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A Huge Gift A Surprise And A Visitor At The Off Grid Camper

Article from: April 19th, 2013


It was a good day at The Off Grid Project. I received a very large, heavy package with an awesome surprise inside. Plus I got a nice care package, also a surprise. And today the off grid solar camper received the first visitor, a fellow youtuber.

The only bad thing today was that the sun never showed itself and the solar current never got above 2 amps.

I opened the large package in front of the camera. I was not sure what it was at first until I read the label. It was from Northern Arizona Wind & Sun. They sent me a Tristar 60 amp MPPT solar charge controller to help out with my off grid living.

For those who do not know, MPPT stands for Maximum Power Point Tracking, which means that it will take my 24 volt solar panels and match them up properly with my 12 volt batteries, giving them the maximum charging current at the same time.

This solar charge controller will accept anything up to 150 volts on the input, meaning I can use smaller wires. I can connect my solar panels in series to increase the voltage, reducing loss in the wires. The MPPT solar charge controller will convert the voltage back down to the best voltage for charging my batteries and give them the maximum amount of charging current. On average an MPPT controller will give you about a 30% gain on solar power to your batteries. In my case its way over a 50% gain because my cheap charge controller was not matching up the solar panels with the batteries at all.




I want to thank the guys over at Northern Arizona Wind & Sun for sending me this awesome MPPT solar charge controller. Please check them out at

I immediately ripped out my original wires and charge controller and hooked up the new MPPT controller. I wanted to see what kind of improvement I would have today. But solar panels need sun to produce power and it rained all day. Tomorrow is a new day, so check back on the progress.

I was only getting one amp today from two 200 watt solar panels in the rain. I hooked them up in series to produce 49 volts and went inside to find that I had doubled the current output to 2 amps. I cant wait to see what this will do when the sun shines. My next problem is that my amp meter only goes up to 30 amps and my three solar panels will put out about 50 amps at 12 volts. I need to find a new amp meter.

I will get some heavy 2 or 4 gauge wire in town and rewire my whole solar charging system for best performance. Tomorrow I plan to mount the new charge controller properly.

I got my greenhouse strapped to my survival camper to protect it from blowing away in the wind. We get some strong gusts of wind out here so I wanted to keep it from being destroyed. I used a long rubber strap that wraps around the whole thing. It is now securely fastened to the truck camper.



I received a care package today from a fellow youtuber by the name of “K7AGE”. Inside was a brand new thermostat that I can use to control my fans on the heating system. That is a perfect gift because I was going to make a thermostat, but do not have my work shop set up yet. I figured by the time I ever get my shop set up it will be summer. Thank you K7AGE for the perfect addition to The Off Grid Project. I will be installing it soon and showing the video when I do.

Today The Off Grid Project received the first visitor. A fellow youtuber by the name of “ManOfManyThingz” came over for a visit to the off grid camper. He has a 4wd jeep with a stealth solar panel on top, over 400 AH of batteries, power inverter, fridge, lights, survival gear and more. We had a good time talking all day and into the evening. We sat in camp chairs under the overhang of my survival camper and visited for hours, while it rained lightly the whole time.

I think we would still be visiting if a bad thunderstorm had not dumped so much rain on us that we had to call it a night.

Thank you “ManOfManyThingz” for coming over to visit the off grid camper. I do believe I can now call you my friend. Please check out his channel and see his solar survival vehicle. He will be putting together more videos soon, now that the weather is warmer again.

You can watch today's video here: Watch the video now  A Huge Gift A Surprise And A Visitor At The Off Grid Camper


While you are over there please subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow our daily videos as we strive to become self sufficient and off the grid on a budget.


Feel free to ask any questions or get help with your project on our Discussion and support forum

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Troy Reid


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