By Kimberley Mok | Treehugger
Van conversions and the so-called “van life” have been garnering some attention as of late, and it’s understandable. Who doesn’t want to ride off into the sun, against the backdrop a picture-perfect wilderness, in a home-on-wheels that you’ve converted yourself?
Well, it may be that very last part that’s the hardest to do: renovating van interiors requires a lot of elbow grease and time, something in short supply for many of us. So what’s the next best thing? Van conversions for rent, like these nicely done vehicles by Colorado’s Native Campervans. Founded by college friends Jonathan Moran and Dillon Hansen from the University of Colorado, Native Campervans was born out of a desire to share their life-changing experiences during a trip abroad, and to share the beauty of their native state of Colorado:
A few years ago, we took a trip to New Zealand in a campervan. The trip was amazing. It forced us to observe nature, be present and adventure. A few years later we decided to invest ourselves into that passion and began the business of purchasing, renovating and renting out campervans. The goal has been to give others the same experiences we had that’s both affordable and accessible.
The company converts minivans (which they dub “Smalls”) and larger-sized cargo vans (“Biggies”) into livable spaces, with the help of another company that specializes in these kinds of build-outs. Native’s Biggies are built using the Ram ProMaster 136”, pictured here in two different styles, which was selected for its ample interior space, maneuverability and ease of driving.
There is a very well-done interior inside the Biggie, modern and flexible, compared to some of the other campervan rental companies we’ve seen. The queen-sized bed is placed in a way that maximizes space, and there is plenty of storage underneath, in addition to the under-bench storage, and all the other cabinets and drawers in the kitchen. There’s even a secret in-counter storage caddy. The kitchen comes with a sink, refrigerator, cooking utensils and a two-burner propane stove, and a convertible dining table. The Biggie is equipped with a 7-gallon water/waste tank.
Hansen tells us that the Biggies are prewired for solar, and that they will be installing solar panels in the next few months. “[Right now] the vehicles run off an ancillary battery that is charged when the van is moving,” explains Hansen. “One hour of driving charges the vehicle for one day. This supports the lights, refrigerator and inverter so individuals can charge their electronics. No plug ins at campgrounds necessary.”