The Best of Both Worlds: altCamp’s Camper Vans Are the Perfect Mix of Comfort and Adventure
For the past 10 years, my wife and I have gone camping each November or December in Yosemite National Park with the same group of friends. The park is always quieter because of the colder temperatures, and we are a loud group–which makes for a nice contrast. You can usually see your breath in the morning as you struggle to get dressed before escaping the warmth of your tent. During many of our trips, there has also been snow on the ground and ice on the river, which leads to a lot of time spent huddled around fires (and sipping bottles of whisky). We would start the day with coffee around the campfire and end the night late by gathering around the last pieces of smoldering firewood, finishing off the dinner dishes before tucking into our sleeping bags.
I spent four years in the Army, so having things like fires, tents and whisky while outdoors feels luxurious. My wife hasn’t always shared that opinion and recently has been more reluctant to attend the annual outing.
AltCamp, headquartered in Costa Mesa, currently offers three unique camper vans: the Maverick, Rincon and Everest. We rented the Rincon and loved everything about it. When we picked it up, we were given altCamp swag, Yeti coffee mugs and a great “how to” tour (which is also covered in the app).
We were lucky enough to take an altCamp this year on our annual trip to Yosemite; here are five reasons why we may never tent camp again.
Mornings Are Better
Forget about the discomfort and inconveniences of traditional camping; with an altCamp camper van, you can experience nature in ultimate comfort. Each van is outfitted with an enviable list of amenities, including WiFi, iPad Pros, Williams-Sonoma cookware and cooking utensils and Parachute luxury bedding. Imagine waking up in luxury bedding to the sound of birds singing and the scent of eggs and potatoes cooking on your two-burner induction stove top, all while enjoying a nice pour over from the Fellow Stagg coffee system. No more struggling with a smelly sleeping bag and a rocky campsite—just relax and enjoy the great outdoors on your time.
Evenings Are Also Better
When we turned in for the night, we returned to a heated van with full power and lighting. We had put up the window screens when we arrived, so we had complete privacy. There was a microwave, so we popped some popcorn, made some tea in the kettle and settled into our comfortable bed for some Netflix and chill on the iPad. This seemed nothing like our previous camping trips. Also, if the weather was warmer, we could have enjoyed a nice warm outdoor shower before bed and dried off with an oversized Filson towel.
If you’re planning on extended stays in nature, it’s important to have a reliable source of power. We were only there for three nights, but altCamp’s camper vans are equipped with solar panels, ensuring that you have a steady supply of energy for all your electronic needs. Whether you’re using the WiFi to stay connected with the outside world or charging your devices to capture all your adventures, you won’t have to worry about running out of power.
We have returned to Yosemite each year partly out of tradition and partly because we know what to expect. When you are tent camping, you need to know what the place will look like and what amenities they offer. One of the most exciting aspects of renting a camper van from altCamp is the freedom to go anywhere your heart desires. Hit the open road and explore the beautiful landscapes of the Western United States at your own pace. Whether you want to visit the beaches of California, the deserts of Arizona or the mountains of Utah, a camper van rental allows you to see it all. Plus, with everything you need for a comfortable trip already included in the van, you can just focus on enjoying the journey. We definitely would have loved to try watching the sunset from the rooftop deck if we were in a warmer climate.
To Buy or Not to Buy
We really loved our altCamp but would it be worth it to buy one? Quite honestly, we camp once or twice per year. The particular altCamp model we took on our trip would run over $200K to purchase, so it wouldn’t be a great investment for our family. One of the biggest advantages of renting a luxury camper van from altCamp is the cost savings compared to owning one yourself. Buying a van, outfitting it with all the necessary amenities and paying for maintenance and insurance can quickly add up. With a rental, you can enjoy all the benefits of van life without the financial burden of ownership. Plus, you’ll have the added flexibility to try out different models and styles to find the perfect fit for your needs.
Erik Hale is the visionary and publisher behind LOCALE Magazine. He launched the magazine in 2010, wanting to give the community of OC a premiere lifestyle magazine that knew all the native knowledge behind OC. “Six years ago Ashley and I sat at a table scratching the name LOCALE (among some other names) onto a sheet of paper,” says Erik, “coming up with story ideas and basically dreaming. Everything we imagined has happened and we have been blessed with so much more. I am so grateful as we start another year for my family, my two wonderful children, my health, our amazing writers, designers and photographers, our advertising partners and you.”