If you are interested in living in a converted cargo trailer, I have good news! One of my good friends, Bryce, who has been a traveling nomad the last few years has finally found where he wants to settle down and has bought a small house in Pahrump, NV; it will become his home-base that he takes trips out of. You might expect me to condemn him for that, but I can see a lot of wisdom and practicality in it. Some of us have such extreme itchy feet we can never settle down, but others, like my friend, also have a need for a settled place to call home. If it makes you happy, more power to you! If he and the trailer sounds familiar, it’s because I did a post on them a few years back. http://www.cheaprvliving.com/boondocking-2/cargo-trailer-man-cave-2/ He also hosts many get-togethers for the tribe, like this Super Bowl party: http://www.cheaprvliving.com/cooking-refrigeration/super-bowl-sunday/
So the reason for this post is because he is selling his 8 x 18 cargo trailer which is very well set-up as a base to live in; he’s asking $8,500 or best offer. You may wonder why I’m doing a post about it, and the reason is because everyone wins when I do:
- Bryce wins because he sells his trailer.
- Whoever buys it wins because it’ll be an incredible deal for someone as a foundation to start a mobile life.
- The audience wins because you get some creative ideas for your mobile life.
Because Bryce already had a 4×4 truck with a slide-in camper that he loved living in, he wasn’t looking for a new home, what he wanted was something like a recreation room that he could turn into his man-cave. He knew just what he needed to go into it:
- A 55 inch flat-screen TV
- X-Box to play games on
- 500 watts of solar to power it all
- Recliner to comfortably play games or watch TV
- Being someone who loves to host people and cook for them, he wanted to be able to carry a large, multi-burner barbecue grill he could use as a grill, stove top or an oven.
Only the solar is included with the trailer–nothing else.
He loved the comfort and extreme mobility of his 4X4 pickup and slide-in camper, but he couldn’t have any of those luxury items in it. The perfect solution was a trailer that he could play in during the winter and then put in storage for the summer when he traveled in the camper. So he started looking around for one and finally bought his 8 x 18, dual-axle, enclosed cargo trailer made by Interstate. https://www.trailersplus.com/Interstate-cargo-trailer/ But now that he’s decided to buy a house, he no longer needs the trailer, so it is for sale.
Here’s what makes it a perfect foundation as a trailer for a nomad:
- At 8 x 18 it’s large enough to have all the comfort you need, but not so large and heavy as to be hard to tow or impossible to get back into remote boondocking spots.
- Insulated roof–factory installed
- Roof rack–factory installed
- 2 Windows and 2 top vents–factory installed
- Barn doors on back
- 500 watts of solar on top, 80 amp Outback charge controller. Total cost of entire solar power system including batteries: $1800, not including installation. Each component, is the very best you can buy!
- 4 six-volt deep cycle Crown golf-cart batteries
- 2500 watt inverter
- It’s an Interstate brand trailer
- Built in 2014
- It’s spent nearly it’s entire life in the desert southwest–no rust
- Like new condition
- Two heavy duty axles rated at 7000 pounds total
- Weighs about 3000 pounds giving it about ~4000 pound payload
But, he’s done nothing to the inside, it’s a blank slate that you have to convert to just what you want it to be.
A Blank Slate, Like an Empty Apartment
Before you get disappointed and think you aren’t interested in it because it isn’t already converted for you, let me offer you a different way to look at it: see it as an empty apartment you get to fix up just how you want it. If it were mine, I’d leave it as an open shell and fill it full of furniture just like it was an apartment. The one difference is, you might want to put in walls to separate out the bathroom or even a bedroom. Everything else you can make it into a wonderful home with just furniture. Best of all, it won’t cost much or require hardly any building, maybe even none.
The first van I lived in was a box van with a 8 X 12 box, and I loved almost everything about it because it’s just a big, empty, square box waiting for me to bring it to life. I’m a big fan of buying used furniture inside a van! It’s cheap, durable, reasonably attractive, feels homey and is very good for the environment. It’s only drawback is it’s weight but if you shop specifically looking for light-weight items, the weight will be acceptable. An option is to go to Home Depot or Lowes and buy their plastic organizing units intended for garages. They will be lighter than what you could make from wood and very, very durable. Here is what I did in my box van and would do with a 8 X 18 trailer if it were me:
- Put a recliner in it: I tell you what, the single best thing I did to make my life better is get a recliner; it would almost be worth it to me to buy this just to have the space for a recliner!
- Bunk beds: You can get all kinds of bunk beds now and I’d buy or build one with a larger bottom bunk and use the top one as storage unless I had guests, then it would be theirs.
- Industrial Plastic Shelving. What I did with my box van was go down to Costco and buy their heavy-duty plastic shelving and place it up against the walls for storage. I screwed it into the plywood on the walls and in the 6 years I lived in it, the shelves worked perfectly no matter how much weight they had on them.
- Desk–preferably a roll-top or computer desk: It’s hard to beat a desk for practicality! You get a large surface to use as a counter-top, drawers below and hopefully shelves above with a roll-top or computer desk. Highly recommended.
- Dressers and Armoires: These are great for clothes organization and making your home look nice.
- Heavy–duty plastic drawers and closets: These don’t look as nice as furniture but they are drastically lighter and very durable.
- Book shelves: There is little that is better for organization than book shelves.
- Build a Bathroom: This isn’t something I would bother with but with that much room it would be easy to build a wall and create a bathroom. A pre-fab shower stall and eco-temp on-demand hot water heater will keep you clean. Then get a bath vanity with sink, add a 20 gallon water tank on the floor (no worries about freezing) and a 12 volt water pump and you are good to go. You can collect gray water into Reliance 7 gallon jugs, or let it drain out on the ground. I’d NEVER have black tanks so I’d use a 5 gallon bucket, porta-potti or composting toilet instead.
That sounds like it could cost a lot of money, but that’s why I would search diligently for used furniture. There’s little doubt in my mind you could get it all used for pennies on the dollar if you search diligently. These are the places I’d concentrate my search:
- Thrift Stores
- Garage Sales
If this sounds like something you are interested in, Bryce is asking $8500 or best offer. I’d encourage you to contact Bryce through his email address at:
He and the trailer are located at Pahrump, NV which is 60 miles due west of Las Vegas.