Posts by Danbot

Welcome to UKHIppy2764@2x.png

UKHippy is a long running online community and of likeminded people exploring all interpretations on what it means to be living an alternative lifestyle -- we welcome discussions on everything related to sustainability, the environment, alternative spirituality, music, festivals, politics and more -- membership of this website is free but supported by the community.

    Update!


    After more sleuthing it appears that the person who owns the land may of died several years ago. But it hasn't passed onto anyone else it seems. A friend has a local planning and buildings regs guy who is going to look a bit deeper for us.


    The land was being used to store building materials and such, so I'm guessing the locals didn't like the extra disturbance that brought.


    The site itself would be useless for a housing developer because of the shape of it, where it is and other inconveniences. Perfect for a small self build though.

    That's what I thought. Because of where it is, there is no way you could build flats or a series of homes, just wouldn't be practical and there is no way the locals would permit it. It is in Surrey though which is expensive. Though a similar looking plot sold nearby for 44k and it was 2 acres, and now has planning permission for a 3 bedroom house I believe.


    I'm guessing the 150k was a typo. Checked local records and no planning permission's have been issued. Though when I searched deeper there was an application for retrospective permission for the two sheds which was submitted some 9 years after they were built. But no record of that application getting submitted. If I add all the dates up and speculate a little, the land was probably brought around 15 years ago, 150k then would of been well over the odds!

    Good idea! That may be a decent way to start the process. I was looking at the laws about adverse possession and such, but don't really like the idea of spending 10 years of being uncertain. And even after the 10 years, if your claim is contested you are out.


    I was also thinking of buying it and allowing them use of it still, if they only turn up every 5 years it wouldn't bother me.


    But I don't want to pay 150k for it, it's just a fairly small bit of wasteland really. But that is apparently what the owner declared they paid some 10 years ago.

    I currently live in a horsebox with my girlfriend and our son, though our long term plan is to buy our own land and live on it in our horsebox whilst we make ourselves a little solar powered and semi off grid bungalow to live in.


    Now then, we think we have found some land. Over the last year or so no one has entered the land in question and after speaking to a few locals, it may be something like 5 years ago that anyone has even opened the gate to it. Also the last people wanted to use the land to run a business from, but had heavy opposition from the local council. The land itself is very overgrown and unkept, it has two large dilapidated sheds and a shipping container which has been left open to the elements. I would estimate the size at about a quarter of a football pitch.


    I've investigated further and found out who it seems the land belongs to. The owner is currently selling there average 2 bedroom town house a few towns away and appears to be moving. But for whatever reason it looks like they have forgotten this patch of land they are supposed to own.


    The dilemma is that we currently live on a friends land very close to the land we are looking at. And making more official inquiries may open a can of worms! If they don't want to sell the land, that'll change nothing. However if they do, they may decided to pop in on the open market and we could get priced out. Plus then there is the added concern of then getting surveyors and constant visitors which could lead us to being forced off our current patch.


    Just wondering what the best course of action would be here or any advice on how to proceed.

    Wall of text warning!


    This weekend or the next I am planning on installing a wood burner in my horse box (if I can get all the parts by then). I converted the horsebox and built almost everything in it myself, so I'm fairly confident in my chopping and sawing skills. I don't know what the correct term is here, but I need to box in the burner somewhat as I have a ridiculously clumsy girlfriend and we have a tornado of a 3 year old son who is equally (if not more) clumsy. So it does need a kind of safety wall and a fire guard.


    The burner is about 350mm wide and has a 5in flue. The area I have to build the hearth is around half way down the trailer, against the side wall and right next to the side door. It is around 600mm x 600mm in floor space (could perhaps squeeze a few more mm in) and once the hearth is built up I estimate I will have roughly 60~70mm clearance either side. I know this is less than ideal, but bear in mind there will be a metal sheet with a air gap all around.


    For the hearth - I am planning on using a paving slab or two as the base, perhaps raised off the floor slightly by some bricks or something a bit lighter in weight and non-flammable. For each side I want to make a partition/separating/safety wall to try and box it in a little. they will be 600mm wide x 1000mm high, made from fire rated mdf (or similar) mounted on a 20~30mm wooden frame. I'm unsure on what metal sheeting to use, Aluminium is probably best but so damn pricey. Steel is more reasonably priced but apparently shit. Same with behind the burner, fire rated mdf and metal with gap all up the back.


    The Flue - Going to use a vit. enamel flue, x2 1m lengths with a rain cover on top. Not planning on using twin wall, just going to cut a larger hole (7in) in the roof. I noticed that some places sell a stove flue fitting, is this necessary for every stove or is it dependent on what type of stove you have?


