Boise company draws in camping enthusiasts with rental 'wandervans'

A van rental company in Boise is working to get more people outdoors.

BOISE - A Boise business is bringing in people from all over the country and world to rent its vans.

Wandervans rents out vans that are a cross between an RV camper and a tent.

"We call ourselves the sweet spot in between the tent and the RV,” said Wandervans CEO Chris Cook. "It gets you off the ground and it gets you into the outdoors."

Cook launched the business in June 2016 after he quit his job as engineer for 14-and-a-half years at Micron. He said decided to venture out and work on Wandervans, one of his life goals.
  
"The appeal of the van life is just kind of the simplicity,” Cook said. “You’re getting rid of all sorts of stuff in your life that you don't need, and you're just going to the simple path.”

He said he loves taking his family camping and wants to give other people those same experiences outside. That’s why he came up with a way to make camping appeal to a broad range of people: From those who might not like the idea of sleeping on the ground when camping to millennials.

"The whole van life thing -- millennials sleeping in vans-- has been really big lately, and so there's a lot of vans out there that you can buy that are very expensive,” he said. “My thought is well; I love camping how can I get the van people to go camping for a reasonable price."

Wandervans has three vans available for rent. All are different sizes and sleep a different amount of people. Cook orders the vans and remodels them here in Boise to have beds, a small kitchen and refrigerator inside. He said his vans aren’t as fancy as RVs and they’re not supposed to be. Cook said the idea is to just give people what they really need to enjoy nature.

“People who just want to get into the outdoors and kind of leave their technology and life behind, and just kind of get back to camping as what it should be,” he said.

Cook said the next step is expanding Wandervans. He said they’re getting more vans to add to the Boise fleet next summer. He said he’s hoping to have a total of 10 vans in Boise. Cook said Wandervans is also in the process of expanding to Seattle. 

Copyright 2016 KTVB


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