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Here's a nifty rig I saw...
I'm in Fernandina Beach, FL, currently. Walking down the street I saw this beast pull in and I knew I had to find its owner and see what he was up to. It didn't take long before I found him hanging out by the docks and I hit him up for a chat and some pictures.

This fellow is from Maine and says he's been living the mobile lifestyle his whole life. His vehicle is a Ford diesel 350 that was a wheelchair transportation van in a previous life. At some point, it had some highly custom bodywork done to it. Added to the back is an old horse trailer with solar panels and a battery bank. Seen on this side of the trailer is his table attached to the fender made with a cross-section of timber and some strap hinges. I didn't get pictures of the other side, but that side contains his battery bank, mounted to the opposite fender. He's had that opposite fender re-welded a couple times from the weight of the batteries breaking it. In asking him about his battery/solar system he really didn't know any details, only that he paid someone $3,000 to install it back in the early 2000s! He is using regular car starter batteries for his bank and has several of them. With his panels being that old I suggested that he could easily upgrade today as prices have come down a lot, but he didn't seem that interested - he's an old timer and his set up is working for him.  Smile

Inside the horse trailer, among other things, is a 1950s Harley that was a former Police service bike in Burlington, VT! Strange as I met him in FL and Burlington VT was my hometown before leaving for the mobile life. The Harley has a box on the back for hauling his dog. Sorry, didn't get pictures of that bit. He says he averages 10 MPG (diesel) - highest of 16 MPG without the trailer.

I never did figure out what's with the one massive boot...

Interesting character for sure.



[Image: W2lacLw.jpg]
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The following 2 users say Thank You to TMG51 for this post:
eDJ_ (11-27-2015), BradKW (11-22-2015)

Finally, pics of a rig with an outside much uglier than mine. Mine's patchwork of repairs may not show on the pics I had to post for SaltySeaWitch, but they sure do show in person. LOL
6 months boondocking in 2014; now in s&b but will be full-time again in Sept 2017.
97 Dodge Ram Van 3500. Simple set-up but reliable. Blog is woefully outdated but prepper info promotes my novels:
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The following 1 user says Thank You to WriterMs for this post:
LayWoman for Christ (09-11-2017)
(11-22-2015, 09:13 PM)WriterMs Wrote: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, TMG!

Finally, pics of a rig with an outside much uglier than mine. Mine's patchwork of repairs may not show on the pics I had to post for SaltySeaWitch, but they sure do show in person. LOL

And I was showing its good side! He freely admitted he didn't much care about appearances. He patched holes with sheet metal and liberal spray applications of that "as seen on TV" spray stuff (note: I don't recommend that product to anyone). At least he used the white version of the spray seal on this side. On the opposite side he used black. Must be what he had on hand that day.

I wouldn't do things the same way he does, but I do enjoy that a person such as him can exist in the world and be happy.
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If that guy can stealth camp, anyone can Big Grin
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The following 1 user says Thank You to BradKW for this post:
Snikwahjm (08-07-2017)
(11-22-2015, 09:47 PM)BradKW Wrote: If that guy can stealth camp, anyone can  Big Grin

Yep! He did say he's been chased out of places by police now and then, but by and large he just gets by parking for free.
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How could you not ask about that ginormous boot? lol

Well good for him.
~ Cheli ~

Looking forward to becoming a nomad and living free.
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(11-23-2015, 12:44 PM)Cheli Wrote: How could you not ask about that ginormous boot?  lol

Well good for him.

Well, I started to, and in passing said "That's one hell of a boot." He replied, "Yessir, custom made in New York..." and followed up with some old-timey tales. I didn't want to press him and ask why he needed it, but I did notice he has pronounced surgical scarring on the insides of both legs, so I'm assuming it's a medical apparatus of sorts. He also volunteered that, with his rig being a dog to drive and all (who would have guessed), it gets hard to switch between pedals in stop/go traffic or up/down hill; when his leg gets tired from the weight, he has to pick his leg up with his hands to put his foot on the pedal!
[Image: W2lacLw.jpg]
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Interesting mods to the RVs body.
I really don't think stealth is part of his world.
Stay Tuned

Weirdo Overlord  YARC CRVL edition
12 "Stinkin'Badges"  a "Full Monty Badge" 2 "Just Ignore Me" clusters  4 "Pine Cone" clusters  one "Stinkin' Badger" and 4 of the coveted "Flying Manure Spreader"awards! (What a "Stinkin' " honor !) + ROOIRIA

1981 Travelcraft Class C - 23'
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And I thought my old Motorhome looked "rough" Dodgy
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Still Workin...
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LayWoman for Christ (09-11-2017)
The more I look at and study this old "Gent's" concept the more merit I see in it.  Depending on what he has in that Horse Trailer which is the focus of my interest.  

I understand he has an old shuttle bus for his rig and everything is essentially cobbled together. It isn't cosmetically appealing at first glance.  (perhaps by design)

I'm sure that if the LEO's see him as handicapped at his age they may assume he is a Viet Vet and that cut him
a lot of slack.

What I see is a way of adapting this method of thinking he has to a smaller light weight Van containing the
bed and kitchenette and a few basics.   The trailer could have a bathroom, power house, and other
functions. (depending on the size and weight of trailer)

For one who is traveling and sight seeing this unit could serve them well.  When they get to an area that they want to go exploring in, they could leave the trailer at the campsite and take a couple days to go exploring or sight seeing in the Van.  When they return the batteries in the Trailer would be recharged by the solar panels.
The Van would recharge a house battery as it is driven.  But combining the Van with the Trailer for cross country travel would provide comfort and convenience and then detaching the trailer once at camp or by using a secure parking lot, the traveler could use the Van to travel through segments of the area he or she
would want to see and even stealth camp for a day or so. (if they have membership to a national Gym or YMCA where they could clean up they may be able to be away from the trailer for longer periods) 

It would be like having a big Class A with all the amenities to use while on the road,  and the utility of being able to detach and then have somewhat of a Class B to go sight seeing and stealth camping in when desired. 

When I look at these pictures, this is the possibility I see in it.   The Van could be a 1/2 Ton with V8 engine, and the trailer be a light weight single axle.  (I'm sure the old Gent found a good deal on that horse trailer)  Together the two units would provide comfort and flexibility for both camping/boondocking and travel/sightseeing.

I'd proceed as in my Van Conversion website with my Van and then focus on setting up a  4 X 8 trailer 6.5 ft tall with all the utilities I would want in it.  There's only so much room in a Van and the more stock it appears, the more suited to stealth camping in the inner city it would likely be.  I'd even mount the awning on the trailer instead of the Van if I were using the Van/Trailer combination.
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