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Discussion Starter #1
Yeah I need a life that is harmonious & conducive to my introverted independent self sufficient Solitary ways that keep me as far & detached from people; the Rat Race System; Civilization in general; as possible; embrace my Natural Pantheistic Philosophy & Lifestyle.
Prior I did all of the 'normal' and 'unnormal' stuff - grew up in foster homes; been taking care of me since about 14; high school & menial jobs, military service - wars & combat, single/married/divorced/single, offspring, degrees, professional licensure, self employed, built life; built business, built my own house on lotsa land; mortgage/debt/ made more $$$ than I ever dreamed; beautiful women, big city/ wilderness; materialism: sports cars, boats, life in the fast lane, life in the slow lane, blah blah blah...........
Boil away all the bullshit and I've never been a high maintenance type of person tho and as I've gotten older have just wanted to get back to the basics like when I was a teen; I'm not talking 'Life In The Past Lane' tho; just living free, independent, at peace, no parasites; Solitary & content.........Vagabond, Wanderrer; no baggage; off the grid out of sight & out of mind.


So about 6 years back this is what I did:
Sold all of my property, house, most all of my materialistic stuff: boats, cars, atv's etc. furniture all of it. Sold or gave it away. I kept my 1997 3/4 ton GMC Suburban cause I enjoy my profession & kept a few clients plus I bought a 30 foot RV Trailer to live out of; and I need that Suburban to tow it. So 'The Burb' & 'The Box' (as I refer to the trailer) are my only 2 'big ticket' material possessions at the time. In 2015 I bought a new Ford Superduty F-250 pickup truck to replace The Burb as the primary tow vehicle as The Burb was getting close to 300,000 miles on it. I still own it tho to keep 'work' miles off the new pickup.


About the trailer - since this is my 'primary residence' (yes I've become INTJonny Trailer Trash) and I use it as a 'base camp' - park it someplace for extended periods whilst taking off to whereever for several days at a time and camping/living/sleeping in the pickup. Return for a week or so to the trailer and then jump in the truck again to 'wherever' for another 3 to 5 day jaunt & then return to The Box. This is my basic lifestyle. Now on the trailer - The Box as I call it. Its a 30' Toy Hauler made by Shockwave (manufactured east of Los Angeles)
Its very spacious & open as its made to haul atv's or a really small car in - I don't use it for that - I just like that its open & roomy for its size. The place for the atv or small car storage I actually sorta use as a combination 'office/living room' and i can drop the back door which I use as a deck.


Now if you're going off grid, living on your own in the boondocks, no RV parks or campgrounds, no hookups & staying/living in remote wilderness areas on a fulltime basis, you gotta know how to take care of yourself cause they ain't nothin around guna save you if you're not prepared or if you don't know how to take care of it your self or deal with what ever. Think be4 U leap is a damn good motto. And 'An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure' is right there with it! So before I 'leapt' I did one helluva lot of research & thinkin about what was going to transpire.



Important is food, water, waste & energy needs - ya know? The Basix!
At this point its probably best to emphasize one major thing to commit to memory:


Watts = Volts x Amps don't ever forget this little equation. It is to off grid living what E=MC skwared is to Einstein!


So for energy needs The Box has
160 watt permanent roof mount solar panel with a 30 amp charge controller
120 watt portable solar panel with a 10 amp charge controller
3 J-150 Trojan 150 amp hr Deep Cell 12 volt batteries (450 amp hr total)
4000 watt Cummins Onan generator with integrated 40 gallon gasoline tank;
(I thought about a wind generator and researched the dogshit out of it trying my best to justify it but just couldn't);
2 30lb LP propane tanks and an 11 pound propane 'mushroom' tank.
2 inverters:

1500 watt modified sine wave
300 watt pure sine wave


Heat:
30,000 BTU forced air furnace (which I rarely use)
750/1500 watt electric space heater
4000/9000 BTU catalytic heater


Water:
On board 100 gallon fresh water tank
55 gallon 'portable' water tank
6 3 gallon water jugs
Girard Hot water on demand hot water system which eliminates need for a hot water tank.
Berkey Water filter system


Stainless steel appliances:
fridge, stove, microwave,etc.


(Questions?)


Where do I park the Box?
2 places depending on what time of year. For about 7 months I have an approximately 1 acre wooded site that I own in West Michigan USA; not far from Lake Michigan on the edge of the Federal US National Forest that I keep The Box on and use as a base camp. The other 5 months of the year I park The Box on Bureau of Land Management Federal US Property designated as a Long Term Campground Area in the Southern California, USA desert (currently The Box is here: 32.77ish North Latitude and 115.25ish West Longitude haha) From these 2 places I jump off in the pickup truck to do/go whereever. I'm primarily a Beach Bum at heart so generally there is a beach involved somewhere along the way. This is enough for now but I'll add more and if you got q's feel free to shoot them my way.
Thanx................INTJonny Trailer Trash
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Now I'll jump over to living out of the pickup truck:
Most peeps that choose to rv/vehicle live off grid generally go 1 way or the other in terms of Vehicle. They choose either some sort of RV or they choose some sort of vehicle like a pickup or a van( vandwellers) or a box truck or a refurbished school bus (skoolies) ,etc. To be honest I'm the only 1 I'm aware of that does both living out of an RV - trailer base camp and a vehicle pickup truck. there's prolly others but I've nevah run n2 em. Now if I was just going to go 1 way I'ld prolly go with a van - be a Van Dweller cause its really the best of all worlds in a compromising kind of way but there's cons to them too, I'll come back to this but first I'll get on with how I'm set up in my pickup truck and this brings into the 'Off Grid' Living topic a new subject known as 'STEALTH'.


