Have you had a seller call to say they’re selling their home because they want to go “glamping?” (Glamping takes it lead from glamorous camping and micro-housing trends that took off last year.) If it hasn’t happened yet, it just might and now you’ll know what it means!
I met my first glampers at a weekend art festival in Arizona this last spring. The glampers, a fine arts photographer who had a festival booth stuffed with images she hoped to sell and her husband who handles all the logistics, were living and traveling around the country in a cargo van they’d outfitted themselves with very high end creature comforts. They’d set up their cargo van, their full time starter home, to live and travel around the country with their dog, fancy bicycles, DIY decor and highly functioning appliances. No traditional house payments. No cubicles. No calendars.
Glamping in cargo vans is now its own social trend, a trend dedicated to living simply and traveling freely by downsizing personal “stuff” into cargo vans. These highly outfitted cargo vans help their owners reduce their living expenses while enabling them to create flexible career and travel paths. Customizing and converting van projects fit any budget and lifestyle with feature and finish options such as wood flooring, wood paneled walls, roof racks for solar power, soils, toilets, gas stoves, etc. Price tags range anywhere from $16,000. – $65,000.
Loner glampers and large communities of glampers alike live on social media platforms such as Instagram to be and stay in touch with like minded people. They share images of their vans, their daily living adventures, their stories, their itineraries, their tips, their how-to’s. Mike Shisler, an early glamper, said, “Years ago, Instagram was how we found another couple living in a van that inspired us to do it.”
Meet Evan and Katie Larson who began their full time glamping in June, 2017, after quitting their jobs. They are considering seasonal/part time work to keep glamping in their 2016 Mercedes Sprinter van. Jess and Mike Shisler are celebrating their first wedding anniversary in their 2013 Mercedes Sprinter van. He’s selling his architectural drawings on Etsy to finance their traveling life. And Kaya Lindsay and her boyfriend Michael began glamping in June, 2016, in their 2006 Dodge van. Lindsay said, “For being a first time homeowner at 24 years old and living and working and traveling, I wanted to show people that it’s possible and that you can do it yourself.”
How long this trend will last is anyone’s guess but for now, glampers are pouring themselves into their first time starter homes on wheels and hitting the roads.