Solar Generator – New Updates

Our DIY solar generator how to series has been really successful with lots of great feedback!  I have had at least 20 – 30 subscribers mention in the comments or emails that they have built one of these units and are very happy with it. Even several people that initially were not sure they would be able to build it, have later told me they successfully built one.  Thanks for the great feedback, I always love hearing from the people that have built them!

I just posted another video to YouTube with some additional updates based on  my own usage of the solar generator, as well as a couple changes due to parts availability. We needed to switch to the 3,000 watt inverter, as the 2,000 watt version we originally used in the how to videos is no longer available. I also will be upgrading the external switches to a water proof version. Finally we will be reinforcing some of the higher stress mounted components, such as the high current quick connector with epoxy instead of hot melt glue.

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Adding Solar Power to a Camper or RV

We purchased an ’86 Travel Villa 29′ fifth wheel camper as an inexpensive means to travel out west with our dogs. The camper is an older model, but it has served us well. After building the solar generator, I have found that I am always wanting to bring it with us when we travel as we typically boon-dock without hookups.

I have decided I would like to add a dedicated solar power system to the camper. This way the camper will always be ready to go, and the dedicated solar panels will also keep the camper’s existing deep-cycle battery topped off when not in use.

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Solar Generator – Battery Bank & Solar Panel Expansion

This is an update to our DIY How To series on How to Build a Large Solar Generator.   In this follow up post, I will show you how we can use the quick connects designed into our solar generator to expand both the solar charging capacity, as well as the battery bank for increased run times.

A lot of the feedback was asking how to expand the solar generator to an even bigger capacity system. When I designed the base unit, I wanted it to be very easily expandable using quick connects. There are two areas where we can easily do that with our system:

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Troubleshooting an Engine Noise

I developed a new engine noise after a high speed run on my 2004 Yamaha Grizzly 660.

In the video I will take you step by step through my process of troubleshooting and how to isolate the cause of the noise, and then assess the damage. I also demonstrate how to use a mechanics stethoscope, check for loose valves, check spark plug color for ignition issues, how to check valve timing, and several other common issues while we looked for the issue.

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DIY Solar Generator – Plexiglass Cover and Improvements

In this update to our DIY Solar Generator how-to series, I am going to show you how to build an acrylic Plexiglass cover for the inside of the solar generator, so that we can store things like jumper cables inside the case without worry about shorting out or damaging any of our wiring connections. I will also show you some updates and improvements that I have made since the original videos, including a way to automatically disconnect the solar charger from the battery when the solar panels are unplugged. This will keep the solar charger from slowly running down the battery while in storage, without having to remember to turn on or off a disconnect switch. I will also show you a better solution I have found for the solar cable wire including heavier gauge cable, for less cost, and a built in cord wrap.

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How to Drive in Snow on Hilly Roads

In the video below, I demonstrate driving a modern 2 wheel drive, front wheel drive vehicle on some hilly unplowed snowy roads. I also will show why in some circumstances traction control can limit your ability to climb or get unstuck. There are certain situations where turning traction control off can actually help.
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How to Control a Slide on Icy Surfaces

This video of a pile up in Montreal has been making the rounds in social media. It shows multiple vehicles, including two buses, a police car, and even a plow truck piling up on a very slippery roadway. It also perfectly illustrates both what works, and what not to do. The majority of the vehicles, including the plow truck, did not know what to do. Do you?

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How To Build a Large Solar Generator – Part 4 – Wiring

This is the fourth part in our series on how to build your own large solar generator. In this part we will be completing the wiring for the generator, including the solar charge controller, AC inverter, LED work lights, and USB outlets.

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How To Build a Large Solar Generator – Part 3 – Component Mounting

This is the third part in our project series How To Build a Solar Generator. In this part, we will be mounting all of the components into our case, as well as some of the preliminary wiring.

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