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Living off the Grid

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#1
RON CT110

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When the kids are finished with college and my wife and I are ready to leave CA, dreaming of living off the grid.

Want to build my Tiny House on my land like this: http://www.tumblewee...m/houses/fencl/

Make my own biodiesel to run my diesel truck: http://www.ezbiodies....htm#Model_EZ40
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Waterless Sanitation: http://www.envirolet.com/enwatsel.html
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Water Catchment System:
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Solar power: http://solar.coolerplanet.com/
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Now if I can only convince my wife. Lol.

Anyone planning or dreaming of living off the grid; where do wan to do this e.g. Hawaii, Oregon, CA Sierras, and what are your plans? Like to hear them.

Edited by RON CT110, 21 July 2010 - 07:22 AM.

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#2
stevenmd

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Now if I can only convince my wife.

That is the key right there!

By the time the kids are out of college I think the technology will have made significant advancements.

My thoughts on location: Hawaii would lead to island fever. If you plan on living a long time after you retire, Hawaii is only so big. If you make periodic trips to the mainland, you will have added to any footprint you tried to erase by living off the grid. My personal choice is CA Sierras... that is, until the government becomes too liberal and the taxes too high (if we're not there already!).

But, having said all that, I agree 100% with the direction you want to go. I hope to be able to do that myself. The only thing in my way is my city-slicker wife!

#3
RON CT110

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That is the key right there!

By the time the kids are out of college I think the technology will have made significant advancements.

My thoughts on location: Hawaii would lead to island fever. If you plan on living a long time after you retire, Hawaii is only so big. If you make periodic trips to the mainland, you will have added to any footprint you tried to erase by living off the grid. My personal choice is CA Sierras... that is, until the government becomes too liberal and the taxes too high (if we're not there already!).

But, having said all that, I agree 100% with the direction you want to go. I hope to be able to do that myself. The only thing in my way is my city-slicker wife!


With sig advances, sure hope more jet airlines will be running on biodiesel (have been done on 747 from USA to Armstedan recently).

Will have plenty of things to do in the Big Island e.g. fishing, farming, and with internet access we can stay in-touch with the rest of the world (hey I could be in Hawaii as we chat here).

Plus freq visitors you and your family I hope to visit us; we will be plenty busy show people around including hiking trips, water sports, snow (yes, it snows in the Big Island), 4x4 on Mana Road, etc... lots to do.

Our kids can visit us.

Will shift back to CA and build something similar when our boys are married and have children plus when we are really old and unable to travel (will need to be near relatives for care). Planning to live in the 80-90s if my body allows me (reason for the recent health kick) and I don't get run over by a bus (lol).

Hey Steven, have your priced land in the CA Sierras, and where specifically in the Sierra would you look into or want to live; just drumming up ideas for me. Thanks!

And higher taxes for sure for all of us in the near future!

In the meantime, google is my friend and will start collection info and do more research like the attached water catchment systems doc.

Edited by RON CT110, 21 July 2010 - 07:29 AM.

Tread Lightly Trainer: http://www.treadlightly.org/
SPOT Adventures: http://www.spotadven...?trip_id=178167
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away" - Anonymous


#4
stevenmd

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Hey Steven, have your priced land in the CA Sierras, and where specifically in the Sierra would you look into or want to live; just drumming up ideas for me. Thanks!


I really like the Arnold area up Hwy 4. Plenty of things to do in all seasons. Arnold is one of those communities that embraces mom-and-pop type places. They denied McDonald's and I think they just did the same thing to Starbucks. There is a Round Table up there that has poor service, poor quality food, and is priced very high. A regular pizza parlor with the right recipe could easily make six figures net - but I'm done with restaurants. My point is, there are about 4500 regulars year round and a few thousand more vacationers throughout different periods of the year. The right small business could make someone very wealthy. Think about it - a business that makes you money without you working - you hire a manager. You could retire earlier!

#5
astateofmike

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First of all, living off grid means sailboat, not airplane guys.

Second, I'll be happy to live off the grid, make biodiesel and ride bikes in them thar hills..and it will all be great unless the wife finds me...hahaaha.

I have thought of buying Sierra property in the middle of nowhere...keep it empty for camping and then invest in a nice trailer. Solar, wind and a well or stream. Move it around as needed for a view...not totally off grid, but better than most.

And, totally off grid? just go live off the land in the National parks....No rent, no rules, no bills....just think caveman...

