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Old 02-18-2013, 11:53 AM   #16
PirateJohn OP
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Originally Posted by cab591 View Post
Facebook group seems like a good idea. I'd love to contribute. Depending on work, I'll either still be in Arizona (Phoenix-area, or possibly up in Flagstaff), or up in Colorado in the next couple years. The possibility of a move has me put off from buying land just yet.

I'm thinking the best route would be to set up an LLC. Run it like a "members only" RV park. Charge dues that cover maintenance / utilities. Offer commercial-grade towing for larger units. A couple concrete pads with hookups, and a good sized communal barn/garage for parts and tool storage.

And, I've got hookups for metal roofing, and pre-manufactured metal buildings.

Sounds good!

I have some ideas as to how folks can make some $$$. Some entrepreneurial things and this location is on the edge of the Eagle Ford Shale field so that will help folks with appropriate job skills.

And I said this in a discussion somewhere - I have no heirs (knocking on wood) and don't want to spend my entire life to getting this off the ground. I want to ride my motorcycles a good chunk of the year, probably get a Jeep and explore when my riding days are done, and am thinking that would be the lifestyle that most of us would want.

Is there anyone adamantly opposed to FB that is seriously interested? Because it no one objects I'll probably set up a FB group later today or tomorrow.

I think I have matched the location on Google Earth to the realtor's map. It looks like there are trees (not a small consideration in the Texas desert) and most of the available lots are anywhere from a few hundred feet to 3/4 of a mile down what appear to be dirt roads. Around here those roads can vary greatly in quality but it's no place to bring your new Mercedes unless you plan to take it through the car wash.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:41 PM   #17
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I've had semi-serious thoughts of setting up a compound for (mobile) tiny home dwellers. One barrier to entry to the mobile tiny home lifestyle is the expense of a truck capable of towing the home, which only gets used a few times a year. I think the option of "hiring out" the transpo would have some appeal.
I would think that if you're far enough out, nobody would really care what you put up. As long as they can't see it, and it doesn't cause problems, it's fine.

Another big problem might be utilities. You'd probably need 30-40A service for each pad. Separate meters, and everybody pays their own bills? Figure out how to meter each pad privately, and settle up in cash?

Septic will be an issue, too. Those that do composting toilets would need to keep them tidy, and you'd have to figure out disposal. Or, if not, you'd have to put in a septic system that's capable of handling all the units.

Before you know it, this compound costs some real money.


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Old 02-18-2013, 01:50 PM   #18
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I would think that if you're far enough out, nobody would really care what you put up. As long as they can't see it, and it doesn't cause problems, it's fine.

Another big problem might be utilities. You'd probably need 30-40A service for each pad. Separate meters, and everybody pays their own bills? Figure out how to meter each pad privately, and settle up in cash?

Septic will be an issue, too. Those that do composting toilets would need to keep them tidy, and you'd have to figure out disposal. Or, if not, you'd have to put in a septic system that's capable of handling all the units.

Before you know it, this compound costs some real money.



That's like people buying property in Big Bend. The prices are very attractive until you discover that it's impractical or impossible to get electricity at any price.

Also, in rural Texas water is a real issue, and right now there is a multi-year drought in many places. I know otherwise civil people who talk about showering once a week. The old girl's whose place that I am staying at has a creek behind her place but she captures water and stores it in big plastic tanks (common out here) when the creek it dry. She has designed her own pump system and series of valves and is understandably fond of it.

But with all of that said there are some work arounds.

I have been working in the oil patches, using diesel generators and big portable water tanks. And a big poo tank on a trailer. It's been a good learning experience to say the least.

With all of that said the property that I hope to see tomorrow is supposed to have electricity and I suspect that water is pretty close because it's really not that far out of town. There seem to be some businesses relatively close by.

Border life is pretty wide open. If we can't get what we want near The Big Town there is another town about 20 miles away that may not even be on a paved road and probably doesn't have more than a half dozen people in town that speak English. My suspicions are that the building inspector has been there for some time.

