The newest trend in mobile homes seems to be converting a nondescript cargo van into a tiny home. While space is limited, a van home can be parked practically anywhere that a car can go. But converting a van into a home is not an easy task, nor is living out of one suitable for everyone. But now there’s a solution. A Colorado start-up, Native Campervans is renting out van homes to anyone wishing to test out this type of living or travel solution.
Native Campervans was founded by two friends from the University of Colorado, Jonathan Moran and Dillon Hansen. They specialize in converting minivans, called “Smalls”, and larger-sized cargo vans, called “Biggies” into homes and then rent them out to anyone wishing to experience van-life, but who doesn’t have the skills or the means to convert a van into a home on their own. The Biggies are built using a Ram ProMaster 136” and come in two different designs. This vehicle was chosen because it has lots of interior space and is easy to maneuver and drive.
The Biggie features a very modern interior design, which is very well thought out and flexible, meaning it can be adjusted easily to the renters’ preferences. The van home features a queen-sized bed that is installed in a way that allows for maximizing the interior space. Storage space is placed under the bed, while there is also an additional storage area under the bench in the kitchen/dining area. The kitchen also features plenty of cabinets and drawers, and they even installed a secret in-counter storage caddy. The kitchen is equipped with a sink, refrigerator, a two-burner propane stove, as well as all the necessary utensils. The Biggie also features a convertible dining table, and it is fitted with a 7-gallon water/waste tank.
All the Biggies are also pre-wired for solar, and they will install the solar panels on all of them soon. At this time, the vans get their power from an ancillary battery that is charged when the van is moving. Only one hour of driving is enough to sufficiently charge the battery for a whole day of operation of the lights, refrigerator and inverter, as well as charging other gadgets.
They are renting out the Biggies for $145 a night, and the Smalls for $85, though rates are adjusted based on the season. There is also a discount when renting for a longer period.