Category Archives: Off grid tips

This section looks at equipment and knowledge useful to off grid life.
If its posted here it’s real and it’s hopefully useful. That’s my promise to my readers.
If you make, sell, research anything that might be of interest to my readers, send me a link in the comments area. I’ll have a look and it doesn’t cost you anything. Even better, send me your product to test … far superior to a mere PR release. Really. And yes. I will return test equipment. Or. If you donate the equipment to the site, we will use it for free giveaways. Remember, our tests are sometimes designed by engineers.
This is my attempt to wipe some of the BS off the web. Can one man stand against an army of PR hacks. Stay tuned.

First impressions: Kodiak Canvas Cabin

The Kodiak canvas cabin, 9×12, is my latest review.

I bought the unit with the fully enclosed vestibule, as I will be using it as a bedroom and dressing room.


To those new to tenting, the advantage of canvas tents is that they are expensive, heavier, not as waterproof, and generally a pain to set up compared to their poly miracle fabric brethren.

Visually, of course, they do have a rustic charm. They breathe without the need for large amounts of open netting which usually means they are easier to keep warm. And, with the weight comes a  certain durability. I also find that the canvas is quieter in windy weather.

Continue reading First impressions: Kodiak Canvas Cabin

TBS inverter: a review

Inverter review

Winter 2013 I ran into trouble. Two bargain finds combined to create a power overload that tripped the circuit breaker and blew the inverter. The inverter still inverts, I can hear it working, but it won’t output power, instead displaying a “OLP” error.

I went cheap starting out on my solar experiment. So this time I thought, get an inverter that has specifications that matched my environment.

The new TBS 1600 inverter. Better temperature and voltage handling, low idle power make this a great off grid choice.
The new TBS 1600 inverter. Better temperature and voltage handling, low idle power make this a great off grid choice.
Match your need
  • For my climate I needed to operate well into the -°C. Like minus 20.
  • My battery bank when cold regularly needs 15.5 v in absorb charging. And I equalize once a month. Voltages can exceed 16v. So ability to handle a wide voltage range is required.
  • Voltage spikes, harsh conditions, I needed a tough inverter that was built to handle worst case scenarios.

After some shopping around I realized I would be spending twice the money I had originally planned for. 

This led me to the TBS-1600.

Continue reading TBS inverter: a review