Want to Build an Off Grid Home for less than $10,000? Try this
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Want to Build an Off Grid Home for less than $10,000? Try this

January 14, 2020

My name is Ryan Halpin. I am building an off-grid sustainable home. It’s called the bachelor ship and I plan to do it
for under six thousand dollars. Originally I found this many years ago
when I was working at my dad’s tire shop back in Wisconsin when green
buzzwords were all out. Solar, sustainability, self-sustaining. I was searching that and Earthship kept popping up. I was like holy cow this is everything I’ve been
looking for, I just finally found it. Years later I went to a seminar in
Denver that Mike Reynolds put on. Ended up helping with the slide show. He bought
me dinner, margaritas, gave me a book and a t-shirt and I was hooked. I was like, “all right, I’m coming to Taos and will be hard to get rid of”. Three years later here in
Taos New Mexico I have purchased land and start building
my own place. I moved out here mid June of this last summer. Started tire work, as
far as laying it out, and pounding the tires for the dirt. I was two weeks away
from getting the roof on this October and I had a backhoe driver incident. I’ll
just leave it at that. So at any rate we took 60 tires down and
now I have to repack 60 to 70 tires and get to the point where I could put the
roof on. It should have been by Thanksgiving, but I hope to be in by early
June as far as enclosed, basically camping with a roof. This is going to be the inside of my
Earthship inspired Bachelor Ship. We got the tires that are packed full of dirt,
packed to a point where they’re about 90% compacted so they’re pretty stiff.
Each one weighs about 300 pounds when you get done pounding them so with that
amount of weight coming down on them it’s important to have them staggered so
they lock into each other and give you that structural integrity and support
that the walls should give you. I got the tires somewhere in town here. There’s
two tire shops that were more than happy to let me take them. I worked it out with
them like, “Hey guys I will stack up, I will make this a prettier pile than it was I got here” and sure enough it was and every time I came they, they were
pretty happy to see me. Once we get the tires packed out we then get into it
with an adobe mixture. This is just to save money. A lot of places you’d use concrete, but I don’t feel like concrete is necessary out here. I have all this adobe
dirt at my disposal so haul out a pile of sand, get some straw, cut that up, water,
adobe, and just start throwing fast balls into the tire work. Once you do that you
can also put rocks in and that way you’re not using near as much adobe mix.
Then I’ll keep going with that adobe work until it’s flush with the tires and
then at that point I can start plastering it over. That’s going to cover
up the tires alleviate any concern of off-gassing from the tires. So here we
have the cooling tube which is a 10-inch culvert pipe, 20 feet long. What that pipe
is going to do is bring in cool air in the summertime so I’ll have the front face,
which faces south, that’s going to have a door and a bunch of windows. Above that
door is going to be operable window that the heat is going to go up and out that
window and it’s going to draw a cool air in from the cooling tube here. Basically
convection and science are going to work as my air conditioner. I’m not going to
have a mechanical forced air system. I’m just going to let science do science and
cool my space down and then have a lofted bed above the cooling tube and my
closet underneath the bed and then I’ll open up all this space in front of it
for table and chairs, sofa, a small kitchen area. I’ll be using either a
rocket stove if I can figure out how to do that in here or the isopropyl alcohol
stoves. You know a jug of water hanging gravity-fed so I don’t have to have
pumps for that. You know, really simple systems to get
me through, get me enclosed basically camping with the roof until I upgrade my
systems. I have the living space here which is 16 feet deep 13 feet wide. Not
much space in there for growing so that’s why from this wall I’ll go about
10 to 12 feet wide and that’s where I’m going to put my Aquaponics system. Grow all my food whether it’s in the gray water planter cell, which is water that
will be coming from the sink into the gray water to feed and water the plants
and then someday move that to my toilet to flush the toilet using gray water
multiple times before I finally expel it to the outdoor landscaping. So with this
big green house it’s also going to increase the performance of the bedroom
area because that green house acts as a buffer. Winter time when the Sun is low
and shining right in, it’s going to increase the heating and comfort level
of both spaces, the greenhouse and my living space, and then in the summertime
when the Sun is directly above us for the most part that’s also going to help
with the convection of that cooling tube. So the way the homes are set up facing
south you’re able to take advantage of the low winter sun and the high summer
sun for both heating and cooling and it’s just passive. So this is the back berm of
the house the berm is basically a big source of insulation. As the temperature
drops on the outside a thermal mass is going to slowly just radiate out keeping
that internal space around anywhere from 60 to 70 degrees. Along with in the
summertime with the cooling tube that travels through the berm it’s tapping
into that cool earth temperature and in turn give me my air conditioning. One of
the more important or the most important system I believe especially here in the
high desert Mesa is the the water catchment and filtration system. With our
annual precipitation around seven inches a year, if we’re lucky, I’m going to want to catch as much water as I can
diverting it to the cistern but having the cistern high enough to where the
water is gravity fed. I’m looking forward to doing an outlaw septic and by outlaw
it’s something that the earthships have used in foreign countries where you don’t
have access to a conventional septic system. You basically dig a hole, you put
some semi tires in there, you put some rocks on the side of it, pour
a cement dome over top of it with a hole that you can put the toilet on and it
has an overflow so as you’re filling the system it overflows with your affluent
water out into the outdoor landscaping. In this environment you’re going to be
able to grow trees, native shrubs, bushes, pollinating flowers. Some flowers
for the bees and butterflies and the things that you wouldn’t expect out here
in the high desert mason. I want to be able to show people that it is possible on a low budget to take control of your life, you know. I was on the grid living
in an apartment working 40-50 hours a week, short haircut, shaved face, tie and
it wasn’t for me. Moved out here, started doing this. I was like, “okay, I can be my
own boss, I can set myself free” as far as my living arrangements and do it in a
way that’s going to actually benefit the environment, you know. Humans in general are bad for the planet. Just our daily life in the normal city or town it’s
just all-around destructive. This is a way to where you can live but still give
back to the environment and take care of it allowing it to take care of you as
well. The message I’d like to get out there it’s just no matter what situation
you’re in right now whether you’re already working towards this type of
lifestyle or are just viewing this video for the first time it’s possible to get
to this point, but it’s baby steps. Like I said, I was clean shaven working in a
corporate office and I just slowly started to reduce my amount of plastic.
I would only allow myself five items that had plastic every time I
went to the grocery store so that would drastically started reducing my waste,
but also you know, made my diet better because I was getting fresher fruits
and vegetables instead of the plastic wrapped stuff. Little steps like that or if you
live in an apartment complex see if they can start a compost pile for everybody
to use then you use that to grow tomatoes. Starting locally and just
working on yourself a little bit at a time it’s just like working out, you know.
You start with two or three push-ups and you’re doing five push-ups a day and
you’re doing 15-20 and next thing you know you’re pounding tires building your
own self sustainable home. Any baby step you can make it just starts snowballing
and you can make a difference so just be the change. Do what you want to see in
the world. If you enjoyed that video hit the like
button. If you’re new here subscribe to the channel for more videos similar to
this content. Right now I’m in Joshua Tree California, if any of you guys are
out here in Joshua Tree tweet at me at @dylanmagaster and let’s go on a


