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How far do you want to go off-grid with your lifestyle?

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by Asia-Off-Grid, May 8, 2016.

  1. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid God Bless those who have served. Site Supporter

    I just read another thread. I ran across a reply by a member that I felt needs it own topic. Thanks to @marlas1too for the reply that awakened my inner off-grid voice.

    I have two places where I live, here in Cambodia. I have an apartment in the city that is definitely grid-tied. (A $222 electric bill this month, at 1,500r ($.375¢ US) / kWh, proved that to me, once again.) The other is my g/f's farm, located 30 kilometers from the city, which wouldn't cost me $200 USD in any given month, total, for living expenses.)

    Until recently, they didn't have power run down the road to the farm. So, things are changing there, which is okay too. We will not be dependent on it as our primary source of power. We will continue to run solar and rainwater harvesting, as some of you already know from my previous threads. We will connect mains power to one house, though, solely to have a backup source for power. The nice part is, it simply will not matter if the grid fails there. I like knowing that.

    Now, although I have only been to appreciate what her farm offers for a few years, I have grown to be much happier there than I am here in the city. MUCH happier. Hence my reasons for doing everything I am now, in order to relocate there full time. Out there, I can lay in my hammock all day, or sleep in it all night - for that matter.

    There, we don't have the constant buzz of city life around us. We have peace and harmony. We don't have nights filled with street lights and noise. We can hear the sounds of crickets and frogs. We can look to the heavens filled with the brightness of the moon and stars. I reckon folks who live off-grid, on their own land away from the hustle and bustle of city life, probably live longer, healthier lives. I'm gonna find out.

    So, my personal answer to this topic question is, I can live pretty basic. I'm not Amish off-grid here, though. But, using alternative energy and nature to supply what we need to live there, is all we need. The funny part of this is, prior to me walking into the picture, she and her family lived there with no power and no proper rainwater collection system - for many years. Just whatever rains fell from the sky and filled their buckets and jars (1,200 liter jars made from concrete), was all they needed. That's a bit too close to the Amish way, than I would personally like to go.

    So, how basic will you / can you go, living off-grid?
    3M-TA3, Motomom34, kellory and 2 others like this.
  2. Buggzilla

    Buggzilla Monkey

    We also have two places that we live. Our normal in-town (actually suburban) house is on 2-acres. It’s grid-tied, all electric, with pool, hot tub, A/C, internet, and all the other modern conveniences. Our other place, which we get to ~1x a month on weekends, is a one-room, 25'x35' adobe cabin on eighty acres of high desert. No electricity, water is via rainwater collection into a cistern, outhouse, etc. Heat in winter is via a wood stove. Cooling in the summer is... well, open windows. We get a weak cell-tower signal for emergency phone coverage, but otherwise zero connectivity. Lights at night are via kerosene lamps. For me, it's heaven. I’d live there full-time, but the wife (who also loves the place) enjoys the comforts of home more. Can't complain; in a sense we’ve got the best of both worlds.
  3. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    Around here , if you are in proximity to having public utilities they want you hooked up, you will pay that fee for being hooked up whether you are using it or not.
    (I am not grid tie solar) My solar panels,wind mill and battery bank are on my shop trailer. so if I move they go with me.
    I have welders and big air compressors and refrigeration on the grid, but every thing else is on battery .
    The battery bank is fed from both solar and wind mill, and during the winter months from time time I supplement with the grid when solar is down . the wind here is not sufficient to do it all so every one works together ..
    I have generators but I only fire them up to keep things lubricated.
    I have inverters but I don't use them much . most all my lights are LED or quartz so, no worries there.
    RV supplies are good for 12 volt gadgets fans blenders and so on.
  4. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid God Bless those who have served. Site Supporter

