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Old 07-03-2011, 12:20 AM   #1
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Southwestern , Ontario
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Hello from Ontario Canada,

I've been lurking around the forums for a few days now and have found many of the posts to be helpful and inspiring.

My family and I are currently flipping our Victorian home in the city for profit. Once the renovations are done we're planning on buying land and turning two vintage Airstreams into off grid self sufficient permanent dwellings. Now I don't know much about Airstreams but I do know quite a bit about off grid living and renovating. By converting these AS we'll be saving lot of money which will be put towards acquiring better land and starting up our country homestead. Our AS will run completely on electricity gathered from solar panels. Freezing pipes is our main concern. Along with the basic winterizing I've been considering installing a radiant heated cement foundation to place our AS on as well of heated flooring -has anyone tried this? We'll also be creating a recycled grey water system, passive solar heating and energy efficient native landscaping to name a few projects.

It's wonderful to be here,
Nicole
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Old 08-14-2011, 07:05 PM   #2
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Welcome, Wow, that sounds like quite the project! Good luck! I am new to all this too. I am sorry I cant be of help to you as I am not very experienced in that area, but it sounds very interesting! And good for you!! Sounds like you have some good ideas!

Tracey
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Old 08-14-2011, 07:21 PM   #3
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Olathe , Kansas
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Nicole,

Your project sounds great! About 20 years ago I bought the plans for a heating system with the intention of using it for a self-sufficient cabin. Basically, it was a small dedicated outbuilding that was an airtight fire house with a thick sand floor with a grid of copper pipe running through it and circulating via insulated underground plumbing to the house. It used radiant baseboard heat, but you could use a grid cast into a concrete floor for floor heat just as easily. I was going to use a 12 volt pump to circulate the heated water (actually a glycol mix) because of the ease of generating 12 volts. (Remember, 20 years ago solar was not nearly so popular!) They also had another isolated grid in the firebox to heat your hot water for the home. It was a great looking system and was supposed to run on minimal wood burning as the fire was controlled so well by the airtight box. I believe it was called a Haasa heater or something like that. If you are interested PM me and I will search more for the company name.

Good luck,

Ken
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:40 PM   #4
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Have you talked to the town (or township) where you intend to do this to make sure that it is permitted?

Always good to start there, BEFORE you make any investments of time or money. You would be surprised at how many places do not allow what you are planning to do and will force you to tear it out if you do it without their OK.

The old saying, "It's a free country." needs a huge asterisk followed by about three or four pages of things you generally can't do...
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