Grit Blogs > Homesteading with Mrs D

Getting a Little Bit More Off the Grid

By Robyn Dolan


Tags: Robyn Dolan, Arizona, homesteading, off grid, water conservation, gray water toilet, doing laundry by hand, solar dryer,

Homesteading with Mrs D5 gallon bucket washer

I am using a 5 gallon bucket washer and my trusty solar dryer because my washing machine died. I have been meaning to replace that water hog anyway. The washer and gas dryer are now evicted from the house. I am saving for a spin dryer. In the meantime, I wring the clothes by hand. They dry inside on hangers on very windy days and outside in the sun on nice days. Large blankets are a challenge, but with a little extra effort, they are simple enough to handle.

solar dryer

I am still vacillating on the gray water toilet vs. sawdust toilet issue. I don’t like flushing with gallons of drinking water. I should have plenty of gray laundry water for flushing, now that the washer is out of commission.

gray water toilet

The homesteading lifestyle is truly a work of the heart. To be constantly fixing stuff and trying to make do is not for those who prefer a life of ease. Whenever I come home to the homestead, I am reminded of the life I chose. I still have no water flowing through the household pipes, because, despite having all the fittings to repair the latest break, I broke the main valve attempting to get the flow shut off completely. I had a full 2500 gallon tank of water at the time and I absolutely refuse to drain it in order to replace the valve. So it will have to wait until we go through that water and get it low enough to feel it is worth wasting the rest. In the meantime, we are filling buckets and jugs with the hose bib I installed last year, and hauling water into the house. Next to the hose and filter is my future wood-fired water heater.

wood fired water heater

I had the big propane tank removed last year, also. I am not missing it. Right now we are showering in the trailer, with its efficient, self-contained water heater and pump. I want to try the same system in the house when I get the water going back inside. I have never liked the pump and pressure tank system we use here and am still not convinced that it is the best way to go. Pressure tanks are too expensive to replace. I want to try an on-demand pump like I have in the trailer. Full-time RV-ing is spoiling me. I have a barbecue-size propane tank on the gas stove, for cooking, and am also using it as a stove-top water heater.

stove top water heater

So that is where our homestead projects stand at the beginning of spring. I plan some experiments in neglected gardening and compost bin building as well.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep up with our adventures in mobile homesteading at Mrs. D’s Travelling Homestead, where we also offer soaps, lotions, books, and pet items to support ourselves.