Campervan Camping Rules!
Have you ever been camping? It’s really awesome. I love camping so much (I even made a /r/CampingAlberta subreddit). Living in Alberta is such a treat because we have so many beautiful places to camp — and lots of places to fish! Camping and fishing go together like two things that go together really, really well. My favourite place to camp in Alberta would be the lower Kananaskis Lake campground area. Lush green forests, clean fresh air, green blue water loaded with fish. Mmm. Recently I had the opportunity to take a Karma Campervan out when camping, and man, it was amazing. Up until using this van I’d always camped using a small tent, so this was quite a big deal for me. I’m going to tell you all about it!
Full disclosure: this is a sponsored post. Part of this collaboration is running two contests to give away van rentals. We’ve already given away the first one but will also be hosting another contest in the fall or winter. It’ll be posted up at crackmacs.ca/contests once available.
Who/What Are Karma Campervans?
A Calgary based company that has a fleet of brand new pimped out vans that have been custom fitted for all weather camping, including winter! They’ve really taken the time to set you up with everything you’ll need to go camping, without the less desirable parts of camping (like sleeping on the ground, being cold, setting up a tent etc).
- Instagram: @karmacampervans
- Facebook: @karmacampervans
- Location: #1102 10923 38 St NE
They come with everything you would need or want to camp, and in style – a full sized queen bed, complete with sheets and a comforter, a heater, fans, a kitchen – even curtains with teeny tiny magnets to block out the sun. The interiors are build solid and everything has a purpose.
They’re easy to drive, handle well. Lots of room up front for snacks on the dash. They’re Ford 2018 and 2019s.
Something cool about the vans is the passenger seat swivels around 180 degrees, giving you a comfy indoor seat.
Perks of Using A Karma Campvervan
These are some of the things I particularly loved about using a Karma Campervan. It was legitimately difficult to think of any downsides.
No setup or take down!
You drive the van to the spot you’d like to camp, put it in park, get out, crack open beers and begin camping. You’ll need to shuffle your things around inside a bit, but really, that’s all you need to do. While everyone else is setting up their tents, pumping up mattresses, throwing backpacks around, you’re sitting back chilling.
Take down is similar, in that, while everyone else is hung over and procrastinating on having to rip everything down, you just straighten things up a bit on the counter, turn the passenger seat back around, then get ready to drive home.
No Scrambling When It Rains
When I was camping near Birch Lake with some friends, I was down by the dock fishing when some heavy rain clouds moved in quickly. I hurried back to camp and just as I got the van, the rain started. It was pouring hard, and all I had to do was step inside the van. Everyone else around camp was scrambling to cover their tents, make sure tarps were pulled over, it was chaos. Until that moment I didn’t consider how awesome having a van in the rain would be. After about 45 minutes the rain stopped and we resumed #GoodCamping 🙂
While waiting for the rain to stop, we put up a mosquito net (not included in the vans, brought it from home). It made keeping the bugs out really easy and convenient.
Organization And Storage
Something you may be familiar with if you’re a tent camper; where do you put your belongings when camping? Not only your food, but everything else? Your clothes and electronics and tools? It’s usually just thrown on the ground in the corner of the tent in a giant mess. I mean, it works, I’ve been camping like that forever, but with a Karma Campervan, you can actually fold your clothes up and put them in drawers! The kitchen has several of them, including cupboards. It’s like being in a tiny apartment. There’s so much room for everything, including your coolers with food. It’s great.
Towards the back of the vans, under the bedding is lots of room for your fishing rods or bags or even a dog carrier. They do allow pets in the vans, however there is an extra cost as they’re a bit more challenging to clean up after. They do a very thorough deep cleaning, because you don’t want to leave any fur for the next customers who might be allergic.
If you have an older doggo who isn’t so mobile, a van looks like an ideal way to take them camping too. Example:
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Stay Warm, Or Keep Cold
The vans have 2 fans built right into the roof. If you set one fan on IN and one on OUT, it circulates the air and keeps the inside nice and cool. Even in +30 bright sun I was cool as a cucumber inside the van. The vans also come with a powerful built in heater, which you just flick a switch to turn on. Keeps the van toasty on cool nights, or if you’re winter camping.
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It Comes With A Kitchen!
There’s a sink built right into the solid counter top, which pumps water from a water canister stored underneath. The sink empties into a grey water canister as well, which you can easily remove to empty and clean. Rather than having a stove built in, they supply a propane Coleman grill and a portable wooden table. The rental comes with a can of propane, but if you’re going to be on a longer adventure you can add on more canisters.
We added on the portable fridge, which was bigger than expected! In the photo you can see a full 2L of Coke in the back and a couple energy drink things. It was quiet and kept things cold, much like a fridge should do. The fridge slides right under the bed. Make sure your thumb isn’t on the top when you slide the fridge back in hey.
Even though I was expecting a fridge, I thought it was a safe at first. That’d be one cool safe.
Each Karma Campervan also comes with a coffee press and 2 mugs, and coffee! They rotate through different Albertan coffee companies, and the coffee is yours to keep.
Equipped For Technology And Comfort
There’s several USB ports built into the walls, front of the van, in the kitchen area and on both sides of the bed. Very handy! I usually bring USB battery packs with me, which I did this time as well, but it was super convenient having built in chargers. What a time to be alive!
Their vans have “Go Power” solar panels installed on the roof continuously charging the battery bank. 100 Watt and 250 Watt, depending on which van model.
The bedding (which is included with each van rental at no extra charge) is super soft. It’s a full queen sized memory foam mattress, 300 thread count sheets (I asked, details are important).
- Duvets and duvet covers are from Society 6, and ultra comfy, warm and heavy (but not too heavy).
- Heating is done by an ‘Espar’ heater from Eberspaecher.com, which independently uses gas from the fuel tank to run. It’s super efficient and can warm the whole van up in 5-10 minutes even in cold temperatures.
Karma put together a quick video giving you a tour of the vans and what to expect.
Booking A Karma Campervan
They have this awesome calendar view tool on their website to see if a van is available for whatever dates you’re interested in. You don’t need to login.
- Calendar view tool (it’ll be set to “list”, click “calendar”)
If a van is available, you just book it through the website and voila. It’s seamless and very straight forward. If you have questions, they’ve put together a very detailed trip planner on their website, which has a break down of what you’ll want to bring, a full FAQ.
Note! at present time they have a special rate for $99/night in October and November 2019. Get on it!
How much do they cost to rent? That depends on how long you need it for, and how far you’re taking it. Plus other factors like add-ons. Do you want a fridge? You can get a quote through their booking system on the website.
Karma Campervan Tips
- If you’re planning on building a fire during the summer season, check Alberta Fire Bans for your area.
- Check 511 Alberta/Drive BC road reports.
- Install the Waze app for real time driving information from other users. Super handy.
- The gas cap is beside the drivers door.
- Looking for crown land? The Alberta and BC governments have a mapping tools for crown land.
- The vans have USB reading lights in the drawers! Find them.
- If traveling into the United States, don’t forget you’ll need a passport.
- If you get some small powerful magnets, you can hang a mosquito net across the door.
- Each van comes with a French coffee press. If you don’t know how to use one, here’s some instructions.
I was not prepared for how much better this made my camping trip, compared to my normal tenting. Every little thing was taken care of (you can rent a portable toilet too, if you need one), nothing is inconvenient. Nothing is uncomfortable. Oh also? The van was almost soundproof while inside. Kids were running around playing and stuff, I didn’t hear squat.
Fresh coffee at on the lakes edge while fishing. It was so beautiful.
Cheers and thank you again to David at Karma Campervans for the opportunity to work together! It was a blast.