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Old 10-13-2020, 12:36 PM   #1
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Pull Travel Trailer Off Road Near Petrified Forest AZ

Considering purchase of land near the Petrified Forest in AZ. Particular plot is about 1000 ft from road (access via easement).

How feasible would it be to pull a travel trailer (21 ft Fun Finder, dual axle, 3500lbs) through the sagebrush? The land is fairly flat. Pictures attached.
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Old 10-13-2020, 12:41 PM   #2
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Best way to find out is to drive up to any neighbors that might be in the area and ask them. With what looks like bunch grass in those pictures though, I grew up with that stuff and it is very hard to drive over. I'd say you'd need to grade a road. You could ask the seller too.
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Old 10-13-2020, 02:36 PM   #3
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Who owns that land? That's the Navajo Nation area.

No, I wouldn't drive through it. You'd be making ruts and probably not driving in the exact same spot because of the ruts and thereby ruining the land.

What is drawing you to it? It's very windy there and hot in summer; cold in winter.
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Old 10-13-2020, 02:38 PM   #4
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^^^^ Agree^^^^
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Old 10-13-2020, 03:33 PM   #5
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For sure, check with a title insurer before you commit to this deal. Make sure that the current owner really has the right to convey the parcel, and make sure that the easement is recorded and that the deed creating the easement spells out the terms of access -- how wide is it, and can you grade the land?

Even if it is not tribal land, there may be county land use regulations controlling the grading. Check with the county planning agency.

Let's assume that everything checks out -- what will you do with your waste water? You may need a septic permit for the black water --again, that is probably a county issue.

But if this place is what floats your boat, and if all of the roadblocks are overcome, go for it! There are lots of "desert rats" all over the Southwest who thrive on isolation and silence. I get it, even though it's not for me.

Good luck!!
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Old 10-14-2020, 08:33 AM   #6
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Septic system seems to be the accepted route in Apache county.

I'd prefer to live elsewhere, but it is difficult to find property in areas that are relatively free in regards to zoning regulations and yet still cost effective.

I want to build my own house, but it likely won't be according to code (smaller than most minimum square foot size requirements in most counties). Intend to build on a foundation; believe it is possible to get away with a concrete slab foundation out here, rather than a full basement?
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Old 10-14-2020, 09:08 AM   #7
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You could get a neighbor with a tractor or a local contractor to scrape an access road to the property but . . . . will you need all weather access? That is generally not cheap. Just scraping a trail will soon become rutted and rough. You could invest in your own tractor to build and maintain the access.

As mentioned lots of issues to take care of.
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Old 10-14-2020, 09:10 AM   #8
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Having lived and worked in the area for many years I can offer a bit of advice. If you buy it, build a road. Yes you can drag a TT out through there but when that clay hardens it is like rock. Imagine all those tufts of grass being a rock. Then if it happens to rain while you're there you probably won't get out. It goes from rock to slime in about 1/10" of precip. Check local wells if you plan to drill someday. The reason most of those places are cheap is lack of water. Get out between Holbrook and Snowflake and the water depth is around 2000' in places. If you don't like cattle you'll have to plan to fence the entire thing. AZ is mostly open range so it's your job to keep cows out, not the ranchers to keep them in.
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Old 10-14-2020, 12:05 PM   #9
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Thank you all for your input.

I can take some time before committing; thinking this through. Clearly there are some significant obstacles to overcome in choosing to live in a place like this. The freedom is one of the biggest draws.
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Old 10-15-2020, 08:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkovacevic View Post
Thank you all for your input.

I can take some time before committing; thinking this through. Clearly there are some significant obstacles to overcome in choosing to live in a place like this. The freedom is one of the biggest draws.
You are absolutely right. If boondocking in this situation is what you want to do I say go for it. Everything we do we have to pay for. Some with money, some with effort.

Friend is starting to setup on similar property in Colorado. He is miles from his nearest neighbor and really enjoys his privacy. Unfortunately his move to the property has taken some side turns. He started fixing the property up a bit later than he wanted and has had to move into town for the winter. The latest setback he encountered was high winds that moved his trailer off of the blocks he had setup and he decided it was too late in the year to do everything needed to live out there through the winter. He will start again next spring.
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Old 10-15-2020, 09:44 AM   #11
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Gordon, I've seen trailers parked on permanent sites in very windy places that were anchored with cables stretched over the top of the trailer -- the ends were attached to heavy objects buried in the soil. Not sure if the OP will need to do that, but it's an option.
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Old 10-15-2020, 11:24 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by rwhite1223 View Post
Having lived and worked in the area for many years I can offer a bit of advice. If you buy it, build a road. Yes you can drag a TT out through there but when that clay hardens it is like rock. Imagine all those tufts of grass being a rock. Then if it happens to rain while you're there you probably won't get out. It goes from rock to slime in about 1/10" of precip. Check local wells if you plan to drill someday. The reason most of those places are cheap is lack of water. Get out between Holbrook and Snowflake and the water depth is around 2000' in places. If you don't like cattle you'll have to plan to fence the entire thing. AZ is mostly open range so it's your job to keep cows out, not the ranchers to keep them in.

You may want to check if you even have water rights, they are not a given here in AZ.
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Old 10-16-2020, 09:01 AM   #13
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Gordon, I've seen trailers parked on permanent sites in very windy places that were anchored with cables stretched over the top of the trailer -- the ends were attached to heavy objects buried in the soil. Not sure if the OP will need to do that, but it's an option.
I have seen that as well where they were tying down mobile homes and box cars were blowing over.

Boon docking of any sort requires effort to compensate for the lack of convenience paying for full hookups affords. I know several people who choose to boondock and for them their hobby is doing what needs to be done to enjoy their lifestyle.
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