Friday, July 22, 2016

THJ 2016 - Questions?

The 2016 Tiny House Jamboree is rapidly approaching. I will be there, and I will be teaching a workshop on off grid living. I'm finalizing my plans for what to talk about (there will be a Q & A part too! ) and would love your input. Please comment with the top questions you have about the topic of off grid life. Especially if you will be there, but even if you won't, I'd love to know what people are most interested in hearing about. Comment away!


  1. I would have three questions.
    1. What's the best way to deal to get water into your home. how do you do it?
    2.What's the best way to deal with black water/waste issues. Include details about how your's works.
    3. I'd want to know everything about your, or any, solar system. What are the limitations of your system?
    Ok 4 questions
    4. Now that you have a lot of tiny living experience, what, if anything would you have done differently if you knew then that you know now.

  2. Thanks in advance for speaking! I'll be there - have no idea what it will be like (multiple sessions going on to pick from, will I be able to squeeze in to hear those I want to hear, etc)....but I hope to attend your session!

    My question relates to "extremes". With my current job - I can sometimes work 10-12 hrs/day during our busy time (which can last for a few months or simply a few weeks).
    Being away from an off-grid (or even on-grid) THOW, I worry about what it would be like in "extreme cold" and "extreme heat". How do you deal with water (freezing in winter), heating/cooling your home, etc....especially if I have a pet that I would need to keep inside. But also - pet or not - I am also concerned about any safety issues with this. Such as: the cooling/heating system failing and inside overheating/freezing (bad for a pet!), pipes bursting, etc.
    All this being said - I wouldn't expect to heat/cool the inside to an "extreme" temp (as in 60 degrees inside on a 90 degree outside day) - that's not sustainable anyhow in an off-grid home and a goofy idea anyhow...but I would want it survivable for my pet (and me!!).

  3. One thing I've wondered about is air quality being an issue inside tiny houses. After all there is a lot less air volume than a house where noxious chemicals are likely to be diluted by the larger volume of air. For example how you get enough fresh air in the winter without freezing or running out of oxygen? Also how do you keep condensation from being a problem (and therefore mold)?

  4. Now that you have your wood stove have you considered (or researched) the use of a thermoelectric generator to charge your batteries during the winter months? From what I've read it seems to be a more economical solution than solar for your type of climate. I'm just interested in your thoughts regarding this technology. Also, I loved the video of the water ram that you built. I had no idea that existed. Have you ever considered using the water ram to create hydro electric power? It seems to me like untapped potential as long as you have the running water already. Thanks for all the real world info and advice that you have provided.

  5. All good questions! I'm going so look forward to your presentation! See you soon!