The Netherlands may have the highest number of cyclists per capita anywhere in the world, but this summer, road users should be looking out for the NL international vehicle registration code sticker too as sales of Dutch campervans and caravans have risen to a record high.
According to figures released by the Dutch motor trade organisation Bovag, more than 550,000 campervans and caravans will be on the roads this year. In May, the number of completed deals on mobile homes was up 59% compared with last year, with the campervan ownership figures rising steadily since March 2015. The sale of campervans has grown across Europe as a whole. The latest ownership figures show a rise of 5.2% between January and May.
There has also been a rise in the number of people buying or building micro campers, tiny motorhomes. Digital nomad Marina Piro quit her job in 2016 and converted an old Renault Kangoo into a micro camper, complete with a fold-down bed, a small stove and enough room for some home comforts as well.
Other intrepid explorers to embrace life on the open road have included John Charles Putrino from St Petersburg, Florida, who managed to convert his truck into a camper for just $250. He then went travelling and volunteering across the USA. Wisconsin couple Pete Thuli and Taylor Bucher did something similar and transforming their Dodge Sprinter into a mobile home so that they could travel the country with Snoop, their American Staffordshire terrier.
Caravan companies are also getting savvy to the micro camper trend by launching sized down products. Back in March, Minnesota Teardrop Trailers launched the US$17,995 Vestibule caravan, which made the most of its size by adding a forward facing cab and a large overhead window, perfect for stargazing.