Ok, it’s mid september, and I already have an inch of snow in the yard. I’m having trouble embedding images in this section so you’ll have to check the gallery. You will also be able to see the shed in progress. I need to have it finished by Friday so that I can install the solar and wind power systems but the weather is not cooperating with me. If I have to I will finish it in the snow. Keep checking in, I’ll have some good info on the power system soon as I’m installing it.
Well, the Solar system and wind turbine have been ordered. I get so much wind in this valley that I decided a turbine would be the way to go for supplemental power. I am starting the system with two 205 watt solar panels and a 400 watt wind turbine. I made sure to size the inverter and everything so that later expansion would be possible. The total cost for the system (self-installed) is about $7,500. I will add an itemized list of equipment soon, I don’t have it with me today. Still no internet at the property since everything in this town is on “mońana” time. I’ll be stopping by the office to express my dissatisfaction shortly. I am building an 8′ X 8′ shed to house the power equipment and for a small amount of storage. I’ll post pictures when they’re ready. The first snow of the season fell on the high mountains last night… something of a warning to me that I need to get the lead out and get myself winterized. More to come shortly. I added some pictures of the Rio Grande gorge and whatnot. Enjoy.
As promised, I am posting the final costs for the land, the RV, and some of the basic living expenses I will be incurring.
Land: Final closing costs, all told were $12,258 for the 10 acre parcel of mesa land. Images are in the gallery section.
RV: I went with a travel trailer, rather than an RV. The travel trailer is 26 feet, 1 queen bed and 2 bunk beds, kitchen, living room, bath, dining and an external shower. Final cost was $7,400. I didn’t have to spend this much or get quite as large of a trailer, but since I will be living in it through the winter, I figured it should be as comfortable as possible. I am still calculating my water and propane useage and will post amounts and costs when I have that calculated. It cost about 20 dollars for 30 lbs. of propane. Water is $10.48 per 1,000 gallons if I haul it myself from the community well.
I am going to meet with Solar Ray ( www.solarray.com ) today to talk about what size my hybrid solar/wind system will need to be to meet my power requirements. I will post the final cost of that as well. I will also be traveling to the EarthShip community ( www.earthship.org ) to learn from their experience and to get some ideas for my own home. I will post what I learn.
This is a beautiful area and so pristine, it seems to rain almost every day and there is a lot of wind that blows through the valley. I chose well when I chose the site for the house, there will be plenty of resources available for sustaining myself. I can’t wait to get started. More to come soon…
Well on August 4th I went to look at the land, and made an offer. Pictures are in the gallery section. The soil seems to have adequate clay content for adobe mud, and the site is quite beautiful, and sufficiently remote. Water is at a depth of around 800 feet, from what I’m told. Rainwater catchment is going to be my best option for water at the site, combined with some hauling of water to supplement my needs during the dry season. Eventually the idea is to have a large enough cistern and roof area to catch enough water for constant use without any hauling. It’s going to require some trial and error testing to decide exactly how much that will be. I’ve never lived off-grid or used water conserving systems before, so I still need to calculate how much water I’ll be using on a weekly basis. I will of course update the site with all of this information as things unfold.
Once the offer on the land is accepted, I will post the final cost of the land purchase including closing costs. I will continue to document all costs associated with the project for you. I hope to show how relatively inexpensive it can be to migrate to an off-grid lifestyle, and how little it costs to live that way. Either I will do that, or completely disprove the idea in the course of my attempt. Either way it will be fun.
Keep checking in, as this is an ongoing process. I expect to be moved on to the lot living in an RV while I work on the construction within 3 – 4 weeks. I will post the final cost on the RV also.