Author Archives: Tim

Micro-Air EasyTouch RV Thermostat

After we adopted Louie I knew we’d take him camping with us. We do some excursions that aren’t always pet friendly, so I started investigating solutions for over temp notifications.

The usual suspects on the market require subscriptions, and only alerts you to an issue. You can’t do anything about it other than hustle back to the Airstream. That is until we found the EasyTouch.

The Micro-Air EasyTouch replaces your current digital thermostat and adds Bluetooth and WiFi capability. The Micro-Air website has a handy click-though questionnaire to lead you to the model you need.

With my Dometic Heatpump’s Comfort Control Thermostat, installation was literally one cable!

The EasyTouch can operate the air, heatpump, and furnace if so equipped.

Setting up the app is a snap. Downloads are available from both Apple and Android.

Connect via Bluetooth to setup the WiFi, or just use Bluetooth when in range. You can set the notifications next.

I have a WiFi ranger with a LTE connection so I was able to receive alerts and control the thermostat remotely. That’s key so you can take care of the issue immediately!

The alert did come in handy on our maiden voyage with the EasyTouch, although it wasn’t for the dog, it was for the kids.

Me and Louie were walking and chatting it up with other Airstreamers while the kids were sleeping in. All of a sudden I got an alert on my watch that said it was 84F in the trailer! It was set to heatpump from overnight and the morning sun was heating it up. I was able to pull my phone out and turn on the a/c while on our walk!

Another benefit of the WiFi connected thermostat is the local weather is displayed. You can see the inside temperature, which my old thermostat didn’t do, the outside temp, and detailed weather info.

Plus the EasyTouch gets software updates and new features added. Before you ask, yes the display can be set to go completely dark when needed for bedtime.

I like technology, but love technology with a real purpose. The Micro=Air EasyTouch is an Easy No-Brainer addition.

They offered a $15 coupon for VAP listeners with code easy15.

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Go Power Solar Flex 500w Kit Installation

You might recall back in 2014 we installed a Go Power 400w Flex solar kit.  You can read about it here.  Sadly over the years the panels stopped producing enough power to charge.  Go Power said there was a ‘bad batch’ that allowed the panels to become oxidized.  The good news is they are covered under a 5 year warranty.  Go Power sent me a 500w kit to replace and review for them.

Oxidized panels.

 

The new kit includes five 100w panels, an MPPT controller, solar disconnect switch, and all the cables you will need.

Solar disconnect, remote display, MPPT controller.

Old panel over the new for size comparison.

First I had to remove all the old panels.  I found a metal putty knife to work best.  Careful not to scratch the aluminum!

One panel off, three to go!

Like before, I used 3M VHB tape and Sikaflex to hold the panels on.

The 5 panels are wired in series for the MPPT controller bringing the voltage up to nearly 100VDC. Be careful!

The solar cables come in through the refrigerator vent.  The cables go to the Solar Disconnect then on to the Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) solar controller.  This is a more efficient controller than the original PWM model.

I tested the system by running the microwave using the inverter.  This draws about 150 amps from the batteries.  As you can see, I was able to get over 20 amps from the solar system!

As long as these new panels hold up against oxidation, it should be a good investment to boondocking!  Check out Go Power at gpelectric.com.

Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy this installation video.

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One little project, one not so little.

I had some time to kill today, so I thought I’d replace the mirror that cracked on the last trip.  If it’s in a vintage Airstream is it more than 7 years bad luck?

Pretty easy job, just a swap really.

Next up was replacing the shower curtain.  I had purchased the new curtain a year ago, but never had enough energy to tackle it.  It requires the sewing machine!!!

The old curtain was about 12 years old and the tabs kept coming off.  I hand sewed them back in the day and a few times over the years.  Time to do a new one!

I laid it out for the template and cut the new curtain.

Next up was hemming the bottom then sewing the dreaded plastic tabs back on.  Only bent one needle!  🙂

I tapped the plastic tabs into position and picked some crazy zig-zag stitch.  And away we go!

Slide them back in the track one by one.

I did spay some lithium grease to help.  Secure the end with the screw and…..

New curtain!  Took a couple of hours.  Well, a year and a couple of hours.  Hope it lasts another 12 years!

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