STEALTH is a fundamental part of Off Grid Living IF you're ever going to find yourself wandering into populated areas. Because you're Off Grid ,man! You're not setting up in some damn RV park or camp ground! Because its like against the law in many jurisdictions to live out of your vehicle, sleep in a vehicle, and even if it ain't the police will still check you out, blah blah blah.......... Ya gotta figure out the 'neighborhood' protocol so the cops ain't like rousting you up at 3am and giving you the once over when all you wana do is SLEEP! Now generally they just tell you to move on unless you've like really given them a reason to not just say that; i.e. Outstanding warrants, your vehicle still smells like the last joint you smokt before you crasht, you look like (are) a scab faced tweaker, etc......... So you gotta learn how to be STEALTHY if your in the cities - out in the desert or wilderness it don't matter! WE're talking mainly populated areas here. So IF you're in a van with a solar panel on top, a bunch of kayaks, bicycles propane tanks, etc strapped all over the damn thing and you park the thing on some residential curb for the eve, well you might as well just sit right there and wait for the police to arrive cause Half the neighborhood Has called the cops on your ass before your engine cooled. Jez sayin!


Now I've never been rousted by the police - kawz I ain't a dumass - but i know plenty who have and there's really no big secret as to Y they got fukt with. Generally they brought it on they self! So remember STEALTH - I'll come back to this in more depth or you can google there's plenty on it.........


Words of Wisdom 1.0: there's 3 things you NEVER scrimp on in Life - wear the best damn footwear you can get; the best tires you can get and the best damn mattress to sleep on. You spend basically 99% of your life on these 3 things so you always get the best quality you can........ jez sayin! 2 of these things relate directly to what ever vehicle you decide to go Off Grid with - tires & a mattress. You're not sleeping in a 5 starr hotel - its a Van or a pickup , etc - How do you sleep comfortably? Restful - a QUALITY sleep for the night? Simple you gotta have a quality mattress! I'm not talking about 1 of those 20 dollar air mattress worthless things where you wake up at 4 am on a hard surface surrounded by a deflated air mattress; and I'm not talking about a fuking 4 or 6 inch pice of gawddam foam that your cheap college futon was made out of. There's a reason why the ole man can party like a rock star on a San Diego beach, and then crash for the night enjoying the best damn Lucid Dreams - wake in the AM ; drive back to the Beach and do it all over again! WHY!? How does grin & gray do it?


The Exped Megamat 10 LXW - the best base camp, vehicle living mattress out there. Now I'm not pushing any brand and there are a couple other companies that make comparable sleeping camp/vehicle mattresses but I'm saying this type/kind or similar you got to have to get a decent nights sleep. Mine cost me about 210$ - don't scrimp!
OK need a break I'll b bak............INTJonny Trailer Trash b tawkin at ya.
 

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That's all pretty good.

But where's the part about punishing the sheeple, who are spreading the gospel of perversion and destruction of the environment on the television and radio?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Back to outfitting the pickup truck:
Keeping in my mind that I'm not living out of my pickup on a full time basis (The Box, my base camp trailer serves that purpose) this is how I've outfitted my pickup for my little 3 to 7 day sojourns.
The 120 watt portable solar panel to charge my 12 volt batteries is a must! - you're OFF GRID!. The 12 volt battery that is part of the truck itself I never use for any 12 volt 'stuff' - only use that battery for its intended use - to start the truck engine! Dah! I have a 2nd 12 volt battery - one of those deep cycle J-150's mentioned on the OP that comes with me - the other 2 stay with The Box. Now those babies aint light weigh about 83 pounds apiece so make sure you don't have to jockey them around too much.


My truck has an 8 foot box - I wouldn't own anything but in a pickup truck. I'm about 6'1" (183 cm's or so for the rest of the non murahkin wurl) so I gotta have a lil room. On that box I've put the Truck cover/shell/topper whatever you care to call it. Mine is an ARE DCU commercial grade aluminum topper/shell the roof of which sits about 4" higher than the truck cab. From the truck box bed to the topper roof is 48" - 4 feet. Generally plenty of headroom for me. Now I prefer a commercial grade aluminum shell vs the fiberglass ones mainly because its made with a 1" aluminum frame that equates to stud framing in a house. You can mount stuff to it and it gives the ability to stow gear in a more orderly, efficient fashion by utilizing the upraised space. It also has full length side doors that open for breezy air and/or access from outside. Windows - black shaded on side & rear doors as well. I purchased this shell/topper from Craigslist, used for 700$. Its about a 2800$ topper brand new and it also has a 4 point ladder rack up on top. (Most are 3). Looks great and compliments the truck nicely for when I 'go STEALTH'.


Next is insulation - I lined the shell with Reflectix insulation. Stuff is the best. Easy to work with and keeps the heat & cold out and keeps the heat & cold in however way you are a needing it to be. I used Velcro tape to hold some of it in place (ceiling) but much stays in place solely due to friction & pressure - if you cut it right. Also you must have some for the windows - first it keeps the sunlight out so you don't Greenhouse Effect the inside of the shell area and it also keeps the police from shining a light thru your window and seeing you crashed in the back while you're STEALTH.


I built a wood frame that is 10" off the truck bed floor for the mattress - dimensions are about 32" x 83" I think. Underneath is where I store the portable solar panel ( to the rear for easy access when the truck tail gate is open) and up front other stuff. This frame abuts the driver's side of the bed. Up front is storage and I've mounted a 13.5" shelf that is the height of the joint where the topper/shell meet the truck box rails again up front. I also mounted an old military surplus wooden ammo crate upfront on 'the wall' which i basically use as 'the kitchen cupboard/cabinet'.


