Camping used to be seen only for the “outdoorsy” type, but its popularity has skyrocketed across the United States due to various reasons like scenic views, freedom, cost, and privacy — just to name a few. Camper vans, in particular, are attracting more people to the activity of camping by bridging the gap between rustic tents and expensive RVs.
Wayfarer Vans is a Colorado Springs-based company that is disrupting the camping industry by creating camper van conversions that are affordable, simple, and modern. They’re able to transform a blank cargo van into a base camper van in as little as 4 hours!
In this article, we’ll find out what camping was like before Wayfarer Vans entered the scene, as well as how camper van conversions are changing the perceptions of what camping can be.
Limited Camping Options
Not too long ago, there weren’t many camping options — your choices were tents or RV. While tents are typically the cheapest way to camp, they don’t offer much comfort and protection. Plus, setting up a tent can be time-consuming and frustrating. It’s practically become a comedy cliché of how difficult tents can be.
RV campers, on the other hand, are like small homes on wheels that provide modern conveniences whether you’re on the road or parked in the middle of nowhere. However, their steep price tag is out of reach for many consumers. Even those that are able to afford an RV can be put off by the thought of storing such a large vehicle.
With only these two options, camping seemed like it was only for nature-lovers or the affluent. These perceptions began to change thanks to social media and a couple of campers in Colorado that thought outside of the box (or in this case, a van).
Camping Becomes Aspirational
Social media, particularly visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, shifted the conversation on camping and how it’s viewed. From beautiful “glamping” photos to posts about weekend getaways, camping has become an aspirational way to vacation.
As interest in camping grew, its limited options became more apparent for people who didn’t want to buy a big RV yet still wanted to go camping over the weekend in comfort. A creative solution was needed, but the industry was still stuck in the past — that is until a fateful camping trip one October in Colorado.
A Better Alternative is Needed
Before Wayfarer Vans, if you wanted a camper van you would either need to build it yourself or have a custom van builder build out the van for you. The DIY option takes a lot of time and money to complete. An empty van is like a blank canvas — do you want a shower? Solar power? Table?
With a custom van builder, there was typically a 14 month waiting period before they could begin to work on your van. The cost of this was typically starting at $60,000 and required around 200 hours for them to build.
Bad Weather Leads to Inspiration
The Wayfarer Vans story begins one late fall when Ian Horgan, the founder, and his wife decide to go on a last mountain bike adventure before packing them away for winter. They packed up their Honda Element (Elle) and enjoyed the cool but comfortable weather during their ride.
The weather turned foul halfway through their ride and they arrived back at camp cold and wet. They retreated into the tent for the rest of the evening while the storm worsened. The next day, they packed up a soggy, muddy tent and tossed all of their wet gear back into the car.
It was evident that the Element was too small for two people to camp. All they needed and wanted was something a bit bigger, simple, and reliable. That’s when a lightbulb went off to build his own camper van.
Wayfarer Vans Bridges the Gap
While researching, Ian was surprised at how long it took to have a camper van built. He then decided that the camper van conversion process had to be affordable and easy to install. He started with the Ram Promaster City due to its dimensions and how well it drove — pretty much like a car.
A year and a half later, he launched Wayfarer Vans to help people like him and his wife enjoy a simple camper van conversion that can be built and installed within a few weeks of placing the order. Camper van conversions bridge the gap by being a comfortable alternative to tents and a more budget-friendly option to RVs.
Wayfarer Vans further changed the industry by providing consumers a middle ground between expensive custom builds that can cost upwards of $60K and time-consuming DIY builds that would take months to complete.
Wayfarer’s turnkey camper vans have helped attract more people to camping by providing an affordable and comfortable solution. Their camper van conversions were born from a true need and wouldn’t have been made possible without passionate founders, which goes to show that sometimes the biggest disruption factor is simply caring and taking an empathetic approach to a problem.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and see what a disruption strategy will do for your business!