Denise Souza

The Skooly

After being diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia in 2015 and given six months to live, Denise Souza sold everything and bought a bus to live in and travel through North America with. Since her health insurance didn’t cover her unconventional cancer treatments, she chose to live and travel out of her bus instead of pay for a mortgage while trying to also cover the cost of her all-natural treatments. She has since traveled to twenty-four national parks and counting with her two dogs, Greyson and Paxton, and has been giving back to charitable organizations focused on supporting cancer patients, including through merchandise on her website.

When Denise originally purchased her converted bus, or skooly, she installed eight, heavy lead-acid batteries that took up crucial storage space in her bus. Within just a year and a half, the batteries were no longer able to hold a charge. Denise has since replaced her old lead-acid batteries with just two energy-dense, compact and long-lasting RELiON lithium batteries and can now focus exclusively on working and exploring. She looks forward to visiting Utah next, continuing to add to her list of national parks, and making the most of what life has to offer.

Denise’s power system includes:

Denise’s International 3800 bus is powered by two powerful RELiON RB100 lithium batteries and a 1500W solar array. This system powers all lighting, a refrigerator, an oven, a water pump, a composting toilet, a television, and all outlets within Denise’s bus.

Why Denise switched to lithium:

“My skooly’s previous battery bank consisted of eight lead-acid batteries that simply couldn’t hold a charge after about just one and a half years of use. I also hated having to invest so much time and energy in maintaining the batteries to ensure that they functioned properly. Lithium batteries are also much more energy-dense and compact and I knew I’d be able to free up crucial storage space in my bus if I upgraded to smaller, yet more powerful, lithium batteries.”

Why Denise chose RELiON:

“I absolutely love RELiON’s mission and that they’re a member of the non-profit 1% for the Planet. The fact that RELiON has pledged to donate 1% of its annual sales to fund eco-friendly, earth-conscious causes and organizations around the globe is incredibly inspiring to me.”

How Denise’s lithium system helped her challenge her limits:

“I’m able to live off-grid for longer periods of time due to how long the RELiON batteries can last. I can travel off the beaten path more often and don’t have to worry about finding a place to hook up. I’m a huge fan of juicing and using my Vitamix, so I love that I can just stock up on groceries and have my juice in whichever remote destination I decide to stop in and for as long as I’d like.”

Denise’s advice for people considering switching to lithium batteries:

“From the weight savings, which directly impact fuel efficiency, to being able to much more deeply discharge your batteries, transitioning to lithium batteries will drastically impact your lifestyle for the better. For the off-grid skooly life, in particular, lithium batteries are a game-changer and will remove so many headaches, allowing you to just focus on traveling and living life to the fullest.”

Denise’s favorite travel destination so far:

“I loved Glacier National Park, Bozeman Montana, and BadLands. There are honestly just too many to list, but if I had to choose, I’d say Glacier is my number one favorite.” Follow along with Denise and her skooly adventures with her dogs on Facebook and Instagram.

RV Bus With Solar Panels