house in places like Levittown.  Even with that, home ownership never exceeded 2/3rd of the population, and that is housholds not individuals so you need to count the kids in to a single Homeowner dwelling, and they don't pay the mortgage.  MAYBE there have been 100M "homeowners" in the FSoA since WWII.  A good deal fewer in China too, even though their population is over 1B.  While they were Communist, nobody owned a home, the State owned the homes.  Same in Mother Russia.

Besides that, not all of them here ever became true "Homeowners", they just get called a "Homeowner" the minute they put their John Hancock on the Mortgage Paper.  The BANK really owns the home until the day you make the last payment and can burn the mortgage paper.  These were big celebration days for both my mom on the McMansion I grew up in in Flushing after returning from Brasil and for my sister when she paid off her McHovel in MO.  In 2008, many people got cut off short from this celebration day when they no longer could meet their mortgage payment.

You happened to get lucky and find a quirky job in the IT field that saved your ass from going off the cliff.  Many other people did not get so lucky.  The current generation doesn't even have a chance to roll the dice on this, they don't make enough money to even qualify for a mortgage, unless it is a LIAR loan.  The whole system is a scam, and always has been.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Palloy2 on July 18, 2017, 10:37:37 PM
Quote
The choice is yours, do your research.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4152342/Sydney-median-house-price-1-1m-Australia.html (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4152342/Sydney-median-house-price-1-1m-Australia.html)
Sydney's median house price clocked $1,123,991 25 January 2017 It is a trick. And the result is the capitalists blame the victim - "It was your choice, you should NOT have borrowed what the bank was prepared to lend you, should have bought something you could afford." Meanwhile the bank keeps lending amounts that people can't afford to repay when things go wrong, and repossessing them when they fail, keeping all the payments and the house. The fact that mortgages have been around for centuries doesn't make it any less true. It is to achieve a compliant workforce - debt slaves. You have been brain-washed to believe you're supposed to be self-reliant, when in fact a socialist government would make a law stopping banks from doing it. In 2008 the banks got burnt, but they got bailed out with Government (your tax) Dollars, and now they are doing exactly the same thing all over again. And where are all these barrista jobs that anyone can get? Or trucking jobs? Why are so many people unemployed when there are so many jobs available? Why are wages not going up if there is such a number of jobs going begging? Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Palloy2 on July 18, 2017, 10:48:57 PM Quote You lose no space to interior walls to support the structure, it entirely self supports. You have no material costs for building supporting walls either. Except that people don't want to be having sex in front of their parents and children, so they DO want interior walls. There isn't a dome alive that wouldn't be strengthened with the addition of a central pole. Hang a person from the centre of a dome made from plastic tubes and see how strong it is. Centre loft is a joke. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 18, 2017, 10:52:49 PM And where are all these barrista jobs that anyone can get? Or trucking jobs? Why are so many people unemployed when there are so many jobs available? Why are wages not going up if there is such a number of jobs going begging? If you move to the Last Great Frontier, you can find plenty of "Gig Economy" jobz. Work on a fishing boat, flip burgers at Mickey Ds, stock shelves at Walmart, etc. The problem of course is that unless you live in a Van, it's quite difficult to live on the wages being paid. You have to find some subsidized housing (socialism), not always so EZ to do. My digs are subsidized housing. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 18, 2017, 10:55:39 PM Quote You lose no space to interior walls to support the structure, it entirely self supports. You have no material costs for building supporting walls either. Except that people don't want to be having sex in front of their parents and children, so they DO want interior walls. There isn't a dome alive that wouldn't be strengthened with the addition of a central pole. Hang a person from the centre of a dome made from plastic tubes and see how strong it is. Centre loft is a joke. You have sex in your Van or Trailer, silly rabbit. For the Center loft, I will do another diagram for a 30' F-Dome with a center loft. Every last thing you have said is wrong, from needing a platform for the dome to needing plumbing connectors to put it up. Just quit already. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 18, 2017, 11:15:10 PM Quote You lose no space to interior walls to support the structure, it entirely self supports. You have no material costs for building supporting walls either. Except that people don't want to be having sex in front of their parents and children, so they DO want interior walls. There isn't a dome alive that wouldn't be strengthened with the addition of a central pole. Hang a person from the centre of a dome made from plastic tubes and see how strong it is. Centre loft is a joke. You have sex in your Van or Trailer, silly rabbit. For the Center loft, I will do another diagram for a 30' F-Dome with a center loft. Every last thing you have said is wrong, from needing a platform for the dome to needing plumbing connectors to put it up. Just quit already. RE Here is one way to put in your loft in the center.  DetailsSmall Dome 30 loft Small Dome 30 loft You build it with 2X4s like you would any loft bed. Here is a fancier arrangement in a more permanent geodesic dome. (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/8e/1b/5a/8e1b5a23ffb48ab0cc97daad73d542dd--dome-homes-geodesic-dome.jpg) RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Palloy2 on July 18, 2017, 11:23:27 PM I can imagine what life would be like on an Alaskan fishing boat, freezing fucking cold and dangerous. And I've seen the TV programs about "Ice truckers" plying the Alaskan road system, and the crash recovery teams pulling big rigs out of canyons with dead drivers in them. No one doing that would pay off a 30-year mortgage ever. Promise me a photograph of you hanging from the centre of a plastic dome at the convocation or WalMart or whatever. :icon_sunny: Quote You have sex in your Van or Trailer In other words domes are Not suitable for families, you have to go somewhere else. Quote Every last thing you have said is wrong, from needing a platform for the dome to needing plumbing connectors to put it up. Buy plumbing connectors to build a dome was YOUR bad writing, I queried it, and you said you didn't mean it. I wasn't wrong. YOU showed a dome sitting on a timber floor, I queried it, and you said it didn't have to be on floor, (but didn't say how bad that would be). I wasn't wrong. Centre loft design: but that's not a dome feature, that's an independent box structure inside a dome. +1 to me. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 18, 2017, 11:40:09 PM I can imagine what life would be like on an Alaskan fishing boat, freezing fucking cold and dangerous. And I've seen the TV programs about "Ice truckers" plying the Alaskan road system, and the crash recovery teams pulling big rigs out of canyons with dead drivers in them. No one doing that would pay off a 30-year mortgage ever. Promise me a photograph of you hanging from the centre of a plastic dome at the convocation or WalMart or whatever. :icon_sunny: Quote You have sex in your Van or Trailer In other words domes are Not suitable for families, you have to go somewhere else. Quote Every last thing you have said is wrong, from needing a platform for the dome to needing plumbing connectors to put it up. Buy plumbing connectors to build a dome was YOUR bad writing, I queried it, and you said you didn't mean it. I wasn't wrong. YOU showed a dome sitting on a timber floor, I queried it, and you said it didn't have to be on floor, (but didn't say how bad that would be). I wasn't wrong. Centre loft design: but that's not a dome feature, that's an independent box structure inside a dome. +1 to me. I never said the loft had to be hanging from the Dome. That was your assumption. You could in fact hang it though from one of these domes, if all you were supporting was two people sleeping. They are quite strong and stiff. They are used for playground climbing for kids all the time. (http://www.bluegrassplaygrounds.com/img/climbers/Superdome-501-121.jpg) I also diagrammed out in 3D the full arrangement with the Van & Trailer, so OBVIOUSLY you have 3 rooms here, not just the dome. Plenty of privacy. The F-Dome comes as a Kit, so it OBVIOUSLY has it's own connection system. Obviously it also has it's own cover, you don't need plastic sheeting for that. The only thing in the 3D diagram with clear plastic sheeting are the box connectors of one dome to the other. +3 for me. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Palloy2 on July 18, 2017, 11:48:04 PM That's not a plastic dome. Its is very dangerous and probably illegal for kids. The floor is just gravel and wouldn't be suitable for general living purposes. And how do insulate a multi-dimensional plastic sheet? Come off it, everything about domes is difficult to build. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 18, 2017, 11:59:43 PM That's not a plastic dome. Its is very dangerous and probably illegal for kids. The floor is just gravel and wouldn't be suitable for general living purposes. And how do insulate a multi-dimensional plastic sheet? Come off it, everything about domes is difficult to build. How many have you built? I did two full size ones as chief cutter on the mitre saw. Bit difficult back then because of compound angles before there were all sorts of custom connectors you can buy. They simplify the proceedure tremendously. They come in metal or PVC. If you work with metal tubing, you can bend it yourself to get the angles by making a jig with 2X4s. The pic with the kids is just to demonstrate the strength of the structure. That one is in fact too small for a good dwelling. F-Domes are not plastic, except for the vinyl shell. The structure there is steel tubing. It's like a rock. Insulation isn't hard. You cut out triangles of insulation foam and velcro to the interior of the vinyl cover in the winter. The F-Domes come with a wood burning stove also. :icon_sunny: (http://assets.inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2016/05/People-enjoy-norhern-light-in-geodesic-dome.jpg) Title: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: How much Living Space do you get? Post by: RE on July 19, 2017, 12:47:20 AM Probably the most important thing for your sanity if you live OTR is how much living space you have. When I first went out for Schneider, I was in a Flattop International for a full year. It's a fucking Sardine Can. You can't stand up in one of these tractors to get dressed. The cabin is half the size of SaVANnah in terms of living space. About 5'X8' for 40 sq ft. Even prisoners in the penitentiary in solitary get more space than this. It's about the size of a Tiger Cage. (http://www.phuquocinternationalairport.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/COCONUT-TREE2.jpg) (http://www.hankstruckpictures.com/pix/trucks/misc_wash/feb_2001/tacoma/schneider_national_ih.jpg) When I switched over to JB Hunt, I got a Freightliner Condo with a raised roof. HUGE improvement in my quality of life! Now up to around 7'X8' for 56 sq ft and I could STAND UP! :icon_sunny: (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-kPgQYMppYHY/UG-wsDZ5pVI/AAAAAAAGHrM/pk9mB5AG3is/s1600/J.B.HUNT+TRUCKING+COMPANY+FREIGHTLINER+Sleeper+Cab+Truck,+Dry+Van+53%27+Trailer+Atlanta+Georgia+J.B.Hunt+Transportation+Company.JPG) Now I have a more humane prison cell in Solitary Confinement for the next 6 years. (http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/story_images/solitary_confinement.jpg) OK, it was a little smaller than that. By herself pulling no trailer, SaVANnah beats both tractors, with 5.5'X12' in the cabin area for 66 sq ft. I ALMOST have standing headroom in the center to dress, I just have to duck my head a little because I keep shrinking. You could get a higher raised roof if you were taller, but you would pay for that in fuel economy. If I added a 20'x6' Cargo trailer to SaVANnah, this would up my living space to 120 sq ft + 66 sq ft for a total of 188 sq ft. I would also have full standing headroom all through the length of that trailer. Now we are talking pretty luxurious, on the scale of some of the biggest Diesel Pusher RVs on the Road! (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/9c/d9/77/9cd977961e29c9609f2ef7f39211f077.jpg) However, if I go ahead and add a 20' F-dome to this Rig, I blow away everything else on the road. This size F-dome has πr2 sq ft of floor space, or 314 square feet there, plus 120 from the trailer and 66 from SaVANnah for a grand total of 500 square feet! That's without putting up awnings too! That's bigger than most NY Shity Studio Apartments! The downside of course is that setting up the F-Dome is a pretty big chore, these days it probably would take me the better part of a week to set one up by myself. I would need a winch to get the cover over it also by myself. A healthy person could probably do it in 2 days though. You can look at the setup as a Mobile 3-Room apartment. Van is Parents Bedroom, Trailer is Kids Bedroom, F-Dome is Living Room/Kitchen. Very comfortable, and Mobile so you can take your home anywhere you can find work. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: K-Dog on July 19, 2017, 12:48:31 AM The system has worked out for hundreds of millions of people, possible billions of them. Only since regulation was abandoned and greed was allowed to rear its head has it failed. That is just nonsense. "Home Ownership" on the grand scale has only existed since the end of WWII and the advent of the GI Bill which provided cheap mortgages for people to buy a tract house in places like Levittown. Even with that, home ownership never exceeded 2/3rd of the population, and that is housholds not individuals so you need to count the kids in to a single Homeowner dwelling, and they don't pay the mortgage. MAYBE there have been 100M "homeowners" in the FSoA since WWII. A good deal fewer in China too, even though their population is over 1B. While they were Communist, nobody owned a home, the State owned the homes. Same in Mother Russia. Besides that, not all of them here ever became true "Homeowners", they just get called a "Homeowner" the minute they put their John Hancock on the Mortgage Paper. The BANK really owns the home until the day you make the last payment and can burn the mortgage paper. These were big celebration days for both my mom on the McMansion I grew up in in Flushing after returning from Brasil and for my sister when she paid off her McHovel in MO. In 2008, many people got cut off short from this celebration day when they no longer could meet their mortgage payment. You happened to get lucky and find a quirky job in the IT field that saved your ass from going off the cliff. Many other people did not get so lucky. The current generation doesn't even have a chance to roll the dice on this, they don't make enough money to even qualify for a mortgage, unless it is a LIAR loan. The whole system is a scam, and always has been. RE I stand corrected you are right. My only defense was an overconfident assumption that since home ownership has been around for centuries mortgages had to have been. Banks certainly have been. My Bad, History of Mortgages You may think mortgages have been around for hundreds of years -- after all, how could anyone ever afford to pay for a house outright? It was only in the 1930s, however, that mortgages actually got their start. It may surprise you to learn that banks didn't forge ahead with this new idea; insurance companies did. These daring insurance companies did this not in the interest of making money through fees and interest charges, but in the hopes of gaining ownership of properties if borrowers failed to keep up with the payments. It wasn't until 1934 that modern mortgages came into being. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) played a critical role. In order to help pull the country out of the Great Depression, the FHA initiated a new type of mortgage aimed at the folks who couldn't get mortgages under the existing programs. At that time, only four in 10 households owned homes. Mortgage loan terms were limited to 50 percent of the property's market value, and the repayment schedule was spread over three to five years and ended with a balloon payment. An 80 percent loan at that time meant your down payment was 80 percent -- not the amount you financed! With loan terms like that, it's no wonder that most Americans were renters. Please excuse my overconfidence. Now about that last paragraph. Quote You happened to get lucky and find a quirky job in the IT field that saved your ass from going off the cliff. Many other people did not get so lucky. The current generation doesn't even have a chance to roll the dice on this, they don't make enough money to even qualify for a mortgage, unless it is a LIAR loan. The whole system is a scam, and always has been. A little more than luck has been with me. I have accomplishments that I don't talk about here. You may be finding out about them sometime. I happen to be extremely talented in my way, actually gifted even, Mr. Brazil. When you see Seattle you won't believe your eyes. I was in the South Lake Union area yesterday where Amazon has their new offices. Think Dubai. I thought I was doing well but I hear rumors of$200 K salaries and plenty of young people having them.  You are right of course:

Quote
they don't make enough money to even qualify for a mortgage

That's the thing, we are both right.  An ever smaller percentage gets more and more.  The .1% becomes .05% percent with ten times as much.  For those with 'scalable' talents the future seems bright.

It is happening here because what Wallmart did with brick and mortar Amazon does with computers.  The web, your phone.  You can talk in the phone and buy things now.  Amazon is on the other end.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 19, 2017, 01:21:08 AM
The system has worked out for hundreds of millions of people, possible billions of them.  Only since regulation was abandoned and greed was allowed to rear its head has it failed.

That is just nonsense.  "Home Ownership" on the grand scale has only existed since the end of WWII and the advent of the GI Bill which provided cheap mortgages for people to buy a tract house in places like Levittown.  Even with that, home ownership never exceeded 2/3rd of the population, and that is housholds not individuals so you need to count the kids in to a single Homeowner dwelling, and they don't pay the mortgage.  MAYBE there have been 100M "homeowners" in the FSoA since WWII.  A good deal fewer in China too, even though their population is over 1B.  While they were Communist, nobody owned a home, the State owned the homes.  Same in Mother Russia.

Besides that, not all of them here ever became true "Homeowners", they just get called a "Homeowner" the minute they put their John Hancock on the Mortgage Paper.  The BANK really owns the home until the day you make the last payment and can burn the mortgage paper.  These were big celebration days for both my mom on the McMansion I grew up in in Flushing after returning from Brasil and for my sister when she paid off her McHovel in MO.  In 2008, many people got cut off short from this celebration day when they no longer could meet their mortgage payment.

You happened to get lucky and find a quirky job in the IT field that saved your ass from going off the cliff.  Many other people did not get so lucky.  The current generation doesn't even have a chance to roll the dice on this, they don't make enough money to even qualify for a mortgage, unless it is a LIAR loan.  The whole system is a scam, and always has been.

RE

I stand corrected you are right.  My only defense was an overconfident assumption that since home ownership has been around for centuries mortgages had to have been.  Banks certainly have been.  My Bad,

History of Mortgages

You may think mortgages have been around for hundreds of years -- after all, how could anyone ever afford to pay for a house outright? It was only in the 1930s, however, that mortgages actually got their start. It may surprise you to learn that banks didn't forge ahead with this new idea; insurance companies did. These daring insurance companies did this not in the interest of making money through fees and interest charges, but in the hopes of gaining ownership of properties if borrowers failed to keep up with the payments.

