Bugged out five weeks ago...

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Bugged out five weeks ago...

Post by lovesmuggler » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:05 am

I'm currently stationed away from my hometown, where my house is, and an awesome opportunity came up to purchase my dream BOL less than ten miles from downtown Missoula. My wife and I worked it all out and less than a month later bought a train substation for a third of the original asking price. For you trainophiles out there it's Old Milwaukee Line Substation #10 at Primrose and Mullan out west of town:
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To comfortably make this purchase we decided that renting a house down here in California that was three times the BOL mortgage was a bit nuts, so I packed up our house and collected the deposit and used it to buy this:
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I think mock bug-outs are great so I figured, this would just be an extended mock bug-out. I guess it's just more of an actual bug-out. I've been off-grid now clandestinely living in this RV parking on the streets here for five weeks and everything is going great. Since I'm into my second month now that means that I've made all the money back I spent on the RV by not paying rent, and my new minimalist lifestyle may just end up being a permanent thing for me. With all the money we are saving over the next few months we're going to be paying down our debt to really get free, and when I finish here in February it's back to Montana to start homesteading at our giant brick fortress! So now that the background is all laid out, lets talk about this interesting BOV.

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She's an Iveco z100 truck body from 1980 with a Deutz diesel 5 cylinder engine from Germany. It's an inline five and quite unique in that every cylinder can be unbolted and removed and quickly replaced like on an airplane engine, it's pretty convenient but I might never get a chance to do it since I just turned 30,000 miles on the odometer, she's got some life left in her. It's a five speed manual with a super low first gear, so low that I almost never use it. The interior was dark brown wood paneling and wasn't set up very well so in the evenings before moving out of the house my wife painted everything and I made some changes to the inside.

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I pulled out the original tiny cupboards and built a big shelf sized to hold milk crates as drawers, making is very convenient when I pull up to a camp site to pull my cooking drawer, for instance, and carry it outside instead of gathering armloads of crap from all over. I intentionally made the shelf an inch higher than a milk crate, then put a half inch lip on the bottom that is easy to lift the drawers over but holds them solidly in place until I want them to move.

I wanted to minimize my energy consumption and streamline this beast, so I ripped off the air conditioner and used 3/4 In square tubing tied into the frame to frame-in a square hole to install a skylight, which I got from Home Depot.
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This provides a lot of light and if I park under a streetlight at night I can even see to get around in it. I've since sealed it well and replaced all the roof vents so I have a solid leak-free roof now. Then I decided to build myself a deck up on the roof for sunbathing or tying extra equipment down to in a real GTFOOD situation. Since I intended to lay up there some times, or watch the wife lay up there, I covered the platform pieces with indoor/outdoor carpet before installing them:
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Since I don't use the heater I fabricated some insulated window covers and a curtain between the cab and living area using reflective bubble insulation. I double layered everything, taped the edges with aluminum tape for a little rigidity, then added grommets to hang them securely:
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So far I've run my battery banks all the way down twice and had to clutch start it (thank goodness it's a manual), which leads me to believe the batteries are old or poorly maintained since I don't draw very much power at all, so I'm setting aside some money from next paycheck to seal the entire roof and install solar panels, a charge controller, and a new set of batteries. I've only burned a gallon of gasoline or two in the generator since I got this thing but I'd like to get to the point that I never need it.
I go camping on the weekends to have a space to work on the RV, dump my tanks, and fill my fresh water tanks. I'll be posting more pics as I continue improving my BOV, and I welcome all your comments, questions, and tips for improvement! Also central Cali folks let me in ZS:015 already so I can make some friends I'm going crazy living in this damn thing alone!
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Last edited by lovesmuggler on Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
I'm trying to build the ultimate bug-in location! Please check it out and give some feedback!
http://www.primrosestation.com

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Re: Bugged out five weeks ago...

Post by modustollens » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:31 am

Excellent. Nice machine. Costly to drive or good mileage?

Did a similar thing myself to avoid paying rent between university semesters - bugged out to the woods for 3 months and saved a little over a 1000, got tonnes of exercise and read a small library worth of books.

Can you suspend a hammock in there? That would be sweet for sleeping.

How about a wood stove for cooking and warmth? Many of the trucks here have wood stoves in the back (for it will get to below -45 here) and the workers need a place to warm up.

