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Old 09-06-2016, 01:39 PM
 
10,058 posts, read 4,660,435 times
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how come no one talks about living in an RV? those are "off the grid", or can be. Some water/electric hook up if wanted, else you could setup rain collection/solar

Live right in the city while being off the grid

different lifestyle but not like living out in rural country is not a lifestyle change either.
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Old 09-06-2016, 04:40 PM
 
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While that is an alternative...most cities consider it an eyesore... Image and all that rubbish that towns like to project.

Plus Rv's are not very well insulated... For those in colder or even hotter areas... Think mobile home parks...

Most off grid use natural landscape as its foundation source... Mud homes.. Cooler. Partial in ground dwelling.....

The less intrusion of skyscrapers or city laws...

I encourage someone who wishes to go off grid to research land... And the main source of energy they will be managing... Hydro? Solar? And yes even methane has been viably used...
How will it be repaired? What other resources are available?
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Old 09-07-2016, 11:37 AM
 
150 posts, read 123,581 times
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I researched this and found a lot of youtube videos of people living "off grid," and this is what I found:


It's a real pain. Plus, none of them were living completely off the land and still had to work at least part time to keep things going.


I think it's a great idea for people who don't mind doing a lot of work like farming, building your own house, driving really far for certain items. It just seemed like a lot of trouble just not to pay an electric or water bill. I understand it's more green, but at the end of the day I think a lot of it interests people because they're thinking they will be saving money.


The people I studied all still had cars, internet (of course posting youtube videos), and bills to pay. You still have to buy a lot of your food.


My solution is to of course just buy a small place and pay it off and just try to utilize less material items. I think being cheap, frugal and recycling as much as possible can be just as rewarding. You can still have a garden and chickens out in the country but not completely off grid.
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Old 09-07-2016, 12:15 PM
 
Location: East Helena, MT
839 posts, read 589,438 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BloominOnion View Post
I researched this and found a lot of youtube videos of people living "off grid," and this is what I found:


It's a real pain. Plus, none of them were living completely off the land and still had to work at least part time to keep things going.


I think it's a great idea for people who don't mind doing a lot of work like farming, building your own house, driving really far for certain items. It just seemed like a lot of trouble just not to pay an electric or water bill. I understand it's more green, but at the end of the day I think a lot of it interests people because they're thinking they will be saving money.


The people I studied all still had cars, internet (of course posting youtube videos), and bills to pay. You still have to buy a lot of your food.


My solution is to of course just buy a small place and pay it off and just try to utilize less material items. I think being cheap, frugal and recycling as much as possible can be just as rewarding. You can still have a garden and chickens out in the country but not completely off grid.
I think you are confusing homesteading, and off grid living. These are two different activities. You can homestead in the city, in fact there are ton's of books and websites on this subject. You can grow all of your own vegetables in most American backyards with proper planning. You can raise Rabbits for meat that don't make noise to tip the neighbors off, etc.


Living off grid just means producing all of the electricity you use, yourself. That is the best way to look at it. It is getting more and more difficult to live off grid, due to insurance, zoning, and other laws. You also have to be able to maintain your equipment, and most people aren't handy enough to do that.
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Old 09-07-2016, 12:30 PM
 
150 posts, read 123,581 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericsvibe View Post
I think you are confusing homesteading, and off grid living. These are two different activities. You can homestead in the city, in fact there are ton's of books and websites on this subject. You can grow all of your own vegetables in most American backyards with proper planning. You can raise Rabbits for meat that don't make noise to tip the neighbors off, etc.


Living off grid just means producing all of the electricity you use, yourself. That is the best way to look at it. It is getting more and more difficult to live off grid, due to insurance, zoning, and other laws. You also have to be able to maintain your equipment, and most people aren't handy enough to do that.
I understand the differences, but thanks for clarifying. I just think like you said it's not as easy as it sounds. You have to build your "off grid home," and unless you have a handy workhorse as a husband you can cross that off your list. It would cost close to what a regular house would cost. I think what you'd be saving on the water/electric bill which in the grand scheme of things isn't that much. I was watching some off gridders and they actually ran low at water at one point, these are things that would just make it not worth it to me. Plus, being single would definitely make this a lonely venture. So, my plan is just to have a paid off small house and use the least amount of electric/water possible.

