Honest Camper Keeps Van Life Real with Simple Overlanding Rentals

Even after years spent as a former vanlifer, trusting my fate to the vagaries of potholes, closed roads, and blood alcohol content of various long-haul truckers at 3 a.m., I still get a frisson of excitement whenever I see a camper van chugging along in the lane ahead of me. I pull out into the left lane and take my time passing it, trying my best to get a glimpse of the goods — do they have the built-in kitchen? Is there a pop-top? Did they kit it out with paneled wood compartments or are they going old-school hippie style with mandala curtains and a mattress in the back?

You don’t need to have spent years on the road to feel that same tug of wanderlust. There’s just something about a self-contained home on wheels that gets us all thinking, “What am I doing all this for, again? And do I really need a fixed address to do it?”

honest camper
Honest Camper

However, having lived the van life for many years, I’ll admit to feeling occasionally irked by the supremely souped-up vehicles that routinely cross my social media feed. These McMansions of the road are marvels of compact design, but they can be so feature-heavy as to entirely box out the sense of adventure, the charm of roughing it.

That’s what makes Honest Camper one of the more awesome overland tour services, at least in my view. Based out of Vancouver, Canada, this company does one thing and does it supremely right: camper vans, ready for a weekend adventure or a cross-country road trip.

The Honest Camper fleet of camper vans includes two models: a retro VW Westfalia and a sleek Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, both painted in a shade of woodland green designed to blend right into your backcountry habitat. Inside, you’ll find all the basics covered in sinfully plush style: Casper memory foam mattress, upgraded stereo system, built-in Wi-Fi, and a kitchen setup that includes a 50-liter Domestic fridge/freezer and a two-burner propane cooktop and sink, thoughtfully stocked with the necessities (dishes, coffee grinder, towels) as well as a few extras, like environmentally friendly soap and fragrant candles. The interiors, while spare, are as aesthetically pleasing as a Scandinavian boutique hotel, with blonde wood countertops and crisp white curtains. (Owner William Jarvis cops to being as much a fan of Dwell magazine as he is of outdoor life.)

The Westfalia includes an upgraded engine with 40 percent more power and all-terrain tires, while the Sprinter offers ultra-modern features like Bluetooth, a backup camera, and (we must be honest) better gas mileage.

A rental rate $200-230 per night gets you 150 km (a little over 90 miles) of driving per day, plus insurance. Add-ons include unlimited miles, a packed fridge, and gas prepay. To get in an Honest Camper, just book online with your selected Vancouver pickup location, meet your van valet at the site, grab the keys, and hit the road.

The company provides a host of recommended routes out of British Columbia but encourages meandering wherever your heart desires. You’ll know you’ve arrived when you experience, in William’s words, “a giant exhale” at having escaped the confines of mundane life and reconnecting with your natural roots.

It’s been a few years since I hung up my Nothing’s made me want to get on the road again like this.

Living

A Behind-the-Scenes Look Inside a Mattress Factory

A mattress is a mattress, right? Wrong.
Food & Drink

A Brief History of Oktoberfest and Why You Should Celebrate in 2018

How did a Bavarian wedding in the 1800s turn into the biggest beer celebration in the world?
Travel

Burstner Harmony 3 Is One of the Sexiest Camper Concepts We’ve Ever Seen

Sometimes "roughing it" should include an espresso maker and a rainfall shower.
Auto

Lovers of All Things ’80s and Square Will Love This Resurrected Lancia Integrale

Where Singer builds the perfect Porsche 911, Automobili Amos aims to build the perfect Lancia Integrale, a rally weapon from a bygone era.
Travel

Sanctuary Retreats is the Name to Know for Luxury African Safaris

Each camp is a unique reflection of its natural environment and often, the wildlife viewing from your balcony or the pool is as good as any safari truck.
Travel

How to Pack Your Suitcase, Backpack, or Duffel Bag Like a Pro

Despite the many horrors of modern air travel, it’s never been easier to get organized for your next trip.
Food & Drink

Win a Luxurious Travel Cocktail Set In Honor of The Manual Spirit Awards

Only two can win. Will it be you? Enter to find out.
Food & Drink

How to Eat Your Way Across Texas Barbecue Country

Brisket, brisket, and more brisket. Here’s how to eat it like a king in Texas barbecue country.
Food & Drink

Ohio Is Home to the World’s First Brewery Hotel (with In-room Taps!)

In-room taps and well-stocked shower fridges? Sign us up!
Travel

Tips for Staying Healthy on the Road from People Who Get Paid to Drink

Though spirits brand ambassadors have pretty much the coolest job ever, constant travel can take a serious toll. Here's how some of the best stay balanced on the go.
Travel

The View of an American Road Trip from the Back of a Motorcycle

When I was in architecture school I bought a small 250cc Honda Rebel a) because it was a cheap way to get around town and b) because it allowed me to explore the mountains near my university in a way I hadn’t experienced before. Mountains…
Travel

You Can Play Real-Life Mario Kart on the Streets of Tokyo

Banana peels and red turtle shells are strictly forbidden, but Mario mustaches are encouraged.
Fashion & Style

Peak Design’s Travel Line Is the Kind of Compartmentalized Luggage Bag We love

This bag has pockets inside pockets inside pockets!
Travel

5 Best Cities to Celebrate Oktoberfest Outside of Germany

Munich isn't the only place that loves lederhosen, märzen, and oompah bands.