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Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 3 Oct 2020 15:33 - Edited by: Nobadays
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Woodshed is full (~5 cord spruce, plus another of Aspen stacked outside for fall burning), diesel heater in the greenhouse to extend the season, greenhouse insulated, lean-to built on the shop/woodshed to keep the snow off the Geo Tracker, Geo Tracker in town getting tracks mounted, winter solar array mount rebuilt/panels re-mounted and wired back in (so the snow coming off the roof doesn't hit them), and new 6" stove pipe installed.

Left to do... plumb in the 55 gallon barrel we put in the loft to provide water to fill the toilet, put the winter faucet back over the kitchen sink/hook that pipe up to the 50 gallon potable water tank in the loft, and build a sled specifically for hauling a 55 gallon barrel of water. Inspect the insulation on the water pipes under the cabin... going g to use our main water system until it becomes more of a hassle than a benefit (water pump is in an insulated box attached to the cistern shed but when it starts getting consistently in the terns and twenties it freezes... may try a heat tape but not sure the solar will support that kind of continuous load.)

We have an insulator coming Tuesday to spray foam under the floors. Looking forward to warm feet this winter!

How are you preparing for winter?

Edit... turned pics
Tracker garage
Tracker garage
Woodshed full
Woodshed full
New solar mount
New solar mount
Behind drip line
Behind drip line


Brettny
Member
# Posted: 3 Oct 2020 20:16
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Geo tracker on tracks!? Please post pics of that. I love odd snow vehicles.

A wood shed that nice has to be an amazing thing. I have lived here 9yrs and I'm still useing tarps... it we dont get the snow you get if your putting tracks on a vehicle.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 3 Oct 2020 21:25
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Yeah I want to see that Geo too. You place looks great.

Tested my shop roof by hosing it down while pumping my well yesterday. No leaks, except one gutter seam. Tried a chain drain from roof to ground, that didn't fly. Got rid of 4 more 20' PVC sticks by running drain lines from shop to creek. Dug one trench by hand to keep the mess down, took 4 ibuprofen, went to bed in pain, got up and dug the other with the backhoe. Hydraulics are great dirt movers.

I don't need to worry about freezing or snow, just rain and mud. I have a large pile of road base I still need to spread.
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FishHog
Member
# Posted: 4 Oct 2020 09:24
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I too am excited to see the tracker in action

Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 4 Oct 2020 09:31
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Brett... depends on the year, 10 feet the year before last, only 7 feet last year, usually no more than 3-5 feet on the ground, but always enough we can't drive to the cabin. We are a mile up off a plowed road. We snowshoed in and out dragging pulk sleds the first year... got a snowmobile last year, but being one armed steering that machine really tore up my arm. The inflammation comes and goes but my arm hasn't been pain free since last winter. Figure I need to try to save it some strain, I'm just 65 so hope I've got some more good years left, hence tracks on the Tracker! Surprisingly not horribly expensive, $6,000 for the whole kit... adapters and Camso tracks. I'm having them installed mainly because there is welding involved... attaching brackets for the anti-rotation arms onto the frame. I can weld but not laying on my back under a rig... never was good at vertical or overhead welding. The company says removing/installing after initial installation only takes about an hour.

BTW.... keeping the snowmobile for now, it's a great machine, fun to ride and my wife wants to try to get comfortable riding/driving it this winter. Last year was the first time in her life ever riding a snowmobile... driving or just riding, scared the crap out her for awhile, not sure why as we never stuck, tipped it or drive very fast.... with her on it!

Paul/ Brett I will definitely post some pics of "baby with her new shoes!"

Aklogcabin
Member
# Posted: 4 Oct 2020 10:40
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Looks great man ! I’m glad I left the Christmas lights up. We call them happy lights here. I’ve been turning them on for a while now. I think we just stay ready for winter. 2 sets of tires studded or non.
I’ve got enough wood for half the winter for my garage n lots of dead standing spruce at the cabin. I enjoy cutting wood in the winter. More work but feels good.
On your snogo. I’ve been riding a long time. I still get sore. I adjusted the throttle control a bit by loosening a couple screws on bottom n rolling it up. So it fits more into the palm of my hand. On riding a snogo I tell folks to ride them like you ride a horse. Just sit in the middle n relax. It will stay upright n keep going. Just stay on.
I’ve got 7 snogos to service yet. And a half dozen freight sleds to go over or modify, again. Going to sell my 1959 Snowtrac I have. Coolest snow rig ever made.
I have the pump for my snowplow I my shop for a much needed rebuild. I’ve been using my backup but it needs a rebuild also. Plow truck needs a new heater blower motor. It’s a 76 F-250 highboy.
Building new rabbit cages to fit into the new greenhouse I built for my beautiful wife. We use the greenhouse for our rabbitry in the winter to shelter them.
And there is the hundred pounds of moose to grind into burger today. We did up a hundred or os pounds of sausage last Tuesday .
And I have to play with my grandson of course. He has an Arctic Cat 120cc snogo. He just turned 4 last week. When he got it last year he jumps up on it , checks it out. Opens the hood n says. Nice engine !
I enjoy the winter months.

Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 4 Oct 2020 13:56
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Aklogcabin... yeah I actually rolled the throttle down so I can hook it with my thump and have my palm/4 fingers to wrap around the grip. That worked pretty well. Right turns aren't to hard but left turns, pushing away became harder as my arm wore out. Being one armed I'm pretty strong in that arm, but I wear out quicker than two armed people.... hey two armed people are like super heroes, they amaze me with what they can do!

Sounds like a lot of winter prep still to do... having a snow machine that starand runs well is worth the he effort in the fall come winter. Some friends last winter were forever fighting to start or keep their machines running... yuk! Hey that 1959 Snowtrac is an awesome looking machine!

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 4 Oct 2020 18:09
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The closest I have come to snow driving to the extreme your at is I had a 86 4 runner with 37in tires and bead locks. In 2ft of snow and 15psi they would just dig a hole when it found soft snow. Then I lowered the psi to 3psi and crawled right out of the hole I dug. I can tell you that a large contact patch even with a tire can really make a huge difference.

Are you getting a locker in the rear of the geo? That may really help too. I could imagine that if/when a tracked vehicle gets stuck it's really really stuck.

Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 4 Oct 2020 19:51
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No locker but maybe some day. I have a receiver winch on the front and am going to run cables with a quick connect to the back. I have been warned already that if I get the Tracker stuck it will be there till spring! A winch on the back is a necessity!
That said we do have a neighbor with a good sized snowcat who could likely pull us out.

Our road to the cabin rises 500' in a mile, mostly gentle rise but there are two short but sterp hills in there... not too steep a 2wd car can make it but most wouldn't do it regularly! I talked to a guy over near Montrose that has a Tracker on tracks, he said it will go great just about anywhere but steep hills with loose snow. We will have it at the top so we will be packing track coming down.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 5 Oct 2020 06:48
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I can see how keeping a packed track may be pretty important with 5ft+ snow. Do you plan on driving up and down your driveway in the snow? Packed trails tend to stay icy for longer after the snow melts on the surrounding areas.

Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 5 Oct 2020 09:06
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Yeah, no other choice but the road in. There is an advantage to it being packed down and hard.... we had about a 10-12' wide trail packed down last winter with the snowmobile. The open spots where the sun gets to the road were the first places to melt off, in March last year - very early for us - but the when the gaps got too big between snow for the snowmobile I gave it a try with the pickup. As long as I stayed on the packed trail I could drive right up to the cabin. Get off to the side with a wheel and you better be ready to floor it and hope you could get back on the hard pack. I didn't have any trouble... a neighbor got hopelessly stuck... had to dig out... and made a mess of my road. Regardless I will be on tracks and can run on snow or dirt/rock until I can drive up. The plastic skis and scags take a beating on the rocks so I hate to ride the snowmobile across open patches.

Here's a picture from yesterday morning... fall has fell!
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rachelsdad
Member
# Posted: 5 Oct 2020 16:25 - Edited by: rachelsdad
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How are you preparing for winter?

I did a dry run for my place as I'm not quite ready to say goodbye for the season.

Looked at the valve which sits at the lowest point of all my pex plumbing. This has been the extent of my draining for winter routine.

Placed 2 gallons of -50 F anti freeze next to toilet and vanity. Placed another gallon next to kitchen sink. Will pour in when I leave for last time in November.

Now the tricky part. For the past few years I've had to lug 8 100 lb batteries to the dock, on to the boat, across the lake off the boat onto the dock, hump to truck, drive home, unload batteries, bring inside move stiffly for three weeks.




This year I planned it to the minutest detail. Walk over to Charge Controller/Inverter. Switch Charge Controller and Inverter off.

Love Lithium...my back thanks Creeky
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Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 5 Oct 2020 20:12
Reply 


Gotta love lithium!

Remember to leave them at about 80%... that's it! We have a 48v system so when we leave in the winter we shut everything off and leave the modules at about 46v, that gives us nearly 2 days of power and we can warm the modules back up in 8-12 hours depending upon how cold they are.

Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 14 Oct 2020 14:08
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Winter prep is nearly complete. Still waiting for the spray foam guy.... supposed to have been here a week ago Tuesday, then today, got a call last night and now it's going to be Saturday. In his defense he had a pump go out on his foam rig and by the time he got parts and it repaired, the jobs just piled up on him... he assured me this Saturday he will be here.

