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yurt living? - Page 3

post #41 of 158
This fascinating and it is my dream so I must sub to this thread.
post #42 of 158
Subbing b/c this is my future goal, too!
post #43 of 158
yurtdwellingmama, I really enjoyed hearing about your yurt living. We are planning to buy some land and a yurt at the end of this year. I did have a couple of questions though. What do you do for refrigeration? Propane? And this may seem like a silly one, but what kind of food do you usually prepare? I would imagine yurt living requires more creativity on this and I'm not a great cook anyway so I'm just curious. Last of all, how much did your deck/flooring cost and what type of flooring did you get? Thanks again for offering your experiences.
post #44 of 158
subbing, great info
post #45 of 158
We lived outside Eugene oregon (between the coast and eugene) for eight years in a tipi, then a yurt.

The yurt held up really well in the rain (the tipi did NOT). We got it used from a company called Borealis yurts (no longer in business). One thing I would reccomend is building your yurt deck up a few feet off the ground. This keeps it warmer and drier, and allows for a great storage area underneath.

Ours was a 20 footer. At the time, it was just me, hubby, and four birds, two of which were tropical birds. Our only heat was a woodstove and it did stay quite warm, by our standards (remember we had come up from living in the tipi for 5 years..that was a bit chilly). We had insulation for the roof and walls, which I do reccomend.

The birds did fine with the temp, and again, they were tropical. We did just naturally dress warmer, long johns,big socks, sweaters. I wouldnt say it was as warm as a typical stick house, but then I think most people keep their houses way to warm and freak out needlessly if they and their kids are not kept at 98 degrees. Also, depending on where you stand the temp varies. near the woodstove it was toasty, near to the door a bit colder.

Cold weather (within reason) is not unhealthy, and that goes for babies too ! After a few years we did notice some mold growing on the canvas, but a few days into the sunny season and that cleared up. There are also treatments you can get for the cover.

All in all, I would reccomend a yurt in that region. It was lovely the way the big skylight let in what little light that was available during the rainy season, and the way we could hear all the sounds of the forest. Rather than be cut off from our enviroment, we were very much a part of it.. the sound of freshly falling snow on the canvas roof, the soft scampering of raccoon feet and various other mysterious woodland sounds..

Sigh...I DO miss it..
post #46 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixiewytch View Post
yurtdwellingmama, I really enjoyed hearing about your yurt living. We are planning to buy some land and a yurt at the end of this year. I did have a couple of questions though. What do you do for refrigeration? Propane? And this may seem like a silly one, but what kind of food do you usually prepare? I would imagine yurt living requires more creativity on this and I'm not a great cook anyway so I'm just curious. Last of all, how much did your deck/flooring cost and what type of flooring did you get? Thanks again for offering your experiences.
We do have electricity so we have a regular electric refrigerator. We also have a propane range, so our kitchen is pretty much like you'd have in a hard sided structure. When we first moved in, we used a coleman two burner camp stove, or the wood stove for cooking. We had a cooler for the first couple of weeks, but bought a fridge right after we moved in.

We do have limited counter space and until recently did not have running water. We did have a sink and drain however, so we hauled in our water for washing dishes, etc.

We are vegans and cook and prepare a lot of food that takes a lot of preparation (chopping tons of fresh veggies for example). We've gotten a setup that works for us, and we can prepare any type of food that we could in any other kitchen, I think.

With a yurt you can really go a simple as you like or have as many conveniences as you like. We try and live lean or things can get out of hand in our limited space.

Thanks for asking!
post #47 of 158
subbing!
post #48 of 158
: coming back to read this thread later!
post #49 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by yurtdwellingmama View Post
We do have electricity so we have a regular electric refrigerator. We also have a propane range, so our kitchen is pretty much like you'd have in a hard sided structure. When we first moved in, we used a coleman two burner camp stove, or the wood stove for cooking. We had a cooler for the first couple of weeks, but bought a fridge right after we moved in.

We do have limited counter space and until recently did not have running water. We did have a sink and drain however, so we hauled in our water for washing dishes, etc.

We are vegans and cook and prepare a lot of food that takes a lot of preparation (chopping tons of fresh veggies for example). We've gotten a setup that works for us, and we can prepare any type of food that we could in any other kitchen, I think.

With a yurt you can really go a simple as you like or have as many conveniences as you like. We try and live lean or things can get out of hand in our limited space.

