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Off grid hunting cabin #8399201 09/27/21 01:30 PM
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We are in the process of putting a cabin at our ranch. Right now it is looking like it will be a mobile home. It is hard to justify spending more on something we might spend 30 nights a year in.

We are getting a water well drilled, septic tank installed, and power is the next issue. We are looking at about 15k to have power ran to the build site. Are there solar alternatives that would do the job in this price range? We plan on having conventional electric central heat and air, and the water well to power.

Re: Off grid hunting cabin [Re: Sewer rat] #8399205 09/27/21 01:35 PM
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You can do a solar well and gravity feed the house/cabin via storage tank.


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Re: Off grid hunting cabin [Re: Sewer rat] #8399244 09/27/21 02:07 PM
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15k sounds pretty cheap honestly. If you want ac/electric heat solar is going to be a stretch without a lot of batteries s and even then the summer would be rough for AC. A generator would be cheaper but comes with another set of maintenance/issues.

Re: Off grid hunting cabin [Re: stxranchman] #8399245 09/27/21 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by stxranchman
You can do a solar well and gravity feed the house/cabin via storage tank.


I have seen those setups. My bigger concern is the electric for the cabin in general. Lights, heating, cooling, refrigerator, etc.

Re: Off grid hunting cabin [Re: krmitchell] #8399250 09/27/21 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by krmitchell
15k sounds pretty cheap honestly. If you want ac/electric heat solar is going to be a stretch without a lot of batteries s and even then the summer would be rough for AC. A generator would be cheaper but comes with another set of maintenance/issues.


I'm not really complaining about the cost I think it is reasonable for what it is. I am just wondering if maybe the solar was a better option in my scenario. The 15k get the power to basically the corner of my place which would be an ok location for the cabin. Solar would give me the freedom to put it anywhere on the property without added cost.

Electric service likely has some minimum monthly fee. Not sure if it is significant or not. We have rural water to the corner of the property but they want $100/month minimum for service and it goes up from there based on usage. I am getting a well drilled for 5k. I would spent 5k in their monthly fees in about 4 years.

Last edited by Sewer rat; 09/27/21 02:14 PM.
Re: Off grid hunting cabin [Re: Sewer rat] #8399272 09/27/21 02:23 PM
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We put in double wide put it closer to road instead of where my mother wanted it for the same reason cost of power to site. Does not even cross our minds anymore as we still have deer and hogs around house even off the fm road

Re: Off grid hunting cabin [Re: Sewer rat] #8399278 09/27/21 02:25 PM
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Spend the 15k....don't think twice. Anything else will just provide frustration.

Re: Off grid hunting cabin [Re: DocHorton] #8399320 09/27/21 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by DocHorton
Spend the 15k....don't think twice. Anything else will just provide frustration.


I concur. We looked at Solar when we set up our place. It was fairly expensive, with a long-term pay out. We went with a local CO-OP and haven't regretted it. I asked if we could add solar and "sell back" the electricity we didn't use and the CO-OP wasn't capable of doing it.
Go with the 15k and never look back. I only lost power for a few hours during this years Snowmageddon. If we had had solar, everything at the ranch would have frozen solid.


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Re: Off grid hunting cabin [Re: Sewer rat] #8399328 09/27/21 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Sewer rat
Originally Posted by stxranchman
You can do a solar well and gravity feed the house/cabin via storage tank.


I have seen those setups. My bigger concern is the electric for the cabin in general. Lights, heating, cooling, refrigerator, etc.

How far is the electric being run? I just had 1.4 miles run for $29,500...I had no choice since it was needed for me to build a home and live on it. I looked into solar cost vs. Coop power. A solar system to power the house and well would have been about the same cost as the coop power. Then I would have needed to replace the battery bank over time and more than once depending on life of the batteries and my life expectancy. I opted for the electircal coop power due to the costs down the line of the solar system. There was a 26% tax credit for solar IIRC when I looked into it. Have you priced a propane generator and maybe then dryer/water heater/etc run off of propane? For 30 nights per year it may be enough saving with the generator to go with it vs electrical power line and meter.


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Re: Off grid hunting cabin [Re: krmitchell] #8399370 09/27/21 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by krmitchell
15k sounds pretty cheap honestly. If you want ac/electric heat solar is going to be a stretch without a lot of batteries s and even then the summer would be rough for AC. A generator would be cheaper but comes with another set of maintenance/issues.

