The Next Phase Just Became Real

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X-Roughneck Strike 3

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145
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Bad Water Texas
Dan,

Saw that you are floating that front end and saw the replies.

I usually like to play with the boards to get to the point I slightly rest the tire on wood, and I never allow to levitate. Personal Preference.

I like to go to Lowes or HD. Go to the Lumber section Find a 2 x 12" board and track down the guy who runs the saw. They will cut lengths of that board for the actual cost of the board, nice and square.

Find a 1" X get them to cut that one and now you got alot of shims that don't weigh too much to carry around to shim.

I inherited alot of RV swag from the previous owners we bought our RV from. He gave me orange blocks and literally a couple $1000 of RV gizmos. Literally Pots Pans, Everything. I found that those Orange pads are Heavy and I was carrying too much leveling weight I rarely used and got some removed and stored at the house.

I like the Wood at the Big Box Stores.

JD
 

Ex-Calif

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Thanks JD. I moved pads and am 99% level now.

Marvin still has a couple of quirks but hot water and furnace are running well. I have the new charger in the Jeep and we are expecting a sunny weekend so I will tackle that job this weekend and get hi off "battery charger life support."

On the water heater there were several glitches. There was a broken female spade lug on a switch wire and I didn't have my electrical spares so I bodged that together. I now have my electrical spares box so that will also get a new lug this weekend. I put on new thermostat and ECO switches for good measure (because they are cheap) and a new fusible link (which was metering bad). I then got intermittent lighting and have since figured out the 6 pin plug to the control board is "loose" I have a new pigtail ordered and will replace the plug. The heater will quit but if I wiggle the plug it fires back up.

On the drive back from Dayton the Jeep decided it needs new brake pads and they started "scratching" on the tell tales with about 200 miles to go. I made it back and picked up new brake pads to install this weekend as well.

IN the meantime I met with the well folks for the property. The current well is not viable for a number of reasons primarily that to get it running will be like 60% of the cost of a new well. It is also on the southern 3 acres and is a long run to the house area so we will sink a new well. Power plan has been figured out and the best news is the septic tank is good! We pumped it out and it got a new certification. The final thing was visiting the county, confirming property lines and verifying I can do what I want with the property.

Of course there are permits and rules but it is a government paperwork thing and as long as all the stamping is done I can move on the property for up to 6 months at a time and live in the RV. I can also build garages, out buildings and fenced pens to store trailers and toys. I am 99.9% sure this is all true as in small towns you are actually talking to the one guy who writes the permits - LOL...

Should close on property in a week or so and then slowly start the land clearing, brush hogging and tree clearing.

Last week was flying at high Alpha close to stall speed with all the tasks that needed to be done at once but we made it and got all the essentials done. Flaps and gear retracted and we are established in stable climb...

It was one of the life tests to see if one is committed - LOL...
 

X-Roughneck Strike 3

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Feb 15, 2021
Posts
145
Location
Bad Water Texas
Love the land and the plans for building that combo building. Good strategy to keep your taxes down on the land. When we bought this 1115 ft new house back in April 2019, We had 1076 ft of Concrete (AKA" Weed Killer) poured. Also had American Steel Carports Out of Joshua TX construct a Sun / Hail RV Port / Awning to keep away the Blast Furnace Bake off the roof of the RV.

Make sure while you got your Concrete Pour going on to do all those walkways that will be nice one the Rainy season comes you might want to do an adjacent pad for Storage BLDG. You know how that junk accumulates and it is nice to have it all close. I bought a Tough Shed and had them come out and assemble. Nice $2500 junk catcher, and you will need something similar.

I had the Concrete poured, as a soon afterthought I thought I needed a RV Cover. As you can see the PT Cover does not extend fully to the edge of the concrete due to the structure had to be 10 ft off the back wall of the house. I just have a Tarp I use to block the setting west sun as the house blocks most of it but not all from shining on the RV. If you have a metal structure you plan on living in I would definitely position it on the land so you don't get that afternoon bake from that Western Setting sun blasting down in it.

JD
 

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Ex-Calif

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Looks like you have built a pretty good king's castle there.

I guess I haven't posted any ground level pics of what (fingers crossed) will be mine in a week or so... I guess this is RV forum related as I am building a liveaboard home for Marvin...

This is the view from the "middle" angled drive on the top 2 acres - I love the pines and the really big tree near the bombed out mobile home Lots of brush cutting to do and anything less than about an inch in diameter will be felled. That's the March job as well as getting some downed fencing back up and installing a gate. People have been dumping trash and animal feces on the property as the 3-wire fence is down in a couple of sections.