    Ceiling/Roof plate - on the inside this is going to be a sheet of aluminium or steel (1mm) with a hole cut out in a radial/petal fashion to grip the flue (as advised by Julian on almost every thread of this nature....I have used the search function!). I'm also wanting to add a collar on the flue to hide my potentially dodgy cuts. On the roof, same deal with the metal plate. Will just be securing the flue with the dektite flashing and rivets/tek screws. Also worth mentioning that I have a fibre glass roof which probably isn't the most even of roofs.


    Fire guard - What can I use here? Most guards that you can buy are very much over sized. I do have a load of 15mm copper pipe and fittings left over that I accidentally ordered, thinking I could fashion something out of this?


    So then, does that all sound reasonable? Are my chances of survival ok? If anyone has any recommended suppliers or ideas on alternative materials then please post. Also, any ideas to jazz it up or add any flourishes I am all ears.

    Basically I'm just interested in how others came to be living in a van/truck/bus/boat. Was you kind of born into it? Was it a conscious choice or did it just happen? Is it how you plan to always live or is it a means to an end? Or is it something you are currently working towards?

    I think there is lots of little landmines to step on when you buy land as a large collective of people. I want to buy land at some point in the future to build a home on in the next 5 years or so. And whilst the idea of a large community of people looking after each other sounds brilliant, the more that get involved the more compromises need to be made. There has be be a concrete set of rules that the persons involved have to conform to and stay within the boundaries of. Here is a great example of "lets just trust each other not to be dicks" usually ends up as https://www.theguardian.com/so…environment.housingpolicy. And a good example of a more structured approach is the hedgehog community self build.


    For me, ideally, I would like to just have my own patch of land. But if I meet another person/family or two that want to so something similar with the same mindset as myself I would be happy to go halves or thirds in.

    Just measured up....I have about 13cm either side. Even if I build a mega thin barrier I'm guessing I won't have much more than 10cm clearance. The burner itself is 350mm x 400mm x 500mm.


    That is probably cutting it a bit too close. Though I have enough space outdoors to do a test burn and leave it going for a night (or several). Probably the only way of knowing for sure.

    5k is certainly doable. I think we spent something like 7k on our 7.5T, but some of that was down to having to strip out the old rotten flooring and building a ceiling. Some was wasted on trial and error or just plain error. I guess the bulk of it went on timber and insulation. We also had to buy a fair few tools as we pretty much started with a hammer and a screwdriver.


    But also bear in mind that much of the furniture we have was either built from pallets or picked up from freecycle. Our battery was free from a friend. All of the cabling I used was from work and skip bound. Our back door came out of a skip. If I had to build again, I could do it twice as good, in half the time and at a much lower cost.


    So I would say build one (if you have the time). It sure is frustrating and there will be a few surprises along the way. But it can be so much fun! It is great to learn something, put it into practice and then enjoy the fruits of your labours. I love the control panel/wardrobe/shelving unit I built. I love seeing my son sleeping in his little room I built and on the bed I fabricated myself. I love that my sink was made from a dog bowl I picked up at poundland. Though the shower is still proving difficult to install.....once I've conquered that then I'm sure I'll love that too.


    If I won the lottery I would still prefer to build my own.

    Help! I accidentally brought a wood burner from some furniture clearance shop. It looked very nautical and I couldn't resist. I *think* it is around 350mm wide and the space I have to build a nice little area for it to live is around 600mm x 600mm. In that space I need to build a wall/barrier either side of it to protect furniture, my son (who is 2 1/2) and my rather clumsy lady.


    What I would like to know is if this area is large enough to locate my wood burner? How much clearance on the sides and rear do I need? Obviously whatever I put up will have a metal heat shield too going up the inside.


    Any help is appreciated :)

    You need to be thinking of moving your vehicle at leased once a month, even if it's only backwards and forwards. Brakes, clutch, engine, charging system etc all need a little work out now and then just to keep them working and free.


    You can get used to the 'good feeling' so much that you adopt the 'enough' concept. Happy enough, good enough, safe enough, warm enough. Before long it's all 'enough'.


    I've been ten years in this wagon Im in now and I still haven't sorted out the shower. I've laid the new water pipes in. The power cables in, I've even bought a second shower unit. Made holes in the wall.... I find my 'tin bath' Infront of the woodburner gives me more than a shower ever could. I'm still thinking it's good enough, for now......


    We barely moved it in a year and everything started 1st time and worked perfectly. But we don't plan on doing the same again, we will moved it forward and back every month or two.


    Totally. If we stopped building and altering and just lived in it as it is right now, I wouldn't be yearning for anything. I think with me and my girlfriend, we have been living in rented accommodation all of our lives and have never really been permitted to put our own mark on our home. That is one of the things we love the most about it, everything within the back of that trailer is ours to do with as we please. She is painting a mural inside what will be our shower (this is what is delaying getting it finished) and I'm planning on decorating the part of the wall behind the control panel with 1920's/30's sci-fi magazine covers. We don't need to do these things, we just want to :).

