foolish mistake, pure fortune and projects to set up off grid

17 May

Moving off grid has brought a few challenges and foolish mistakes.

Nothing serious though. Mostly time and resources will resolve them. It was a tight budget for May, with most of my monthly funds going towards the costs of the actual move, which included vehicle registration, gas expense and basic tools needed off grid.

Now that I have arrived, I’m slowly settling in and getting comfortable.

early off grid projects

There are many projects and upgrades. Ones I am really looking forward to.

screened porch

My New Screened Sitting Area - May 2012

With the bugs starting to show up, keeping them at bay is important. One of my first projects was going to be building a screened in porch. As chance would have it I found a screened in living tent (8ft X 8 Ft) for just $8 at the local thrift store. That is pure fortune.

I was also going to build a little mini desk for writing but found a folding wooden TV table for just $5 at Habitat for Humanity Restore, where I have been looking for equipment and wood.

I also needed to build steps up to the RV since the current ones didn’t offer very much support. I was going to build a fancy one but chanced upon 2 large cinder blocks (cement) and happened to have some wood to put over them. Total cost = $4. A lot cheaper than the $50 in wood. Eventually, I will build a nice platform step with a door, kind of a mud room that will also reduce the bugs getting in (though so far, I have kept the bugs down to a minimum, so it seems well sealed).

Most of the projects are about simple storage space in the RV. I need to renovate the closet and sink I took apart earlier this year and create a more functional, aesthetically pleasing one. I also don’t like the look of the shelving and space in the kitchen so I need to replace it and add some more shelves. The living area will receive a matching upgrade. Once these are finished, I’ll trim the flooring too with some nice quarter round.

I’ve cleared my area to make a nice open location with pathways. I’ve set up my laundry routine and wash line. The toilet (bucket) under the RV is in place for my bodily waste. I’ve got my outdoor and indoor sitting areas. My temporary steps are in place.

Priorities are all taking care of.

The next one.  Time for a vegetable garden. I have a perfect sunny area to do this. On the weekend I will be setting this up and it will probably be next weeks post.

foolish mistake with power

AC power is the first thing I take care of next month. An inverter and extra battery (or two) to get the fridge functioning and have a power source other than my car to charge the laptop and tablet. The land owner is also a solar installer and will be coming up with solar panels and setting up a system next weekend. I want both things in place.

Tell you why.

I’d been using my power tools enough to have drained both batteries and I needed to charge them up. I have an inverter for the car, so I decided to plug it in and give one of the batteries a charge. It started raining and I was distracted with so many things that I forgot to unplug after I turned off the car. When I remembered and went out to the car, I had completely drained the battery. Not even enough to give it a kick of juice. Dead.

Foolish mistake.

Fortunately, I have a second vehicle, being the green conscious person I am. The RV, which I needed to give myself a boost.

I’m smart enough to carry jumper cables in my car at all time. It wasn’t easy pushing the car back by myself on a muddy surface though. Remember, it had been raining.

FYI…I also keep my tool box,usually my computer and guitar with me so I can always “stay where I am and fix or entertain”.

I had to wait until this morning to take care of it because of the bugs, rain and light yesterday evening.

DONE. I’m on the road now.

Probably not a mistake I will ever make again, like the one time I locked my keys in the car. I am thinking it is time for a Roadside Membership with CAA for these little just in case measure.

I’ll leave you here for now, but stay tuned and I’ll fill you in on the garden next week and then we will start on the nitty gritty of each aspect of living off grid.

contact me

We have room for more people. If you are interested in living in the beautiful cottage country of the Muskoka’s, give us a shout. We are also able to accommodate people who would like to camp, short or long term. Facilities are up to you.

I would love to hear from you. If you have specific things you would like to know about or would like to learn more about living off grid please contact me at off grid AT simplystephen DOT ca and I will get back to your (or write a blog post about it.)

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