ABQ RV company brings batteries to Balloon Fiesta

Jordan Madrid wires a solar system to an RV owned by Minnesotan Mike Schuette. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

Jordan Madrid, owner of Albuquerque-based RV rental and service company Echo One Adventures, said he’s seen every campground near the hot air balloon party over the past week.

“Everyone is here,” Madrid said, adding that most campgrounds were full. “…Just a parking nightmare just about anywhere.”

Madrid visited campgrounds to install lithium batteries and solar power systems on site, as part of a Balloon Fiesta partnership with Nevada-based Dragonfly Energy, which produces Battle Born batteries.

Madrid said Echo One Adventures’ aim is to make travel “stress-free and headache-free”. This is the first time that Echo One Adventures has installed drums at Balloon Fiesta; Madrid were surprised by the service’s interest.

Madrid said it does two to three battery installations a day during Balloon Fiesta, with many customers pre-booking to upgrade their RV power systems during the week-long event. Madrid said the company also does at least one full-powered system build per day, and is set aside a week for builds.

“We didn’t plan for him to be as big as he was,” Madrid said.

Lithium batteries generally last longer and are lighter than traditional RV batteries. Eric Carter, technical sales specialist at Dragonfly Energy, said they also charge faster, reducing “battery anxiety” at events where “the main goal is to have a good time.”

Echo One Adventures opened in March 2020. Madrid has always loved camping, originally starting with regular ground tents before moving to a motorhome. He then began to buy motorhomes to rent out.

Carter said typically RV owners have to book an installation time, take their RV to a different location, and wait several days to install a battery. But Madrid’s mobile service has simplified the process.

“They don’t have to uproot themselves from the event,” Carter said.