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Old 04-23-2010, 01:44 PM   #586
CodeMonkee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannda
And many of our poor have cars (with gas at $2.899/gal), big screen TVs, cable and can afford beer and cigarettes (at $4.50/pack).
But I fear we're taking this off on a tangent (yes, I'm as guilty as anyone).
There are people in the USA who could be characterized as living in true poverty - maybe even akin to that of some third world countries, but the line we draw between poverty and an acceptable level of living standards is much higher than in third world countries.

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But the argument made by others above, that many of us wouldn't want to live the life of the indigent locals in some other countries, seems valid. I would think that the entire reason for going out of the country as an expat would be so that one could afford to live like they do here in the states at a much lower cost of living by doing it somewhere else.
I think the argument could be made that living at the same standard or close to it, at least as far as some amenities (housing, etc.) could be less expensive in some foreign countries, especially some third world countries, but how much cheaper? And what are you giving up? Will the crime rate be higher? Will the health care for emergencies be of a lower standard? All of these things need to be considered.

When I looked into this, one place I looked at was Belize, and it didn't seem like anyplace was that much less expensive (if I wanted something close to what I lived in now) and the downsides were too much.

I don't live high on the hog - I rent a cheap poorly insulated half of a duplex with a car port that floods whenever it rains heavily (which it often does here) with loud neighbors and when I first got here were even had some drive by shootings. So I am not asking for a luxury rancho someplace.

That said, I have noticed that New Zealand was a place I wanted to check out. The cost of living is relatively low, and even today the exchange rate is favorable; 1.4NZD:1USD (although not as good as it was at one time). It is certainly a tourist friendly country, low crime, low population, nice roads for riding. The two downsides are:

a) It costs a bit to get there - about $1K for a round trip ticket. That doesn't include the cost of getting a bike shipped there and back which can be rather expensive.
b) A tourist visa is only 3 months. Longer than that and you have to show that you can financially support yourself while you are there.
c) It isn't Tahiti or Jamaica - it can get cold in some areas even in the summer.

Still, it is on my short list.
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Old 04-23-2010, 02:26 PM   #587
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Originally Posted by CodeMonkee
That said, I have noticed that New Zealand was a place I wanted to check out. The cost of living is relatively low, and even today the exchange rate is favorable; 1.4NZD:1USD (although not as good as it was at one time). It is certainly a tourist friendly country, low crime, low population, nice roads for riding. The two downsides are:

a) It costs a bit to get there - about $1K for a round trip ticket. That doesn't include the cost of getting a bike shipped there and back which can be rather expensive.
b) A tourist visa is only 3 months. Longer than that and you have to show that you can financially support yourself while you are there.
c) It isn't Tahiti or Jamaica - it can get cold in some areas even in the summer.

Still, it is on my short list.

You might want to look into their criteria for permanent residency. As I recall there are occupational restrictions and perhaps age restrictions. Long story short, I'm of the opinion that not every Norte Americano can get a residency permit for New Zealand.
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Old 04-23-2010, 02:42 PM   #588
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You might want to look into their criteria for permanent residency. As I recall there are occupational restrictions and perhaps age restrictions. Long story short, I'm of the opinion that not every Norte Americano can get a residency permit for New Zealand.
I did at one time look into it. Basically you either have to have money (I think at the time I looked it was something like $100K USD) or have a confirmed job with an employer there willing and able to sponsor you or have confirmed income that could support you there (once I am old enough for SSI I think that would be enough - especially if I still have my 401K cash).

I don't think that is what I desire though. I would want to be there during our winter and their summer, for at least three months. I think if you can show that you have the cash/income to last for the duration and a round trip ticket you could probably get one of the 9 month visas or an extension. But maybe 3 months would be enough.
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Old 04-23-2010, 02:50 PM   #589
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Originally Posted by Hannda
When I was in Nicaragua about a year ago they told us that the average monthly income was $250 USD.