It wasn't until 1934 that modern mortgages came into being. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) played a critical role. In order to help pull the country out of the Great Depression, the FHA initiated a new type of mortgage aimed at the folks who couldn't get mortgages under the existing programs. At that time, only four in 10 households owned homes. Mortgage loan terms were limited to 50 percent of the property's market value, and the repayment schedule was spread over three to five years and ended with a balloon payment. An 80 percent loan at that time meant your down payment was 80 percent -- not the amount you financed! With loan terms like that, it's no wonder that most Americans were renters.

Quote
You happened to get lucky and find a quirky job in the IT field that saved your ass from going off the cliff.  Many other people did not get so lucky.  The current generation doesn't even have a chance to roll the dice on this, they don't make enough money to even qualify for a mortgage, unless it is a LIAR loan.  The whole system is a scam, and always has been.

A little more than luck has been with me.  I have accomplishments that I don't talk about here.  You may be finding out about them sometime.  I happen to be extremely talented in my way, actually gifted even, Mr. Brazil.

When you see Seattle you won't believe your eyes.  I was in the South Lake Union area yesterday where Amazon has their new offices.  Think Dubai.  I thought I was doing well but I hear rumors of $200 K salaries and plenty of young people having them. You are right of course: Quote they don't make enough money to even qualify for a mortgage That's the thing, we are both right. An ever smaller percentage gets more and more. The .1% becomes .05% percent with ten times as much. For those with 'scalable' talents the future seems bright. It is happening here because what Wallmart did with brick and mortar Amazon does with computers. The web, your phone. You can talk in the phone and buy things now. Amazon is on the other end. I look forward to finding out about more of your talents and arguing with you IRL over a nice Steak and bottle of expensive wine at El Gaucho. :icon_sunny: Any chance you can make it to the TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN☼ in ID on Monday? RE Title: Boondocking the Last Great Frontier: Day 2 Post by: RE on July 23, 2017, 05:17:11 AM Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666 Friend us on Facebook Published on The Doomstead Diner July 23, 2017 Discuss this article at the Doomsteading Table inside the Diner Day 2 of Boondocking the Last Great Frontier has arrived, and after waking up at the fairly late hour for Boondocking of 9AM in the Walmart parking lot and doing some personal hygiene cleanup in the for Cripples toilet stall in the Men's bathroom, I buy an Egg McMuffin at the Mickey D's inside the Walmart for breakfast for$3.  I am almost able to consume 3/4s of this disgusting but calorie laden food sitting in the driver's seat of SaVANnah, with my Mobile Desk attached to the Steering Wheel to place the McMuffin on and surf the web for Doom Newz while I eat breakfast.  Then I fire up SaVANnah and drive over to the Alaska Club to do some swimming rehab and take a Sauna and Steam Bath again.

My early day tasks now complete, I prep up for today's overnight parking, which will be another FREE spot, this time one of the Public Use camping spots you can find around almost any state, although there are more of them in Alaska then any other state I am pretty sure.  The amount of time you can stay parked in such a spot has some legal limits, around 7-14 days in most of the spots around here. One of the Diners, Azozeo says you can stay up to 90 days in BLM managed land (Goobermint Bureau of Land Management) in the Mojave Desert in AZ. I however would never stay so long in such a location, 1-3 days tops for such a parking spot for me.  This particular stay will only be for the rest of the day and overnight.  The drive to this site is not that far from "civilization", around 10 miles.

I will need food for this day, as well as water to drink and BEER & Cancerettes to smoke while camped out!  So I stop first at a Subway to buy a Foot Long Spicy Italian hero, and have it cut into 3 parts. Cost for this food, $7.50. This is generally will last me 2-3 days, with a couple of eggs thrown in for breakfast and a can of soup for dinner, and the Vitamin pills. Then I head to Fred Meyer (Kroger chain store in Alaska) and buy a 30 pack case of cheap beer ($15) and a pack of cancerettes in the liquor dept for another $10. This will last me most of the rest of the week, although I will need to buy another pack of smokes I am pretty sure. I try to keep the smoking down to 4 cancerettes a day, but not always successful with this. I load up on potable water for FREE in the Kroger bathroom, filling up two one quart old juice containers with the aqua from the Palmer City water system, which is very nice water and not overloaded with chlorine. I buy a block of ice for$3 which will last about 4 days in my cooler/refrigerator to keep leftover sandwich parts, my eggs and my drinking water and beers cold.  I buy a dozen of the cheap non-organic eggs for $2.50, about 20 cents an egg. The Free Range chicken eggs go for$7/dozen, around 60 cents an egg.  I'll deal with the hormones and antibiotics injected into the cheap chickens laying the cheap eggs at this price differential.  I buy 3 cans of Chunky Soup for $6, a half pound of Red Potatoes for$0.60, a white onion for $0.70 and a package of breakfast sausages for$3.50.

Now loaded up with my preps for a few days, I point SaVANnah in the direction of the FREE Public Access point on the Matanuska River which has NO CAMPING FEE associated with it and where I could set up camp and park for a couple of weeks FREE & LEGAL if I wanted to, but I am only going to stay for the night on this trip.  I have a lot of other places to hit during this week of the Great Alaska Boondocking Adventure in order to give a broad overview of your possibilities for Boondocking in your rig.  Also, this site has no FREE Wi-Fi available so I will have to use 4G while parked in this spot.  I have to watch my bandwidth when I do this, although since I usually scarf up FREE Wi-Fi during the day somewhere, it's generally not an issue.

On the way to the river, I make a stop to check mail in my 24/7 Mailbox at the UPS office, where they also will collect packages of Preps I order online from Amazon or Ebay.  Nothing there, because I don't actually use this box currently, I get my mail in the box where I normally live at my digs.  I just have this box as a backup arrangement if I have to actually move out and live full time OTR in SaVANnah.  It's one of my Plan B backups for SHTF Day.  Another Insurance Policy, and at less than $1/day, not too expensive. I made the stop anyhow even though I knew the mailbox would be empty just to demonstrate how you collect snail mail and package deliveries while homeless. Leaving the UPS office, I make the 10 mile or so drive to the FREE public access site on the banks of the Matanuska River to set up camp for the night. This spot is REALLY bare bones, besides no toilets, water, sewer or electricity there are no Fire Rings and no Picnic Tables either. This is actually Good Newz, because few in the RV crowd will use the spot. It's very quiet, no motor boats or 4-wheelers tooling about. It's a rather lumpy gravel lot I drive slow over while I decide where I will park SaVANnah for the night, and finally back myself in to a fairly shady spot. With no Picnic Table on the site, to set up my outdoor Diner Control Center I need to pull out two of my Aluminum folding tables to set up as a desk, and my cooler and stadium chair as my seating while at the keyboard. My Beer is conveniently located right under my ass. It's a clear day but the SUNâ˜¼ is getting low on the horizon and setting up the Big Brolly for shade really isn't necessary. It's not going to rain tonight either. Then I take my emergency shit bucket out and put it behind the Van, basically out of site of the other folks camping at the site. I won't need the piss jar here, when I need to take a leak I'll just fertilize the trees. So this campsite is real EZ and fast to set up, and also to pack up and leave. You can setup on dirt in a spot like this, or on asphalt in a Rest Area or parking lot. No stakes need to be driven into the ground for tents and tarps, and if it looks like it might rain, it only takes another 5 minutes to set up the Big Brolly. Well, more like 10-15 minutes for me, but for an uncrippled Van Dweller it would only be 5 minutes. I do have larger setups for places I might park my butt for a week or two at a stretch like say the Grand Canyon including a Big Ass 20'X10' 3 Room Tent and tarps to make awnings with but at the moment I have no plans to make such long stays anywhere. This week, everything is a one night stand. When I head down to Kenai for the Dipnetting Adventure, probably only 3 nights and I probably won't do them all in the same spot. For me alone, it's really hard to justify setting up the tent. If I was at a convocation of other Van Dwellers and might share my site with others who don't have such a good setup, then it would be worthwhile. If I was living this way with a wife and kids I would need to set up the tent every night. However, in that case I wouldn't do it with just SaVANnah, I would pull a trailer of some type. If you are living the Gypsy life Over the Road, you do need to scale up your rig to accomodate more people, you can't do it in just the Van. The van is only good for up to 2 people, and only if they can stand to be in such close quarters with each other all the time. I know of few married couples who could do that. lol. Here's a nice rig setup you probably could pull it off in: Brand spanking new as this rig setup is, it would be pretty expensive to get into. That van probably goes for$40-50K and the trailer for another $20-30K. That is of course still a LOT cheaper than any McMansion you could buy, but by no means is it necessary to spend so much and have this type of arrangement. SaVANnah cost me$5000, and I can buy a used Camper trailer of this size for around $10K. I can get cheaper than that if I go with a Cargo trailer and modify it, for that it costs me maybe$3K for the trailer and another $1K in modifications. Total cost for that rig setup would be$9K.  Instead of a Van, you could drop a camper back onto a pickup truck if you had one of those, then pull a modified cargo trailer with it.  You can get camper backs for pickups on the used market for around $2K. I prefer Vans to Camper backs on Pickups because I like being able to go straight from the bunk to the driver's seat without going outside, but you have the same size space to work with for living in general. However, other Van Dwellers prefer Camper backs because you can drop them off at a campsite and then use your pickup truck for plowing snow or some other means of making some money while you live the life. With my one-man site all set up and cozy now, I pull out 1/3rd of my Subway Spicy Italian hoagie and a bottle of water from the cooler and fire up the Laptop to surf some Doom by tethering the laptop to my cell phone. I'm just working off the internal batt of the laptop at this point, it's fully charged and brand spanking new and the batt lasts a good 6 hours. After I finish my lunch, I'll set up my electrics so I can plug it in and not discharge the batt while doing my daily tasks on the Diner and writing. For tonight, I expect to use 1 of my 10AH 12V Deep Cycle Batts, maybe have to go into the second one depending how late I work. Doubt I will need to wire in to my REALLY Big Ass 120AH 12V Deep Cycle Marine Batt, in fact I doubt I will have to do that all week, which is why Solar Panels on the roof of SaVANnah really just aren't necessary, at least until after TSHTF in my neighborhood and I can't get gas or can't afford it. It probably will get pretty chilly tonight since the sky is so clear, so I'll probably want a little heat inside SaVANnah. I have a few choices on fuels and methods for heating your rig and staying warm, which I am going over in my Video Series I Spy Doom concurrent with these articles. They appear in the middle of the week, while these articles appear for Sunday Brunch here at the Doomstead Diner. For tonight, I think a kerosene lantern should be enough to keep the interior of SaVANnah pleasant inside when I am working at my Inside Office prior to packing it in for the night and crawling into my kick ass sleeping bag good to 40F below 0. I'll have to leave it unzipped, otherwise at these temps it would be too warm. So overnight, I won't need to keep the kero lantern burning. There are the usual lively debates ongoing Inside the Diner on our Forum, and I chip in a few comments, pissing off some Diners as my comments often do. My opinions are not all that popular all the time on the Diner Forum. lol. Then I do some surfing of other Doom websites and look for an article from one of our cross posting Bloggers to publish tomorrow. I find that Jason Heppenstall of 22 Billion Energy Slaves is back to blogging after his hand injury, so I will publish one of them in his current Alphabet Series. I'll put off formatting it for the Diner until tonight though prior to going to sleep. As I finish the hoagie, I get the Call of Nature as often occurs soon after finishing a meal. I make a quick trip behind SaVANnah to my shit bucket and relieve myself of my internal waste. It goes into a bag lining the bucket, and the bag will be disposed of in some dumpster tomorrow along with the doggie-doo-doo the walkers pick up with their pooper-scoopers. There is still plenty of daylight left, so I shut down the laptop and stow it inside SaVANnah along with the aluminum tables and cooler, and roll out my Ewz to do some cruising around. I lock up the gear, although around here it's unlikely it would be stolen even if I left it outside SaVANnah. I cruise along the river rather slowly because it's pretty bumpy. The scenery is very nice and I get some nice pictures. I could go on the road and cruise faster but there is nothing nearby here worth cruising to on the road. You could do the same type of cruising around on a bicycle of course. Or if you had good legs you could go do some hiking or running, or even climb one of the mountains overlooking the river. If you had a kayak on your roof rack, you could paddle out onto the river and do some fishing. There are a lot of nice ways to spend your day when you park your Van in a spot like this, and it is both FREE & LEGAL. Returning to SaVANnah, it's time for dinner, which is EZ to prepare. For this one I'm just going to use my propane camping burner and heat up a can of Chunky Clam Chowder. It takes me most of the rest of the night before I go to sleep to almost finish it, a spoonful every 10 minutes or so. I dump the remaining chowder in the woods to be eaten by the various bugs inhabiting the forest floor, or perhaps scavenger birds who come to pick off the remaining bits of clam in there. After heating up the soup, I set up the laptop inside SaVANnah and get to work formatting up Hepp's article and then writing up most of this day's log of the Great Boondocking Adventure on the Last Great Frontier, then I shut it down and headed into the bunk for a night of comfortable shut-eye in a very quiet location. I did wake up in the middle of the night with the Call of Nature, but this time it was only to piss so I went outside and quickly relieved myself on the base of a nice size Cottonwood tree I am sure was greatful for the nice meal of nitrogen. Then back inside and back to bed. In the morning upon wakening, I (slowly) got myself dressed and then mozied over to the river to splash some water on my face and wake myself up more. I could have done a full sponge bath, but I really didn't need one since I just hit the Alaska Club yesterday, and plan to again today after I break camp. Then back to SaVANnah to cook breakfast. First I boil one of the red potatoes until it is tender enough to push my fork into but not so soft it will fall apart when I cut it into chunks for Home Fries. While it is boiling, I cut up about 1/4 of the onion to add to the home fries. Then I take the potatoes off the burner and sautee up 2 of the breakfast sausages until nice and brown, take them out leaving the residual fat in the pan and add some peanut oil to it from the larder I have in SaVANnah of basics and stir fry up the home fries. Those go on the plate with the sausages, then I scramble two of the eggs in the remaining oil and add them to the plate. This takes me an hour to eat after cooking it, during which time I get back on the laptop to surf the latest in Doom. Cleanup is EZ for this meal, the pot I boiled the potato in needs no cleaning, I just dump the water out. The pan is a Non-Stick porcelain coated one, and cleans with a fast wipe off in the river, and I ate off a paper plate which will go in the dumpster after I leave. I clean off my Hobo Knife which has fork, knife and spoon with a quick dunk in the river and another wipe down. I then load everything back into SaVANnah, saving the shit bucket for last. I tie off and seal the bag inside, and close the lid over the seat. Very little smell is coming out, and I will dump the waste a couple of miles up the road at the first dumpster I run into. It only stays with me inside SaVANnah for around 10 minutes, and then is disposed of, leaving the cabin still smelling fresh and nice. My total costs for today were fairly expensive, because I bought supplies to last just about the whole week, including the beer and cancerettes. However, you don't HAVE to have those habits, and I would have them living in a McMansion also. So besides the Daily Fixed Expense of Rent of$8.50, my only other expense was the food I bought, and that will last a few days.  Total Food cost was $25. If you add in the Beer and Smokes, another$25.

To finish this episode of Boondocking the Last Great Frontier, I then drive over to the Alaska Club for another nice Sauna and Shower, and plan my Boondocking Day and where I will spend the night.  For tonight, I will buy a For Pay campsite for $15 which has Fire Ring and Picnic Table, but no electricity, water or sewer hookup, although they have a dump station and also a bathroom and showers onsite. Join me again next week here on the Doomstead Diner for part 3 of Boondocking the Last Great Frontier. In the mean time… ENJOY WHAT IS LEFT OF NATURE WHILE YOU STILL CAN, AND WATCH YOUR MIRRORS! Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Eddie on July 23, 2017, 11:27:58 AM Nice. Love the pics. enjoy yourself. I'm a little jealous. It has gotten really hot here, and the creek is no longer flowing. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: azozeo on July 23, 2017, 01:43:51 PM RE, I was noticing your grocery list & it's cost. I always thought AK was higher priced that the lower 48. Your groceries & booze is relatively the same as I see priced here. You forgot to mention a smoke costs FITY CENTS now. I pay$4.06 for a pouch of Top rolling tobacco at Tilly's smoke shop. It lasts me 3 days. A buck 30 ish a day for rollie's is reasonable.
I like a cowboy rollie over pre-rolled smokes because of the freshness of the the tobacco & no chemicals.

Sidenote: That foto of the engine in your van, is a file foto or actually your rig ?
If that's your engine, I'm impressed. Was the purchase a pvt. party or dealer.
Usually private party cars aren't that detailed. Unless your buying from a fireman. There rigs are usually squeeky clean.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: K-Dog on July 23, 2017, 04:10:42 PM
'Human-trafficking' tragedy: nine die in sweltering Texas truck

At least nine people died after being crammed into a sweltering tractor-trailer found parked outside a Walmart in the midsummer Texas heat, authorities said on Sunday as they described an immigrant-smuggling attempt gone wrong.

The driver was arrested and nearly 20 others rescued from the rig were hospitalized in dire condition, many with extreme dehydration and heatstroke, officials said.

“We’re looking at a human-trafficking crime,” San Antonio police chief William McManus said, calling the event “a horrific tragedy.”

Authorities were called to the San Antonio parking lot late on Saturday night or early Sunday and found eight dead inside the truck. A ninth victim died in hospital, said Liz Johnson, spokeswoman for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The victims “were very hot to the touch,” San Antonio fire chief Charles Hood said. “So these people were in this trailer without any signs of any type of water.”