  • Reply Jiu Jitsu Dweeb April 8, 2019 at 1:53 am

    I just want a earthship because it’s cheap and I want to be self sufficient.

  • Reply Treasure Detector April 10, 2019 at 6:14 am

    Genius. Well done good Sir. An inspiration. 😎 I'm planning this life.

  • Reply Sweis89 April 10, 2019 at 11:35 pm

    Love this. I am working towards this life myself. Thank you for the encouragement and inspiration <3 Mother Earth rules.

  • Reply iubire romaneasca April 11, 2019 at 12:28 am

    Cool 🙂 Good Luck 🙂

  • Reply Dale Jacaway April 11, 2019 at 3:26 am

    I don't know why people say humans are bad for the planet. This planet was made for humans. Same thing about animals they were made to be eaten. I do not disagree with taking care of the planet just like I hate when meat gets wasted. We are put on this Earth to live and learn. We were not put on the shirt to try and make no impact whatsoever

  • Reply helena helena April 25, 2019 at 11:41 am


  • Reply joy C April 26, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    I want to do this so bad how much would the total cost

  • Reply Ghostrider B. May 17, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    10000 is not that cheap

  • Reply Ledi Healing Hands Holiday the matriarch May 24, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    Alpine butte but can we do this without permit issues ?

  • Reply Junior Sovea June 9, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    Earth man…earth keeper.

  • Reply That Kid June 11, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    Yessss he has a Toyota truck! He is smart!

