A Year to Volunteer with Phil and Shar Roos (and Lion Energy Batteries)
Phil and Shar Roos, of Scottsdale, AZ are the founders of a traveling nonprofit called “A Year to Volunteer,” an RV-friendly volunteer organization that performs projects all over the country, mostly at state parks and other nonprofits. Since hitting the road in January 2020, they’ve completed 33 projects in 21 states with hundreds of like-minded RVers who have contributed over 42,000 hours to their cause. And, they’re powered by Lion Energy; equipped with eight Safari Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries!
In 2019, the year before they embarked on their journey, Shar was helping man a booth for her insurance company at the Scottsdale Sportsmen’s Exposition. Phil came too and happened to come across the Lion Energy display there. “It was pretty fortuitous,” says Phil. “We have a 43’ diesel pusher RV that we were looking to equip with solar, so were already in the market for the fantastic storage capacity that LiFePO4 batteries provide.” By the end of the day, he had four, and over the next several months, obtained four more to build the battery bank they needed to feed their power-hungry rig off-grid.
In the four years of ownership and three years of full-time RVing, Phil and Shar remain completely impressed. “RV life isn’t easy and is not for the faint of heart when it comes to maintenance,” adds Phil. “Everything breaks and there’s rarely any component of an RV that doesn’t need tender-loving care and the occasional repair. Not so with our Safaris though. They have been completely effortless and we love them. We used to have two separate battery banks for our 120-volt and 12-volt coach systems and combined them when we installed our solar system. We use them A LOT since most of our projects involve dry camping for two-weeks at a time. Our inverter is running 24/7 based on the nature of our work and it’s so nice being able have a consistently stable power storage capacity and source to run the cycle of life and work inside our coach with less reliance on our generator.”
If you’re an RVer and interested in joining them on a project, visit www.ayeartovolunteer.com and sign up for their newsletter where they announce their upcoming work. If you do happen to join them, ask them to show you their setup. “We love showing it off,” adds Shar. “We do show-and-tells with our volunteers all the time as a way to share tips on making our RV life easier and Lion Energy has done exactly that.”