It was only the latest smuggling-by-truck operation to end in tragedy. In one of the worst cases on record in the US, 19 immigrants locked inside a stifling rig died in Victoria, Texas, in 2003.

Based on initial interviews with survivors of the weekend tragedy, more than 100 people may have been packed into the back of the 18-wheeler at some point in its journey, ICE acting director Thomas Homan said. Thirty-nine were inside when rescuers arrived and the rest were believed to have escaped or hitched rides to their next destination, officials said.

Some of the survivors told authorities they were from Mexico, Homan said.

Authorities did not say whether the rig was locked when they arrived, whether it was used to smuggle the occupants across the border into the US, or where it might have been headed. San Antonio is about 150 miles drive from the Mexican border.

The temperature in San Antonio reached 101F (38C) on Saturday and didn’t dip below 90F (32C) until after 10pm. The trailer did not have a working air conditioning system, Hood said.

Federal prosecutors said James Mathew Bradley Jr, 60, from Clearwater, Florida, was taken into custody. No immediate charges were filed. The US Homeland Security Department stepped in to take the lead in the investigation.

Many of the victims looked to be in their 20s and 30s, and there were also apparently two school-age children, the police chief said.

The tragedy came to light after a person from the truck approached a Walmart employee in the parking lot and asked for water late on Saturday or early on Sunday, McManus said.

The employee gave the person water and then called police, who found the dead and the desperate inside the rig. Some of those in the truck ran into the woods, leading to a search, McManus said.

Hours later, after daybreak, a helicopter hovered over the area and investigators were still gathering evidence from the tractor-trailer, which had an Iowa license plate and was registered to Pyle Transportation of Schaller, Iowa. A company official did not immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment.

Investigators checked store surveillance video, which showed vehicles arriving and picking up people from the truck, authorities said.

“By any standard, the horrific crime uncovered last night ranks as a stark reminder of why human smuggling networks must be pursued, caught and punished,” Homan said in a statement.

In the May 2003 case, the immigrants were being taken from south Texas to Houston. Prosecutors said the driver heard them begging and screaming for their lives but refused to free them. The driver was sentenced to nearly 34 years in prison.

US Border Patrol has reported at least four truck seizures this month in and around Laredo, Texas. On 7 July, agents found 72 people crammed into a truck with no means of escape, the agency said. They were from Mexico, Ecuador, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Authorities in Mexico have also made a number of such discoveries over the years.

Some people would say van living is not all it is cracked up to be.  How does a van escape the heat?  The earth warms and becomes a van cooker.

Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Palloy2 on July 23, 2017, 05:57:59 PM
The only thing that separates this living style from those living under flyovers in tents seems to be that you had $5,000+ cash to buy and fuel up the van. And that you have your health needs being met. I'm not sure what this is telling us, other than you can live cheaply if you don't mind sitting in a Public Library or National Park all day whiling away the hours eating fast/canned food and drinking cheap beer. To satisfy your need to shop you buy camera gear, business cards, T-shirts for the "big trip" to see the eclipse, which looks like this, so don't bother. ). (https://res.cloudinary.com/simpleview/image/upload/crm/macon/solar-eclipse-20160_a8e16b41-5056-a36a-0a2448e42aa45d83.jpg) Is that the point of your story? I'm doing that already, minus the fast food, which is not good for you. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 23, 2017, 08:23:47 PM Sidenote: That foto of the engine in your van, is a file foto or actually your rig ? File Foto. The engine in SaVANnah is pretty clean though. No pics until after I bring her in for a detailing job though. ;D RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 23, 2017, 08:29:05 PM Some people would say van living is not all it is cracked up to be. How does a van escape the heat? The earth warms and becomes a van cooker. I'll be doing I Spy Doom videos on cooling your van when it's hot out after I finish the series on heating your van when it's cold out. I'm not as concerned with cooling as heating because of the climate I live in. The secret to cooling though is SHADE & VENTILATION. Human Traffickers don't provide either one to the boxes they drop the refugees into. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 23, 2017, 08:40:58 PM I'm not sure what this is telling us What it is telling you is how to live inside industrial civilization on a low budget/minimum wage job and also to remain mobile and able to go anywhere on the North American continent to find a job. It is also telling you how to not end up as a Homeless Cripple Freezing to Death on the Streets of Palmer, Alaska. © What is living in the tropical rainforest supposed to tell us? You can survive being drenched in rain and humidity all the time breathing in mold spores and battling Pythons as long as you have medical care you can drive to and a pension coming in? I also don't eat Fast Food all the time. I cook too. In fact I just got back from making a cooking video. However, my appetite is so low that it's a pain in the ass to cook for myself. This is as true at home in the digs as when out Boondocking with SaVANnah. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Petty Tyrant on July 23, 2017, 09:08:42 PM Did u really copyright that quote...why? There are real freezing homeless people deserving of it... waiting to be sued for describing their predicament. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 23, 2017, 09:40:09 PM Did u really copyright that quote...why? There are real freezing homeless people deserving of it... waiting to be sued for describing their predicament. Google it. i'm working on owning the phrase on Google. :icon_sunny: RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Petty Tyrant on July 23, 2017, 10:22:51 PM Did u really copyright that quote...why? There are real freezing homeless people deserving of it... waiting to be sued for describing their predicament. Google it. i'm working on owning the phrase on Google. :icon_sunny: RE Maybe you do own it. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 23, 2017, 10:48:41 PM Did u really copyright that quote...why? There are real freezing homeless people deserving of it... waiting to be sued for describing their predicament. Google it. i'm working on owning the phrase on Google. :icon_sunny: RE Maybe you do own it. Nah, not yet. I only have about 3 links on the first page. I wanna get it up to 6 or 7. RE Title: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: I Spy Doom- 4 new Episodes in the Can! Post by: RE on July 24, 2017, 12:58:59 AM PHEW! (https://doggiedogcoats.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/whew-sun-wiping-forehead.gif) Long day out in the field for the old cripple today. ::) I'm WRECKED. I produced another 4 episodes of I Spy Doom on Heating and Cooking issues when living the Van Dweller lifestyle. This adds to another 3 or so I have in the can already, for 7 weeks of mid-week vids to go along with my weekly Sunday Brunch text blog. This will take me all the way through the TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN☼ adventure down in Idaho in mid-August, so nothing new necessary to produce now to maintain continuity, which is important to do on a Blog to maintain and build your readership. I may still make the trip down to Kenai though for the Dip Netting before I leave to make a couple more. Have to see on that one. Each of the segments is between 6-12 minutes long, to keep it inside the typical Utoob viewer's attention span. About 30-40 minutes of video time all together for the 4 vids, but live time for me in the field was around 6 hours, between setup and take down and waiting time between segments. Then after driving back to the digs, I spent another 3-4 hours editing the vids for publication on Utoob. It's always best to do your editing right after you finish a shoot, because you remember how it went and don't need to review so many frames. So now they are all done, and all I have to do is upload them to Utoob each week. Here's a Teaser Video snipped from the first episode of this series on how to make a fire the Traditional Amerikan way when out in the field. :icon_mrgreen: http://www.youtube.com/v/ZwEVEYtYL1E RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 24, 2017, 05:55:06 AM Anyone with a guess on how I solved the problem of moving heat generated from a campfire to inside SaVANnah? RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Eddie on July 24, 2017, 06:08:50 AM Rocks? Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 24, 2017, 06:39:41 AM Rocks? BINGO! You win a Diner Kewpie Doll. ;D I scaled up my system of using a Tea Light Candle to heat up one rock to heating up more than a dozen of them in a heavy cast iron Lodge Logic Dutch Oven. Then I built an insulated Heat Box to keep them in inside the van. It retains the heat until I need it. When the van starts to get cold, I just open the box, and out comes the HEAT! :icon_sunny: Zero danger of CO poisoning, and no smell of Kero inside the van. Plus I get triple duty from my campfire., it keeps me warm while outside at the Outdoor Diner Office, I cook over it and then it keeps SaVANnah warm all night too! :icon_sunny: RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Petty Tyrant on July 24, 2017, 07:03:05 AM Anyone with a guess on how I solved the problem of moving heat generated from a campfire to inside SaVANnah? RE Place van directly over fire, like face lol. I thought that was going to go voosh!!! like petrol. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 24, 2017, 07:17:03 AM Anyone with a guess on how I solved the problem of moving heat generated from a campfire to inside SaVANnah? RE Place van directly over fire, like face lol. I thought that was going to go voosh!!! like petrol. Your gas tank would explode. Not a good solution. That's a Darwin Award Winner. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Surly1 on July 24, 2017, 08:51:25 AM Rocks? BINGO! You win a Diner Kewpie Doll. ;D I scaled up my system of using a Tea Light Candle to heat up one rock to heating up more than a dozen of them in a heavy cast iron Lodge Logic Dutch Oven. Then I built an insulated Heat Box to keep them in inside the van. It retains the heat until I need it. When the van starts to get cold, I just open the box, and out comes the HEAT! :icon_sunny: Zero danger of CO poisoning, and no smell of Kero inside the van. Plus I get triple duty from my campfire., it keeps me warm while outside at the Outdoor Diner Office, I cook over it and then it keeps SaVANnah warm all night too! :icon_sunny: RE A really good idea. But you had to carry the box full of rocks, yes? How'd you pull that off? Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: azozeo on July 24, 2017, 09:27:37 AM Mitts ! We need a vid on this class act. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: azozeo on July 24, 2017, 09:29:50 AM Now you need to figure out which rocks retain heat best. Rattlesnakes seem to prefer pumis/lava rocks around these parts to coil up around. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: agelbert on July 24, 2017, 09:31:50 AM Rocks? BINGO! You win a Diner Kewpie Doll. ;D I scaled up my system of using a Tea Light Candle to heat up one rock to heating up more than a dozen of them in a heavy cast iron Lodge Logic Dutch Oven. Then I built an insulated Heat Box to keep them in inside the van. It retains the heat until I need it. When the van starts to get cold, I just open the box, and out comes the HEAT! :icon_sunny: Zero danger of CO poisoning, and no smell of Kero inside the van. Plus I get triple duty from my campfire., it keeps me warm while outside at the Outdoor Diner Office, I cook over it and then it keeps SaVANnah warm all night too! :icon_sunny: RE A really good idea. But you had to carry the box full of rocks, yes? How'd you pull that off? Very Carefully. (http://www.pic4ever.com/images/128fs318181.gif) Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: agelbert on July 24, 2017, 09:44:43 AM Now you need to figure out which rocks retain heat best. Not really. All he has to do is put a double layer of rugs on the cieling and walls of the van sleeping area. Rugs make EXCELLENT insulation material. They will keep the heat from escaping the van too quickly. :icon_sunny: AND they will keep the van from heating up too quick when it is hot outside. Finally, the air conditioner or heater in the van, as the case may be, will not have to work as hard when the van is running. :emthup: :icon_mrgreen: (http://richwoodrvinteriors.com.p2.hostingprod.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/393.125171854_large.JPG) COMFY! :icon_mrgreen: Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 24, 2017, 09:47:52 AM Rocks? BINGO! You win a Diner Kewpie Doll. ;D I scaled up my system of using a Tea Light Candle to heat up one rock to heating up more than a dozen of them in a heavy cast iron Lodge Logic Dutch Oven. Then I built an insulated Heat Box to keep them in inside the van. It retains the heat until I need it. When the van starts to get cold, I just open the box, and out comes the HEAT! :icon_sunny: Zero danger of CO poisoning, and no smell of Kero inside the van. Plus I get triple duty from my campfire., it keeps me warm while outside at the Outdoor Diner Office, I cook over it and then it keeps SaVANnah warm all night too! :icon_sunny: RE A really good idea. But you had to carry the box full of rocks, yes? How'd you pull that off? A box of rocks this size is JUST within my carrying capacity. That's why I have 2 of them and not just 1 big one. However, I have means to move around heavier stuff I cannot handle. Folding Wheely carts. (https://s3.ca-central-1.amazonaws.com/shopperplusca/uploads/product/image/366870/medium_9a270-SortWise-SW-CTH-004-Storage-Organizer-Collapsible-Folding-Wagon-Beach-Outdoor-Wagon-Utility-Garden-Shopping-Cart.jpg) RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: agelbert on July 24, 2017, 09:50:35 AM Rocks? BINGO! You win a Diner Kewpie Doll. ;D I scaled up my system of using a Tea Light Candle to heat up one rock to heating up more than a dozen of them in a heavy cast iron Lodge Logic Dutch Oven. Then I built an insulated Heat Box to keep them in inside the van. It retains the heat until I need it. When the van starts to get cold, I just open the box, and out comes the HEAT! :icon_sunny: Zero danger of CO poisoning, and no smell of Kero inside the van. Plus I get triple duty from my campfire., it keeps me warm while outside at the Outdoor Diner Office, I cook over it and then it keeps SaVANnah warm all night too! :icon_sunny: RE A really good idea. But you had to carry the box full of rocks, yes? How'd you pull that off? A box of rocks this size is JUST within my carrying capacity. That's why I have 2 of them and not just 1 big one. However, I have means to move around heavier stuff I cannot handle. Folding Wheely carts. (https://s3.ca-central-1.amazonaws.com/shopperplusca/uploads/product/image/366870/medium_9a270-SortWise-SW-CTH-004-Storage-Organizer-Collapsible-Folding-Wagon-Beach-Outdoor-Wagon-Utility-Garden-Shopping-Cart.jpg) RE (http://www.clipartbest.com/cliparts/xig/ojx/xigojx6KT.png) Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: agelbert on July 24, 2017, 09:59:51 AM RE, here are some ridulously high prices for a van rug liner, but it gives you an idea how well they work. I am certain you could rig your own set up nearly free with old rugs or used rugs somebody wants to give away. They are available. Also, please ignore the roof on that first picture I posted. That roof would not hold heat. Yours will. :emthup: Quote Description ■ Die Cut Carpet: The Pro Van Liner includes everything needed to line the inside of your service van. They feature one-piece construction, die cut panels for a quick and easy installation. The non-woven carpet offers soft protection that is gentle on cargo and offers easy clean up. ■ Colors Available: Pro van liners are available in light grey. ■ Added Protection: The Pro Van Liner provides added protection to your van as well as your cargo. The Pro Van Liner provides traction to keep your cargo from sliding. The padded side walls also prevent dents and dings to the body panels from shifting equipment and cargo. ■ Works with E-Track: The custom molded pieces of the Pro Van Liner offer a perfect fit and they are designed to work with other interior components including shelving, racks, partitions, and E-Track. No other product provides this level of protection while allowing the option to organize your cargo to your specific needs. ■ Added Insulation: The Pro Van Liner acts as an insulator allowing for a more comfortable environment inside the vehicle. The liner acts heat insulator to help maintain temperature sensitive cargo. The Pro Van Liner also offers sound insulation to help drown out road noises frequently heard in service and cargo vans. ■ Increased Resale Value: The Van Liner is a cost effective product that will pay for itself through greater resale value. The Van Liner offers a clean, finished look that will add appeal to the inside of your van. It also offers protection to body panels as well as reducing damage caused by shifting cargo. ■ Made in the USA - Old Hickory, Tennessee Wise Industries offers comfort, safety, and good looks for your utility or service van with their Pro Van Liner carpeted liners. Like carpeted truck bed mats, these grey van liners are constructed of rugged, non-woven carpeted material that is easy on your hands and knees as well as the interior of your van. The carpeted material is bonded to sturdy automotive grade fiberboard offering rigidity and a clean look. The Pro Van Liner offers complete protection with pieces including both sidewalls, side and rear door panels, headliner, D-Pillar trim, rear wheel covers, and fuel filler covers. All pieces are custom tailored, die cut pieces for a perfect fit and finish. The Pro Van Liner offers added protection for your cargo and is designed to be used with other interior components including shelving, racks, E-Track, etc. It also protects the van body and paint finish while acting as a heat and sound insulator for a more comfortable ride. The Pro Van Liner comes ready to install with one piece panels and all the necessary fasteners. Order Notes The Pro Van Liner does NOT include the floor liner. They are available for purchase separately by Clicking Here. View Available Part Numbers For This Product Line Pictures at link: https://www.realtruck.com/pro-van-carpeted-cargo-liners/ (https://www.realtruck.com/pro-van-carpeted-cargo-liners/) Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 24, 2017, 10:09:10 AM Now you need to figure out which rocks retain heat best. Not really. All he has to do is put a double layer of rugs on the cieling and walls of the van sleeping area. Rugs make EXCELLENT insulation material. They will keep the heat from escaping the van too quickly. :icon_sunny: AND they will keep the van from heating up too quick when it is hot outside. Finally, the air conditioner or heater in the van, as the case may be, will not have to work as hard when the van is running. :emthup: :icon_mrgreen: This is quite true. INSULATION is really what it is all about with respect to both heating and cooling, and in my first vid I covered PERSONAL INSULATION, the most important first step. For cold weather, you reduce heating needs tremendously by insulating yourself well. For a van, if I had bought a bare bones cargo van, I would have insulated with 2" foam backed with aluminum, to reflect heat back in. Then covered in teak wood to make it look Yachty. lol. As it is, SaVANnah has a carpeted interior and roof liner that provides decent insulation. I could do better than that, but I'm not going to gut the interior to do it. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: agelbert on July 24, 2017, 10:44:00 AM Now you need to figure out which rocks retain heat best. Not really. All he has to do is put a double layer of rugs on the cieling and walls of the van sleeping area. Rugs make EXCELLENT insulation material. They will keep the heat from escaping the van too quickly. :icon_sunny: AND they will keep the van from heating up too quick when it is hot outside. Finally, the air conditioner or heater in the van, as the case may be, will not have to work as hard when the van is running. :emthup: :icon_mrgreen: This is quite true. INSULATION is really what it is all about with respect to both heating and cooling, and in my first vid I covered PERSONAL INSULATION, the most important first step. For cold weather, you reduce heating needs tremendously by insulating yourself well. For a van, if I had bought a bare bones cargo van, I would have insulated with 2" foam backed with aluminum, to reflect heat back in. Then covered in teak wood to make it look Yachty. lol. As it is, SaVANnah has a carpeted interior and roof liner that provides decent insulation. I could do better than that, but I'm not going to gut the interior to do it. RE I hear ya. I wouldn't gut the interier either. At any rate, the heated rocks is an excellent idea on your part. :emthup: :icon_sunny: You know all about insulation. You don't need to gut anything. If you want more insulation, just hang up another rug over the other stuff on the wall. ;) :icon_mrgreen: Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 24, 2017, 11:09:45 AM Now you need to figure out which rocks retain heat best. Not really. All he has to do is put a double layer of rugs on the cieling and walls of the van sleeping area. Rugs make EXCELLENT insulation material. They will keep the heat from escaping the van too quickly. :icon_sunny: AND they will keep the van from heating up too quick when it is hot outside. Finally, the air conditioner or heater in the van, as the case may be, will not have to work as hard when the van is running. :emthup: :icon_mrgreen: This is quite true. INSULATION is really what it is all about with respect to both heating and cooling, and in my first vid I covered PERSONAL INSULATION, the most important first step. For cold weather, you reduce heating needs tremendously by insulating yourself well. For a van, if I had bought a bare bones cargo van, I would have insulated with 2" foam backed with aluminum, to reflect heat back in. Then covered in teak wood to make it look Yachty. lol. As it is, SaVANnah has a carpeted interior and roof liner that provides decent insulation. I could do better than that, but I'm not going to gut the interior to do it. RE I hear ya. I wouldn't gut the interier either. At any rate, the heated rocks is an excellent idea on your part. :emthup: :icon_sunny: You know all about insulation. You don't need to gut anything. If you want more insulation, just hang up another rug over the other stuff on the wall. ;) :icon_mrgreen: One thing I considered was to make a Box that would enclose just the bunk itself as a kind of Doghouse arrangement. It would stow on the interior of the roof, folded. Made out of r-4 insulation material. Kick ass insulation that stuff. Together with my kick ass 40 Below sleeping bag, I would never need to heat at all while sleeping in this arrangement. Thing is, this is fucking total OVERKILL, I'll never need it. First off it just doesn't get THAT cold in the neighborhood I live, and second when there is really cold weather I'll just buy a Bates Motel room. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: agelbert on July 24, 2017, 11:33:16 AM Now you need to figure out which rocks retain heat best. Not really. All he has to do is put a double layer of rugs on the cieling and walls of the van sleeping area. Rugs make EXCELLENT insulation material. They will keep the heat from escaping the van too quickly. :icon_sunny: AND they will keep the van from heating up too quick when it is hot outside. Finally, the air conditioner or heater in the van, as the case may be, will not have to work as hard when the van is running. :emthup: :icon_mrgreen: This is quite true. INSULATION is really what it is all about with respect to both heating and cooling, and in my first vid I covered PERSONAL INSULATION, the most important first step. For cold weather, you reduce heating needs tremendously by insulating yourself well. For a van, if I had bought a bare bones cargo van, I would have insulated with 2" foam backed with aluminum, to reflect heat back in. Then covered in teak wood to make it look Yachty. lol. As it is, SaVANnah has a carpeted interior and roof liner that provides decent insulation. I could do better than that, but I'm not going to gut the interior to do it. RE I hear ya. I wouldn't gut the interier either. At any rate, the heated rocks is an excellent idea on your part. :emthup: :icon_sunny: You know all about insulation. You don't need to gut anything. If you want more insulation, just hang up another rug over the other stuff on the wall. ;) :icon_mrgreen: One thing I considered was to make a Box that would enclose just the bunk itself as a kind of Doghouse arrangement. It would stow on the interior of the roof, folded. Made out of r-4 insulation material. Kick ass insulation that stuff. Together with my kick ass 40 Below sleeping bag, I would never need to heat at all while sleeping in this arrangement. Thing is, this is fucking total OVERKILL, I'll never need it. First off it just doesn't get THAT cold in the neighborhood I live, and second when there is really cold weather I'll just buy a Bates Motel room. RE With that sleeping bag, you definitely will not require anything else to sleep comforatably and safely. I have a feeling you will never have to take a room at a motel either, unless you want to shower there. ;D I recently discovered (my water heater went out in April) that a water heater is OVERKILL! (http://www.coh2.org/images/Smileys/huhsign.gif) (http://www.pic4ever.com/images/128fs318181.gif) I can take a nice shower with room temperature gallons of tap water (FOUR of them - one to wet, then shampoo and lather, then three for rinse :icon_sunny:). In the winter, some stove top heating of the water may be in order ;), but that all depends on how much time before the shower (I shower twice a week :laugh:) I fill up those four gallons. My wife is the one actually doing the gallon water filling, but that is because she wants to. I am not complaining. (http://www.pic4ever.com/images/4fvfcja.gif) My power bills dropped precipiciously! What a chump I was to not think of deep sixing the water heater DECADES ago! :-[ :( I'm saving a lot of water too. :icon_sunny: Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 24, 2017, 11:41:49 AM Now you need to figure out which rocks retain heat best. Not really. All he has to do is put a double layer of rugs on the cieling and walls of the van sleeping area. Rugs make EXCELLENT insulation material. They will keep the heat from escaping the van too quickly. :icon_sunny: AND they will keep the van from heating up too quick when it is hot outside. Finally, the air conditioner or heater in the van, as the case may be, will not have to work as hard when the van is running. :emthup: :icon_mrgreen: This is quite true. INSULATION is really what it is all about with respect to both heating and cooling, and in my first vid I covered PERSONAL INSULATION, the most important first step. For cold weather, you reduce heating needs tremendously by insulating yourself well. For a van, if I had bought a bare bones cargo van, I would have insulated with 2" foam backed with aluminum, to reflect heat back in. Then covered in teak wood to make it look Yachty. lol. As it is, SaVANnah has a carpeted interior and roof liner that provides decent insulation. I could do better than that, but I'm not going to gut the interior to do it. RE I hear ya. I wouldn't gut the interier either. At any rate, the heated rocks is an excellent idea on your part. :emthup: :icon_sunny: You know all about insulation. You don't need to gut anything. If you want more insulation, just hang up another rug over the other stuff on the wall. ;) :icon_mrgreen: One thing I considered was to make a Box that would enclose just the bunk itself as a kind of Doghouse arrangement. It would stow on the interior of the roof, folded. Made out of r-4 insulation material. Kick ass insulation that stuff. Together with my kick ass 40 Below sleeping bag, I would never need to heat at all while sleeping in this arrangement. Thing is, this is fucking total OVERKILL, I'll never need it. First off it just doesn't get THAT cold in the neighborhood I live, and second when there is really cold weather I'll just buy a Bates Motel room. RE With that sleeping bag, you definitely will not require anything else to sleep comforatably and safely. I have a feeling you will never have to take a room at a motel either, unless you want to shower there. ;D I recently discovered (my water heater went out in April) that a water heater is OVERKILL! (http://www.coh2.org/images/Smileys/huhsign.gif) (http://www.pic4ever.com/images/128fs318181.gif) I can take a nice shower with room temperature gallons of tap water (FOUR of them - one to wet, then shampoo and lather, then three for rinse :icon_sunny:). In the winter, some stove top heating of the water may be in order ;), but that all depends on how much time before the shower (I shower twice a week :laugh:) I fill up those four gallons. My wife is the one actually doing the gallon water filling, but that is because she wants to. I am not complaining. (http://www.pic4ever.com/images/4fvfcja.gif) My power bills dropped precipiciously! What a chump I was to not think of deep sixing the water heater DECADES ago! :-[ :( You can water heat SOLAR quite cheap also most of the year even in Vermont. Get a 5 Gallon Water container at Walmart and Paint it Black. Place inside a Solar Oven made from a Cardboard box and Aluminum Foil and Saran Wrap. Water will reach boiling temp on a sunny day, so be careful. Typical temps though are in the 150s, still very hot. I'll be doing a vid on this technique in the future. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: agelbert on July 24, 2017, 11:49:20 AM Quote You can water heat SOLAR quite cheap also most of the year even in Vermont. Get a 5 Gallon Water container at Walmart and Paint it Black. Place inside a Solar Oven made from a Cardboard box and Aluminum Foil and Saran Wrap. Water will reach boiling temp on a sunny day, so be careful. Typical temps though are in the 150s, still very hot. I'll be doing a vid on this technique in the future. RE (http://www.createaforum.com/gallery/renewablerevolution/3-080515182559.png) Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Petty Tyrant on July 24, 2017, 01:52:09 PM Anyone with a guess on how I solved the problem of moving heat generated from a campfire to inside SaVANnah? RE Place van directly over fire, like face lol. I thought that was going to go voosh!!! like petrol. Your gas tank would explode. Not a good solution. That's a Darwin Award Winner. RE Yeah we both know 'gas' goes Voosh! I didnt know lighter fluid was safe to put your face over and light up, or is cheap. But kudos on the hot rocks and nice campsite. Im guessing u have thick curtains on the windows? Also 2 windscreen sun blockers, 1 the type that goes over the outside as well as 1 pop out type to put on the inside would help keep heat in. I know rental camper van gets cold as soon as heater is off. I dont think u need a motel if its really cold. My 65cc, 750w 2stroke generator runs for 4 hrs on 1 litre of fuel and powers a 2 bar heater. For me a litre costs as much as a gallon for you, 3-4 litres. 1 or 2$ gets you through the whole night. Theres no stealth with a generator puttering away outside though. I doubt that is burning more fossil fuel than the motel room to stay warm. The great thing about that el cheapo is it idles and increases revs as needed, unlike others i see which just run fast all the time.
Title: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: azozeo on July 24, 2017, 03:24:03 PM
RE,
I'm currently reworking the interior of my antique VW camper.
For insulation on the interior roof & wall skins I'm insulating with 1/4 white Styrofoam sheet
& then plastic sheet behind the wood paneling. Upholstery grade fabric for window curtains for thickness.
The upgrade from the old school design will be heated rear bench seats which convert to a dbl bed.
The extra utility battery can go either in the engine compartment in the rear on the opposite side of the engine batt.
or under the rear bench seat.
You may want to see if the high school welding class can work you up a drum for your fire pit & have them put a rock
tray in the lower portion for your heated rocks.
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 24, 2017, 03:25:10 PM
I didnt know lighter fluid was safe to put your face over and light up, or is cheap.

