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PREP You have lost your place of residence. You have a tank of petrol in the car.....
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  1. #41
    Free house insulation
    What kind of house insulation is free? Dry earth!
    - available to everyone for almost nothing.
    Free house insulation: It amazes me that, in some cases the solution to a problem lies literally right under our feet.
    In this case, I mean earth as insulation. I know folks have built underground houses and earth sheltered houses, but really, they do not necessarily exploit the potential that plain earth has for insulating our houses.
    What am I talking about? I mean earth if properly used has high and very useful value as insulation. I suspect chipmunks, ants, groundhogs, rabbits, any animals that burrow into the earth have known this for years (or a few millions of years) while we, the smart ones (ha!) until now have not realized the potential, and pay money, and build factories for something anybody with access to a pile of dirt can get for nothing.

    Now let me clarify. To work well as insulation the earth must be properly used. A pile of earth, or the earth on top of an underground house will not work. To provide real insulating value the earth must be loose and dry. Animals know this. The shelters they dig to stay warm in cold weather are always into dry and well drained soil, with a topping of roots leaves, preferably sloped so water drains off and does not penetrate into their sleeping (and living in the case of ants) chambers.
    How good is earth as an insulator? In David Wright's book 'Natural Solar Architecture' page 94 the insulating values of various materials are listed. Earth (dry) is listed as R 2.22 per inch. this compares to wood at R 1.25 per inch (as in log cabins) and fiberglass batts (that itch and may cause cancer) at R 3.17 R per inch. Higher R number means higher insulation value. Considering that it is free, R 2.22 for earth is good, plenty good enough for many applications.
    One foot of dry loose earth provide an insulation value of R 27 - better than 8 inches of irritating fiberglass in a conventional wall. The fiberglass insulated wall must be built thick enough to accommodate 8 inches of fiberglass. The earth insulated wall will have to be a little thicker, but the insulation inside will cost nothing. The extra weight of a dry earth insulated wall may cost a little more in the form of ties between inner and outer walls, and an inner wall of more than drywall - an osb board underlayment could be used.

    The key is that the earth must be kept dry. A house using earth as insulation must be designed so the earth stays dry. A berm against a house wall, or a house with earth overhead as in an 'underground' may not be good enough. Earth - saturated with rainwater or snowmelt or water from the ground moving up by osmosis, or from inside the building as warm moisture laden air moves out (through cracks, pores, joints in walls - has almost no insulation value.
    Earth used to insulate walls must have vapor barriers all around - and drainage openings in the base to let any moisture that works into the wall a way to escape.
    To achieve this is not difficult or expensive. Plastic sheeting buried and not exposed to sunlight can last indefinitely. Even plastic shopping bags obtained for free will work, Above, a roof overhang should extend far enough to cover the wall top and keep dripping water off the roof away from the base of the wall. I suggest that the outer surface of this earth wall have stones / rocks set into it for protection with a plastic barrier behind them.

    Earth can be used as ceiling insulation. The ceiling will have to be built with more reinforcement than conventional construction to hold the extra weight. But if the earth is kept loose and dry it will not be excessively heavy. An underground house, where the earth overhead can get wet, or even saturated must have a massively reinforced roof to hold the weight of water.
    Earth used as ceiling insulation can be kept light by mixing in leaves, sawdust, twigs, grass, weeds, all manner of organic material - resembling, perhaps the soil of a forest floor. (The soil of a forest floor, protected by a layer of leaves and thus keep dry may barely freeze in winter, providing shelter for all manner of creatures living under the forest floor).
    To prevent fire danger organic matter should be, I believe, well mixed into the earth. Also, I would not use topsoil for ceiling insulation. Topsoil belongs in your garden or greenhouse. Sand, clay and subsoil would be better.
    In a fire, if the walls and ceiling burn and collapse, all of the soil above and to the sides could fall and smother the fire - serving as a natural means of fire control.

    Hobbit house anyone?
    A roof growing grass, and with earth used as ceiling insulation for the house below, must have that insulation properly protected from water. Therefore, under the grass and topsoil layer must be placed plastic sheets or vinyl sheets, or both, or perhaps metal sloped to drain water falling on the grass layer away from the dry earth below - just like the leaves on a forest floor. So perhaps we see how a hobbit house might be properly designed to be warm dry and snug - and maybe J.R.R. Tolkien imagined more than he knew.

