How to Find Off-Grid Land To Build Your Home

A recent Forbes report states that nearly one-third of Americans are considering moving to less populated areas, in wake of the pandemic. Besides safety, off-grid living offers the chance to become more self-sufficient and less reliant on others. Off-grid living can mean a less stressful, healthier lifestyle.

If you are comfortable with doing things with your own hands and enjoy privacy and quiet, off-grid living in the State of Texas, or another state, may be an ideal lifestyle. But how can you find an appropriate property? Here are some things to consider, before we discuss finding the ideal location.

How to Find Off-Grid Land To Build Your Home

Proximity to Civilization

Ideally, you want to be away from the hustle and bustle, but realistically, you want to be close enough in case of an emergency. There are some good reasons for this. At some point, you will likely need to utilize a hospital. Some communities offer emergency flights to metropolitan hospitals. At any rate, you shouldn’t be terribly far from medical care.

Even though you may grow a vegetable garden and hunt, you will still probably want to have a grocery store less than an hour away. From buying gas to propane, from hardware stores to pharmacies, there are things you will need. According to professional Texas brokers, a property with too long of a drive will be impractical. Look for a property near a town that offers amenities.

Look for land with a water source

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of having a water source on your property. This may be a pond, a spring, a creek or river, or a well. Hauling water is impractical and difficult. You may be able to install storage tanks, but then you are still reliant upon finding a water hauler.

Drilling a well is not inexpensive, so unless you know others in the area have had success with drilling, this is not a good solution. Even if there is a creek, laws may regulate how much you can draw. This is vitally important to check on.

Check the Road Conditions

Has a road been bulldozed to the property you are considering? Is it paved, or does it have gravel? Could a fire engine get in and back out? Can a propane truck deliver propane? If you are going to have snow and heavy rain, having a good road is extremely important.

You may be planning to build your own, but remember, it’s an expensive proposition. If the above hasn’t scared you off, then you can begin the process of looking. When looking at various states, remember to check to see if off-grid living is allowed in that state or county.

Places to Look

Craiglist offers some intriguing deals, but it’s buyer beware. If you are considering a Craigslist purchase, our advice is to thoroughly do your homework. It is a site known to attract scammers. Never buy anything without seeing it and confirming the ownership records with the County. Traditional real estate firms offer a safe, and legal, method to search our properties. You have the advantage of employing someone to do the legwork. However, you will also pay for that privilege, in the form of a real estate commission.

Ebay, surprisingly, has some interesting, legitimate real estate offerings. Again, it’s recommended  that you actually go to the property and do your homework. People can take great photos, but reality can be something quite different. Auctions are another good source of inexpensive land, but you need to research the parcel prior to putting in an offer. Remember our advice: water, roads, proximity to towns. You will also need to be prepared to pay for the land, right away, at an auction. There may be a small grace period but cash is king.

sustainable forestry

Meanwhile, off-grid publications often contain advertisements for off-grid properties. As these are folks who understand the lifestyle, these ads can be intriguing. Social media often has “groups” or people to “follow” who are living off-grid life. This is a good opportunity to join and read about the lifestyle and see what properties are for sale.

Off-grid living has its challenges, but the rewards more than outweigh them. Make sure you do your homework before purchasing and keep in mind the above recommendations for success.

What is a Power Inverter and Why do I Need One?

Are you the owner of an RV, SUV, car, boat or other vehicle with enough free space like Honda BR-V, and want to be able to watch TV, cook, or power a laptop onboard? If yes, you’ll be needing a power inverter. But what are they, and what do they do? Read on to find out why you’ll need one to power your gadgets on the road. As a fun fact, power inverters are now also becoming more commonly used in air conditioning units for homes. Use of the technology is expanding.

power-inverter-car

What is a Power Inverter?

Basically, they are devices that turn your vehicle battery’s direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC) – the kind of electricity you have in outlets in your house, that are connected to the energy grid.

Having a power converter means you can plug in your appliances and devices, and power them like you would through an electricity outlet in a house.

In your car, you can get USB adaptors for your cigarette lighter so that you can charge your phone or plug in your satnav. But for larger gadgets and electronics with proper plugs, you’ll need an inverter.

Working of a Power Inverter

Like we said, they convert currents to a type safe for use in vehicles. Your vehicle’s battery voltage provides a current that powers its internal workings – you’ll need to know which voltage your vehicle’s battery uses to choose the correct inverter.

The current supplied by a battery sticks on one circuit, in one direction – where the name ‘direct current’ comes from.

However, to power your gadgets, you’ll need alternating current, as those electronics need more power to function than the DC can provide. They’re made to function with the high-voltage AC current supplied in homes.

Power inverters increase the DC voltage, change it to AC, then use it to power your devices. They amp up your battery’s voltage so you can play video games and use a kettle in your RV. Cool, huh?

Size Selection

These babies come in a variety of sizes – most commonly 1000, 3000 or 5000 watts.

It’s recommended that a 3000 watt inverter is the happy medium between inverter sizes and best choice to get. They’re not too small like the 1000, or too powerful and overcharged like the 5000. If you need a little extra boost, there are 3500 watt capacities available.

We spoke to a representative from Crusader Vans, who has a lot of knowledge on the topic at hand and they said, “The size you choose depends on the watts or amps of what you want to run (find the power consumption by referring to the specification plate on the appliance or tool). We recommend you buy a larger model than you think you’ll need (at least 20% more than your largest load). Determine Continuous Load and Starting (Peak) Load: You need to determine how much power your tool or appliance (or combination of them that you would use at the same time) requires to start up (starting load), and also the continued running requirements (continuous load).” Follow this link to know more about them: https://www.crusader-vans.co.uk/

Modified or Pure Sine Wave Inverter?

Besides the sizing, there are two main types of inverter – the modified sine wave, and the pure sine wave.

So, what’s the difference, and which one will you need?

  • Modified Sine Wave: These tend to be cheaper, and less powerful. However, they’re good for most everyday electronics you will want to use, just not very large ones.
  • Pure Sine Wave: These are compatible with pretty much all electronics, gadgets, and appliances, and produce a powerful current most like the one supplied by the electric grid. These are the most common choice, because they’re more likely to be compatible with anything you need to plug in.

Power inverters are useful for charging on the road without having to cart around adaptors and large plugs

Other Features and Tips

  • Power inverters are especially useful if you are setting up a solar power system – they convert energy from the sun into electricity you can use to power your gadgets within your vehicle. This is renewable energy that isn’t a drain on your best car battery.
  • Power inverters aren’t just for vehicles – if you have a small cottage or outhouse, they’re very useful for setting up a small power source there.
  • Many (but not all) power inverters come with USB outlets, useful for charging on the road without having to cart around adaptors and large plugs. For ease of use, get one compatible with USB.
  • The best inverters have digital screens which show you how much energy has been consumed and information about battery voltage. It’s useful to know these things at a glance, so consider getting one that has a screen.
  • Modern inverters, such as a solar inverter, have been made to be extra-quiet, so you won’t be woken up by a noisy machine while trying to simultaneously get some sleep and charge your phone in your RV.