Also, I've found after gardening a lot last year, it's actually cheaper to just buy fruits/veggies/flowers. It cost so much to maintain the garden not to mention the work. Everyday having to go out and water, not to mention the bugs.


If there was a way to maintain your entire life off grid, I'd be interested but in the youtube's I watched they still had to buy a lot of items and they still had to work at least part time to keep things going. I guess we could learn a lot from the Amish? You'd have to learn how to sell goods and completely live off the land.
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,682 posts, read 49,443,611 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BloominOnion View Post
... It's a real pain. Plus, none of them were living completely off the land and still had to work at least part time to keep things going.
You do need some source of cash flow.

I have a friend who lives [9 months a year] in an old school bus parked on 5 acres of forest [the land was given to her by a sugar-daddy]. She grows crops, makes tinctures and soaps, and she sells them at Farmer's Markets. She has no power or phone line. When the snow starts to fall, she carpools with friends down South to Georiga, where she winters-over. She is raising two children.

I know people who forage for mushrooms [Chanterelle, Matsutake, Oyster, Maitake, Chicken of the Woods, Morels, puffballs, Reishi, Turkey tail, Chaga, Artist's Conk] they sell these mushrooms to a health food store.

You can own 40 acres of land and your annual taxes are less than $45. You do need some cash, but you do not need much.

We have a lot of friends who live in simple cabins out in the woods. It does not take much to afford that lifestyle.



Quote:
... I think it's a great idea for people who don't mind doing a lot of work like farming, building your own house, driving really far for certain items.
That is what it is all about.

I built our house. I did it.

My father was a construction electrician, he wired thousands of houses. When I was working on this house, he would berate me for taking so long to build. The houses he 'built' had crews of carpenters, plumbers, electricians, etc. I had never built a house before and I did not have all of those professionals to build it for me.

For me it was a great experience to go through.



It sounds like a large part of your complaint is the idea that you would have to 'work'. Yes, it is work.

It does not have to be hard work though. You can design your systems to mostly tend themselves.

95% of the crops I grow are perennials. I specifically decided that I do not wish to till the ground every year, prep soil every year, plant every year, weed every year. In my mind, growing crops that their entire lifespan from seed thru growing to harvesting is all accomplished within one season, is a lot harder work that must be repeated over and over again every year. I do not want to do that. So I mostly only deal with perennials.

As for driving, ehh, ...
I walk to the gunsmith.
In 10 minutes I can be at a gas station.
15 minutes gets me to my doctor's office, or a grocery store or hardware store.
20 minutes can get me to a state university, or the Buyer's Club where I sell farm produce.
25 minutes and we can be in a city with an international airport, 2 hospitals, a couple colleges, all the big box stores, a mall, etc.



Quote:
... It just seemed like a lot of trouble just not to pay an electric or water bill. I understand it's more green, but at the end of the day I think a lot of it interests people because they're thinking they will be saving money.
When I was working, I learned very early that if you take a little time [1 week/year] to study IRS tax code, then you can save yourself a lot on your income taxes every year. My 'investment' of sitting in a classroom for free, for 1 week a year, gained me the ability to itemize my taxes. Thus I stopped paying into Income Taxation in 1983.

When I was working, one of the assignments I had each year was to file co-worker's taxes for them. Most were very happy to just EZ-form it all and to pay 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35%, or even 39.6% of their income to the IRS.

I helped a lot of men to learn to itemize their tax filing, and to stop paying so much to the IRS.

If you are concerned for 'saving money', the biggest single thing you can do to save money is to stop paying 15% to 39% your money to the IRS.

