Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Art Shack Micro House Update

 The winter here has not been nearly as cold as it could be. We have only had a dusting of snow a couple of times and a couple of very magical frosts. I think I can speak for all of us at the Homestead when I say that we are not sad to have missed carrying buckets of water to the livestock on skating rink quality ice. We've had our fair share of frozen rain the last few of winters.

The mild winter (easier to work in) and the fact that we have stayed at the Art Shack ourselves several times, have culminated in a lot of additions to the coziness of said Micro House.

 We have settled on a combination of furniture that functions well in such a tiny space, like the "gate leg" table that will fold to a skinny 8" against the wall if more space is needed. The foot stool/ottoman opens to hold games and toys for our littlest visitors. It also doubles as a chair at the table.
So does the "slightly shorter than twin bed size couch" we made from two Ikea cabinets with a foam pad on top.

 Another luxury that just can't be beat is HEAT. I am very happy with this wall mount propane heater. It was very inexpensive and heats the place in no time flat. I will say that I think it would be better if it had a thermostat to turn it on and off but I was going for off the grid (no electricity) style heat and this was very affordable and easy to use. A wood stove would have taken up far too much floor space in an 8'x12' room. Since you must keep a wood stove away from walls it would have practically been in the center of the room.

I also installed a co2 detector in both the Art Shack and Oasis trailer. A very important thing to do when you are heating with gas.

I concocted this crazy mess of hoses to create an outdoor shower, which is a huge hit with everyone. It's so magical to be taking a steamy hot shower in the outdoors. Usually under the stars.


I also gave the dogs a bath with it after another skunk episode.

The shower floor is an old wood pallet that I put these modular cedar squares on top of. Someone gave these to me so I don't know where they came from, but I have seen them for sale before.

Another nicety that I am very happy to have is a way to do dishes with hot running water.

I set up an old laundry sink at the back of the outdoor shower and now we can use the same shower head and hot water heater to do the dishes.  It doesn't seem like such a big deal until your there with a pile of greasy dishes and it's about to rain, voila! Fast, hot, soapy water.

I cannot say enough about how much I love these little water heaters.

 We have two outdoor showers run by these and they are fantastic. I payed $115 for each (they came with their own propane regulator and hose, most don't.) They have been real work horses and shockingly efficient.
 I will say that you have to turn the water volume down quite a bit if the in-coming water temperature is below 55F. So it is a balancing act to get enough hot water for a shower when it is 45F or lower outside. But hey, it's the best "camping" I've ever had!

 WARNING: If you are an Oasis travel trailer purest, this might offend you.

 The least "off the grid" and, admittedly, nicest to have addition to the Oasis trailer has been this little electric fridge.

I cut the center post out of the closet and intercepted the hardwired 110 electric heater thermostat, that was original to the trailer, to make a plug-in for it. I had to settle for this refrigerator because propane versions started at $600, used. No thanks.
I did put in a 2x4 header on the top of the closet  frame just in case the center post was load bearing.
I lined the interior of the closet with cedar fence boards that I planed. I used Liquid Nails to put them in.
 The biggest roof leak in the Oasis was right over this closet, so it was in very sad shape to start with.

Entertainment cannot be overlooked and  I found myself at an odd little Humane Society thrift store last summer where I picked up this old "tube" radio/record player. It has been so fun to put on a ZZ Top or Credence album and sit on the porch drinking coffee.

Although digital music is very handy, I have to say, there is a certain sound quality of the vinyl that just can't be beat.

At the same shop I also bought this freaky thing. I don't know why, I just had to. Maybe to keep me warm next winter.


  1. haha..loooks amazing! Very compact but it has everything you need..be careful if you are planning on leaving the water heater outside..I have had a pipe burst on a version of those..not fun (but then again mine was inside)

    Looks like the essence of comfort!

  2. Wow! It all seems so well put together and thought out!


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