Living Off-grid in the Desert

Recently we’ve had people ask what it’s like living in the middle of the desert off-grid. Well I’m not sure how to answer that question, it’s not much different than living pretty much anywhere. There are hardships and joy. We have all or most of the modern conveniences, lights, water, heat, TV, computers.

I would have to say not having a shower is probably the biggest difference . Building the shower is not a priority and has been put on the back burner for awhile. Not because we couldn’t use it, but we can easily take long hot showers in town. Whereas with the shower we are building you will be required to do military showers, due to having to conserve the water.

Another is the solar, we aren’t able to run electric heat or AC on it. We don’t use many electronic devices like air fryers, coffee makers, and toasters to name a few. It’s not that we can’t but they tend to draw a lot of electricity so it’s easier not to have them. We do however have a microwave and it works but it is used for storage.

If you have a continuous cloudy days you do need to conserve your electric. Meaning no TV, fans, even small things like charging phones can cause too much of a drain.

If you are wanting to experience this way of life. You are welcome to come out and camp or attend an event here at Plateau Hame De Colquhoun and see for yourselves!

#artoftinyliving #modernpioneerism #musicinthedesert #platrauhamedecolquhoun #jafoproductions #newyearseve2023 #sky #desertlife #desert #highlands #camping #party #newyear2023 #newyearseveparty #bonfire #BYOB #420Friendly

Unwanted visitors on the mesa

Been a few days since I’ve posted. This year allergies have been kicking my butt, which triggers migraines. Anyways enough about that . Not much has been going on here at Plateau Hame De Colquhoun other than a few campers and getting ready for a private event this weekend.

Oh we had yet another unwanted 2 legged visitor try to come into a neighbors property. (We think they are after solar and generators, one neighbor had a genny stolen) But thanks to all that came to the Haunted Hay (Hell) Ride we were able to purchase a few new fancy security gadgets to put up on all the roads to helpthe community with these type of visitors. It’s not a fix, but we all hope it helps. Enjoy the video of us running the ridge road.

Weather impacts on off-grid living

From windy 80-degree day to snowing 34-degree day. Living off-grid depending on solar for electricity isn’t always easy. We are on day 3 of not much sun, which means we aren’t able to run many electrical items.

The 8k solar is set up so that we can hook a generator up to it, it’ll automatically start the generator if not getting enough sun to charge the batteries, and batteries get to a certain % of drainage, thus shutting the generator down once the batteries are charged. Whereas plugging straight into a generator, that generator has to stay running.

The issue is we do not have a generator that is capable of being hooked up to the solar (Capable one is on our wish list). So until then on cloudy days we start eliminating electric usage.

Not running lights, no tv, unplug any unnecessary items.

#artoftinyliving #modernpioneerism #desertlife #solarenergy #offgridliving #weather #rvlifestyle #cloudyday #sunnyday #electricity

Learning Curve

Music without a generator!!! We still are not sure about the solar, it’s still showing it’s in sleep mode, but the inverter, controller and our multimeter is showing the batteries are fully charged.

Today we are putting a little heavier load, to test it out. But even with 600 watt amp, and now fridge in the RV we are only using 14% of the batteries… So we’ll see how tonight goes with leaving the fridge on,  see how it handles it.. (One step at a time)…

We are thinking we’re not pulling enough off it to put the controller in wake mode.

Fingers crossed this is the issue, cause it is nice to have enough electricity to run most everything!! Yet another #learningcurve … Once we feel secure with the solar we’ll finally get to move all our stuff out of storage and set up the containers music studio, library, living room, kichen…Which will require more #electric

#artoftinyliving #modernpioneerism #solarpower  #diysolar #offgrid #offgridsolar #music

Campers, Neighbors and Solar

Been busy days working on the solar, campers coming in, and meeting a new neighbor. (Neighbor here is anyone that lives up here on the Mesa, this one is 3 miles from us). We like how all the neighbors know each other, watch out for and willing to help if needed.. We use to live in a town in Minnesota where we lived 10ft from neighbors on either side yet knew very little about them, we would try to be social but it’s different…

Not wanting to jinx it so won’t say we are planning to have the solar finished today… We’ll post an update once it’s completed!

artoftinyliving #modernpioneerism #neighbors #solar

Good News, Not such good news

Views from Plateau Hame De Colquhoun ! We got news!!! The new controller had been shipped, since the one we had was out of stock we got upgraded to an OutBack controller, or so they say it’s a upgrade… We checked reviews and it does have better reviews so fingers crossed!!

Other news we are 15 foot short on our wiring from the inverter to the power panel.. We went to see about buying the whole 100 foot needed. But after pricing the wire we’ve decided we will be moving all the panels and the power box at least 15 foot closer 😦 .. If anyone is interested in helping we won’t turn ya away!!!

Solar Controller Malfunction

Got the batteries wired, hooked up the Inverter and controller.. controller popped and nothing.. we unplugged everything, checked all the fuses, they are all good.. But this part (last picture) fell out.. So once again waiting for replacement to be sent.

artoftinyliving #modernpioneerism #solarenergy #controller #solatbatteries

Trailers new location

New location of the trailer and temp location of the smaller solar system. We plan on putting the 3 300 gallon IBC totes in the trailer along with a well pump. Front part of the trailer will become home for the compost toilet. The silver hut next to the trailer will become a shower hut.

The solar setup is only here temporarily until the big setup is finished. Then it’ll get moved to it’s permanent location.

On side note we had a visitor, a preying mantis stopped in

#artoftinyliving #modernpioneerism #rvliving #solarenergy #waterstorage #composttoilet #preyingmantis

Almost finished!

Ground based solar frames are almost finished, only need couple more support boards, (again, that we need to pick up)but its better to over build with the winds in mind. The frame is adjustable, we can move the panels to adjust for angle of the sun…Each frame will hold 4 solar panels.
Next phase is to move the frames in place, then anchor down, and assemble the mountable panels!

#artoftinyliving #modernpioneerism #solarbuild #solarground #solarenergy #solarpower

Solar Deep Cell Batteries

Worked on building a shelf for all the batteries. Each battery weighs 140 lbs. We had planned on building a shelf, but we found a metal shelf that’s supposed to hold up to 5000 lbs. Temps up in the 100s we try to work early mornings, and the evenings.

#artoftinyliving #modernpioneerism #deepcellbatteries #SolarBatteries