How To Live Off The Grid In A Tiny House

living off the grid in a tiny house

There is a strong connection between tiny house living and off-the-grip living. The truth that demands on moving tiny are rising, and off-the-grip living is the next level of tiny living. If you’re planning to live somewhere remote from the urban area, take a look at this post where I’m going to share with you how to have a comfortable and happy off-the-grid life.

off grid tiny house
Source: Ben Chun

What are the Benefits of Living Off the Grid in a Tiny House?

The first advantage of living off the grid is that it helps you to free up your pocket. Since you inhabit in a very small area, the cost for maintaining, water, heating, cooling and other kinds of power consumption will be significantly reduced. Also, the fewer number of rooms and space requires fewer facilities, such as air-conditioners or lights. In overall, you save money for not only power consumption but also purchasing expenses.

Moreover, due to the fact that you don’t need to hire an apartment or a house, you will have no monthly payments and utility bills. However, living off-the-grid doesn’t mean you don’t use a smartphone and have monthly Internet bills.

Last but not least, small living saves your time. Why? That’s because you don’t have thousands of square meters to clean every day. As a result, you will have more time to spend on your hobbies, family, friends, and other essential tasks such as work or exercise. Without a doubt, living off the grid in a tiny house will bring you a lot of satisfactions and happiness to your life.

What are the Drawbacks of Living Off the Grid in a Tiny House?

The most recognizable trouble of living off the grid in a tiny house is how to handle such a minimal amount of space. In fact, this issue doesn’t come from living off the grid, but it’s the result of the tiny house.

Another disadvantage relates to the security and safety. Inhabiting in remote regions means you have no neighbors who can be your saviors in emergency circumstances, such as fires, injuries, thefts, etc.

What’s else? Well, a lot! How to generate the electricity? How to heat your house in the summer of cool it in the winter? How to get water? How to flush the toilet? How to deal with garbage? How to connect to the Internet? And so on. If you can answer those questions, congratulate, but if you cannot, just follow my post because I will show you the solutions later.

How Much does it Cost to Go Off Grid?

That all depends on whether you build your house yourself or buy a new one. Whether you want a basic or an advanced house, think about how large it will be, what furniture you want it to have, how you spend on energy sources, and so on.

I take my friend – James’s tiny house for an example. Two years ago, he built it, and it costs him nearly $15,000. The total area is 300 square feet, which is I though enough for a comfortable and sufficient life, and it does with a living room, a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and an office upstairs.

James and I built it from scratch, from buying recycled materials to constructing every part of the house. Since James is a construction engineer, he knows how to make it as neat and stable as possible.

In $15,000, I spent about $2,000 for the solar energy system for tiny houses. The package includes two 250W panels, a 2000W inverter, a 50A charge controller, and other components such as wire, batteries, etc.

Related: The Best States To Live Off The Grid In The US

How to Generating Electricity?

James chose solar energy to go, and he satisfies with it. Except for the initial investment of $2,000 and cheap monthly maintenance, it costs me nothing. No monthly bill to pay. No power outage due to a breakdown of the grid. The only disadvantage is that his system doesn’t work well in cloudy conditions. In particular, it produces less energy, making my family must minimize the way we use the electricity.

In addition to solar energy, there is another recommended alternative to generating electricity for an off-the-grid tiny house. Wind resource is one of them, but wind turbines will cost more and only work when the wind blows.

tiny-house-pv-schematic solar energy system for tiny houses
Tiny House PV Schematic. Source: Home Power

You a basic overview of setting up a tiny house solar power, check this video

How to Heating your Tiny House in the Winter?

Since you will generate the electricity self-sufficiently, reducing the power consumption is a must-do thing. In addition to using energy-saving appliances and devices, think about alternatives for electricity. It’s especially correct in terms of heating and cooking because these two tasks require the biggest amount of power consumption.

pellet-stove living off the grid in a tiny house
A Pellet Stove. Source:

For heating, a pellet stove is a brilliant idea. Instead of using the electricity to warm up the atmosphere, it takes advantage of wood and other kinds of dry organic material. Thus, you will save a lot of electricity.

How to Get Water?

This one is what you should investigate before buying the land of your house. In all the cases, drilling a well is advisable. If you know how to drill, do it yourself. But if you can’t, just hire someone professional to do it for you. It will not cost you much but provide you a clear and sufficient source of water to use all year round.

For a quick guide on how to drill a shallow well by hand, check this video:

If you’re going to live near the river or stream, you will have an abundant source of water. The only problem is that these sources are not clear and unpasteurized. So, filtering and treating the water before using it is strongly recommended. For flushing the toilets, cleaning the furniture or washing clothes, you can skip the filtering process.

On the other hand, if you’re going to live somewhere far from the natural water source, taking advantage from the rainwater is a good idea. And again, filtering and treating before using is extremely important.

Composting Toilet Options

An outhouse is a good idea, but what if you want your toilet is right inside your house? I have a suggestion for you. That is using a composting toilet. It’s affordable, simple, comfortable as modern toilets, and after all, it gives you an awesome solution for human excrement.

Instead of using water to flush out, this kind of toilet features a fan to vent the moisture outside and make the solid dry and shrinking. The capacity of a composting toilet varies among models, and in general, the total excrement of a family of 4 needs to be emptied about 3-4 weeks. Quite a long time, right!

How to Deal with Garbage and Internet?

Another issue of living off the grid in a tiny house is how to deal with filthy stuff like garbage and waste. I suggest several options for you. Since most household waste can be incinerated, it’s a good idea to invest on an incinerator barrel where you can burn the waste neatly and safely. For flammable waste like paper or old clothes, store them until the winter and put them on your pellet stove. Killing to birds with one stone!

Another choice for you is to recycle. For example, instead of burning or throwing wood and metal away, why don’t you store them for future uses or send them to a scrap yard?

Last but not least, finding a way to connect to the “rest of the world” – the Internet – is also a concern of many people who choose to live off the grid. For me, it’s not a difficulty anymore. That’s because today, we don’t need a cable to connect from a post office to our home. We have satellite systems to cover the whole world, and they bring the Internet to us in the easiest way wherever we’re are.

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