Living on the Grid in a Tiny Space

by Juan

I have always been intrigued by small spaces and when I was stationed in West Berlin in the early 80′s, I noticed that the people there had little “Gardenplatz” structures in a certain area in the city specifically set aside for that.

These were little cabins in a fenced in area where the owners could take a little holiday and do some gardening. They grew flowers and vegetables there. This was during the time when the Berlin wall was still up and real estate was at a premium. When the wall went up, Berlin was basically surrounded and cut off from the rest of the world. Berliners had to make do with what they had on hand.

These little cabins provided them with a getaway while still in the city. It was a place of peace and quiet and an escape from the harsh reality of the cold war. Then when I saw Jay Shafer’s Tiny Tumbleweed Homes years ago I knew this is what I wanted to do. I haven’t yet decided on what to build, but in the meantime I’m living on the grid in my little camper. I bought my first motorhome while stationed in Alaska in the early 90′s.

I had a little four cylinder Toyota motorhome that we took all over Alaska and did some camping and gold panning. Now I have a 15′ Riverside Retro 155 travel trailer that I have been living in for the last 4 months at a local mobile home park on a river in Naples, Florida. I’ll include some photos of my setup. Custom Batman graphics by my sons at Bay Printing, Bay St Louis, Mississippi.. Once again, thank you for all the information you put out on this old concept turned new, tiny houses.

Pensacola

Traveling through Pensacola, FL

Naples

Naples, FL my homebase

Gulfport

On the road to Gulfport, MS

bathroom

Bathroom door with mirror, grandchildren art wall to the left.

bed

Full time bed, 3/4 size mattress, storage underneath.

kitchen

Kitchen area, sink two burner stove, fan vented hood and microwave above the stove.

Dinette

Dinette area with my computer on table. Storage under both bench seats and drops down to twin size bed.

SoulSurvivorX2 Tiny Cabin

Have you ever considered having an off-grid tiny house ready for the Zombie Apocalypse? Mike and Cindy of SoulSurvivorX2 are currently fixing up their own 12×26 foot home on wheels to have as a secure and secret hideaway from the walking dead and other nefarious people.

cindy-tiny-house2

While the SoulSurvivorX2 couple seem to be initially known for guns, prepping gear and sexing up SHTF, take a closer look at their videos on YouTube. They have a ton of useful (and fun) information on camping, backpacking, health and wellness, simple living and now—a tiny house tucked away in the woods. The couple work as real estate agents in Jacksonville, Florida and live with no debt while enjoying the outdoors and living on their own terms. They believe in being prepared for any situation, own the quintessential bug-out bags and are now fixing up their own bug-out cabin.

cindy-tiny-house3

The cabin on wheels was towed to their land surrounded by trees and inhabited by their free range chickens. Mike and Cindy’s off-grid survival retreat is now hoisted up on blocks and they are installing new doors and screens, building new stairs and installing a metal corrugated roof. The open floor plan will include new walls, a kitchen, bath and loft. Solar panels will be installed and water will be heated with propane. Cindy even painted the door with camouflage and palm frond stencils to hide it away in their forested prepper retreat.

Videos by SoulSurvivorX2

 

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

ArkPak Power Pack Review

by Kent Griswold

I recently received an ArkPak to test and review. The ArkPak is a power pack which can be used for a small back up generator or is great for camping, etc. off the grid.

A lot of power packs you see these days come sealed so you can’t change the battery when it is at the end of its life. The ArkPak comes without a battery and you can choose which type to put in and replace as needed.

arkpak and accessories

The ArkPak is the only power pack with a built in charger. It will also take a battery up to 130 amp hours or group 31+ for the longest output time. It works with both 12V and 110V power so that you can run just about anything you need to while out in the woods.

Assembly was fairly easy, the ArkPak has a plastic container that opens and you install your battery. Once the battery is in the enclosure, simply sinch it in with the velcro strap and attach the cables. Make sure you put them in correctly. ArkPak has a great installation manuel so be sure and follow it. Once the battery is connected you turn it system on and answer a couple of questions as to what type of battery you have and the amps so it will charge correctly and not hurt your battery.

connecting battery cables

My battery needed charging so I used the enclosed 110V adapter and charged it. It gives you a graphic that tells you the percentage of charge and lets you know when the battery is completely charged.

battery being charged and readout

As an option you can purchase an adapter to charge your ArkPak in your car when you are on the road. Here you see it hooked up in my Mini Cooper and charging. This would be great when you are on your way to your campsite or moving from one place to another.

12 volt car charger

You can also charge your ArkPak using solar panels and I will do a test with this option in the near future.

The ArkPak allows you run appliances on 110V power, up to 150 watts. It has a built in 150W inverter so if you try to run something that is larger it will alert you and shut the inverter off. This should be fine for running your computer, a small TV, and most lights. I hooked up my Ryobi drill charger and it worked great. Also my laptop worked fine, so I can recharge it while out an about or with a power outage at home.

charging drill

charging computer

The ArkPak also has 12V capabilities and that is where it can really shine. It can give you days of 12V power with a full battery charge.

12 volt power

The ArkPak also has a built in USB charger so you can charge your mobile phone, tablets, etc.

The ArkPak is quite affordable if you compare it to other power packs on the market. With my marine battery installed it weighed in at 48 pounds. With a larger battery I understand it can weigh up to around 70 pounds. So you are not going to want to haul this too far. The plastic latch has me a little concerned, but all in all it seems fairly sturdy for being a plastic enclosure.

This would work great as a supplemental power system in a tiny house or remote cabin. Click here to learn more about it.

Following is a video showing how it works in the outdoors.