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There are two main approaches to the interior design of camper vans. Namely “Modular furniture vs. individual conversion”. Here I explain why we opted for the latter and why this is clearly advantageous for you as a renter.

Build-out in large-scale production or “white goods”

The best known are certainly motorhomes and campervans from mass-produced manufacturers. So something like Adria, Knaus or Hymer. Or the models that are converted into campers straight from the factory, such as the VW California or the Ford Nugget.

As a rental company, we would naturally have the easiest time with such vehicles: configure the vehicle, order it, register it, done! This is certainly also the reason why almost all camper rental companies are set up in this way.

For us, however, this approach is out of the question for two good reasons. On the one hand, quite pragmatically, there is currently not a single model that has an electric drive. Not a single one! Although studies are regularly shown at trade fairs, there is still nothing to buy. A VW ID.BUZZ California has been announced for 2025 at the earliest.

But there is a much more serious reason not to go down this path. And that is the fact that sustainability plays no role at all in the mass production of campers. The use of petroleum-based materials for insulation continues unabated, the origin of the wood for the furniture is irrelevant and the surfaces and fittings are chosen solely on the basis of cost and are often not very environmentally friendly.

In addition, the quality of the build is often primarily designed to survive the warranty period. What breaks afterwards is then the customer’s problem.

Alternative: Modular furniture

An alternative to the off-the-peg panel van is the idea of using an existing base vehicle and then converting it into a camper van with the help of furniture modules. As the vans in question are often already available in an electric version, this would be a conceivable option.

Most of the modular furniture comes from small and young manufacturers who place significantly more emphasis on sustainability and product quality.

Here, too, the effort for the rental company is low, as again only the base vehicle is ordered and the only additional step is to install the furniture modules. As these are designed from the outset for installation in an existing vehicle, this can usually be accomplished in a very short time.

So why don’t we do it this way?

The simple reason is that, in our opinion, modular furniture has a different “use case” than being used in rental. The basic assumption is that you already own a van and want to give it an additional use with the furniture modules.

Of course, it’s a great thing when you can drive the kids to soccer practice with their friends and the shopping from a Swedish furniture store can easily be stowed in the trunk. And if you can also use such a vehicle for camping vacations, what’s wrong with that?

Nothing at all! It’s just that any kind of “multifunctionality” always comes at the price of having to compromise on certain points. The described owner of a panel van will of course be happy to accept these compromises, as the benefits certainly far outweigh the “costs”.

For the renter of a campervan, however, this calculation does not work out. This is because the high everyday utility of the base vehicle is irrelevant for the limited period of a trip. However, as the necessary compromises remain and the benefits are lost at the same time, we think this deal is a bad one. And at the tenants’ expense.

This is not compatible with our claim to offer you the best possible travel experience!

Customization: No compromises!

As I said, you can’t achieve the perfect travel experience with a compromise on wheels. This requires an uncompromising camper van that has been designed just for this one purpose.

Admittedly, a customized build-out means a lot of effort and significantly higher costs for us. Not to mention the development work for the interior concept. But we are convinced that this effort is clearly worth it for you as a customer: the result is a vehicle that offers you everything and demands nothing in return.

For example, our new LIGHTstern Polaris offers you a kitchen that you can use inside or outside, depending on the weather. Or our clever upholstery covers, each of which has a day side with robust sofa fabric and a cozy night side with an integrated sheet. No more annoying daily bed-making! These things make the decisive difference in everyday road trip life between “Yes, it’ll work somehow” and “That’s exactly how it has to be!”.

There is also the sustainability aspect. We use the most environmentally friendly, durable and robust materials possible for the bulild-out and equipment. For example, we use sheep’s wool for the insulation, a sofa cover made from collected marine plastic, cork flooring and local wood for the furniture. And wherever possible, we buy fairly and sustainably produced, durable and repairable appliances.

Conclusion

You now know the difference between buying, upgrading with modular furniture and a complete individual conversion.

As we said, we always focus on your best possible travel experience. And judging by the feedback from our guests, we seem to be doing quite well!

Take a closer look at our campers, and if you fancy going on tour yourself, why not put them to the test and book a van for your very own electric adventure!

Published On: 5. May 2023
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