The biggest challenge, of course is to disassemble the MH. Latest strategy is to try and salvage as much from it as possible and reuse. Most of the windows are in good shape ad maybe some of the siding and romex can be reused for out building construction. Why buy new stuff if I can salvage?

2021-02-04 10.43.43.jpg

Here's a closer view of the MH with collapsed roof. The power pole is just to the left of the big tree. Discussed moving the pole but if it's viable I will probably leave it there and distribute from there. I plan to put in a little structure to house the new meter and first distribution box which will include a 50amp RV service. The septic is viable so step 2 is to plumb in a connection for the RV. The final part is to put in the well and distribute water. Hope to have all that done by late March/Early April and move on property.

2021-02-04 10.43.58.jpg

This is the main driveway standing at the southeast corner of the 2 acre piece. The drive runs all the way to the street up top. Lots of limbs to trim and brush to clear but the pines are really nice. The lot will be very shady in the summer.

2021-02-04 11.21.38.jpg

Final photo from the same southeast spot looking into the lower 3 acre piece. I have a 2006 survey that basically says from the 4X4 post on the left to the big tree with the sign on it is the access from the 2 acre to the 3 acre piece. I have spoken to the county and while they don't comment on the boarders he said the surveyor is super well known to him and if they did the survey it is probably accurate. I called the surveyor but didn't get a call back. I bought a 300ft construction tape measure and am gonna run the line from the street ot the bottom based on the old survey. Plan to get a new survey after closing before I put any new fencing up. The vegetation up front here will all be taken down and the first plan is to cut in a riding trail throughout the 3 acres with a bobcat or something for when my niece brings her horses and kids up from Cocoa.

2021-02-04 10.47.34.jpg
 

X-Roughneck Strike 3

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Bad Water Texas
Oh yea Brother, you got the good idea going there!

What are taxes going to run on that land? Even after constructing that "shed" you still might come out good if it is considered "unimproved land" when the Tax man does his calculations.

I would definitely permit that as primitive as you could on "paper" with the city / county.

I know that Both FL and TX do not have the state tax, but as far as TX is concerned they get you by the short hairs on the Property Tax, and our 8.25% sales tax. I think on RVs and Cars you pay 6.5% sales tax...All off the top of my head figures. Think they are correct.

That is a Great Place. Nice!!! Are you going to rent the equip and clear the land yourself?

I see that you are really getting that old Beast (Marvin) up to speed with the upgrades. You are starting to look like a RV Pro!

You have your projects to keep you busy. You will find that even if you wanted to do some work, retirement projects will not allow it. You are going to be too busy, piddlin' around, like me.

JD
 

Ex-Calif

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Current annual taxes are like $600 year. The property was reassessed when the MH became uninhabitable so currently it's just land value. The county assessor estimates no new valuation until/unless I put a dwelling back on. "outbuildings" don't count but the good rub is that I can build a structure with water, sewer and power and as long as I don't declare it a dwelling it's still a storage shed! The property is outside city limits and is zoned AG1 (agriculture) so I have some reading to do on the "rules" but I am sure it's better than "residential." - LOL...

Yeah - I have a good old time buddy, Mark. He's an old SR71 mechanic and came home from Thailand last Feb to visit his mom. Got stuck in lockdown and can't go to Thailand. He's gone stir crazy and snow bound in Erie PA and has agreed to come down and live in the RV with me and help on the land - score!

Mark and all my tools and stuff will come down from Dayton around mid-March. In the meantime I will do the brush cutting, some felling and fencing.

I'll rent the heavy equipment like brush cutter, bobcat and ditch digger. I am beyond "back breaker" laboring.

The live in garage has been toned back - I want that structure to be commercial built so I am downsizing it to like a 2 1/2 car garage size maybe 30 X 24 or something. I am going to build a wooden workshop first to store tools and expand it over time to become a laundry, shower and maybe bunk house. I can build all that myself without contractors by simply getting an owner/builder permit for a "shed."

I am liking the country - People stay outta your business...
 

X-Roughneck Strike 3

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Bad Water Texas
Land, Septic, Power availability (Checked off the list). What is that new Water Well going to cost?

I would think the water tables are shallow there in Florida, meaning somewhat cheap to sink a well?

If the old well was trashed....I think you are wise on sinking a new one. You could be dealing with numerous down hole issues on that old one.