Thanks for asking!
Oh, okay. For some reason I thought you didn't have electricity. We are hoping to use solar for ours but still go without many modern conveniences like modern stove, refrigerator, and other appliances. If anyone has any experience with that, I would love to hear your tips.
post #50 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixiewytch View Post
Oh, okay. For some reason I thought you didn't have electricity. We are hoping to use solar for ours but still go without many modern conveniences like modern stove, refrigerator, and other appliances. If anyone has any experience with that, I would love to hear your tips.
Solar is a great way to go with a yurt ! You dont need much. We didn't have it then, but now in our housebus we have 250 watts of soalr..plenty for us.

One thing you can do for refrigeration is dig a trench, line in with hay and put a heavy lid on it. This works as a great refrigerator and is what we did for many years.We now have in our bus an excellent little solar friendly,low energy and very efficient refrigerator.Its called a nova kool

http://www.solarhome.org/index.asp?P...OD&ProdID=1325

It only draws like 2.5 amps per hour when running, and since refrigerators dont run all the time,that is very good.It has a small freezer in it as well. With our two solar pannels (cost of about 2000) and six gel batteries we have never run out of power. We adjust the fridge setting acording to the outside temp and our current energy available. We can watch a few movies on the laptop,listen to unlimited radio and c.d's. and surf the net as well.

I highly reccomend this system for a yurt! Very afordable.

For a stove in our yurt we used the Lopi Patriot, again a very efficinet appliance.

http://monroefireplace.com/product.a...1=9179&l2=9180

It has a glass in it so you can see the fire, which is SOOOO nice, especially if you dont watch tv in your house. Sitting around watching a fire is a good replacement, very relaxing and entertaining. It heated up our 20 foot yurt in Oregon just fine. We now use it in the housebus as well.

For a toilet I am a huge fan of outhouses, but there are also compost toilets that work great

http://www.sun-mar.com/

For bathing and relaxing we used sun showers and the snorkel wood fired wood stove,

http://snorkel.com/hot-tub-info/snor...uba-stoves.php

You can also get an on demand propane water heater that is very efficient and gives you unlimited hot water. I reccomend the PH6 model, which is what we now use in our bus and would likewise would have been great in the yurt,

http://www.plumbingsupply.com/paloma...erheaters.html


I hope some of this was helpful !

~Pixie

Lastly, for hot weater
post #51 of 158
Very, very helpful info enchanted gypsy and exactly what I was looking for. Thanks. We have been looking into real goods for solar systems and I was very curious about how much it would cost. We already plan on going frugal with energy but I can't live without my music or a laptop on occasion.

I've also looked into the same woodstoves, and wood fired hot tub setups. Very cool. I'm glad to hear you feel like the fridge was a good investment as well. We've been discussing that because they are pretty costly...and I think I have a brochure for the same composting toilet.
post #52 of 158
Have you looked around at other places besides Real Goods ? They tend to be more expensive.

I have to reccomend the place we got our system, RV Solar Electric

http://www.rvsolarelectric.com/kits.htm

Even though they specialize in RV systems it all translates exceptionally well for yurts and other small spaces. The fellow, Noel, who will probably be the one who answers the phone is SOOOOOOOOO helpful. He will spend as much time with you as you need and patiently answer all your questions. He encourages folks to install the pannels themselves ( EASY..we did it on our bus) and will walk you through it. We still call him two years later with questions and he is always so willing to help without ever making us feel rushed.He tries to find ways by saving you money too.

Anyway, we got the JUmbo package that included one 125 watt pannel plus all the cords and hardware needed, including the charge controller. The package was around 750 bucks, then we bought an additional pannel. You can always add pannels later if you need more. As for batteries Noel told us where to get really cheap batteries that last a long time, ask him about it. All told around 2000 for the pannels, then another couple hundred for the batteries.It pays to have a big battery bank so you can store power for rainy days.

We use very little elctric to begin with, but with our system we can run our fridge/small freezer, watch a movie or two a day on the laptop, surf the net and listen to music. We never used electric lights in any of our homes, by choice, so that saves a lot of power. Instead we use high end swedish lanterns and beeswax candles. After living for so many years without any electricity at all we became used to not having lights at night, and now we love it. There is something so beautiful and peaceful about living by firelight, the whole rhythm of the day/night flows smoother and more peacefuly into the next.

I would just call him, tell him what you are doing and ask him what would be the least expensive way to go to get the power you need. Keep in mind though, prices may have gone up a bit since we bought our pannels two years ago.

