August 2, 2014 at 3:41 am #20885
It looks like I am going to be taking a job that will have me in remote locations in the North Dakota oil fields for extended periods of time. I will have access to a company provided trailer for lodging and generator with ample fuel. What I will not have is access to is hot water or a place to bathe, except for a trip to the nearest town every three days for a few hours to bathe, do laundry and buy supplies. During the winter the conditions are inhospitable to say the least. I have had the conditions described to me as advanced camping.
I have heard that the company trailers are older than dirt, not well maintained and infested with field mice. So I am considering buying an enclosed cargo trailer 12′ to 14′ long and insulating it and turning it into a place to live in. I could easily build a small shower into it, but the issue of hot water arises. -40 degrees F is cold enough without adding the chill factor of a cold shower.
I have a few ideas to build a small solar heater for water, but will it work in temperatures that cold? Or should I just opt for an electric (110 volt) heater? Any suggestions on what to use or how to build an electric or solar heater? I plan on using a 55 gallon food grade plastic barrel as a water supply with a small electric pump to move the water to a shower head.
One other thing I have thought of is a solar panel or two to charge batteries and an inverter for 110 volt power to run everything so I do not need to be tethered to a generator.
The last item would be any ideas for washing clothes in a primitive setting. I have thought of a bucket with a small hole in the lid and a toilet plunger to agitate the clothes. Any other ideas or experiences with this?
If done properly I believe this would make an excellent bug out or camping trailer. Any suggestions or experiences doing something like this would be appreciated. Thanks.August 2, 2014 at 7:14 am #20892
opt for an electric (110 volt) water heater!August 2, 2014 at 2:00 pm #20897
you might look at a small wind generator, it can be directly connected to a resistance heater. it would be able to warm the trailer and heat your water.August 3, 2014 at 1:13 am #20924
Are you going to have access to LP for heat and cooking? In that climate you’ll have to haul your own water as hookups would freeze. A honda or yamaha 1 or 2kw generator would be nice or roof mounted solar panels, batteries etc. Can you run a drop cord to the company generator? I would take sponge baths and the bucket washing machine would work with another bucket for rinsing. If you had a shower, the waste water would have to drain outside and shortly you would have a huge pile of ice.
PhilAugust 3, 2014 at 2:34 am #20929
No open flames of any kind are allowed on site. Everything would have to be electric. If I take a 10′ ax 6′ cargo trailer and convert it into a place for me to live I could easily mount solar panels on it and set up a bank of batteries and an inverter. I could supplement this with a generator or even a small gas motor driving an alternator to help keep the batteries charged when there is not enough sunlight.
I have been surfing the web for ideas and have seen some pretty good ones, but none of them allow for bath facilities when it is cold outside. When I was in the National Guard unscented baby wipes were the staple with showers whenever we could get one or even a bar of soap and a wood pallet to stand on during a rain storm if there were no females in your unit. FYI – rain water is always really really cold, but it gets you clean.
I was thinking a small 110v water heater for hot water. I could build a small spot where I could stand to wash and rinse easily enough. The water would have to be drained away from the trailer or ice would be an issue.
Not sure if we are allowed to tap into the company generator for power. I am leaning towards independence via solar power and a small generator of my own.
Even if I do not go I may build this just for me and the wife to get away ever now and then.
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