CrinstamCamp

Crinstam Camp

 

Off-Grid Living

To save any confusion as different people like to use 'off-grid' in different manners, I'll first explain what it means here.

We are not connected to the elecrical grid, have no water or gas lines coming in or sewer line going out.

 

Fossil Fuels

We do still use some fossil fuels. We use gasoline for our back-up generator, chainsaws and vehicle. We use diesel for our tractor and a backup heater. We use propane for cooking, water heating and another back up heater. We also use firewood for heat.

I want to be clear in that we do everything we can to reduce the amount of fossil fuels we use and already use significantly less than a normal household.

Eventually, as we can afford it, we will become 100% fossil fuel free.

 

 

Home

We currently live in a 192 square foot travel trailer. It's a 1980 terry taurus, although by no means is it orginal. It's been modified and jury-rigged to be our home. We have a 2nd one the same that we use as storage and living space in the summer. We also have a small 18' trailer that we have converted into a workshop/tool storage trailer, plus an 8x12 storage shed.

 

Heating and Cooling

Our main source of heat right now is wood. We buy loads of logs that are aren't high enough quality to by either lumber or even commercial firewood, cut and split it ourselves into firewood.

We do not have any type of airconditioning here.

One day when we have enough solar panels and batteries, we will get an electric heat pump system that provides cooling in the summer as well as heating in the winter.

We have two propane water heaters. One is in the trailer and the other is a portable outdoor one. Neither are currently being used in the winter. We heat water either on the wood stove or on the propane stoves.

 

Cooking

Cooking is done either on the wood stove, the propane camping stove or the trailer's RV style stove/oven combo.

This spring/summer we hope to build an outdoor Earth Oven as well, which will be wood fired.

 

Electricity

Our main source of electricity is the sun. We currently have 1200 watts of solar panels. 800 of which are hooked to our main battery bank. The other 400 watts are used for our workshop/tool trailer.

We use four 100 Ahr LiFeP04 batteries for our main battery bank of 400 Ahr, although until a few months ago (December 2023) we were using three 79 Ahr AGM deep cycle batteries as a 237 Ahr battery bank. Two of them are now on our tractor while the third is being used in the workshop/tool trailer.

We have a 3000 watt, gasoline powered generator that we use for power tools and as a back-up generator when we get too many cloudy days in a row. Excluding when using power tools, we never run it more than 2 hours in a day and normally it's just an hour or so after more than a couple of cloudy days when we don't expect the next day to be sunny.

 

Power Use

We use far less power than a conventional home. We have two cell phones, a 10" fire tablet for TV/videos, two computers (a laptop and a tablet), a WeatherFlow Tempest weather station, a wifi router and airhub for cellular. Our lights are all low power LEDs. We have a car style radio for listening to local radio stations. We use a computer style fan as a ceiling fan in the winter to push heat down and for cooling in the summer when there's no wind.

 

Refridgeration

Currently, the one refridgeration we have is in the winter when we can use our storage trailer. That only works while the outside temperature is below freezing. We will be setting up a small electric refridgerator this summer for the first time in our three years here.

 

Water

We currently bring all of our water in by jugs either from town, or one of the public artesian wells. We are in the process of building a water filter system that will turn up to 300 liters of creek water per day into drinkng quality water although until we have tested it and confirmed it's quality, it will just be used for washing and not drinking or cooking.

 

Wastes

As part of our deal for this property we have access to a registered dumping lagoon for sewage wastes. Anything else that's organic is composted here. The rest is either recycled or taken to the local landfill.

 

 

 

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