Not sure what potential issues you could have on distro if you are far from source other than lack of pressure?

Just the savings on Tax will become a huge number put in your back pocket over the decades.

Just get you a, "Beware of Owner" sign, Bullets, and a Glock and you will have all, security set up.

My sister had a Log Cabin built on 19 acres near Custer, SD. I would also look at shipping containers....Spray foam the inside of those, cut a few windows...Bam...Your Set. Stackable in case you wanted that two story Home.

JD
 
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Ex-Calif

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The new well all in is quoted at $4,000. Submerged 4 wire pump. casing to ~100 feet and drilling to 125. 80 gallon bladder pressurized header tank. and up to 100 feet of wiring. We are hoping to sink it just south of the workshop. The driller has been in this town for like 60 years and the son has been running it for the last 30. I like having the local presence and local reputation to protect. They looked at the neighbors and because they didn't see any filtration systems they say that bodes well (ha, ha) for good quality water.

Security starts with getting some fencing back up as it's down in a few spots and there has been some dumping. Solar security lighting near the front gate and some new signage. If that doesn't work we fall back on Mr. Walther and Mossberg to take care of unwelcome visitors - LOL...

My brother and I talked a lot about security containers. I watched a netflix series on container houses that was also interesting. I think they can be a good idea but I am now on the path of a log cabin and I think they just look super cool. Of course that's a way down the road plan.
 

X-Roughneck Strike 3

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Bad Water Texas
On the subject of Fencing....I just had some Mueller Steel Panels put up on my back fence run and Love it! The stuff is Fairly cheap.

I elected to reUse the existing 2" galvanized pipe coming vertical from Ground from the original wooded fence. The guy notched some steel bollards so he could screw the plank sheeting into. The horizontal bollards are steel and the Vertical Pipes are galvanized, so he notched and screwed them together as welding was not a option with his set up.

My Old fencing was actually new in 2019 when the house was built and it was already shrinking and had some reworking nicks as many times as that back gate span had been remodeled, LOL .

You may find some metal sheeting stuff in your locale that you can get cut to length and delivered. Looks like you are not contending with a HOA which opens the potential choices for fencing. The Bake of the Sun is Brutal in these parts in the dead of summer. Wood down here in these parts for fencing is a poor choice in my opinion. 10 years maybe and it is fried out in these parts.

I moved my 16 Ft gate (8ft Swings) sad to share 3 Times before I got it right...LOL.

Have Great Hinges rule Number 1 and have a Hinge pole large enough in Diameter that won't FLEX and have that bounce as if it was a 400 LB person walking out on a swimming pool Diving Board is Rule #2. Rule #3 Proper set back from the road to compensate for that 35 ft turn will prolly be something to ponder also if you are gating your entrance.

My initial Gate construction the builder paid and I had him put the swings long distance 200 miles + Google Maps. Right off the once I got on the Ground I had to move my Gate or I knew remodeling my neighbors and my shared common with the nearly 33 ft motor home I did not have yet. I knew my fence placement was WRONG. That old Mesquite Tree had really Grown in those 4 years. Throwing a eyeball on that Google Map image "Date of Photo" would have been a good thing also, had I chose to do it.

My second attempt (Paid for Failure) to move my 16 ft gate (8 ft swings) that time I the guys showed up with, I was hey, "Where is the 3" Galvanized pipe for the 8ft swings we spoke of?"

Our Local Home Depot and Lowes only had the Lightweight stuff, and Due to Desperation needing it moved, so I could drive my Motor Home out of my Back Yard I Green Lighted the placement.

The second attempt worked but I caught a wind gust one day that spun the bit of the hinge and found myself with a sledge hammer beating it making the hinge slip back to the proper position. At that point I was researching the hinges I ultimately bought the "Bad Ass Hinges"

The 3rd and Final Time I set the gate myself with the help of my Buddy, Angel. Yea, I paid him. We dug up and set, 4" OD and I installed a 4" Oil Field pipe I got from West Texas Steel, and that with alot of Sweat Equity resolved the problem.

When the guy came out recently came out and redid my back fence I had him Tack Weld the Hinges to the 4" pipe. The Guy that built the 8 ft swings did a great job but the square tubing swing frames are a bit heavy for Galvanized pipe.

If you are going to gate your entrance I would not skimp on the hinges or have a Welder come out and do it in lightweight 1" Square tubing. Steel paneling is lightweight and will not shrink, barring a Hurricane it will last forever. Carve you a Moat with your bobcat rental if you can't afford Road Fencing...LOL!

