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  1. #21
    Super Member
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    Apr 2006
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    6,470
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    Wise county Texas
    Tractor
    Kioti DK 35 now

    Default Re: AZ ranch

    Well that outhouse beats a Pinon tree!!

    You may get by with a "swamp" cooler over AC, that is what I used when I lived in Colorado. Of course it's hard to beat AC when it's 110 outside.

    The Solar quote for me was over $30k!! That was 95% house use, they also had smaller systems for light use down to $15k if I remember correctly. For me it wasn't' practical since I wasn't' "off grid" and I would never recover the cost to benefit like you will.
    Dennis


    "Winter 2013 a majority of the country is setting new cold records, Colorado is setting new record HIGH's"

    "If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you."

  2. #22
    Super Member mjncad's Avatar
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    In the civilized First World
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    Default Re: AZ ranch

    Flagstaff and Prescott are far nicer and prettier than Mesa where you currently live.

    Please keep the pics and posts coming.
    Paraphrasing Douglas Adams - So long and thanks for all the bacon.

  3. #23
    Silver Member
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    Mar 2006
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    150
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    San Diego County
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    John Deere 990

    Default Re: AZ ranch

    Great place, and ideal of solar. I did a system for my 1700 sq foot home that's 100% off grid. My experience is that you will need about 1/2 of the power that would recommend because of your location. I have a total of 2000 watts of panels in the high desert of Southern CA. and run all regular ac appliances full size fridge, washer, dryer, propane central heat. Normally I can make double the power I use. High elevation and cool weather are ideal for solar.

    Go with a reputable solar company that supplies all the materials and design and do the system installation yourself and you will save a lot. I went with Backwoods Solar they have been doing solar for 25 years unlike the electrical contractors who just started doing solar in the last few years plus they are off grid guys so they will not sell you a 30,000 dollar system to run a cabin. Solar prices are down now from when I did my system but with the tax rebate I spent less than 15,000.00.

    I would guess at your elevation all you will need is a few ceiling fans to keep you cool in the summer.

    Good Luck and have fun.

    Derik

  4. #24
    Platinum Member BoFuller's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
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    906
    Location
    Arizona
    Tractor
    2008 Kubota L3400

    Default Re: AZ ranch

    Quote Originally Posted by saltman View Post
    Great place, and ideal of solar. I did a system for my 1700 sq foot home that's 100% off grid. My experience is that you will need about 1/2 of the power that would recommend because of your location. I have a total of 2000 watts of panels in the high desert of Southern CA. and run all regular ac appliances full size fridge, washer, dryer, propane central heat. Normally I can make double the power I use. High elevation and cool weather are ideal for solar.

    Go with a reputable solar company that supplies all the materials and design and do the system installation yourself and you will save a lot. I went with Backwoods Solar they have been doing solar for 25 years unlike the electrical contractors who just started doing solar in the last few years plus they are off grid guys so they will not sell you a 30,000 dollar system to run a cabin. Solar prices are down now from when I did my system but with the tax rebate I spent less than 15,000.00.

    I would guess at your elevation all you will need is a few ceiling fans to keep you cool in the summer.

    Good Luck and have fun.

    Derik
    Thanks for the info. I think a part of this "project" is to realize that we don't really "need" all the power we are used to consuming. Maybe I'm developing a little bit of "green", but I'm positive we can do with a lot less power than we're used to in the city. We can learn to wait on running one thing until we are done running something else. It's okay with me if there is not unlimited power everytime I want to do something. We'll learn to get by with less, and to distribute it through the day or week. And if we really do need more than the solar/batteries can handle once in awhile, then we fire up a generator.
    I think you are right about the fans. Being in the trees, on top of a hill, at 6100 feet, I don't think A/C is going to be a critical necessity.

  5. #25
    Gold Member Dallas_Lilly's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
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    317
    Location
    Flagstaff AZ
    Tractor
    Montana 3040

    Default Re: AZ ranch

    Quote Originally Posted by BoFuller View Post
    Pinion pine in the first picture. They don't grow tall and straight like most pine, but more of a bushy type of tree. The other major tree species there is juniper. They are the ones with the twisted trunks. We like them. We were going to leave them completely alone as in the first picture, but a local told us to trim them around the base to keep down the rodent population, so we got to trimming immediately.
    Not only rodent control but fire control. Gound fires stay on the ground if they do not have fuels to climb up the trees. Are you piling the remains from trimming and burning?
    Montana 3040

  6. #26
    Platinum Member BoFuller's Avatar
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    906
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    Arizona
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    2008 Kubota L3400

    Default Re: AZ ranch

    Quote Originally Posted by Dallas_Lilly View Post
    Not only rodent control but fire control. Gound fires stay on the ground if they do not have fuels to climb up the trees. Are you piling the remains from trimming and burning?
    We piled it all up a week or so ago. Next weekend when I go back, I will trim off what's good for firewood and then burn the rest.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -first-trip-our-ranch-near   -first-trip-our-ranch-near   -first-trip-our-ranch-near  

  7. #27
    Silver Member
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    San Diego County
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    John Deere 990

    Default Re: AZ ranch

    I totally agree the first thing with solar is conservation. You may only need 1,000 watts of power which would be very affordable. My system is 100% reliant on the sun, so this winter was a good test with all of the rain we got because of conservation and using high energy items when the sun was out and saving the batteries for cloudy days and nights I made it through no problem and never went below 50% with the batteries.

    Do you have wood rats up there? how about Mountain Lions and antelope squirrels?
    Rattle snakes?

    Great location!

  8. #28
    Elite Member
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    Oct 2004
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    2,925
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    limerick pa lycoming county pa
    Tractor
    kubota bx23

    Default Re: AZ ranch

    I have a small system at my cabin not portable but at 600 watts it is doable for your trailer for starters.

    The how to do off grid

    Home Power Magazine: Solar | Wind | Water | Design | Build

    were I got my parts

    Backwoods Solar Electric Systems

    I used all outback for inverter and charge controller

    You have to be realistic on what you want to power

    we do run microwave, grunfus well pump (read $$$) some lights

    tom
    If it ain't broke we will help you brake it
    If it is broke we will help you get it fixed!


    https://www.facebook.com/joseph.t.mussington

  9. #29
    Platinum Member BoFuller's Avatar
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    Arizona
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    2008 Kubota L3400

    Default Re: AZ ranch

    Quote Originally Posted by saltman View Post
    I totally agree the first thing with solar is conservation. You may only need 1,000 watts of power which would be very affordable. My system is 100% reliant on the sun, so this winter was a good test with all of the rain we got because of conservation and using high energy items when the sun was out and saving the batteries for cloudy days and nights I made it through no problem and never went below 50% with the batteries.

    Do you have wood rats up there? how about Mountain Lions and antelope squirrels?
    Rattle snakes?

    Great location!
    I have spent about two weeks there so far and I have not seen any of the above critters. There are elk, antelope, javelina, and coyote that I know of, and I'm sure there will be some rattlers when it warms up.

  10. #30
    Super Member mjncad's Avatar
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    Default Re: AZ ranch

    Quote Originally Posted by BoFuller View Post
    I think you are right about the fans. Being in the trees, on top of a hill, at 6100 feet, I don't think A/C is going to be a critical necessity.
    Where I live now is 5,100 feet in elevation, and where I used to work at is ~6,000 feet in elevation near Golden, Colorado. It got plenty hot in summer there, so I suggest you plan for AC in your electrical load requirements. If you don't need AC...great; but if you do and didn't put in enough capacity up front, you may be kicking yourself down the road.
    Paraphrasing Douglas Adams - So long and thanks for all the bacon.

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