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Griztopher 04-14-2014 11:04 AM

Kitchen/Bathroom Separate from Yurt?

New to forum and still in planning stages for making the move to year round yurt living in Western Montana. I have land and space avail and am now exploring options for layout.

One thing I have seen done is have a separate house for kitchen and bathroom. This idea seemed intriguing to me as you can keep all the pipes, propane and tanks in one area and keep yurt living area open and simple.

There is a gutted airstream for sale near me CHEAP and I am tempted to turn this into the kitchen/bathroom area.

Anyone on here separate areas like this? Would love to get opinions and insight!


I was inspired by this guy's setup: Handmade Matt: Kitchen and Bathroom Wagon - Off Grid Portable Home

Jafo 04-14-2014 11:19 AM

Re: Kitchen/Bathroom Separate from Yurt?
The one thing you have to consider when doing this is how you are going to heat each space. Once you start putting up walls, the way you heat your yurt may change.

Griztopher 04-14-2014 01:08 PM

Re: Kitchen/Bathroom Separate from Yurt?
My thought was to have woodstoves in each. The kitchen/bathroom would have backup measures to maintain reasonable temps in frigid winters when away for the day like a space heater (a safe efficient one) and perhaps a tank floater to keep water from freezing in belly of unit. The idea of keeping the pipes and water in a smaller insulated area seems like a smart move for Montana Winters. But again, spitballing here

Jake 04-15-2014 10:30 AM

Re: Kitchen/Bathroom Separate from Yurt?
Are you single or a family?

If single whynot have just the one yurt? A 20' dia works for me. I wintered in a 22' dia tipi and it had enough room.

Two places to heat is a lot more firewood then I want to stack up. Plus, cooking in the kitchen also aids in the heating and the stove can serve as a backup heater to the woodstove. A big pot of water on low on the stove can produce a lot of btus.

My design right now is a 21' added to with two 30" thermal windows, adds 5' to the circumference.

MT is a favorite state to travel through. The Yellowstone and Glacier Park areas are a bit expensive to me with their monogramed toilet paper but the rest of the state is pretty good.

Griztopher 04-15-2014 10:38 AM

Re: Kitchen/Bathroom Separate from Yurt?
It would be just me my wife and 2 big dogs. We are geared towards just having 1 yurt just curious about options to keep it more open and simple. Be easier to keep Airstream at reasonable temps on those negative degree days with a small heat source to keep water from freezing as opposed to whole yurt.

And yes yellowstone and glacier are nice...stay west and steer clear of the parks. Better dose of non monogrammed culture.

Jake, do you have a setup in AK? What are your winters like?

Bob Rowlands 04-15-2014 10:54 AM

Re: Kitchen/Bathroom Separate from Yurt?
If you want 1 bed, 1 bath, a small kitchen, a small dining area, living area, and a bedroom, you are traditionally describing a single roofed residence here in the U.S, whether home, apt, townhome or condo. Typically that is a very minimum of at least 400 square feet.

Financially, you may want to carefully consider building two units, one a bath/kitchen/dining, and the other living/bed, where traditionally both are in a single residence. Deviate from that standard, and down the road decide to sell when you get married and start a family, you'll assuredly have difficulty finding a buyer willing to purchase a two unit 'home', for more than a few bucks..

Now I realize that off grid, anything goes. If you will be off grid, do what you want. It's your money, and your labor. Heck I kived in a tent for almost four months once when I was in my early 20s. Just be aware that any off grid odd ball build is going to be a low return on your $$$ and labor investment.

Myself, I'd figure a way to build either a full amenity yurt, or cabin, as a complete single residence. Just saying.

Jake 04-15-2014 12:58 PM

Re: Kitchen/Bathroom Separate from Yurt?
I was in Talkeetna, just south of Denali Park. Its interior weather, cool summers and very cold winters. I had a wall tent, with wood stove, which is why I want major extra insulation in the yurt. Groovy Yurts has Mongolian made felt, I have also seen some wool rug padding that could work. Under the cover I intend to put Tyvek, and then the insulation. Also same on the roof.

Even with the wife I would be looking into a 24' dia unit, just to see if its what you want to live in. Have you visited any units ? Myself I want the kitchen in the main yurt, and plan a composting toilet. You could put one in your 24' one with a curtain around it. I dont know the condition of the airstream or the spacing between where it would be and your yurt. Its not something I could comment on. But, when it comes to winter heating, smaller is for sure better. As Bob says a separate yurt is where I"d put a bed plus living rm area. If I was going to have a separate unit.

Griztopher 04-15-2014 01:18 PM

Re: Kitchen/Bathroom Separate from Yurt?
Love Talkeetna - spent a lot of time there during my mushing years!

appreciate advice! It's kind of quirky idea and we have prop that would work well with setup. I would probably be just setting it next to yurt and connecting with deck. Put solar array on roof and capitalize on reflection from aluminum BOOM! Ill keep all posted if that is the way I go.


Bob Rowlands 04-16-2014 09:09 AM

Re: Kitchen/Bathroom Separate from Yurt?
I have my traditional 16' yurt 50 yards behind our house. There are pics on this site of the yurt. If you are interested, type 'Homemade yurt' in the searchbox. Just so you know, I'll go out there when it is below freezing to fire up the woodstove a minimum of fifteen minutes before Grandma and the grandkids can come in and make s'mores in reasonable comfort. Even at that you can still see your breth in there. An ice cold yurt takes time to heat. Cold camping really isn't any fun when you are older.

When I was in my early 20s I lived in Jackson Wyo. I met a number of young folks up there living on the edge in nonconventional unimproved places like tipis and one room cabins. None had a thermostat, all had woodstoves. BNone had running water either. One had a hand powered water pump in the cabin. Due to the extreme cold, only two guys made it through the winter. I'm talking down to -50 below, not +32. Anything below zero you deal with getting that stove cranking back up when you get home from work.

Living in an unimproved place, and having to go heat 'next door', to eat and do your business, makes the hardship even harder. That kinda 'fun' is only for the young. IMO you and your wife would be happier in nasty weather having all amenities in a single dwelling that needs wood heat. Just keeping up with that in extreme cold is plenty. Something to consider. Good luck.

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