Company specializes in converting campers into tiny homes for 'digital nomads,' retirees
SUDBURY -- A company from Toronto created during the pandemic is moving into high gear with its stylish campervans.
“There’s a huge burgeoning community of people who don’t have to work in one place any more,” said Jeremy Vandermeij, co-founder and design director of The Van Dads.
“There’s also a lot of people who want to use them for vacationing, road trips.”
Vandermeij said there is 60 square feet in the van and it’s equipped with a two-burner induction cook top stove, sink, composting toilet, a queen size bed, a desk that you can work on, and a table that pulls out for you to eat a meal on.
“There is also a 30-gallon water tank so you can do dishes. Plus, the faucet can extend outside the van so you can take a shower,” he said.
“All of this is powered by the solar and battery bank … There are two big solar panels on the roof of the van. And they feed five large batteries. Those batteries can be charged by the solar panels or plug the van in if you’re at a campsite.”
Batteries last a day and a half
Vandermeij said the batteries can last a day and a half without any sun. And the batteries are charged every time you drive the van.
He said young digital nomads with no kids are buying the vans. Retired snowbirds, too, who are sleeping in the vans instead of paying for hotel rooms.
The base model starts at $47,000 but Vandermeij said just like vehicles, you can add options so you can customize your van.
“Some people are spending more than $100,000 because they want a fancy bathroom, tile floor and they want four people to sleep in the van,” said Vandermeij.
“We also have beds that lower from the ceiling to accommodate a larger crowd.”
When asked about the van withstanding a northern Ontario winter, he said that won't be an issue.
“We actually tested our first van when we got it insulated and put in the Webasto heater," said Vandermeij.
"It’s a heater that works off the gas tank with the vehicle off. And it was more than warm enough.”