GOING OFF THE GRID IN YOUR TINY HOUSE
As the price of real estate in the United States continues to rise, not to mention the increasing cost of living, more and more people are considering going off the grid and start living the tiny house way of life.
Going Off the Grid in the Canada
Over the years, the appeal of going off the grid in the Canada and United States has become increasingly popular. Aside from the dreamy idea of being able to live and be one with nature, the constant stress and pressure of the urban lifestyle has driven a lot of people to reconsider their life choices and find ways to live a much more relaxed and peaceful life.
That being said, you can go off the grid in any state in the US since this way of life is considered legal in the country. However, not all states have the same rules and regulations for this type of lifestyle. For example, in Arizona, you are not allowed to go completely off grid if you live in an urban area but in Alaska, that is acceptable and legal.
So before settling down in a remote area, make sure that you have reviewed the laws related to off grid living in the state where you’re eyeing plus create a checklist of the things you need to consider such as water source, cost of living and nearby healthcare facilities just to name a few, to ensure that what you need and your personal preferences will be addressed if you choose to put down your roots in that locale.
The Tiny House Movement in America
When going off the grid, it is safe to say that we can automatically connect it to living in a tiny house because let’s face it, going off the grid and living in a mansion do not really go well together because not only it is expensive (think: building the structure, cost of furniture, appliances, fixtures, backup power system etc. and maintenance costs) but more importantly, it kind of defeats the purpose on why you’re trying to shift to this type of lifestyle.
The tiny house movement started just a little over two decades ago but as people continue to feel the burden of the rising cost of living, real estate prices shooting up, never ending bills to pay and mouths to feed, living a simplified life is becoming more and more attractive to many.
Tiny House - The Official Home of Off Gridders
One of the key elements to living off grid successfully is to be able to downsize almost everything that you used to do, utilize, and make in your previous lifestyle. The goal of living off grid is to simplify life and be able to live with less, which is exactly the same thing that the tiny house is aiming for.
From living in a 2-bedroom apartment or a 4-bedroom 2 storey house, an off-gridder should be able to prepare, learn and adjust himself (and the people who will join him) once he’s moved into his tiny house.
One good thing to note is that there are different types of tiny houses that people live in these days so those who have just started considering this option can choose which type of tiny house would suit best their needs and preferences.
Some of the most common aspects off gridders consider when choosing a tiny house are cost of living, freedom of lifestyle, water availability, how easy it is to grow food there, energy availability, and the community in that area.
Must Have Items when Living in a Tiny House
Another integral factor that you need to consider when moving into a tiny house to start living off the grid are the things that you would need in your humble abode for it to function smoothly. Below are some of these must have items that you should never miss.
- Multi Purpose Furniture
Since you are living in a small space, choosing furniture that offers multiple use will not only save you space but it will also save you some money. A bench seat with a shoe rack, wall-mounted drop-leaf tables and ceiling fans with LED lights are some examples of multi-purpose home items that you can get for your tiny house.
- Murphy Bed (pull-down bed)
A Murphy bed is a type of bed that you can pull down when you want to lay on it and then fold it back up when not in use. While you can use a regular bed, tiny house dwellers prefer a Murphy bed simply because it is a space saver and does its job at the same time.
Unless you’re planning to cook in a charcoal pit or on wood fire, make sure you get a cooking stove (electric or fuel powered) for your cooking needs.
- Mini Fridge
It is important to have a refrigerator even if you are planning to use fresh produce and livestock straight from your own garden and farm when cooking. This is because it wouldn’t hurt to stock items in the fridge in case of an emergency such as terrible weather and fresh produce isn’t readily available.
- Vertical Storage
Tiny houses have well, tiny space so every inch is going to count. Vertical spaces are usually left for decoration or left blank/empty. However, these vertical spaces are perfect for tiny house owners' storage needs. Utilize walls by installing shelves, hooks and racks as this will help clear the floors and even reduce clutter.
- Composting Toilet
Once you go off grid, water and sewer lines are two things that you may have to say goodbye to or even if available, are quite challenging (or even expensive) to make them work. Having a composting toilet is a great option because not only is it space saving and environment friendly but that it does not require hookups to a water or sewer line.
- Power Source / Backup Power System
One of the biggest challenges of living off the grid is that well, you are off the “electric” grid. Power is crucial in every person’s day to day lives because we use it in almost all the things we do. The good thing these days is that there are power systems, either as their main source or as a backup, that off gridders can use to power their tiny house.
The use of a solar power system is one of the most famous and go-to options in the off grid community. Nature’s Generator is one of the most trusted and most reputable brands that offer a good variety of solar power systems. They have 3 default solar power systems for you to choose from, depending on your power needs. The good news is that all these solar generators are expandable and upgradeable. Below is a quick overview of each of these solid solar power systems.
- Nature’s Generator Gold System - Think of this as a starter pack in terms of solar power systems. This portable solar generator that comes with 1800w power is a great choice for a backup generator or even as the main power source of a small home appliance. You can continue using it while it’s being charged either through the solar panel that comes with it or via a wind turbine (sold separately). Isn’t that neat?
- Nature’s Generator Elite System - Wanting the portability of the Nature's Generator Gold variant and at the same time needing a little more oomph in power capacity can be achieved in this Nature’s Generator Elite variant. Loaded with 3600w power (twice the capacity of Nature’s Generator Gold system), Nature’s Elite is the right choice for those who want more juice in their solar generator but on a budget. Anyway, they can always upgrade the battery capacity in the future by purchasing additional power pods. Pretty cool, right?
- Nature's Generator Powerhouse (to be launched in Canada in 2023)- This is the best option for those who are looking for a system that will act as their main power source. Packed with 7200w (120V / 240V) of power capacity, this solar generator can power just about anything in your household. And what’s great about this system is despite its massive capacity, you can still add as many power pods (battery at 4800Wh each) as you’d like to extend its capacity. Simply amazing! Don’t you think?
If you would like to know more about Nature’s Generator products, you may click here and we’ll be more than happy to help you.
Going off the grid and living a tiny house lifestyle requires a lot of adjustments and comes with challenges but when done right - right frame of mind, right attitude, right support system and right tools and equipment - a newly converted off-gridder will be busy enjoying his new way of life to he wouldn’t have the time to look back to his old lifestyle.
* We want to give credit where credit is due. Professional writer, Ann Mathew, contributed research and content to this blog titled: Going Off the Grid in Your Tiny House Thank you, Ann, for your contributions!