Seriously, looking into modular dwellings vs. park model trailers vs. other RVs it's pretty obvious that the rules get stretched in a lot of places. I want to keep things on the up and up but what the heck - everything will be portable.
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:21 PM   #19
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I have spent lots of time on boats and in third world countries. There are always workarounds if the zoning allows it. I spent many fine years in the Bahamas as a 12v man and collecting rainwater. We also saw some of this when riding through S. Africa last year. Usually the poop is the hardest thing to get figured out.
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:35 PM   #20
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Set up a Facebook page to discuss the specifics of the border-area project. I think that you can find it at https://www.facebook.com/TheOldPirat...RetirementHome
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:46 PM   #21
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[QUOTE=PirateJohn;20753077]The 55 thing seems to be a zoning issue in parts of Texas. No one seems to want a trailer park, but they are more tolerant of retirement communities. /.//QUOTE]55+ communities don't need new schools or usually put any kids in existing schools.
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:37 PM   #22
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[QUOTE=garandman;20754819]
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The 55 thing seems to be a zoning issue in parts of Texas. No one seems to want a trailer park, but they are more tolerant of retirement communities. /.//QUOTE]55+ communities don't need new schools or usually put any kids in existing schools.
Move down to a border town and start a new family en Mexico!

(A joke. Not something that I would actually suggest, although I know a few guys that have done it.)


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Old 02-18-2013, 06:45 PM   #23
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I have spent lots of time on boats and in third world countries. There are always workarounds if the zoning allows it. I spent many fine years in the Bahamas as a 12v man and collecting rainwater. We also saw some of this when riding through S. Africa last year. Usually the poop is the hardest thing to get figured out.
12Volt Man. A great Buffett song. Wish we could find that guy and recruit him. In many ways he had the right attitude.


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Old 02-18-2013, 06:49 PM   #24
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Discussion on developing a rider friendly RV community near the Texas border. Feel free to join if interested.


Set up a Facebook page to discuss the specifics of the border-area project. I think that you can find it at https://www.facebook.com/TheOldPirat...RetirementHome

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Old 02-18-2013, 08:29 PM   #25
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I have two concerns about a retirement community on the Texas border
1. Crime. I have a beat the fuck out of them and throw them across the border attitude, but with all the damage I've done to myself that's just about all it is anymore. Close to the border. Nope
2. Texas. Never left anything there I feel any real burning desire to go back and get. To fucking hot in the summer, and who the hell wants to punish themselves by retiring to someplace that has the extra added bonus of Hurricanes and Tornadoes?
Y'know ... I actually like your attitude ;)

Crime. A major part of my concept is that tools and bikes and property in storage are secure. The border is different from what the media, either left or right would have you believe.

Climate. I have lived in the hurricane belt. Lost a sailboat in Wilmington, NC to a hurricane. This place is topical and inland, yet my concept calls for folks (like me!) to ideally have the opportunity to travel to coastal climates. Yet, at the same time to keep your property where we hope the hurricanes and tornados don't hit.

No guarantees Amigo. But I too want to travel and wander, so I can relate to your concerns.


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Old 02-19-2013, 07:26 AM   #26
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Unless I'm totally missing something (wouldn't be the first time...), the economics of living in an RV park aren't making sense to me. Google suggests that it costs between $30-$70/night, or $300-$500 plus electricity, to park there, plus you have the cost of the RV itself, the fuel to move it, the need for a tow vehicle to drive around while the RV is parked...

Compared to just going somewhere and staying in a basic one bedroom apartment, what are you gaining from that kind of semi-stationary RV living? I've only been in a few RV parks and none of them seemed that great to me, but then again I'm half the age of your typical RV person, too.

I love the tiny houses as design exercises, and could totally live in a place like that cute French place that got featured a few pages back. I get small places -- it's the overlap with RV living that has me scratching my head right now.
A tiny house is an RV, and for me RVing means that I have my clothing, tools, pets, and so forth already packed and ready to go.

So it's not totally about economics although my idea is to keep the costs down in order to make traveling affordable to more people.


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Old 02-19-2013, 09:05 AM   #27
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Packing and moving. There are two things you're missing. Unless everything you own fits in your car, you have to pack and move every time you change location instead of unplugging and driving.

For me, when I was full-timing it, was was traveling for work and had a good per diem. (maximum allowed as a matter of fact). I could make my motorhome payment, pay park fees and buy food and gas for 2/3rds of what staying in a hotel and eating in restaurants cost and bank the rest. And I never had to pack a suitcase for deal with TSA.
Agreed.

The Tiny House/RV thing hits different points for different people.

Some seek a lower cost, minimalistic lifestyle.

Some want to go off the grid.