The Geo Tracker is still at the shop, I'll call today as I think it should be done. I talked to him last Thursday and he hoped to get it back on the lift Friday.... I know him too well... I figure it might be getting finished up today.

I did get a heat tape to put on the water hoses/pipes in the pump shed. It's 84 watts so a pretty good draw but it has an internal thermostat and should only kick on when it is really needed. We will tape it to the lines as directed, and to the small accumulator tank and then across the pump head. After that it says to wrap everything with fiberglass insulation. Hope it will extend our ability to use the main water system. I do need to get under the cabin and inspect/repair any loose insulation on the water pipes and drain valves... which I know are not wrapped.

Still have one pretty big standing dead Douglas fir tree on the edge of the road below the cabin. I am kind of done with gathering firewood but my wife wants to get that tree... been dead maybe 3 years so should make great firewood. We mostly have Aspen, spruce and white fir, a dead Doug fir is a bonus.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 15 Oct 2020 08:22
Reply 


They are going to spray foam in the cold like you have seen?

Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 15 Oct 2020 09:32
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We have seen a couple of days in the low 20's but for the most part... and through this week it is/will be mid to upper 30's at night and mid to upper 60's day time. Really nice weather!

Oh, the Tracker is supposed to be done Friday... man I hope so! We are headed back to AZ on Sunday, gotta take the RV home... it froze up last year before we got it back to AZ and cracked a grey water cross over line that is too flat to drain completely. Need to check on that house and winterize the irrigation system/outside faucets. Not really much winterizing there... got to turn on the hot water heater, it's in it's own little closet that opens to the outside of the house. Leaving it on keeps that plumbing warm. Our coldest winter temperatures there seldom get into the 20's and even more RARELY get into the teens. Never more than a few days and it warms back up. Those temperature dips though can do damage if you are not prepared.

Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 15 Oct 2020 14:37 - Edited by: Nobadays
Reply 


The big fir is down! I'll buck and split it this afternoon. Had some rot in the end... and ended up being a white fir but hey, good and dry and will help keep us warm this winter!
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skootamattaschmidty
Member
# Posted: 16 Oct 2020 17:46
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We've been at the cabin since last wednesday and celebrated Canadian Thanksgiviving up here! I had lots of help with my wife, sister, son and daughter and we got lots of trees down, split and stacked for next year! We got a ton of brush burned up too and the laneway area looks so much better. I could work for months on my property and you still could be busy...but not work in my mind..just fun!!! We are heading home tomorrow and will pull our pump, blow out the lines and the usual winterizing! Although Covid made things different up here, it was still amazing and at the end of the day, less work for my wife and I as we usually have 14 people or more up here at Thanksgiving....love this time of year!!

Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 16 Oct 2020 19:06
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Skoot... sounds like a good time! Always nice having firewood stacked ready to burn... money in the bank!

Fanman
Member
# Posted: 19 Oct 2020 18:11
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Got our winter prep done this past weekend... drained the pipes, moved the seasoned firewood from the shed to the winter rack under the overhang by the back door, and started splitting and stacking next year's wood. On the next trip I gotta bring in some more coal before the road is closed for the winter at which point we have to hike in.

Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 19 Oct 2020 21:44
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Fanman... nice! We haven't drained yet, hopefully we can keep the main water system up and running into December... hopefully. We too moved wood from one of our outside piles onto the porch. We plan to burn Aspen until it gets cold and then open the woodshed and bring out the spruce.

We just arrived today back at our... well primary? residence... in AZ. Gotta winterize this house before heading back to CO for the winter. We are at 5,000' here in AZ so it gets cold and snowy here too. The irrigation system needs drained, gotta leave the water heater on for the winter and leave the heat pump on warm enough to keep things from freezing up here.

We are only here in AZ for week as it's supposed to get cold next week, maybe single digits in CO. Hopefully our insulation guy shows up this week up there... been put off three times, he assures me Wednesday, neighbor going to look after things for us.

Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 27 Oct 2020 12:14
Reply 


Well what a difference a couple weeks make! The above picture taken the 4th of October... the one below this morning, at 10*F !! Supposed to warm in the mid 40's and mid 20's in a day or two once the front finally pushes through.

