Having property up in the mountains made it easy to decide where to build our off-grid cabin, but I didn’t realize that there would be so much work involved. There was a lot of planning and I’ve detailed it all on this page. We walked the 10 acres and finally decided on where to place the cabin. It’s in a great spot to utilize solar power.
We plan on opening an excavation business so we have the equipment to do the clearing and site prep. In 2015 a bad wildfire went through the property so the trees that we had to remove were already dead but we still have a healthy forest around us.
We cleared the land for both the cabin and the snow roof for our 5th wheel. I took these pictures while my husband and brother were running the equipment. We will let the areas sit until next year so the ground will pack and to see if there will be additional leveling needed prior to our starting to build.
Cabin Placement for Solar Utilization
We will be setting up so that the cabin gets full sun all day and it shouldn’t take a lot of solar panels to keep everything charged and working. I’m hoping that we can do it with 4-6 solar panels on the roof. The cabin will be small, about 600 square feet, and we will set it up much like an RV so we will be utilizing propane appliances and 12 volt lighting until we can get the solar system in place.
Off-Grid Cabin Plans
I started researching plans for tiny cabins and discovered there is a wealth of plans and information for off-grid building, Texas Tiny Homes is one of my favorites. The plans cover everything from stationary tiny houses to towable tiny RV’s. Our cabin will be built in a long house style and will be 20 feet wide and 30 feet long. The solar will be placed on the back side of the cabin and will get sun all day.
Solar – Choosing the right system
There are so many options for this that you really must figure out what you want to run with solar and how much power you will need to produce. We are still in the planning stages and right now we would need a solar system with both an inverter and converter to run our satellite \ WiFi and the laptop to run our business. That may change as our plans evolve and I’m still trying to figure out the kilowatts per hour that I would need. Here is the difference between a converter and an inverter.
Converters convert the voltage of an electric device, usually alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) and inverters convert direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC).
I’m happy that there is so much information available on the internet. I have been reading that a satellite with the modem uses between 2 and 20 kWh depending on the system. There is a lot more research to do before I have all the answers.