#6
SLOHybrid

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Same set up for me but in the Pyrenees

#7
RON CT110

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First of all, living off grid means sailboat, not airplane guys.

Second, I'll be happy to live off the grid, make biodiesel and ride bikes in them thar hills..and it will all be great unless the wife finds me...hahaaha.

I have thought of buying Sierra property in the middle of nowhere...keep it empty for camping and then invest in a nice trailer. Solar, wind and a well or stream. Move it around as needed for a view...not totally off grid, but better than most.

And, totally off grid? just go live off the land in the National parks....No rent, no rules, no bills....just think caveman...


I didn't say living off the grid completely; I want to get to my destination at reasonable time so biodiesel jet for me vs slow boat to China. Lol. But I know what you mean Mike.

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#8
TDeWitt

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I'm doing my dangdest to be totally off grid on my ranch, but the cost of Solar is still thru the roof! The price of these things(panels) probably will not drop unless the Utility Companies stop giving rebates, but I guess they like the profit of "crediting" your account for what you give back. The Biodiesel thing is fine if you have a source for the oil, but it can lead to premature engine failure, as it does have more sulfates than regular diesel has. Service stations use a 10% mix to stay within mfgrs recommendations/warranty. The stuff runs really well in my old Caterpillars, but I seem to be always hungry....

#9
BEAR

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my friend just gave a speech on this kind of thing in my speech class. you can buy these homes that are called earthships. they recycle your water. use old tires for a foundation. aluminum cans for walls. all sorts of things. haven't looked too much into it yet. i dont think the wife would like hearing about the recycled black water though. but they use plants to help filter the water. its crazy! check out the site http://earthship.com/

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#10
stevenmd

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i dont think the wife would like hearing about the recycled black water though.

What she doesn't know won't bother her, right?

#11
RON CT110

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Did you this Steven and others on CL: http://sfbay.craigsl...1848186134.html

If it has expired, here's cut/paste from CL:
_ _ _ _

$115000 Symbiosis Camp Land (Angels Camp) for sale
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Date: 2010-07-17, 10:51AM PDT
Reply to: hous-q4r4p-1848186134@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]
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18 choice acres on the ridge next to the Avery Ranch in the National Forest. Much level ground with views and trees. Roosevelt mining claim. Peaceful off grid living with good fishing at New Melones Lake and Four Bay Reservoir. . Good Cell reception.

This property was part of the campground for the 2007 Symbiosis Gathering.

About 35 minutes from Vallecito via Camp Nine Road. About 3 miles of primitive forest road. Property on both sides of 3N03.

Not too far from Columbia and Angels Camp California.

Only $115,000 Reduced from $175,000. Terms possible.

Call Al Segalla, Owner/Realtor (209) 785-1491

USFS 3N03: http://maps.yahoo.co...Vallecito CA US


Get 1/2 doz people here to go in the deal, split the acres (18 acres) and cost - would not be a bad $20,000 investment. I am happy w/3 acres of my own. Or turn it in a camp ground for business.

Edited by RON CT110, 23 July 2010 - 05:53 AM.

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#12
stevenmd

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I would definitely be interested in going in on that! Don't know the local zoning laws about splitting the land but we can always get around that by putting the land into a trust fund or LLC and "rent out" a piece of the land on 100 year leases for $1.

#13
RON CT110

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I would definitely be interested in going in on that! Don't know the local zoning laws about splitting the land but we can always get around that by putting the land into a trust fund or LLC and "rent out" a piece of the land on 100 year leases for $1.


LLC or Limited Liability Company or alike for sure - we want to protect our own homes, assets, etc...

Being a banker, certainly need look into asset based lending banks for our working capital needs. Also need to brainstorm and run cash flow scenarios. I can see renting out the place to Land Rover Experience Driving, Overland Rally, private school summer camps, etc... and us 4x4 enthusiast. Not too far from Slickrock, Blue Lakes trail.

Can you see yourself running the camp hospitality and restaurant, cash management (me); now we need someone with expertise in running a camp, maintenance and a few silent partners but outdoor enthusiast?

Edited by RON CT110, 23 July 2010 - 08:49 AM.

Tread Lightly Trainer: http://www.treadlightly.org/
SPOT Adventures: http://www.spotadven...?trip_id=178167
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away" - Anonymous


#14
stevenmd

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LLC or Limited Liability Company or alike for sure - we want to protect our own homes, assets, etc...

