When our son was a senior in high school he bought himself a used silver trailer (airstream knockoff) and we set him up in the sideyard away from the main road.
We put in a propane
tank pad, ran a long line to the sewer (dug a long, long trench, making sure to slope it correctly), ran a long, wrapped hose for water, and used heavy-duty extension cords. Thus, his last 8 months with us he had his own "apartment." We installed a brand new little 110 fridge
, and he moved out/in.
We learned a few things from all that.
1. There are still "coming and going" issues.
2. Those trailers are generally NOT designed for full-time living. All systems begin to wear out faster than you thought possible (including inner walls, upholstery, etc). A "park" type model would be designed for full time living, but his wasn't a park model.
3. It costs more than you expect to set it up properly, even if you cut corners as we did.
4. Although it's still YOUR property, and you have full view of the trailer from your windows
, you may well find ourself looking out at a gaggle of folks lolling about freely all over the place, even "graduate students" can still be relatively young people, and their friends wn't have been vetted by your rental process--and are under neither your nor your tentant's entire control. And renters are, well, let's face it, renters. They likely aren't going to ever feel the same responsibility toward YOUR property as you do.
Would we do it again? Wow. No. The trailer really went downhill in only the 8 months, and we were never free from worrying about it. Our neighbors were fine with it, we didn't even consider checking ordinances (probably not actually permitted), and our son was pretty happy with the arrangement, but it would've been easier in retrospect to just cut a new door from the outside into his bedroom and make do with that.
Bearing in mind it was HIS trailer and he was younger...
If I wanted the trailer for myself later, I wouldn't rent it out first on any kind of a long-term basis.
As a temporary visitor space, fine. A time or two a year. but for months and months on end? No.
Just our experience.
Seems like a really good idea--but the details pile up on you.
I think I'd just start setting aside some money each month for those two years in a special savings account to buy your trailer when you're ready to start using it, but YMMV, of course.c