Monday, January 31, 2011

Dumpster Diving

Yesterday day was a pretty good day. Had dinner with the fam. and did some laundry. I filled myself on burgers and they were good. My neice also pointed out that there was some stuff sitting out to the curb down back alley, so we took us a walk and discovered a nice suade sectional couch and a bunch of of other stuff in totes. So we went back to the house grabbed the truck and a few extra hands and loaded up the truck. Actually we had to make two trips. It was a pretty good score...

sectional couch - is missing on seat cushion
Palm3c - data orginazer
electic beard and hair trimmer
at least 5 bags of unopened chocolatey carmel cruch popcorn from the scouts
3 pairs of combat boots
2 pairs like new tenis shoes
2 sets of surrond sound speakers
some cloths

There was some more stuff i just cant think of it all. All in all it was a pretty good score for FREE.

I havent got much more done on the trailer. The tub surrond is all but done, just have to put the faucet handles on yet. I took the starter out of the Ford the other day but couldnt make it work again. Im going to take it out one more time and see if maybe its the solenoid. If not then ill be saving up for a new starter.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ive been following this survival blog blog for several years now The Survivalist Blog. His name is M.D. Creekmore. He has bought a RV, parked it on a junk piece of land, and is living the life that he feels is the best way for him to live. Sound familar? Following is blog i have learned alot of what it takes to live off grid in a rv. All I am lacking in following in his foot steps is the piece of land. Which is what im looking for now. He has made a very nice site, nice enough that he is able to keep his reader base coming back. He also reviews alot of survival gear that many find very helpful. I have taken alot from his site and put it to work for me, aswell as sharing it with my family and friends. So for those of you reading this, if you are wondering where i started with the path i have chosen, read up on Mr. Creekmore and you will understand exactly where im going with all this. Even if you dont want to buy a trailer and find some remote spot in the woods to survive, there is enough information on his site to get you started toward the direction that you need, that we all need to follow. That direction is to simplify our lives and enjoy them more. Building our food stores and preparing of for the world that is to come, even if it never comes. Will only make your life that much eaiser as your sitting back knowing that YOU have what you need to survive no matter what happens.

Few things Ive learned

Ive learned a few things in the last few weeks:

1. Dogs have a very good internal clock. And they know when your lieing. They know that i wont let them out till 9. Every morning at a few mins past 9 they wake me up wanting out. If its after 9 and i try to tell them its to early they know im lieing and will not stop till i let them out.

2. Measure twice, cut once. Yes i knew this already but i managed to drill the holes for the new tub surround 1 inch to high.

3. You wont know that your roof leaks till it rains.

4. Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong, if you dont take steps to prevent it from going wrong.

5. Hot water is AWSOME! life can be so much eaiser when you have easy access to hot water. Either i need to fix my water heater or get a solar shower bag so i can take a hot shower in the rv. Trucker showers get old really quick.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Out with the nasty

Jason and I took this couch out of the trailer before he left for CAX. I have no idea how the guy got it in the trailer but we had to bust it up a little bit to get it out. So what do you do with a couch thats really nasty and has the arms busted off? You burn that sucker and relize how fast these suckers go up in flames. I lit both ends with a propane torch then put it away in the trailer. When I turned around this is what it looked like. Less than 5 min. from the time I lit it.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

When it rains

Well if putting $200 into the truck didn't hurt my pocket book enough today i managed to dent it even further. I sold my tv last summer and bought a 23in. computer monitor. My plan was to get a new video card for my computer to better run the new monitor, then get a tv tuner so i would have tv again. As normal its all about money, or the lack of it.

Today when i went to power up my computer my monitor came on for about 20 min. then went blank. I started to fear the worst. This happened with my moms computer a few years ago. I turned the power off but it didn't come back on. So i did a hard reboot. It still didn't come back on. After messing with the connections i figured out that it was all hooked up good. I let it set and had some lunch. After which i tried the computer again. it booted up normal, ran for about 10 mins, then a message pops up at the bottom with some numbers that looked kind of familiar. I googled the message and sure enough it was a video card error. Just like my laptop. So i take a trip to a local computer shop and after talking to the guy we figured it was my stock video card crapping out. he didn't have any in stock so i head over to best buy to see what they have. As i stood there looking at the high priced cards i start to get sick. There's no way i can fork out over $150 for a video card. then a sales clerk comes over to "help" after telling him what i needed and i couldn't pay high dollar he asks what type of slot i got. oh boy i have no idea, but let me pull out my phone at take a look. i was smart enough to take a pic of my mother board. he says hold on he thinks hes got what i need in the back. here we go, i figure hes gonna walk out with a $200 card and say that's all they got.

