Terry

 We will be hanging out in SE Michigan due to my husband's full-time job. Do you have any leads or recommendations on resources for living frugally in an rv or similar with children? Part of our plan is to squat on vacant land in rural areas. Should we be aware of any negatives that may greet us if we do that? Could we build or convert something larger than the van you recommend to accommodate a family of five plus two dogs? I would be fine with a "dry" (no plumbing) rv wherein we use your portable toilet and showering/bathing recommendations and other strategies outlined in the book. I'd love to keep our initial investment to under $10K. Any thoughts?

- Happy travels -
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journeyman
See "Travel Trailer Recreational Vehicles" section of rv types explained.
My opinion is that you should find the dogs a new home other than yours. You will have enough challenges without adding the complexity of pet ownership to the mix. And because you have 5 people in your family using a van is not the best solution at this moment. Instead find vacant property where you can keep a 26 to 30 foot camping trailer (not a mobile more) near your husbands work, pull it there using your van, and allow your husband to drive into work each day. One strategy may be contacting local storage facilities, commercial property owners, schools, churches or large land owners and trading out "watching their property, providing security or doing some manual labor on the property" in exchange for being able to stay there.
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