Our Chief Operating Officer, Sean Nichols met up with one of our favorite customers, Candice and Jordan at the Overland Expo West in Flagstaff, Arizona. This unique event is for do-it-yourself enthusiasts and all overlanders alike with classes to attend, films to watch, food to eat and plenty more! We pride ourselves in meeting amazing people through this industry that are not only our customers but our friends. We strive to provide the best customer service and make sure that we meet everyone’s needs when it comes to LiFePo4.
Embracing the Present
“Be Old Later” is the motto Candice Ciesla and Jordan Schilling chose to represent their brand. They travel full-time with their dog, Nugget, on their 1997 Mitsubishi Delica L400 space gear called “Bagheera.” Every day they try to remind themselves that as they get older, they shouldn’t let their age decide how they live their lives. They strive to inspire people to do things that they are passionate about. They want people to dream big and set no restrictions.
They are currently immersed in their trip down Pan-American Highway, taking everything day by day. They want to make sure they see everything they can, hike in places they’ve only read about, lend a helping hand volunteering where possible, and meet new friends along the way. “We want to spread the love of the outdoors, travel, adventure (a word that gets branded across everything these days), and the idea that you are never too old to follow your dreams and do the things that really make you happy. We would love to find a way to continue sharing the things that inspire us to be a part of this community of travelers; exploring our world by recommendation of friends and strangers, trusting our curiosity and never looking back”, they beamed. For now, that means they’ll embrace this trip to the fullest and connect with people to share the feelings they have. “Down the road, we may have to go back to normal jobs, we may have to choose a different path, but we will keep our excitement high for what’s over the horizon and keep pushing the message that you can do the things you want in your life,” addressed Jordan.
Originally, Candice is from New York and Jordan from Florida. They met in college when they both attended the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. After school, they both spent a decade working many different jobs in the arts, in a few different cities around the world. They traveled to find work and explore new places while becoming a part of the communities where they lived. After a couple shorter travel stints across the USA between jobs, and month long trips in Central and South America, they decided that they would like to take a long journey before trying to start a family. After tying the knot (literally — on the summit of the Grand Teton in Wyoming) last summer, they decided the time was now. They had been saving money with their jobs and shot for a savings goal that would allow them to budget themselves for a year or so on the road full-time.
They have been lucky enough to live in amazing places in the United States, New Zealand, and the UK, and now on the road for just over a month, are still trying to connect with communities like they would if they were living in a place instead of just traveling through. Candice and Jordan are constantly itching to volunteer wherever they go. Candice recalls all the people she has met by giving back to the community through volunteering. “Meeting people and giving back is how you get to be a part of their story. It starts to be addicting helping people since it is so satisfying to meet more people and help contribute your skills alongside theirs. You get more information on places to go, get to slow down and meet the locals, and learn so much about what is important to the people in the community, making your own journey a much richer experience,” she cheered.
Going With a Lithium Ion Battery Bank
When they purchased their Delica and decided to convert it into their full-time tiny home, they were interested in powering the house loads with a lithium source. Through some online research, they eventually came across Battle Born Batteries, “this is the first time we gotten to fully convert a vehicle. Previously, we’ve had coolers with ice, AA battery powered lights, and all the basics that come with your first ‘get on the road quick’ kind of builds. We put a lot of thought into our current van, making sacrifices on internal size for more maneuverability in the places we like to travel — from high clearance forest service roads to city streets and tiny parking lots. We took a good bit of time to weigh the positives and negatives of the different types of batteries, and in the end, the downside of price was greatly outweighed by all the positives of the Lithium. We decided that even if that would be the one splurge of the build, it was a necessity and we’d do everything we could to help incorporate it into the foundation of our electrical system”.
Since they have a small vehicle, space and weight are both major issues for them. Seeing the scale of Lead Acid batteries made their decision easy to go with Lithium. After a bit of extra research and learning that the price point per Watt was going to be about the same or better over the lifetime of the battery, and that the battery should in general last longer — the only thing that stood in the way was the price. Jordan and Candice reached out to Battle Born for assistance with a battery because they believed that our principles line up well with theirs and they wanted to be part of the Battle Born family, helping to spread the word that Lithium is a smart option for the RV community.
Choosing Battle Born Batteries
Jordan told us that when he was looking at companies that made LiFePO4 batteries, he was trying to find someone that had more to them than just a solid product, “I came across a forum that had some posts about Battle Born, and the deeper I read, the more I noticed the interaction between Battle Born and the people on the forum. Battle Born wasn’t trying to sell people on their batteries, but in general, sharing knowledge about Lithium, battery technology, and answering any questions about process, setup, or system components. We truly value a company that creates a great product and cares about their customers.”
Now that they have our batteries for their adventures, their setup consists of:
- Victron BMV-700 LiFePO4 Battery Monitor
- BlueSolar Charge Controller MPPT 100/30
- Victron VE.Direct Bluetooth Smart dongle
- 100Ah 12V LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery
In the future, they hope to grow their relationship with Battle Born as any friendship/family would. The couple explained their future desires, “It has been great to meet Sean in person, but when we drive down through the States, it will be great to connect again in Reno with the rest of the team. We also hope to line up a volunteering event when we come through as we know giving back to the community is a large part of your driving force as well. The van attracts a lot of attention, because outside of Vancouver (and Japan of course), not too many people have seen a Delica, especially one that looks like ours. It’s great to be able to talk to people about our van, lifestyle, and setup of electrical systems to show that using Lithium is not just a fringe idea. It’s something that can easily be adapted into any system for any type of lifestyle. The couple also has a blog on their Be Old Later Website, that is getting up and running. They are starting to tell the stories from our journey, share the good and bad parts of living on the road, and in general they want to show people that a lifestyle like this is possible if the desire to explore is what drives you.” Overall, the couple want you to remember to do whatever it takes to be happy and that you are never too old to do the things you are passionate about.
Check out their blog on Bagheera’s electrical system, which includes a great schematic here.
Candice and Jordan truly enjoy living as freely as possible on their own schedule and terms while exploring some of the most beautiful and inspiring places in the Americas. Here at Battle Born Batteries, we are honored to be a part of their journey and gain a glimpse of the differences our batteries make for others.
You can also keep up with Be Old Later, through their YouTube Channel which they have recently begun.