Meghan enjoys off grid living on her yurt homestead in Northern California. She’s been living on her property for almost five years, while her 30-foot yurt home has been here for 20 years. Since she became the owner, Meghan added a yurt bedroom connected to the main dwelling, a 16-foot yurt tiny guesthouse, and another long-term yurt home rental. Additionally, she has maintained a robust solar power system, a chicken coop, and a big garden. There she grows food for her local catering business.
In the shed barn, Meghan has the brains of the operation for her 100% off-grid yurt homestead. Inside is the storage for the solar battery storage and a 20-year-old outback inverter. Her L16 lead acid batteries lasted about five years. Importantly, they’re more affordable than more modern technology, lithium batteries, but not as efficient. Meghan plans to upgrade them very soon.
Challenges of Off Grid Living on a Yurt Homestead
“Some of the challenges that I’ve encountered as far as the living space itself, in the height of the summer, when it’s over 100 degrees, the middle of the day is just like pretty uncomfortable. And I do live 100% off the grid. So that’s something to take into consideration. If you were grid-tied, you could probably plug in an AC where I can’t. So I kind of have to live within the means of what I have and what I have available to me.
But I would say that the most disadvantage, I always say that there are two weeks in the summer, and there are two weeks in the winter. That, it’s pretty hard here. And I would also take that into consideration, like where you are in the world and if it’s suitable for you. If it was like a really high snow area, I’m not sure– quite sure that this style of living would be suited as an alternative living choice.
Other disadvantages I think we’re just big learning curves here that I had to learn and overcome. And then, a big skill set that I learned here was chainsawing. And you need that when you live on a gravel dirt road, and you do get a little bit of snow in the winter. I’ve probably had three or four or five trees fall across the driveway, and that’s giving me access out of here. So I had to learn that skill so that I could be confident enough to get out of the property if I need to.”
The two small yurt homes on the property are both 30 feet in diameter, reaching approximately 700 square feet. Interestingly, their layouts are pretty different, showcasing the various design possibilities of these round dwellings. One is completely open, like a studio apartment. In contrast, the other has an interior wall separating the bedroom and bathroom from the rest of the space.
Off of her 30′ yurt home, she built a covered deck connecting it to her 16-foot yurt bedroom. It also connects the outhouse and outdoor shower area. Importantly, she does enjoy visual privacy from the other structures on the property!
Yurt Manufacturer & Costs
“They are Pacific Yurts. That company is out of Oregon. And all of the parts on this yurt are replaceable. So this one is 20 years old. So I will someday replace the outer canvas so that the windows where they’ve worn and created a little bit of a draft.
It’s all pretty reasonably priced. If I just needed like a window replacement, I could get a window replacement. If I just needed a little part, I could get a new little part. Everything’s pretty inexpensive. The 20- foot years, I think, they start baseline of about 18 to 25,000. The smaller yurts are in like the 10,000 to 15,000 range. And you can also pick them up used.
And there are a bunch of smaller yurt companies coming out as more affordable. So there’s like a whole wide range of different companies that you could choose from too as well.”
Meghan wants her primary 30-ft yurt home to also act as a communal space when work-campers come, or future workshop participants come. Interested? Follow her to find out how to visit, @yurtlandia.