Other necessary things:
At least 2, sometimes 3 of the 3 gallon water jugs noted on OP
Port potti for obvious reasons. Public bathrooms are just absolutely disgusting to me so I bring my shitter with me. Also I have an improvised urinal for when i just gota go No 1.
A 12 volt Whynter 1.5 cubic foot refridgerator. This is a true refridgerator not an electric cooler which to me are just junk. You'll want some kind of a 12 volt true fridge/freezer.
That 11 pound LP 'mushroom' propane tank (noted on OP) - used for cooking & heat (if it gets cold) and a single burner propane cook stove which doubles for heat. Now its important that if you use this thing for heat while sleeping you use some common sense so you don't set the place on fire and so you don't gas your fuking self to death - DARWIN AWARD! My pickup truck isn't an issue as there is about a half inch unseen gap between the rear topper door where it meets the top of the tail gate. This provides about 30 square inches for ventilation which is more than enough. Also CO2 is heavier than air so it finds its way out of the area at the 1/8th inch gap at the bottom of the tailgate. Vans are different as they are sealed up pretty good so you'll need to open a vent or a window or something. Also install a 15 or 20 $ CO2 detector in the place for fuking sake - its cheap & safe!!


At this point its time to address - How do you shower, take a bath, etc?? I mean damn I know you're INTJ and you can like live forever and never bathe but eh????? This answer is actually really simple and I have 2 choices - options man options. First I have a solar shower made by Advanced Elements - 35$ or so; The 5 gallon model. I hardly ever fill it the full 5 gallons - 3 gallons is plenty for 1 person and the sun will heat 3 gallons qwiker than 5 - GEE! Option number 2 is to get a fitness club membership at 24 hour fitness or equivalent - like 40 $ a month or so. Open 24 hours all over murahca so you can stop and get pooft & doosht whenever you want.


What else?? Prolly should post some pics but Enough for now I'll be back. INTJonny Trailer Trash Luzsha for evah baybee!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Why did you choose the camper option instead of the "move into or build a small house in the flyover state/middle american/midwestern/canadian/alaskan wasteland" option?
Great question........ basically "been there done that" is the raheely short answer & I briefly address this in OP. I'll address this more in depth as this thread plays out but first I've got to address the rest of this logistical shit before I move on to the more day to day philosophical aspects............
Stay tuned.............INTJonny Trailer Trash
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Reminder! Watts = Volts x Amps !
This relationship is critical to any Off Grid Lifestyle and it is going to get shoved down your throats!


I'm going to bounce around abit here between the truck and The Box as I gotta tie up some loose ends.
One thing you'll need is some kind of small led light especially if you decide to go the pickup truck route. Vans, etc have integrated interior lights of some kind so not as much an issue tho you'll prolly want to get them switch over to LED's vs incandescent - more on this later. For the pick up shell tho - a company makes a reely cool Solar LED lantern for about 15$ or so; name of it slips my brain but eventually soon I'll make a post listing links to all the equipment & gadgets and include this. It has 3 fold out solar led lights with a hook on top but what I did was put some Velcro over where the hook is so it gives me a few more inches of head room. the 3 lights work reely well - too well as I rarely use all 3 but they're not independent. when you turn the thing on, all 3 or ON! So I have some little improvised sleeves I put over 2 of them.


One more thing about van, truck off grid living regarding your solar panel. I see a lot of peeps that have their solar panels permanently mounted on top of their rubber wheel pads. Not only does this cut into your exterior rooftop storage/ 2nd story party deck dance floor space but it also means that you've constantly gotta be adjusting the vehicle's position so its getting continual photons on the panel. DON'T THROW SHADE BRO! I generally advice peeps to go the portable route with a van or pickup truck. Then you can park the vehicle in the shade on a warm/hot sunny day and move the panel around to stay in photonville. My particular portable comes with a 15' cord and offers a 30' option. I splurged for the additional 30' option so I have a 45' radius capability if I connect the 2.



OK, hmmmm back to The Box: Some things I needed to get to be using The Box as an Off Grid Base Camp.
I bought some roof vent insulators. The roof vents are made out of plastic about maybe an eighth of an inch thick so they conduct a lot of heat out if its cold or opposite if hot (& your running the air conditioner) so I bought them. They're basically a 3" think skware pillow that you push into the interior vent openning and gives some great insulation there. when you don't use them - pull them out and open the vent.


Staying with the vent theme; on the exterior portion of the vents - up on the roof; I have put exterior vent covers that allow you to open the vent and maintain ventilation but if it rains like hell sometime they won't let the water in. I have 4 roof vents in The Box and one of them is right over the bed and the other is right over the toilet and the third is right over 'the kitchen floor' and the 4th is right over the rear bed. So when I first bought the thing and I'm going thru this hellacious thunderstorm like what floated Noah and I swear I was in a German U boat that had been depth charged. Of course it happens at 3 am and I'm still drunker than fuk and I'm trying to get all these fucking vents closed before the sub falls below crush depth........... there's more to this story but I leave it here for now.


Next I changed out all of the 12 volt incandescent bulbs for LEDs. this wasn't cheap. Cost me about 200$ I think. (Here I refer you to Watts = Volts x Amps) Those fucking incandescents are like 2.2 amps apiece vs the LED's which are about 0.15 amps. BIG FUCKING DIFFERENCE! Just as many lumens for a fraction of my battery bank drain! And the LEDs last for ever cause they don't put off any heat. I'll write more on batteries, electrical conservation & use in another post. After all we're OFF the fucking GRID! So this shit is preemo important.


Now its time to address the shitiest of topix. The Blue Boy. If you're in a van or truck or a Motorhome you can get by without The Blue Boy. BUT! If you're Off Grid in some kind of a trailer and especially if you park & leave it for long extended time periods as a base camp! Like I do, well The Blue Boy is an absolute must have necessary evil. The Blue Boy is your portable septic tank. When the shit tank on the trailer is almost full its time to hook up The Blue Boy and FLUSH! So you get to deal with your shit like an ever enjoyable movie re-run. Now The Blue Boy gets its name cause they're BLUE! And they come in various sizes. 10 gallon, 20, 25, 30 upto 45 gallon. Mine is 45 gallon as I don't care to turn it into a weekly event I bought the largest size I could find. Now there is a drawback to this. Water weighs 8.2 pounds per gallon so 45 gallon with well its not all pure H2O is it?, hmmmm yeah! Your not guna lift this and put it in the back of the truck & even if you could; would you really want to? Which brings me to items #2 & #3 that you'll need - The Come Along and a ramp of some kind thats sturdy enuff to get the 350lb ish Blue Boy up into the truck so you can haul it somewhere to empty it! Where The Box is at presently, there is an RV storage place about 10 miles away that charges me 5$ to empty the shittank. How long between shits? About 50 days according to my personal research.............



