advice sought on moving to remote house without utilities

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by mountaingirl, Mar 14, 2005.

  1. mountaingirl

    mountaingirl Member

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    Hi folks :) ,

    I have been offered a house for rent way up in the mountains where I want to go to escape all the devolpment in the countryside.

    Problem is:

    a) No Electricity...............will have to use a generator.

    b) No Running Water..............but a well.

    c) No telephone line................will use mobile.......but hope I can get internet through sattelite dish.

    Now my MAIN problem is generation of power.
    I need to:

    Be able to run my PC, TV, Sattelite dish, washing machine and fridge.

    Do I need a generator that will go 24/7 for the fridge or could someone advise be how to get around that problem?

    What generator do I need?............and I cant afford one that costs a bomb! I mean I could say switch everything off while I use the washing machine or hoover and try not to use too many electric things at the same time.

    And how do I protect my PC/TV from spikes?

    But minimum I should be able to use lights, pc, TV and a 250w growlamp at the same time.


    How could I use my washing machine without running water?

    Maybe some of you are in the same situation? Love to hear from you.
     
  2. jim63129

    jim63129 Member

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    How can you run your hot plate to keep your meth cooking?
     

  3. Leay

    Leay Well-Known Member

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    Wow! Where did that come from? Having a bad day perhaps?
    Leay
     
  4. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    I'm not going to tell you what you want to hear,but tell you what I would do.I would get Gas fridge and Lights,get a Wringer Washer run it off Gas,forget Phone,TV,and PC.

    But thats just me someone else will help you with what you want. :D

    big rockpile
     
  5. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    Is this a long term deal, or a short term deal? If it is long term, then I'd invest in long term solutions... like a propane fridge or another solution to keeping things cold. If this is a short term gig, I'd probably "uninvest" by using short term solutions... like the cellar (if there is one), coolers, food suspended in the well in nets, that sort of thing.

    I might buy and use a generator for, say, evening entertainment (to charge the i-pod and run the computer... charge up the cell phone) but I'm not sure I'd be happy living out in this lovely isolated cottage listening to the generator going hour after hour.
     
  6. BamaSuzy

    BamaSuzy Well-Known Member

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    Running a generator around the clock would likely not be cost-effective....running in part time just to fuel a computer might be....

    I would heat with wood and cook with wood and propane and either do without a fridge or get a propane one....we heat and cook with wood and propane now...

    Is it just you or is there a spouse? how does spouse feel? are there kids? are they ready for this kind of life?

    I lived for a whole summer kind of camping out while a house was being built with two pre-teen boys (this was years ago and not my present family) and things would have been great except the spouse was an abuser and you do not want to be holed up with an abuser in the woods with no phone and no transportation!

    Other than that me and the kids had a great time and would have been fine cooking basically outside nad living in a camper and a tent until the roof was on the framed-in house!
     
  7. HarleysMom

    HarleysMom Well-Known Member

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    I started out at my place with no utilites and spent about $12K in solar equipment to run the washing machine and lights and refrigerator and freezer. That was so I could use regular appliances. If you go the gas route, that should work for you also. But either way, even with just enough solar to get by, seems to be a lot of money that you will need in order to live in a rental. Even if you could find the appliances and equipment used and cheap. That is my take on it. Others might have better info.
     
  8. Laura

    Laura Well-Known Member

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    It gets quite expensive when you want the modern luxuries in a backwoods, off-grid life.

    I got by with running the generator once a day for an hour to get everything done. That 1 hour, I could fill my water tank, do a load of laundry, charge my batteries and vacume. I had a big generator that could handle the load all at once. I did not have electric lights. I had kerosene and 12 volt. Propane reefer and cookstove, plus a woodstove.

    My neighbors ran their generator about 5 hours a day or more. Never 24/7. They had electric reefer,freezer, sat.TV, washer, dryer. While the generator was running is when they opened the freezer to get stuff, which included ice jugs they kept in the reefer. It kept things cold while the power was off. They wore out several generators. They couldn't afford the fuel for ones big enough to carry their load easily. They finally went solar.

    You have a well, you will need a wellpump and a water storage tank to gravity feed the house. when the generator isn't on.

    Surge protectors help. I grew up off grid with 2 big CAT diesel generators 24/7 and even with surge protectors and other inline gadgets, electronics needed to be replaced frequently.
     
  9. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    "How can you run your hot plate to keep your meth cooking?"

    Wow......7 posts and this..........sheesh.

    I have lived in Haiti where the only electricity was from a generator. Have you ever heard a generator???? Go live high on that mountain, but be prepared to look at some serious reorganization of lifestyle, or spending a real fortune on a generator and a building to house it and the storage for the gasoline to run it.

    You would be farther ahead to visit a few Amish farms and see how they are run. A kerosine engine on the washing mashine etc.
     
