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Home Forums General Discussion New Yurt Dweller (UK) – Advice please!

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    Then you would need a good deep cell 12VDC marine battery, and an inverter for your maximum load, with low idle power use and several outlets. One for an extension to run several LED lights. It is all at


    Hello there,

    Just hoping for some input on my yurt dwelling. I have been wanting to live in an alternative “house” for ages. Been saving up money and looking at the options, and finally about 3 weeks ago I decided that what I wanted was a yurt. I researched it, and shockingly, 3 weeks later I’m writing this post from my new 12 ft yurt!

    I’m thrilled, but…the thing is, it all happened rather fast. I found premises, and a 2nd hand yurt within my budget so quickly that I haven’t had the chance to look at all the options for electricity, amenities etc. If I pay a little extra rent I can use the kitchen and bathroom of the house my pitch is attached to, and charge my laptop in there, but in time I’d like to get off the grid. I’ve done minimal research. Am scouring this forum for info. Any input is welcome.

    Let me just explain what I’ve got so far.

    I’ve got a bed, and furniture. That’s mostly sorted.

    I’ve got a mobile internet dongle for my laptop (which is quite slow)

    I’ve got one of those mini £20 camping stoves that amazingly seems to boil enough water for tea in under a minute.

    I’ve got some candles.

    Heat – I’m going to get a wood burner for sure. I’ve had one in a van before that was made from a recycled gas bottle. Can anyone point me in the direction of a good maker in the south of the UK?

    Electric – Solar or mains?

    Most days I need to run a laptop and mobile phone, and that’s about it. I’ve calculated that would take up about 400wh/day.

    But I’d like to be able to run my recording studio too. Of course I wouldn’t be able to actually do the recording in the Yurt – too much background noise. But I would be able to mix. For this I would need my 2 speakers (100w each), and the amp for them (50w), plus the laptop (50w) external hard drive (15w). It would all total around 2500wh for an 8 hr day of work.

    I think the answer is to hook up to the mains from the house I’m attached to and use that for high usage days and winter, and just get a 400wh/day solar panel system in the spring to run small stuff. It would skim the top off the electric bill, be a bit more green, and allow me to have minimal power if I ever moved to premises that didn’t include access to a house at all. What do you think of this idea?

    Does anyone here use oil lamps and candles as their sole source of lighting? Is it enough/workable?

    Shower/toilet… dunno. I don’t even know if the house I’m attached to will be ok with me building a toilet or shower. For now, I’m just going to piss in bottles, and then empty them down the house loo once a day when I go inside to have a shower or a poo.


    For now I’ve got a mini gas stove to cook on. Later I’ll cook on the woodburner.

    I don’t think I’ll get a fridge. It seems too easy to get a cool box and put ice in it sometimes, and put it outside in the porch in winter.

    Any input or ideas on any area would be helpful.

    Thanks so much all.



    I stayed in a Yurt at Botelet farm in Cornwall a couple of years ago and to be honest with you decided I could live in there perfectly happily forever! Not sure of the size but they had a wood burning stove in the centre a bed to one side, a chair and table and a big gas bottled powered stove by the door. We had to go to the farmhouse to use the toilet and shower and they had a mains extension from the house to the yurt which gave us lights, radio etc.

    I wouldn’t use oil lamps because of the fumes but candles are fine, 1 or 2 are pretty good for general lighting but obviously reading and stuff you’d need LEDs or bulbs. I bought a strip of warm white LEDs from eBay for quite cheap , you can cut them to the length you need and are pretty much all I need (in a caravan).


    Hi, just wanted to wish you luck. I’m a good few steps behind you but admire you’re go for it approach. I’m sure it’ll work out for you.


    On your point of a studio Redmunk, I do some music writing/recording and production and rent a little room in an art gallery not too far from where I live. I was lucky to get it at a cheap rent but it gives me 24 hr access to electricity and is a quiet and nice dry, secure place to store my guitars, computers, keyboards, mics etc. My plan for the future is to convert a brick shed on the land I am on with enough solar panels, batteries, wind turbines.. whatever it takes to run a studio off-grid for as little cost as possible. Crucially though my plan is to keep this a seperate entity to my own private accomodation solar power supply so I can keep a balance of them both and not run short of power for one as I got carried away doing another for example. Just a suggestion in case there are any similar out buildings on the land you’re on that you could rent or rennovate


    RedMunk: please get us some photo’s of your yurt!