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Bugged out five weeks ago...

Post by lovesmuggler » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:47 am

I'm sure I could hang up my Hennessy hammock in here and it would be much more comfortable, but I think my sleeping arrangement is soon going to be improved by a gel foam mattress topper from Costco. I also am feeling healthy with all the extra exercise I'm getting, I walk everywhere now that's within about a five mile radius and I go to the gym almost daily because then I get to use their sauna and shower and conserve my resources, I also charge my batteries and electronic devices at work right now to save strain on my electrical system until I get my solar system hooked up. The truck gets pretty decent mileage since its a diesel but it all depends on how I drive it. I think that if I'm driving politely I probably get around 14 or 15 MPG which is pretty good, every Friday after work I fill it up, buy a few more yellow scepter fuel cans and fills those and then put them in a trailer with my household goods so that if I ever had to get from here back to Montana I'll eventually have enough fuel saved up. I think living like this costs me about 10 dollars a day, which is just insanely cheap compared to the way I was living earlier this year if I divided all my expenses out. When I get back to MT one of my first projects will be a small wood stove in place of the over, which I will absolutely never use. Who bakes a damn cake in their RV?
I'm trying to build the ultimate bug-in location! Please check it out and give some feedback!
http://www.primrosestation.com

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Re: Bugged out five weeks ago...

Post by phalanx » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:18 am

Love it. Very cool set up.
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Re: Bugged out five weeks ago...

Post by T-Boon » Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:22 am

Pretty sweet setup.
lovesmuggler wrote:Who bakes a damn cake in their RV?
I would totally make Cake in a RV.
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Re: Bugged out five weeks ago...

Post by FlashDaddy » Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:03 am

I really like your rig. Looking forward to pics and info when you set up your solar charging equipment. But I got to say that the train substation home looks like a really interesting deal. I have never been to one, never heard of one prior to your post. I googled up a video made of an abandoned one that looks to be in much worse shape than yours, due to vandals. The place is HUGE.




Talk about room for preps!
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Re: Bugged out five weeks ago...

Post by MaconCJ7 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:29 am

Both are great. The BOV is just sweet, the new BIL will be perfect.
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Bugged out five weeks ago...

Post by lovesmuggler » Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:48 am

FlashDaddy wrote:I really like your rig. Looking forward to pics and info when you set up your solar charging equipment. But I got to say that the train substation home looks like a really interesting deal. I have never been to one, never heard of one prior to your post. I googled up a video made of an abandoned one that looks to be in much worse shape than yours, due to vandals. The place is HUGE.




Talk about room for preps!
Yeah when I was researching these buildings I found that video too, it gave me a good idea of the size and layout of the building. Mine is in excellent condition, after it was decommissioned a company set up shop inside and maintained it, and recently a photographer had purchased it to make into a live-work studio. With the purchase we received blueprints for his planned renovations, one side already has a second floor built over part of it, all framed in. There's a huge pool inside with three giant windows in front of it, I'm wondering if it could be the world's best aquaponics set up. Also one side has a crane in the ceiling, so that side I've decided will be my shop. When I get time I'm going to build a seperate thread for the building. If you look up the history of this line I think there were 22 of these stations spread from Montana through Washington, though many are in disrepair a few have been renovated. There will eventually be a 400+ mile paved bike trail along the whole line, so I'll be able to bike into town. There are huge doors on one side, so when I get home I'm going to back a larger RV trailer inside so I can start living out there while working on it.
I'm trying to build the ultimate bug-in location! Please check it out and give some feedback!
http://www.primrosestation.com

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Re: Bugged out five weeks ago...

Post by nathat » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:19 am

This is pretty cool.

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Re: Bugged out five weeks ago...

Post by Stercutus » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:27 am

Jealous of your MT brick fortress.

It is nice to see someone realizing what they want and taking initiative to go get it as opposed to whining about it being impossible. You are sacrificing a little now to get a nice payoff in the end. Well worth it I say.
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Bugged out five weeks ago...

Post by lovesmuggler » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:45 am

Blacksmith wrote:Jealous of your MT brick fortress.