  10. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You can get small TVs that run off 12 volt.

    Laptop computers can run off 12 volt.

    Not sure about the satellit dish, if you can get a satellite dish that runs off 12 volt, great, otherwise, you'll need an inverter.

    Charge a bank of 12 volt batteries with solar, wind, or a generator. Run your necessary appliances off the batteries, with inverters as necessary. (Note -- 110 volt AC from a generator or from 12 volt thru an inverter may not be sufficient for running a PC, which is why I reccomend a laptop with a battery that can be charged off 12 volt.)

    For food -- propane fridge or a root cellar. Or, in your position, I'd consider fresh storebought meat -- i.e. styrofoam trays of steaks -- a luxury for the few days after a run to the grocery store, for winter time (frozen outside), and the rest of the time, my food would be either preserved (canned, dried, salted, pickled, smoked, etc.) or freshly harvested onsite.

    If you've got a goat for milk, you don't NEED the fridge for milk. Extra milk can be made into cheese if you've got a root cellar to store it in, or fed to a pig, and you'll then butcher the pig in the fall when it gets cold enough to freeze the meat outside, or preserve the meat by smoking and salting it.

    If you've got a garden that's producing, you don't NEED a fridge to store your veggies -- go out and pick what's ready and eat that, and learn to can, dry, or pickle the extra.

    If you've got a flock of hens, you'll have eggs sometimes, they'll keep for a few days at room temperature, and if you've got a pig or dogs, the extras become food for the animals. If you want fresh chicken, butcher a chicken -- they keep a lot better live than dead. *grin*

    If you have a stream in the area that stays cold, you can also sink food in bags into the stream -- I've done this backpacking many times. Just watch that you don't leave the food in the creek if there's a storm coming.

    This kind of life is a huge culture shock for someone not used to it, granted. I know I'd have a hard time giving up my little luxuries for a homestead life. But it can be done, if you're willing to do things the way our forefathers did.

    Leva
     
  11. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

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    been there done that, get an inverter and use the genny to power up a bank of batteries, the fridge is out of the question, unless you buy an old propane one from an rv camper store, servels are about a grand ...that might not be budgeteable, when i lived off grid we used tv and puter about 5 hours a week , and with a 350 watt inverter and 2 12 v batteries it was not a problem
    assuming puter is laptop they make solar mods for them , run about 200 bucks from real goods


    what kind of well? how do you get water from it with no power, unless its an older sand point well, in which case i would defiantely think about testing the water and make that a condition of movign there.

    washing machines eat huge amounts of power for the time they run , like 800-900 watts very few gennys could handle that, assuming you have the well, you could use a wash tub for laundry....
    its eminently do able
    promise, been there doen that !
    B
     
  12. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This is what it looks like when you have one troll posting under a dozen different names. This person carries on conversations with her/himself all over this forum.
     
  13. mountaingirl

    mountaingirl Member

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    Thanks everyone, thats an interesting heap of advice.

    I have actually lived somewhat like this for a while in the 70s and got by ok, but I did have electricity. Electricity is the BIG problem here and will deceide whether I can take the house or not.

    Atmo I'm living in a house in the countryside with all mod cons but there is so much development and building around I gotta esacape!

    Before I meet the landlord I need to know exactly what I need to ask him for in terms of a generator. And what I need to make sure that my pc and tv dont get damaged.

    Also how much the generator will cost to run.

    Until I find out what generator the owner is going to offer I wont know how many hours I can afford to use it. But I need to know what I need when I do ask him incase he offers less.

    Thats really scary about the washing machine betlaf, nope I aint into handwashing particularly! 300v? Could'nt the genny manage that if all other electricals were switched off? I am sure the water is drawn with a bucket from the well.

    I mean thats how I was going to try to run things. The only time I would have several gadgets going simultainiously would be the pc/tv and elect light. Otherwise washing or hovering could be done during the day.

    Where I am looking to move is not a warm part of the world most of the time and there is a stream as well as a well. So yes I could look at keeping food in bags in the stream or hanging in the well.......well said about water surges after rain...point taken!

    I dont have a lot of bread to lay out so I'm not in a position to buy a propane fridge or a laptop atmo. (actually I could do without a fridge)

    So I'm stuck with my big pc and my big TV. I am a (Gemini) newsfreak and write and post stuff on the net daily so thats important.........especially living alone few miles from the nearest house.

    So phone not a prob, I can use a mobile and recharge when generator on.

    Heating btw, is a range, burning peat which there is a good source of up there, eventually I could add a water heater and couple of radiators to it. In the meantime I could always heat water in a big pot for my daily wash from a bucket and a big basin to stand in.

    What is an 'inverter' cygnet? and are the bank of 12 volt batteries of which you speak like car batteries? Do you recharge them from the generator?

