Well I finally finished our solar panel setup after months of baby steps! When we last left off in Part I, the solar panels were on the roof but nothing else was set up. Well it turns out that although installing the panels was the most nerve wracking (because we drilled holes in the van) the rest of the install was tricky and required a lot of figure checking and slow steps towards the end goal – working power in the van!
Staying with friends (or friends of friends, or friends of friends of…well you get it) always seems better than asking a complete stranger. But in reality, often the people I’ve stayed with from sites like Couchsurfer.com and AirBNB have been really cool people who specifically like helping out artists. Sometimes if I’m trying to book a show and someone doesn’t have the full budget to hire me I ask if they can help me find someone to stay with. This means I can give them a lower rate and it always has worked out beautifully. In fact, those locations end up feeling the most special because I’m suddenly part of the local music community.
So if you’re just diving into the world of couch surfing, here are three tips for how to be a great guest.
Although I spend a lot of time on the road, there is always a place that I’m happy to come back to. I’ve been supremely lucky to have a beautiful workspace in the form of our home recording studio in the Carmel Valley. Let me share the space where the magic happens!
Solar power is pretty amazing, especially on the road. The idea that you could have energy generated anywhere? Pretty cool. So when we heard that Kevin’s dad had been gifted a 400 watt solar array from a friend we got very excited. The van is very comfy in general but being able to use basic cooking appliances and recharge our laptops will push it that one extra step into palatial (for a van).
So while we were in Las Vegas for a month, we installed one of the panels! It’s a common theme that we come by resources second hand and have to figure out how to work with what we have rather than buying preset kits or ideal configurations of equipment. So this blog post is for the DIYer that wants to know the nitty gritty of solar installs from the perspective of a total electrical layperson.