You got the Vision for your place! I like the way that Land is shaped too as long as you got that access to it seclusion back there on that back half. Looking Good!!

JD
 

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Ex-Calif

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One of my main search points was rural but close. I am like 1 1/2 miles from the city limit and my parcels are zoned AG1 - 1 dwelling per 5 acres and every lot for a mile in every direction is at least 2 acres so overcrowding is not expected any time soon - LOL...

Current fencing is 1" treated tree pole and 4 wire barbed wire. Lots of fronting vegetation for privacy. You can't see any structures from the street. There is no current gate but planning a 12 foot cattle type single galvanized pipe gate on a 6 or 8 inch pole set down 4 feet into quickcrete.

Opening right now is limited to about 10 feet due to a tree that I have to fell... Initial plan is to get a gate in, the 4 wire patched up and some new no trespass signs...

I was born suburban, lived deep urban (Manila, Tokyo, Singapore, Los Angeles, Kuala Lumpur) for 25 years and the last 5 years suburban again. I am totally done with anyone telling me how many RVs, boat and motorcycle trailers and sports car toys I can have. I decide what kind of fence I have and how wide my damn driveway is and I'll be damned if I am gonna pay anyone (HOA) in retirement to spend their time making up stupid rules I have to live by - LOL...

If I want to weld up a trailer or paint a car in my shop, that's my business - Cut your own grass, neighbor - LOL...
 

Ex-Calif

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A couple of folks have asked about the property lines and my plans. I gotta say I am loving the "country" more and more. This county has a total of 2,000 residents. I am learning what that means is when you call the government you talk to the actual 1-person department responsible and not layers of bureaucracy - LOL...

After confirming power, septic and water are not barriers I called the county zoning department on Friday and spoke to the one and only person in the department - He writes the permits.

First of all when asked about my borders he said the government doesn't take a position on who owns what. That's in your deed. When I told him about my survey (from 2006) he said, "Oh those guys? I talk to them 3 times a week at least. They are the top surveyor in the county. If they drew a survey you can take it to the bank."

I then talked about my RV and my outbuilding plans. It's hilarious. First an owner/builder can build just about anything without using a contractor. All you gotta do is have a permit. However to get a permit for an "auxiliary" building you have to have a livable residence on the property and the Mobile Home is bombed out and uninhabitable. But! I can get an RV permit, as long as I have another permanent address in Florida, that allows me to live on the land for 6 months. Then I can build out buildings...

"So how big an aux building can I build?"
"Big as you want as long as it's not a residence."
" 30 X 30?"
"Sure"
" Can I put power, water and sewer in my workshop and also use it for a laundry."
"Sure."
"Can I put a shower and a toilet in it so I don't have to leave my shop to get cleaned up?"
"I know where you are headed with this and yes, yes and yes as long as you don't call it a residence"

Ha, ha, ha...

So anyway with great confidence in the survey and last Saturday being the final day of my "due diligence" period I bought a 300 foot tape and decide to do some measuring.

The top left photo is the survey I have and the red line indicates where the south fence line is.

I measured the north line and got 273 feet so that tracked and I am confident the east and west fence lines are in the right place. Presuming the power pole hasn't moved I measured down the east fence 303 feet using the dimension from the west survey line.

I am 99% sure that the south fence is about 26 feet in on my property.

southeast border.jpg

Then I measured 26 feet from the last post on the south fence. What I don't know is whether the west end of this fence is also 26 feet north (I think it is) or if the southwest post is at 303 feet already.

There is a lot more brush on the west fence line so I didn't measure it Saturday but it creates two potential lines from the east end. One is all the existing vegetation is on my property and two is that part of the vegetation is on my property. Either way I have 26 feet of access into the 3 acre lot.

south border.jpg

I did walk the entire 3 acre lot perimeter as well. We are about 2 feet from flood level and the whole 3 acres was dry except for about a 30X30 piece at the far southeast corner which had about 4-6 inches of standing water on it. I can live with that. Who knows, someday I might make it into a pond or water hole.

I am feeling as good as I can about the March 3rd closing. I will get a new survey done so that I have new markers before I do any new fencing. I also plan to visit the Baptist church and let them know I plan to refence in my southern border and make sure they don't wanna argue about it.

Late Info - The original surveyor called and he agreed that what I measured off was close and that the south fence is well inside the surveyed boundary - He also gave a very reasonable quote for a new survey!
 