There's a lot you don't know.  I used about $.50 of lighter fluid for that demo, but that was just for effect. I could have got away with less than half of that and got the fire going. In fact, if I started small with a few sticks of downed branches, I could have started it with one little squirt of less than$.05.  Don't fuck with me on this topic UB, I know a LOT more than you do on this one.  I already LIVED this life for 7 years, I speak from experience.

Quote
Im guessing u have thick curtains on the windows?  Also 2 windscreen sun blockers,  1 the type that goes over the outside as well as 1 pop out type to put on the inside would help keep heat in. I know rental camper van gets cold as soon as heater is off.

SaVANnah has shades, but the windows are large and are a huge source of heat loss.  What I would do in a situation of real cold is cover them with Space Blankets, which I have.

(https://www.rei.com/media/product/407106)

Quote
I dont think u need a motel if its really cold. My 65cc, 750w 2stroke generator runs for 4 hrs on 1 litre of fuel and powers a 2 bar heater. For me  a litre costs as much as a gallon for you,
3-4 litres. 1 or 2$gets you through the whole night. Theres no stealth with a generator puttering away outside though. I doubt that is burning more fossil fuel than the motel room to stay warm. The great thing about that el cheapo is it idles and increases revs as needed, unlike others i see which just run fast all the time. I have a generator also, and I could run it to power an electric heater at a lower cost than a Motel room. However, there are so few days that are THAT cold I would just Bates Motel it. When I was trucking I would Bates Motel for a night or two every couple of weeks anyhow to do laundry and just generally stretch out and relax and watch some TV. I could do laundry in the truckstops too, but this was a more comfortable way to do it and at the time I could get a Bates Motel room for$35.

In reality up here if I gave up my current digs I would live in SaVANnah from Mar-Nov and for deep winter I would rent an off season cabin in Talkeetna, which I can pick up for around $800/mo with no lease, month to month. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 24, 2017, 03:30:57 PM RE, I'm currently reworking the interior of my antique VW camper. For insulation on the interior roof & wall skins I'm insulating with 1/4 white Styrofoam sheet & then plastic sheet behind the wood paneling. Upholstery grade fabric for window curtains for thickness. The upgrade from the old school design will be heated rear bench seats which convert to a dbl bed. The extra utility battery can go either in the engine compartment in the rear on the opposite side of the engine batt. or under the rear bench seat. You may want to see if the high school welding class can work you up a drum for your fire pit & have them put a rock tray in the lower portion for your heated rocks. I look forward to seeing some pics of the refurbishing of the V-Dub Van as it progresses along, and going Boondocking with you at some point in the future! :icon_sunny: I have the portable Fire Ring problem solved and I didn't need a HS Welding Class to do it. I'll get to it in a future episode of I Spy Doom. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: agelbert on July 24, 2017, 04:21:44 PM RE, I'm currently reworking the interior of my antique VW camper. For insulation on the interior roof & wall skins I'm insulating with 1/4 white Styrofoam sheet & then plastic sheet behind the wood paneling. Upholstery grade fabric for window curtains for thickness. The upgrade from the old school design will be heated rear bench seats which convert to a dbl bed. The extra utility battery can go either in the engine compartment in the rear on the opposite side of the engine batt. or under the rear bench seat. You may want to see if the high school welding class can work you up a drum for your fire pit & have them put a rock tray in the lower portion for your heated rocks. I look forward to seeing some pics of the refurbishing of the V-Dub Van as it progresses along, and going Boondocking with you at some point in the future! :icon_sunny: I have the portable Fire Ring problem solved and I didn't need a HS Welding Class to do it. I'll get to it in a future episode of I Spy Doom. RE I'm looking forward to seeing the pictures too! (http://us.cdn2.123rf.com/168nwm/lenm/lenm1201/lenm120100200/12107060-illustration-of-a-smiley-giving-a-thumbs-up.jpg) Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Palloy2 on July 24, 2017, 05:23:56 PM Quote AZ: Now you need to figure out which rocks retain heat best. The amount of heat (joules) needed to heat your stuff (1 gram) by 1°C is called the stuff's Specific Heat and is tabulated for a wide variety of stuffs. Surprisingly rock is not very good and nor are metals. Wax is best - huh? But since the difficulty involves lifting the stuff off the fire and putting it carefully into your van, the Density of the stuff is important too. And the shape will affect the rate at which it loses heat to the air in the van. Obviously a heatsink is the ideal heat-losing shape, so my guess is a horizontal sheet of steel with several fins of vertical steel welded to it, with handles and insulation (asbestos sheet) on the bottom will prove best, but some experimentation will be necessary. Also rock has poor Thermal Conductivity, which would prevent heat moving from the inside to the outside. Copper would be best, no, Silver would be best, but also expensive. You do want to touch on something new here, don't you? Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: agelbert on July 24, 2017, 05:58:33 PM RE, I suspect there is a fellow out there ;) that is is not aware that you graduated from Columbia University and can teach anyone who doesn't understand thermodynamics, heat transfer rates in various materials, thermal paths and gradients, insulation etc. better than most humans alive. I mean, it isn't like you are hiding your degree under a hot rock or anything. :icon_mrgreen: Perhaps it is just that some people just like to sound edumecated. (http://www.createaforum.com/gallery/renewablerevolution/3-280515145049.png) (http://www.createaforum.com/gallery/renewablerevolution/3-051113192052.png) Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Eddie on July 24, 2017, 06:04:19 PM Palloy, You're usually spot on with your physics, but I think you're a little off here. What the rocks offer is high thermal mass, something RE and I spent some time learning about from a master, David South. You don't want metal, which is efficient at losing the heat. You want something that gives up the heat grudgingly, like dense rocks, concrete, or even water. It doesn't matter how hard it is to heat the rocks up, you get that for free because the fire gives you much more heat than you need. The equation relating thermal energy to thermal mass is: {\displaystyle Q=C_{\mathrm {th} }\Delta T\,} Q = C_\mathrm{th} \Delta T\, where Q is the thermal energy transferred, Cth is the thermal mass of the body, and ΔT is the change in temperature. For example, if 250 J of heat energy is added to a copper gear with a thermal mass of 38.46 J/°C, its temperature will rise by 6.50 °C. If the body consists of a homogeneous material with sufficiently known physical properties, the thermal mass is simply the mass of material present times the specific heat capacity of that material. For bodies made of many materials, the sum of heat capacities for their pure components may be used in the calculation, or in some cases (as for a whole animal, for example) the number may simply be measured for the entire body in question, directly. As an extensive property, heat capacity is characteristic of an object; its corresponding intensive property is specific heat capacity, expressed in terms of a measure of the amount of material such as mass or number of moles, which must be multiplied by similar units to give the heat capacity of the entire body of material. Thus the heat capacity can be equivalently calculated as the product of the mass m of the body and the specific heat capacity c for the material, or the product of the number of moles of molecules present n and the molar specific heat capacity {\displaystyle {\bar {c}}} {\bar {c}}. For discussion of why the thermal energy storage abilities of pure substances vary, see factors that affect specific heat capacity. For a body of uniform composition, {\displaystyle C_{th}} C_{th} can be approximated by {\displaystyle C_{th}=mc_{p}} C_{th} = m c_p where {\displaystyle m} m is the mass of the body and {\displaystyle c_{p}} c_{p} is the isobaric specific heat capacity of the material averaged over temperature range in question. For bodies composed of numerous different materials, the thermal masses for the different components can just be added together. Thermal mass in buildings Thermal mass is effective in improving building comfort in any place that experiences these types of daily temperature fluctuations—both in winter as well as in summer. When used well and combined with passive solar design, thermal mass can play an important role in major reductions to energy use in active heating and cooling systems. The terms heavy-weight and light-weight are often used to describe buildings with different thermal mass strategies, and affects the choice of numerical factors used in subsequent calculations to describe their thermal response to heating and cooling. In building services engineering, the use of dynamic simulation computational modelling software has allowed for the accurate calculation of the environmental performance within buildings with different constructions and for different annual climate data sets. This allows the architect or engineer to explore in detail the relationship between heavy-weight and light-weight constructions, as well as insulation levels, in reducing energy consumption for mechanical heating or cooling systems, or even removing the need for such systems altogether. Properties required for good thermal mass Ideal materials for thermal mass are those materials that have: high specific heat capacity, high density https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_mass Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Palloy2 on July 24, 2017, 06:22:18 PM Yes, agreed, I suppose the ideal is to have the hot rocks give out their heat throughout a night time, which can last 24 hours in AK in winter. (What a place to sleep out in a van.) This is going to take some smart experimenting, involving thermometer measurements throughout the night. Fortunately there are USB thermometers which RE can plug into his PC and leave it to record while he sleeps. Some even have hygrometers to measure the moisture - I remember sleeping in a van and waking up to find the naked metal dripping with water, condensed from my breath. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 24, 2017, 07:00:43 PM Water is great thermal mass, but it has real problems inside a van in an Alaska Winter. It gives off water vapor, which is great for your nostrils and lungs, but horrible for the windows of the van. You get a nice thick layer of frost on all the windows including the windshields it you use water for thermal mass. You also can also only heat up water to 212F/100C before it starts boiling on you. Rocks, you can heat to 500F and more if you want to, but you would be a Darwin Award winner if you did that. Then even with properly done and insulated containers for them you would risk combustion. In my videos I show how to make a proper container box for your HOT ROCKS. I NEVER would heat my rocks up past 400F, it's nuts you would never need so much heat. 350F is a good temp to stop at. I measure the heat of the rocks with either a Meat or Candy thermometer. Meat thermometers go to the 200F Range, Candy thermometers to the 500F range. But I don't really need them, I can tell the temp just by waving my hand over the rocks. If it feels burning hot when my hand is about a foot above the rocks, this is fucking hot enough! I'll be doing measurements of heat loss in SaVANnah over the winter utilizing the system, and hopefully in this case we will get some really super cold Alaska nights in the -30F Below range. I personally will not be IN SaVANnah on those nights of course. lol. I'll do it in the parking lot in front of my digs. I'm betting one box of HOT ROCKS will keep SaVANnah toasty warm all night. I'll periodically go out and record both the internal and external temperatures. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: azozeo on July 24, 2017, 08:23:24 PM If your going to spend the dinero's ($4000) to shack up for a few months why not use the money to
head south like the rest of the blue haired snow birds. $1200 round trip in fuel & 2 oil changes should be your maintenance costs. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 24, 2017, 08:54:39 PM If your going to spend the dinero's ($4000) to shack up for a few months why not use the money to
head south like the rest of the blue haired snow birds. $1200 round trip in fuel & 2 oil changes should be your maintenance costs. 3 months @$800/mo is only $2400, not$4000.

