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Thread: Dry Cabins

  1. #1
    New member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Dry Cabins

    I was wondering how "dry cabins" really work. Is there atleast a sink to drain dirty water or do you have to haul that out?

    Where do you get your water?

    Also, are there shower facilities in Fairbanks? How much do they cost?

    I assume it would just take some getting used to living in a dry cabin. I have spent weekends in them and did just fine but had a shower facility near the cabin.

    The reason im asking is that I will most likely be staying in one next summer. Just wondering what to expect.



  2. #2

    Default My "Dry Cabin"

    I haul all water in 6 gallon jugs, no well. I have a laundry sink (from Home Depot $49.95) with a 5 gal bucket under it to catch waste. I have a 55 gal drum for nonpotable water and a small electric pump that supplies the laundry sink. I heat water and put it in a 5 gal bucket with a pump for a shower and have a one peice tub/shower stall that drains into a greywater system. Drinking an cooking water come from a 6 gal jug with a tap on the counter next to the laundry sink. Outside is the toliet, your substandard outhouse. No real plumbing, no real running water but very workable. Not sure how others work it?

  3. #3

    Default Last time I checked.

    At the laundry it was $5.00 for the shower. Some gas stations have potable water, hunt around a bit and you will find some. I have a spring and clorinate all water.

  4. #4
    Member BeaverDriver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009


    Spent all summer in a dry cabin once. Get you one of those hanging solar shower bags. They work great. I used a pulley system with some carabiners and just backed my pickup close to the south side of that cabin and hoisted it up and cleated it off. Other than that I carried water in five gallon water jugs. If the cabin has a grey water system you are golden. If not you can make one by burying a 55 gallon drum full of holes and with rocks and sand in it. Then run a hose from the sink to it. Used that before and it works great. Bury it deep enough so if you make a mistake and drain some good smelling water into it, the critters won't dig it up. Also used a bunch of buckets of "wet ones" or equivalent. If there is a creek nearby you can haul water (or use a rain barrel) and filter it with a Big Berkey filter for drinking.

    Have fun.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    When we bought our new place the summer before last we lived in a dry cabin on the land until plumbing was installed. You can get water from The Water Wagon for 1.5cent/gallon. There are shower facilities at some of the laundrymats, but we bought a pass for the swimming pool and got showers with a little excercise to boot. Another option, if you have time is to take a class or two at the U, than you could use their facilities....Louis
    Louis Knapp

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Santa Maria, CA soon to be Alaska


    I lived in a drry cabin near Birch hill in Fairbanks for 18 months a long time ago. I used buckets for a sink and an outhouse for...well you know. I worked in town and used the showers at the Y. You could buy monthly shower passes back then.

    It was a great adventure and made for some great memories. I will be doing it again within this year when I purchase some land. At least untill I get the sewer and well in.

    Have fun with it and enjoy

  7. #7


    I guess you could get a tub and fill it with hot water heated on your stove. It would make bathing a real chore, so you'd have to decide how often you want to do it. If that frequency matched your personal cleanliness standards then you'd be ok.

  8. #8
    Member grcg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Stuff we did.....

    We rented a cabin for several years for before we made enough $$ to buy a place. Here are some thoughts and a couple of things that made it a little more comfortable for us.

    1) We bought a big fish cooler with a hose adapter sized drain on it. We set it on top of the refrigerator (which happened to be next to the sink) and plumbed it into the kitchen sink and faucet setup that happened to be in the cabin that we rented. Worked great. Brought home a couple/few 5 gal. jugs of H2O at a time and filled it up for cold/cool running H2O.

    2) Most cabins that I have seen for rent have a kitchen-type sink with a bucket underneath it for waste water disposal. Some cabins have an alternate pipe system that you can connect in the summer to take the waste water outside for you.

    2) I purchased 2 sets of fuzzy seat covers for outhouse seat. Many people extol the virtues of a blue foam seat. I happen to like being able to pull that seat cover off and put a clean one on a couple of times a winter.

    3) Wood.
    a) If you are using wood heat, you can always keep a pot with water in it on the stove. That way you have a humidifier AND warm/hot water for washing is handy.

    b) I always liked buying a cord or two of slab wood from Northland Wood for the winter. Makes great fire starter and for packing in to get a firebox load for the night. If it is good and dry, just make sure you don't use too much of it at once until you get used to your woodstove. It can burn pretty hot pretty quick.

    C) If you are burning wood for heat, getting yourself a plan for dealing with the wood is very importiant. Purchasing or cutting/hauling/splitting/stacking wood so you have dry wood....and thinking about this before September/October. Planning for a place to store and hopefully cover that wood. etc....

    It is getting late and this is all I can think of for now.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Campbell, CA

    Default Baked Potato

    Just got back (Outside) from 2 months in a dry cabin off Chena Pump. There's a new gym in town, Planet Fitness. $100 to join and $15 a month. Clean showers and nice folks. Will be back for 5 months this summer and plan to stay with them.

    I got a buzz cut for the first time since Johnson was in office. Much easier to care for.

    There was Monitor (kerosene) heat (I kept the cabin at 58 degrees), and no wood stove, so I used an electric mattress pad. Too easy and has an automatic off after 10 hours. Slept like a baby.

    I used a large blue porcelain tea kettle for hot water. Easy to pour and large enough to wash and rinse dishes. Just start the water while eating and it's ready without waiting.

    I ran a cord out to the privy and rigged a motion-detector light. Beats fumbling with a flashlight.


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