I want to be mobile and take my home, pets, tools, and bikes with me and to travel and explore an area, then pack up and move on to another area. Ideally move every year or two. Cost isn't my major concern although the more money saved equates to more money for motorcycles, farkles, and good food and beer :)

The OP was asking about RVing and this is really a Tiny House thread so I'm going to try to sorta get back to that perspective. The original Tiny Houses were built to park model RV standards although as I have looked into this I have discovered that more and more are being built to modular home standards.

I don't quite get the novelty of a 160 sq ft. Tiny House either. But a 400 sq. ft. living space, couple with a 320 sq. ft. workshop trailer, makes perfect sense to me. Throw in architecturally interesting and that's a bonus.

Also, there is a trade off between having a toy hauler type trailer (several active threads on that subject) that is light weight and mobile vs. having a larger living and working space that loses mobility but gains comfort.

There really isn't anything currently on the market that meets my needs and to have something custom made would be tons of cubic money, so the do it yourself aspect of the Tiny House movement also appeals to me personally.

But RVing in general? You are ideally always packed and prepared. Nothing more annoying that trailering your bike across country only to find out that you forgot your helmet, gloves, boots, etc. When we were bicycle racing you could always count on someone forgetting their cycling shoes, and that sort of thing sucks.


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Old 02-19-2013, 12:05 PM   #28
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Y'know ... I actually like your attitude ;)

Crime. A major part of my concept is that tools and bikes and property in storage are secure. The border is different from what the media, either left or right would have you believe.

Climate. I have lived in the hurricane belt. Lost a sailboat in Wilmington, NC to a hurricane. This place is topical and inland, yet my concept calls for folks (like me!) to ideally have the opportunity to travel to coastal climates. Yet, at the same time to keep your property where we hope the hurricanes and tornados don't hit.

No guarantees Amigo. But I too want to travel and wander, so I can relate to your concerns.


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The BORDER is indeed different than the media hype would have you believe. We spend the entire winter in our RV in the Big Bend area of Texas. We NEVER lock anything up. We have never had a problem or had anything taken. We spend a lot of time right on the Rio Grande and in remote parts along the border and even run into Mexican farmers crossing the river to retrieve their wayward cattle before the border patrol can round them up and confiscate them. We smile, wave and say "hola". By contrast, I cannot leave my truck unlocked in thre driveway in Santa Fe without having someone go through it at night. Leaving a window open when you leave the house is another invitation to get robbed.

And as for Texas. I love Texas and I love the people of Texas. They don't come any better.

I like your idea for an ADV RV park John.
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:48 AM   #29
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say WHAT?
Oh, just picking a state at random. There used to be some nitwits from South Carolina and other inland states that thought they had all the answers to border and immigration issues when it was obvious they had never been down in this part of the country.

Keeping the topic back on RVing the area around McAllen and Brownsville must have several hundred RV parks and they attract the "Winter Texans" who flee the ice and snow Up North every year.

Where I am at today around Eagle Pass not so much - as far as I know there are no commercial RV parks here and that seems like a shame. My quick trip into Piedras Negras last night indicates that this is one of the cleanest Mexican towns that I have ever been in, or at least the entry after crossing Bridge #1 was certainly nice. I found an excellent motel near the border, a very nice bar pretty well geared for gringo tourists, etc. I will be back here.

45 miles from here is Carrizo Springs, which is one of the major centers of the oil boom out here. If you don't have an RV of some sort you are going to find it hard to get a place to live. But the RV parks there are bloody expensive; you pay as much there in a week as you do in a month in the rest of South Texas.


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Old 02-21-2013, 12:17 PM   #30
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Just FYI for folks following this I returned from looking at properties yesterday. Not holding my breath on any of this, but the leading candidate seems to be a lease on a property where the owner wants to develop a commercial RV park. If I send him a modest amount of money and give him some as yet unspecified help on getting the park up and running, he is willing to dedicate some space for me and a handful of friends.

Darned near too good to be true. And in a state where land fraud and deception is practically a sport.

Anyway, if I can pull this off the going rate for fellow riders would be somewhere between free and maybe $150 a month because I don't think that the owner realizes how much electricity is.

This would be about 3-4 miles from the border so it would be a logical gateway for folks riding into Mexico.

Also, part of this is that I am looking for a space large enough and secure enough that I can start construction on a park model trailer, although if I have to go this totally alone it will probably be a few years before I can get that going because I need to replace my tools, build a shelter, etc, etc. first.

Stay tuned.



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