Is a Yurt an Option

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by TriColorPansy, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. TriColorPansy

    TriColorPansy Monkey

    There's no telling how long it'll take before I can afford any of this, but planning ahead doesn't hurt~!

    * Sorry if this is in the wrong section, I wasn't sure which one to put this in since I mention bushcraft and possible off the grid living.

    The YouTube app on my phone put this video in my recommendations list, and afterwards I started searching online and through these forums. I was wondering if living in a yurt would be more/less/just as practical as living in a bumper pull RV? They appear to be around the same price as bumper pull RVs depending on the size and accessories you choose to include, and the more basic designs have a rustic look to them that I find attractive.

    My biggest concern would be having to reassemble it every couple of months because apparently depending on the foundation you choose it is unwise to leave it in one spot for too long, and overall it's not as easily portable as a bumper pull RV unless you get a less durable design that's attached to a trailer. And I'm sure it'll be easier for bullets and knives to pierce it vs. a bumper pull RV - is there any way to make it more defendable?

    I was going to try camping out in my grandmother's backyard with a used Walrus Armadillo Altiplano 4 Person/4 season tent I got off eBay over a year ago, but security is a concern. It's not like it's a crime-ridden neighborhood or anything, it's pretty peaceful for the most part. But it's not surprising whenever adults or even children become mischievous or violent. And I can be a heavy sleeper, which adds another level of danger on my part. A yurt would definitely provide more security than a tent, and as an extra measure I plan to add more locks to the wooden door and would like to purchase a bat, knife, and possibly a mini stun gun.

    The idea was to live in a basic dwelling in my grandmother's backyard, bothering her only for things I can't provide for myself (yet) such as the shower/toilet, wifi, food, and possibly electricity if I can't find a portable source that's safe to put in the dwelling. This would push me to learn bushcraft for things like cooking, crafting, and whatever else I can think of. My grandmother's land is about 1 1/2 acres big, and the front lawn and backyard are mostly open land with random plants, weeds, and grasses of various length growing in different spots. It might not be much to work with at first, but I'll get creative and if wood is necessary it won't be hard for my grandmother or uncle to find some for free.

    I'll have to speak with my grandmother about any laws or regulations that would prevent me from doing this though :-(

    Speaking of bushcraft, do you guys have any recommendations for books? I'm short on cash, so I looked at several books on and after reading the table of contents and reviews of each, narrowed it down to The Book of Camping & Woodcraft: A Guidebook For Those Who Travel In The Wilderness. I was focusing on older books written by people who spent personal time in wooded areas and had developed detailed, how-to information based on their experiences. I'm sure some of the information is dated, but I figured they'd be more reliable than more recent "guide books". And this book got bonus points because apparently the illustrations are well-drawn and very detailed - if you don't get tricked into purchasing a knockoff.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2014
    Witch Doctor 01 and chelloveck like this.
  2. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    As with any Portable Structure and Living Space, the real question is, " How are you going to Heat the Structure, and where is the Energy going to come from?" Are you planning on cooking, using that same Energy source? In the Travel Trailer, it is assumed that Propane will be the Energy source. In a Yurt, it could be any of many sources. Wood, Propane, Diesel, Electric, or many others. In general, Energy is, and always has been, the Limiting Factor, in ALL Human, habitation. Once you have the Energy Issue decided, then the rest become almost trivial. a Yurt, in NOT very energy efficient, when compared to the Travel Trailer, due to it's Insulation Factors. So, amount of energy Input to keep the same internal Temps, is significantly higher. That means either, more Work, (Cutting Wood) or more Money, (Buy in fuel, or electricity) required to meet the difference in Energy expended. these are ALL practical Questions that must be considered, when making these choices. .....
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    I won't take a bet on it, but a double wall yurt (there ARE some out there) are going to be pretty comfy with a wood stove centered up. (Google is your friend.)
    Dunerunner likes this.
  4. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

  5. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I think it was. @VisuTrac , who posted a metal cylinder building, he was considering living in. It was anchored by dirt in planting boxes. It was a hollow metal structure, with a vented roof, windows with shutters, and bolt together. ( which means can be assembled anywhere and moved as needed.) I believe it had an insulation kit as well.
    chelloveck likes this.
  6. TriColorPansy

    TriColorPansy Monkey

    Thanks for the advice guys! I've spent the past few days watching more YouTube videos and finding pages through Google about people who live in yurts or compared them to cabins and RVs, and they mentioned several of these concerns.