    The body heated space diagrammed on the first page of this blog could be modified to make use of free earth insulation - with full earth berms on three sides and a roof overhang to protect it. Thus no insulation need be purchased or installed. Insulation could come from earth dug on the building site!



    http://0costliving.blogspot.com.au/p...nsulation.html

  2. #42
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milk-maid View Post
    I know someone who pvc'd a bunch of money. Not only in the PVC tube, but in a steel coffee type thermos inside of it. Then sealed the Pvc cap to the top and buried it under a waterproof building. After he died his widow dug it up before selling the house and moving. The money was ruined. Some of it was unredeemable. She was able to salvage some but not all. Juz sayin'.. it might not be the safest way to store things.
    I was more concerned about weapons falling into the wrong hands. Years ago, I knew a guy was camping out in the brush. He had a beat up old varmint rifle stolen from his vehicle in a public parking lot in broad daylight while he was at work. It wasn't worth much of anything but it was still a weapon. There have been times in my life that I've not had the luxury of nearby friends or family I could trust to store valuables or "help out" in time of need. Necessity can be a harsh teacher of self sufficiency. Hard lessons and loss tend not to be forgotten.
    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. - Mark Twain

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Gray Mare View Post
    I was more concerned about weapons falling into the wrong hands. Years ago, I knew a guy was camping out in the brush. He had a beat up old varmint rifle stolen from his vehicle in a public parking lot in broad daylight while he was at work. It wasn't worth much of anything but it was still a weapon. There have been times in my life that I've not had the luxury of nearby friends or family I could trust to store valuables or "help out" in time of need. Necessity can be a harsh teacher of self sufficiency. Hard lessons and loss tend not to be forgotten.
    I'm saying the PVC tube and cap is not always a sufficient way to keep something dry... weapons, paper money, whatever.... all the same lesson.

  4. #44

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by biere View Post

    I bought a step van. I have the stuff in it to handle sleeping, cooking, and heating. Luxury would be being able to run the window ac unit to keep things cool.

    I have the tools to work on it and the knowledge to work on most of it as well.
    A very important observation.

    Step vans are designed to be used daily on a commercial basis.

    Motorhomes and ravel trailers really aren't that durable. They are built for occasional use.

    Iffin I were to seriously consider a nomadic lifestyle, it would probably start with some kind of step van.
    Proud Infidel...............and Cracker

    Member: Nowski Brigade

    Deplorable


  6. #46
    Is a step van like the boxy bread trucks or the UPS trucks?

  7. #47
    Join Date
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    There are a bunch of videos on Youtube on how to add stealth solar panels to an RV or van. There are new videos on "Flexible" solar panels that may flex and form to a slightly curved roof. A van does not stand out in a parking lot like an RV. Here is two videos on the subject. I am not hyping a product or solar system. This is just one of many examples. - OGM

    Fair use:
    Living in a Van: How to Install Renogy Solar Panels - #VanLife
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQtZhjCifIM
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbaqpjTrnAI
    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. - Mark Twain

  8. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by China Connection View Post
    During a banking shutdown, a lot can happen.

    Start with a civil war between just about everyone over a hundred and one things.

    Having some kind of plan to get out of Dodge and some preps to make it work is not a stupid idea.
    I don't know if you've already made a thread in the topic long ago but it would be interesting if not informative to have an eye witness recollection of a govt. And country in shutdown mode.

    I myself witnessed only one bank shut down; the late Indy Bank in SoCal back in 2008. I was drawn to the growing crowd at the bank doors. People were in tears, they were enraged.
    One man had over 200k in that one bank. He was weeping openly.

    As my friend always likes to ask: what does this look like? Please start or restart a thread on what you recall of such an event. Thank you.
    "Why not stay awake now? Who wants to sleep now with so much happening, so much to see? Life used to be dull you see...and you don't have to sleep alone, you don't even have to sleep at all; and so, all you have to do is show the stick to the dog now and then and say, 'Thank God for nothing.'"

