Going Off-Grid In East Texas

Living off-grid means being independent from the utility company – you generate your own electricity with solar panels and store it in batteries. It’s a big upfront investment, but it pays for itself quickly and then some. Plus, there’s nothing like the feeling of being completely self-sufficient!

We’ve been dreaming of going off-grid for years and have finally pulled the plug. Well, at least we’ve started the process.

Our homestead has been on a water well since the beginning, but today we start the journey of going off-grid for our energy.

Join us as we start this video series by going off-grid with solar panels and batteries. In this video series, we’re going to show you how you can turn your homestead into an energy-independent homestead.

In this series, we’re going to cover all these off-grid solar topics:

  • Selecting The Right Location
  • Building A Solar Ground Mount
  • Off-grid Solar System Basics
  • Components of an Off-grid Solar System
  • Sizing an Off-grid Solar System
  • Adding Batteries To Your Solar Panels
  • Cost of Going Off-grid with Solar
  • Benefits of Going Off-grid with Solar
  • Tips for Going Off-grid with Solar
  • And More…

We hope you enjoy this series, and it encourages you to take the steps to energy independence.

#offgridsolar #offgridsolarsystem

Do you need a mr heater fuel filter

Do I Need A Propane Fuel Filter?

In the video below, I’m going to address why you need a fuel filter for a Mr. Heater Big Buddy or any other Buddy heater.

Instead of giving you my opinion on when and why you need a propane fuel filter, I’m going to tell you what the manufacturer says. I’ll be pulling the info from their website.

Shop Mr. Heater Products

What does a Mr. Heater fuel filter do?

The Mr. Heater fuel filter (part number F273699) is essentially an oil trap. Oily particulates are squeezed from the rubber of some hoses by the high pressure coming out of the propane bottle and can get pulled along with the flow of propane. These contaminants cand be deposited in the lines in the Mr. Heater Buddy heater, blocking any fuel flow. The propane fuel filter, by being hollow, causes these particulates to stick inside it, thereby filtering the fuel.

Why do I need a Mr. Heater fuel filter with my Buddy heater?

In most propane appliance situations, there is a regulator located at the tank, followed by a supply line. In that situation, what passes through the hose after the regulator is low-pressure gas. Low-pressure propane is harmless to rubber. The buddy system has the regulator located at the heater.

In this setup, you cannot have a regulator at the propane tank due to over-regulating the gas supply. This makes the gas that passes through the hose to get to the buddy system high pressure. High-pressure gas squeezes rubber as it passes through it, and can occasionally pull some of the oils and plasticizers from the hose during these periods of high pressure.

Those contaminates will travel with the flow of propane and land somewhere inside the heater, slowly building up over time and causing gas flow problems once the buildup becomes large enough. The 10′ buddy hose does not contain any plasticizers or oily contaminates that will leach out of the hose during high-pressure propane flow.

That is why that hose does not need a filter. All of the other hoses for the buddy system will need a filter because they will contain oils and plasticizers.

How often should I replace my Mr. Heater fuel filter for a Buddy heater?

Mr. Heater recommends starting the heating season with a new propane fuel filter and disposing of it at the end of the season. Using one longer can cause the filter to fill up with the particulates. Once the filter is filled, the particulates will pass through and begin building up in the heater.

Why do some hoses need a filter and some do not?
When shooting this video, Mr. Heater made three hose models that do not require a filter:

• F273704, which is made from a different chemical compound of rubber that does not have the oily substance that can get into the fuel flow.

• F271802 that attaches to a low-pressure line

• F271803 which is a regulated hose.

Since the F271802 & F271803 only see low-pressure propane, the oily substances are not squeezed from the hose material.

In Conclusion

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. If you make a purchase on Amazon within 24 hours of clicking on an affiliate link, I will receive credit for the purchase. Thanks for your support.

Homeschooled child Kidnapped by the State of Texas

Generally speaking, I’m a “y’all can go to ____ but I’m going to Texas” kind of guy, but the State I love has gone on a power trip that can’t be tolerated.

One of the reasons we live in the Lone Star State is freedom. Texas has long respected the rights of the individual and the family. However, as I type these words, I do so in fear that it may put my children at risk.

