At Battle Born Batteries, our team enjoys hearing the stories of how our brand partners can get out there and stay out there. For Francisco and Lulu of BFixie, this couple from Venezuela can eliminate battery anxiety while running their business.
All About The Van Lifers Behind BFixie:
Francisco Borrero and Lulu Hurtado were originally from a small town in Venezuela. Both admit they didn’t explore their home country much due to expenses and safety concerns. The couple are avid bikers and love being outdoors, and even though they’re able to visit big cities like Philadelphia and Baltimore, they both enjoy being off grid in the middle of nowhere the most. “Off-grid is what we really like because it feels like we’re all alone doing everything we want to,” Francisco said. “We lived in New York City for six years and want to be in the woods, in nature and more engaged with it.”
With a target audience of primarily Spanish speakers, Francisco and Lulu want to be a source of inspiration for van lifers or anyone living in Latin America and other Spanish speaking countries that are curious. The couple have been on the road full-time for a year now after starting their van build in January 2020. They feel their new power system has improved their van life 100 percent.
“With our old system, we’d always worry about how to use it without draining the batteries completely,” said Lulu. “If they were at 50 percent, we had to stop using them because we wouldn’t have enough. Now that we have Battle Born Batteries, everything from editing to running the sewing machine is so smooth.”
Owning their own business is their proof that dreams can come true. The two started their own business BFixie, in 2016 where the couple focuses on creating accessories for bike messengers like bags, face masks and water bottle holders. They had a strong desire to have their own brand, and purchased a vinyl cutter machine and a heat press to make t-shirts and sweaters. It was well-received by viewers who wanted something hand-made from them, so Lulu and Francisco decided to expand and challenge themselves with bags. They started off with a smaller sewing machine from Target, but then quickly upgraded to an industrial, higher quality sewing machine.
With their growing fanbase on their YouTube channel, they can easily connect with customers and viewers and fulfill their second dream of traveling on the road. Editing photos and video is also easier, and since installing LiFePO4 technology their van’s power system seems less sluggish so they can be more productive.
Feeling fulfilled by their long-term goals, Francisco and Lulu said that they aimed to make the best products possible, because their viewers love seeing their professional creations, so it’s a win-win scenario!
The Dream Setup For Van Lifers:
Francisco and Lulu enjoy being able to run their sewing machine inside the van and taking their projects outside when weather permits. Lulu said that sometimes it’s hard to measure what fabrics they need and the van can be a bit cramped with all the fabric rolls, so they love taking their projects to the park and setting up on picnic tables.
Francisco said that being able to park in beautiful places full of nature, or listening to the waves of the sea, is something that inspire them and give them a “mood boost, good vibes and motivation to create!”
“With batteries and the solar system, we don’t have to worry about if we have enough power or not,” said Francisco. “We used to be able to work only on sunny days, not at night or when it rained.”
Their van, a 2013 Freightliner Sprinter, contains the following components:
Looking to incorporate a similar system into your own van? Check out our Battle Born Energy 400Ah bundle at our store!
With the trip they’re currently on, Lulu and Francisco are also looking for a place to settle down, specifically somewhere that’s less fast-paced compared to New York City! Right now, they’re looking to try new opportunities, such as being bike messengers in Naples, Florida for a few weeks.
“The fact that we can finally materialize this dream of seeing the country and start driving is a great feeling,” Lulu said. “It was exciting to start seeing places and heading to Florida as our first state has been so fun! The culture and environment between different states has been fun to experience.”
When it comes to their advice for those looking to become full time van lifers, Lulu suggests finding inspiration on YouTube. Many channels creating tons of content focused on living in your van. They suggest finding a mentor that has content similar to what you’re trying to achieve, but you don’t need to copy their exact lifestyle.
Francisco and Lulu said that being on the road is great because they enjoy making connections with other couples and sharing resources is so easy! They love going with the flow as well, and with their system powered by our batteries, they can get out there and stay out there longer.
Next Steps for BFixie:
Francisco and Lulu are currently making their way to the west coast and are even considering looking into extending their tiny living lifestyle. They’d love to build a tiny home and get even more off-grid, and scoping out cities to live in has been so much fun.
The van lifers are filming plenty of footage from their journeys and are looking to roll out more episodes of their Carae’Tabla podcast, a more conversational version of their videos after listening to feedback from their followers.
“We’re always filming and sharing the details with our listeners about how much things cost is great,” Francisco said. “We’re not just ‘faking it’ for the videos but want to show the truest experience we can.”
Their dream guests for the podcast? None other than fellow Battle Born Batteries brand partners, Eamon and Bec, Sailing Uma, and Levi Allen! Francisco and Lulu believe that podcasts are great for connecting with people and get to talk to their guests as real people instead of internet personas.
When first starting out on YouTube, Francisco and Lulu were worried that people wouldn’t like their content. But they’re proud of what they put out for their BFixie brand and are excited at the prospect of becoming digital nomads. A recent post focuses on how to adapt to moving into such a small space with van life, and how taking a minimalist approach to their lifestyle worked for them.
“It’s good to be a valuable resource to the people so they keep coming back for more,” said Francisco.