    Drusilla, "The UNVANQUISHED. William Faulkner

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martinhouse View Post
    Is a step van like the boxy bread trucks or the UPS trucks?
    Aayup

    Built to last.

    Stout running gear, fairly simple mechanics.
    Proud Infidel...............and Cracker

    Member: Nowski Brigade

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  10. #50
    Back when my kids were small, I used to want to make a camper out of a bread truck. I don't think there were, back then, very good options for insulating the inside walls so they wouldn't sweat.

    All I have now if I needed to bug out is my decrepit '91 Toyota pickup truck with an even more decrepit kattywhumpus camper shell on it. I could probably do it, but the hardest part would be how to manage the cages with the bred doe rabbit and the broody hens. The only way I'd give those up is if I were on foot, and on foot doesn't work so well for me any more.

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martinhouse View Post
    Back when my kids were small, I used to want to make a camper out of a bread truck. I don't think there were, back then, very good options for insulating the inside walls so they wouldn't sweat.

    All I have now if I needed to bug out is my decrepit '91 Toyota pickup truck with an even more decrepit kattywhumpus camper shell on it. I could probably do it, but the hardest part would be how to manage the cages with the bred doe rabbit and the broody hens. The only way I'd give those up is if I were on foot, and on foot doesn't work so well for me any more.
    How doable is this idea? Find a rotted out popup tent camper for $50. Make sure the frame and tires are good, the tittle's valid and the cables to lift the hard top work. Gut it, clean it, take care of taxes and legalities, put in ventilation and housing for bunnies and hens, built ins to store feed and a tow hitch if you don't already have one on the pickup?
    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. - Mark Twain

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Millwright View Post
    Aayup

    Built to last.

    Stout running gear, fairly simple mechanics.
    How about one of the smaller school buses?
    Last edited by 2x2; 04-20-2017 at 11:43 AM.
    A man never discloses his own character so clearly as when he describes another's.

    Have you ever listened to someone and wondered,,,,,,,,
    "Who ties your shoes for you??"

  13. #53
    OGM,

    The pop-up camper for chickens and rabbits sounds good, except I am 73 and can't build things like I used to. And I've never towed anything in my entire life!

  14. #54
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    About the same running gear.

    I have never liked the school bus thing, for multiple reasons.

    Having all those windows to work around, cover, seal etc.

    The round corners would be a pain to deal with.

    They will always be a school bus, if they aren't hauling kids, they are a hippie-mobile...in many people's eyes.

    A box van is just more anonymous.

    I also think they are better structurally without all that glass.

    Another base chassis to consider is an ambulance set-up.

    A lot of the features you would want are already there.
    Last edited by Millwright; 04-20-2017 at 12:18 PM.
    Proud Infidel...............and Cracker

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  15. #55
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    What follows is an info dump on step vans and buses and vans and other stuff, with comments about rv specific stuff as well I expect.

    A step van is like the ups or fedex truck, generally geared for around town and not much fun on a highway. All kinds of engines in em and these days prices got rather high because old ones are "cool" to hot rod and newer ones with diesel engines are bought for the engine and transmission and then scrapped for money. Lots of off roaders want the diesel, many a 4 cylinder cummins, for their off road vehicle and some folks do it for a diesel for fuel mileage and swap it into an older vehicle.

    A step van is a big box. It catches wind. There are all kinds of sizes and makes and everything else, read up on them if you think you want to mess with them. They are commercial, parts are available, but depending on what you want to do they can be a heck of a pain to get to that "project finished" stage. Just dealing with tires can get expensive.

    At the same time, a big aluminum box is easy to insulate and add a wall for a bathroom and stuff, not like a bus with those curved roofs. Though a school bus is designed to survive a rollover, they are well built because they carry kids. Some stepvans have a wall behind the driver seat, and generally the passenger seat is a tiny jump seat. So not gonna haul a lot of folks in a standard stepvan without some seats and seat belts being added, if you want to be safe. A school bus, just leave some seats in there and pull the rest and you can haul as many folks as you want to squeeze in there.

