Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fall Update 6 weeks.   Suck.

Anyway, been busy/bored.  BUT some fun and possibly frugal or possibly spendthrift things have come to pass. 
I bought a "luxury vacation home" called "Wagner Haus" (must be said with a rough bad german accent).

It's a 17 foot 1972 camper.  No electricity, not even battery.  Therefore CHEAP (1100$) and parked on friends' land up near Newport, Washington.  It's fun.  I get to try out simpler ways of living.  Such as using more blankets because no electricity = no furnace (the fan...).  The fridge would work on just propane but hardly need it now.  I've been using candles and flashlights.  It gets cold at night but with plenty of blankets it's been surprisingly cozy.  I got up one morning and it was 25degrees inside the camper, but the only really hard part was putting on my pants which were also 25 degrees. 

I'll be digging an outhouse shortly.  I was going to do it this week while I was up there this week.  But, there were complications (ironically I had diarrhea...couldn't leave the friends' real bathroom long enough to do any major digging).  I did get a great deal on a seat for the outhouse!  2$ at a thrift store for a camp toilet.  It's like a little folding stool (heh heh) but with a toilet seat instead of a canvas seat.  It's meant to be used with disposable bags (puke).  I remodeled it by cutting the bottom out of a 5 gallon bucket and JB Welding that to the camp toilet.  Total outlay: 10$ (includes the new JB Weld which will be used on many many projects...probably only used 1$ of it for this).   I've got some heavy gauge pallets to tear up for the outhouse foundation.  For now, the "walls" will be a tarp.

Speaking of tarps.  I spent 25$ for two good tarps and some rope to cover the roof of the camper for the winter.  No reason to tempt fate.

SO, that is mostly money out in exchange for a great deal of fun.

Today I did something that I'm not sure is thrifty.  We'll see.  I bought winter tires with a set of rims for the new Subaru.  It was 1000$!  I could get a vacation home for that!!!  The rims were 60ish $ each.  This investment will be returned in 3 seasons of swapping them out for free at Les Schwab rather than paying each time which you do if they aren't on their own rims.  I had to argue with the young man at the tire place.  I asked for walnut tires.  He kept saying they didn't make them any more.  I kept saying I checked online and they do exist and Les Schwab sells them.  He tried to sell me a "walnut pattern tread."   I got firm and snotty and said "It's NOT a pattern.  There are walnut shells in the rubber."  He repeated they didn't make them.  I stared at him.  He called the boss over...yep.  Totally make those.  Toyo Observe tires.  They were right there on the shelf.  DUH.   Don't question me.  I know what I'm talking about.  I don't understand all the ins and outs of tires though and it seems that putting different rims/tires on disconnected the automatic tire pressure monitor thingy so for now I have to stare at the tire symbol on the dashboard.  Oh well.  Better to have a light flashing at me than to end up in the ditch on an icy drive.

Will these 192$ tires be worth it?  I think so, but hard to say.  The last walnut tires I bought (same brand but smaller for the old car) lasted 6 winters at about 10-15,000 miles per winter and would have gone one more summer.  And, they really help me stop on the conditions we have here in the winter.  I like stopping.

Spending as much on tires/rims as I've spent on a vehicle in the past...a crap truck that I overpaid for at 800$, and almost as much as my luxury vacation home...that's hard for me.   I'll be really glad I have them as soon as it snows.

Ok...the computer is acting funny.  I'm going to try to post this before I lose it.