All photos by Johannes Jans @johannesshreds
Meet Johannes, a versatile electrician whose rhythm resonates both in the workplace and on stage. By day, he crafts electrical wonders at Overland Van Project, turning ordinary vans into fully-equipped campervans, with semi-custom layouts and designs. By night, he's the drummer for the band Increate, channeling the energy of his beats onto the stage.
Johannes discovered his love for drumming at a young age, a passion that led him to vibrant music scenes. "I've been playing drums basically my whole life," he says, reflecting on his musical journey. A decade ago, he relocated to Oregon, where he founded the band Increate. A recent highlight in their musical journey was a post-COVID performance with the German band Obscura, marking a triumphant return to the stage after a hiatus.
(Johannes performing onstage)
Yet, it's not just the beat of music that fuels Johannes' passions. His journey into the world of adventure vehicles began approximately eight years ago when he and his wife embarked on a DIY project, converting a Chevy Astro van into their cozy campervan. This passion for exploration led him to a career in the RV industry, a path that eventually brought him to the Overland Van Project. Here, he focuses on electrical work, infusing life into campervans with intricate electrical setups and ensuring every detail aligns with the adventure-ready vision.
(Johannes’s modified camper van)
While Johannes may not claim to be an off-grid expert, he genuinely loves hitting the open road. From weekend warrior trips to week-long excursions exploring Southeastern Oregon's diverse landscapes, he immerses himself in the beauty of deserts and mountains, camping along the way. His most recent adventure encapsulates the magic of his nomadic lifestyle. "It was a nice end of the trip—leaving the desert, ending in the mountains, getting a little snow, and then driving back home to Portland," he fondly recalls.
The spark for Johannes' vehicle camping trips ignited when he discovered Sportsmobile in 2007. Despite being initially out of reach, the dream of a van for sleeping, cooking, and traveling lingered. Johannes converted his Astro Van into a camper in 2017 and hasn't looked back since. In 2022, Johannes sold his Chevy Astro and upgraded to an Ovrlnd Camper truck topper on his 2011 Chevy Silverado which he is now in the process of building out into a 4 season overlanding rig.
(Camper vans of Johannes and his friends)
At the heart of Johannes' truck camper van's power system lies Renogy, a brand he became intimately familiar with through his work. Opting for the Renogy 12V 100Ah Pro LiFePO4 Battery to replace an original AGM battery, he found not just a replacement but a significant upgrade. "I decided to go with Renogy for my personal setup because of the features of the new battery—the size, cost, Bluetooth monitoring, self-heating capabilities, and an IP67 casing," he notes. Though recently acquired, the Pro Series LFP Battery has already proven its worth. "I can whip out my phone and check what my battery's status is, you know, see the charge earned and the current battery temperature," he explains, emphasizing the convenience of monitoring through the DC Home app. With its robust features, the battery emerges as the ideal solution, offering both power and peace of mind on his nomadic journey.
(Renogy 12V 100Ah Pro LiFePO4 Battery as a house battery in Johannes’ camper van)
Johannes shares wisdom with fellow road-trippers. Comfort is paramount, so consider your vessel's size. The ability to stand tall within your haven is a game-changer, not to be overlooked. And for those planning winter trips, a reliable heater and a LiFePO4 battery with a self-heating function are necessities. "If you're doing a lot of winter camping and cold winter camping and you don't have self-heating within the battery... if the BMS senses it's too cold, that battery is going to shut off its ability to charge, and then you're not going to be able to charge it until it gets warm enough again," he shares. He also emphasizes the importance of proper battery component use and installation. For winter camping, he suggests assessing the exterior temperature's impact on charging and recommends mobile solar panels for shaded parking spots in the summer, so you can put the panels out in the sun, without parking in the direct sun.
As Johannes continues to energize his adventures, both on stage and on the open road, Renogy's 12V 100Ah Pro Series LiFePO4 Battery ensures that every beat of his journey is powered and monitored seamlessly. With plans to explore Moab and beyond, Johannes' story is a harmonious blend of passion, craftsmanship, and the limitless possibilities that life on the road provides.
(Johannes’s wife Rachael mountain biking in Oakridge, OR)