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Creating hookups on acreage for travel trailer


EMHackworth

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We’re interested in parking a travel trailer on our 80 acre tract which has no utilities currently.  This would be for weekend use, although we’d leave the trailer on the property full time. Any recommendations for establishing hookups? We are opening to digging a well and septic, but we’re trying to avoid running electric to the property since we received a quote from the utility company for over $10,000. Are there solar panel options which would provide adequate power? Can we create a gravel pad to park it on or is it best to go with a concrete pad? We are new to this, so any and all recommendations are welcome! Thanks!

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It cost $8k 12 years back to put in a septic system on our house.  I'm sure it's more now.  Another 10k for elec would only increase the value of your property I would think, a good investment.  For the pad, what is the ground like?  Is it stable, ie not do enough freeze/thaw cycles, no up-heaves to destroy a pad in a few years?  Can always do a thick re-enforced pad to keep it from cracking up.  Gravel, when it ruts, etc, a small cheap tractor can always level it again.  Enough solar panels, controllers, batteries can also get expensive and need replaced as they break, etc.  If I had this land and planned on using it more than a couple years, I would invest in it.  IMHO

Where is this at?

2022 Coachman Leprechaun, traveling around to dark sky areas and chasing the stars.

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For $10000 you can get a lot of solar and battery storage, good for all your normal electrical needs, but probably not enough if you need to run an air conditioner.

Foretravel 40ft tag 500hp Cummins ISM  1455 watts on the roof, 600 a/h's lithium in the basement.

 

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Heck, for a $10k investment you could easily run your A/C full time off batteries.  But if your only talking weekends, it would be way less as you can use just a few panels and smaller controller as you'd have 5 days of little use to top them off for next  weekend

I figured $2600 for 20 CR-260 6v Deep Cycle Crowns that would let you run a Energy Star 15000 BTU Air Conditioner for about 100 hours straight (13amp) and only have about 50% DOD.    If you only needed 48 hours, cut the number of batteries in half. 

Also, if you do gravel,  see if you can get some thick plastic or maybe even pond liner to prevent water from wicking up from below.  (concrete would probably be better, also with heavy mil plastic as a vapor barrier. )

-Bill

 

 

2006 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40QDP
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52 minutes ago, bigbillsd said:

Heck, for a $10k investment you could easily run your A/C full time off batteries.  But if your only talking weekends, it would be way less as you can use just a few panels and smaller controller as you'd have 5 days of little use to top them off for next  weekend

I figured $2600 for 20 CR-260 6v Deep Cycle Crowns that would let you run a Energy Star 15000 BTU Air Conditioner for about 100 hours straight (13amp) and only have about 50% DOD.    If you only needed 48 hours, cut the number of batteries in half. 

Also, if you do gravel,  see if you can get some thick plastic or maybe even pond liner to prevent water from wicking up from below.  (concrete would probably be better, also with heavy mil plastic as a vapor barrier. )

-Bill

Bill, appreciate your estimate on necessary solar input, of course allowing for cloudy, rainy and overcast days, and seasonal variations. Also wiring, solar controllers, inverters, mounts, etc for all the solar panels etc. I guess we will assume a small travel trailer with only one ac. That's a good deal on the batteries, but I imagine shipping 1500 lbs of batteries would be pretty expensive.

Thanks, Jim

 

 

Foretravel 40ft tag 500hp Cummins ISM  1455 watts on the roof, 600 a/h's lithium in the basement.

 

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I have done what you want to do.  Depending on local regulations and conditions  a septic system can vary a lot on price.  Best to talk with local septic installers.  A few years ago we had a septic installed for $2200. Just this past year it cost a lot more and I did the install.  Local conditions and regulations vary alot.  If you do not need AC a solar system may not be be more than electric.  In fact if your demand is low it may be a lot less.  If you need AC electric may be cheaper.  While a concrete pad is nice we have always been satisfied with a gravel pad.  Once again local conditions determine the final cost.  Talk with a local contractor.  Conditions vary a lot even in the same county and the best way to deal with these conditions vary just as much.  In some areas a well may not need to be very deep.  In other areas a well may be well over 500 feet.  Deep wells are expensive. While this forum has been very helpful I think you will need more local help to determine the costs of your project.  Currently we are setting up a 140 acre mountain  spot for our 5er.

Randy

2001 Volvo VNL 42 Cummins ISX Autoshift

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13 minutes ago, WeBeFulltimers said:

A well will also be expensive and how will you power a pump?

When we built our last home we used a small generator to fill our water tank in our RV. A deeper well may have required a big generator.  Sometimes a spring can be used or water can be hauled.  It is best to consider the options.