^^^^^^^^^^^THIS^^^^^^^^^^^

To set up a solar system to power up ac/heat is gonna be very costly to say the least.
Either pay up front to get electric to where you are putting your house or a gen set would probably be a lot better in the long run.
Gen set whether it is diesel or propane of course will cost you a lot more to run than elec will in the long run so that needs to be considered as well...especially if you are going to leave the ac/heat on when you are not there.


High fence, low fence, no fence, it really doesn't matter as long as you're hunting!
Re: Off grid hunting cabin [Re: ILUVBIGBUCKS] #8399376 09/27/21 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ILUVBIGBUCKS
Originally Posted by krmitchell
15k sounds pretty cheap honestly. If you want ac/electric heat solar is going to be a stretch without a lot of batteries s and even then the summer would be rough for AC. A generator would be cheaper but comes with another set of maintenance/issues.

^^^^^^^^^^^THIS^^^^^^^^^^^

To set up a solar system to power up ac/heat is gonna be very costly to say the least.
Either pay up front to get electric to where you are putting your house or a gen set would probably be a lot better in the long run.
Gen set whether it is diesel or propane of course will cost you a lot more to run than elec will in the long run so that needs to be considered as well...especially if you are going to leave the ac/heat on when you are not there.




Yelp, on my old lease I think we went through 1000gals if diesel.

Biggest thing is fuel storage. Gas or Deisel over a summer isn't best option. So that leaves propane, but then you are at their deliver mercy


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Re: Off grid hunting cabin [Re: Sewer rat] #8400025 09/28/21 03:18 AM
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An idea on running power. I don’t know the area you are in but I bet you can someone to drill you holes for your poles. I am thinking it was like $250 a hole. Usually a co-op will have poles that they have removed, we have Brazos in our area.They gave us poles for free. Find you a oil field electric repair company to put up your poles and run your wire.You can probably DIY this for half the price. All the power company will have to do is the hookup


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Re: Off grid hunting cabin [Re: stxranchman] #8400030 09/28/21 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by stxranchman
Originally Posted by Sewer rat
Originally Posted by stxranchman
You can do a solar well and gravity feed the house/cabin via storage tank.


I have seen those setups. My bigger concern is the electric for the cabin in general. Lights, heating, cooling, refrigerator, etc.

How far is the electric being run? I just had 1.4 miles run for $29,500...I had no choice since it was needed for me to build a home and live on it. I looked into solar cost vs. Coop power. A solar system to power the house and well would have been about the same cost as the coop power. Then I would have needed to replace the battery bank over time and more than once depending on life of the batteries and my life expectancy. I opted for the electircal coop power due to the costs down the line of the solar system. There was a 26% tax credit for solar IIRC when I looked into it. Have you priced a propane generator and maybe then dryer/water heater/etc run off of propane? For 30 nights per year it may be enough saving with the generator to go with it vs electrical power line and meter.


Roughly 3/4 mile. I haven’t t looked into the generator costs. I met the water well driller out there today. We popped the first hole and it was dry. We are going to move to a different spot and try again in the morning.

Re: Off grid hunting cabin [Re: machinist] #8400035 09/28/21 03:27 AM
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Originally Posted by machinist
An idea on running power. I don’t know the area you are in but I bet you can someone to drill you holes for your poles. I am thinking it was like $250 a hole. Usually a co-op will have poles that they have removed, we have Brazos in our area.They gave us poles for free. Find you a oil field electric repair company to put up your poles and run your wire.You can probably DIY this for half the price. All the power company will have to do is the hookup


I never thought of this. I have a a wide variety of heavy equipment and could drill the holes myself. I was already planning on dozing the right of way for the line. I have the capability of drilling 18” holes 8’ deep.

Re: Off grid hunting cabin [Re: Sewer rat] #8400044 09/28/21 03:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Sewer rat
Originally Posted by machinist
An idea on running power. I don’t know the area you are in but I bet you can someone to drill you holes for your poles. I am thinking it was like $250 a hole. Usually a co-op will have poles that they have removed, we have Brazos in our area.They gave us poles for free. Find you a oil field electric repair company to put up your poles and run your wire.You can probably DIY this for half the price. All the power company will have to do is the hookup


I never thought of this. I have a a wide variety of heavy equipment and could drill the holes myself. I was already planning on dozing the right of way for the line. I have the capability of drilling 18” holes 8’ deep.