Whew! time for a break. I shall return...........INTJonny Trailer Trash Luszha
 
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How are you filling up your big water containers, especially in the California desert?

I have been thinking about converting a minivan into a simple camper so I can take longer trips throughout more of the year. I'm enjoying your take on vanlife.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
How are you filling up your big water containers, especially in the California desert?

I have been thinking about converting a minivan into a simple camper so I can take longer trips throughout more of the year. I'm enjoying your take on vanlife.
Awesome question and great timing as Water was my next planned dissertation issue........


When fully topped off I have a decent agua capacity. The Box has a 106 gallon fresh water tank capacity. I then have the 55 gallon plastic water barrel as well as the 6 - 3 gallon jugs. So almost 180 gallons of water when totally topped off. It was important to me to be able to have a large capacity capability and generally I've reached this.


So where do I get it? Well I have several options. When Off Grid Living its best to be as versatile as possible - to have as many sensible contingency plans in place given any possible scenario and since AGUA is one a the preemo items can't play games here at all. In the last post I mentioned the RV storage area place about 10 miles away where I dump Mr. Blue Boy. Well they have fresh city treated water there as well and they charge me 2$ to fill my 55 gallon drum. I generally try to time the refill along with the flushing of The Blue Boy so its like 7$ to do both; I also will fill any of the 3 gallon jugs that might be empty as well.


There are 2 different ways I handle the Water issue depending on if I'm in the SoCal desert or if I'm back in West Michigan. Here's the SoCal desert strategy. When I leave West Michigan, generally around mid November I leave with about 25 to 30 gallons in the tank. At 8.2 pounds/gallon no reason to tow 300 pounds of water over the road and needlessly affect fuel mileage. I'm in no hurry as I drive to the desert SW and I generally have a few spots I sorta meander to and about blah blah blah on my way there.


Upon arrival to "The Spot" 4 The Box I top the trailer water tank off; generally at the aforementioned RV storage place but I've also done it once in Yuma Az; and I also empty the trailer black & gray water tanks. ( I also top off the integrated 40gallon gas tank for the generator) So when I first arrive around end of November to The Spot in the desert where The Box will sit till I head back to Michgian in the spring, I set up camp with a full capacity of fresh water and the shit & gray water tanks are EMPTY. And the 40 gallon gasoline tank is full! Cockt, Lockt & redy 2 ROCK!


At this point I need to enter a new 'tool' into the system and that is the '12 volt utility water pump'. I use this to transfer water from the 55 gallon drum to the main trailer water tank or the 3 gallon jugs as needed/desired. At this time, too I need to emphasize that the 106 gallon on board Trailer fresh water tank I use for SHOWER USE ONLY! Water for drinking/ making coffee/ doing dishes/ teeth brushing,etc is all done with water from either the 55 gallon barrel or the 3 gallon jugs. Also, if you noticed from my given current approximate latitude/longitude position in OP there is a HUGE irrigation canal that is an offshoot from the Colorado River. I use water from this canal to do some but not all of my laundry, but some. I then use this laundry water as the water to flush the trailer toilet with so I'm not using my good clean fresh water tank water to just wash my crap down the hole.


Now, I also have as mentioned in OP a Berkey Water purifier. This thing is preemo - best in The World - serious. They make a bunch of different sizes - mine will filter/purify almost 3 gallons/hr. So IF in an emergency situation or if I just want to for shits grins & giggles I can get water from the canal or a creek river where e'er and make pure clean water at the rate of almost 3 gallons / hr. You first want to strain it thru some kind of cloth tho to rid the water of as much sediment as possible then pour into Berkey. GOOD TO GO!!


Now my water strategy back in West Michgian is more than somewhat different but I'm tired of typing and going to take a break.
INTJonny Trailer Trash havin a gin & tonik!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Water, cont.
My West Michigan AGUA strategy is a whole lot different than in So Cal which I'll get to as soon as I clarify something from last post. This is about the 12 volt utility water pump usage. This is a fantastic little pump that I bought at Harbor Freight. Actually I bought 2 of them cause they are so inexpensive yet so damn good! The 2nd one I've yet to use and is still in its unopened box. This pump was like 30$ (60$ 4 the 2) Because I use it to pump water that I drink etc its important here to explain the sterilization process. Theres a very easily removable cover on the front of this pump that houses the impeller that 'moves' the water. This impeller is made of a very durable plastic as well as the movable fins. What I've done is periodically I put a small coating of petroleum jelly on this plastic impeller & fins to minimize friction to increase the pump's life and then I pour bleach on these parts. I put the pump back to gether and flush it out with water for abit to remove the bleach. This completes the sterilization process (yes! I'm a classic NT germifobe - when in doubt - BLEACH!).


When I drive back to Michigan I drive with the aforementioned partial filled tanks. My spot in West Michigan is about a mile from my absolute best friend in the world's house. So I get my water from that locale - easy! As far as dumping the tanks; Blue Boy; there is a wilderness RV campground about 5 miles away that was formerly owned by a client. When he sold the place he introduced me to the new owners and they let me use their place to dump the Blue Boy at no charge. I only utilize it during off days like a tuesday or Wednesday - not when they're busy like on a weekend. I always buy my gin from their store, too - the deal!. Tah Dah!!