I'm not saying you're wrong as I don't know, I'm only telling you what our tour guide told us.
Well I have never been known for my accurate statistics but I have been known to be to lazy to look it up.
I do remember getting hotel rooms for $3-$4USD though that weren't that bad,

It is poor.. when I was down there a few years ago people were complaining because they said the government claimed unemployment was at 70% and they said it was more like 90%.
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Old 04-23-2010, 03:20 PM   #590
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I just did a quick Google search and this came up.
http://www.cepadusa.org/html/nicaragua.html

"From the early 1990s until the fall of 2001, Nicaragua was considered the second-poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, after Haiti. According to the World Bank, as cited by USAID, Nicaragua is now the poorest, with an average per capita annual income of $430. The UN’s World Food Program estimates the per capita income lower still, at $300. Half the population lives on less than a dollar a day."

I can live pretty cheap here in the US. I've been to many countries, some for extended times and only a few could lure me away and none permanently.
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Old 04-27-2010, 09:56 AM   #591
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*Where* we wind up aside, I am still interested in building a truck to live out of while hauling a bike along to ride when I get somewhere interesting (I am leaning more towards riding trails than pavement). Ideally I want a vehicle that is smallish to get into the areas I am interested in without all the hassles that go with a large RV and/or a trailer. I was thinking a full sized pickup with a custom 'service body' like this but custom built onto a flat bed 4x4:



I was thinking that on one side I would have a kind of slide in tray where the tray would come out of the body, I would put the bike on the tray, lock the bike to the tray with this:



Take off the handlebars to make the bike narrower, then load the bike into a 'slot' in the body for transport or safe keeping. Granted, that is a bit of hassle (to take off the bars), but not that much, and it would conserve a lot of space in the body. Then for the remaining portion of the body I would have a raised bed using a combination of these:



With some accessible from the rear and some from the side (towards the front).

Then a foldable bed like a futon mattress would lay down across the tops of the tool boxes at about the height of a regular service body (without the canopy).

Still thinking about how to do it and what goes where, but I think that is a good start.

Naturally, there is no toilet or shower - no room for that. I'll have to come up with something external.
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:07 AM   #592
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With a vehicle that small, I'd really hate to have a separate cab/box. Wastes a LOT of space. If you're set on using a truck chassis, I don't think you could do much better than a slide-in camper. The market for RV's is terrible right now, and you could get into something a lot nicer than what you're proposing (no toilet, etc.) for about what you might spend on a new/used service body. If you're dead-set on building something, I'd suggest looking for a sprinter van. If that's not in the budget, I'd probably still rather build on a regular old van (as opposed to a pickup). You might also consider making it a side-entry setup, so you could build a little enclosed storage box on the back to haul your bike.
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:26 AM   #593
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Yeah a van would be a better choice than a truck for a dedicated "living on the CHEAP" vehicle.

No reason why you couldn't use a porta potty in a truck or make a quickly deployable hot shower system for your service body truck.


The main problem is the weight of all the metal storage cabinets and service body are going to kill 4x4 ability and economy. I'd just get a pop up truck camper and try to keep the total additional weight under 2000 lbs including bike.
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:32 AM   #594
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To men, the biggest thing would be having a place to sit/stand upright. Even if you think you're only going to sleep in there, think about how much time you're really going to spend inside something like that. I wouldn't want to do it in a camper shell, let alone on top of tool boxes.

Another thing to consider, is that in many states, a functioning toilet (even a porta-potty) is the main requirement to register a vehicle as a motorhome.
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Old 04-27-2010, 11:55 AM   #595
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CodeMonkee

snip

I was thinking that on one side I would have a kind of slide in tray where the tray would come out of the body, I would put the bike on the tray, lock the bike to the tray with this:

snip

vertically yes ? ?, the bike

if so i could see the end door hinged to where it drops and doubles as a ramp

horizontally ! !
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:12 PM   #596
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Originally Posted by RiverRat
Yeah a van would be a better choice than a truck for a dedicated "living on the CHEAP" vehicle.
The problem with most vans is that they are not AWD, and most that are do not do well off-pavement, and the ones that do well off-pavement are expensive and/or rare.

I can pick up a Dodge diesel 4x4 for under $10K. Try that with a van that is as capable from the factory.