I think you would then responsible for the line from the Electrical Companies last pole to your house in the future. Any ice storms, trees fall on the line, etc would be up to you to repair. A friend of mine had this issue in McCulloch county when he bought his ranch. The previous owner had installed the line from the front gate to the house. It was then his responsibility and he needed a new line. He either had to pay for it himself or pay the rate the Electrical Co quoted him for a new line.
Originally Posted by Sewer rat
Originally Posted by stxranchman
Originally Posted by Sewer rat
Originally Posted by stxranchman
You can do a solar well and gravity feed the house/cabin via storage tank.


I have seen those setups. My bigger concern is the electric for the cabin in general. Lights, heating, cooling, refrigerator, etc.

How far is the electric being run? I just had 1.4 miles run for $29,500...I had no choice since it was needed for me to build a home and live on it. I looked into solar cost vs. Coop power. A solar system to power the house and well would have been about the same cost as the coop power. Then I would have needed to replace the battery bank over time and more than once depending on life of the batteries and my life expectancy. I opted for the electircal coop power due to the costs down the line of the solar system. There was a 26% tax credit for solar IIRC when I looked into it. Have you priced a propane generator and maybe then dryer/water heater/etc run off of propane? For 30 nights per year it may be enough saving with the generator to go with it vs electrical power line and meter.


Roughly 3/4 mile. I haven’t t looked into the generator costs. I met the water well driller out there today. We popped the first hole and it was dry. We are going to move to a different spot and try again in the morning.

I paid a water well witcher $100 to come out and find me a couple of spots. He has a 93% success rate and it was worth it for me since water can run from 220'-400' in the area I am drilling a well. My original spot I wanted a well, he said he would not drill there.


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Re: Off grid hunting cabin [Re: Sewer rat] #8400138 09/28/21 11:53 AM
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5K to drill a water well? The water must be very shallow where ever you are. Here to get a good supply of water you go between 500 and 700 ft.

Re: Off grid hunting cabin [Re: Sewer rat] #8400218 09/28/21 01:15 PM
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For what you want to run, spending the 15K is the best option by a long shot.


Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: Off grid hunting cabin [Re: Sewer rat] #8400221 09/28/21 01:20 PM
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The water is less than 150’. Right now I am just paying $15/foot trying to find it. I actually have geophysical tools that can find the water with no sorcery but if they can hit within three holes or so it is cheaper to do that.

Re: Off grid hunting cabin [Re: Sewer rat] #8400284 09/28/21 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Sewer rat
The water is less than 150’. Right now I am just paying $15/foot trying to find it. I actually have geophysical tools that can find the water with no sorcery but if they can hit within three holes or so it is cheaper to do that.


One down, two to go. Sure you don't want a witcher to verify before they drill another dry hole?


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Re: Off grid hunting cabin [Re: Sewer rat] #8400293 09/28/21 02:19 PM
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I don’t want to derail the thread but water witching is about as polarizing as Covid vaccination. People either swear it works or they don’t believe it. As a geophysicist who has spent the past thirty years mapping underground using science I fall into the latter category.

Re: Off grid hunting cabin [Re: Sewer rat] #8400326 09/28/21 03:02 PM
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Elmo was awfully efficient with his peach twigs. He was either lucky or had an extremely coveted skill set.

Re: Off grid hunting cabin [Re: Sewer rat] #8400334 09/28/21 03:09 PM
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I wonder if Elvira witches for water?

Re: Off grid hunting cabin [Re: Sewer rat] #8401086 09/29/21 04:26 AM
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I believe in it. I have found water, pipelines and septic tanks


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Re: Off grid hunting cabin [Re: Sewer rat] #8403520 10/01/21 06:34 PM
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I see a combination of all to best suit your needs.

A smaller solar setup for lights and small appliance needs.
Generator to run a couple of window units for A/C when needed.
Propane for cooking/heat, and to run the generator.

In the long run though, you'll spend more to keep all that running than if you bit the bullet and got electricity brought in.


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Re: Off grid hunting cabin [Re: psycho0819] #8406054 10/04/21 02:34 AM
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Originally Posted by psycho0819
I see a combination of all to best suit your needs.

A smaller solar setup for lights and small appliance needs.
Generator to run a couple of window units for A/C when needed.
Propane for cooking/heat, and to run the generator.

In the long run though, you'll spend more to keep all that running than if you bit the bullet and got electricity brought in.

This
Look at solar power station up to 3000 running watts and 6000 watts start up power $4000 by Hysolis
6 solar panels @. 295 watts each $800
7000 watt Lifan generator $2000
Power center can run averything in small home while being charged by solar or generator when it’s cloudy use propane for hot water, heat and stove and worke great for me around 30 days a year check shopsolarkits.com
This is my setup for 2 story 800sq ft cabin off grId [Linked Image]

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