It is nice to see someone realizing what they want and taking initiative to go get it as opposed to whining about it being impossible. You are sacrificing a little now to get a nice payoff in the end. Well worth it I say.
Thanks for saying that, I try to motivate people to start making small steps towards their goals no matter how trivial it seems now, it adds up. I have the same mantra when it comes to prepping, there's really no excuse not to be prepared for most disasters, even if you're poor you can pick up a couple extra cans of food every time you go to the store or use two for one coupons and salt away the extra. The only way to be prepared is to live a sustainable lifestyle now, eat what you prep, learn to grow your own food, learn to take care of yourself, generate your own power. I have a sister that's been on welfare for years talking about how the deck is stacked against her, and she just can't get ahead, yet she soends her disposable income on apple laptops and thousand dollar cameras. She's the type of person who would say she could never afford to be prepared, she needs to hope the government can help her if she needs it. We can all see how well that works out, people just get lost in the shuffle sometimes, the only one you can absolutely rely on is yourself.
I'm trying to build the ultimate bug-in location! Please check it out and give some feedback!
http://www.primrosestation.com

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Re: Bugged out five weeks ago...

Post by offcamber » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:56 am

That substation is awesome! Great purchase. def want to see pics when you get the chance.

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Re: Bugged out five weeks ago...

Post by TacAir » Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:13 am

Your mobile apt is no smaller than a low cost pad in NY or San Francisco. Checking out how people live in those small spaces might give you some ideas.

I lived in a 19 foot caravan for over a year. the small shower was the only down side to the setup.

I can only hope that your 'guerrilla camping' doesn't land you in hot water. Any chance the boss will let you homestead on company property as a night watchman?
Or any other property for that matter... Here in Anchorage, the local school district puts up RVers on the school property, hooks up 30 amp service, water and arranges routine pump out. What they get is an on-site presence too reduce vandalism - might be something going on in your AO.

How much land came with the train station?
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Bugged out five weeks ago...

Post by lovesmuggler » Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:17 am

Blacksmith wrote:Jealous of your MT brick fortress.

It is nice to see someone realizing what they want and taking initiative to go get it as opposed to whining about it being impossible. You are sacrificing a little now to get a nice payoff in the end. Well worth it I say.
Thanks for saying that, I try to motivate people to start making small steps towards their goals no matter how trivial it seems now, it adds up. I have the same mantra when it comes to prepping, there's really no excuse not to be prepared for most disasters, even if you're poor you can pick up a couple extra cans of food every time you go to the store or use two for one coupons and salt away the extra. The only way to be prepared is to live a sustainable lifestyle now, eat what you prep, learn to grow your own food, learn to take care of yourself, generate your own power. I have a sister that's been on welfare for years talking about how the deck is stacked against her, and she just can't get ahead, yet she spends her disposable income on apple laptops and thousand dollar cameras. She's the type of person who would say she could never afford to be prepared, she needs to hope the government can help her if she needs it. We can all see how well that works out, people just get lost in the shuffle sometimes, the only one you can absolutely rely on is yourself.
I'm trying to build the ultimate bug-in location! Please check it out and give some feedback!
http://www.primrosestation.com

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Bugged out five weeks ago...

Post by lovesmuggler » Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:51 pm

I can only hope that your 'guerrilla camping' doesn't land you in hot water.


Yeah me too, before I started this endeavor I researched local laws and it seems like I'm totally legal, as long as I move 150 feet every three days. Although my tires have never been marked, so that means nobody in my neighborhood has complained. My boss is the Army so I don't think he'll let me live in it on the base, although there are a couple people I know doing that in vans, my rig is too conspicuous. I know of two other people within a block of me doing the same thing as I am...
I'm trying to build the ultimate bug-in location! Please check it out and give some feedback!
http://www.primrosestation.com

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Re: Bugged out five weeks ago...

Post by MaconCJ7 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:00 pm

I dunno about the Army, but AF bases have "FamCamps". Campgrounds with power and water. Check into that if it's an option.
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Re: Bugged out five weeks ago...

Post by Dawgboy » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:34 pm

Nice truck! Is your Deutz an air cooled model? My friend Marko imported an German Army Deutz truck and camperized it. It's really nice and 4wd, but I think yours is a lot more low key and grey man. If you ever come to San Diego, you can plug in at my place if i get a tour...