Quote:
The main problem is the weight of all the metal storage cabinets and service body are going to kill 4x4 ability and economy. I'd just get a pop up truck camper and try to keep the total additional weight under 2000 lbs including bike.
I intend to go with an aluminum body rather than steel - more expensive than the steel service bodies, but lighter. Not all of it will be storage - the one side will be for the bike with possibly the inside of that area being an aluminum frame with some kind of composite material for skin, the other side maybe the same - but the outer skin of the body would be aluminum. Unlike a standard service body the interior skin of those compartments doesn't have to be metal because I won't be using it the way a service body would be with throwing tools in the back and such.

Right now I am just thinking this through - I am keeping my eyes open for a '98 or earlier Dodge diesel 4x4 with std. cab and manual transmission, which seems to be rare (there are a few std. cab trucks, but they generally have an auto trans.).
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:45 PM   #597
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Originally Posted by jesusgatos
With a vehicle that small, I'd really hate to have a separate cab/box. Wastes a LOT of space. If you're set on using a truck chassis, I don't think you could do much better than a slide-in camper. The market for RV's is terrible right now, and you could get into something a lot nicer than what you're proposing (no toilet, etc.) for about what you might spend on a new/used service body. If you're dead-set on building something, I'd suggest looking for a sprinter van. If that's not in the budget, I'd probably still rather build on a regular old van (as opposed to a pickup). You might also consider making it a side-entry setup, so you could build a little enclosed storage box on the back to haul your bike.
I want it to look like a service truck instead of an RV conversion - a bit more stealthy and less likely to have a $10K to $20K motorcycle inside.

I am thinking a flatbed chassis so the service body can be taken off and left somewhere and still be used. The flatbed can then be used for hauling things or even towing.

Yes, the pickup cab is wasteful of space, but I haven't really seen alternatives that work as well as these pickups do off-road/pavement, that can haul the weight, that aren't rare and/or expensive.

Something like a Sprinter makes better use of space but would suck in certain off-road/pavement situations. The Sprinter AWD conversions I have seen are aftermarket (albeit I think they use factory parts) and expensive/rare. I have thought about them though as they do have much more room and are more efficient about their use of the cargo area.

They are more expensive, but that would be at least partially, possibly completely, offset by the cost of having a custom service body made.

I will have to think about it though as a Sprinter would probably not work well in the snow (I want to get a snowbike conversion). If I restricted myself to where I drove it, i.e., mostly pavement and mild off-pavement with plenty of room for turning around, then it might work. A person does well to remember the primary purpose of any equipment (in this case most of the use *would* be on pavement and living in it) and be willing to possibly compromise on the extreme cases. For example, my Hussy is not that good on pavement with the knobby tires, but it does very well off-road and I am more than willing to accept that. Maybe I would be willing to live with the limitations of a Sprinter to have its larger more efficient cargo space.
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:48 PM   #598
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesusgatos
The market for RV's is terrible right now, and you could get into something a lot nicer than what you're proposing (no toilet, etc.) for about what you might spend on a new/used service body.
what he said: http://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/rvs/1684723810.html
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:56 PM   #599
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Originally Posted by rthuey
vertically yes ? ?, the bike

if so i could see the end door hinged to where it drops and doubles as a ramp

horizontally ! !
The bike would be loaded/unloaded from the rear of the truck. From the side you would need some kind of hydraulic lift or something - expensive, probably heavy and large.
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:57 PM   #600
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CodeMonkee
The problem with most vans is that they are not AWD, and most that are do not do well off-pavement, and the ones that do well off-pavement are expensive and/or rare.
our van is a 2wd ford e150 cargo van with 231k miles on it. still runs like new, doesn't burn or leak any oil. i've had it in places that i wouldn't believe it would go had i not driven it there myself. it has heavy duty suspension, which makes it sit quite high. for example, i can easily roll under it to change the oil without jacking it up. i certainly could live in it if i had to do so, but i'd rather not because it's a giant sardine can in need of a lot of work to make it comfy. far easier & simpler to just buy a good, used class-c & be done with it.

just ask jkam, he'll show you how it's done.
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