Mudcat Café message #1437746 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #79385   Message #1437746
Posted By: GUEST,CarolC
18-Mar-05 - 12:52 PM
Thread Name: Static Caravan, Anyone live in one?
Subject: RE: Static Caravan, Anyone live in one?
We've been doing it for almost two years while waiting for immigration issues to be sorted out (we don't know where we want to settle down yet, but we can't leave this area until these issues are resolved).

It's actually not a bad way to live (I can think of plenty of worse ways). We own everything outright (no payments to the bank), so our monthly living expenses are quite low. We have a shed on the site where our stuff is parked for extra storage, as well as serving as an office/art studio for me. We've resolved the problem of storage in the trailer to some extent by using inexpensve and lightweight plastic drawer units that we picked up at Walmart. We put them on top of some of the existing cabinetry and also on the couch. We never use the couch anyway.

We were very fortunate in finding a mobile home park with big lots (and fences around each lot), so the noise issue isn't anywhere near as bad as it would be if the trailers were packed in more tightly. Also mobile homes are probably somewhat more sound proof than our trailer, so even if our sound travels outside our wee hoose, the other people probably can't hear us inside of their mobile homes.

Condensation can be a problem, but we've resigned ourselves to the idea that there are parts of the trailer that will be wet from time to time and we try to avoid letting anything absorbant touch those parts. And we have to clean mildew off of stuff from time to time.

You can winterize your trailer to some extent by putting rigid insulaton as skirting around the underneath of your trailer area. We saw some people doing this in Michigan (very cold winters), just before we left there for the sunny south (US). When the temperature is going to go more than a couple of degrees below freezing at night, we turn the water off at the source outside the trailer and just use the water in the freshwater tank (which is heated) until the temperature gets up to just above freezing. If you can't do this, you can winterize using heat tape on your outside water line. But we have pretty mild winters here overall, so we only had to turn off the water maybe ten or fifteen times this winter, and we used no heat tape at all.

You do have to re-think how you use space and how you approach storage issues, but with practice you can get pretty good at it. After that, it just starts to feel like the normal way to do things and you don't think about it so much. Another plus is that if the electric goes out (as it did for a few days shortly after we moved in to our trailer), we can still have lights, refrigeration, and heat. The lights run off of a battery that can be charged up using our van or with a generator, and the refrigerator can be run using LP gas (along with the stove and the furnace).

I am looking forward to the time when we aren't living in the trailer, but for me it's mostly because I really need more space for the kinds of work that I do. Right now my abilty to work on some projects is very weather related. Some things I need to do outside where I have a much bigger work surface than what I am able to have either in the trailer or the shed. And it's a much bigger challenge finding room to play my accordion with the trailer. And because it's necessary to be much more careful about how we do things, stuff that normally is simple and quick to do tends to be more complicated and time consuming for us.

On the plus side, I feel so much closer to nature than I ever have living in a house or an apartment. On warm days, I leave the shed door open and I can hear all of the birds and crickets, and watch the squirrel watching me. I'm definitely glad I had this experience.