This Tiny Home is a prototype Bug-Out Box designed to provide 100% off-grid living, in a self-contained package that can travel. That’s right, 100 percent off-grid living. Let’s identify what that means.
First, Shelter. The box is a basic 4×8 trailer frame, supporting a box that is 6′ wide, 8′ long, and 10′ high. There is also a 4′ slide-out that extends when parked, giving a total length of approximately 12′. These dimensions offer a luxurious 72 square feet of living space!
Second, Water. Not only is there a plumbing system for fresh water, but a rain catch and storage system that can hold up to 28 gallons of fresh potable water. The system recycles the water used, and replenishes from occasional rains.
Third, Food. It is one thing to stock food. This requires a food supply nearby to replenish one’s stores occasionally. This prototype was designed to raise all the food one would need … inside. With a fishpond built into the floor holding up to 30 gallons of water, it can be stretched to support 15 adult tilapia, and one or two bottom feeders.
The water from this fishpond is pumped up to the ceiling to drain through the garden (in the slide-out). Eight vertical cylinders each housing 13 planters, and two 4′ x 12″ x 12″ grow boxes provide a space to support a wide variety of food items. In addition, one shelf in the kitchen is set aside for growing mycellium, and occasionally, mushrooms. Water is filtered, aerated by the garden and drained back into the fishpond, fresh for use by the fish.
Fourth, Power. Currently, a single 45 watt solar panel charges the two 6v batteries which provide the power for lighting and pumps. Our Solar Furnace Steam Generator is under development to provide a greater power boost in charging.
Fifth, Wastes. There is a small kitchen sink, a shower, and even a toilet. Composting Toilet, that is. Black Soldier Flies (grubs) feed on human and kitchen wastes dropped into the first layer. The second layer hosts red wiggler worms which feed on the leavings of the grubs, further breaking down the waste. The toilet is built into one of the grow boxes, and designed to allow both the grubs and red wigglers to visit the plants once in a while.
Accomodations. There is a desk, microwave, mini-fridge, and a murphy bed.
This tiny home is built on a Harbor Freight 1720 lb capacity 4×8 utility trailer, thus making it mobile. Given a vehicle with fuel, it can go nearly anywhere. And curiously, as a visitor to one show stated … “with no windows, it’s ZOMBIE-PROOF!”
This spring (Jan-Mar 2017) I am planting our first crops in the garden for the Southwest Makers Show in Mesa, Az. And if all goes as planned, I will acquire a larger vehicle to build my permanent tiny home!