Here at Battle Born Batteries, we enjoy sharing the stories of the ways that people can get out there and stay out there. From skoolies to vans, no rig is too small to take advantage of tiny living. For Brittany Newson, being able to do what she wants, when she wants, is the top factor for her wanting to dive into the nomadic lifestyle. She can take longer trips on the road with her husband and their pups, whether it’s in-state trips or a cross-country journey to #GetOutThere and #StayOutThere.

Meet Brittany Newson:

As an Air Force veteran based in Reno, Brittany is enjoying her time living in a school bus with her husband Andrew. She joined the military in 2006 in the healthcare management division and was stationed at various military bases in places like Washington, South Carolina, and Nevada.

Coming from a military family was a major influence on Brittany, and she felt her values aligned well with the Air Force. She enjoyed being able to have roles and responsibilities at such a young age and credits her time in the military as helping to improve her “spidey senses” when traveling solo on the road. Her advice for anyone looking to join the military is simple: They should never forget who they are and not to lose themselves.

Once she left the military after 11 years of service, Brittany enrolled at the City College of San Francisco, earned a marketing certification, and then enrolled at San Francisco State University.

During her second year, having to pay $1,300 in monthly rent for one room in a house shared with four other people wasn’t enjoyable or productive. Then she began doing research on alternative options, and that’s when the trends of van life started constantly showing up onto her feeds. After spending so much time following orders in the military, she was also drawn to the freedom of living a nomadic lifestyle.

Brittany eventually took the leap by purchasing a bus, fixing it up to make it unique, and documenting the entire process.  Empowered by the technical support from our team here at Battle Born Batteries, Brittany tackled the installation process by herself as her husband was still working full-time.

Before the lithium upgrade, Brittany had two 100 amp hour batteries, a 20 amp solar charge controller, a single 360 watt flexible solar panel on the roof, and backup power in the form of a Maxoak 400 watt battery pack and 120 watt flexible solar panel. She said with that setup, she had maybe about 2 days of power on a fairly full battery. It would be a challenge in stormy weather to get enough power, so chasing the sun became a necessary option.

The Dream Skoolie Setup:

Here’s what’s in Brittany’s skoolie, nicknamed “Dom” or “Domino”:

-3 BB10012 Battle Born Batteries

-1 BMV-712

-1 Bluetooth VE Bus Smart Dongle

-1 Orion 30A DC to DC charger

-1 Victron MPPT Solar Charge Controller 100/30

Here’s a rundown of some of the largest power draws that Brittany and Andrew use:

Item (Make and Model) Volts Amps/Watts Daily Usage
HP Pavilion Laptop 100-240 200 w/10.3A 10hr
Ausranvik 48 quart refrigerator 12/24v 45w 24hr
Opolar 8 Fan 12v Very low 2hr
Seaflo 12v DC water pump 12v 1.7A- 2.7A(max) 30 mins
Vigdur Multicolor Fair String Lights 120v Very low 4hrs
HP Laptop 100-240 80w 6hr

 

With the fridge running constantly, in addition to fans and laptops for content creation and editing, a system to support everything is important. With her husband Andrew recently deciding to join full time in the bus, they can power other comforts of home from decorative lights, water pumps, and gadgets like cell phones and a Nintendo Switch.

For a system similar to Brittany’s, check out our Battle Born Energy Motorized 50 Ah 300Ah kit to supercharge your travels! Her system is currently running in peak shape and she’s been able to travel to all kinds of remote places across the Battle Born State. She’s endured lots of additional challenges while on the road, such as engine troubles, finding water, and safe places to park at night. However, the advantages are plentiful as she says there’s nothing better than to take the sights at your location.

“My biggest tips or takeaways during this experience is to do your research and most importantly give yourself a realistic timeline for completion,” she said. “If you do that, you can enjoy the build process, alleviate stress, avoid impulsive decisions and errors too!”

Brittany’s biggest words of encouragement for anyone looking to embrace freedom and this lifestyle is to just do it if you want to. Researching everything related to van life is important, which is why her channel strives to show every aspect of life on the road, good or bad.

Check out Brittany on her website, Instagram, and YouTube channel!

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