Before settling in your tiny home, you will have to arrange for important utilities. Most tiny home-owners get their utilities from services offered by utility companies. This is similar to the way RVs and congenital home-owners get their utilities. However, some people may move to areas where these services are not available. In this scenario, the tiny house will have to be “off-grid.” What this means is that you have to be responsible for every service that you need.
Off-grid hook-ups are applicable in areas where you cannot access utilities. This is especially the case in underdeveloped areas and remote locations. Here are some options that you should consider when relying on off-grid hook-ups.
1. Solar Panels
Solar panels are the most common source of power for your tiny house off-the-grid. By installing solar panels, you will store DC power in battery banks. The stored power is then converted to AC depending on the needs of an inverter. This may sound complicated, but in the real sense, it is just like any other component.
Before installing a solar panel, you must estimate the power that you need. Estimation is not that easy as most people may believe. This is because you must be ready to account for any energy that you consume. With the correct estimations, it becomes easier for you to determine the size of your system.
Unfortunately, some tiny home owners overestimate their power needs. In the end, they spend more money on larger systems. The same case applies to tiny home-owners who underestimate their power needs. Most of them run out of power within a short period as they have installed smaller systems.
Therefore, the first thing that you have to do is calculate your consumption. This can be done by comparing your calculations with what you can get from the new location. If you find it hard, then seeking the help of a professional can prove beneficial.
Alternatively, you can make use of online calculators to calculate your power needs. As soon as you know the size of the system that you need, you can call on online retailers for help. This way, you can save money by purchasing a system that is within your budget line.
Off-grid generators are a reliable source of electricity for tiny home owners. With a good generator, you can get sufficient voltage to power your THOW. You can decide to use a gas generator or solar generator. Most gas generators for tiny homes rely on propane. They are therefore able to offer the power that you need to run your tiny house.
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1. Rain Water Catchment
Many people may prefer using rainwater for all their water needs. Unfortunately, a tiny house cannot collect enough rainwater due to its small size. You must, therefore, be ready to supplement water supply if you are to get enough for daily use. Alternatively, you can opt for an accessory structure to increase the water collection. With a good rainwater catchment system in place, a tiny house owner will have a constant supply of water. However, you must make sure that you have a good supply room for tanks. It is only through these supply tanks that all your water problems will be solved.
If you are not planning on relocating soon, then a well would be the most suitable source of water. However, drilling a well can be expensive considering all the machinery that you need. All in all, it is a good solution for your long term water requirements. Furthermore, it will save you the stress of collecting rainwater.
The first thing that you need to put into consideration for your off-grid sewer is the source. A tiny house just like any other home has two types of waste i.e. Blackwater and Greywater. You should, therefore, handle Greywater (shower or sink water) differently from toilet waste.
4. Composite or Incinerator Toilet
Dealing with Blackwater (toilet waste) is very tricky for tiny house owners. It is for this reason that most tiny enthusiasts prefer going off-grid altogether. By relying on a composite toilet, you can convert the waste to either cash or soil. The end product can thus be handled easily as opposed to the waste from your toilet.
5. French Drain
Greywater is far better than Blackwater as it is relatively clean. This is mostly the case when you continuously rely on degradable soaps. You can, therefore, dispose of the water into the ground. However, you must be ready make your own French drain. A French drain is a hole in the ground that is filled with pebbles and rocks. An excellent French drain can store Greywater temporarily for quite some time. In addition to this, the Greywater can leach into the ground thanks to the larger surface area.
6. Septic System
Tiny home-owners who are not planning to move can install a septic system. A good septic system can handle all the waste be it Blackwater or Greywater. A septic system is actually like a French drain. This is because they all allow the waste to be absorbed by the ground. Their only notable difference is size and amount of waste that one can hold. A Septic System is larger and more reliable than a French drain. It, therefore, gives the waste time to break down and decompose thanks to its larger chamber.
Going off-grid many not be such a bad idea for owners of a THOW. However, you must make sure that the tiny home has every utility that you need. Each utility should be sufficient if you are to enjoy your tiny living. For this reason, you can hire a professional to install the hard parts like power. Once everything is up and running, it becomes easier for you to get the most out of your THOW.
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