A Quest for Freedom – Part I
By Joseph Parish
It has been considerable time since I last wrote any new articles or posted to my web site and the primary reason behind this is that I am in the process of becoming a more mobile survivalist. My family and I have finally taken the plunge and stowed all our belongings in four 10 x 15 storage units and moved physically into our travel trailer. This interchange was not conducted without adequate consideration of how these various actions would affect my family and all members inputs were taken into consideration prior to finalizing the decision. In the end we all agreed that it was the best course of action for us to take. Moving from our rental home immediately netted us an additional $1000 dollars per month. Add to that $600 monthly for the wintertime fuel for heating and the raising cost of electricity and we are quickly realizing a vast amount of savings. Our primary objective in this venture is to accumulate sufficient funds to enable us to purchase some acreage.
Anyone who may be evaluating the possibility of duplicating our move should consider several important aspects prior to making any firm commitments. As a survivalist I feel that we will have to sooner or later take the plunge from a fixed society to one with more flexible mobility. There are currently many people residing in the heart of our complex society who would leap at the opportunity to simplify their complicated lives. I feel that this is one method that can work successfully to accomplish this end.
To be a mobile member of our society you would need to eliminate much of the excess baggage and property that binds us to our fixed location. It is not a simple task to sell off those extra items of which we have taken years to accumulate, but are no longer used in our daily lives. We must adjust our attitudes to begin living in a more Spartan like fashion and in a less extravagance style.
Each person should begin this venture by taking a serious inventory of their life. It is entirely up to you to decide what items you can live without and what things you consider essential for proper survival. Since we as humans are usually accompanied with all sorts of excess baggage our move to a travel trailer will require shedding much of this burden.
As we have recently done, you may consider renting space in a mini-storage unit for some of your prized possessions that you find difficulty in parting with. We had to place all our items temporarily in storage until we can review and dispose of them. Generally, storage units can start as low in price as $50 to $60 monthly according to the size that you desire. There is really no need to part with those items that have a huge sentimental value to you. You merely have to store them.
Your next task will be to select the travel trailer that is right for you and your family. You may as well know right here and now that most travel trailers are simply not going to provide you with the comfort that you are used to in a full size home. Storage space is at a minimum in them and people comforts are usually the bare necessities. More then two or three people can become a bit unbearable when living in a travel trailer. Keep that point clearly in mind when selecting the size unit your family will need. Prices vary greatly and as our civilization quickly moves from a fixed to a mobile society, I foresee the prices rising drastically. The cost of your camper will reflect not only the size you have chosen, but also any amenities that you may add to it. Be sure to check out the used selections as well but make certain you purchase one from a reliable source that specializes in campers and RV’s and offers some sort of guarantee that everything works as it should.
We selected a used 28 foot unit with a fold out section for the living room area. It was a basic unit with a bedroom in the front and bunk beds in the rear. It had a toilet area complete with a bath tub and shower. The travel trailer has central heat controlled by a thermostat and a larger refrigerator then usually found in the smaller campers. For cooking we have a stove and oven, as well as a built in microwave.
Since my grandson does not care to use the bunk bed section and prefers the more comfortable sofa we have converted the bunk bed section for use as storage.
This unit has dual propane tanks but I only have one turned on at a time. By doing this I am assured that I will know when I run out of fuel in one tank. I merely go outside and turn the empty tank off then turn the full one on. I can then get the spare tank filled for when I run out again. It currently costs me about $14 dollars to fill a 20 pound tank. This tank will last me for a week if I am using the heater, longer if not. $56 dollars per month for gas in the wintertime is not bad at all.
You may wish to consider some additional bedding for the cots as the mattresses which come with the campers are usually of poor quality and could stand a bit of upgrading. I previously had gone out and purchased several 12 volt appliances such as a coffee pot, pizza oven, etc. These items may be fine for an occasional trip in a custom van but I would highly recommend 110 volt home units for your everyday camper use.
We have converted to using as much dried foods as we can find. This is due to limited work area in the kitchen section. There are several changes that we have been considering for the camper in the near future. These modifications include converting closet from hanging clothes poles to storage shelves. A built in spice rack is to be constructed in a wasted space area and a complete unit water filter will be installed.
As an internet family we could not get by without access to the web so we invested in what is called a “data card”. This is actually a USB wireless modem put out by Verizon Telephone Company. The program allows 5 gigabyte transfer per month and we have noticed that we generally go through 1 gig per week. Keep in mind that I home school my grandson and he does a lot of his school work over the internet. This program appears to be sufficient for our needs. We are currently using a prepaid cell phone as our telephone, but with only 300 anytime minutes and 1000 nights and weekends we are finding it to be rather restrictive. This phone service may be changed in the near future.
This concludes this installment but we will continue with our train of thought on the next episode as our quest for freedom continues.
Copyright @2009 Joseph Parish
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