Outpost 34: Off Grid...and off the ground.

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by DLConcepts, Nov 22, 2015.

  1. DLConcepts

    DLConcepts Monkey+++

    Hello Monkeys,
    I am starting this thread to keep everyone up to date on my personal Hunting cabin/BOL.

    Approximately 2 miles from any paved road
    5 miles to the closest neighbor
    50 yards off of a river, feeding a local lake, full water rights to the land
    146 Acres, surrounded on three sides by state Wildlife & Parks land.
    All state roads are gated and walk in only.
    All the grain fed deer, turkey, beaver, fish (when the waters up), racoon, opossum, and rabbit you would ever need.
    Wild edibles and not-so wild edibles. black walnut, yucca, cattail, corn, wheat, soy.
    approximately 30 miles from residence

    Supports are two large healthy cottonwoods, and now six 10" telephone poles.
    double 2x12 girders, with 2x10 floor joists.
    Recycled siding, windows, door, locally milled cedar trim.
    Well is dug, drain lines ran, interior plumbing is roughed in.
    We are fully insulated and dried in for the winter.

    Come spring the plan is to have my solar panels installed, my full 12v system operational, and my plumbing in working order. I'll try to post something each time I head out.
    2015-11-21 17.16.25. 2015-10-31 17.15.26. 2015-10-04 15.23.09. 2015-10-11 14.09.00. 2015-10-11 14.09.28. 2012-05-19 16.53.42.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015
    GOG, Motomom34, Gator 45/70 and 11 others like this.
  2. DLConcepts

    DLConcepts Monkey+++

    Spring/Summer Plans
    1/2 horse, 20GPM, 4" Submersible well pump on inverter feeding a triple in line filter
    55 Gallon holding tank
    Two 12v, 2.5GPM, 60PSI on demand Pumps from tank to cold/hot water lines
    Eccotemp L5 on demand water heater
    Full working shower
    10,000 BTU LP Wall Heater
    4 Battery bank (shooting for 200 AH or up)
    Two 100w solar panels, charge controller, ect. (possible wind turbine)
    LED strip lighting, flood lights on and under porch
  3. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Interesting project. Was wondering what effect the cottonwoods may have on the structure over time, unless you're planning on using the poles as a replacement support.
    kellory and Ganado like this.
  4. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Is this area prone to flooding? just wondering why its this high off the ground and how you are going to adjust for tree growth. Interesting project, thanks for sharing!
  5. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    The cottonwoods are going to move and shake in the wind. If the house structure is firmly attached to the tree trunks, there will be damages to the house structure. Cottonwood is not a very strong tree, if not allowed to flex over the full height of the trunk, they will break off above where they are restrained. I would put some more phone poles in, then cut the trees away.

    All that aside, looks like a good place to live, and some pretty good planning.
    3cyl, Motomom34, Gator 45/70 and 3 others like this.
  6. DLConcepts

    DLConcepts Monkey+++

    Question A: Flooding. As per the farmers almanac, approximately every 15 years. Last time it happened in '93 I would have been able to put a boat in the lake, and take it down river, and tie off to the front porch. :)
    Question B & C: The structure is built on an entirely adjustable system. The double girders affixed to the tree have sliding L brackets allowing as much as 4 inches of Left/Right movement, and the brackets assure the girders to not crawl out of the steel hangars over time. The 2x12 girders have 1/4" flat steel bolted to the tops, as well as 1/4" steel brackets affixed to the bottom of each floor joist, also allowing 4" of Front/Back movement. Basically, the treehouse is floating/sliding on top of steel plates. The trees themselves can move independently of eachother, and of the treehouse, without affecting the structure itself. All that is really holding anything down is a couple chains from joist to girder to pevent uplift, being that I am in Kansas and tornadoes are a concern. As far as the tree itself, the new growth of the tree only occurs from the tips of the branches, and of the roots. Therefore, the height of the girders will change an almost nonexistent amount over time. As far as strength of the bolts, the tree needs to be healthy, as well as you can only drill so far in. With the natural growth of the tree outward, the grain actually grows stronger around the bolt over time. With the sliding system, the trees can grow as much as 8" in diameter before it would ever become an issue. There are plans in place if it does become one. I can already actually see in two years that a couple bolt heads have almost grown over. I was unsure of my engineering at first, but I left the raw structure a full year before I went all out.