Any q's on agua? Back soon...........INTJonny Trailer Trash
 

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I think I've covered most of the initial introductory stuff as far as what you basically need & gotta do, logistically, to get into how you would define an Off Grid Lifestye Now I'm going to move on to Free Land: Where to stay/camp Off Grid. The term to remember here is "Dispersed Camping".


The whole idea of getting Off Grid is to GET AWAY FROM IT ALL! At least most of the time. There are times when you jez gotta return to civilization; but this post is about where & how to GET AWAY FROM IT ALL! And to repeat the term to remember here is "Dispersed Camping".
Dispersed Camping is the term that is used to describe living OFF the GRID by the Federal & State governments on their respective public lands. I'm going to discuss only Federal BLM & National Forest property here because I'm not going to pretend to be in the know regarding the if ands & buts about how every one of the 50 states run their respective show. Federal BLM - Bureau of Land Management - land, in general, is open to free Dispersed Camping for upto 14 consecutive days at one specific place anywhere you can access it all year long and as long as a particular place is not specifically designated as being prohibited to Dispersed Camping. Now there is literally MILLIONS of acres of BLM land that is open to Dispersed Camping all across the US of A and if it doesn't specifically say you can't park there for up to 14 days then you fucking CAN! Once the 14 days is up, you got to move some minimal distance, some places at least 5 miles, others 25 miles away from your previous campsite. You can do this for as long as you live if you'ld like to live this way. The 14 day time limit is kinda vague cause it generally starts from when a Ranger first discovers where you are. So if you like already been there for a week and a ranger spots you , you prolly have 14 more days before he's going to let you know 'Times Up' time to move! So in that respect its kind of 'on your honor'.


Now the BLM has also provided what they have named Long Term Visitor Areas or LTVA's. These are specific areas that have designated boundaries that are for the use of Long Term RV Off Grid camping. They are not however free but the $charge is in my opinion minimal. I think there are 6 of these LTVA's scattered across Western Arizona and Eastern Southern California. For a charge of 180$ you get a Federal permit to stay in any of these LTVAs from Sept 15 thru April 15 - basically a dollar a day. The permit is good for all of the LTVAs. So if you want to stay a month in each of the 6 the 180$ permit makes you good to go. If you want to stay the entire 6 months in one LTVA, that 180$ permit makes you good to go. One of these LTVAs is where I park The Box and use for my base camp. This is how I'm able to stay on the BLM land for 5 months straight with my trailer in the same spot. The catch here is your vehicle must be 'self contained'. Which means it must be an RV, Motohome, Travel trailer, etc. No vans, trucks, cars or tents for living/camping purposes by themselves in the LTVAs.


The National Forest property is basically run extremely similar to the open BLM land but there maybe specific rules regarding times & places within any respective designated National Forest. Google 'Dispersed Camping' on Federal Lands and a gazillion amount of info will show up............ Bottom line & point to be made here is there are an infinite number of places to enjoy your solitude basically for free in very scenic wilderness areas if you choose to do so. This is what I often use my pickup truck for when I take off for my 3 to 7 day sojourns.


Will write about my spot in Western Michigan next thanx.................INTJonny Trailer Trash
 
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This post as previously promised is about my spot in West Michigan that I use for The Box's Base Camp. It is a small approximately 0.6 of an acre (100' x 250') parcel of wooded/wilderness property that I actually OWN; have a legal & valid title to aforementioned & described piece of Natural Pantheistic Heaven. It is on a paved wilderness road surrounded by a combination of Manistee National Forest; Michigan State Forest and a large tract of private wilderness property. It just happens to be located in a corner of where these 3 different tracts all come together.


How did I aquire it? Well once I made the decision to live off grid I began the process of finding a small inexpensive suitable place where I could park The Box. I didn't want to park it on National Forest Property and have to keep moving the trailer around every 2 weex and there was NO FUKING WAY I was going to spend any time in a Campground at 500 to 1000 dollars a month and be surrounded by vacationers - fat idyut people with screaming kids & yapping fucking dogs! - this would have been a qwik trip to prison for me and the only bars I like pour alcohol. I started looking around for some places that were for sale, etc. and remembered this particular isolated parcel of land, the existence of which I had discovered while researching some deeds for a client.


Now at only 0.6 of an acre it does not meet current modern local zoning ordinance minimum size for a structured/home buildable parcel as it is a 1 acre minimum limit. PERFECT I thought. Only thing its good for is camping on! So who owns it?? So I can approach them about buying it! I get on the computer & dig into the County's Land records and it comes back that The County is the legal owner! VOILA! How did the county acquire it? For back taxes!! The previous owner had simply quit paying the taxes on it and it reverted back to Local Governemnt ownership. Now once a year the County is required at Public Auction to sell off any land it has acquired from delinquent taxes so I find out when the Auction is; what the minimum bid is on this parcel blah blah blah so I can bid on this piece and get it...........


In the mean time I'm interested in the history in this parcel as in WHY did the previous owner just simply let this go back to The Gov. The taxes on it were EXTREMELY minimal as in like 25$ YES NOT A TYPO - twenty-five fucking dollars a year. Gawd any1 can pay that Y just essentially give it back to The Gov?????? Y not sell it for at least a couple/few thousand bux? This MAKES NO SENSE INTJonny - I'm saying to myself. WTF is the deal?


The short story answer is this: The guy that owned it had it given to him by his parents. This guy had never married or had any children or siblings. He did in fact have some really distant relatives like 2nd or 3rd cousins etc none of which had any close connections to him and anyway, one day he decides he's had enough of the conscious lifestyle and he hangs himself from this big oak tree thats growing on this parcel. In contacting the local Township Zoning Administrater (who was a retired deputy sherriff) he gave me the - in typical SJ guardian fashion the entire story about how they estimated he's been hanging there for about 3 days before anyone even discovered the swinging body! Blah blah blah.

