Chris Cook Of Wandervans Provides Camper Van Rentals Out Of Boise, ID For Outdoor Adventurers And Campers.
Wandervans, Boise ID, Chris Cook, Sawtooth, Ford Transit
MRV: The Buzz, Your Outdoor Lifestyle Insider, Written By: Debbie Wolfe
Comfort On The Go: Wandervans
Chris Cook Is An Avid Camper Who Started Camper Van Rental Company That Satisfies The Sweet Spot In Between Tents And Recreational Vehicles
Perhaps it was the perfect weather, or because it was off the beaten path that led this east coast native to stay in Idaho. “I'm originally from Massachusetts, but I've lived in Idaho for longer than I've lived in any other place,” says Chris Cook of Wander Vans. He has driven across the US five times on camping and mountain biking adventures. Nowadays, Boise, ID is where he’s put down his roots.
Chris and his wife are avid tent campers. However, as they started a family and got a little older, they realized that sleeping on the ground wasn’t as awesome as it used to be. “We wanted to take the kids out with us, so when my youngest was two we bought a small camper,” says Chris. They bought a 17-foot trailer and soon realized that it was larger than they wanted to pull. When he realized that his wife wasn’t too keen on driving the car with the trailer, he knew it was time to try something different. “We wanted to have something that is easy to drive and it's not as big as an RV,” says Chris. Returning from a family camping trip, Chris saw a camper van on the highway and thought to himself, “I can do that.” Thus, Wander Vans was born.
“Wander Vans is about giving people what they need and not a lot of things that they don't,” says Chris. When most people are going camping they're spending their time outside, not hanging out in their tents. “They need a comfortable place to stay in the evening and they want a nice bed. The rest of the day they're out hiking, biking hanging by the campfire or exploring,” explains Chris. Chris describes Wander Vans as “the sweet spot in between the tents and an R.V.” Specifically, his camper vans are for those who want to get out exploring, but are ready for the open road lifestyle.
The Wander Vans aren’t your typical camper van. They are Ford Transits, a cross between a cargo van and a pickup truck. This combo makes the vehicle easy to drive, have plenty of space, and enough power to get around rugged terrain. Depending on the model, the camper vans will sleep up to five people. Not only does Chris want to provide a comfy resting spot for campers, he wants to get people outdoors at reasonable rates. Daily rentals for Wander Vans are more affordable than most hotel rooms.
“They camper vans are big and comfortable enough for families to get out and go camping,” says Chris. The Sawtooth model is specifically targeted towards families. It has two queen beds in the back and so a family of four can comfortable fit in the van for the night. “That’s something that is hard to find in most other camper vans,” explains Chris.
When the vans are not all rented out, Chris and his family will sneak off for a weekend of hiking and mountain biking around Idaho. It’s something that they don’t get to do as often during peak rental season. That’s good news for his business. Idaho is starting to gain in popularity as a RV and camping destination, so Wander Vans are booked pretty much all summer. Chris thinks that Idaho is a wonderful destination for campers because of the lack of crowds. Once in Idaho, “you leave the crowds behind,” says Chris, “you’re kind of just out there.” In addition to the remoteness of the area, Idaho offers amazing views and weather. Chris says, “from May through October it's sunny and dry. You're not going to be stuck in a rainstorm.” Also, there are lots of campsites that are free and you don't need special permits to camp. Chris says Idaho is attractive to campers because “it's a nice destination off the beaten path.”
With the uptick in business, Chris plans to expand his camper van fleet from seven to 10 in the very near future. After that, opening locations in Idaho and eventually Salt Lake City. “We are looking to start franchising,” says Chris, “I’d like to be the ‘Cruise America’ for camper vans.” Meanwhile, Chris is enjoying the success of his small business and getting the time to spend hiking, biking, and camping with his family.
A graduate of Northland College with degrees in Creative Writing and Earth Sciences, Debbie has written for HGTV, DIYNetwork, Sheknows and more. She enjoys gardening, reading and fostering dogs.
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Wandervans providing adventure specific boutique campervans for your next adventure. Wandervans begun with a passion for helping to get people into the outdoors at reasonable rates.