RVLove: Marc and Julie Bennett Choose Lithium Ion
Marc and Julie Bennett are excited about their lithium battery bank with Battle Born Batteries as it will truly allow them to camp out in nature more often and for longer periods of time, comfortably. They have traditionally stayed in campgrounds 75% of the time, but plan to do more and more boondocking out on open public lands. In the past, RVing without hook-ups has meant putting a lot of hours on their generator, monitoring their fuel usage, and constantly monitoring energy output to avoid draining their preciously small amount of battery capacity.
Having Battle Born Lithium’s will allow them to have a far more relaxing experience when camping off-grid because they won’t need to worry about running out of power or how much they have to spend on generator fuel.
Who is RVLove?
Marc and Julie Bennett have been living on the road for 4 years now. They drive across the country with their RV and 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk named “Blaze”. They met on the dating site, eHarmony. Soon after they began dating and were married in Boulder, Colorado the following year. Together they are known as “RVLove”.
Before they became RVLove full time, Marc was a director of operations for a nutritional supplements company. Here, he worked a regular 40-hour week, “I got my first taste of a motorhome when some colleagues and I were driving across the country in a BFL branded Prevost so we could surprise and present contest champions with their prizes and checks for winning the Body-for-LIFE challenge. It was an incredible opportunity – being paid to travel, inspire and meet amazing people who were literally transforming themselves and their lives That experience – seeing the country in style with amazing views through that huge glass windshield – gave me my first taste of the RV life and I liked it… a lot!”
As for Julie Bennett, she was the owner of three marketing and event companies back home in Australia. After a while, Julie’s businesses imploded and so did her ideals on the measurements of ‘success’. Her companies closed, and it was the perfect storm to change her life. “I sold everything – my house and everything in it, returned my lease car, closed my business and moved to Boulder to hit the reset button and start my life over. It wasn’t easy – I was single, living in a new country, had no job, no work Visa and I hardly knew a soul. Yet somehow, I knew I was in exactly the right place”, she explained.
Bitten By The Travel Bug
Once they were married they took a visit to Julie’s homeland, Australia, in 2012. Marc beamed, “I got bitten by the travel bug – hard – and that’s what inspired me to look at ways to do more of it as part of my everyday life and eventually led to us deciding to move into an RV to live, work and travel”. Not only that, but they were also inspired by a couple they met at a pizzeria who were living in their RV as well and seemed so happy living this lifestyle. Julie and Marc went home, sold their house, and started to head off on the adventure with their dog, Coda – a 9 year old 50/50 lab-poodle mix who also inspired them. The rest was history.
Now that they have lived on the road for a couple years, the Bennett’s want people to remember to take advantage of all opportunities now or as soon as people can. Julie expressed, “Most of the time people are so busy working and getting things done that they forget to make a life and do things for themselves. Take advantage of the moment and take a glance at ‘why are you doing this?’”.
Currently, they have many projects that you can join them on. They have a YouTube channel titled “RV Love” and it is mainly a way for them to share their journey. They also have pre-orders for their book titled “Living the RV Life – Your Ultimate Guide to Life on the Road” which is being published by Simon and Schuster in November. The Bennett’s also have an online school, “RV Success”, that provides online guided courses to help give their students a clear direction, a structured approach, and well-researched, unbiased information to help them learn what they really need to know to make the right decisions for their RV purchase and the many aspects related to living the RV lifestyle successfully.
Choosing a Lithium Ion Battery Bank
The Bennett’s explained why they chose lithium, “We believe that lithium batteries are the energy source of the future, especially for us as RVers”. They elaborated that lithium batteries are so much lighter and space efficient for the power they provide and are better for the environment. Another critical consideration for RVers is space and weight, smaller RVs have very limited weight and space capacities. Larger RVs also benefit from the improved weight and space efficiencies because it allows a much larger amp hour battery bank in the same space that was formerly dedicated to batteries. The Bennett’s stated that with lithium, they can build a battery bank with nearly 600 usable amp hours in the same space that formerly housed only 250 usable amp hours, and those lithium batteries will weigh less than 200 pounds compared to their original wet cell batteries that weighed over 300 pounds. Not only that but they told us, “lithium offers more than double the amp hours at less than two thirds of the weight. That is a fantastic trade off. We were hesitant to go to lithium at first because, although we admire new technologies, we are not typically first adopters. We wanted to give the technology time to stabilize. The early lithium batteries were more temperature sensitive and had less stable chemistry. And… like any brand-new technology, early lithium batteries were considerably more expensive. We were not comfortable spending that much money on brand new technology without the longer-term history to prove value in our investment over the longer term”.
As for why they specifically chose Battle Born Batteries they let us know that, “We love that Battle Born Batteries has created lithium batteries that answered all our previous concerns and have a customer service reputation that gives us confidence in making a larger, long term investment. Our plan is to replace our three existing starter batteries with one gel starter battery, plus 4-6 lithium 100 amp hour batteries. The extra battery power will allow us to upgrade our LP powered fridge to a residential style fridge, potentially install heated flooring in our RV, and allow us to comfortably power our computers and other electronics around the clock. We are also excited about how our Battle Born batteries will dramatically improve our boondocking experiences, in terms of mental and physical comfort, and also allow us to stay camping off-the-grid more often and for longer periods. It feels very empowering knowing we will be able to do that with confidence, having such a powerful battery system”.
Their current system
Recently, Marc and Julie changed RVs. Their current RV is a 40′ long 1999 Country Coach Diesel pusher motor home, which they bought in mid-March. They refer to it as “CC” and plan on renovating it down the road to make it feel truly like their own. Some key features CC has include a rare white-washed interior cabinets made from solid wood, 5,400 lbs. of cargo carry capacity, and so much more.
Their Battle Born Battery System consists of:
- 6 Battle Born Battery BB10012s
- Victron SmartSolar Charge Controller 150/100
- Victron 3000W MultiPlus Inverter/Charger
- Victron BMV 712 Monitor
- 2 Battery Isolation Managers
- Victron Color Control GX
Julie and Marc Bennett are set to star in the new ENTV documentary, “Open Road: RV Nomads“, which releases in October. They will attend the RV Nomads festival and afterwards keep traveling. They love finding ways to inspire others and hope to be eventually do it in other countries as well, “We want to keep living in our RV. We are also thinking about going to another country to live in an RV there. Some options are Australia, New Zealand or Europe. By having lithium batteries, it would really help make other countries viable” Marc explained.
All of their motivation for the RV lifestyle can be summed up in one word, freedom. “You get to design your life however you choose. You can pick the scenery you want to see or even the people your around. Its great knowing that you can control your life however you want, and you just get more choices to do things. But it is overall summarized with Freedom”.
The impact Battle Born Batteries has made for them and so many others is so rewarding to the team!
More information on our Battle Born Batteries here.