Our Geo Tracker is finished finally... will meet the mechanic about half way to town tomorrow... he will bring it out on his flat bed tow truck... want to keep it on snow, or at least mostly snow on the way back up to the cabin. They are 4 season tracks but from what I hear the less you run them on gravel or rock ( there has never to my knowledge been gravel spread on our road!) The longer they will last.
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gcrank1
Member
# Posted: 27 Oct 2020 19:40
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That is looking waayyy too much like winter for only Oct. 4!
I just dumped our only utility water, a 30gal plastic 'pickle barrel', took inside a load of kindling, some bigger starter pieces and a few chunks for the old 'sorta airtight'. The non-vented propane wall 18k heater is the first light up to start the warming process whilst I gets that fire goin. Once the 380ish sq ft is warmed up the wall heater is shut off.
For now the old inside ss drinking water jug is ok, but once it starts to freeze a tough top layer it gets dumped too. Then we will have to take up the old Coleman 2.5 gal cooler jug for a weekend and some jugs of utility water.
The gravity pit facility needs nothing but some stove ash tossed on after a use.
I do keep my eye on the soc of the bat-bank to keep it on the top end.
All things considered, since '83-84 with our simple life, off-grid, dry cabins the simple tech requiring little to none of winterizing has been a treat from everyday 'normal' life.

Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 27 Oct 2020 20:17
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Gcrank1... that picture is from today, the 27th of October.... a few posts above is another picture taken on the 4th.

We are going to try to use our main water system as long as possible. We put a heat tape on the lines running to and from the 12v pressure pump, in an insulated box on the side of the cistern building.... we have 2200watts of solar yo help run the power for the heat tape. When winter really sets in we use a 50 gallon fresh water tank in the loft and are just plumbing in a 55 gallon barrel in the loft to provide toilet flushing water. We don't live year round at the cabin but.... almost. We won't leave until sometime in February... but come back periodically until April/May when we can drive up again.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 27 Oct 2020 20:43
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Nobs, why do you winter at the cabin? Too easy in Az?

Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 27 Oct 2020 21:04
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I guess we just like winter up here. Our community has about 80 homes... certainly not all people up here at one time but so quiet in the winter. Only about 3 cabins have people that stay in the winter. A few folks come up once in awhile but it's rare. Really quiet, wildlife, snow, blue skies and fresh air, what's not to love!

Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 27 Oct 2020 21:07
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Oh... finally got the floors insulated, 3-4" of closed cell foam sprayed on. The floors, and cabin are noticeably warmer! Should make for a nice winter!

gcrank1
Member
# Posted: 27 Oct 2020 21:11
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Ah, winter....it is lovely at a north country cabin. We will be using ours until the snow berm out front from the road plow keeps us from entry. Maybe I can get a neighbor to bust some of the 300+ feet of driveway open enough to get us safely in off the town road.
I love the feel of the wood heat, not so much the work involved. Also found out our homeowners ins. wont allow the wood stove if we want the cabin insured so we may be looking at a propane furnace at some point. Thus far we are 'self insured' on the cabin potential for loss.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 28 Oct 2020 10:56
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Quoting: Nobadays
I guess we just like winter up here.


Bucking the Snowbird MO, that's great. I've never spent more than a week living in snow, but I know people grouse about it.

I will be cutting back from 4-5 days a week at the cabin to 2-3 once the rains, and mud, show up. I do enjoy the fresh air, quietness, lack of people in the winter but cabin fever sets in quicker, and were only a half hour from easy street.

Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 28 Oct 2020 13:53
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Most people who grouse about snow either aren't prepared for it, they have work/places to go to at certain times, or have to work out in it all day... usually a combination of all the above. Us.... not so much! I guess knowing that we have another home we can escape to if things get too tough is another help. That said we are 9 hours from our other home and it could be snowy there anyway. Of course there is a thermostat on the wall, and the pipes have never frozen there. But cut me some slack... the garage door opener quit working when we were there last... tough conditions!

Almost re-thought the whole living in the mountains this morning when the water system wouldn't work. It was "wanky" last night, working then stopping then working again. We had just put a new Shurflo pump on a couple of months back so was afraid we were freezing up even with heat tape. Started tracing the problem this morning.... in 20 degree temps... read cold hand.... figured out no ice anywhere, 12v where 12v should be so hooked my spare pump up and it worked. So pulled the wire connectors off the new pump, one was slightly burned.... hmmm. Took the pressure switch off the new pump and exchanged it with the one on the spare pump... bam! We have water. Replaced the burned spade connector and re-wrapped the insulation around the plumbing and replaced all the loose fiberglass insulation we stuff in the pump box. Got the pressure switch on the bench and ran continuity tests on it. Weird but it seems to be intermittent. The spade connectors look good, not loose or burned, a little discoloration on the one that the burned connector came off of. So my conclusion is the contacts inside the switch are burned preventing them from making contact.... at times, so must be a buildup on them.

Yes.... my water system is tight, the pump does not cycle unless we run water. We have the pressure turned nearly all the way up so it doesn't "low pressure cycle." Our last pump/switch lasted at least two years. I can't figure why this failed so quickly. I do admit I bought the $65.00 pump off Amazon.... maybe a cheap faux Shurflo from the big country in Asia?

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