  • Reply Bailey Blue June 24, 2019 at 7:58 am

    This is siiicckkk

  • Reply Frank Castle June 26, 2019 at 9:32 pm

    Get one of those natural gas kits and make your own natural gas to cook with

  • Reply Amanda July 8, 2019 at 1:19 am

    So awesome I’m from Taos

  • Reply Scott Wilson July 11, 2019 at 11:54 pm

    Looks like your happy! Go for it,I like your thinking

  • Reply Vegan Vocalist July 14, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    LOVE Earth ships ;D

  • Reply MacKenzie Christy July 14, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    ugh, I have built 3 of these very very simply and with reused materials and there is NO way to build these for under $10,000.00 because you must take into account the car maintenance on your car if you are off grid, the fact you are the one doing the labor which if you are NOT working, your daily needs…best of luck to you and I am all for earthships, but it needs to be made clear…..these are NO simple build or task.

  • Reply toto now July 14, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    Earthship! Yay

  • Reply Karma Keeper July 16, 2019 at 2:06 am


  • Reply G S July 18, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    Nice work. Hope you don't get to lonely man

  • Reply Herk Imer July 19, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    The fapping will be strong in this one

  • Reply Kenneth Akin July 26, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    I hope you help others to help save our planet.

  • Reply 1chipchap July 30, 2019 at 12:47 pm

    Not with toxic tires I don't .

  • Reply DJ Ash August 1, 2019 at 12:45 pm

    Vegan homes I love it

  • Reply J D Max August 1, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    Tires don't "off gas". They are inert.. 100%

  • Reply CreatingMind August 1, 2019 at 11:00 pm

    Humans are not bad for the planet… The current system in which we operate is our downfall

  • Reply Ian Anthony August 1, 2019 at 11:20 pm

    I dig holes for excersise.

  • Reply Mimi B August 1, 2019 at 11:34 pm

    Good start for off grid community

  • Reply Mimi B August 1, 2019 at 11:38 pm

    Thank you to Micheal Reynolds for coming out with so much stuff to get our creative ( thinking outside of the box) juices really flowing

  • Reply James Espinar August 2, 2019 at 1:20 am

    Hi I'm from New York I want to know once you put your property do you have to pay federal taxes on it

  • Reply Ron Williams August 2, 2019 at 2:06 am

    It's always good to see others doing sustainable living as am. I'm doing rammed-earth when I get finished the inside walls are finished I need to do no more.
    My home will be very much like yours , I wish you the best.
    Oh it's just great To Be Your Own Boss too!!!

  • Reply Tracy Spose August 3, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    Sorry, but starting with old tires will assure that your land will be toxic for many years to come.

  • Reply M Tea August 5, 2019 at 12:31 am

    Sorry to say, he probably won't live long breathing the toxic offgassing from those tires.

  • Reply Al Cook August 5, 2019 at 12:41 am

    Im in bro .

  • Reply Pastor Paul D August 5, 2019 at 9:18 am

    The way you look now I wouldn’t be bragging about how having a nice haircut and no beard was a negative.

  • Reply BRIAN August 5, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    In Joshua tree too

  • Reply Keith Howard August 6, 2019 at 10:21 pm

    Think global act local

  • Reply P. D August 7, 2019 at 1:10 pm

    Good luck finding a girlfriend 🙂

  • Reply John T August 7, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    He's right since we are so bad for and to the planet we should All commit mass suicide.. living g is bad for you in reality.. Please,I am being facetious..

  • Reply David Klein August 7, 2019 at 11:37 pm

    I've wanted to do this for years! I was a state trained energy auditor/ insulation installer. Everything about Earthships (done correctly) is true !! They say labor is your biggest concern but in trying to do one in a state like Pa. Is very difficult due to building codes! Ironic..eh!

  • Reply Alejandro Hermida August 7, 2019 at 11:44 pm

    Thank you.. You're right.. But humans do a lot of good also for the planet.

  • Reply Jesse jester August 8, 2019 at 12:02 am

    Very cool

  • Reply Spirit Flower August 8, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    Love this!!! Thank you much!! I find this such useful and important information!!