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Wolfram

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NE PA
That’s coming along great. Congrats! I’m liking the over abundance of blue sky and apparent elevated temps I am seeing as well. Thanks for sharing the adventure.
 

Ex-Calif

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That’s coming along great. Congrats! I’m liking the over abundance of blue sky and apparent elevated temps I am seeing as well. Thanks for sharing the adventure.

Yeah - I am pretty excited about the adventure...

However Florida weather is quite annoying. I had to put on long pants like 3 times this week - LOL... Seriously though it is a bit weird. The morning temps have been in the 50's but by noon they are often reaching 70+ I really have to shed hoodies and long pants in the middle of the day. Not used to redressing throughout the day...

Here's a story I posted to my family -

"That aha moment when you realize your brilliant plan means you live in about 300 square feet, you have no garage & your tools are stored in a step that also facilitates entry into your RV.

I freakin' love the country! So the Jeep brakes started grinding coming back from Ohio and they were on the to do list. Sunday I went to the local NAPA and bought front pads from Steve. Steve's not the manager. Steve owns the NAPA and according to Tronny is a good guy. Yup he is. In the country the NAPA manager ain't an employee. He's the owner LOL...

But I mistakenly thought the grinding was front pads so after putting them on Sunday no joy. I ordered rears from Amazon and they arrived today. Last pad on the last corner. I was beginning to think I wasn't gonna find the smokin' gun. All is right with the Jeep for now.

You know, though, Working in the grass in 72 degree sunny temps is way better than freezing my tits off in an Ohio garage - didn't even break a sweat the weather was so nice - LOL..."

2021-02-24 17.12.29.jpg
 

Wolfram

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NE PA
50’s is shorts, flip-flops, shirtless weather here in PA.

Well you have goals and plans, which is great, so it helps knowing it won’t be permanent.

Can’t beat country. Our nation has so many solid, down to earth people, that’s what makes it great.

Really envious, so thanks for letting us watch from afar.

All the best.
 

Ex-Calif

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Thought I would give a quick update on the property development. I am securing 2 acres of a 5 acre lot with the intention of getting an RV pad in. I finally closed on the 5 acres on March 18.

Step one was to clear out the gate area and sink an 8 inch pole and hang a new gate. We have 12 feet which should work albeit a bit tight for the RV.


2021-04-03 14.53.35.jpg

Here is the rest of the street frontage before. We went after the frontage with a chain saw and a gas pole saw and cleared the front in about a day and a half. Much of the cover was resting on the 5 wire fence.

Frontage1.jpg

Here is a montage after clearing.

Frontage.jpg

Many of the tree tops were entangled into the pine trees. Here is a system to hook a strap to the Jeep and haul the trees down.

treehaul.jpg

There is a ton of brush. Us city folk had a paradigm of renting bushhogs and machines. The neighbor across the street asked if they could graze their 11 sheep on the property and pay me. They will eat everything. I agreed and the 11 lawnmowers are going to town and I'm getting paid - LOL...

Lawnmowers.jpg

The next step is to get the power company in to check my poles and get power in. Hoping to have utilities done by end of April.

Immediate next step is to finish patching the barbed wire and get a tool shed built. The Jeep is now deck to roof full of tools and I need to securely store them on-site.
 

Old_Crow

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Mammoth Lakes, California
Whew! That's a lot of work, and it looks good, but I went full time so I could sit and drink beer and watch someone else mow the lawn. I had 9 acres of woods in Arkansas, and I just got tired of it.
 

Ex-Calif

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Thanks for watching folks. I am still a pretty healthy 60 year old so I am not ready to lay down quite yet and the best part is getting out from behind a computer for 10 hours a day and get some "natural" exercise. I hope to burn off 50 pounds of engineer fat as I go through this.

I am finding muscle groups long atrophied but after the frontage clearing I am decided that the land clearing is not scary to me. There is a 60 foot half collapsed double wide in the middle that is a bit more daunting.

The 5 year plan includes building a log cabin but I am second guessing on that - when I get to that phase I may negotiate for the cabin to be built and left inside for me to finish. Ye construction phase solo just seems to be too long. I've seen lots of abandoned projects like that.

One thing us city mice are learning is you don't work 5 acres without some bada$$ power tools. The pole saw is a cheap Chinese one but I was pleasantly surprised to find steel shaft drives in all the accessory heads as opposed to a flexible worm drive. It's not a Husky but it's holding up well.

Still on the hunt for a cheap Craigslist tractor...

Much more to come...
 
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