Author Archives: Tim

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

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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Save 5% off all LED’s!

As you know we did a show called LEDs 101, which you can find here.  You may not know that Steve at M4 LED has setup our listeners with a special discount code.  Use VAP5 for 5% off your entire order.  It works for any of their products.  Pass it on!

Tim's LED Referral Page

Check out my LED Referral Page


Since there are a lot of LEDs available, I put together a referral page for the ones I used.  I also have some review videos too.  You can find all that info here.

Happy LEDing!



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