Now, always be honest with the IRS, NEVER lie to them or cheat them. Always follow the IRS regulations





Quote:
... The people I studied all still had cars, internet (of course posting youtube videos), and bills to pay. You still have to buy a lot of your food.
We 'buy' around 10% of our food.
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Old 09-08-2016, 03:05 PM
 
Location: East Helena, MT
839 posts, read 589,438 times
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There have been some great posts on here. I feel that EVERY person should do the following, and it doesn't take much time or effort to do this.


You don't need to grow EVERY crop. Some things like wheat and corn, for a single family would be too much work to deal with. Planting is a pain, harvesting is a pain, there is lots of non useable matter that has to be dealt with. However, as a kid, my mom would grow potatoes, tomatoes, watermelon, pumpkins, and lettuce. They were all very easy to grow, and didn't take allot of time. We had one of those small greenhouses you can get from home depot and grew our lettuce in there. All the rest were in the yard. We had living lettuce that we just picked the leaves we wanted for that meal, and we didn't use any pesticide, etc. We had 3 different types, romain, butter, and cabbage. You can do this easily.


When we had extra, especially watermelons, we would sell them. By claiming them on their taxes the land was considered agricultural mixed use and saved tons on property taxes. This is the easy stuff.


In the end, every little bit helps. Once you get good at gardening, you can join a club and have fun. My mom was very involved in a club. She also had her "special" roses she grew. As a kid, I spent allot of time in the back yard and it was great.
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Old 09-17-2016, 08:00 PM
 
4,367 posts, read 3,550,496 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MLSFan View Post
how come no one talks about living in an RV? those are "off the grid", or can be. Some water/electric hook up if wanted, else you could setup rain collection/solar

Live right in the city while being off the grid

different lifestyle but not like living out in rural country is not a lifestyle change either.


I've been thinking about doing that again, but I just don't like a lot of the rvs in my price range. Plus, there's very little protection from bad storms in them. I don't know. I'm really frustrated. I feel like I should own a little land and have a house or something by now. I'm going to turn 30 soon, and I'm still renting and making peanuts.
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Old 09-17-2016, 09:43 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,034 posts, read 17,348,573 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmb501 View Post
I've been thinking about doing that again, but I just don't like a lot of the rvs in my price range. Plus, there's very little protection from bad storms in them. I don't know. I'm really frustrated. I feel like I should own a little land and have a house or something by now. I'm going to turn 30 soon, and I'm still renting and making peanuts.
I am not sure who you are comparing yourself to, but my kids are about your age and very, very few of their friends own their own houses and the ones that do had a lot of financial help from their parents, or inherited money when their grandparents died or something similar. I really doubt if either of my children will be able to buy a house before they are at least 35, as I can not help them with a down payment and they are not in fields that pay a lot of money. In fact, if my daughter stays single, and stays in public service jobs she may never be able to afford a house until she is 45 or 50.

And, not even one of my kid's friends, nor anyone else that I know that age "owns a little land". Nope, not even one person.

I can see why you are frustrated but you have to be realistic. Just because a few 30 year olds are making big bucks or have wealthy families giving them money to buy houses you can not assume that it is typical for everyone that age.
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Old 09-18-2016, 04:19 AM
 
125 posts, read 79,154 times
Reputation: 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by BloominOnion View Post
I researched this and found a lot of youtube videos of people living "off grid," and this is what I found:


It's a real pain. Plus, none of them were living completely off the land and still had to work at least part time to keep things going.


I think it's a great idea for people who don't mind doing a lot of work like farming, building your own house, driving really far for certain items. It just seemed like a lot of trouble just not to pay an electric or water bill. I understand it's more green, but at the end of the day I think a lot of it interests people because they're thinking they will be saving money.


The people I studied all still had cars, internet (of course posting youtube videos), and bills to pay. You still have to buy a lot of your food.


My solution is to of course just buy a small place and pay it off and just try to utilize less material items. I think being cheap, frugal and recycling as much as possible can be just as rewarding. You can still have a garden and chickens out in the country but not completely off grid.
I don't want to live off grid to be "green" nor do many off grid people..
it's not about some liberal prius driving dream, it is about self sustainability, and survival.
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