    Nice. How do you keep everything hung up and on the shelves if you have to move the vehicle or when it gets really windy? Kids love it, it's all just a wonderful adventure to them. Mud takes on a new meaning in winter. Good luck with your landowners and future travels.


    We don't plan on moving for a bit, we may never actually move whilst living in this truck! We are planning to get a much smaller van and converting that for hitting the road next spring/summer. If we did move though, a few things can be nailed down and put into boxes, though I have a few cooler ideas if it ever needs doing on a regular basis.


    Really is the happiest we've ever been and we still don't have a working shower or toilet :). Finishing that is this weekends priority.

    Switched the thermocouple out and now the pilot stays on and the main burner ignites once the water is flowing nicely. Thanks :). I currently have a temporary aluminium flexi-flue up at the moment which is protruding a few inches out of the side of the truck near the roof. Have some thick copper strip wrapped around the inside of the hole and a copper plate of sorts on the inside. I'm sure this will do for now, but I'm going to eventually get a proper flue made to measure.

    Have been totally sidetracked with my GF's operation, moving, building more furniture, having a toddler and the landowners having their one million or so grandchildren staying on the land the last few weeks. But I have my camera and will try to upload a few photos tonight of the inside and outside. :)

    I have a Morco DB61 lpg boiler that I brought second hand and I can't get the pilot light to stay on or the main burner to ignite.


    Apparently I need to replace the thermocouple (it does look like it's a bit knackered) and that does add up with the symptoms I am having, but just wanted to see if anyone here knows any tips or tricks to fix the problem before I go and order a new part. I am totally clueless with boilers so it is quite likely that I've missed something pretty basic.


    Apart from that, after about a month of living in a horsebox it is going wonderfully. I'm outdoor showering with a bucket which I totally love. But it's more for my good lady who is still recovering from her op. Oh and winter is coming, so outdoor showering days are numbered!

    Mass Effect 1, 2 (especially 2) and 3 are perfect. And playing as jerk shepard is hilarious. Brilliant story too and I personally loved the ending.


    A special mention has to go to GTA vice city though, the soundtrack was so classy.

    You say to take advantage of the free wifi, but with rate GoT leaks at you take advantage of the fastest ;-).


    Ah yes. Ive seen something on here about signal repeaters but I think it all goes a bit over my head. I used to be well good with technologly....have certainly lost my way there.

    Well then, after what youve said about 3 I will certainly look into it a bit more. I was only ever going to sign up for a rolling contract with whichever provider I eventually opt for.


    Another thing ive read about breifly is disposable sims? Or did I drwam this?


    I dont really know what my monthly useage would be. I think I used a lot of data back way back (a week ago) in my house dwelling days. But if you just watch a few hours of netflix or youtube a night im guessing that would be around a gb a day?


    Also there is wifi on the site. I think we could be out of range but I suspect its just a really shit wifi transmitter. I can always slum it with that with a booster if im low on data.

    I was looking at three because they have a pretty tall mast a stones throw away (well...a mile or two) so we should be great for coverage. I just need to find out what equipment I need, what would provide us with a good signal and so on.....maybe time to start yet another thread! But I'm guessing the short answer is a mifi hub and data sim?

    Has anyone here used the "three" network? They do a unlimited data package on a rolling contract for £32pcm. I was thinking of getting this with some kind of 4G receiver/wifi hub.

    I also went to art school so I know exactly what you mean. I remember being steered into doing graphic design and advertising which involved classes on networking and sucking up to people. I started art school because I loved illustration, character design and just drawing stuff I thought was cool....and there I was paying thousands of pounds for someone to stamp the fun out of what I loved doing...madness!

    We are based north of woking somewhere. Once weve been there a few weeks I may have a feel for if they are looking for anyone else to come on board.


    As for the wood in the forest, I wouldnt expect any issues if I wanted to take some.

    Thank you. But if it looks good it really is just pot luck. Honestly, id never even put up a shelf before starting this....I only began with a hacksaw, couple of screw drivers and a hammer.


    Though I do believe that as long as you have respect for safety, a small amount of common sense and good google skills...sometimes not knowing the rules allows you to function more creatively.

    So we finally moved into our horsebox this weekend just gone. We've been pulling it apart and putting it together for the last year so to finally get into it is a massive relief. Still plenty of little bits and pieces to do, but it's more of a live in art project now with a few practical bits thrown in. We are currently in a permanent park up with a lovely family that have a huge garden (which backs up into a gigantic forest) and have made us feel more than welcome. Hoping to be there for a year or 2 until my partner recovers from some upcoming surgery, then maybe we will go a bit more nomadic once she feels up to it. Probably still in the honeymoon period, but all in all, best decision we have ever made and our son is so happy with where we are, he has barely stopped smiling.


    And it's just occurred to me that this is the 1st time I've actually slept in a place that is mine. Not the banks, landlords, friends or parents....mine! That is such a liberating though :D.