Lonely Planet Writer

Fancy living off-the-grid in a super stylish customised camper van?

Colorado-based company Native Campervans now offers the chance to live fully off-the-grid in nature in an uber-stylish converted van.

Wake up to the sunrise by living life in a van.
Wake up to the sunrise by living life in a van. Image by Native Campervans

Dillon Hansen and Jon Moran came up with the idea of a customised van rental business after travelling around New Zealand in a sleeper van for a month. “We fell in love with the lifestyle,” said Hansen. “We love the fact you can move every day and are not tied to hotels and motels. We see the beauty in waking up next to million-dollar views each morning, but those views don’t have to come with a cost.

Fit your bed and your gear in a van with this rental company.
Fit your bed and your gear in a van with this rental company. Image by Native Campervans

The pair rent out 13 self-designed campers in two sizes, ‘Biggies’ (converted Ram ProMaster cargo vans) or ‘Smalls’ (a remodelled Dodge Grand Caravan), all decorated with different Scandi-inspired wood interiors, including burn, pine, birch panelling and other reclaimed wood features. Biggies have solar batteries to help power the refrigerator, three-tier lighting systems and charge phones and cameras, meaning you never need to plug the vehicle in at a campground. One of the large vans even has a James Bond-style liquor cabinet – push a button next to the bed and a secret unit rises out of the counter top.

Fit your dog or your friends in a camper van for a road trip.
Fit your dog or your friends in a camper van for a road trip. Image by Native Campervans

Located in Denver, Native Campervans is within easy driving reach of staggeringly beautiful national parks like Rocky Mountain, Mesa Verde, Great San Dunes, Yellowstone, Jackson Hole, Moab and Arches National Park, where freedom camping options are available. “It’s beautiful, you can wake up and there’s no one around,” said Hansen, “but you can have the comforts of a vehicle to sleep in, with a queen-sized memory foam mattress, duel burner grill and a seven-gallon fresh water pump sink.”

The interior of a "biggie" camper van.
The interior of a “biggie” camper van. Image by Native Campervans

With rising accommodation costs worldwide, #VanLife is gaining momentum. “It’s a whole movement,” explains Hansen, who has seen many of his customers interested in turning their unique rental experience into something more permanent. “We’ve gone about designing things that remind people of home to make people feel like they are in that environment, while also getting out into nature,” he said. “Rather than buying large material things, Millennials are interested in cool, accessible experiences that are affordable.”

Raise a tent and expand your space as you live life in a converted ban.
Raise a tent and expand your space as you live life in a converted ban. Image by Native Campervans

Rent a two-person Biggie from $145 per night or a two-person Small from $85 per night. Bedding and cookware is included, adds Hansen: “All you have to do is bring your clothes and you can take off.” Visit www.nativecampervans.com for more info.