We do feel the fridge was the one of THE best investments we made. Ours was only like 650 bucks and we bought it from a marine supply store and picked it up ourselves so there was no shipping. It is the small 3.5 - 4 cubic model (dont remember which but it is plenty of space for us).After living for so many years in the tipi and yurt, with no refrigeration, we were thrilled to be able to have one. Honestly, I think not having a fridge was one of the more annoying aspects . We find we eat a lot better now ( more fresh stuff, not as much dried food) and waste less food.The hole in the ground didnt always keep things a good temp and we wasted a lot of good butter, soy milk and other perishables. An ice box was not much better.

If you do decide to go with the energy efficient fridges stay away from Sun Frost and stick to Nova Kool. Sun Frost fridges are twice the cost of nova kool. All the components are the same (Danfrost compressor), the only difference is that Sun Frost adds three inches of insulation around their models. If you glue a few inches of sytyrafoam (if its going to be built in under a counter this wont be visible, otherwise you would need to find a creative way to disguise it) around the sides of the nova kool then it brings the amps/hour down to half of what it normally would be= 2.5 amps per hour, comparable to the way expensive Sun Frost.

Oh and as for the hot tub, we saved a lot of money just buying the woodstove part. Then we bought a new circular stock tank from a farm supply store. It looked really ugly and didnt hold heat in so we got some pallet boards, took them apart, sanded them,lindseed oiled them then wraped them around the tank and held them together with a metal band on the top and the bottom. In between this and the tank we stuffed hay for insulation. It worked great ! It kept heat in the tub, looked like the fancy wood ones they sell on their site and coat under a hundred bucks !

One more thing, for washing our clothes we got this great thing called a James washer,

http://www.lehmans.com/jump.jsp?item...ProductID=4084

Its amore money than we bought ours ten years ago,but works GREAT. That above link Leahmans is a great place for other things also.

Wishing you love and Light on your Journey ~ Pixie
post #53 of 158
We Have Stayed In Yurts While Visiting The Oregon Coast And We Loved Them.
post #54 of 158
Enchanted Gypsy - I read your blog (and subbed to it through my Bloglines) and I found your travels fascinating! What an interesting life! I dream about doing something like that some day. Many blessings to you and your family!
post #55 of 158

help?

hello everyone. i'm new to this thread and i'm hoping you can help me. we have been interested in yurt living for awhile but we don't know how to get started since we have no land. we can't afford anything right now! we were just foreclosed on so we know first order is to save big time so we won't need to rent. how can we get started on this great adventure? we haven't actually been kicked out yet - we have about a month left lol so we are open to anything new!
post #56 of 158
Quote:
One thing you can do for refrigeration is dig a trench, line in with hay and put a heavy lid on it.
This interests me. Can you tell me some more about it? How deep is the trench? What kind of soil? How long does the hay last? How cold does it keep things?

It's just that I've never heard of this before.

Thanks!
post #57 of 158
It doesnt really work that great actually....depending on the outside temperature. We just reasoned that below ground is colder and more insulated than above ground in hot weather, so we gave it a try.

Later on we ended up burying a metal trash can with the lid sticking up,which seemed to work better.

The truth is, in the warmer weather life without refrigeration was difficult. we did buy and use butter,soy milk and other perishables and they lasted anywhere from a a few days to more than a week depending on the time of year. Veggies did the best . We ended up buying a lot of block ice and putting that in there with it which did help a lot.The ice lasted for a few days. You could also try just burying a cooler as well. ~ Pixie
post #58 of 158
this is such great info! i love it here!
post #59 of 158
Is there any advice on yurt living in warmer climates? We have land in Costa Rica, and I'm lobbying my dh to put a yurt on it. His first question was whether it was going to be hot since it was designed for colder climates. I figured we could put in more screen panels, depending on which way the wind blew, and open them up during the day. And maybe vent out the top too.

Also, how big is a good size for 4 people? I was looking at the 16, but dh said that was the size of our pool. I was thinking that maybe we'd rent it out when we weren't there, which is most of the year!
post #60 of 158
Now I don't have personal experience but I've read that a lot of people discourage yurts in warmer climates, especially because of mildew. Again, I'm no expert but this is just what I've read from research online. I think it is also much easier to keep them warm in cooler climates than it is to cool them (unless you are using electricity).

Oh, and we are a family of four looking at the largest size 30ft. I think that is around 700SF. I do think it would be extremely tough for four in a 16 fter. You could build on though. I've seen a lot of people talk about connecting smaller yurts together like rooms instead of buying one large one. Maybe that is a feasible option for you?
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