In fact though, if I was living the life full time, I sure as hell would not stay in Alaska through the winter!  lol.  I would get on the Al-Can around September or so, before any real threat of heavy snow while all the passes are clear.  I would take a week maybe two to make that drive and enjoy the scenery and shoot some pics with my NEW Pocket Powerhouse cam.  :icon_sunny:

Then through Sept-Oct I wold visit with Diners in the north of the lower 48 to get more pics of the Fall Colors.  As it got colder, I would head further south to visit with Eddie on the Toothstead and LD & GM ins South Carolina.  In Dec-Jan, I would take off on my own and head for Margaritaville in the Florida Keys.

Then in Feb, start the reverse trip.  Rinse & Repeat as long as the gas is still available to do it with.

Energy wise, I don't think I would use as much in a year as the typical McMansion Dweller, because my costs for heating and cooling are so low because the volume of space I control the temps in is so small.  My energy cost is consumed in moving around the vehicle to the right temperature regime.

If I am still above ground next year, after all my testing is complete and the SS mess is tied up, I will do this.  I will go OTR one more time, and I will die somewhere over the road.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Petty Tyrant on July 24, 2017, 09:07:14 PM
"There's a lot you don't know.  I used about $.50 of lighter fluid for that demo, but that was just for effect. I could have got away with less than half of that and got the fire going. In fact, if I started small with a few sticks of downed branches, I could have started it with one little squirt of less than$.05.  Don't fuck with me on this topic UB, I know a LOT more than you do on this one.  I already LIVED this life for 7 years, I speak from experience."

I didnt know youre allowed to burn those expensive bags of firewood at truckstops, while u keep warm by idling a 16 litre engine. That doesnt teach u to keep your face to the side of the accelerant. I only know about felling trees  cutting them up with a chainsaw and axe, stacking it all and using kindling i keep dry ahead of time with a piece of newspaper or piece of naphthalene worth 5 cents to start a fire most nights, 6 months of the year.

If you cant understand constructive criticism is not about mine vs yours, i can not comment.

Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: RE on July 24, 2017, 09:23:57 PM

"There's a lot you don't know.  I used about $.50 of lighter fluid for that demo, but that was just for effect. I could have got away with less than half of that and got the fire going. In fact, if I started small with a few sticks of downed branches, I could have started it with one little squirt of less than$.05.  Don't fuck with me on this topic UB, I know a LOT more than you do on this one.  I already LIVED this life for 7 years, I speak from experience."

I didnt know lighter fluid comes for 2$a litre, maybe discounted with a 5$ bag of wood. I didnt know u are allowed campfires at truckstops. I
There's a lot you don't know.  I used about $.50 of lighter fluid for that demo, but that was just for effect. I could have got away with less than half of that and got the fire going. In fact, if I started small with a few sticks of downed branches, I could have started it with one little squirt of less than$.05.  Don't fuck with me on this topic UB, I know a LOT more than you do on this one.  I already LIVED this life for 7 years, I speak from experience."

I didnt know youre allowed to burn those expensive bags of firewood at truckstops, while u keep warm by idling a 16 litre engine. That doesnt teach u to keep your face to the side of the accelerant. I only know about felling trees  cutting them up with a chainsaw and axe, stacking it all and using kindling i keep dry ahead of time with a piece of newspaper or piece of naphthalene worth 5 cents to start a fire most nights, 6 months of the year.

If you cant understand constructive criticism is not about mine vs yours, i can not comment.

There is no constructive criticism in your posting, only attempts to deconstruct, which are immense failures every time.

No, you can't make fires in a ring in Truckstops, but you most certainly can set up your charcoal grill in the parking lot. You never did this shit UB, I DID IT.  I KNOW how lighter fluid lights up, I have been using that shit since I was 10 years old.  I am not in the least bit worried it will blow up in my face.  Only a complete idiot who doesn't use the stuff would think it would do that.  It's NOT gasoline! lol.

The bag of firewood was NOT expensive, in fact I got it for FREE!  :icon_sunny:  I explain how in the full video.

So go fuck yourself because you are simply firing out of your asshole and no nothing of what you speak.

RE
Title: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: Combustibility Principles for Fire Starting
Post by: RE on July 24, 2017, 10:05:49 PM
UB brought up the issue of the possibility that sprinkling on so much Lighter Fluid onto my pile of logs might have caused this to blow up in my face, hovered right over the logs when I lit it up.  That was impossible.

Lighter fluid is a mix of petrochemicals that has a pretty high vapor pressure until it gets heated up a bit.  So at first when you light it, you just get a bit of flame. then it heats up the fluid around it, and the flame expands pretty fast after that.  But you have plenty of time to move away before the fire gets too big, no matter how much of the stuff you sprinkle down.

Kero has a lower vapor pressure, and is a bit more tricky to use as a fire starter, and gasoline is very tricky to use.  If you sprinkled down gasoline on those logs and lit it up with a Bic Lighter like I did, you would get FRIED!  lol.  If I use gasoline to start a fire, I do it with a long lighter and duck and cover!  It goes up REALLY FAST!  :o

On the camping/backpack level, lighter fluid is WAY better than tinder in your backpack.  What I used to do was have a small plastic squeeze bottle of the stuff in my backpack.  Arriving at a campsite, I would collect a few twigs and some larger branches.  No tinder, no super small stuff.  Then I would make a little TeePee out of the small stuff I collected and drip a few drops of lighter fluid over it.  Strike a Match, touch to the TeePee, INSTANT FIRE!  This worked even in the rain.

It helps to have some experience with this stuff before you start firing bullshit out of your asshole.

RE
Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: Petty Tyrant on July 24, 2017, 11:04:34 PM

"There's a lot you don't know.  I used about $.50 of lighter fluid for that demo, but that was just for effect. I could have got away with less than half of that and got the fire going. In fact, if I started small with a few sticks of downed branches, I could have started it with one little squirt of less than$.05.  Don't fuck with me on this topic UB, I know a LOT more than you do on this one.  I already LIVED this life for 7 years, I speak from experience."

I didnt know lighter fluid comes for 2$a litre, maybe discounted with a 5$ bag of wood. I didnt know u are allowed campfires at truckstops. I
There's a lot you don't know.  I used about $.50 of lighter fluid for that demo, but that was just for effect. I could have got away with less than half of that and got the fire going. In fact, if I started small with a few sticks of downed branches, I could have started it with one little squirt of less than$.05.  Don't fuck with me on this topic UB, I know a LOT more than you do on this one.  I already LIVED this life for 7 years, I speak from experience."

I didnt know youre allowed to burn those expensive bags of firewood at truckstops, while u keep warm by idling a 16 litre engine. That doesnt teach u to keep your face to the side of the accelerant. I only know about felling trees  cutting them up with a chainsaw and axe, stacking it all and using kindling i keep dry ahead of time with a piece of newspaper or piece of naphthalene worth 5 cents to start a fire most nights, 6 months of the year.

If you cant understand constructive criticism is not about mine vs yours, i can not comment.

There is no constructive criticism in your posting, only attempts to deconstruct, which are immense failures every time.

No, you can't make fires in a ring in Truckstops, but you most certainly can set up your charcoal grill in the parking lot. You never did this shit UB, I DID IT.  I KNOW how lighter fluid lights up, I have been using that shit since I was 10 years old.  I am not in the least bit worried it will blow up in my face.  Only a complete idiot who doesn't use the stuff would think it would do that.  It's NOT gasoline! lol.

The bag of firewood was NOT expensive, in fact I got it for FREE!  :icon_sunny:  I explain how in the full video.

So go fuck yourself because you are simply firing out of your asshole and no nothing of what you speak.

RE

Lets sort the bullshit specifically hey?

I brought up the possibility the zippo fluid could blow up in your face. Thats bullshit. I said i didnt know it doesnt, like gasoline. I can admit what i dont know.

That was 50c worth. Bullshit. Its like 7$a litre and that was like 200 ml. I said the rocks were a good idea. But stay hot all night, bullshit again, which you would know if you were really spending a week boondocking like i have actually done in what was also clearly a camper. I dont know how to make a fire too (without cheating). Bullshit. Anyone keeping it real in the slightest cant stay now, so im gone too. Dont ask me again to come back and contribute, because you cant keep from biting the fingers off the hand that feeds this site. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 25, 2017, 03:29:18 AM Lets sort the bullshit specifically hey? I brought up the possibility the zippo fluid could blow up in your face. Thats bullshit. I said i didnt know it doesnt, like gasoline. I can admit what i dont know. Here's what you said: I didnt know lighter fluid was safe to put your face over and light up, or is cheap. Now moving on... Quote That was 50c worth. Bullshit. Its like 7$ a litre and that was like 200 ml.

The bottle cost $2 at Walmart. I used about 1/4 of the bottle. I ALSO said I only used so much for the visual effect. Normally I would use half of that amount or less. Quote I said the rocks were a good idea. But stay hot all night, bullshit again, which you would know if you were really spending a week boondocking like i have actually done in what was also clearly a camper. They'll stay hot all night in an insulated box. The question is how much you can raise the internal temperature of the van letting out a little heat at a time. Quote I dont know how to make a fire too (without cheating). Bullshit. I never said you don't know how to make a fire. Quote Anyone keeping it real in the slightest cant stay now, so im gone too. Dont ask me again to come back and contribute, because you cant keep from biting the fingers off the hand that feeds this site. I never asked you to come back. Why would I do that? You're a jerk. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: agelbert on July 25, 2017, 09:25:38 AM Water is great thermal mass, but it has real problems inside a van in an Alaska Winter. It gives off water vapor, which is great for your nostrils and lungs, but horrible for the windows of the van. You get a nice thick layer of frost on all the windows including the windshields it you use water for thermal mass. You also can also only heat up water to 212F/100C before it starts boiling on you. Rocks, you can heat to 500F and more if you want to, but you would be a Darwin Award winner if you did that. Then even with properly done and insulated containers for them you would risk combustion. In my videos I show how to make a proper container box for your HOT ROCKS. I NEVER would heat my rocks up past 400F, it's nuts you would never need so much heat. 350F is a good temp to stop at. I measure the heat of the rocks with either a Meat or Candy thermometer. Meat thermometers go to the 200F Range, Candy thermometers to the 500F range. But I don't really need them, I can tell the temp just by waving my hand over the rocks. If it feels burning hot when my hand is about a foot above the rocks, this is fucking hot enough! I'll be doing measurements of heat loss in SaVANnah over the winter utilizing the system, and hopefully in this case we will get some really super cold Alaska nights in the -30F Below range. I personally will not be IN SaVANnah on those nights of course. lol. I'll do it in the parking lot in front of my digs. I'm betting one box of HOT ROCKS will keep SaVANnah toasty warm all night. I'll periodically go out and record both the internal and external temperatures. RE (http://www.clipartbest.com/cliparts/xig/ojx/xigojx6KT.png) Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: Petty Tyrant on July 25, 2017, 03:17:43 PM Lets sort the bullshit specifically hey? I brought up the possibility the zippo fluid could blow up in your face. Thats bullshit. I said i didnt know it doesnt, like gasoline. I can admit what i dont know. Here's what you said: I didnt know lighter fluid was safe to put your face over and light up, or is cheap. Now moving on... Quote That was 50c worth. Bullshit. Its like 7$ a litre and that was like 200 ml.

The bottle cost $2 at Walmart. I used about 1/4 of the bottle. I ALSO said I only used so much for the visual effect. Normally I would use half of that amount or less. Quote I said the rocks were a good idea. But stay hot all night, bullshit again, which you would know if you were really spending a week boondocking like i have actually done in what was also clearly a camper. They'll stay hot all night in an insulated box. The question is how much you can raise the internal temperature of the van letting out a little heat at a time. Quote I dont know how to make a fire too (without cheating). Bullshit. I never said you don't know how to make a fire. Quote Anyone keeping it real in the slightest cant stay now, so im gone too. Dont ask me again to come back and contribute, because you cant keep from biting the fingers off the hand that feeds this site. I never asked you to come back. Why would I do that? You're a jerk. RE So as u see there never was a claim that lighter fluid would go voosh like it does in the movies when they set people on fire with it. But i am now just as knowkedgeable as you with the shit, like millions of other people and only an idiot would brag about something so mundane. Saying u did it for effect is more bullshit. You told the people watching to use a lot, and that was in context of cheap livng. 5c is cheap, not 50 if theyre struggling. If you were not saying i cant make a fire, why say i have not experienced it. Yes its a QUESTIONof how warm you can keep it. Saying it WILL stay warm all night was bullshit. Yes Im a jerk, you got THAT right. But i recall when i recently demurred, you even saying i should do stealth posting when everyone is asleep if they dont like my wasting time on dd. Ive told people in the past to read here to learn about collapse. I could still be getting checked on. That is why if you try and build yourself up by bringing me down, i will slam you straight back harder. I am in devonport and instead of leaving this morning i left last night and slept in the car. Its only down to 7c not -7 like my place, so i thought that was ok to do. This stuff on the windows plus using the steel mesh cargo barrier with rubber back picnic mat to seperate the front from back. A young cop came and asked what i was doing in an otherwise empty carpark when i was getting organised, he didnt mind, but then i had a legit reason. Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van! Post by: RE on July 25, 2017, 04:28:48 PM Yes Im a jerk, you got THAT right. At least there is one thing we can agree on. :icon_sunny: RE Title: RE Gets a Stealth Van! More Geodesic Gazebo Preps Post by: RE on July 27, 2017, 06:56:02 PM I headed over to Home Depot today to pick up the PVC pipe and hardware to build the Geo Gazebo for SaVANnah. :icon_sunny: Today's cost was$28.50 for 10 10' lengths of 1/2" Schedule 40 PVC pipe and $15 for 50 Nuts&Bolts for the assembly. I will still need another 5 10' lengths for the legs, plus maybe also 5 more for a base. I also will need 5 45-60 degree stock elbow joints in 1/2" diameter, and 5 90 degree T-Joints if I do the base. All those joints come in around$1 each.

