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What is the 500 Club?  It is a category of nomads that lives on a $500 per month (or less, or close) budget.

When I finally get out on the open road I will be living on about $1200 per month social security.  I will have an emergency fund of at least 5k and several empty credit cards with another 15k or so, just in case.  I will have an off the grid metal cabin in New Mexico that won't cost anything to keep except very modest property taxes (government extorted rent).

I might travel for a weekend, several weeks or many months at a time, whatever satisfies the itch.

My plan is to do this with always having at least $500 per month disposable income to keep my emergency funds intact.

Gonna most likely do this in a minivan/spring bar tent with solar and a small 12v fridge.  I would be able to replace the whole rig for about 5k, so again the disposable income should be able to cover that too if and when the need arises.

Please share how you nomads do this.   What kind of rig do you use, how much fuel do you use, where do you boondock, how do you shower, do you travel alone, where do you stay in the winter or summer, how many miles do you travel each month, how do you store food and cook meals, how much water do you carry?

Basically just info on how you live day to day, month to month, what is your normal routine?
Awesome goal badmotorscooter! Keep clicking those links and reading and all your questions will be answered, eventually.    ~crofter
if I were going to be low bucks boondocking I would remember one of the first lessons of living in the sticks & bricks.  Having a supply of water at hand.  It's that critical.  Try living without water available.  

Depending how much room your rig has to haul water storage here are a couple of ideas to have at your campsite.

Blue Barrel Cistern

IBC Container Cistern

This way you can buy gallon jugs of water for cooking and drinking while out on the weekends, and collect free water for showering and cleaning.  (possibly running this water thru a solar heater of some form)

Being in camp for a week will be a challenge for your refrigeration.  

Boy Scouts used to build water based evaporation refrigerators and hang them from a tree limb (if there were bears etc. Even using a tin cone on that same rope if there were squirrels)  If you are in a fairly low humidity area the water will evaporate and produce some cooling.  I'd have a thermometer to keep in that system just the same to insure it is cool enough to safely stow food in.

BSA water evaporation refrigerator

These two things can be set up for cheap.  They could be hidden when not in use also.

Some form of Solar electric would be quite beneficial for charging the Cell and using the laptop/tablet etc.  Even charging the house battery to power LED lighting in the rig.

When you go out on the week ends,  the second link below may be of use to live cheap. Propane tanks could be refilled once a week as needed and it would take care of your basic camping for cheap needs.  You would have water, gas, electric, Cell Communication and basic refrigeration. (unless you wish to buy chunks of dry ice for an ice chest)
Sounds like a good plan if you can make it work. Most of the desirable places to boondock in the SW don't have much rain, so not sure how you would replenish a depleted water supply.
Yes,  that may be so.  And it will only make the $500 a month challenge even more interesting.  

If you want to do this stuff you have to first have the means to acquire the equipment so you are prepared for
the challenge.  Then be self reliant.  

The nice thing about the low humidity  climate is that water will evaporate efficiently for refrigeration.

As for water in an area where it doesn't rain much,  the reality is that you will likely have to haul your own.
That may require about 4 of those plastic 5 gallon Jerry tanks (about 42 lbs each when full of water) This would provide 
about 2.5 gallons of water a day thru the week. (then on the week end trip into town they could be filled somewhere)

Otherwise, a small trailer (about 4' w X 6' l) with an agricultural water tank (flat on the bottom) so a suitable amount of water could be shuttled back and forth to the boondock site.  

The military knows the need for water in the field and has for years used these trailers.  But a person could build a smaller version of one of these.  Remember water weighs 8.34 lbs a gallon.

[Image: cistern_example1.png1d374e4c-10fa-489b-a...d8Zoom.jpg]

Military Water Tank Trailer
I would try to boondock within easy driving distance of a town. No problem making a water supply trip once a week. The minivan's relatively good fuel economy will be a big saver. Might get a 200# travel hitch and mount a scooter on the back. Could haul a couple of 5 gallon jerry cans no problem, plus in the event of a breakdown it would be a valuable asset.
(11-09-2019, 08:50 PM)ckelly78z Wrote: [ -> ]Sounds like a good plan if you can make it work. Most of the desirable places to boondock in the SW don't have much rain, so not sure how you would replenish a depleted water supply.

Since OP has a home base, s/he could collect water. Even 10 inches of rainfall a year can provide a year's supply of drinking water. 

https://www.ose.state.nm.us/WUC/wuc_rainHarvesting.php

Also, you can refill your drinking water containers at many gas stations / convenience stores.
If a person wanted to build one of those water wagons there are kit trailers available for less than $300.  (but there are issues with some, especially Harbor Freight)  These are generally rated for 1000 lbs.  These are usually 40" X 48".

Harbor's managers often suggest putting it together and then taking it to a qualified welder to add extra bracing and reinforcement. 

The other problem is that the tires aren't rated for much more than 50 mph on the highway.  Some states have banned the sales of them. (West Virginia for one)  Of course better grades of tires can be installed to make them safer and more usable.

A 65 gallon water tank from Rural King like pictured would cost $165 with dimensions of  38X23x27 and weigh 550 lbs full of water.  This would have a spigot in the end and fit to the small trailer.  A $450 dollar + tax single purpose item.  It could be tied to the trailer with nylon straps.   I don't know what the better grade of tires would cost. 

[Image: shopping?q=tbn:ANd9GcQlUiIbG2gBvkNQ1ULIO...B&usqp=CAE]


The question is,  would you need something like this ?  Or would a receiver hitch mounted carrier rated for 500 lbs and capable of carrying 4 or 5.......5 gallon Jerry's full of water do it for you ?   That's 170 to 210 lbs of water.  Such a carrier may cost around $60 after you have a hitch installed that the rack would fit in.  

Rear Cargo Carrying Rack

The other question would be how much of this water is for drinking/cooking ?