Sara Dungo

A Stray Project

The only thing holding Sara back from focusing fully on improving her business and maximizing her time exploring outdoors was her unreliable lead-acid battery bank. After just three years, her lead-acid batteries weren’t able to last her throughout the day and were directly impacting her work, as she had to continually stop to charge her batteries with grid power. As Sara’s goal has always been to live as off-grid and minimally as possible, she decided to upgrade to more reliable and longer-lasting RELiON lithium batteries.

Sara’s power system includes:

Sara’s living space and work studio within her 1991 Ford E350 van are powered by 400 watts of solar power and two reliable, long-lasting RELiON RB100 batteries. This robust system provides long-lasting power for Sara’s refrigerator, lighting, electric tools for jewelry making, a heater, and a blender.

Why Sara switched to lithium:

“First and foremost, our lead-acid battery bank just couldn’t last us throughout the day. It kept causing our refrigerator to stop working, which resulted in spoiled food and regularly interrupted my work by preventing me from keeping my laptop and tools charged. Also, the lead-acid batteries weighed so much more that we knew we’d reduce our gas consumption by switching to much lighter lithium batteries. The lithium batteries also opened up a lot more space in my van for jewelry making due to how compact and energy-dense they are comparatively.”

Why Sara chose RELiON:

“I noticed a lot of other van lifers who consistently travel throughout the country, like my friend Jared, have made the switch to RELiON lithium batteries. After seeing them successfully rely on these batteries without issue, I was convinced that these were the best choice for my business and I.”

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

“Our goal has always been to be as off-grid as possible. We no longer have to stop our travels to recharge the batteries from grid electricity due to the batteries running out of energy. We’re now able to travel further and faster, all while saving money on gas. Our RELiON batteries have allowed me to explore more National Parks as well as reach more markets to sell my jewelry. I’ve also been able to add new tools for my jewelry business due to the additional energy and power.”

What Sara loves most about van life:

“I love the simplicity of it and the fact that I’m minimizing my impact on the environment as a result. I also really enjoy the independence it brings, as I’m not tied to a mortgage or an office job and can travel whenever and wherever I want.”

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

“You will have much more confidence in your ability to work and travel freely and without worry with lithium batteries. They’re worth the long-term investment as they are more powerful, charge faster, and allow you to live more comfortably.”

Follow along with Sara’s travels on Instagram (@a.strayproject) and check out her jewelry on Etsy.

Sara Dungo