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Kúkú Campers
Photo courtesy of Dally Tram, @Dallyhue/Kúkú Campers
101 Things to Do in Colorado This Year

Tips and Tricks to Make Van Life Work for You

Jason Schirato, co-owner of Aspen Custom Vans shares ideas for making road tripping a little easier. Plus, where to rent and buy your hotel on wheels.

Winter Pro Tip: Schirato always packs insulation between the exterior and interior walls of his campervans. Make sure whoever put together the vehicle you’re using did the same, and cover your windows with curtains and Reflectix (silver sheets of insulation that would look right at home on a spaceship).

Spring Pro Tip: The problem with small spaces like vans? They get smelly, fast. Schirato likes to wash up at gyms but also recommends solar showers. The popular RoadShower has a reservoir that sits atop your vehicle, so when you use the pressurized hose to rinse off outside your van, the water has absorbed a touch of the sun’s warmth.

Summer Pro Tip: Many campsites require a reservation. If you didn’t plan ahead, hunt down a Walmart—you can usually park there overnight for free. “I also use the Colorado Gazatteer Map to find public, park-able land,” Schirato says. “You can find it at most gas stations.”

Fall Pro Tip: Don’t be that guy pleading with your campsite neighbors for a jumper cable. Instead, bring along an auxiliary battery bank to run the cooking appliances you’ll need to prepare autumn’s bounty. “Always get a larger one than you think you’ll need,” Schirato says.

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Where to try or buy your portable hotel.

To Rent
Rocky Mountain Campervans: This company with offices in Lakewood and Las Vegas boasts a fleet of vintage VW vans tricked out with beds and stainless-steel sinks. From $150 per night

KúKú Campers: With stripped-down yet comfy interiors (a bed, cushy bench seats, plenty of storage), this Highlands Ranch company’s vans are road-trip ready. From $79 per day

To Own
Colorado Teardrops: Weighing only 2,000 pounds (at most), these lightweight trailers put minimal strain on the vehicles towing them. Each of the Boulder-made models comes with a kitchen area. From $14,300

EarthRoamer: Based in Dacono, EarthRoamer makes hulking campers with leather sofas and hot-water-capable showers; their insides are as luxe as their outsides are tough. From $590,000

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