To cover it, I haven't decided yet whether I will have a custom cover sewn up in Vinyl, make one myself from Tarp material or perhaps even Hard-Side it in Aluminum sheeting.  The custom cover would be most expensive due to the cost of a professional sailmaker to do it, the material is not expensive though and the sewing job isn't that hard.  If you were doing a full dome, it would pay to invest in a professional machine and do this job yourself.  Tarp is the cheapest because the material is cheap and you DIY, but of course this won't look as good.  Hard siding in Aluminum falls in between.  The material is the most expensive of the choices, but it is a DIY job keeping your cost down.  I will cross this bridge when I get to it.

The bundle of pipe to do the top of the Gazebo didn't take up too much room in SaVANnah even before it has been cut to size.  With all the rest of the pipe it will take up about double the room, but will still easily fit under the bunk in the back of the cabin.  More likely I will buy a Roof Carrier for this stuff though.  Or of course pull a trailer.  I am looking in the size range of 12'-16' for a cargo trailer @ $3000 or less. Far as starting the build on this and making the videos, not sure when that will happen. I still have a lot of heating and cooling videos to do, and I am bizzy getting ready for the TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN☼ trip and the SSA Hearing. Bizzy life these daze. Lot of pipe cutting and drilling to do here. So this is probably a Fall project to have ready for next Boondocking season. So far spent was$80 for the connectors, $28.50 for pipe &$15 in hardware for a total of $123.50. It would be less in the lower 48 because shipping cost on the connectors was expensive to the Last Great Frontier. Max cost for the rest of the structural materials is$45 for pipe and another $15 in Nuts&Bolts, so$183.50 all together there.  The covering cost varies widely, from $50 to just use a tarp/tarps, to probably$1000 to have a full vinyl cover sewn up.  I'll probably go El Cheapo at first, it's all I really need.  Then the total cost comes in at $233.50, well under my$300 budget for the project.

My design has it set up for free standing, it doesn't need to be attached to SaVANah like an awning.  It CAN be attached with the magnets, but I doubt I will use it that way.  I want it set up so I can drive off the campsite easily to go to the Gym or the Library or do some shopping.

The most likely configuration for longer stays in a given Boondocking location (1 week or more) is:

 DetailsSaVAN Gazebo 2 SaVAN Gazebo 2

Is that a PALATIAL campsite or what?  ;D

Parenthetically, it came to me that one of these would be a good replacement for the Tent Eddie used to have a sleeping location out in the field on the Toothstead but which was not sturdy enough for more than a season of use set up all the time.  If you hard side one of these with aluminum, it will last longer than you will.  Cost for a full hard side job I estimate at $500. RE Title: Boondocking the Last Great Frontier 3 Post by: RE on July 30, 2017, 02:05:48 AM Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666 Friend us on Facebook Published on The Doomstead Diner July 30, 2017 Discuss this article at the Doomsteading Table inside the Diner The early part of Day 3 of Boondocking wasn't a whole heck of a lot different than Days 1 & 2, another early trip to the Alaska Club followed by a trip to the Library to do some reading and surf the Doom-o-sphere on their FREE Wi-Fi. I did dispense with the trip over to Kalahdi Brothers Coffee for one of their expensive Coffee Drinks to save a little money. I have been spending pretty profligately here over the last couple of days. I also am planning on spending$15 today on a For Pay campsite, which I really do not have to do but I wanna make some Videos for the I Spy Doom series and this location is a real good spot for making those vids.

I ate a real big breakfast for me of Sausage, Eggs and Homefries, so I am not at all hungry when the afternoon rolls around and really probably could go the whole rest of the day on just that meal, so the remaining 2/3rds of my Subway Spicy Italian Hoagie remains in the cooler for tomorrow.  However, on the drive over to the campground, I go by Matanuska Meats, where not only do they have a fabulous selection of commercially produced meats, they also will prepare any game meat you hunt down as well.  They'll do all the sausages and cut up into nice steaks and roasts as well.  Of course, you pay a price for that and by the time you add in the cost for the hunting trip, it's going to be quite a bit more expensive than just buying a commercial industrially farmed steak, even an organically raised one.  However, you generally can't buy Moose or Caribou off the shelf. Having professionals prepare the meat is far better than doing it yourself, both for the work load involved and the fact they do a far better job and have all the right equipment.

There are some REALLY SUCCULENT looking Aged T-Bone Steaks in the refrigerated display case, and while I KNOW I can't possibly finish one of them, since I am going to a for pay campsite I can do some open fire grilling at, I just HAVE to buy one to have for dinner.  So I go ahead and spend $13 on one of these gorgeous pieces of meat. That and buying the campsite was all I spent for the day plus the fixed rent cost of$8.50, so all totalled up this was a $36.50 day. I swear to myself that tomorrow I will not spend so much money! However, even spending that much, if I had a job at Starbucks as a Barrista and was making just$10/hour, I could have paid for this day with just 4 hours of work serving up the Frappucinos and Espressos.

I arrive at the campsite and drop in at the office to pay for my site and get my parking ticket for the night to drop in my windshield.  I'm not Boondocking now, I have paid RENT for my little patch of the earth for the next 24 hours!  It is MINE, to do with as I please, as long as I obey the park rules anyhow.  Which overall are not too onerous for me, as I don't throw big parties with lots of loud music and I don't leave garbage all over the place.  The only rule which is an issue is NO ALCOHOL, so drinking beer in public in view of others is not such a good idea, although many if not most of the campers do it.  What fun is it to sit around a campfire and shoot the shit with your friends if you can't enjoy a nice Lager or IPA while you do it?  The rule is mostly not enforced, only if you get a real rowdy party going would they probably come down on you for it.  Despite that, I stay pretty stealth with this and mostly drink the occassional beer inside SaVANnah where nobody can see me doing this horrible thing.  I collect the empty cans inside SaVANnah and will dispose of them tomorrow at some dumpster not on this property.

Once parked, there is a decent amount of action ongoing with kids from other campsites running around and biking the trails, especially for mid-week.  This place is kind of a Paradise for kids, it's quite safe and there are tons of places for them to go exploring and they can even go swim in the river, although you should never let them do that without supervision.  Virtually none of the people here with kids are full time Van Dwellers of course, most of them just do it for a week or two at a time over the summer on vacations.  Some teachers who have the whole summer off will live the life for the whole 2-3 months though.  They go from one park to another, down to Kenai to fish for salmon and so forth.  Up here on the Last Great Frontier it gets a good deal more difficult to live this way around September or so when many places shut down, but it's not impossible.  In any event, when this time of year rolls around, it's time to drive the Al-Can and head for the Florida Keys!  Don't winter in Alaska if you don't have to!  Snowbird it!

If you do have to winter over in Alaska though, it's certainly possible to do it even in your Stealth Van.  Here it depends on your budget mainly in terms of how to do it.

As long as you have access to electricity, you can withstand about anything an Alaska winter can throw at you inside a Stealth Van, including temps as low as 30F Below Zero.  This because the volume you need to heat is so small and a typical Space Heater will do the job of warming it up in a jiffy!  Such space heaters come in at the whopping cost of around $50-100. To be getting electricity completely legal though, you're going to have to buy a campsite that stays open through the winter and pay their monthly fee for the worst months of this, Dec-Feb. Before and after this you can always get away with other forms of heating not requiring electricity. You could in fact use other forms of heating even in the worst months, but it would be a bit of a pain in the ass. I certainly have never tried it, but I think I could make it through as long as I had enough kerosene (maybe 15 gallons, according to my friend Van Dweller who has lived this way for 50 years and spent a few of them in Alaska) or enough wood to burn. So in your Storage Unit, good idea to keep 15 gallons of Kero in there for the winter that comes when the Lights Go Out and nobody has electricity at all. You will at least get one more winter to watch the SUNâ˜¼ rise before you freeze to death in your Stealth Van. The thing about buying one of these campsites that both stays open AND provides electricity is you will have to pay around$200/week for it.  For this price, I can rent an off-season Cabin rental for the same price!  So on my budget, I would simply add in the cost of buying a cabin for Dec-Feb and living in splendor and comfort for those three months while the Winter Winds whistle outside the cabin door and I have the wood burning stove fired up with plenty of Wood Pellets purchased at Home Depot.  At least until TSHTF of course.  So this does drop $2500 or so onto my yearly rent bill doing this every year. Snowbirding it and driving SaVANnah down to the Florida Keys or the Baja Peninsula to over-winter, I would likely spend a similar amount of energy. Instead of the kero or electricity to heat the van, I would need to buy gas to move it across the Al-Can and then down to southern latitudes. I think it would be slightly cheaper to do it this way, depends on the relative prices for the energy and the rent. Going south, you could Boondock a lot more and thus avoid paying rent. No way to calculate this unless you actually did it over a couple of seasons at least, which I have no intention of doing. That experiment would take at least 4 years to run, spending 2 up here through the winter and then 2 more Snowbirding to the lower 48. I would need to keep meticulous records of all expenses to make a comparison. I'm not going to do that. Back to present day circumstances however, after picking up the Steak at Matanuska Meats I head over to the campgrounds and set up camp, very Spartan this time as the weather is very good with no chance of rain so even the Big Brolly does not get deployed. The Outdoor Office and Command Center for the Diner is set up on the Picnic Table inside of 5 minutes, complete with electricity for the day. Nothing else really needs to be done in terms of setup besides getting ready to COOK! I have my choices on ways to cook my Juicy and Thick T-Bone steak. I could sautee it with some garlic, mushrooms, peppers and onions in a pan over my propane stove right on the picnic table while Admining the Diner, but that would be a waste of a great cut of meat like this! There is NO SUBSTITUTE for grilling meat over an open fire! Here also I have choices. The EZ choice is to just use Propane in my portable propane Coleman Grill or a little less EZ Charcoal Briquets in my Cast Iron Lodge Logic Hibachi. For this occassion though, I choose the toughest of the choices possible, I am going to cook my steak over an Open fire on the Camp Fire Ring with WOOD! Now, I am not suited to going out into the woods to collect a bunch of wood for this and split it anymore, so instead I go up to the office and get a pile of firewood for FREE sufficient to make a decent Bonfire, which will last for hours to do a lot of heating and cooking tasks. Normally said pile of wood would cost you around$5, but I know the camp host and for odd shaped pieces he gives them away free.  My objective is not to make it huge however, just to make it right for cooking on.  This means first getting the fire lit and going, then letting it burn down until you have a pile of hot coals burning about the right temp to cook your steak how you like it.  I like mine "Pittsburgh Rare", which means burned on the outside and still Mooing on the inside.

Prior to getting the fire going, I do a dry rub on the steak of a few spices I have in the larder, including Garlic Powder, Coriander and McCormick "Old Monterrey" spicing, and sprinkle on some fresh ground pepper and sea salt as well and let it sit and absorb them for an hour before cooking.  Once that is done and I have checked for new comments on the Diner, it's time to MAKE A FIRE!

Now, on a lot of Prepper Websites they make a real big deal out of making a fire from primitive means, going down as far as spinning a fire drill between your hands.  I never mastered that one.  Then there are bow drills, fire pistons and flint and steel too!  Or if you have a sunny day you could use a Magnifying Glass.  There are any number of ways to make a fire.  I don't bog down in this sort of shit.  For my forseeable future, I will have the essentials of fire making available, a Bic Lighter and some Lighter Fluid, Kerosene or Gasoline.  Amazing how fast you can get a nice Bonfire going with a Bic & Kero! lol. "Tinder?  We don't NEED no fucking Tinder!" Try not to torch yourself or start a forest fire though when you do it.  Lighter Fluid is safer than Kero or Gas, it has a lower vapor pressure and doesn't light up as fast.  I will have upcoming I Spy Doom videos on making a fire and outdoor grilling.

At the beginning of course when you light it up, this is a TOTALLY unsuitable fire for cooking, and grilling in paticular.  Way too hot at the grill surface, even for Pittsburgh Rare.  You gott wait until the fire burns down some and you get some coals for more even heat distribution.  Usually takes about a half hour if the wood is dry.  You feed in a little wood at a time until you have the heat hitting the grill around a temp you can't put your hand above it for more than a second or so, and this is about right for fast cooking Pittsburgh Rare.  If you like a more medium level and not so blackened on the outside, then either wait a bit or raise your grill surface higher above the the heat.

Once you have your cooking heat adjusted, the next issue is the cooking surface.  Do NOT use the grate provided in a public camground as your cooking surface, and not because it might have Germs on it.  Those have all been sterilized by heat, in fact not just sterilized but incinerated.  It's because these grates are just grossly too large, and stuff will fall into the fire below, even big ass hamburgers you patty up.  If you work with a big enough steak you are pretty safe, but even here I prefer to use an add on like a BBQ basket for the steak.  Makes it simple to flip, and EZ cleanup too.

For open fire grilling in other forms of meat, you don't need to use a grill at all, sometimes big Forks or Spears work better.  Hot dogs are done easily on a spear, Bratwurst or Italian Sausage also.  You can buy commercial industrially produced ones, or just make one out of a skinny tree branch.

All the rest of open fire cooking besides meat should be done with some surface between the food to be cooked and the fire below.  I will go over that in a future post or video on outdoor cooking, along with demonstrating the techniques on the I Spy Doom videos that I publish in the middle of the week to supplement this series.

Once your cooking and eating tasks are done for the day and you are esconced at a nice campsite, there's not a whole lot to worry about.  You're in a FOR PAY site and have the RIGHT to be there (paid to Da Goobermint), which the little ticket you post in your windshield says.  The local Gestapo do NOT patrol these places.  Actually even the camp host (old retired guys who stay all summer for free and collect parking fees) doesn't patrol them at night, so if you drive in after midnight and leave by around 6AM, you can park it for free.  I do this on the up and up though and pay my $15 when I stay overnight. Once you start paying, this is not true Boondocking of course, but it is Semi-Boondocking as long as the cost for the nightly fee is less than what you would pay to rent a monthly apartment space in the neighborhood. So if rents in the area are going for say$900/mo, that is $30/day. If you can buy a campsite for$15/day, you are 50% Boondocking.  If you only take such For Pay site every other night, then you are up to 75% Boondocking.  For myself going out OTR. I would probably be in the 50% range for Boondocking most of the time. 4 nights in FREE spots, 2 nights in For Pay campsites and 1 night in a Bates Motel room to charge up all my batts and do my laundry, etc.  Assuming the campsites come in at $15/night and the Bates Motel room comes in at$60/night these days, that is $90/week or around$360/mo, approximately half my current rent.  If the budget demanded it, I could cut the Bates Motel room to once every second week.  There is a lot of flexibility here with this style of living.

Rent is the NUMERO UNO fixed cost for the Min Wage Worker or an old guy living on Social Security. At Min Wage, Rent in most places is at least 50% of your fixed costs for living. If you can cut your rent down to 1/2 or 1/4 what it costs for a "normal" living arrangement, you can start to save some money.  The main reason I saved money during my trucking years OTR was not because I made so much money, although the income was pretty good prior to 9-11.  The reason was because I had no RENT!  I wasn't paying money to some Scumbag Rentier who owned properties he was renting out to poor people.  I lived basically free in my Freightliner.  Because that was a Bizness, all the fuel was tax deductible too!  In a Van or other rig arrangement not done as a bizness that is not true, but really your fuel costs are not that much right now to do it, maybe $4/day is my estimate, I'll see at the end of the week how much I spent on fuel. Looks like around$30 right now. If/when the fuel costs go up, this price won't be accurate.  If/when the fuel becomes unavailable, the lifestyle won't be possible at all.  But that is not true RIGHT NOW.  So for today, I go OTR one more day, and enjoy a little bit of nature before it is gone at the End of the Age of Oil.

See you next week for Part 4 of Boondocking the Last Great Frontier, and WATCH YOUR MIRRORS!