After about 10 min. he walks back out with a card and says its $69.99. still more than i can afford but i do some numbers in my head and i think i can swing it. i do have the funds in the bank right now but I'm supposed to use them to pay my mom back $200 i borrowed for my fifth wheel payment. ill explain that later. so i walk out of the store with a new VisionTek Radeon HD 4350 HD Video HDMI 7.1 Audio with 512mb DDR2 memory. Very nice card indeed. but now Ive got to figure out how I'm gonna pay mom back.

Back at the trailer i tear the box open like a kid at Christmas pull the cover off my computer and get my nice new card installed in a matter of mins. all hook up and the cover back on i give her a try. She booted up, i dropped in the cd and installed the drivers. after a reboot my screen was all jacked up. My icons were huge i played with the settings for a few mins and just couldn't get it figured out. so i give a call to tech support and we narrowed it down to my VGA cable. its got to be the cable. it must of got pinched or something. so i head out to walmart this time, to try and find a cable. after an hour in walmart with the sales clerk looking too we could not find a cable so i ended up getting a HDMI cable. If you have ever bought one you know there made of freakin gold. $27.99 for a dang 6ft. cable. what a ripoff. so back home i go. feeling just a bit sicker than i did before.

New cable plugged in and wham bam thank you mam my computer is back to normal. well, so i thought. when i went to enter my password i couldn't get my wireless keyboard to connect. i tried new batteries that i took out of my headlamp and it still wouldn't connect. now I'm getting pissed and damn near smashed the freakin thing. another trip to walmart for a keyboard. i walked past them twice before the sales clerk pointed them out. i got the cheapest one they had with a cord. $19.99. i got to say it is a nice keyboard though. Microsoft comfort curve. so what the hell I'm already in the hole might as well pick up some new AAA batteries too. if by chance they work ill take the new keyboard back.

Again back home, new batteries didn't do the trick so out with the p.o.s. keyboard and in with the new. works like a dream. Now I'm back up and running. Hurray. I sat down with my check book and added all the new purchases in and, FUCK!  i spent $150 today. WTF am i to do now. no way in hell can i come up with that right now. The month is half over, I'm flat ass broke and i don't have any idea how I'm gonna make any money. So i guess mom will just have to get pissed but i wont be able to pay her back till next month. Even then it will kill me next month too. so i hope the new land lady wants to get the work she pointed out the other day done cause i need a paycheck.

Ok so now to explain the money i owe mom. you see i sold the church pew at a auction just before i left. but they only cut checks on the 1st and 15th. so i had $93.50 coming to me on the 1st. i left a deposit slip with mom so she could deposit the money in my account for me when the check came in. With having to put so much into the truck i had to wait on this deposit to make the fifth wheel payment. It was 2 weeks almost before the check came, mom was coming down here and just figured that she would just bring it with her not knowing i was waiting on it. so i asked her if she could go make the payment for me before she left and i would pay her back when she got here and i could cash the check. I have to start an acct. with a new bank cause my branch isn't around here. Well it didn't get done while she was here for 2 days so i still owe her. That should be a fun call to make. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Friday, January 07, 2011

Life so far

I have been posting on the trailer and the truck so much that i have left out the rv. As of  tonight, the rv is holding up better by far than the motorhome did. there are a few problems

1. The toilet wont stop running. hooked up to city water this could fill my black tank fast. simple fix was to just turn the water off to the toilet. i use the sink to add a little water after flushing. the shower head works well to clean the bowl of anything left too.

2. The water heater was froze solid, and in the process of unfreezing it i put my head up my own ass and lit the burner to "help" thaw it. all that did was melt the insulation on the top of the water heater. i figured it wasent a huge deal i would just have to only light it just before use. WRONG. after my brother soaked himself trying to get the drain plug back in and me half soaking myself.  i have added the water heater to the DOA list.

3. The furnace would not get hot enough to blow warm air. that was a simple fix in indiana, i just replaced it with a used unit. cost of $22. plus i still have the unit from the motorhome. but this new to me one seems to work flawless. knock on wood.

4. Front widow frame will need some majoy repairs this summer. also the side window in the front is broken. ill just patch it better than what was done.

5. Rear roof vent is broke. it wont stay down. the worm gear housing is comming apart. temp fix with vice grips is working so far. bathroom one looks like its on its way to doing the same thing.

6. Floor is rotted around the rear door steps. this will be an expensive fix. i may end up just reinventing how they mount and mounting them to the frame. just need some scrap steel.

