You Don’t Have to Travel Far in Southern California for an Epic Adventure
It’s time to go on a road trip! Summer vacations have been cancelled or postponed, you’ve spent more time in your house than ever before and your travel bug is itchin’. Meet The Camper Cartel, the latest and greatest travel company. The Camper Cartel offers travelers a chance to rent gorgeous renovated campers, offering an elevated van-life experience for your next epic road trip. Camper Van Rentals LA
Launched just two weeks before the initial COVID shutdown in California, founders Bayusana and Chelsea were influenced from their weekend trip to Iceland where they rented a van and had an incredible first van-life experience about a year and a half ago. Prior to their trip to Iceland, Bayusana’s dear friend was diagnosed with lymphoma. “He had an incredible eye for details in nature that really changed my perspective,” Bayusana explains. Bayusana became his friend’s full-time caregiver, and the two friends talked about bringing an idea to life after he was finished with his treatment. Upon coming home from Iceland, Bayusana and Chelsea had their business plan finalized for The Camper Cartel—which they created during their four-day weekend trip. “We were super excited to share it with our friend, [but] upon arriving, his condition worsened over the weekend,” Bayusana explains, “I was able to make it home to hold him but not share our business plan with him.”
From that experience, Bayusana was inspired to pursue this project full-speed ahead. With the pandemic occurring, however, he almost sold the entire company, thinking it would go nowhere. Luckily, the complete opposite happened; RV rentals are up an increasing amount and The Camper Cartel has found a niche that bridges the gap between avid campers and those who have never had this kind of experience before. Their goal is to capture the feeling they got when they rented a van for the first time in Iceland.
Six different campers are available to rent, starting at $230 per day. Whether you have a camping destination in mind or are seeking to simply get off the grid for a weekend, there’s a rental for you. From the dreamy California Classic, a 2018 Ford Transit High Roof 2×2 that sleeps two, to The West Coast Safari, a Jeep Gladiator that sleeps two to three people on the roof in tents, these rentals are nothing short of adventurous.EXP 4/20
The campers include everything from outdoor showers and a rooftop deck to a Marshall Bluetooth speaker and kitchen supplies. The Camper Cartel has thought of every last detail, including a Polaroid camera, outdoor grill, a hammock and even a fire starter all available to add on to each rental. “Eighty to 90% of renters are first-time camper van renters. Everything is straightforward and user-friendly,” Bayusana explains. “Renters are so diverse—it’s everyone from families to couples to people in their 70s!”
From a design standpoint, the founders wanted to have a masculine and feminine balance. “The interiors are fun and feminine, and the outside is a little more rugged—it appeals to the ladies and the gentlemen!” Bayusana laughs. Choose a curated road trip playlist before you hit the road, whether you’re headed to Big Sur, Joshua Tree or Yosemite.
The vans are parked outside of Bayusana’s restaurant in Topanga: Topanga Living Cafe. “We spent zero dollars on advertising; people saw our vans parked outside the restaurant when they were picking up food orders to take home, and [they] heard about The Camper Cartel that way,” Bayusana says. Reservations were fully booked in June and July, and August dates are filling up quickly.
This is a company with a mission—they’ve put values in place that protect Mother Earth and the beauty of our planet. One percent of the total value of your trip will be donated to one of four causes. Customers are also given the option to offset their trip, which means planting trees and supporting various sustainable energy projects based on the number of miles driven. “We give people an outlet to travel responsibility; you’re fully self-contained in your vehicle to venture deep into nature. It couldn’t be a more perfect way to just get out for a bit,” Bayusana says. Their next set of vehicles will be hybrid vehicles, and the company hopes to eventually have electric vans in the future.
The wanderlust is real, and now that it’s all said and done, The Camper Cartel could not have been launched at a more perfect time. “There is so much beauty in our backyard that people tend to forget about,” says Bayusana. Camper vans are picked up at their main location in Topanga, which is just about a 35-minute drive from LAX. Pack a backpack, turn your phone off and book your luxurious, comfortable camper today. Camper Van Rentals LA
Photography Provided By: The Camper Cartel: Patrick Mordi @patrickmordi, Mike Bishop @mikebishoptv, Ben Flynn @benflynn_ and Drew Hermann @drew_hermann Camper Van Rentals LA
Taylor is a graduate from the University of Southern California with a degree in journalism. She is our Los Angeles and Orange County editor. You can find her dining at a new restaurant, in the ocean or planning her next adventure. Say hello!