Jeez, You Run Over One Solar Panel…

Suddenly I have a reputation. What reputation? The one that causes everyone to run outside to protect their ground deploy solar panels when I drive up. What happened? Let’s review.

The Solar Panel Incident With The Beast

It was a gorgeous sunny day in Leadville, Colorado. Becky Schade and I were going for a drive somewhere.

Leadville The Beast
There it is. The last photo of my UNSHATTERED solar panel on the left. The right one… well, just read on!

As I am backing up, I know my two ground deploy solar panels are there. I am sure I am clearing them. Let’s review that I am not a careful person. I’m not.


As I’m backing out and Becky casually says (’cause she’s not surprised ’cause she knows me) “I think you just ran over a solar panel”.

And I had zero doubt that I probably had. And I had. Not only had I done that, but I also knocked the other one over. SO now I had a(nother) ground deploy solar panel that was shattered on one side.

Was This My First Shattered Solar Panel?

No. The first one happened last year in Moab while at an Xscapers convergence.

We had a very sudden thunderstorm blow in and before I remembered about my solar panel (and I had failed to put a weight on it just in case of this type of event), it got picked up and tossed face down onto the concrete. Boom. Shattered solar panel. (Sigh)

One Shattered Panel
After Moab. You can’t really tell, but both are shattered now. Not Pretty.

Ok, are you getting that I am not very careful?

Were Those The Only Two Panels I Shattered?

Again, no.

If you are counting, this will be panel #3 I have shattered. Ok, I might be starting to see how I have a reputation.

The THIRD and hopefully FINAL panel I shattered happened once again by accident. (I mean, who purposely shatters their solar panels?)

This was a HUGE set of panels hinged together which I eventually planned to put on the roof. This was a VERY heavy setup. No handle to move it around with, either. It was clumsy and heavy and I had nowhere good to put it.

On my way to Trona Pinnacles, Ca, I laid it on the floor in my RV during travel. I stopped at a Wal Mart for groceries. When I was putting groceries away, I propped the panel up on the wall.

Did I mention I am not a careful person? You bet you know what I did(nt do) next.

Yep. I didn’t put it down before I took off again. It didn’t cross my mind until I was about 2 hours down the road. Pulled over expecting the worst. And I got it. It had fallen over and shattered. Not only did it shatter, but it put a very lovely hole in my door as well. Sweet.

Hole in RV door
It’s now “Kelly Fixed”. I put an Xscapers sticker over it. Done and done.  

There was only one way I was going to not kill solar panels anymore. Put them on the roof. And I did, with Marshall’s help, of course. I DO still have the huge shattered ground deploy, but I really hope I never need to use it. God forbid.



Friends cringe when I come around now. Panels are quickly snatched up and moved when I drive into camp. It’s embarrassing.

I kid. (I do get playful shit about it though, which I totally own.)

My friend Rob and I had fun with my first two shattered panels after he rigged up my new large heavy one to be my sole ground deploy. Before I shattered it.

We ‘tore them up’, and then I ceremoniously threw them into a dumpster. It felt pretty good.

Gangsters ’bout to bust a move on dem solar panels
Watch my karate solar chop. Deadly.
Dis Beeyatch gots to go!
I was ready to get rid of my two busted panels. (You can see the other already inside)
Little did I know shortly after this I would bust my new large panel.
Still happy and naiive here.
Check out those disco ball and leopard print shoes I got from a thrift store in Leadville, Co.

If you have ground panels and you are thinking about finally getting rooftop solar, I cannot recommend it more.

I’m probably the best advocate you’ll ever find. 😉


9 thoughts on “Jeez, You Run Over One Solar Panel…

  1. Didja happen to think maybe you could take the busted glass out and replace it with Lexan??? That “might” make it Kelly proof. Did the solar still work?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nah. I was already planning to go with the rooftop setup by the time I smashed the second one. Guess I didn’t figure anyone would want to use broken solar panels. I hate throwing stuff away but I also REALLY didn’t want to keep toting them around! It did work just not as well.


  2. I am totes jelly over those shoes–what a cool find! I can relate, for sure–while I haven’t hit solar panels, there are secret little dings in our truck that “mysteriously” appear when I take it out to explore. Love the documentation of the dumpster demise.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol! I’ve already finger The Beast, too. Using a brick step. It’s SO big, takes a real
      Getting used to as far as corners and turns. And yes, those shoes were size too large but I did not care.😂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lordy, Lordy – it must cost you as much to live on the road as in a house at the rate you damage things lol! You are truly comicically gifted – is that why you took your show “on the road”. Good luck going forward (since you are obviously not gifted in reverse).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol! Awe, thanks on the compliment! Luckily one of those panels was given to me. And one of them only cost 30 bucks. So I didn’t lose out too badly!


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