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Old 08-15-2013, 03:36 PM   #1306
Ratman
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Let it be a Challenge to you

I'm in your corner, NG. Not many will handle Fairbanks as well as you will, is my guess. I for one am looking for your winter report so that I'll understand better what the experience is like.

Thanks for taking on the winter experience.

Thank you for taking us along.
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:39 AM   #1307
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Decisions, decisions, decisions!
Follow your heart is a quote that pops into my head at the time, but my mind tells asks me, "Are you nuts?"
Theoretically the answer to my question would be a no brainer, but I am still debating.

The question would be, which house to stay in for the winter.
The house sitting gig for the winter months turned out to be more like a house renting gig, albeit very cheap.
I would be in it early october till mid May, and pay $350 a month plus electric and oil for the monitor stove, and water to fill up the 1000 gallon tank inside the house.
The pros for staying here would be:
Running water, inside toilet and shower being above the inversion line, so a lot warmer (by 20 degrees) a gorgeous view on clear days (nights?) and lots of space. The big plus is that I can put Spirit in the back entrance room and work on here there in a warm surrounding. I would also have a place to plug in my future car, have use of a snow machine if I can fix it, I will have a snowsuit to use that fits me perfectly (I won't have to buy one), and I can use her sewing machine! Of course it is fully furnished so I won't have to spend any money on that stuff.
This all sounds great, except that the heating costs for this place will initially be a lot, plus it takes a lot to keep it warm as it is a bigger place. There is no internet, and I would have to figure out a way to get some up there. The biggest bummer and the reason why I might say no, is that both of them smoke, in the house. I went there for dinner last night, and after two hours I had a sore throat and a headache even when they didn't smoke while I was there. My experience with cigarette smoke is that it is extremely hard to get rid off. He is also planning on parking both his motorcycle in the living room, and I hope he takes out the gas, otherwise I will have the gasoline smell permeating the house as well.
I'm wondering if I can leave all the doors and windows open for half a day, scrub all the walls and steam-wash the pieces of carpet that are oddly strewn about the place (or just roll them up and put them away while I am there)
I'm guessing my total cost per month staying there would be $600 a month.

Now the cabin is a lot smaller but boy, I love it!! It has a wonderful wood stove and monitor, everything inside is custom made and out of wood, there is a big loft with a mattress and a little table and desk up there too.
The kitchen comes with pots and pans etc. Everything I would need to live comfortably.
I could be totally content in the little cabin that wouldn't take much to heat at all as the walls are a foot wide and insulated.
It has a porch in the front with clear plastic corrugated roof. It has wifi too which is a big plus.
Now the drawbacks are, no running water, outhouse, in the inversion zone, (20 degrees colder) and the biggest one of all no place for Spirit.
The rent is also $350 plus oil for the monitor stove. There is a lot of wood on the property, trees that have been cut down years ago that I can probably chop up and use for the wood stove. I think electric is included but if not it won't be more than $30 or $40 a month. So I am looking at $400 a month in expenses, $465 if I rent a heated storage room for Spirit.
My other thought would be to see if I can close in the porch, he has a lot of wood lying around, and get one of those buddy stoves to heat up that area, and park Spirit there so I can turn on the stove and work on her there. Not much room though.

So yeah, you see my dilemma. Luckily I will have till early october to decide, so I'm letting it go.
It is starting to cool down now, and we had a full day of rain here yesterday. Net week will be in the low sixties already, so I can start acclimatizing.
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Old 08-16-2013, 12:24 PM   #1308
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Are they the only options?
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Old 08-16-2013, 12:51 PM   #1309
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Are they the only options?
So far, the rest of the cabins I looked at were either utterly disgusting or just way too expensive!
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:10 PM   #1310
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Ask yourself, where would you be most comfortable if you were sick.

Both are going to cost you $7-800 a month by the time you pay for everything. Personally I would go with running water and a shower. Are they both equal in access to work or requirement for a vehicle?

Looked at the temperatures for Fairbanks last winter and they were not that bad (at the airport). Only a couple of weeks of -30 or lower, but I think they had a warmer than normal winter last year.

