Building a RV Home Base
Part 2
Page 2

It's now mid December, and it's time to make the long trek to California to get all my stuff together and move it to Texas. You'd think that it'd be easy, but, Noooooo!

Here's what I had to move from CA to TX:

See, I had it all figured out well in advance... I was going to fly out there, Collect all my stuff at Gail's place, rent a large U-haul truck, put the jet ski in the back of the Bear, put the Bear and the bike and the jet ski trailer and the odds and ends in the large U-haul truck, and hitch the storage trailer on behind. Piece of cake!! Drive it all back to Texas and I'm set. Well, right about the time that I was making the reservations for the truck, I discovered that it was illegal to tow my own trailer behind a rental truck. They were pretty adamant about it, too! Said that they'd cancel my insurance coverage if I got caught. This threw a large monkey wrench into my well oiled plans!

With very little time left, and with Bud's assistance, a new plan was formulated. It was a strange and unusual plan, and I'll try to explain it to you, although I confess that I have had little success explaining it to anyone else... :-) Here's the new plan:

  1. I fly to CA and pick up the Bear at Gail's.
  2. I drive the bear to Marsha's to get the stereo, then continue on to Cal City and Mark and Tammy's place, where I'll leave the Bear parked.
  3. I rent a car and drive back to Auburn, spend Xmas with Gail, then fly back to Texas.
  4. In Texas, Bud loans me his truck and a large gooseneck trailer.
  5. I load my truck (the Ford) on the trailer and drive the whole package to Cal City, CA. Meanwhile, Bud is driving the big Escapees truck, full of Escapade equipment, out to Lancaster, CA for the spring Escapade.
  6. In Cal City, the Ford comes off the trailer and the Bear and the jet ski (on it's trailer) go on.
  7. I drive the Ford (my truck, you know, the one that was on the trailer....) out to Lancaster, pick up Bud and take him to Cal City.
  8. Bud drives the truck and gooseneck trailer (with the Bear, jet ski, etc. on board) back to Texas.
  9. Meanwhile, I drive the Ford (remember the Ford?) up to Auburn, load it with the remaining stuff, tie the bike on there somehow, and hitch up the storage trailer.
  10. I drive the resulting package back to Texas.
Got it? Good... there will be a quiz later! :-) Now for pix:
Here's my truck riding on the trailer with Bud's truck towing. That's my rig in the background, parked at Rainbow's End.
Somewhere along the way to CA, an overnight stop at a motel.
Arriving at Mark and Tammy's, it's time to get the Bear and Jet ski loaded.
Off the trailer comes the Ford and on goes the Bear.
We had to use Mark's tractor to load the jet ski.
Here's the whole package, ready to roll!!
I went to get Bud at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds, where the big red truck (the one he drove out...) is parked.
Bud rolled to Texas while I rolled to Auburn to get my storage trailer and the remaining stuff.
Yes, it's packed pretty tight! The MGB in the bottom and a ton of stuff on the shelves above.
The last pile of stuff to take.. man, I hope it all fits in the truck!!
I pack it all in there and tarp it 
(of course, it's pouring down rain) and hang the bike on the back of the truck.
The whole package, captured at a rest area along the way.

The trip was nothing short of brutal. I covered about 4400 miles in 7 days of driving. I drove for 14-16 hours a day, three days out, three days back. Once I got to be thoroughly numb, it hardly hurt at all! :-) Finally, I had it all piled in one place, out on the property. These shots are in mid January, right after I moved out to the land for good. Been there ever since!!

I can't thank everyone enough for all the help in making this crazy scheme work! Thanks Bud, Gail, Mark, Tammy,  Marsha, and everyone else for all the help!!!

The winter weather, which had started off wet, continued to be a major show stopper. I worked with the tractor, cutting my driveway and road whenever it was dry enough, and did other projects. I built a workbench for the workshop and slowly got a lot of my stuff unpacked. It was like Christmas all over again, as I had forgotten a lot of the things that I had stored when I hit the road. Finally, it started to dry out in March, and by April, I started thinking about getting water and power trenched in on the property.

I wanted to trench both water and power to all the ends of the property, so I started measuring and drawing up materials lists. All told, I sank about 600 feet of 1" water line and a similar amount of wire. I ran phone and data cable in all the trenches and also the 50 amp main power feed for the shop. I used conduit for most of it and even added some extra lengths under any area that I anticipated putting a concrete slab in. I also sank a long run of 2 1/2" conduit and installed a meter loop and disconnect box and had the main utility power brought in underground. It was a big project, and I wound up taking most of a week off to get it all done.

Once the trenches were covered and had a chance to settle, my friend Leon came out with a small road grader and graded the entire property, correcting the slope for drainage and flattening out the high spots. At this time, the road and driveway was widened and crowned.

When Leon was done, the place looked totally different! Now, I'm working on seeding grass to stabilize the dirt and will be starting to put some gravel down in a couple of areas. Slowly, the mud and dirt will disappear!

Now that full summer has set in, it's too hot to play outside. I'm now working on finalizing a set of house plans and will be taking them around to local builders to get some estimates. I'm leaning heavily towards a shell home at this point, but it just depends on what the estimates say. I have pretty much given up on the idea of doing an RV Chalet, instead I am planning a small conventional house with a covered RV port... it just seems to make better sense to do it that way. I also have the option of going with a doublewide mobile home, but would rather have a stick-built house. We'll see how it goes. I will also be contracting out some cement work... I want to get the slab for the RV port and for the carport done this summer.

The plan right now is to either get started building a home, or get a mobile home set up, by fall. Then, over the winter months, I hope to get a carport built and perhaps a small pole barn out back for the tractor and stuff. There's still a lot of work to do before I have it all the way I want it, but I have plenty of time. I'm still living quite comfortably in the rig and will continue to do so until I have a house built.

I hope to have another installment on the Building a Home Base series by the beginning of winter. For now, I'm going to keep working and dreaming. Oh, and watching the grass grow! Sure will be nice to have green stuff instead of dirt, even if I DO have to mow it!


This page last updated on July 6, 2003