Being a banker, certainly need look into asset based lending banks for our working capital. Also need to brainstorm and run cash flow scenarios. I can see renting out the place to Land Rover Experience Driving, Overland Rally, private school summer camps, etc... and us 4x4 enthusiast. Not too far from Slickrock, Blue Lakes trail.

Can you see yourself running the camp hospitality and restaurant, cash management (me); now we need someone with expertise in running a camp, maintenance and a few silent partners but outdoor enthusiast?

My bnl is a forest ranger at Big Trees. He could easily do it. He is off at 2:00pm everyday. Build a place for him and my sis to live on, yeah, they would definitely do it.

#15
RON CT110

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Taking my kids to check out the Moaning Caverns and will be the zipline thing this wknd: http://www.caverntours.com/MoCavRt.htm

I might stop by on the return home and check out this property; now we just need 4 more people to looking buying this (lol).

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"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away" - Anonymous


#16
stevenmd

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Taking my kids to check out the Moaning Caverns and will be the zipline thing this wknd: http://www.caverntours.com/MoCavRt.htm

I might stop by on the return home and check out this property; now we just need 4 more people to looking buying this (lol).


Wait a minute... there are areas up there that are subdivided into 18-20 acre parcels and considered residential. A business such as camping and LR events might be a no-go in such an area. 18 acres isn't really that big. Plus, that area still gets as hot as the valley during the summer. We would be better off with something a little higher up Hwy 4, closer to Arnold.

#17
RON CT110

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Wait a minute... there are areas up there that are subdivided into 18-20 acre parcels and considered residential. A business such as camping and LR events might be a no-go in such an area. 18 acres isn't really that big. Plus, that area still gets as hot as the valley during the summer. We would be better off with something a little higher up Hwy 4, closer to Arnold.


May very be residential; will see; will also check up the Arnold area. Let's us keep on dreaming.

Tread Lightly Trainer: http://www.treadlightly.org/
SPOT Adventures: http://www.spotadven...?trip_id=178167
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away" - Anonymous


#18
TDeWitt

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I know the owner of Avery Ranch, and he was "off grid" running a rural bed and breakfast until the gummit found out... We had hellafun during Mountain Air Festival, because Bill Graham leased his ranch and helicoptered bands in and out so the groupies couldn't find them. Had a wood burning kitchen in the barn, booths where the mangers were, and a recycled raquetball floor for the dance floor in the middle. Servesd up fresh fish flown in, and organic veggies from the garden. Lighting was kerosene lamp, water from a spring. Had 10x 12 cabins(exempt from permit as under 120 sq ft., group restrooms/showers. I was up there last fall, alot has changed as more houses up there than last in the middle of the forest, so be careful if you are reccing the area.

#19
RON CT110

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I know the owner of Avery Ranch, and he was "off grid" running a rural bed and breakfast until the gummit found out... We had hellafun during Mountain Air Festival, because Bill Graham leased his ranch and helicoptered bands in and out so the groupies couldn't find them. Had a wood burning kitchen in the barn, booths where the mangers were, and a recycled raquetball floor for the dance floor in the middle. Servesd up fresh fish flown in, and organic veggies from the garden. Lighting was kerosene lamp, water from a spring. Had 10x 12 cabins(exempt from permit as under 120 sq ft., group restrooms/showers. I was up there last fall, alot has changed as more houses up there than last in the middle of the forest, so be careful if you are reccing the area.


Like always, thanks Terry for the info. How'd I guess you the guy to talk to re: living off the grid. C yah and hope we can hit Blue Lakes again this year.

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#20
RON CT110

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Hey Steven, my family and I didn't end up going to the caverns instead Yosemite so didn't get to see this prop.

My wife and I had a long talk during our drive and should be prefer to keep it simply and just buy a pcs of land off the grid vs running any type of business. I agree.

With this said, been reading up on building a cabin and saw this article on Sunset: http://www.sunset.co...00418000068536/

Very cool DIY. Only comment I have is that child proofing needs to be consider for us; the couple in the article doesn't have kids and their design although very nice is potential hazard for children due to no railings. And even for adults after a couple of beers! Lol.

Back to research.

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May very be residential; will see; will also check up the Arnold area. Let's us keep on dreaming.


Tread Lightly Trainer: http://www.treadlightly.org/
SPOT Adventures: http://www.spotadven...?trip_id=178167
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away" - Anonymous





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