It will drop below freezing all day beginning in mid October. To me there are 3 points where you really feel temperature changes as being more extreme. They are when it goes higher than your body temp, when it drops below the freezing point and at -30.
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Old 08-16-2013, 03:15 PM   #1311
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Ask yourself, where would you be most comfortable if you were sick.
That would be the cabin, because it is cosy and would make my spirit feel better even if my body didn't.
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Old 08-17-2013, 12:11 AM   #1312
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What's a plug in coolant heater??
Sounds like ya figured it out.
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Old 08-17-2013, 09:30 AM   #1313
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small and cozy

Small and cozy goes a long ways. The cabin will be much easier to heat and maintain. It will warm up faster after a day at work. The loft will be cozy and warm all night. Sounds like it is well insulated.

Keep a small pail handy for those mid night pee breaks, rather than braving the outside pit toilet in the dark cold night air.

If you decide on this cabin, you can close in the front porch. Spirit will not require warmth all winter. Wait until the first signs of spring, then start your maintinence. The days will be warmer by then.

Again, if you should decide to choose the cabin, I would start gathering your winter wood supply while it is dry outside. Damp wood will burn cooler and be smoky. Try to get a mixed wood supply, cured birch burns excellent, but even beter when mixed with dry cedar and larch. Poplar can be good if you have the right variety around there.

Cheers
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Old 08-17-2013, 09:34 AM   #1314
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I forgot..

Nothing wrong with a nice sponge bath in a warm cabin!!

What is the water source at the cabin? Is it drinkable/potable?
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:12 AM   #1315
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Sounds like ya figured it out.
yes i think you will have a great experience. You are resourceful and realistic. Snow, minus 30 temperatures with -60 windchills and the northern lights are something everyone should experience.Embrace it.

I also go along with the RevyRider, get your firewood up early and look for a porta potty for the bitter nights. Get the firewood covered and close to the house. Find a local Y or similar place that you can go have a shower at. Some hotels with pool and sauna facilities make them available publicly for a small fee. Make friends with a desk clerk or offer light work in trade for facility use.
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Old 08-17-2013, 11:37 PM   #1316
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Originally Posted by NomadGal View Post
Running water, inside toilet and shower being above the inversion line
I reckon the importance of these two little things will rise dramatically as winter goes on.
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:20 AM   #1317
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>"

Originally Posted by NomadGal
Running water, inside toilet and shower being above the inversion line


I reckon the importance of these two little things will rise dramatically as winter goes on. "

Agree on that.

Ever sit on an outhouse toilet in below-zero temperatures?
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:28 AM   #1318
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>"

Originally Posted by NomadGal
Running water, inside toilet and shower being above the inversion line


I reckon the importance of these two little things will rise dramatically as winter goes on. "

Agree on that.

Ever sit on an outhouse toilet in below-zero temperatures?
Haha, nope! I figured I'd find a chamberpot. or bedpan whatever they call it nowadays and use it inside. Then I'll just empty it in the outhouse
Now, of course if I could find a place with running water/toilet and a wood stove, that would be perfect! But I most places like that cost a heck of a lot more! I was planning on saving money for the trip, not spending it on luxuries
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:29 AM   #1319
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I'm in your corner, NG. Not many will handle Fairbanks as well as you will, is my guess. I for one am looking for your winter report so that I'll understand better what the experience is like.

Thanks for taking on the winter experience.

Thank you for taking us along.
Thanks for being in my corner
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:34 AM   #1320
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Originally Posted by RevyRider View Post
Small and cozy goes a long ways. The cabin will be much easier to heat and maintain. It will warm up faster after a day at work. The loft will be cozy and warm all night. Sounds like it is well insulated.

Keep a small pail handy for those mid night pee breaks, rather than braving the outside pit toilet in the dark cold night air.

If you decide on this cabin, you can close in the front porch. Spirit will not require warmth all winter. Wait until the first signs of spring, then start your maintinence. The days will be warmer by then.
Looks like you speak from experience.
I was hoping to head east at the first signs of spring, so if I wait till then I wouldn't be able to leave till way later seeing as it will probably take me a month to get Spirit fixed up the way I would like to.
I won't mind paying for a storage room with space to work on her if I can live somewhere cheaply. That way I can work on her a bit here and there, and make sure I do a good job. It will also give me plenty of time to order parts that might need replacing. Working on her might be like opening Pandora's box!
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