In June of this year, a homeschool family, about an hour from where we live in East Texas, had their 4-year old son forcibly removed from their home.

Watch this video

What was their crime?

They took the autistic child (Drake) to the hospital, and someone there didn’t’ like them. That’s the short answer.

After extensive issues surrounding their child’s eating difficulties, the family was advised to request a feeding tube. They did so and an unrelated Dr. at the hospital called CPS.

The next day, CPS agents left a business card at the Texas family’s home. However, when calling the number, there was no direction given.

Two weeks later, they showed up again with guns and took the child with the threat of violence.

For over nine weeks, the child has been in the State’s “care.”

To make the matter worse, the tyrannical State has put a gag order on the parents. They have been threatened with imprisonment if they speak out on what is happening.

There is so much more to this story, so I will put links to articles and podcasts you can check out.

But what can you do?

Fortunately, Texas Governor Greg Abbott is in a position of authority to help bring Drake home.

Please email Governor Abbott now and urge him to do everything within his power to see Drake is freed and immediately returned to his parents.

Also, write an article and share this on social media with the hashtag #bringdrakehome.

You would expect this to happen in Europe, but this is Texas for crying out loud. Let’s put an end to it and bring Drake home.

What’s the best LED lantern for kids and all around emergency lantern? In this video, I show how our kids have been using the best LED flashlight lantern for the price.

Along with the battery operated lanterns, they use our PowerX AA/AAA battery charger daily. Check out the LED Lanterns on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2RIYUYI

**** Item List and Resources ****

Etekcity 4 Pack Portable LED Camping Lantern on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2RIYUYI

Battery Charger for AA / AAA NiMH / NiCD https://amzn.to/2Fexqc8

AmazonBasics AA Rechargeable Batteries https://amzn.to/2Da9hAQ

Can I Unload a 20ft Trailer In One Load

November 6, 2018

Weekend Projects…

This past weekend, on the East Texas Homestead, we spent most of our time with odds and ends. There was no big homesteading project to cover.

That doesn’t mean there wasn’t plenty to do. Luckily, the weather in East Texas was absolutely gorgeous so it was nice to be outside.

I did a good amount of pressure washing and cleaning up the boy’s toys in the yard. We’ve also got this blow-up pirate ship pool that needed to be put away.

The previous weekend, we cut down a Bradford Pear tree at my in-law’s house. It needed to be unloaded and tossed into the woods.

As a side note, some may wonder why we would bring the dead tree back to our homestead as opposed to taking it to the landfill. The tree will eventually decompose and turn into soil which is good for our land. In the meantime, it provides a great habitat for animals living on our property.

Back to the story. I could have unloaded it by hand or rigged up some sort of chain or rope to pull it off. However, I’ve got this John Deere 4044m and grapple, as seen in a previous video.

How many trips with the tractor do you think it takes to unload a 20 foot Big Tex trailer?

You will have to watch the video to find out, but it sure beats unloading it by hand.

Aside from going to the state park with the family, which was awesome, that was pretty much the entire weekend. If you like seeing our adventures and projects on our East Texas Homestead, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and click the bell notification icon so you don’t miss anything.

This video is a remake of my original review of the Mr. Heater Big Buddy with 20 lb propane tank configuration. As the name suggests I’m going to discuss how to connect a Big Buddy heater to a large 20-pound tank using the Big Buddy Heater Hose and a Mr. Heater filter.

how long will a big buddy heater run on a 20 lb tank

Also, I’m going to answer a question I get all the time which is: “how long will a big buddy heater run on a 20 lb tank.” Not only that, but I’ll dig into the number behind how much propane the Mr. Heater Big Buddy uses on low, medium, and high as well as how long each setting will burn with both 1 and 20 lb tanks.

I think every homestead should have at least one source of backup heat in the winter. A good propane space heater is hard to beat. And in my opinion, the best propane heater for the money is the Mr. Heater Big Buddy (Mr. Heater MH18B).

If you aren’t already prepared for the winter and need to be sure you can keep your family warm, check out all the great Mr. Heater products as well as a few other brands on Amazon with the link below.

Shop Mr. Heater on Amazon.

Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

10 Reasons We Homeschool

July 21, 2017

Homeschooling on the Homestead Collaboration

Hey Y’all, we were asked by The Texas Boys to join their collaboration on why we homeschool and why homeschooling is good / right for our family.

Check out the full homeschooling playlist here to see why The Texas Boys and other homesteaders homeschool their kids.

There are so many reasons we chose to homeschool our kids but we’ve narrowed it down to the 15 reasons below. Our reason for homeschooling our kids is pretty universal. However, most of our five methods only apply for young children.

We hope you enjoy the video and would love to hear what you think.

10 Reasons We Homeschool:

  1. Desks: How long can you sit still?!
  2. Non-stop investigations and creative play
  3. Flexibility with our days and learning environment
  4. Biblical based teaching/learning
  5. Character building
  6. No set curriculum
  7. individualized learning
  8. Sleep
  9. No test pressure
  10. Allergy safety environment

5 Ways We Homeschool Our Kids:

  1. Being with our kids every day, we are able to teach our kids organically through everyday life situations.
  2. Internet resources
    1. ABC Mouse
    2. Right Now Media
    3. Starfall
    4. YouTube Kids
  3. Bible: teaches history, life lessons, character, cause and effect, physics
  4. Jenn’s head: experienced teaching, arts and crafts, spontaneous teaching lessons and opportunities
  5. Books

5 Bonus Reasons We Homeschool

  1. Minimize exposure to inappropriate content.
  2. Teach them to learn, not just regurgitate random facts to pass a test.
  3. Give them better social exposure.
  4. Teaching them what we believe and not having them forced to learn evolution or facts we don’t agree with that the government school system is forcing kids to learn and know.
  5. The Permaculture Prime Directive

Nature’s Little Squeeze Pouch Review

June 25, 2017

Have You Considered Reusable Baby Food Pouches?

Hey, Y’all, today I’m going to show you one of my new favorite baby food items. It’s the WeeSprout Double Zipper Reusable Food Pouch. Specifically, I’m going to be reviewing the 3.4 fl oz version.

I’ve been using these reusable baby food pouches for a few weeks now and absolutely love them. I’ve used them every day and they make life so much easier.

We use the squeeze pouches for both homemade baby food and store-bought baby food. As long as it can be sucked through the small opening it can be used.

Image of Nature’s Little Squeeze PouchesHow Big is The Nature’s Little Squeeze Pouch?

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June 20, 2017

How Secure Is A Master Lock Padlock?

If you’re using a padlock to secure anything of value, please reconsider. I’ve always considered a Master Lock padlock to be relatively secure but this changed the way I look at them forever.

I realize that they can be picked pretty easily, but the average crook probably doesn’t have great lock picking skills. What I wasn’t prepared for is how quickly they can be cut with an angle grinder.

I Lost The Padlock Key

After losing the key to a padlock that was “securing” a 20-foot BigTex trailer, I had two options: Either bust out some old lock picking skills or try to grind the padlock off.

Once I gave up on the lockpicking endeavor, I pulled out my $60 angle grinder. To my surprise, it took less than 30 seconds to remove the padlock.

To give you a little more perspective, I was cutting it with my left hand while filming with my right (dominant) hand. With a little practice, I could probably get it down to 10 seconds flat.

What’s The Best Way To Secure A Trailer?

All of this to say, If you are using a padlock to secure anything of value, please look for a better alternative. What is that better locking alternative? I’m really not sure.

Let me know in the comments section what your favorite way to secure a trailer is.

Want to see more videos like the one above?

Check out the East Texas Homestead YouTube channel and subscribe for instant alerts.

We Are Home From The Hospital!

June 15, 2017

The Hospital? What?

If you saw our last video (Poor Little Dude), you know that our middle child (we call him Dude) was hospitalized due to pneumonia which aggravated his asthma. The bad news is that we do this once or twice every year. The good news is that we are now home and he is doing much better and breathing well.

Those of you with asthmatic children totally know the terror of knowing your child can’t breathe. We love natural, homemade, and alternative health practices but I’m so glad for modern medicine when it comes to keeping his lungs open during an asthma attack.

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