    Here is some ideas for a yurt I intend to build. Though I don’t have info on the living arrangements inside. We plan on adding a small wood stove. For a toilet we may have a small side building with composted. And we may simply have a small portable toilet inside for a while and compost the waste in a hole. I have yet to fully decide on that. Another way is to add a regular toilet going to a buried 50 gallon drum with maybe one short leach line. If its for one person that won’t be much of a problem. A sink however and shower would flow into a grey water sand filter. Shower would probably be a tub on feet with a curtain all the way around it. Will collect rainwater for water source, not sure about how we will do the pumping yet. I may go primitive with hand pumps. Not sure how we will do hot water yet but I’m betting we will give solar a try and therefor use hot water when we have it. In a pinch we might have some elevated tank where we could pour hot water that was heated on a stove. For electrical I’m sure we will work on a combination system over time, and just put up with doing without or kicking on a good gas(propane) powered generator.

    Pahana Tribe

    I am state side so these suggestions may seem odd maybe not.

    A: Range and use of wireless

    I use a product called RALINK POWERLINK—p-64930.aspx?source=fghdac&gclid=CMX0pMfcu7ICFal7QgodMS8AZw

    This extends my signal strength to over 1,500 ft and works awesome. Not sure how it would compare to your dongle but blew mine away and I can use it on my Lap or PC only needs a USB port.

    B: Heat

    Research the rocket stove mass heater:


    Water Heating:

    Stove & Bed:

    The first is a simple camp stove but coated with cob or concrete it could be a versatile cooking stove easily.

    And the mass heater design is formed from cob, or could be concrete with a light mattress or well stuffed sleeping bad would be very cozy. The design was meant to be used as a sofa of sorts but can easily be used as a bed.

    Much more fuel efficient and no smoke (just steam and co2) out of the stack.


    If you cannot build a compost unit may I suggest asking if you could plumb a garden hose to their septic system? If so a upflush toilet or RV toilet with small 5-10 gallon tank and a macerating/pump would do fine for a one – two person addition.

    The maceration pump grinds the waste to fine particles that can be pumped through a garden hose and adapted to any sewer line inlet or clean-out cover (Snake clean-out for house)

    The upflush is quite expensive however a simple 5-10 gallon holding tank and standard RV type toilet and pump is not. And often can be upcycled from a old RV for sale or gutted for free and converted to a utility trailer for wood hauling :)

    Upflush :{keyword}&gclid=CIyQ1aXfu7ICFQjZQgodcwIAQQ


    I would look at both solar and vertical wind if you have a breezy area. Vertical wind generators charges at night when solar does not and requires very little wind to do so. A do it yourself version using a auto generator / alternator can also be a easy build with a few upcycled parts.

    All of these ideas, plans and pictures are free on my face book site and your more than welcome to browse and see what works for you (and in the UK)

    Hope I gave you one or two fairly good ideas :)

    My Face Book Page:

    Good Luck :) Mark


    How is your yurt dwelling going now? and can you provide us with pictures?



    If your going to use gas get the large propane bottle 40 something kg it works out the cheapest shop around for refill price.

    If you have a car or van it works as a generator, you can wire in a couple of large leisure battery’s so as you drive around they charge, also you can put solar panel on the car roof which will trickle charge these battery’s small wind generator can also be hooked up, but if they are running low you can run the engine to give them a charge.

    Your car or van does need to be used on the road it could just be a banger kept for the above purpose near your yurt as extra storage !

    You can get the battery’s wire in at a caravan repair workshop as this type of system is fitted to most motorhomes and horseboxes etc so is standard thing it can also have a 12 volt to 240 volt inverter added so you can run some mains equipment, charge your phone, laptop etc from the cigar lighter.

    So that’s a cheap way of having a mobile system, or you can do the above without the car and use a generator instead, the thing is to have as many deep cycle leisure battery’s as possible to hold any electric you produce however thats done.

    Whatever stove you get it must must have a back boiler you can retro fit these, so whenever you have a fire your making hot water, which you can never have to much of, a shower can be run from this stored hot water or a bath !

    Or you can buy stoves that have hot plates and a oven plus hot water tank built in, if you can find the right person they could build one from gas bottles,

    You can buy from screwfix thin silver insulation in rolls with is great for insulating your yurt with, has your yurt got insulating felt ? If not felt carpet underlay is good plus the above mention high tec stuff.

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