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 > Buying land for camping...

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kfp673

PA

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Posted: 08/12/20 08:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello all,

I am not sure if this is in the correct category, and this is really just a curious question / dream. Has anyone every (or known anyone who has) purchased a piece of land specifically to either leave your camper or take your camper to for camping? I am not speaking of the RV parks where you own your lot. I am talking about a random super rural property where you are on your own. As I sit at an RV park in northern PA with a site right on the lake, I think it would be amazing to have a property deep in the woods that sits on a pond or lake with no one around but us. But I would think getting electric/water/sewer to those locations would be costly.

Again, purely curious.

ford truck guy

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Posted: 08/12/20 08:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My best friend purchased 99 acres in Upstate PA for this exact reason. He is W of Towanda .. He dug a well, placed a 55 gallon drum about 10' under the ground with a TON of holes in it for waste..
He has a small solar set up for the well pump and runs a generator when he wants electric for the camper.. He cleared about a half acre to park on and it is on the top of the mountain overlooking everything.

He also placed stone from the dirt road up to his cleared spot.. just enough to allow him to pull his 35' TT up to the location


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ppine

Northern Nevada

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Posted: 08/12/20 08:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When you run out of access to public land, then buying your own parcel is a viable idea. I never liked the idea of going to the same place all the time. It is why I will never buy a second home for recreation.

Camping or having an RV allows for discovery and new places and experiences which is the whole point of going out there if you ask me.

spoon059

Just north of D.C.

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Posted: 08/12/20 08:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Haven't done it myself, but many people have. If you have the finances, go for it. Like ford truck guy said... find a way for a septic type system (or composting toilet) and a way to get power and water. Generator might get expensive and logistically difficult to run continuously. A solar setup or wind turbine system with a battery bank could give you reasonable power. Heck, get a mountain property with a stream running through it and set up a watermill to create a couple of kilowatts of power.

If I was doing it and making it semi-permanent I might set up a Carolina Carport type system for an additional roof system. That would keep water and branches off the roof, while also keeping you out of the sun and keeping additional solar gain off your roof and out of your interior space. Your camper will last a LOT longer and provide you with a covered exterior space as well.

Heck, years ago my dad talked about wanting to buy a piece of property in West Virginia that had mineral rights and drilling a natural gas well to provide free power.


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Lwiddis

near Bishop, California

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Posted: 08/12/20 08:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Certainly good for some but I’d get tired of going the same place all the time, the lack of adventure.


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DarkSkySeeker

Freestone, California

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Posted: 08/12/20 08:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This was a dream of mine for years. I investigated several properties. I wanted mimmick my friend's set up on 40 acres nearby. Ultimately it turned out to be a trade off between the following: cost, location variety, effort to add amenities. At I've gotten older the effort to set up water, power, etc overcame my interest.


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4runnerguy

Glenwood Springs, CO

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Posted: 08/12/20 09:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I know of a number of places here in Colorado where people buy a piece of land, install a well, septic and electricity, then build a pole barn under which they put their RV. Seems most use 5th wheels for this. They often have a storage shed to hold stuff they don't want to haul around. Maybe they have another similar property somewhere warmer for the winter months or this is just a weekend getaway.

One significant advantage is that without an actual house, the property taxes are a whole lot lower. Our "cabin" is nothing more than a 1974 mobile home with a roof over it. Well, septic, electric all installed. Hasn't moved since it was moved in. Nice deck. Storage shed. Trees. Lake view. But because the trailer isn't attached to the land, our yearly property taxes are just $88. A neighbor with a similar sized stick built house pays nearly than 15 times that in taxes.

One has to do some research to make understand the variabilities in the county laws and regulations to see what is possible. Also, you rarely find someplace that is near a major tourist attraction like a national park or even a lake in the woods.

I've thought about it often but can't convince DW to live in a RV all the time. Happy wife, happy life!


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gbopp

The Keystone State

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Posted: 08/12/20 09:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

spoon059 wrote:

If I was doing it and making it semi-permanent I might set up a Carolina Carport type system for an additional roof system. That would keep water and branches off the roof, while also keeping you out of the sun and keeping additional solar gain off your roof and out of your interior space.

Excellent Advice!

valhalla360

No paticular place.

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Posted: 08/12/20 09:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As a kid, we had 5 acres backing up on state forest land in Michigan. It was close enough to the road to we got electric in and we had a well but it had a hand pump. A couple hundred yards back in the woods we build an outhouse.

Biggest thing is to check the local regulations and utilities. If it's remote getting power in can get expensive. Likewise, can you sink a well of reasonable depth at reasonable cost and find water? If you want to be able to dump, a septic system is needed (the outhouse was 50yr ago and I doubt my dad pulled a permit).

It's certainly possible just is it worth it. Keep in mind, you will likely be paying property taxes and in most states property taxes are significantly higher if it's not your primary residence.


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dedmiston

The West

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Posted: 08/12/20 11:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have experience with two different friends with private camps and it's definitely a Dickensian "Tale of Two Campsites".

One guy bought a parcel in the CA desert near where we ride off road. He has access to heavy equipment, so he graded a few pads and graded a road out to his parcel from the nearest large road (not a highway).

I doubt there's any decent water on that parcel, so a well is going to be tricky. Affordable power is flat out of the question out there, and I doubt he has the gumption to put in a decent septic system.

I honestly don't see the point of that camp, besides the fact that he knows that he and his buddies will always have a guaranteed spot to camp and ride from.

The other camp we stayed at was heaven on earth. Our friends own this as part of their family's Spanish land grant in the hills above Taos, NM.

This family has the luxury of time and scale on their side, because there are so many living descendants still on the deed. I don't know, but I'm guessing there are five to ten families still involved, so it makes it a lot easier to spread the costs and labor.

This camp was heavenly. It's green, fertile, and spacious.

When we first got there last Labor Day weekend, we were the first to arrive and didn't really know where we were or what the setup was. I was confused and kept asking my buddy beforehand, "Tell me again, this isn't an RV park, but there are hookups?" When we got there, I couldn't see any pads or pedestals, but I saw six or seven RVs that were parked up there for the season. When my friends got there, they showed me where to find the pedestals and dumps between the trees up in the hills, so we shoehorned our little triple axle 45' fifth wheel up into the trees for an amazing spot.

It turned out they had paid to have power brought in the couple of miles from the highway. They also put in a huge septic field and ran their well water to every space. It looked pretty random and hodgepodge, but it was a fantastic camp.

They had a huge full-sized storage bin where they kept their ATVs for hunting along with all of their camp supplies (dry goods, paper goods, stoves, etc.). They also had a good size pole barn with roll down tent sides for when it rained (and it rained!!!) and a permanent kitchen area under the barn (sinks, counters, and bases for grills & griddles).

My take-away after knowing what my one friend had gone through just to scrape out some level dirt in the desert compared to the other family who had literally spent generations improving their camp was that this wasn't something anybody should undertake as a single family unless the area already had some natural resources (like good water) and/or was close enough to civilization to bring in power. Unless money were no concern, I don't think it's very practical to pull this off as a single family.

Honestly, pouring a relatively modest amount of money into your RV for increased battery capacity, inverter capacity, solar, and lots of fresh/waste water capacity is pretty attainable for most people, and then your options for boondocking are practically unlimited.


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