So I get the parcel at Auction for 400$ - yes four hundred bux! Anyway it was a well timed gesture on the previous owners part as it worked great for me!



More on the way.........INTJonny Luszha
 
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A few odds n ends in this post and then I think I can finally move on to the really good stuff.

First I'll briefly address Off Grid Security/ Crime. You're hidden away off grid in your most scenic & solitude loving place. You wana kayak, you wana hike, you wana go for a mountain bike ride, take pics of the wildflowers etc - blah blah. What about security on your pad or even yourself? Shit you're like in the middle of nowhere completely by yourself - what IF something happens? I'm not going to tell you how to protect yourself or your worldly off grid possessions. Your life & belongings are your business so you're on your own there BUT I will say this. Crime in OFF GRID RV/Van/Truck Liestyle peeps, while not nonexistent is extremely rare. So rare in fact the FBI does not even keep separate categorical statistics on it and the FBI has stats on EVERYTHING! Think about it for fux sake. If some desperate drug addict/crack head/ tweaker is looking for someone/someplace to rob are they going just happen to be cruising some god foresaken place where YOU happen to be the only living thing resembling a primate for 100 square fuking miles? I mean shit does happen and you do need to be prepared but if you're that fuking neurotic about it - OFF Grid living prolly aint for you anyway..........jez sayin.
And this pertains to females as well. I run into more than a few single women living out of their vans, etc out in the middle of nowhere. I just passed 2 different ones today while I was taking my bicycle ride on the desert trails. The one I recognize as I've seen her camp out here off & on last year & this in her little Class B motorhome (basically a large oversized Van) It has Minnesota plates so she gets the fuck out of the snow & cold & hangs in the desert sun too. we recognize each other & wave going by but we've never spoken to each other. Another is a gal who just musta set up camp today or last night about 2 miles away down the trail cause she wasn't there yesterday when I rode my bicycle around thata way. I respect women who live like this - solitary independent gals in the true sense of the word - not living like some needy parasite but gals that have grown some Woman Balls.


Next -
Cell/wifi reception - you are on your own when it comes to this but thats part of y you're OFF GRID, right? and many remote/wilderness/desert places will have none or only a weak signal at best. So if this is a big deal to you you'll need to drive around explore and find suitable spots. You'll probably want to invest in some kind of a signal booster. The good ones are not cheap. 500 to 1000$ give or take but hey if u want it or need it you'll invest in it. I have one that is made by WEBoost. They make a variety of different models depending on particular uses and needs. Mine cost me around 600$ and that was a few years back. These devices are SIGNAL BOOSTERS! remember this! Infinity times ZERO is still ZERO. If there is no signal to amplify where you are then there is No Signal - period. I've heard all these people bitchin about how they spent blah blah $$ for that fukin thing and it don't work. If you get a good one for the purpose you demand It Will Work! BUT if there is nothing to amplify where you are enjoying your remoteness well INFINITY times ZERO is still ZERO!!



Another inexpensive yet vital tool you will need is a Multi Meter: REMEMBER!! Watts = Volts x Amps. This device will help you apply & interpret this equation. More on this in another post.


Legal Address, etc.:
You're ecstatic! You're Free! you're Independent! You're Off the Grid! You don't exist! YEAH!!!! But "Oh shit I gota have a legal address"..... Yeah you do! Gota have something on that Drivers License, etc. Bank account, Credit Card, Cell fone bill, etc......... You're on your own here too as to how you come up with your solution to this. If you dig into researching this you'll find you actually have more than a few options that are available to you or you may even invent a new one for your own particular situation. Thats what I did so I'm not going to divulge, Its mine ALL mine! ;>)


Entertainment - by this I'm talking about tunes, tv, whatever. I haven't owned a Tv for over 20 years - shit Y?? The movies and lucid dreams I have going on inside of my head are way better than anything on TV anyway - fuk it! I do gota have my tunes tho & right now I'm lisnun to Pretty Reckless - bitch rocks!! You are more than able to deal with this aspect of how you care to b entertained.


Good Luck!!.............INTJonny Trailer Trash Luzsha 4 evah n evah!!!! (Now I can get to the good stuff!!)

 
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Awesome! INTJ's we're finally getting to the good stuf! You jumpt Off the Grid! But WTF have you landed on?
You are now the proud owner & CEO of your very own Nuclear Power Plant! Yes! CEO, The PREZ (Donald gah nuthin on U! Baybee) Chief Operating Officer, Treasure, Budget Manager, Maintenance Dept, Design, Engineering, Research & Development, ETC!!!!!!
Its all yours and its all powered by The Sun; Mr. Sol & All those nuclear photons bombarding your planetary location - well They're YOURS! ALL Fuking YOURS! To run your little Geiger counter, man to your every little heart & minds desire. All those fucking E(N/S)TJ's got NUTHIN on U baybee!! Nota a gawd damn thing! They wana run People! But you're running YOUR WURL - And to top it all off?! You doh Gahta have any stupid fucking peeps around. All You Need is LOVE!??? no! This ain't NF Forum and there's no John & Yoko; this ain't about Jesus, Moses or Mohammed; no Krishna, Buddha or ZEN either. What you need is to get in tune with your Inner Aztec, your Ancient Egyptian, your long ignored Sumer roots; only the Japanese today acknowledge The Rising..........


SUN!





WE NEED SUN!
OK enough for the fuking pep talk. Lets get to Reality; Repeat after me: Watts = Volts x Amps.


The application of this little equation unlocks the secrets to your Off Grid Independence & lifestyle desires of freedom & solitude. This brings me now to the revealing to all of you my obsession and never ending NF like Idealistic driven love of Flood Acid Deep Cycle 12 volt batteries. There the secrets out. Flood Acid Batteries are also known as Wet Cell - damn it rolls off my tongue like a cunnilingual experience. 12 volt batteries and the knowledge & application thereof will give you the necessary means to experience your Off Grid Lifetsyle to its Nirvanna like fullness. The Flooded Deep Cycle Battery is the little black box that stores ALL of those Solar Panel captured & converted photons from The SUN.


