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3D prints, DIY fixes, & off-grid Solar Charging Power Bank

3D prints, DIY fixes, & off-grid Solar Charging Power Bank

We've been really busy off on family adventures, hacking around with our latest solar power bank purchase, fixing up our home with DIY 3D prints using our new PRUSA printer. Let's have a bit of a catch-up!

When on our adventures in the wild, we've never had the need to bring luxuries such as TVs, washing machines, and use an electric hookup. However mobile phones and smart-watches are useful to help log our runs & walks, check the weather, contact each other and snap the odd photo here and there.

solar panel camping bell tent washer woman

That's why we've had a lot of fun toying around with our newest purchase - a portable solar charging power station. and the solar charger to go with it.

So, we've ditched the secretive plans to sneak into cafes and occupy a plug socket or so. Now, we have the ability to charge all five sets of mobile phones and smartwatches on the go - no stress!

Also yes, we have tried to power a few more exciting items such as fans and mini-fridges so if you fancy camping in style then this power bank should allow you to do so.

More on that later.

broken fog light

Returning from holiday we found our foglight was hanging by a single wire so it needed fixing. An ideal opportunity to use our Prusa 3D Printer.

boy mazda bongo van 3d print forg light

After some quick measurements and a few minutes with Blender and we had a model ready to slice and print.

prusa slicer showing car part

We used the Prusa slicer with 100% infill for strength.

digital calipers

A mixup between Diameter and Radius gave us a first print that was much too large, but the next print was perfect. We used PETG for its strength, flexibility, and water-resistant properties.

red petg 3d printed part

We glued it to the old casing and bolted it back onto the rusty mounting. Satisfyingly the part slotted in perfectly and the bolt slid through just right. At the time of writing it is still working perfectly and it's been on for 3 months.

fixing a fog light

Before we left Mum was concerned about our leaky toilet overflow. A very simple 3D print fixed the small part that had worn away.

toilet cistern 3d printed fix

The small red part in the above image is what we printed, and you can see it doing its job and shutting off the flow of water.

We went on a few vanning trips where we stayed in our van in some car parks. We also took our small backpacking tents on a few weekend adventures.

Our main holiday was at a campsite by a lake where we put up our luxury tipi tent.

We purchased a mini log stove that does inside it for this year but unfortunately, the metal pipes carrying the smoke out of the tent were not long enough so we couldn't use it. Luckily, for us, it was 30 degree celsius warm, sunny weather.

family of fell runners and dog

We always do some fell running as a family, nothing too crazy like some of the locals. We do the local parkruns too, the first has one of the highest climbs and the other ends with a traditional swim.

This time our youngest sibling did the post-parkrun swim for the 1st time.

We spent most of the time in the lake jumping off paddle boards and messing around. I (Caleb) tried to swim from one side to the other side of the lake with my dad (who did it last year) but failed since I got too scared of the speed boats and ferries. Maybe next year!!

We also paddle boarded to a river where we normally just of rocks but because of the sunny weather, it was too shallow so we just went to the middle of the lake and jumped/flipped/dived off the paddle board. unfortunately, we punctured one of the 2 paddleboards so used the repair kit to fix it.

We also went on a walk to a little natural pool. Me (Caleb), my dad, and my older sister went in it and it was freezing! I showered underneath a mini waterfall and my sister was swimming underwater.

The last few days were rainy so we just went to the local towns and looked around. On the 2nd to last day, it was my older sister's birthday so she opened presents and went to our favorite breakfast place in the area.