  • Reply Dennis Dunham August 9, 2019 at 3:32 am

    Yes I would have to agree !! Where is the next video to follow up ??? My question is; did he finish the house?? Yes you showed us his projections to complete… well did he??? As in life we often have changes or modifications, things don’t always work out do they ! It would seem to me you have provided us with a Teaser…!!! I honestly believe you owe it to you followers. This is my 1st video on this subject-Earth Ships- enjoyed but I thought you were going to show us a more complete product. I hope you are not doing the same on your other videos? If so I will be forced to unsubscribe.. due to feeling that I was left hanging; that said I also wanted to say I did enjoy your show and can only imagine you doing a complete video/ follow up, thanks

  • Reply Valerie Mac Fair August 12, 2019 at 12:46 am

    The idea is excellent, but you have to work on the aesthetics somehow.

  • Reply Ilene Brown August 14, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    love it! Im going to do them same hopefully by next year!

  • Reply donthejewler74 August 17, 2019 at 5:10 am

    Awesome !!!

  • Reply Greensky02 August 19, 2019 at 2:03 am

    So… did he ever finish it? =p

  • Reply Adele Martinez August 19, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    I really enjoyed this video. Thank you so much. I just purchased land in northern Arizona. 8ve always lived earthships, and I sure have lots of plans!!! I am so excited to get started. No words. Yeah for you! You actually did what others only talk about, ya know? I've always been that person. LOL! But, yeh… Thanks for the video. Peace to you! Are you still in Joshua? Im just outside Kingman. Talk about hiking.. have you been in these parts? These mountains hold a lot of energy. Strangeness all around. Look me up sometime if you are nearby. Take care!

  • Reply margo81172 August 27, 2019 at 2:35 pm

    This is my dream! I just found the earth ships about a year ago when visiting Taos and I was shook! It was everything I never knew I needed. Living in Dallas Tx now but longing to get back to Taos for a visit.

  • Reply margo81172 August 27, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    I’m a little concerned with the extra expenses of needing to hire some workers to help me build. I’m physically unable to do the hard work and one of my main goals would be to not spend a ton of money.

  • Reply Sow AG September 2, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    What an unusual idea

  • Reply tys k September 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    lol under 10 000 maybe in afrika in holland this home sels for 240 000

  • Reply Barbara Gibbs September 10, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    "Humans, in general, are bad for the planet." So very true. CONGRATULATIONS on living your beliefs.

  • Reply latoshia cleMons September 16, 2019 at 2:30 am

    .Thank you for sharing i to want to and will do this looks nice.

  • Reply Hokey Wolf September 18, 2019 at 11:12 am

    Tires will break down. Gases have to go into the house buddy.

  • Reply Accredited Smurfer September 22, 2019 at 2:14 am

    One thing to consider. As you age it'll get harder to climb

  • Reply Ge In September 25, 2019 at 12:02 am

    God damn I got nothing to do and I practically live in Johua tree to climb n hike. If u need help let me know.

  • Reply red tomatoes September 29, 2019 at 10:39 pm

    Wow really cool and you have the satisfaction of building it yourself.

  • Reply Ascension Correction October 2, 2019 at 2:36 am

    Badass, yes! Blessings brother!

  • Reply El Bro October 4, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    Tires cost money to dispose of. That's why the tire guys were happy. You saved them several hundred dollars. They probably would have delivered them and still been happy.

  • Reply thomv21 October 5, 2019 at 12:12 am

    Congrats! That is all so cool & inspiring. I am jealous.

  • Reply Cat Man October 8, 2019 at 10:54 am

    More crap in the desert

  • Reply Lulu Moreno October 11, 2019 at 4:29 am

    Wow!! Super cool project!! Good for the planet 🌎!! Affordable!! Informative!! Beautiful eyes!!!💖💖

  • Reply Jose Rodriguez October 11, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    This type of living is attacked because the system or the 1% do not want Independent free thinking people Not under their thumb that are self sustaining. This is my goal but a little more plush I plan on converting a 40×80 steel building into a workshop/tiny home.

  • Reply This Izit October 14, 2019 at 11:48 pm

    "do what you wanna see in the world"

  • Reply John Hanna October 19, 2019 at 5:57 am

    His house is old tires and mud

  • Reply paula Havens October 20, 2019 at 11:46 pm

    how much did you have to pay for the land.

  • Reply Fahjah Fajitas October 21, 2019 at 1:44 am

    You gotta love the cancer those tires will throw into the home…

  • Reply Steve Zytveld October 24, 2019 at 1:43 am

    "The Kids are Alright".