    I really, really dont want to keep a goat but I will just have to get used to powdered milk if I cant freeze.

    I'm a vegetarian as well and dont eat eggs though I do eat cheese.

    Climate here very poor for gardening though I intend to get a polytunnel as soon as I can afford it. Having said that I have only seen this house when passing by and there may be a garden there, I'll see when I visit next few days.

    Diana points to my worst fear; that the generator may simply be too expensive to run in the short or medium term until I can hopefully get my own lil windmill.
    The cost of running per hour is a question I must ask the owner.

    No one has lived in the house for several years, the two elderley brothers went into a home. Probably they took more interest in mustering their sheep than State Dept briefings or live reports from Arab sattelites! So here is Miss modernised Internet Blogger hippy arriving in a flying saucer and hoping to survive as well as they did!

    Ill just go with the well for the moment laura though I will eventually look to getting a pump and tank and probably a small generator to shift it. One person will not need as much water as a family.

    No one mentioned bed and rising times, grateful to hear any advice there. Obviously I could maximise daylight to cut down on electric?

    Bad news for my chances of growing medicimal herbs in wintertime under a 250w growbulb? That would be 18 hours a day?

    Poor bamaSuzy, can't have been fun finding yourself in a re-shoot of The Shining! I been in similar situations. Nope I'm alone except for three cats.

    Well thanks all and I've learned a good bit though I'm still not as clued up on what I need in terms of a generator.

    But as have given more details perhaps cygnet may get closer to a specification?

    Looks like the growlights are history? :D
     
  14. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Try going to the truckstop 4 the satilite they have alot of 12 volt stuff there.
     
  15. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Newer cellular phones can be used as a modem for your laptop.
    www.rv.net
    go to the tech section and search for it.
    Gennies come in all price ranges/sizes/and levels of noise.A small quiet 2000 watt Honda EU2000 is 969.00 dollars,you can hardly hear it run,finest portable genny in the world,hands down.Hows that for a brash statement,and its true too!It would power what you want to do_Or you can get a noisy smelly one for a couple hundred.Just about any genny will power a tower comp or tv,they really dont need very clean power.

    Everything you want to do is doable,the question is only your income and comfort level as to what you will use.

    www.homepower.com
    another site that may help you with their free bimonthly downloadable 100+ page alternative energy magazine.

    Cant help you with meth cooking,LOL(where did THAT come from?)

    BooBoo
     
  16. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    You can run a computer of of an inverter easily with a good battery. I have a old push mower generator I made several years ago for camping. I bought the mower for thrity bucks at a yard sale. I had an old general motors alternator laying around and I combined them at a total cost of about fifty bucks. Even if you bought a new mower and a new alternator it would be less than 150 dollars. I took the blade off and mounted a pulley then mounted the alternator and used it to charge two deep cycle batteries. I bought a fifty dollar inverter at Advance Auto parts. I could run a desktop computer a 27 inch tv and a vcr off those batteries for hours before I fired the mower up to recharge the batteries. There are several websites about building these. I have a firend that mounted a alternator in the same fashion that charges eight batteries and he has lights,computer,dvd,etc all running off of it. As far as a fridge etc. Well for the expense involved it just isnt worth it. Fix only what you can eat. Drink only what can sit out etc. Why spend over a thousand plus monthly propane bills etc just to have cold food? Look in your frideg now. How much of that do you have to have as a necessity and how much of the necessary items can be substitute ie powdered milk etc.

    I have a small 400 watt (800 peak) that I bought for thirty dollars mounted under the hood of my truck. I have run a laptop off of it for long periods of time and just the other day we ran my sons home stereo/cd player off of it with a amp etc for about eight hours continuos. I have used it to power alot of things.

    You can get just about anything 12 volt. Go to some websites for trucker and youll be amazed. Coffee pots,tv,vcr,dvd, etc etc
     
  17. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    .................I believe that you have ...LEFT OUT... :eek: the MOST important piece of information that should be your first Consideration ....to Wit , ...What is the condition of the ROAD that provides ingress and egress to this mountain cabin ??? IF , this is NOT an All Weather road , that affords you a 24\7 access then I would be looking for a Cabin with a Road that DOES . Being "remote" is all well and good, but what happens if you receive notification of a serious health condition in your immediate family and they request your presence ASAP , and Your ...Snowed IN , for several days???WHAT will you DO then??? No access...No Rental in my opinion :) , fordy.. :eek: :)
     
  18. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ............YOu , OWE the Lady an Apology !!! Pure and Simple , fordy... :(
     
  19. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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  20. outsideman1

    outsideman1 Well-Known Member

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    the best thing to do with dumb comments like that folks are to just ignore them . people such as jim feed off of your comments