    That isn't an issue here. In Third World Countries, when you are on grid, you are often off-grid. :D
    VisuTrac likes this.
  5. marlas1too

    marlas1too Monkey++

    in response to my last tex I grew up in the swamps of northern Florida we had a spring house to cool things and we carried water for the house in buckets ,a outhouse away form everything.we used candles and kero lamps.we hunted and fished for extra meats.picked wild berries to eat and can. 7 of us lived in a 4 room cinder block house.cooked all our food on a wood cook stove so many things we did just to survive even when my father was always fighting somewhere for our gov.in the army and a take home pay was never enough to feed and cloth 5 children but you know what I could go back there with no problem and I teach my son the same values the only thing he would miss is tv and the internet but he.s not on them much.most people today have no knowledge to survive if everything breaks down the old ways were very hard but you learn to make do sorry I get carried away sometimes
  6. weaselhawk

    weaselhawk Guest

    i am about 50/50 i went 10 years no heat no power and no money to buy any solar power and water system i was in a true survival situation. only got heat last fall. what did i learn winter with no hot water or power means its summer beofre you bathe people say well sponge bath not in a house with no heat and all water is for drinking since you melt it from snow so for me at least i need hot water and power to stay clean and warm and with no power or money to even buy candles or batteries for a radio you sit in a black room that is silent for 5 months straight you stink so bad no one will get near you so you go 3 months at a time without even one single conversation could i got back to 100% off grid yes will i install a simple solar system no it has been 12 years at least since i had 100$ at one time or month so no solar will i prep like maybe 4 years of candles yes what do you call it when your still living in a survival situation but things let up a little and you can put some back for the future prepping durning a survival event i guess. the way i look at solar dont get mad at me please is your not realy off grid you taking money from the system to buy power you pay more for than the monthly bill would be it will need new batteries and everything your not self suficient not off grid your using money to get power
    Ganado and Gator 45/70 like this.
  7. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid God Bless those who have served. Site Supporter

    Well, I will be the first to say that using an off-grid solar system to power your home, farm, BOL, etc., will be more costly than to buy power from a utility supplier. Well, unless you pay the rates that some do in this country. Some people pay more than .50c / kWh, here in Cambodia. (I think, at that rate, you are probably breaking even with an off-grid solar array, at today's rates.)

    But, off-grid, as I stated before - like "Amish off-grid", is not as far as I would want to go. While currently, money is the way to remain off-grid, if we are in a SHTF scenario, I'm not so sure money would be very important anymore, depending, of course. We would, most likely, be more in a bartering situation for things we needed. Even today, I tend to barter more than to buy goods and services when I can.
    Cruisin Sloth likes this.
  8. weaselhawk

    weaselhawk Guest

    in asia off grid for a couple reasons would start to take your side with this first the bater system there is older and different than here its more common. in asia you could run the farm off the solar some one in the usa would be using for the tv and wow the cost of power there my power is expensive something like .20 or something i geuss its all in how you use it but how are you going to replace the batteries what is the life span solar now days 10 years could you make any friends at the power company and make sure there wallet was full then get cheaper power

    in asia parts of it there are places where like 70% of the people steal there power and hear is how they do it the power systems there can use a circuit breaker called a zero phase circuit breaker google it for about 20$ you get a breaker put it in your power box and what it does is pull one leg of the power off the line when in it basicaly pulls dc of one leg to the 3 wires and the power meter does not spin at all there is a pbs show on this they were talking about why power in asia was so high because 70% of the power was stolen with this 20$ zero phase breaker lol

    not saying you should do this just saying if your into power and solar why not just learn everything you can just to learn understand me dont do anything wrong just because like every one is doing it i bet a few hours on youtube and you would find some videos about some bad people that use older power meters use a magnit to slow the spinnning that would never work here but on older stuff that way if you learn all about it you could make sure you are not doint that
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2016
  9. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid God Bless those who have served. Site Supporter

    Can you show me proof to substantiate this claim? Please, do not tell me to "Google it", because you are the one making the claim here. Most people in SE Asia, who may steal their power anyway, wouldn't have enough money to buy one of those zero phase breakers.

    I'm also curious as to how you come up with 70% of citizens steal their power. In many places, like here in Cambodia, there are no power lines to steal anything from. At the farm, for example, they have only recently installed power poles and wires for us to have a service drop run.

    Also, how much experience do you have in SE Asia? Just curious as to where you have been and how much time you have spent here? I have been living in these countries for going on two decades.

    I'm afraid you are mistaken. Most people here do not tend to barter. Most need cash. I barter, when I can, which isn't often, unfortunately. And, there is no "older" barter system, that I am aware of anyway. If you have more experience in SE Asia, perhaps you are aware of one that I am ignorant of?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2016
  10. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Horsefeathers. Be careful who your experts are when it comes to "obtaining" power.
    Asia-Off-Grid likes this.
  11. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid God Bless those who have served. Site Supporter

    Who says I haven't? I have learned quite a bit about solar over the years, but only have implemented that knowledge and understanding over the past three years.