The basic (very basic for our purposes now) trip is like this:
Sun emits radiaiton that takes 8 minutes or so to travel to Earth (where u r). Solar panel gathers up the photons that it comes in contact with converting them to 'usable 12 volt energy' and sending them thru a 'charge controller'. From here this energy continues on its little journey to the 12 volt Flood Acid Deep Cycle Battery for storage like an obedient servant awaiting for your beckoning call to service. OK?


Now at this point its time for you to - if you don't already have 1- grasp a basic understanding of both practical & theoretical PHYSICS. Now I'm not saying you gota understand how to do triple integrals with 'i' hidden somewhere as an upper limit , for gawd fuking sakes but you should be able to grasp some basic ideas like, say, that warm air fuking rises. Jez sayin.


OK I'll be back in a bit. I'm going for a bicycle ride. b baa soo..........INTJonny TTL
 
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So now that your OFF GRID, your responsibilty for proper energy use & maintenance is all on your back. If something goes wrong or you destroy your battery(s) or you fuck up your solar panel or fry your inverter while you're in your remote solitude place in the wilderness or desert sun, you are the only 1 thats around to dig yourself out of what ever you dug yourself into. This is where a ounce of prevention is more than worth a pound of cure. Why its important that you have contingencies, backup systems, etc.This is why its important for you to understand solar panels, batteries, electricity, plumbing yes plumbing! Wiring, Volts as in 12 and Volts as in120, amps and watts - which yes you know Watts coming:


Watts = Volts x Amps


Because IF you make the right decisions ahead of time by choosing the best battery bank, the best solar panel, the best inverter(s), the best 12 volt and/or 120 volt items you need/want AND connect all of this shit with the correct circuitry, i.e.gauge wire, etc blah blah you'll actually have one great independent experience of Life's solitude - but IF you just do one of these things 'wrong' you can fuck all of it up in one big hurry!


I'm not going to go into some lengthy dissertation explaining all of the dos & donts on this stuff cause theres plenty of peeps that have already done it way better than I could ever do but I will point out some things you need to concentrate on:
Definition of Watts, Definition of Volts, Definition of Amps otherwise Watts = Volts x Amps really doesn't mean anything, does it?
Also what wiring in Series means & wiring in Parallel means. So learn this.


Next understand the difference between a 'starting battery' and a 'deep cycle battery'. There is a also a compromise third type battery that is called 'Dual Purpose' - it is marketed as a combination starting & deep cycle battery. DO NOT BE DECEIVED! You do not want anything to do with any "Dual Purpose Battery" Examples of Dual Purpose are any battery that is labelled as a Group 24, 27, 29, 30 or 31 battery.
Also any battery that is labeled with CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) is a starter battery - i.e its purpose is to start an engine like the battery that starts your vehicle. It is NOT designed to provide long term 12 volt use like you'll need to run your 12 volt gear & appliances. This is what Deep Cycle Batteries are made for. So IF you're Off Grid in your vehicle - you will need at least 1 each of both a starting battery and a deep cycle battery - IF you want your system to be optimum. Repeat don't waste your money & time with so-called 'duel purpose' batteries.

Also! WARNING!! Dual Purpose batteries are often marketed by Battery Co Retailers as Deep Cycle Batteries. DO NOT BE DECEIVED!! They are not true Deep Cycle and if you read the fine print they will be labelled as a Group 24, 27, 29, 30 or 31 type battery. DO NOT WANT!


These batteries are your life's blood to your independent solitary OFF GRID lifestyle and is one helluva investment in both $$$ and time - Paramount you understand this stuff! Have you googled & read/studied the Watt, Volt, Amp definitions?? Once you have its time for you to get introduced to 12 Volt Flooded Deep Cycle Battery 101. This link is geared to Marine/Boat applications, but boats have been OFF GRID for a long long time - haven't they? So this is a very good link & application is essentially universal for OFF GRID battery understanding, application & use. Enjoy: What Is A "Deep Cycle" Battery? Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com


I shall retrun.................INTJonny Luzsha 4 evah baybee!!
 

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Ok gang here's the next stop for your reading pleasure and you'll find yourself referring to this, over time, often:


https://www.batterystuff.com/kb/



The above link has pretty much all you'll need to figure out what ever it is you need to figure out regarding batteries and solar power as it relates to your Off Grid Lifestyle. Browse around on it and you'll learn the ins & outs about what if and what not. You can purchase all the stuff you'll need from that site as well but I'm not pushing the place - the rule here of course is 'shop around'. I just think their link 'Knowledge Base' on this particular site is as good as I've seen anywhere to give you the info you'll need short of a degree in Electrical Engineering so you can make informed decisions regarding how to build the Solar/Battery bank system thats best for your OFF GRID lifestyle desires/needs.


In the meantime I'll continue to add stuff to this thread regarding its topic & title. My opinions/experiences and what I've done & witnessed and how I live. I'm not telling you to copy me. This is simply FYI only. You'll tailor stuff to your own 'ways' but it gives you a place to formulate a 'plan' keeping in mind that 'plans' are simply a general basis from which one makes 'change'.........


Those 2 links I've listed should keep you busy for awhile unless you're already 'in the know' re such things and in the mean time I'm going to assemble the next post with a variety of links to gear, equipement, etc; some will be specific brand; others general; some will be both that I personally use; then I'm going to try & add some piks as in much of this stuff 1 pik is worth a thousand words. Again its just for FYI - This thread is a 'Guide' and its 'My Guide' & is not meant to be a Sermon from The Mount nor a basket of Fish to Feed to the Masses............


The never ending saga..........................INTJonny Trailer Trash.
 

