I used to spend mornings going through Craigslist RV and camper listings.
The sky is the limit when it comes to buying an motorhome or camper. They can easily cost as much as a house, but I was looking at the lower-end. I didn't want some piece of junk that someone was giving away because it was rotted out, but I was trying to keep the cost down to a few thousand.
I looked at a lot of trailers. I bid on several Class C motorhomes (had a brief obsession with the Toyota Dolphin) but lost all of them. But in my head the idea kept evolving. I also looked at box trucks and storage containers. Ultimately I envisioned the structure as a blank slate, into which I'd figure out what to do. I still thinking building I into the back of old box trucks is a great idea. How many of those are sitting around rusting in junkyards? Seems like they'd be easy to renovate into something cool.
It turns out, you can buy a home on a credit card. I went out and looked at the cabin: They come as unfinished structures that you insulate, wire if you want to, and so on. It felt sturdy, was far larger than the camper options I'd considered, had an actual door and windows, insulated floor.
I bought a completed/in-stock version to save some money. The siding is vinyl rather than fake logs (which …. same thing?), and it was constructed four feet longer than standard and with extra windows. It has a ridiculous porch, off which I'll build an actual, usable porch.
Another impulse buy? Who knows. It felt right, but it also took the project in a whole new direction: I would have to hire an excavation guy to put in a gravel pad for the cabin, and ultimately would need building permits. Unknowingly, I'd taken a far more complicated route than I realized.