    Thanks for the questions though. I'm not a structural engineer, but I have done a ton of research, as well as studying for my Contractors exam at the moment. But, I am open to any input anyone may have.

    Glad all you monkeys enjoy my tree.
  7. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    Two comments, is there something wrong with your well water, if not only filter your drinking water, storage tanks are normally used to reduce the well pump from cycling, you need a several hundred poly tank in my opinion.

    chelloveck, HK_User and pearlselby like this.
  8. DLConcepts

    DLConcepts Monkey+++

    Nothing wrong with the well water that I know of, pure sand bed, right off the river, a lot of natural filtration. I just wasn't sure my 12v pumps could handle the pressure needed to pass the filter, and still provide ample working pressure. My main concern was possible bacteria in my holding tank. I guess I can just throw a TBSP of bleach in when I fill and let it sit to prevent growth. But you bring up an excellent point, I can just filter the drinking water at the tap, and bypass the rest. As far as the quantity of water, it will be a weekend retreat at the moment. I would only need enough to shower/cook for a day or two, then drain the system when I leave (and obviously winterize). If I feel it will become my main BOL I can always modify the size of all of my systems. There is however another cabin of ours on the property, but it needs a lot of work.

    Thanks for the suggestion.
    chelloveck and Ganado like this.
  9. Gopherman

    Gopherman Sometimes I Wish I Could Go Back to Sleep

    Nice freaking job!! That place looks amazing!:)
    Check out rocket stove for heating and cooking, Lot of heat and very little wood needed.With all that acreage you would never have to fall a tree, just pick up branches that have fallen from the years past.
    Ganado and chelloveck like this.
  10. kellory

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

    Nice project, and sounds like a great hunting cabin. My only real concern is the trees. Your floating brackets sound good, but I've NEVER heard of a tree that grows only at branch tip and root tip. I do not believe that is correct. Trees continue to grow in girth as long as they live, and I have seen bear claw marks in a tree, over 20' up. They were NOT made while walking on air. They were made at ground level. The majority of grown will be in the branches, but the trunk mounts will rise with time.
    I would agree with ghrit about trading out with poles.
    Good luck with hunting season. I have more room in the freezer yet to fill.
    chelloveck likes this.
  11. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    If you have a black poly tank you basically have no algae growth

    I just use a carbon and 5 micron filter for drinking water spicket on the kitchen sink, I use RO water from a system in the garage for coffee and ice cube water.

    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
    Motomom34 likes this.
  12. DLConcepts

    DLConcepts Monkey+++

    Thanks gopher, I ended up just using a 10000 BTU LP wall heater for now, keeps it very cozy. If it becomes a BOL, I may consider something more sustainable, like a small woodburner.

    In response to Kellory. It does depend on the specie of tree, but a tree only grows from its furthest extensions upward, the tips (meristems), and its roots. Once its trunk is well established there is very little upward motion, if any. The only growth that occurs in a mature tree towards the base, is outward. I have allowed for 8" of overall diameter of growth, which is a very long time in tree ring years. If push comes to shove, there is a plan to add more poles. As far as the bear goes, bears are some of the best tree climbers out there. Bear claw marks should be a very common sight high in the trees. Or maybe a Buddhist monk bear that has mastered the art of levitation. :)

    Thanks Rancher. The tank is a 55 gal, blue poly, "Food Safe" tank, It will be stored inside the treehouse, under the cabinetry. As far as the filter, I'm still considering options. But I think that a spigot filter will be a hell of a lot easier than an in-line filter, and easier to change out.

    Thanks for all of the responses, come spring there's a lot of work scheduled. I'll try to keep it up to date here.
    Ganado, 3cyl, Motomom34 and 1 other person like this.
  13. DLConcepts

    DLConcepts Monkey+++

    Got this little wood burner this weekend for the outpost. $125 and had to do a bit of welding on a couple of legs. A bit big for my needs, but the best I could find for the right price.

    2016-01-17 15.01.11.
    GOG likes this.
  14. GOG

    GOG Free American Monkey

    I was wondering where the wood burner was. (y)
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