Jacob Moon

Overland and Van Life Adventures

As an outdoor enthusiast and full-time adventurer, Jacob Moon focuses his time on a variety of activities that range from camping and modeling to climbing and trekking. Jacob and his family are able to take part in their adventures by relying on the freedom that van life gives them. With the van Jacob built out five years ago, and a 4-Runner he has worked on since last year, Jacob and his family have been able to travel everywhere from Alaska to Mexico together and hope to take their van life excursions even further in the near future, including through plans to explore South America and Europe.

It all started when Jacob and his family were on a trip to New Zealand. This was the trip that sparked Jacob’s foray into traveling with a van as a way of life. After purchasing a van to travel and live out of for a two-month trip, Jacob and his wife saw the freedom and possibility that came with being unbound from traditional hotels and travel. Van life allows for a slower and more meaningful trip, which is exactly what Jacob, his wife Natasha, and daughter Zoe look for in their many adventures across the U.S. We spoke with Jacob about his van life and how he supports his family’s energy needs while out on adventures with the power of lithium-ion batteries.

Jacob Moon Van Life Family

Jacob’s Overland Power System

Jacob currently has two vehicles that he relies on for his travels. The first is a 2004 Dodge Sprinter that he built himself five years ago. The van and 4-Runner are used for a range of activities including family travel and professional use. The battery in the vehicle powers a number of items including multiple freezers and personal tech devices. While this van is currently being transitioned towards reliance on a lithium-ion battery, Jacob’s other vehicle, a 2001 Toyota 2-Runner, has already been equipped with the RELiON RB100-HP lithium-ion battery.

Why Jacob Switched to Lithium

“After researching lithium-ion batteries in-depth, I realized that they could better serve my needs as they lasted longer than the AGM batteries I had used. However, it was more than just the longer-lasting nature of the batteries, as I discovered that lithium-ion batteries were superior in more ways than one. The more I looked into lithium-ion batteries, the more advantages I found for them, including the fact that they are lighter, they charge faster, and work more efficiently in even cloudy conditions, as the charge time needed was significantly less. Overall, I felt that lithium-ion batteries were an all-around better choice for me. In fact, I would say that my 100 amp hour lithium-ion battery was even more effective than the 700 amp hour AGM battery I had used in the past. The problem with the AGM batteries that I previously relied on was that they burned out too fast, and they performed in a sluggish manner when I did the smallest things like adding a second freezer to my van. When I added this freezer, the battery could barely make it two days, and since solar was not always available where we were, I was constantly stressed out thinking about this AGM battery and what tools I would have to ration energy use on just to not burn out the battery.”

Lithium-ion batteries offered many additional advantages to Jacob like not needing to cover his van’s roof with solar panels just to make up for the inability of the AGM batteries. They also consistently met and exceeded his family’s extensive power needs throughout each of his frequent and lengthy travels, which often could last 6 to 8 months at a time. Now that Jacob has made the switch to lithium-ion batteries, he is no longer concerned with his power needs and does not need to limit his energy use due to the weakness of his old AGM batteries.

Jacob Moon Camper Van Life

Why Jacob Chose RELiON Lithium Batteries

RELiON came to Jacob’s attention both through word of mouth and through his own personal research. After his friend Quinn Schrock gave him the name of the brand as a reliable one, Jacob also read about the many ways in which RELiON lithium-ion batteries have been able to help people meet and exceed their energy goals.

How Jacob’s Lithium System Helped Him Challenge His limits

“Before transitioning to lithium-ion batteries, I was limited in what I could do while out on the road and how much energy I could use. Often I had to ration out on which days I could even use a freezer during my travels. Lithium-ion batteries have really helped to free me from these limitations. With lithium batteries, my family and I now have fewer limitations so far as where we travel and what we do. Now we are able to use more of our time as we see fit and less time worried about rationing out power. When traveling for long periods of time, you have many things you have to think about, and being able to reduce this list of worries means opening up more time for your travels and reaching your goals. For me, this meant no longer having to worry about what appliances I could and could not plug in, or being concerned that it was a cloudy day and that my battery was not charging as it should. Instead of wasting time focusing on the shortcomings of my energy system, I found that lithium batteries freed me up more and provided me with additional time to spend with my family while on trips.”

Jacob Moon Camper Van Lake

Jacob’s Advice For Anyone Thinking About Switching to Lithium

“If you are thinking about switching to lithium, but are concerned about your budget, lithium batteries are the more economical choice in the long run. At the end of the day, if you choose to buy another type of battery, you should know that you will again need to revisit this topic in about 3 to 4 years maximum because that is when these other batteries start to falter. A lithium battery will last far longer, and you can just install it and then not worry about it again for about a decade or more. Even if you find that you need more power down the road, lithium batteries are very scalable and you can easily upgrade, which is far better than other batteries that you will need to simply replace in a much shorter period of time.”

Follow along on Jacob’s travels on his personal blog Moon Mountain Man or on his Instagram and YouTube.