Passionate about social justice for all and spreading the message of sustainability, Dustin and Noami Grevemberg strive to educate their followers about how these topics can intersect with life on the road. Known as Irie to Aurora, the two have been loving every minute on the road. Having a reliable power source onboard has been a significant change for the couple, and we’re glad to provide power for their travels.

Meet Dustin and Noami:

The husband-and-wife duo began Irie to Aurora because they experienced soul crushing jobs and the feeling of monotony. Both Dustin and Noami had previously expressed interest in traveling the country in a van and quickly found ways to be financially independent. Feeling comfortable in their roles as digital nomads, they travel full-time and have been doing so since leaving New Orleans in 2016.

“Since then, we’ve found ourselves drawn to less, with a realization that we don’t need much to be happy, and the things we value now are not things at all,” said Dustin.

“For me, the possibility of living life the way I wanted to without any boundaries and barriers, was the driving force behind it,” Noami said. “I feel like I am living my life outside of the box.”

Together with their German Shepard pup, Amara, the Grevembergs enjoy exploring new places, building an intentional community, challenging the narrative of what it means to be successful, and creating their own paths as digital nomads and eco-friendly van lifers.

As Noami is the founder of Diversify Vanlife and the host of the Nomads at the Intersections podcast, she wants people of color to share their experiences on the road.

“I feel like there are moments that continually cause us to shift our perspectives, I feel personally I’m still struggling to unlearn these ideas that society has about needing the career, the house, and everything else. There’s other things you can do to redefine what life means and be successful even on the road,” said Dustin.

The Setup for Irie to Aurora:

Before upgrading to lithium, their system consisted of components like a 200 amp hour AGM battery bank, an 800 watt PEAK inverter, and only a NOCO Genius 10 amp charger. It wasn’t enough for big power draws like their laptops, fans, and phones. Working from the road can already be a challenge, and not being able to complete projects due to a lack of power was frustrating for Dustin and Noami. With an increased interest in exploring remote lands, the need to get out there and stay out there had never been stronger.

Irie, a 1985 Volkswagen Vanagon runs on the following components:

Dustin and Noami also have 200 watts of solar panels on their roof with plans to add a portable solar panel to charge when parked in the shade.

This system is more than enough to run their appliances, and major power draws include a constantly running Dometic CFX fridge and freezer combo, in addition to a WeBoost cell signal booster to get work done on the go. Their system is set up for alternator charging, but due to the interior layout of their van, it’s hard to do unless it’s for an extended amount of time.

Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the top power draws in Irie. When assessing power draws, Dustin and Noami said that it was a fun project to tackle for our team!

Item (Make and Model) Voltage Amps/Watts Daily Usage
Dometic CFX 65 DZ Fridge/Freezer 12V 5.5A, or 58W 8 Hours
WeBoost Drive Reach RV Cell Signal Booster 12 V 50W 8 hours
2020 Macbook Pro 13 inch 20.3 or 20.2V 3.0A/4.3A 4 hours

 

2016 Macbook Pro, 13 inch 120V 87W 3 hours
Fan-Tastic Vent 01100WH Endless Breeze Fan 12V 2.6A 4 hours
DJI Mavic Pro Drone 13.05V 50W 1 hour
Canon LPE6 Camera Batteries and charger 100-240V 18VA-23VA 1 hour
EShine 20” Under Cabinet LED lighting 12V 3W 2 hours
NutriBullet Magic Blender 120V 600W Under 1 hour
iPhone 11 12V 18W 3 hours
iPhone XS Max 12V 18W 2 hours

For a system setup similar to the Grevemberg’s, check out our 200 amp hour Battle Born Energy Van kit. It’s got everything you’d need for supercharging your system with the technology it deserves, and as a bonus, all components come pre-programmed.

What’s Next?

After taking an ambitious trip to the most remote parts of Alaska, their new system has been much more reliable and they now have little to no battery anxiety.

Over the course of their journey, Noami says that two biggest obstacles to overcome is uncertainty and self-doubt when pursuing your dreams. Dustin says that they’ve been evolving constantly while on the road, and that pushing the limits with their interactions with others have improved significantly. The van life community is starting to become more diverse thanks to the resources featured on their platforms, so the Grevembergs strive to welcome anyone and everyone they meet on the road.

“Finding a community with like-minded individuals gave me hope and reassured me that I’m not destroying my life!” Noami said.

You can follow the crew of Irie to Aurora on their Instagram, blog and Facebook page.

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