For privacy reasons YouTube needs your permission to be loaded. For more details, please see our Datenschutzerklärung.
I Accept

No one can seriously doubt it anymore: we are in the middle of a climate crisis. We therefore see sustainability as a cornerstone of our company’s philosophy. Find out more about the benefits for you as a guest, but perhaps also as a future second owner of a LIGHTstern camper!

The big players don’t do much …

The large volume manufacturers of motorhomes, caravans and campervans do not yet seem to see the need for a rethink in production. Basically, they don’t plan and produce their vehicles much differently than they did 30 years ago. This means a lot of petroleum-based material for insulation, furniture and the vehicle itself.

Sometimes it’s even worse today than it was a few decades ago! Although dubious materials were used in those days, a motorhome could still live for 20 or 30 years if it was well looked after. Today, however, there are manufacturers who only aim for the absolute lowest price. It is obvious that neither high-quality materials nor proper workmanship are possible that way.

Even if this does not apply to all manufacturers, I can say from my own experience that the quality of workmanship is sometimes absurdly poor! One gets the impression that the principle is to keep the vehicle together until the end of the warranty, everything else is then the owner’s problem.

The expensive repairs that inevitably follow not only cost money. Unfortunately, sooner or later you are faced with the task of disposing of this “product” at the end of its life cycle. And that is easier said than done thanks to cheap but environmentally harmful composite materials and bonding techniques.

It is clear that such production is out of the question for a sustainable company like LIGHTstern.

Sustainability starts with build-out

So how do we implement “sustainability as a supporting pillar” in concrete terms?

For us, this starts with the selection of the materialsthat we use to build our campers. Instead of petroleum-based insulating materials, we use sheep’s wool. As a renewable “raw material”, it is free from environmentally harmful production and manufacturing methods. What’s more, its properties are outstanding!

While the “petroleum faction” tries to make their vehicles as tight as possible – which is hardly feasible with a moving vehicle with its curves and irregular shapes – we deliberately leave the insulated cavities open. The moist air produced during cooking or sleeping should deliberately come into contact with the sheep’s wool. This is because it naturally absorbs a lot of moisture from the room air, but also releases it again as soon as the environment becomes warmer and drier. The sheep’s wool therefore constantly regulates the humidity in the vehicle and thus ensures an excellent indoor climate.

Another point is the floor covering. While most series manufacturers offer laminate, PVC or vinyl flooring, all of which are more or less made of plastic, we opted for a cork floor.

Cork is also a natural material which, in addition to its insulating properties, is also very pleasant to the touch. And at the end of its life, the floor can simply be torn out of the vehicle and, as a natural product, poses no disposal problems.

Traditionally, lightweight, composite or even tropical woods are often used in furniture construction. Manufacturers may promise certification for the latter, but anyone who has ever dealt with labels and certificates knows that this is usually just smoke and mirrors.

That’s why we use local woods that are oiled rather than varnished. Damage can be easily sanded off and the furniture can be re-oiled to make it look like new again. This ensures a long service life from the outset.

Electric drive as namesake

The fact that we only have camper vans with fully-electric propulsion in our range is clear from our name. There are good reasons for this commitment to the electric drive. Even if it is repeatedly disputed by ideologically motivated people: The battery-electric drive is the most environmentally friendly drive currently available to us.

Even in the dirtiest electricity grid in Europe, in Poland, an electric car is already cleaner than a combustion engine. And while the electric car is becoming cleaner and cleaner as the proportion of renewable energies in the electricity mix increases, the diesel will remain a polluter forever. Unfortunately, there is no way around this.

But apart from that, the electric drive also has some additional and very tangible advantages. With our new Polaris, it is possible to access the large traction battery directly. We can cook on an induction hob and the auxiliary heater is also electrically operated. Gas is therefore completely superfluous in an electric camper.

Another advantage is the option of charging the vehicle overnight at the parking space, provided there is a socket available. And that is often the case today. This largely invalidates the possible bogus argument that you have to spend a lot of time charging.

Slow travel and sustainability

Our philosophy of “slow travel” does away with the rarely questioned belief that only a long journey is a good journey. In addition to the positive effects that this type of travel has for you as a traveler, it is also relevant from a sustainability perspective.

If we only consider this aspect of the mantra “far equals good”, we inevitably come up against the problem that a lot of fossil fuel is burned for these long distances and a corresponding amount of greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere. This problem area is often simply seen as a necessary evil and therefore unavoidable.

However, if you question the “natural law” of long distances, you will not only find that you cover fewer kilometers in less time and use less energy in the process. In fact, you suddenly have more time for actually meaningful experiences. Time for intensive adventures, for the here and now, for a new appreciation of the destination and its people. In short: the real criterion of a good trip is the lasting memories created and not the kilometers covered.

This is not only more sustainable in a direct climate sense, but also on a higher level of self-care and mental well-being!

Sustainable economics

Last but not least, sustainable management is also important to us. We do not want to grow at any price or enter into cut-throat competition in the still young electric camper rental market. In our opinion, the best overall package will prevail anyway and not the largest company.

We also don’t like the usual business model of motorhome rental companies. This is because they usually buy new vehicles every year and sell them again after a few months. It is not sustainable to get as many campers on the road as possible.

It also creates a market for potential buyers who are not really well advised to own a motorhome. Instead, it cleverly plays with longings and emotions. In fact, only for very few people it pays off to own a motorhome – especially as used car prices have only been going in one direction for years: Namely upwards!

For most people, it makes much more economic sense to rent a camper for the weeks of the year when they want to travel. Because ifowning such a vehicle costs a lot of money even when it’s stationary. It has to be maintained and, last but not least, has to be parked somewhere.

All of this is no longer socially acceptable given the dimensions that motorhome ownership has now reached. That’s why it’s much smarter to rent a camper and leave all these tedious tasks to us as professionals. So you can focus fully on your travel experience!

To make this decision as easy as possible for you, we firmly believe that we can offer you an attractive proposal that offers you everything and asks nothing in return.

However, the obligation we have imposed on ourselves is not limited to exchanging “money for car keys”. For us, customer service is just as much a part of a coherent offer as the vehicle itself. That is why our second pillar is first-class service.

You can find out what this means for us and why it is so important to us in the next blog post!

Published On: 21. July 2023
Share this post