When we started on our homestead journey, we had no idea how challenging it would be. After our circa 1900 farmhouse was practically destroyed by our first contractor we had to make drastic decisions. That included finding a way to live on our property.
Being newlyweds this was a difficult way to live. Not many people return from their honeymoon with the expectations of living in a camper full time. We certainly did not. But, in the end, it brought us closer together.
Have you ever wondered how someone can live in a Tiny House or RV Full Time? We did it! With 2 children! It’s really not all that difficult. Here are some helpful steps to help you get started with establishing your homesite “Base Camp.”
#1 – Find an area on your property that is flat, secure, and most importantly dry. You don’t want your living quarters sinking in the mud. Watch the water flow on your property and make sure you identify a location that has plenty of run off and no standing water. Also check your flood zone maps and expect the unexpected.
#2 – Water. Having a reliable water source is essential for any living environment. Wether you are going completely off-grid or using minimal utilities, water is one you simply cannot go without. Either establish a rain water retention system, or find a water source such as a pond, lake, river, stream, creek, or well. If you are setting up near a natural water source, refer back to number 1 and take it very seriously.
#3 – Human Waste, where will it go? You could build an outhouse, rent a port john and have it serviced, or, if you are living in an RV you’ll have the black tank which can be serviced by a portable waste company. If there is a septic system onsite, you can hook up your black tank to the system. If you don’t have a septic system, you could establish a way to keep your gray tank flowing freely (just keep your cleaning organic) and bi-weekly have your black tank pumped.
#4 – Electricity. Electricity is a must have in today’s society. You can either use a generator or you could have a temporary power pole installed. A temporary power pole is a great choice for someone living for long periods of time in an RV or Tiny House. Most of the time these poles can only be obtained IF you are building on your property and have a proper permit. If you aren’t, here’s a solution. BEFORE brining your RV or Tiny House to the property apply for an Agricultural Temporary Power Pole. In most states Agricultural uses are protected and therefore applying for and getting a pole for that use is allowed. Be cautious of the fact that hooking up your RV to one of these poles full time is not allowed, so keep it hush hush if you do.
#5 – Water proof covering. Most RV’s aren’t designed to simply sit out in the weather for months and days on end, while newer designs do very well, older designs require A LOT of maintenance. We suggest building a cover over the RV for UV protection (that’s protection from the sun) as well as rain protection. This will not only improve the water resistance of your living space, but also provide better cooling. If you can’t build a structure, you should at least find a way to seal your roof a little better. We used silicone roofing paint.
#6 – Deck or Mat. If your living quarters are small, you will need a way to get out and enjoy being out. Additionally, in small spaces it’s very difficult to keep things clean when you are walking inside with your dirty shoes, having a small deck, mat, or some sort of landing will solve this issue.