7. The range vent fan doesnt work and the light is going soon.

Like i said, most things are minor. stuff that i expected. my biggest problem to date is the fact that i havent got the rv exactly level. its still a little high in the front but i cant lower it any further and the back is to low to get the jacks under it. so it bounces alot.

tomarrow after fixing the brakes again on the damn truck, this time the passanger caliper, i will be able to back under the rv and take the concrete blocks out from under the front legs so i can level it better.

Side note. a begal showed up this morning. tank was the first out the door and i didnt get him hooked to the cable before he went over to say high. im not worried about him and was able to get lady on the cable before she got out the door. but she ran right over and all three were sniffing each other. i went back in and let them deal with each other. to my suprise they all three were playing before long. he is very friendly, and followed me around all day. i probally screwed up and gave him some food but he looked like he hadnt ate in a few days as i could start to see his ribs. i had to stop him every time from going in the camper and the trailer. every step i took outside he was right there at my heals. even when i was working on the brakes of the truck he layed down next to me. i even had to get him out of the truck when i left the door open for just a sec. he was still out there when i let them out a few hours ago. hes got a collar but no tags. i really hope he finds his home by morning. i really cant afford to feed another dog. if he is still around tomarrow ill ask around to see if the girls know who he belongs to.  I put my dogs food inside all day but left there water bucket outside. so he has water and he did eat. im just too much of a dog lover to see him starve.

Thursday, January 06, 2011


I fianlly have power at the pole. no more running the generator to charge my batteries. the above pic is of the day i arived. notice the snow on the roof. this was taken after most of the snow melted. when we first pulled in the ground was covered.

Ok so now that i have power the fun should begin. Found out that my brother will be leaving sat. morning for cali for atleast a month, so that leaves me with the duty of fixing this place up by myself. this should be fun. i was hopeing to have some help. or at least some one to supervise. guess it will be just me and the dogs.

Monday, January 03, 2011


Still no power, i tried to call the power company today and there were closed for the holiday. dont they know people need power.

My brother and his buddy came over this morning to check out the truck and wouldnt you know it, it fired right up. So me and the dogs headed over to his house to work on his buddys car. after a few hours, the welding is mostly done of the car, most of its primered, i got a load of laundry done, ate dinner and headed back to my trailer. on the way home i stopped and put some fuel in the truck and then stopped and picked up some this on my shopping list from dollar general. tommarow i want to head over to harbor freight and check a few things out. as well as call the damn power company and try to get some lights turned one in this damn place.

Its cold tonight, 28F. right now. ill shut the water off tonight. hopefully i got enough propane to get me through the night. one bottle is empty and the other two are a little left in them. ill take at least the empty one in tommarow and get it filled.

Sunday, January 02, 2011


Yesterday i came out to the trailer and was invited to an oyster feast. Today i was invited to fried chicken, cabbage, chicken and pasta somthing (my guess was chicken and homemade noodle sheets, it was good) and black eyed peas. i could really get used to this down home cooking. in the past i would pass this kind of thing up but as im starting a new adventure in life i took the leap and had a wonderfull meal. Just say yes.  thats my motto now.

I didnt get anything done today. still running on battery and generator power. the woman that owns the property and the mother of shela (the sister) and amanda (the trailer owner), i will just refer to her as momma offered to loan me the money for the deposit to have the power turned on. dont know if i like the idea of that as it will mean me paying the deposit, after paying her back of course. if i have to pay the deposit then that means im here for a year. im not trying to put roots down. and i like the idea of being able to pack up and leave if tshtf. but i guess there could be worse places to be stuck.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

1-1-11 First post from inside the camper

I think its going to be hard to keep track of how many days im here. so for now on ill just use the date for progress reports.

As i sit here typing this im sitting at my computer in the camper. I still dont have shore power so im running the generator to charge my battery up for tonight. i made my first dinner, tuna noodle cassarole, in the camper. Tank and Lady are sleeping on the floor right next to me. The weather was in the 70's today so i came out to the trailer to get some things cleaned up in here. i guess its time to put to use the things ive learned from reading other blogs of people living off grid. Harbor freight has a little 800 watt generator for $110 right now that i would love to pick up. it would work great for charging the batteries and not burn much fuel. i dont know how much i could run off of it but im going to look into it. i could probally sell my snapper and get the small 800 watt, and 45 watt solar kit and be on my way to being off grid for good. but i cant run my welder off such a small generator so i cant sell the snapper.

After dinner i realized i didnt have any dish soap, so i woke the dogs and loaded them in the truck to head to walmart, which is just down the road. wouldnt you know it but the damn starter decieded to go out on the truck. this shit aint funny anymore. i cant afford $200 for a new fuckin starter. i just put over $100 into the brakes. so the next few days will be fun trying to find the warranty for the starter that Bob replaced 3-4 years ago. that is if there is one.

So the first day of the New Year is starting out with a bang.