    I found a company in North Carolina that will include things such as insulation, a wind/snow load kit, and a wood stove panel for extra. Out of the packages they offer, I was considering the 20' Bungalow because according to the description it's relatively easy for a small group of people to setup or take down, and it requires minimal energy to heat and maintain. But I'm wondering if the 24' Homestead would be better for a more permanent structure...

    Cool suggestions Dunerunner and kellory. It'll be years before I can afford any of this, so there's no telling where I'll end up in the end. But it's fun researching so many options~

    ** edit: The photos on that website are gorgeous btw, Dunerunner (*_*)
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
    kellory likes this.
  7. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    From knowledge comes choices, from choices come better decisions. Learn everything you can before you spend your money. It is much easier to spend than to to regrow.
    TriColorPansy likes this.
  8. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    TCP, IIRC, there are some discussions on yurts here on SM. Try the search function, see if anything useful turns up. Quite a while ago, but might still have some useful scoop.

    You do need to figure out how many people you will need to shelter and size accordingly, as well as think about privacy for sensitive occupants. That 20 footer is apt to be a bit small for more than two or three people.
  9. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    Tipis are alot cheaper and a smaller one can be put up by one person and unlike yurt if you're in the woods there's no need to take the frame work with you if you move. I have slept in them in the winter in Wisconsin and stayed comfortable.
  10. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    If your land is subject to change then why not pick up an older larger camper. Some are never used and practically new. In the summer if shade is not available then you can rig a tarp over it for a much cooler stay. Add a screen room for outside cooking or just lounging. Tie into your grandmother's septic/power/water and you are good to go. Far as bullet resistance, nothing mentioned above is either. The camper will give you a warm/cool/comfortable place to live that is easily moved. Just unhook and bug out.
    AmericanRedoubt1776 likes this.
  11. tekdoggy

    tekdoggy Monkey

    we have an older RV, I plan to install the adapter to fit on the LP system to allow me to connect up to 100# propane tanks to it and install 200 watt solar system on roof. that should cover running the furnace when needed as well as lights and hot water, communications etc for as long as needed. But bugging out will be a last resort. Our RV is fully self contained and capable of pulling our large utility trailer loaded with supplies. Plus it has a 100 gallon fresh water tank on board. One like it used sells for 13k to 15k.
    BTPost and AmericanRedoubt1776 like this.
  12. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    And the Steel Frame makes a Great RF Ground for HF Frequencies..... Oh and who made the Generator, that makes the AC in your RV?
  13. tekdoggy

    tekdoggy Monkey

    has a onan 6.5kw gas genset in it
  14. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    If you need any Manuals or Parts Lists, I have them here, in my archive, or I can get them from the Factory Rep..... I am a chief Moderator over on, where they have an extensive Onan forum and many Old Onan Techs, and Mechanics....
  15. tekdoggy

    tekdoggy Monkey

    actually i need to hit you up, the genset has issues, it will start and run with no load on it, put a load on it and it starts throwing sparks/smoking and dies.
  16. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    I need the EXACT Model and Serial Number to get you the correct Manuals for the GenSet. These can be found on the DataPlate on the GenSet itself....
  17. wastelander

    wastelander Bad English, bare with me

    Or just make your own tent and get it right. I made a soft top for one of my 4x4 and it turned out allright for the time and money spent. Good looking, maybe not if you start watching the seems. But looking good I save for city people ;) and VERY rigid. I used military grade rubber coated vinyl tarp, special glue and thread and a tape I got to seal my mistakes. Like 4 rolls of it :D lol. But I had absolutely no experince with these projects.

    My only "experience" with Yurts is seeing that guy from Dual Survival on youtube and I must admit that I don't get the point really? Any structure with walls and a roof could easily fill the spot of an expensive yurt. If you sort something out yourself you'll get the priceless bonus of experience. When I was in the army we used to insulate the tents by shoveling snow on top of the tent and wool blankets duct-taped to the inside and a tarp and more blankets on the floor. I remember it as quite cozy with a fire in the stove. And the temperatures up by the polar circle in the winters is.. Cold (can't find a good conversion tool for c>f) . Tent was warm and cozy anyways.

    Then a portable stove and if you need, a solar panel and you'll be fine.

    This is the opinion of me offcourse and I can't see the need of a cultural tent from a culture with completely different climate and.. Well, culture than me.

    I love the Teepee-idea. Up northern Scandinavia the samik population have similar structures they live in all year around (well, the traditionalists atleast) they just have a fireplace on the floor and they do fine I guess.

    But hey, an option? Ofcourse. Just like anything that can keep you dry and warm. A tarp and some string for example.
    AmericanRedoubt1776 likes this.
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