    (Somewhat) proper sentence structure, on the other hand, I have been using since my educational years in school.
  12. weaselhawk

    weaselhawk Guest

    yeah the pbs show was real where in asia i was saying learn other options i am at a loss i just dont know what to say i was trying to give think out of the box ideas cause i know some many people that have spent so much on solar i got to there house they have 20 grand on there roof the batteries last like 2 years and at least where i live not the sun for it result they spend all there money end up having to buy thousands in batteries every two years when you go to there house they have one light bulb that works like sometimes and maybe a laptop end result there paying like 500$ a kilo watt any time any one talks solar i think of the 200 hippies i know that have all there money on there roof and one light bulb and there paying 200 $ month for the batteries

    ok i am wrong please dont be upset with me i am sorry sometimes my ideas are like wow some times there like a huge flop this time i am wrong my motivation was only helping but my info is clearly wrong where your at
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2016
  13. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Weez, part of the point of AOG and my posts is that some research ahead of time is mighty useful before popping out with an idea. Most of the time (but NOT all) the easy schemes have already been tried. You can even find some of them on this forum.
    Asia-Off-Grid likes this.
  14. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid God Bless those who have served. Site Supporter

    Please tell me you are joking?
    Cruisin Sloth likes this.
  15. weaselhawk

    weaselhawk Guest

    no the pbs show was real be while back dont remimber where but they followed a guy he went house to house installing zero phase breakers its simple normal house power in the us is what we call single phase that is two wires of power and the ground 2 phase we call 220 then we have 3 phase for comapanys well zero phase is just on one of the wires the power is comming but just half the time store it in a capcitor for when its not comming and you have created a level zero phase its not that complex it is a simple circuit breaker you plug it in on a 15 amp service you get 7.5 amps but its free an now in a fake dc current in the use you would plug it in and your smart meter would call them on its built in gsm cellphone and they catch you but all over europe and russia and india asia its verry common show was talking about places where it was 80% or something the power meter will not spin when only one wire is pulling power the breakers are like 20$ so they can go door to door but ok they take the breaker you buy a new one
  16. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid God Bless those who have served. Site Supporter

    Cruisin Sloth likes this.
  17. weaselhawk

    weaselhawk Guest

    a large percentage of power in usa is stolen too most of it in the citys in the poor areas they simple climb the pole and turn it on something like 25% of every power bill is paying for the people tha steal it

    i just googled it percentage of electric power in the world each year frist one forbes title more power is stolen each year than you know in usa its the people growning pot in india 55% is stolen russa 33 % on and on bet it you add it all up its about some where from 20 to 30% why does no one stop it the power companys well the power company now get to say it is costing them more than just what is stolen and they get to hike up that 20% to 25 or 30% so the people stealing are making them more and more money and giving them a excuse to steal from the people that do pay and in the usa and europe they now get to say we need to stop this and put smart meters in our house that watch us it connects to your router and makes a back door into your life and makes you sick from the radio waves every one i even met into solar have lots of money into it so for me i know i am not going to steal it becomes one simple question i know i can do nothing to stop it i am going to get it so i ask who is going to be more gental with me and is smaller for me its the normal power company with them i get all the power i want they will not stop working for me in 2 years when they wear out
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2016
  18. marlas1too

    marlas1too Monkey++

    come on I lived in Florida around swamps yes we had water but we had to pump it and then carry it into the house .we had a bucket for drinking water with a towel over it to keep it bug free and mom always kept a canner full on the stove full at all times we even all took baths in a metal wash tub and we were always clean . as for night we all read books and I still love to read books in other words our internet/tv was in our minds. yes we had it hard but you don't really miss something you don't need.and don't say Florida don't get cold when you live in the north pan-handle it gets cold. learn learn and live for the sake of living and remember there’s always someone else out there worse 0ff than you
  19. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    Build a hidden Great water Closet , & use the waste .
    Im moving that way asap , BUT !

    Edit add , after reading page's later .
    PBS is full of it or stuff.
    TVSPEAK to keep the uninformed smart .

    I worked for BC Hydro in the 70's . Robbing drops are found so quickly .
    IT'S MATH !!!
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2016
  20. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    I probably wouldn't mind having more solar panels and batteries and wind mills, and being completely off grid with gardening as well , and would like a well as well . OH well .
    Asia-Off-Grid likes this.
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