Randy

2001 Volvo VNL 42 Cummins ISX Autoshift

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Thanks, everyone! We are beginners, so we're not familiar with all of the options from batteries to solar. All of your comments have given us some very helpful things to consider. Sounds like gravel will be ok, and we can have a septic system put in.  A well with a generator for the pump sounds doable as well.  The big question is electric. I was under the impression that solar would be pretty inexpensive (like a few hundred dollars), but it looks like I could be wrong. 

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40 minutes ago, EMHackworth said:

Thanks, everyone! We are beginners, so we're not familiar with all of the options from batteries to solar. All of your comments have given us some very helpful things to consider. Sounds like gravel will be ok, and we can have a septic system put in.  A well with a generator for the pump sounds doable as well.  The big question is electric. I was under the impression that solar would be pretty inexpensive (like a few hundred dollars), but it looks like I could be wrong. 

You could probably get by with a couple of thousand dollars for solar and inverters to run tv's, microwave, chargers, coffee pot etc., if you have propane to run fridge, oven, cooktop, hot water heater and furnace and do not need ac. But a good idea to have a generator or bring in electricity for ac, well pump etc. For a few hundred dollars of solar, you could keep your cell phones and tablets, and laptops charged.

 

Foretravel 40ft tag 500hp Cummins ISM  1455 watts on the roof, 600 a/h's lithium in the basement.

 

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Maryville, I am fairly certain we are talking hot and humid in the summer and fairly cold and overcast in the winter.  I am guessing you are going to need the  electric power.  I volunteered at CenterHill lake at Hurricane Bridge boat ramp one summer.  Storm knocked out power for over a week. I had small solar set up and I could run a 12 in. fan blowing on me 24/7 until power was restored. RV fridge ran on propane with just enough power for the control board.  Hot water ran on propane.  I made it but without the fan it would have been miserable. Didn''t have to worry about power for the TV as there was no signal in the area and I could only get 2 stations on the radio.

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36 minutes ago, EMHackworth said:

I know I mentioned solar, and I know generators are a different ballgame, but are we better off with a generator?

A honda eu3000 will run your ac and well pump and is pretty quiet. About 2 grand, but will need gas. I would go with a smaller solar setup for most uses, and generator for bigger, ac and pump use when necessary.

Foretravel 40ft tag 500hp Cummins ISM  1455 watts on the roof, 600 a/h's lithium in the basement.

 

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$10,000 for power seems pretty reasonable.  Of course I am not paying the bill.  The price to tap the electric which is only a few feet from our 5er is $7,200 if I do the digging.  Then the meter, breaker box and plug are more.  A generator can run an AC but can use a lot of fuel.  For just weekend use it might be an acceptable alternative.  $10,000 will buy a lot of fuel and $2,000 should more than cover the cost of a good generator.  Maybe start off with a generator and see how it works for you.  If you don't  like it, sell it and bring in the electric.

Randy

2001 Volvo VNL 42 Cummins ISX Autoshift

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I won't say you are getting "bad" advice here. Just not complete advice. Mainly because to give a reasonable recommendation requires understanding what your requirements and expectations are. Are you used to just turning on your Airconditioning and relaxing, or are you already used to roughing it. There is a HUGE difference. If you expect amenities that "just work" then trying to build a "minimalist" property is going to result in wasted money and disappointment. If, however, you already live minimally, boondock when you camp, etc. then you may be perfectly happy with the minimal amenities that you will have with a minimal investment.

Jack & Danielle Mayer #60376 Lifetime Member
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22 hours ago, Kirk Wood said:

I think that I would consider just putting in a gravel pad and take the RV back and forth. There could be a security issue if you leave the RV on site.

I have not done this so just thinking out "loud".  I want to do it someday.

One approach allows you to bring your expensive equipment out.  The other approach (might) require you to leave your expensive equipment unattended.  

My brother in law used his place without a thought for years and years. But eventually came the day he lost some good gear and he never could leave anything afterward.

A solid steel pole barn with iron bars and no windows might work or it might not.  I'm not sure.

Kevin and June

2013 Volvo VNL 730    D13 Eco-Torque @ 425  Ratio 2.47 

2014 DRV 36TKSB3 

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19 hours ago, DesertMiner said:

Have you checked with your local zoning department to see if you allowed to do what you are planning?  

While doing that be careful about your words. Parking an RV is different from living in an RV even if only for one night.

Linda Sand

Blog: http://sandcastle.sandsys.org/

Former Rigs: Liesure Travel van, Winnebago View 24H, Winnebago Journey 34Y, Sportsmobile Sprinter conversion van

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I agree with the need to build to secure your Travel Trailer. The building you build would allow you catch and harvest the rain water . Thus no need to drill the well..If would only get 36 inches of rain captured, on a 20x30 building you get over 13,000 gallons of water. That would not be drinking water but lots of showers and flushes.

The need  for an air-conditioner determining whether you go for the Electricity but I personally would go for ease of maintenance and system care.

Clay

Clay & Marcie Too old to play in the snow

Diesel pusher and previously 2 FW and small Class C

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