7 Incredible Container Homes Off The Grid For Free Living

Container homes are becoming an increasingly popular option for anyone that is looking to build their own home but is working on a budget.

They’re built from recycled shipping containers and as they’re usually the same size and shape, it makes it easy to combine different containers to make larger homes.

7 Incredible Container Homes Off The Grid For Free Living (1)

They’re also blank slates that you can modify and decorate to your liking.

Off-the-grid living is also becoming increasingly popular for its own set of reasons.

With concerns over the ever-rising costs of utility bills, the instability of the public systems, and ecological concerns, many are looking to produce their own electricity.

Why rely on the power grid when you can make your own electricity?

Container homes and off-the-grid living are a perfect combination.

Container homes are generally smaller so they don’t need as much electricity and both styles of living allow people to be self-sufficient and in control of their own living space.

If you’re looking to live off-the-grid in a container home but need some ideas and inspiration, then look no further! We’ve created a list of 7 incredible container homes that are off-the-grid for you to enjoy.

1. Contanium Shipping Container Cabin – Catskills, NY

This beautiful off-the-grid container home is located just outside of New York in the Catskills area. It’s a 20-foot shipping container and it has been converted into a beautiful getaway from the big city.

It’s listed on AirBnB so if you want to take a closer look at the cabin, you can book it for a night or two.

The cabin is completely off-the-grid thanks to a mix of energy-saving methods and green energy. It’s well insulated to protect against the cold New York winters and is fitted with low-energy windows to prevent heat from escaping.

The main source of heat is a wood-burning stove.

The cabin has electricity which is provided by solar panels. Although it is fitted with many electrical appliances, these are all energy efficient to ensure that the solar power is enough for everything.

The water system is a gravity-feed system and there is a composting toilet.

2. 40ft Small Shipping Container Home – New Zealand

This container home has a variety of different features that make it not only a beautiful and comfortable home but a fully off-the-grid and self-sufficient one as well.

The house has a vast array of 3.5kw solar panels on the roof that provides all of the electricity that the homeowners need. It may sound unbelievable, but they’re even harvesting enough sunlight to charge an electric car as well!

As well as harvesting sunlight, the house also collects rainwater and they’ve been able to collect enough for their needs, despite the occasional New Zealand drought.

This container home is ideally located in acres of nature and although it doesn’t look as impressive from the outside as some other container homes, it is full of creature comforts inside, including a fully equipped kitchen.

3. Shipping Container Family Home – Santa Cruz, CA

The owners of this home opted for shipping containers because of the location and circumstances of the build.

Their plot of land is in the Santa Cruz mountains and due to the concentration of native redwoods, they wanted a home that would be comfortable but wouldn’t damage the trees. Enter, shipping containers!

The narrowness of the shipping containers meant that they could build their home around the trees and live in harmony with nature. They stacked the containers in only a few hours and then began to make it a home. 

Due to the location, insulating the containers was one of the most important tasks for the homeowners and they decided to opt for spray foam insulation on the walls.

The containers are lighter and airier inside than many as the homeowners opted to change many of the container doors for windows and added even more!

4. Underground, Earth-Cooled, Shipping Container – Northern California

This home consists of two containers that are partially underground.

We say partially because the homeowner dug out some ground and placed the containers into the hole, ensuring that some of the container walls and the roof are surrounded by soil but that the entrance is not. 

This is a sound strategy for anyone that is looking to take advantage of nature and science to regulate the temperature of their container home.

Being partially underground helps the home to remain warm during the winter and cool during the summer months, meaning that less energy is needed to regulate the temperature.

This isn’t a method that will work in every climate and type of soil, however, so you will need to do your research before you try it with your container home.

You will also need to ensure that your shipping container is adequately reinforced as heavy soil can make the roof and walls buckle over time.

The home also has solar panels, polystyrene foam insulation, and gravel packed around the home to help with drainage. The owner uses solar tubes in the home for light and to save on energy costs and propane for heating and cooking. 

5. Five-Container Home – New Zealand

How stunning is this container home? It’s Coromandel, New Zealand, and is surrounded by acres of stunning nature.

In fact, it’s one of only 25 homes on the 1,100 acres of land in this private reserve, and the owner has an entire 23 acres to herself.

The house itself is made from five different containers arranged around a peaceful wooden porch. It’s also completely off-the-grid thanks to 12 solar panels on the roof and a wood-burning fireplace inside the home.

The fireplace is perfectly positioned to allow its heat to filter throughout the entire home.

The water is supplied by two 2,500-liter water tanks on the property.

To keep water use as low as possible, the home has a vermicomposting toilet. The waste from the toilet is then used as compost for the edible plants and vegetables that are grown around the property.

6. Pioneer Container Home – California

If you find the idea of making your own container home interesting but daunting, then we highly recommend you take the time to check out this build.

The homeowner had zero building experience when she began her container home adventure but was able to set up her home in under a month.

She did all of the work herself, despite her lack of experience, and it just shows how accessible building your own container home is.

The homeowner made several adjustments to her 20-foot container. She added windows and a door, plus installed both insulation and a kitchen.

The home uses a propane-powered camp stove for cooking and the water is provided by an on-demand water heater.

When it came to decorating the container home, all of the furniture and building materials used were recycled. To add a little more space to the container, the owner used a flatbed trailer as the basis for a bedroom!

The space may be small, but it’s a great example of how container homes don’t need to be complicated and can be built for small amounts of money.

7. Industrial Off-The Grid Shipping Container – Australia

For our final off-the-grid shipping container home, we have an example from Australia. We love this shipping container home because it looks amazing from the outside as well as the inside.

The homeowner has done a great job of taking the industrial look of shipping containers and making them look like a rustic farmhouse.

The home is warmed by a wood-burning stove, there is a split-system heater and cooler, and the shower head runs off rainwater.

The rainwater catchment system is especially impressive and this, coupled with a solar array, helps the home stay off-the-grid.

This home is located on 42 acres and the homeowner makes the most of her space. As well as the machinery to provide her electricity and water, there is also a vegetable garden and farm.

This container home is the perfect mix of practicality and style and is worth a closer look from anyone eager to have their own container home.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we introduced 7 incredible container homes that are off-the-grid and will inspire free living (see also “Incredible Container Homes In Hawaii For Free Living“).

There is so much that can be done with shipping containers, regardless of whether you’re only working with one or with several.

They’re a cost-effective way to build and design your own home.

Their small size also makes living off-the-grid easier. As you design your container home, think about features such as insulation, solar panels, window locations, and your water supply.

With the right considerations in place, you can build a fully sufficient container home that will keep you both self-reliant and comfortable!

We hope that the off-the-grid container homes in this article have given you some great ideas for your own home.

Casey Rutherford
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