Title: Re: Boondocking the Last Great Frontier 3
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The early part of Day 3 of Boondocking wasn't a whole heck of a lot different than Days 1 & 2, another early trip to the Alaska Club followed by a trip to the Library to do some reading and surf the Doom-o-sphere on their <strong>FREE Wi-Fi.</strong>  I did dispense with the trip over to Kalahdi Brothers Coffee for one of their expensive Coffee Drinks to save a little money.  I have been spending pretty profligately here over the last couple of days.  I also am planning on spending $15 today on a For Pay campsite, which I really do not have to do but I wanna make some Videos for the<a href="http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/?s=i+spy+doom" target="_blank"> <strong>I Spy Doom</strong>[/url] series and this location is a real good spot for making those vids. </p> <p> <img alt="http://cdn-tp1.mozu.com/17461-27355/cms/27355/files/a5d90bd6-9530-4375-8361-057286acd1c1?max=650&_mzcb=_1498847188140" src="http://cdn-tp1.mozu.com/17461-27355/cms/27355/files/a5d90bd6-9530-4375-8361-057286acd1c1?max=650&_mzcb=_1498847188140" style="height: 240px; width: 300px; float: right;" /> I ate a real big breakfast for me of Sausage, Eggs and Homefries, so I am not at all hungry when the afternoon rolls around and really probably could go the whole rest of the day on just that meal, so the remaining 2/3rds of my Subway Spicy Italian Hoagie remains in the cooler for tomorrow. However, on the drive over to the campground, I go by Matanuska Meats, where not only do they have a fabulous selection of commercially produced meats, they also will prepare any game meat you hunt down as well. They'll do all the sausages and cut up into nice steaks and roasts as well. Of course, you pay a price for that and by the time you add in the cost for the hunting trip, it's going to be quite a bit more expensive than just buying a commercial industrially farmed steak, even an organically raised one. However, you generally can't buy Moose or Caribou off the shelf. Having professionals prepare the meat is far better than doing it yourself, both for the work load involved and the fact they do a far better job and have all the right equipment. </p> <p> There are some <strong>REALLY SUCCULENT</strong> looking Aged T-Bone Steaks in the refrigerated display case, and while I <strong>KNOW</strong> I can't possibly finish one of them, since I am going to a for pay campsite I can do some open fire grilling at, I just <strong>HAVE</strong> to buy one to have for dinner. So I go ahead and spend$13 on one of these gorgeous pieces of meat.  That and buying the campsite was all I spent for the day plus the fixed rent cost of $8.50, so all totalled up this was a$36.50 day.  I swear to myself that tomorrow I will not spend so much money!  However, even spending that much, if I had a job at Starbucks as a Barrista and was making just $10/hour, I could have paid for this day with just 4 hours of work serving up the Frappucinos and Espressos. </p> <p> I arrive at the campsite and drop in at the office to pay for my site and get my parking ticket for the night to drop in my windshield. I'm not Boondocking now, I have paid <strong>RENT</strong> for my little patch of the earth for the next 24 hours! It is<strong> MINE</strong>, to do with as I please, as long as I obey the park rules anyhow. Which overall are not too onerous for me, as I don't throw big parties with lots of loud music and I don't leave garbage all over the place. The only rule which is an issue is <strong>NO ALCOHOL</strong>, so drinking beer in public in view of others is not such a good idea, although many if not most of the campers do it. What fun is it to sit around a campfire and shoot the shit with your friends if you can't enjoy a nice Lager or IPA while you do it? The rule is mostly not enforced, only if you get a real rowdy party going would they probably come down on you for it. Despite that, I stay pretty stealth with this and mostly drink the occassional beer inside SaVANnah where nobody can see me doing this horrible thing. I collect the empty cans inside SaVANnah and will dispose of them tomorrow at some dumpster not on this property. </p> <p> <img alt="http://www.peakwheels.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Specialized-Mountain-Bike-for-Kids.jpg" src="http://www.peakwheels.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Specialized-Mountain-Bike-for-Kids.jpg" style="height: 200px; width: 300px; float: left;" /> Once parked, there is a decent amount of action ongoing with kids from other campsites running around and biking the trails, especially for mid-week. This place is kind of a Paradise for kids, it's quite safe and there are tons of places for them to go exploring and they can even go swim in the river, although you should never let them do that without supervision. Virtually none of the people here with kids are full time Van Dwellers of course, most of them just do it for a week or two at a time over the summer on vacations. Some teachers who have the whole summer off will live the life for the whole 2-3 months though. They go from one park to another, down to Kenai to fish for salmon and so forth. Up here on the Last Great Frontier it gets a good deal more difficult to live this way around September or so when many places shut down, but it's not impossible. In any event, when this time of year rolls around, it's time to drive the Al-Can and head for the Florida Keys! Don't winter in Alaska if you don't have to! Snowbird it! </p> <p> If you do have to winter over in Alaska though, it's certainly possible to do it even in your Stealth Van. Here it depends on your budget mainly in terms of how to do it. </p> <p> <img alt="http://kbelectricpa.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/spaceheater.jpg" src="http://kbelectricpa.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/spaceheater.jpg" style="height: 300px; width: 300px; float: right;" /> As long as you have access to electricity, you can withstand about anything an Alaska winter can throw at you inside a Stealth Van, including temps as low as 30F Below Zero. This because the volume you need to heat is so small and a typical Space Heater will do the job of warming it up in a jiffy! Such space heaters come in at the whopping cost of around$50-100.
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To be getting electricity completely legal though, you're going to have to buy a campsite that stays open through the winter and pay their monthly fee for the worst months of this, Dec-Feb.  Before and after this you can always get away with other forms of heating not requiring electricity.  You could in fact use other forms of heating even in the worst months, but it would be a bit of a pain in the ass.  I certainly have never tried it, but I think I could make it through as long as I had enough kerosene (maybe 15 gallons, according to my friend Van Dweller who has lived this way for 50 years and spent a few of them in Alaska) or enough wood to burn.  So in your Storage Unit, good idea to keep 15 gallons of Kero in there for the winter that comes when the Lights Go Out and nobody has electricity at all.  You will at least get one more winter to watch the <a href="http://sun4living.com" target="_blank"><strong>SUNâ˜¼</strong>[/url] rise before you freeze to death in your Stealth Van.
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The thing about buying one of these campsites that both stays open <strong>AND</strong> provides electricity is you will have to pay around $200/week for it. For this price, I can rent an off-season Cabin rental for the same price! So on my budget, I would simply add in the cost of buying a cabin for Dec-Feb and living in splendor and comfort for those three months while the Winter Winds whistle outside the cabin door and I have the wood burning stove fired up with plenty of Wood Pellets purchased at Home Depot. At least until TSHTF of course. So this does drop$2500 or so onto my yearly rent bill doing this every year.
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Back to present day circumstances however, after picking up the Steak at Matanuska Meats I head over to the campgrounds and set up camp, very Spartan this time as the weather is very good with no chance of rain so even the Big Brolly does not get deployed.  The Outdoor Office and Command Center for the Diner is set up on the Picnic Table inside of 5 minutes, complete with electricity for the day.  Nothing else really needs to be done in terms of setup besides getting ready to <strong>COOK!</strong>
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Now, I am not suited to going out into the woods to collect a bunch of wood for this and split it anymore, so instead I go up to the office and get a pile of firewood for <strong>FREE</strong> sufficient to make a decent Bonfire, which will last for hours to do a lot of heating and cooking tasks.  Normally said pile of wood would cost you around $5, but I know the camp host and for odd shaped pieces he gives them away free. My objective is not to make it huge however, just to make it right for cooking on. This means first getting the fire lit and going, then letting it burn down until you have a pile of hot coals burning about the right temp to cook your steak how you like it. I like mine "Pittsburgh Rare", which means burned on the outside and still Mooing on the inside. </p> <p> Prior to getting the fire going, I do a dry rub on the steak of a few spices I have in the larder, including Garlic Powder, Coriander and McCormick "Old Monterrey" spicing, and sprinkle on some fresh ground pepper and sea salt as well and let it sit and absorb them for an hour before cooking. Once that is done and I have checked for new comments on the Diner, it's time to <span style="color:#FF0000;"><strong>MAKE A FIRE!</strong></span> </p> <p> <img alt="http://media.safebee.com/assets/images/2015/5/beach-bonfire.jpg" src="http://media.safebee.com/assets/images/2015/5/beach-bonfire.jpg" style="height: 200px; width: 300px; float: left;" /> Now, on a lot of Prepper Websites they make a real big deal out of making a fire from primitive means, going down as far as spinning a fire drill between your hands. I never mastered that one. Then there are bow drills, fire pistons and flint and steel too! Or if you have a sunny day you could use a Magnifying Glass. There are any number of ways to make a fire. I don't bog down in this sort of shit. For my forseeable future, I will have the essentials of fire making available, a Bic Lighter and some Lighter Fluid, Kerosene or Gasoline. Amazing how fast you can get a nice Bonfire going with a Bic & Kero! lol. "Tinder? We don't <strong>NEED</strong> no fucking Tinder!" Try not to torch yourself or start a forest fire though when you do it. Lighter Fluid is safer than Kero or Gas, it has a lower vapor pressure and doesn't light up as fast. I will have upcoming <a href="http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/?s=i+spy+doom" target="_blank"><strong>I Spy Doom</strong>[/url] videos on making a fire and outdoor grilling. </p> <p> At the beginning of course when you light it up, this is a <strong>TOTALLY </strong>unsuitable fire for cooking, and grilling in paticular. Way too hot at the grill surface, even for Pittsburgh Rare. You gott wait until the fire burns down some and you get some coals for more even heat distribution. Usually takes about a half hour if the wood is dry. You feed in a little wood at a time until you have the heat hitting the grill around a temp you can't put your hand above it for more than a second or so, and this is about right for fast cooking Pittsburgh Rare. If you like a more medium level and not so blackened on the outside, then either wait a bit or raise your grill surface higher above the the heat. </p> <p> Once you have your cooking heat adjusted, the next issue is the cooking surface. Do <strong>NOT</strong> use the grate provided in a public camground as your cooking surface, and not because it might have Germs on it. Those have all been sterilized by heat, in fact not just sterilized but incinerated. It's because these grates are just grossly too large, and stuff will fall into the fire below, even big ass hamburgers you patty up. If you work with a big enough steak you are pretty safe, but even here I prefer to use an add on like a BBQ basket for the steak. Makes it simple to flip, and EZ cleanup too. </p> <p> <img alt="https://jehingr.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/campfire-hot-dog.jpg" class="shrinkToFit" src="https://jehingr.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/campfire-hot-dog.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 150px; float: right;" /> For open fire grilling in other forms of meat, you don't need to use a grill at all, sometimes big Forks or Spears work better. Hot dogs are done easily on a spear, Bratwurst or Italian Sausage also. You can buy commercial industrially produced ones, or just make one out of a skinny tree branch. </p> <p> All the rest of open fire cooking besides meat should be done with some surface between the food to be cooked and the fire below. I will go over that in a future post or video on outdoor cooking, along with demonstrating the techniques on the <a href="http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/?s=i+spy+doom" target="_blank"><strong>I Spy Doom</strong>[/url] videos that I publish in the middle of the week to supplement this series. </p> <p> Once your cooking and eating tasks are done for the day and you are esconced at a nice campsite, there's not a whole lot to worry about. You're in a <strong>FOR PAY</strong> site and have the <strong>RIGHT</strong> to be there (paid to Da Goobermint), which the little ticket you post in your windshield says. The local Gestapo do <strong>NOT</strong> patrol these places. Actually even the camp host (old retired guys who stay all summer for free and collect parking fees) doesn't patrol them at night, so if you drive in after midnight and leave by around 6AM, you can park it for free. I do this on the up and up though and pay my$15 when I stay overnight.  Once you start paying, this is not true Boondocking of course, but it is Semi-Boondocking as long as the cost for the nightly fee is less than what you would pay to rent a monthly apartment space in the neighborhood.  So if rents in the area are going for say $900/mo, that is$30/day.  If you can buy a campsite for $15/day, you are 50% Boondocking. If you only take such For Pay site every other night, then you are up to 75% Boondocking. For myself going out OTR. I would probably be in the 50% range for Boondocking most of the time. 4 nights in <strong>FREE</strong> spots, 2 nights in For Pay campsites and 1 night in a Bates Motel room to charge up all my batts and do my laundry, etc. Assuming the campsites come in at$15/night and the Bates Motel room comes in at $60/night these days, that is$90/week or around $360/mo, approximately half my current rent. If the budget demanded it, I could cut the Bates Motel room to once every second week. There is a lot of flexibility here with this style of living. </p> <p> <img alt="http://www.overdriveonline.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2013/01/TruckerTim0095-sleeper-sleep.jpg" src="http://www.overdriveonline.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2013/01/TruckerTim0095-sleeper-sleep.jpg" style="height: 266px; width: 400px; float: left;" /> Rent is the <strong>NUMERO UNO</strong> fixed cost for the Min Wage Worker or an old guy living on Social Security. At Min Wage, Rent in most places is at least 50% of your fixed costs for living. If you can cut your rent down to 1/2 or 1/4 what it costs for a "normal" living arrangement, you can start to save some money. The main reason I saved money during my trucking years OTR was not because I made so much money, although the income was pretty good prior to 9-11. The reason was because I had no<strong> RENT!</strong> I wasn't paying money to some Scumbag Rentier who owned properties he was renting out to poor people. I lived basically free in my Freightliner. Because that was a Bizness, all the fuel was tax deductible too! In a Van or other rig arrangement not done as a bizness that is not true, but really your fuel costs are not that much right now to do it, maybe$4/day is my estimate, I'll see at the end of the week how much I spent on fuel.  Looks like around $30 right now. If/when the fuel costs go up, this price won't be accurate. If/when the fuel becomes unavailable, the lifestyle won't be possible at all. But that is not true <strong>RIGHT NOW</strong>. So for today, I go OTR one more day, and enjoy a little bit of nature before it is gone at the End of the Age of Oil. </p> <p> See you next week for Part 4 of Boondocking the Last Great Frontier, and <strong>WATCH YOUR MIRRORS!</strong></p> Sounds like great fun is in store, road tripping around the US! I am surprised at the concern and complexity and supplies required for heating though, if the plan is to follow the seasons, there really shouldn't be any time where it gets too cold, other than emergencies. Caught in a spring snow storm or some such? And even then, that might not be a cold issue, just a mobility issue depending on how well a RWD van goes in the snow (assuming that chains aren't part of the emergency supplies?). My perspective of this comes from backpacking, and in terms of travel no other form makes you quite so sensitive to size and weight of supplies. A van sounds fantastic in terms of the size, scale and variety that can be brought along on a trip, heating and cooling devices, secondary transportation, the ability to set up a near temporary home similar in size to an efficiency apartment in some metropolitan area, the works! As you have mentioned, there are other ways of doing the same type of traveling, and even extending travel to more back country areas, a wonderful way to get clear of spots where normal RVers and your van can go. Cost more, ready made, but far more capable of getting to those places others can't. (https://res.cloudinary.com/outdoorsy/image/upload/a_exif,q_auto,f_auto,w_auto,e_improve,h_600,w_900,c_fill/c_scale,e_overlay,g_south_east,l_outdoorsy-logo,w_150,x_10,y_10/v1480397503/p/rentals/6328/images/t9z4mlqnlofx6icvrele.jpg) Title: Re: Boondocking the Last Great Frontier 3 Post by: RE on July 30, 2017, 04:29:31 PM Sounds like great fun is in store, road tripping around the US! I am surprised at the concern and complexity and supplies required for heating though, if the plan is to follow the seasons, there really shouldn't be any time where it gets too cold, other than emergencies. Caught in a spring snow storm or some such? And even then, that might not be a cold issue, just a mobility issue depending on how well a RWD van goes in the snow (assuming that chains aren't part of the emergency supplies?). My perspective of this comes from backpacking, and in terms of travel no other form makes you quite so sensitive to size and weight of supplies. A van sounds fantastic in terms of the size, scale and variety that can be brought along on a trip, heating and cooling devices, secondary transportation, the ability to set up a near temporary home similar in size to an efficiency apartment in some metropolitan area, the works! As you have mentioned, there are other ways of doing the same type of traveling, and even extending travel to more back country areas, a wonderful way to get clear of spots where normal RVers and your van can go. Cost more, ready made, but far more capable of getting to those places others can't. If I follow the Snowbird Plan, I should never run into snow at all, so 2WD is not a problem. Ideally, I would have liked a 4WD but full size vans haven't been produced in any quantity over the years in 4WD. There are a few out there, but not many. In a smaller Van size, VW makes a 4WD van that is popular amongst the off road crowd. http://www.youtube.com/v/ugzq2dRie5M However, I have no plans to be going that far off road. About as far off road as I get are the dirt roads that are cut through the various campgrounds or the gravel of the Public Access areas. So I shouldn't have any problems with 2WD for my application, although I prefer 4WD vehicles. Both my other vehicles currently working up here are 4WD. If I was younger and in better shape, I would have looked around to find the VW 4WD Van, but it would have been more expensive even if I could find one. All the Heating stuff I am doing more comes from my experience with losing my heat last winter and being prepped for that type of eventuality. Again, facing down extreme cold is not something I hope ever to have to do in SaVANnah. Under normal circumstances if I am in Alaska for the winter, I would just rent an off-season cabin. Still, it is good to know how to do it because even down in Florida and Texas you can get sub-freezing temps in the winter when an Arctic blast moves on down. (http://c.shld.net/rpx/i/s/i/spin/image/spin_prod_833574312?hei=333&wid=333&op_sharpen=1) Actually, the Cooling problem is more difficult to solve in hotter climates, at least if you don't have grid power to plug into. If you have that, you just run a small portable air conditioner, the 8000 BTU size will turn your living box into a refrigerator. Inside a Van, you're only talking about 15'X6'X5' for the cube for 450 cu ft. These units will cool a small bedroom that is 10'X 12'x 8' for 960 cu ft. If you don't have access to grid power, it gets tougher. If nighttime ambient temps don't fall down into the 70s at least, I just can't sleep. So I would always try to stay in a neighborhood where at least at night the temps go down to this range. If they get hotter than that in the midday sun, this is not an issue, you spend that part of the day in some nice air conditioned location like the Library or the Wi-Fi Coffee Shop. Traveling the lower 48, I would have along the portable A/C just in case, and on a particularly hot night I would buy a For Pay campsite that provides the JUICE to run it. In my travels though I would attempt to avoid this scenario as much as possible. I would only travel as far south as the Florida Keys or Baja California in the deepest part of winter, around January or so. Then gradually move north again hitting Seattle around April sometime. Then it's another 2 week trip across the Al-Can to make it back to the Last Great Frontier for the season of comfort here, May-Sep. I'm a Migrating Bird, following the Path of the SUN☼ (http://sun4living.com/) As long as BAU holds up, as long as GAS is available at the pump and as long as my health doesn't deteriorate more than it has, this is all quite doable. 3 BIG "ifs" there of course. lol. Is it "sustainable living"? No, of course it is not. However, for the person TODAY who is living on a low income such as Min Wage Gig Economy jobs or Social Security, it's a great way to live, hang out in nice surroundings like National Parks and put out of your mind that all this is going away. Enjoy it while it is still here. (http://klondikepizza.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Mount-Denali-McKinley-Alaska.jpg) RE Title: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: Building the Geodesic Gazebo Post by: RE on July 30, 2017, 06:27:04 PM I JUST finished making the first video on constructing Geodesics. :icon_sunny: After I get it edited, I will cut out a Teaser Trailer for it to publish here in the forum. The full vid has a lot of vids ahead of it that are in the can already, so won't appear for a month at least. RE Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!: Building the Geodesic Gazebo Post by: RE on July 30, 2017, 08:27:07 PM I JUST finished making the first video on constructing Geodesics. :icon_sunny: After I get it edited, I will cut out a Teaser Trailer for it to publish here in the forum. The full vid has a lot of vids ahead of it that are in the can already, so won't appear for a month at least. RE OK! I just finished the edit on the full vid and the trailer for the series. :icon_sunny: Here's the Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/v/3drG7d55d2c You will get the opportunity to hear my Schizo/Tourette's upstairs neighbor in this vid if you watch it through the full 5 minutes, not to mention the neighbor kids. RE Title: Boondocking the Last Great Frontier 4 Post by: RE on August 06, 2017, 02:22:45 AM Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666 Friend us on Facebook Published on The Doomstead Diner August 6, 2017 Discuss this article at the Doomsteading Table inside the Diner I was going to do all 7 Days of the Last Great Frontier Boondocking Adventure in detail for every day, but I think after 3 days the techniques have been pretty well elucidated. So I will tidy up this series with a recap of the last 4 days of the adventure. Day 4– I determined not to spend ANY money, either on food or a campsite. My choice for this day/night was the Mickey D's which is right across the street from the Wasilla Lake Park. It was another beautiful day on the Last Great Frontier, and I spent most of it in the Park, scarfing up one of the nicer Picnic Tables for my Outdoor Diner Office and Command & Control Center. My food for the afternoon was the last 1/3rd of the Subway Spicy Italian Hero I bought at the beginning of the week. It was a little soggy by this point, you really should try to finish one of these in 2-3 days, not 4. But it still tasted OK and didn't give me Tomane poisoning. The park has a bare bones Toilet with no sink, just the Throne. I used it once during the day. Otherwise, the afternoon was spent surfing doom on the net, arguing on the Diner and writing for the most part. Shooting a few pics as well. One interesting thing was in the middle of the day a Food Truck providing FREE meals for kids showed up. These charitable sources of food are a BIG help if you are Homeless living in a vehicle with a family to feed. You can cut a lot out of your daily food budget on the SNAP Card if you use them. Besides such food trucks, there are also Food Pantries around run by charitable organizations, where usually they give you 1 Food Box a week with size dependent on family size. I volunteered at one of these in my neighborhood for a while, and the Single person food box was more than I could eat in a week by itself, forget using the SNAP Card if I was low enough income to qualify for one of those. Choices of foods are not that great, but neither are the choices in the grocery store either for the most part. If you really wanted to, you could actually hit more than one of these places in a week if you are mobile in a Stealth Van, simply by going to different towns in the area. Don't do that though to scarf up more free food than you really need this way, leave the stuff for other people who need it more than you. If you do supplement your weekly food supply this way, then what you do with your SNAP Card is buy long lasting foods like Rice, Dried Beans and Beef Jerky that store well with no refrigeration and keep them in your Storage Unit for hard times when the Food Pantries are out of Food and the Repugnants in CONgress cut or cancel the SNAP Card program. You should always try to have at least 2-3 months of stored food of some type for temporary disruptions of JIT delivery in your neighborhood. As dusk fell I headed over to the Alaska Club for a quick sauna & steam and exercised my legs on a couple of the machines. Then I drove back to the Mickey D's to park for the night. This McDonalds is 24/7, so there is always somebody parked in the lot and you don't stick out or get noticed unless you do it too often. My storyline if I ever did get my door knocked on by the Gestapo or Mickey D's employees is that I was just tired after a long drive and catching a nap prior to going in for a McMuffin. However, as of yet no knocks on the door. The Mickey D's is great overnight parking because you get FREE Wi-Fi, which you can pick up from the parking lot. You can increase the sensitivity if you get a USB Antenna for Wi-Fi, but I haven't found this necessary as of yet. If you do buy one, they are only around$50.  You also of course can use their bathroom overnight if you get the Call of Nature.  Also great for this are 24/7 Convenience Stores & 24/7 Walmarts.  In Convenience Stores though they tend to notice you if you park in the lot too long because the lots are small, so are not good for overnighting.  Small lots are not good Boondocking locations.  You want to look for a Convenience Store that is next to some kind of strip mall to actually park in for the night.  Also scope out the lot you will park in beforehand to see how many carz stay there overnight, the more the better.