Marko's Deutz pulling a Mexican army hummer and a Ford Van out of the mud...

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Bugged out five weeks ago...

Post by lovesmuggler » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:02 pm

MaconCJ7 wrote:I dunno about the Army, but AF bases have "FamCamps". Campgrounds with power and water. Check into that if it's an option.
Roger, many Army bases do too, but I'm at the Presidio of Monterey, they don't have anything like that here, there's just no room for it, although in the future when I'm working on different bases I really hope to take advantage of that option, I know when I'm working up at JBLM I'll have a couple of options like that.
I'm trying to build the ultimate bug-in location! Please check it out and give some feedback!
http://www.primrosestation.com

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Bugged out five weeks ago...

Post by lovesmuggler » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:05 pm

Dawgboy wrote:Nice truck! Is your Deutz an air cooled model? My friend Marko imported an German Army Deutz truck and camperized it. It's really nice and 4wd, but I think yours is a lot more low key and grey man. If you ever come to San Diego, you can plug in at my place if i get a tour...
Yep it is air cooled, and strangely has no glow plugs it's quite a unique engine and I just love it. Your friend's Deutz looks awesome, good to see another unique RV. I hope I make it down to SD to take you up on your offer, that's where this bad boy was manufactured!
I'm trying to build the ultimate bug-in location! Please check it out and give some feedback!
http://www.primrosestation.com

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Re: Bugged out five weeks ago...

Post by deadcat7382 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:10 pm

very cool piece of machinery and nice BIL. I love Montana, used to RON there on the way to Alaska all the time.
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Bugged out five weeks ago...

Post by lovesmuggler » Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:26 pm

Nice stop by and visit next time. I hope when I get home I can get together enough folks to form a Missoula ZS chapter, shouldn't be too tough with the Zombie Tools guys being located here.

Here's a pic of the sunroof I put in, view is from the bed on an overcast day:

Image
I'm trying to build the ultimate bug-in location! Please check it out and give some feedback!
http://www.primrosestation.com

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Re: Bugged out five weeks ago...

Post by Seanwins » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:02 pm

lovesmuggler wrote:
MaconCJ7 wrote:I dunno about the Army, but AF bases have "FamCamps". Campgrounds with power and water. Check into that if it's an option.
Roger, many Army bases do too, but I'm at the Presidio of Monterey, they don't have anything like that here, there's just no room for it, although in the future when I'm working on different bases I really hope to take advantage of that option, I know when I'm working up at JBLM I'll have a couple of options like that.

Really cool setup. I went to DLI and now I live a few miles from JBLM. We'll welcome you to ZSC:005 when the time comes. :D

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Bugged out five weeks ago...

Post by lovesmuggler » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:15 pm

Cool, maybe I can just park my rig behind Galloping Gertie's since I go there so often...
I'm trying to build the ultimate bug-in location! Please check it out and give some feedback!
http://www.primrosestation.com

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Bugged out five weeks ago...

Post by lovesmuggler » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:31 pm

I wanted to write a post about my energy usage as it stands now. Earlier I noted that before my batteries had run down to the point that the engine wouldn't turn over, now that problem has been rectified by a portable jump starter that I can charge every couple of weeks while I'm at the campground. I don't run my generator where I'm parked here outside the base because I've been here for five weeks and nobody has called the cops, the last thing I want to do is bother the people that live here. Besides the portable jumper I have a solar joos and another folding panel I use to charge eneloops in two guide 10 chargers from goal zero. My camping stove and big buddy heater and lantern all run on 1 pound propane tanks, and in 5 weeks I've almost finished off 2 of them. I have a dozen in reserve and a coupler to refill them off my larger propane tanks. I like that all my stuff runs off the same tanks and is all modular and portable for a number of reasons. Also I have a full set of rigid cordless power tools that have some extra 18v power packs, and on the weekend when I charge up I charge them too and they'll last me up to two weeks. I few weeks ago I bought a rigid job site stereo that uses the battery packs and will play my iPhone while charging it at the same time. Of course my next big purchase will be solar panels, probably the big goal zero panels since they have a 50% off pro deal for .mil on promotive.com.
I'm trying to build the ultimate bug-in location! Please check it out and give some feedback!
http://www.primrosestation.com

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