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Old 06-30-2010, 10:02 AM   #1
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1973 Argosy 24
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off the grid

Hi, I have looked into ways to make the trailer off the grid capable. I think I am going solar and I have a water collection plan. I am interested in what your trailer is has. I also have to buy a cheap but mechanically sound towing vehicle and would love some ideas. By cheap...I mean under 1,000. I'm not a real good mechanic but I can do until the real thing comes along most of the time.
Toni
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Old 06-30-2010, 12:06 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onthemove View Post
Hi, I have looked into ways to make the trailer off the grid capable. I think I am going solar and I have a water collection plan. I am interested in what your trailer is has.
Solar does not work well in my area because of the northern latitude, the tree cover, and the frequent presence of clouds. In Texas it should work OK. A fact to consider is that the lifetime cost of ownership and operation of a generator is usually lower than the costs for solar even considering fuel.

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I also have to buy a cheap but mechanically sound towing vehicle and would love some ideas. By cheap...I mean under 1,000. I'm not a real good mechanic but I can do until the real thing comes along most of the time.
Toni
If you are able to do this many people would be interested in finding the secret, although 2wd work trucks occasionally come up for sale in sound condition for only a few thousand dollars.
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Old 06-30-2010, 12:50 PM   #3
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I had a working suburban I only paid 400.00 for it to pull a little concession stand. It worked. That was 6 years ago. I figure I should find something like that for more. If I don't, well, I will have to travel with a friend with a truck I guess. LOL. I did in fact, get the cart before the horse(power.)
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Old 07-04-2010, 04:54 AM   #4
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I am planning to go off-grid as well. Solar and wind is the way to go. It may be more expensive starting off than getting a genie but it will pay off in spades and you wont have to rely on petrol for your power. And as to the post saying Solar panels dont work well in cloudy areas well now they make Solar panels designed for cloudy areas. Also look into Composting toilets, witch turns your waste into clean compost that can be used for gardening. Sun-mar has one that is designed for RV's and boats. Also look into building a water catchment on you airstream or your awning. You can reuse gray water and with the composting toilet there would be no black water to deal with.
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Old 07-04-2010, 04:58 AM   #5
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Also a woodburning stove is prabably the best way to go for heating.
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Old 07-04-2010, 07:46 AM   #6
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The "63 Safari came with a pressurized water system.Pump up the water with a hand pump to 35-40lbs for a shower. No power required.Use your solar heated water for a hot shower in the woods. Nice.If you can survive without refrigeration eating only a vegetarian diet,the only power consumption is fuel for cooking.Propane tanks come with the trailer as well.Lighting? Coleman lamps are low tech and operate on propane too. Carry on,Richie Rich.
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:48 AM   #7
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I'm very excited about all those ideas. Thank you. I am going to New Mexico for a look see next weekend to see if there is any little place I can start this adventure. On youtube I found some really neat water collection ideas to catch and use rainwater on an RV and I am doing that. The collection system, a pipe, two hoses, a standard home filtering device attaches to the rain gutter and is said to catch up to 100 gallons of water in an hour. I also found a rollable solar panel for about 300.00. I'll have to think about the heating. I really like the composting toilet idea. Thank you, you are all so helpful.
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Old 07-14-2010, 01:36 AM   #8
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mover,

check out home-made wind turbines as a cost effective off-grind power solution. This would not suffice as a sole source, but would work in conjunction with solar

Vertical Axis Wind Turbine: How to Build It | How to...

sun domes are another lighting solution a I am excited about.

Sun Dome Tublar daylight skylights. Skylight's that transfer solar light to your home or business.

good luck!
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Old 07-18-2010, 12:18 PM   #9
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If you want to extend the life of your battery, consider substituting LED's for the incandescent bulbs in your rig. The power demand of an LED is about 10-15% of the halogen bulbs, with almost no heat generated. We just did the conversion, which extends the time we can go without running the genset to about one week (the biggest energy hog now seems to be the water pump). We use gray water to flush the toilet. Just place a bowl under the faucet when rinsing hands, dishes, etc., and empty into a gallon container. Turn water pump off, and flush with the gallon jug. This can save enough water for an extra shower during the week, without having to refill the fresh water tank. Also, we've had great success in conserving water by sponge bathing and use of "No-Rinse" products: No Rinse® Products Unless we're actually using the shower, we heat water in a kettle on the stove for both dishwashing and sponge bathing. Saves gas consumed from running the water heater. Not totally off the grid, but great for boondocking!

-Jerry
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Old 09-02-2010, 05:36 PM   #10
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We are new to the forum and this is great!! Thanks for all the good information regarding going off the grid. We are looking to green the stream and live full-time off the grid as close to 100% of the time as we can. We sold the house, bought a 2003 25 foot Safari and a 1998 dodge ram diesel truck. Is this the thread for green the stream and complete off grid living. It seems like such a huge topic and there is so much to talk about. Here is what we are doing. You can follow us on Our Green RV Life - Conserve, Explore, Inspire - Home.

solar power for the Airstream - 300 watts
composting toilet
rainwater harvesting
gray water filter and reuse
cork flooring, bamboo countertops, green materials inside
yamaha gas generators for back up energy
Diesel truck running on 2nd fuel tank using WVO (filtered waste vegetable oil)

I would love to hear more about how others are greening their rigs and full-timing it. We are set to hit the road full-time in 4/2011.

Cece
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