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bermed/underground mobile home

 
Teresa Priley
Posts: 3
Location: Plainwell, United States
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hi all..... In mike oehler's book he made a short statement ...a couple pages ... about placing a mobile home underground with beamed support system surrounding it. My question... has anyone ever done this or investigated it enough to know if it would be a sound idea? Since reading his book a few years ago, this idea has been milling around in my thoughts off and on. There is no information like it anywhere I have found on the net. SO I thought maybe someone here may have an idea.
My idea would be setting/backing a mobile home(which would already have all wiring, plumbing etc..as opposed to shipping container) under a beamed and concrete walled structure that has been earth bermed. The structure would be built with openings somehow for the windows( for emergency escapes system and light). Then with the front being open it could be turned into an enclosed greenhouse of some sort. This may then be a cheaper way to have an underground home/mobile home(used mobile homes can be found relatively inexpensive) and a safer mobile home living.  Any thoughts or ideas
thanks for any input...
Teresa
 
William Bronson
Posts: 1128
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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Many people here hate the synthetic stuffed mobile home as a permanent residence.
The structure you describe to surround and enclose the mobile home is far along towards having a full residence.
Parking the mobile home in that structure might stall any process of conversion.
If are OK with living in a mobile home long term you want to improve the insulation or thermal mass on it, there are probably cheaper ,easier and greener ways of do one so than a concrete reinforced underground/better structure.

Your mention of a green house reminds me of a couple who built one and moved the mobile home inside.
The green house buffered them from cold and wet,gave them a huge amount of additional living space,and they used it as a place to set up their wood burning stove,a device not often welcome in old fire prone mobile homes.


 
Teresa Priley
Posts: 3
Location: Plainwell, United States
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thanks for your reply and ideas William.... yea I am not too keen on living in a mobile home again either(had one when I was younger and living in town) but am looking for a way to inexpensively create an underground home. Some here have talked up the shipping container method but don't see much difference... they are both steel buildings and the mobile home comes equipped with all that one needs to start living in it.
The idea about moving one into a greenhouse sounds good but not too much safer in tornado prone area such as Michigan.... which is why the idea to start.
thanks again....
 
chad duncan
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This is a link to an article about a family in Sweden that has a house inside of a greenhouse.
You can also find videos about this specific house on youtube.
http://inhabitat.com/naturhus-an-entire-house-wrapped-in-its-own-private-greenhouse/

Edit: I see that greenhousing your mobile isn't a good option for you, but maybe someone else will find the link useful.
 
William Bronson
Posts: 1128
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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Ah, tornado's, got it!
Now the desire to burrow makes sense.
Yeah, compared to a cargo container, a mobile home or even RV seems way better.
Cargo containers aren't strong enough to bury without needing similar protection as a mobile home,and the cargo containers are just  boxes.

So for the price of a walk out basement you make your used mobile home tornado resistant.
As for the penetrations to allow escape/light,etc, I think making the concrete space twice as large as the mobile home would be better.
That would leave space for escape and light could enter via the greenhouse side.


 
wayne fajkus
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Someone did this in an episode of doomsday peppers.  No dirt or walls touched the walls or roof  of the mobile home. It was big enuff to have a small swingset "outside" the mobile home, albeit still underground.
 
Teresa Priley
Posts: 3
Location: Plainwell, United States
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thanks guys... and Wayne I will have to go find that episode of Doomsday Preppers to see what they did....thanks.  Sounds similar to what I was thinking... but maybe tad bigger...
 
Jeff Higdon
Posts: 45
Location: Idaho
tiny house transportation wofati
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This is similar to what I intend to do. I live in a 40' travel trailer. I intend to build an Oehler style structure around it with wood, leaving one end with a wooden wall to the outside that I can dismantle.
  I intend to have a greenhouse hallway along the southern side, with a second layer of windows to the house to buffer the heat.
  The kitchen and living room will be built, then the RV pulled out and bedrooms built in its place.

  I think it is very doable and I've already drawn up plans on paper to do it.
 
Jeff Higdon
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Location: Idaho
tiny house transportation wofati
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My site is a steep hill sloping to the North west. The house will be bermed on the north with uphill patio to east, greenhouse to south and daylight ground level to west.
 
Tom Connolly
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Interesting idea, though you need to be a little careful if you think a mobile home and a shipping container are similar.  Yes, they are both steel but the container is by far stronger and has much better paint on it than the mobile home.  The SC was designed to endure salt water and rough environments, the MH only rain, snow, sleet etc.  The SC will hold upwards of 60,000 pounds on top if it...the MH...my guess is that a MH would not hold the weight of a small economy car on its roof.  Yes, the MH is "pre-built" but I would also have reservations about the kinds of materials present in them - how safe are they?  If it is fairly new and you are  putting it within a relatively air tight space, the off gassing that happens with some materials used in MH's will have no where to go but into you

Just saying....
 
Todd Parr
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Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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Tom Connolly wrote:Interesting idea, though you need to be a little careful if you think a mobile home and a shipping container are similar.  Yes, they are both steel but the container is by far stronger and has much better paint on it than the mobile home.  The SC was designed to endure salt water and rough environments, the MH only rain, snow, sleet etc.  The SC will hold upwards of 60,000 pounds on top if it...the MH...my guess is that a MH would not hold the weight of a small economy car on its roof.  Yes, the MH is "pre-built" but I would also have reservations about the kinds of materials present in them - how safe are they?  If it is fairly new and you are  putting it within a relatively air tight space, the off gassing that happens with some materials used in MH's will have no where to go but into you

Just saying....


I wouldn't be concerned about the weight it could hold in comparison to the shipping container because nothing is going to be touching the top of it.  I would be concerned about the outgassing.  If I were going to do this I would make sure I had very good ventilation built into the outer structure.  Of course, the larger the structure around the mobile home, the less risk involved with fumes.

As an aside, shipping containers can hold a huge amount of weight above them, but only if all the weight is supporting directly by the support structures built into the corners.  If you pile weight onto the roof of the shipping container, they are very weak.  All the containers I have seen for underground use have large girder support systems welded into them to overcome that deficiency.
 
Devin Lavign
Posts: 241
Location: Pac Northwest
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You could look at how Ark Two built their fall out shelter/bunker with school buses as inspiration.

http://www.radmeters4u.com/arktwo/photoconstruct/photocon.htm



Or here is a slide show of someone prepping and burying a short bus.


School busses are way over engineered for roll over safety due to carrying children. Which makes them actually fairly able to handle being buried.
 
Jeff Higdon
Posts: 45
Location: Idaho
tiny house transportation wofati
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My idea with the RV is not to make it part of the structure. The structure will be an Oehler style pole building underground. The purpose of putting the Rv underground is to immediately have the benefits of heating and cooling from being underground and fully functional until the remainder of the structure is built.
 
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