christmas and a hodge-podge of updates

Merry Christmas and happy new year! Here is a tiny, to-scale gingerbread tinyhouse made from the Sketch Up plans that Trevor made up for us, complete with our solar panels, battery box, and tiny delicious wheels.

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OK – we got a little ahead of ourselves.. no building in December! Our welder Jim needs some more time with the frame and since we’re being told that his work is fantastic, amazing, and other positive adjectives, we thought we would wait for his time to free up to finish the job.

But we did put on our axles. Look at them. Wonder at their majesty.

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We also had to get new tires. I mean our old tires just didn’t match our purse. The old tires were selected for the old axles which could hold the old weight allowance: 7,000lbs total. Since we doubled our weight allowance on our axles, we also changed the bolt pattern on the hubs of the wheels, because that’s a thing that happens when you bulk up like that. Now that our hubs are beefy, our wheels need to be beefy too. What I’m trying to tell you is that now we have gigantic wheels that popped up our trailer and took 6″ of precious 6’4″ Kenton’s headspace.

So we are having to lower the roof a little, and the loft a little, and Kenton will need more frequent haircuts.

Another fun development is that our windows and door arrived! Here they are, in all their triple paned, argon filled, sun stop painted glory.

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We took advantage of Boxing day as every true blooded capitalist would and bought some appliances though! We decided to go with well known, typical appliances. This way, if something goes wrong, it won’t take the one guy in all of North America who knows how our solar fridge works to fly out and personally fix it with a spare part shipped in from Spain.

Fridge: This fridge has a pretty killer kilowatts per year – 311. That means it should be nice and easy to run off our solar panels, and it’s a little bit littler of a bit to fit into our kitchen since it’s 11.5 cubic feet versus regular 17 cu. ft.

fridge

Washer: This guy is a small, energy saving unit. We decided not to go with a dryer as well because they’re a bit of an energy hog, and we want all our appliances to share and get along. Also, we hang dry almost everything anyways so the space it would take up along with the energy draw just wasn’t doing it for us.

washer

Stove: This can be converted easily to a propane gas stove instead of natural gas, so that’s a pro.. But OK, we maybe went a little overboard with this stove… It’s got 5 burners and we use an average of 1.3 burners per meal. But oooh, aahhh! Look it’s so shiny!

stove

Since we are planning for some pretty fancy building and R values, we shouldn’t need a lot of heat for the house. As our main source of heating, we have chosen the Cubic mini wood stove. We chose it because it has some pretty good heating capacity for it’s size, it’s small, and you can mount it on the wall which makes getting those clearances easier (so we don’t burn down anything) and also look at it. It’s adorable. Awwwww.

cubicmini
strange man for scale

To complete the heating system, we are looking into propane back up heaters that can be controlled by a thermostat. That way, we can set it at, say, 15C and then leave the house. So it won’t completely heat our house all the time eating up all our delicious propane, but it will keep it at an easy temperature for the wood stove to boost, and keep our cat from giving us coal in our stockings for leaving her at home in the cold. Or we could bring out the cozy warm Christmas cape that Roxanne loves so much.

roxanne
clearly loves it
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