Once parked and on the Wi-Fi, I watched a few Music Videos since I wasn't worried about bandwidth, then hit the bunk for a good night's sleep.  Another day of Boondocking tomorrow.

Day 5–  I got up pretty early around 6AM and went into Mickey Ds to wash my face and wake up some, and then bought an Egg McMuffin for $3, not so much because I was hungry or wanted to eat one of these disgusting pieces of shit, more just as gratitude to the McDonald's Corporation for giving me a place to sleep overnight. I determined to again do another FREE night of parking, this time 1/2 done at the local Hospital/Medical Center and the other half done at a Commuter Parking lot right nearby it. The hospital has great services, it is open all night, super clean bathrooms and FREE Wi-Fi. I could stay there all night, but I don't want to push my luck with the hospital and get noticed. It's too good a parking spot to risk if I don't have to, and I don't. I don't usually sleep more than 3 hours at a stretch anyhow, so moving parking spots in the middle of the night really isn't too much of a pain in the ass. Security DOES patrol these parking lots, and staying under the radar is important for Stealth Boondocking. As opposed to the Hospital, the Commuter Parking lot is as bare bones as you get. No toilets, no picnic tables, no fire ring and you can't even set up your own stuff in the lot. It's just park and sleep for the most part in such a lot. At 2AM though when you arrive, there really isn't much to do anyhow besides sleep, and then you leave by 6AM. If you do get the Call of Nature during this period, you excrete your waste into the bucket inside the Van without getting out. I did not have such a call at this time on this night. Day 6– Leaving the parking lot in the early morning of Day 6, I drove over to another FREE parking spot by the river to make breakfast, again a FREE spot. Same big breakfast as before, 2 large Scrambled Eggs, Breakfast Sausage and Homefries. While consuming this meal and surfing the net over the 4G network, I decide what I will do with the day. One task I haven't yet done is go to the Laundromat to do some wash. I don't really have much wash to do at this point, just some underwear and socks mainly and normally for me when OTR wash day only came every 2 weeks or so. However, this is a task you have to schedule in when you live OTR, so I felt I should do it at least once during the week. The Laundromat I choose is in the same general strip mall parking lot that Kahladi Brothers Coffee and Safeway are in, both of which have FREE Wi-Fi. The laundromat itself also has grid connected electric outlets as well of course, so I can drop a Batt onto one of them for charging while my wash is running. I still do not really need to do this though, I have been driving around enough to keep everything charged up enough off the van alternator. I go to another park to hang out for a while, then go over to Lowe's and Home Depot to do some window shopping for preps scooting around on one of their electric shopping carts for Cripples. I love the hardware stores more than Walmart nowadays for Prep Window shopping. I don't buy anything though, I just make notes on prices in my head for future purchases while the FRNs still work and the shelves are still stocked. I have been on an Austerity Budget for the last day and decide to SPLURGE for dinner, and go over to my favorite Asian Cuisine restaraunt in the neighborhood, ordering a small Miso Soup (cheapest thing on the menu at$3) and a Scallops Batayaki appetizer at $10. I am able to finish the Miso Soup, but only eat half the scallops, the other half go in the cooler for breakfast tomorrow. I reloaded the cooler with new ice from Safeway earlier in the day. For tonight's Boondocking, it's back to the FREE spot by the river and I entertain myself for the evening designing and drawing plans for a Geodesic Gazebo to add living space to SaVANnah for longer stays in bucolic locations OTR like the Grand Canyon or Lolo National Forest, site of my Pi-Fi Collapse Novel, How I Survived Collapse. I make a few posts to the Diner and get back into a long running argument with one of the Diners who lives in the Tropical Rain Forest over whether you should kill or let live Pythons that are crawling about your property. This remains a disputed question. lol. Day 7– This will be my Final Day Boondocking for this trial run. I am going to finish off IN SPLENDOR, buying a For Pay campsite with electricity, water & sewer at a private campground for$40.  This is a HUGE expenditure and totally unnecessary, but I am doing it just to get some pics of how the "other half" of the Van Dwelling community lives, the RICH ones.  This is relative of course, they may not be rich compared to others of their age group, and they are usually Baby Boomers.  They are the ones who own the Big Ass Diesel Pushers that are the size of Tour Buses or monster 5th Wheel arrangements pulled by monster pickup trucks.  Or in some cases, they actually yank around Tiny Homes.  I have seen rigs being pulled by full blown Kenworths and Freightliners. lol.

I am a dwarf in this crowd of behemoths, and I don't need the sewer hookup at all since SaVANnah doesn't have a plumbing system.  The running water also unnecessary, and in this case the electricity unnecessary also since my batts are all topped off.  If I was actually OTR right now, I NEVER would have bought this campsite.  Total waste of money.  However, I will count it in to my expenses for this week anyway.

When you do buy such a campsite, besides all the hookups you do get other ammenties also.  There is a laundromat on site, so I could have used this laundry instead of the one I used the day before.  There are showers also, and down in the lower 48 such places will have Pools also for the kids to swim in, just like any fairly decent Bates Motel.  Ice making machine to fill your cooler too.  So you do get some value back for this expenditure, but for me it's all a waste of money.

I can never see pulling around a rig this size if you don't have at least 4 people in it.  They seriously limit places you can go because of the turning radius to begin with.  They also hit about ZERO on the stealth scale, and they are whopping good targets for thieves.  Why don't you advertize a little bigger how RICH you are?  Not to mention of course the fuel consumption of such a large rig.  The smaller the rig you can get away with for full-time living, the better.

Which brings us round to the BIGGEST controversy this debate engendered on the Diner, which is whether or not you can live the Gypsy lifestyle with KIDS in tow.  Just about everyone agreed it is possible to Van Dwell as a Single Male, and perhaps even as a couple with the gender partner of your choice.  However, opinions were expressed it was IMPOSSIBLE to live this way if you have children, and/or nobody would do it unless absolutely forced to.  Are these postulates true?  IMHO, no they are not true.

First of all, Yachties choose this lifestyle on a reasonably regular basis, just they do it over water rather than over land.  A rig arrangement on land is really just a a land yacht.  If you have a family on a Yacht, you're NOT going to be able to get away with a 30 footer.  You're going to need something in the 45' range.  Similarly, on land you are NOT going to be able to bring kids along with just a Van or Pickup Truck/Camper, you're going to need a Trailer for that.

Increasing the size of your rig increases the cost, but of course raising kids always increases cost.  In this case, it still increases costs less than scaling up in McMansion size as you go along that trail.  It also decreases your ability to do Stealth, if you drop in at Mickey D's in the middle of the night with your 4 year old who needs to use the toilet, the staff will probably notice this and call the local Gestapo.  So you're going to have to stick to the FREE Public Use sites for the most part to stay under the radar.

You do have an advantage when working with a Partner, one of you can leave the Boondocking site and get some Gig Work for the day to cover your costs, which you are keeping rock bottom cheap.  You're living even cheaper than the folks who live in Trailer Parks do at this point.  Which of course means you are even below the level of "Trailer Trash" on the economic scale, and most people find being so identified as a mark of failure in their lives.  But is it really?  Again, IMHO, no it is not.

First of all, you are going to be spending a LOT more time out of doors experiencing the Nature we still have left.  Next, you are tons more FREE & MOBILE, to go wherever there is work you can find to support your lifestyle.  In contrast to living with other relatives, you have more independence and freedom from dealing with them.  You are making so little money that you have no TAXES to pay into the Military-Industrial-Complex. So you are making trade-offs here for sure, but it's not impossible and is just a matter of your priorities and whether you can put together enough money to get into a decent size rig for the number of people you are pulling OTR.

I lived a long time OTR, so this type of living is second nature to me, for most people it is not.  Certainly not impossible though, Gypsies have been doing it for centuries.  On land, today, it's going to require you to have enough MONEY to buy the gas to move the rig down the road from place to place.  This however is not a huge amount of money.  My final costs for the week of Boondocking came to $242. My fuel cost came to$34.  I spent a lot more money than I had to on Premium Campsites, Premium Food and Restaraunts.  Even so, on a wage of just $10/hr, I could have afforded this week working just 25 hours serving up Frappucinos at Starbucks. The cost for having kids along would not have been much greater, since I could get all the food for them for FREE from the SNAP Card and the Food Pantries. All the For Pay campsites would have cost exactly the same. I would just have a larger fuel cost pulling a trailer, perhaps 20-30% more the most depending on the length, weight and type of trailer. So most this brings up the fuel cost is from$34 to maybe \$50/week.

I don't want to try and make the case this form of living is for everyone.  It's not.  You have to have a Nomadic Soul to be happy with it, and you have to be comfortable living in small spaces, although you can creatively increase your living space, which I will be doing on I Spy Doom videos building a Geodesic Gazebo as an Add-On room for SaVANnah when parked for longer periods of Boondocking a given location. You also have to be an unconventional thinker, and not bought into the Matrix Meme of a Double Wide Trailer as your Dream Home.  Most people will buy into this, and become trapped by it.  That is sad, but you cannot help people who are trapped in this mindset.

Next up on the Boondocking Level is the trip down to the Lower 48 for THE TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUNâ˜¼, which I will view from the PATH OF TOTALITY in Idaho in a Rental Stealth Van.  COMING SOON TO A LAPTOP NEAR YOU ON THE DOOMSTEAD DINER.

Title: Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
Post by: luciddreams on August 06, 2017, 12:42:03 PM
I'm not saying that stealth living can't be done with a family.  It can be done.  What I'm saying is that it's not advisable, or a good decision to take kids into such an arrangement.  Just think about the daily lives of children in a boondocking situation!  What are they going to do on a daily basis?  Run around like feral children is what they are going to do, and that because they will drive their parents nuts in close quarters all of the time.  So the parents will be more lenient and let them run around so as to not lose their cussin' minds.

We just kick the kids outside when they are acting nuts.  Kids act nuts about 90% of the time because they have more energy then they know what to do with.  My kids are outside right now making mud pies for our dog with some "secrete ingredient."  I have no idea what that ingredient is, but I don't care either.  However, they are in a fenced in yard where they are relatively safe without me having to concern myself with where they are and what they are doing.  They are on private property.

I don't know, maybe you are correct and it's just conditioned and conventional thinking based on being brought up and living my entire life with these societal parameters?  I'm not going to argue otherwise.  I know people take their children off grids into the wilderness.  Maybe they are doing their children a huge service by doing that.  Maybe tshtf in the next few years and civilization is no longer recognizable, and those homeschooled feral free range children will be better suited for that world.

Maybe they will be better suited for the world no matter how it shakes down.  Our kids are sort of a hybrid between homeschooled and conventional.  They are attending public school but we allow them to play in the mud, start fires in the pit, and generally act like hooligans while outside peeing on the nature.  They also vedge out on Netflix somewhat frequently (our only babysitter is Netflix...at least while in the house).  But they also run around outside within our fence.  They eat box store food, drink corn syrup, and even eat candy from time to time.  But we mostly feed them whole foods prepared into meals.  We are not purist.

Raising kids is composed of a lot of grays and hardly any black and whites.  I guess GM and I are playing it safe with our children.  We get them vaccinated and send them to public school, while at the same time I tell them the truth about the world.  We are counter culture living pretty conventional lives.  I guess that makes us hypocrites to some.  We moved in with family to play permaculture and bamboo.  To be self employed and try to find a way that doesn't revolve around money.  The pressure to do the best that we can for our children has won out in the end.

It's extremely diffi