    – Cathy, Ottawa/Bytown (yup, still thieving the husbands YT account)) If you kids ever end up in the greater Ottawa-Hull area we can show you around the walks in Gatineau Park…

  • Reply Katelyn Baer October 29, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    I want to do something similar. I want to live with out depending on stores as much. I only have 5 acres though. It is about and hour and a half from your land. How's it going with the building?

  • Reply Stir It Up October 31, 2019 at 12:04 am

    He’s gonna be the envy of every caveman.

  • Reply HOTROD Parrish October 31, 2019 at 2:48 am

    Man all you wanna do is grow dope ! Gthe fuck outtahear

  • Reply Truth BeTold November 3, 2019 at 2:41 am

    New spin to "Go pound sand!"

  • Reply Tanner Toby November 4, 2019 at 1:31 am

    HUMANS ARE BAD FOR THE PLANET…..🤷‍♂️ Dude the planet is for the Humans! It’s the Grabblers that put that idea in your head that is the problem!

  • Reply lulloa47 November 5, 2019 at 9:10 am

    OMG so much blah, blah, blah.

  • Reply Ding ding39 November 7, 2019 at 11:31 pm

    That is so cool earthship city’s may be a new thing of the future

  • Reply RvBadlands2015 November 9, 2019 at 2:18 pm

    Did he finish it.

  • Reply Rusty Shackleford November 10, 2019 at 3:35 pm

    That looks TIRESOME!

  • Reply Thomas Miller November 17, 2019 at 7:49 am

    Hope it never catches fire…

  • Reply Shawn Mathes November 17, 2019 at 5:21 pm

    There’s no chance average humans can just purchase land, and live off grid. With county regulations and permits it’s really impossible. Unless you live in the Middle of no where like this guy. Away from everyone and anything.

  • Reply Gzup505 505 November 18, 2019 at 3:57 pm


  • Reply DOOMBRAIN November 18, 2019 at 9:57 pm

    4:25, i struggle with that issue unfortunately.

  • Reply Aldo Pale November 21, 2019 at 8:23 am

    https://youtu.be/w4xsIikgsUw check this house out . This one is beautiful too.

  • Reply Maverick DQ November 23, 2019 at 2:02 am

    Humans are not bad for the planet. China , India and other countries that have no pollution control and conscience are to blame. And if you really believe humans aren't meant to be here, just remove yourself!

  • Reply S Dz November 25, 2019 at 2:51 am

    Was thinkin high desert

  • Reply Isaiah Villarreal December 8, 2019 at 12:35 am

    Yet back in the day americans made fun of Mexican border shanty towns where they’ve been using car tire for the foundation of there homes for decades.

  • Reply Teleah Dabbs December 12, 2019 at 3:47 am

    Need more people like you

  • Reply Saad Ali December 19, 2019 at 7:53 am


  • Reply Charles Miguel December 19, 2019 at 10:00 pm

    Cool. How do you feel about "what THEY say" regarding chemicals in the tires, lacking into the earth/your bachelor pad?

  • Reply IndieGrungeFolkStuff December 21, 2019 at 7:49 pm

    TIL isopropyl stoves are a thing

  • Reply Ryan fry December 26, 2019 at 11:45 pm

    How did you find a place where you were able to build? Did you have to buy the land? That seems like the most difficult part to me is finding lanf

  • Reply John Williams January 1, 2020 at 12:47 am

    You should be very proud of yourself. I am 69 and wish I could have done what your doing. Great job man proud of you

  • Reply Pha Q January 1, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    This is the style of living that can give people their freedom back. This also means the government is going to try and stop it. We will have to fight for this. There is nothing I want more.

  • Reply Jacqueline Aitken January 4, 2020 at 1:58 am

    Love this and its entirety So cool! Thanks! 🤗

  • Reply Nick Bryant January 6, 2020 at 12:39 am

    yo im in this situation right now man im u years ago

  • Reply Breazeh January 7, 2020 at 5:04 pm

    Should be using a compost toilet to avoid unnecessary use of water

  • Reply Timothy Brandriff January 14, 2020 at 1:28 am

    That has to stink. The smell of all that vulcanized rubber….

  • Reply Al Mirria January 14, 2020 at 2:52 am

    Does that count for the cost of the land? I doubt it.

  • Reply Dustin Cordell January 14, 2020 at 7:54 am

    no i dont want to live like a fucking mole person from the thumb nail

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