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Here are links that you'll find useful & informative:
The trailer I use for my Off Grid Base Camp: Shockwave T24 FQ MX; the link is to a similar currently 4 sale model so you have an idea what I'm using 4 my Base Camp.

https://www.rvtrader.com/listing/2018-Forest-River-Shockwave-MX-Series-T24RQMX-5000264310



My 2 Solar Panels are both GoPower:
The one mounted to my trailer is this Overlander Solar Kit (170 watts) | Go Power!
The 120 watt portable: Portable Solar Kits (80 or 120 watts) | Go Power!


300 watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter is also GoPower: 300 Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter | Go Power!
1500 watt Modified Sine Wave Inverter: Inverters - Products - Nature Power



12 volt Deep Cycle Batteries: J150 | Trojan Battery Company



MultiMeter: Manual Ranging Multimeter CAT III



4000 watt 30 amp Generator: https://www.electricgeneratorsdirect.com/Cummins-Onan-RV-QG-4000/p6212.html



Wind Generator: I am never in an area that is windy enough, often enough, to justify this expense. I did research the dogshit out of it tho and If you're interested exploring this option this link is a place to start:
https://www.bestadvisor.com/wind-generators



For heat I rarely use the on board trailer 30000 btu furnace because the forced air blower uses up a lot of my battery bank. (Nothing like waking in the morn to basically dead batteries especially after 6 days of cloud cover and hence no solar to recharge) AND much of the heat is sent out as exhaust, too! So I generally use a space heater and or the catalytic heater.
Space Heater: DURAFLAME | TWINSTAR INTERNATIONAL

Catalytic heater: http://www.mrheater.com/portable-buddy-heater.html

The Trailer's hot water 'on demand' system: https://greenrvproducts.com/


Berkey Water Purifier: https://www.berkeyfilters.com/ Mine is the 'Travel Berkey' model and I bought mine discounted from the site's 'Scratch & Dent' sale.


I'm going to take a break then I'll continue with more............INTJonny Trailer Trash

 
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Alright INTJ's, I'm back. Here's more links to products I have & use.
The Barker Blue Boy: https://www.barkermfg.com/4-wheel.html
12 volt fan: Fan-Tastic Vent's Retail Stand Alone Fans
120 volt vacuum: https://www.amazon.com/Armor-Gallon-Utility-Vacuum-AA255/dp/B003M2F7NI
Trailer vent insulators: https://parts.rvwholesalers.com/products/vent-insulator-01-1017?variant=34952117256
Trailer exterior vent cover: https://www.airxcel.com/maxxair/products/covers/maxxair


Now I'm going to move on to the truck aspects of stuff for my Off Grid guide here. This is stuff that is generally just things I have for when I take off on my 3 to 7 day sojourns - stuff I stow/stash/store in the truck. If you are interested in a truck/van dweller type Off Grid experience then a lot of this you'll be interested in. As I write this stuff my brain keeps reminding me of little odds & ends too that eventually I'll slap up here too.


My F-250 Superduty is a really big truck and its 4 wheel drive and the previously mentioned topper/shell that I bought off Craigslist is made by ARE - its their DCU commercial grade model. ARE is a very good topper & manufacturer. One of the best. here's a link to their DCU Model(s): https://www.4are.com/product/commercial_aluminum/ that cover pick is almost identical to my rig except mine is about 4" higher.
I then insulated the inside of the topper with this: https://www.reflectixinc.com/products/double-reflective-insulation/
The mattress I bought 4 sleeping is this: MegaMat 10 LXW | Exped USA
Pota-potti: Campa Pottiâ„¢ MT | Products | Thetford
Coleman Single burner propane stove I also use for heat:
1 Burner Stove | Camp Stoves | Coleman


I also use the Jensen AWM968 that came with my trailer for tunes,etc in my truck as the stock bottom line system that came with my truck SUCKS! : Jensen AM/FM/DVD/CD/USB Bluetooth Stereo - Jensen and Voyager AWM968 - Stereos - Camping World
And the Yamaha outdoor speakers: https://usa.yamaha.com/products/audio_visual/speaker_systems/ns-aw390/index.html


Some links to Dispersed Camping on Federal Lands:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/fishlake/recreation/?cid=stelprdb5121831
This is to Fishlake Area but is typical Each USFS National Forest has its own rules & Regs but this link is typical.

Heres a link to all of the National Forests in the US: https://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/map/state_list.shtml

Here's a link about dispersed Camping on BLM Lands: https://www.blm.gov/download/file/fid/20778
And about the BLM LTVA's: https://freecampsites.net/blm-ltvas/


Time for a gin n tonik.............INTJonny Trailer Trash









 

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IMG_0478.jpg IMG_0473.jpg
Off Grid living & INTJ Solitude. The pik on the right is my base camp spot in West Michigan; the one on the left is my current base camp in the SoCal desert.
IMG_0474.jpg Some places I go are very remote and if you're not prepared you'll get in big trouble in a hurry.

IMG_0479.JPG My INTJ chair. Peace & Solitude. More on OFF GRID living to come.........INTJonny
 
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IMG_0480.jpg IMG_0481.jpg IMG_0483.jpg

These 3 piks show how I've set my truck up for when I take off on 3 to 7 day explorations. First note the Reflectix insulation. Pik to left shows the bed frame I made, the 'cabinet' mounted at front as well as the speakers for tunes. Right shows the open cabinet and the shelf underneath. Bottom shows stuff stowed and ready to go.

Alas I remembered a couple links I forgot a post or so back:
The Solar Shower: https://www.advancedelements.com/summer-shower/summer-shower-5-0-gallon-pvc-free/
The LED Solar lantern:
https://www.suaoki.com/collections/for-home-page/products/collapsible-clover-style-18-led-camping-tent-lantern

Next will be more on Solar & Off Grid "LIFESTYLE"..............INTJonny Trailer Trash
 
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