    Step van or school bus, you can go from small to monster. For a step van you will find some short ones similar in wheelbase to something like a one ton van, single rear wheels on these. For a school bus you can find a short bus built on a van chasses, generally a dually rear axle but not always. As you go up in size you find a step van similar to something like a dually pickup rear axle or you go on up to finding something with dually 19.5 inch rims and getting into pretty expensive tires on those 19.5 inch rims. For a school bus you are messing with what is called a medium duty chassis and can wind up going through all kinds of tire sizes all the way into what a semi truck runs. A school bus on a van chassis is not really medium duty, I am cutting corners on this post I guess.

    Engines vary greatly along with transmissions, but these days lot of automatics are the norm. Older diesels without all the emissions are in demand so some folks find newer trucks priced close to older stuff and part of it is usually due to the engine in the vehicle. Diesels can be expensive to repair, can also run a long time as well. Buying used you want to make sure you know what you are paying for. Transmissions as well, allison is a very common name and you want to learn what your item has so you can see what a replacement might cost.

    I did not buy a school bus because I generally have to stoop over in them. If I found a school bus that had extra height in it and it was priced right, I would buy it. You can skin the windows over with sheet metal or remove em completely.

    I ran into a stepvan at the right price so I got it. I want one that fits my wants better, but for right now those are expensive.

    Run searches on google, google image, pinterest, and whatever else for pics and sights all about em. If I had to live in my stepvan I would very quickly install a tiny woodstove I got, made for tent camping, and while it would not last all that long it would be an education and I have stuff on hand to build something better.

    Til I know what to build, I am not using the materials yet.

    Propane buddy heaters were mentioned. These are just portable unvented propane heaters. They can have issues at altitude and what not. Being unvented, they put moisture into the air. Common to have condensation on windows when you wake up. If you do not deal with the condensation it can be an issue because it can collect and damage materials or cause mold or whatever. But portable is nice and a cracked window is usually not too big a deal. I have a few of these, they are nice as heck if the power goes out.

    Common rv stuff is usually poorly made. Lots of pics of rotted out rv walls that are just from a roof not being resealed as needed or a window getting a leak and not getting noticed til it is kind of late. Now there are some awesome rv makers out there and their stuff commands more money because of it.

    Some rv stuff is made to live in full time, some is not. Some is made for 4 season use, some is not. Airstream is a well respected brand and I came close to buying a beat up one til I did some reading. An airstream if cared for will live for decades and decades. But they have some problem areas that can let a little water in, and an airstream has a wooden floor. So water gets to the wood and the wood rots and you have a problem. The aluminum skin is what attracted me, and being rounded they do not catch the wind like the step van catches the wind.

    I would not want to drive my van every day. I mostly consider it a way to take a lot of my tools and stuff with me to allow me to move me and barter goods and survival stuff to where ever I go.

    A step van is not set up with a tow hitch. Running searches they don't really seem to have tow ratings. So that is something else to consider.

    If all I had was my 2 feet and I had to bug out, I will bug out. If I could take the mountain bike, then the bike goes. If I could take the jeep or ford, then one of them goes. If the van could go, then it goes. To some extent adding one to the other lets more and more stuff come, and that offers more and more options.

    Also keep in mind, insurance on stuff like a step van or bus can be interesting. Weight limits on stuff can make you find yourself in need of a driver's license beyond what you might already have. Just because someone says they licensed their bus or van as an "rv" does not mean you will be able to do so.

    Lots of stuff to consider. There is a lot going for a plain ol 1 ton cargo van made by ford or chevy or whatever. They are common and sized to where it is not a big deal to have anyone drive one. Being common, any shop can work on them usually. Being a 1 ton van your vehicle insurance people won't hit the STOP button and say you can't put that on your regular policy, gonna have to get a commercial policy. My insurance people go off what the vin number comes up with, they don't care if the state says it is a blimp. They pull up the vin and see stepvan and say commercial. We did find a workable policy where I tell em I don't own a business and I don't use it for business so the policy is not that expensive. But it took some time to figure things out.
    working on unplugging.

  16. #56
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    Good info Biere....even a commoner like me could understand everything you were saying.

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