“Since I was a boy, my passion has always been VW campers,” says creative artist, talented musician, campervan designer, and Outdoorsy owner, Christopher “Monk” Hackett. “I love their innovative design, small size, and incredible versatility. But Volkswagen hasn’t sold a camper in the United States since 2003, and most of the vans out there are 20 to 30 years old.
“I was looking for a camper van that could provide a similar experience on a modern and reliable four-wheel-drive platform. After much research, I came upon Zach Yeager at Cascade Campers. Zach is a true VW aficionado, and he was building a van that drew from the same inspiration.”
“As Zach likes to say, ‘Everything you need and nothing you don’t.’ When I first met Zach, and he picked me up in his VW bus, I knew I had found a kindred spirit.”
Of course, Monk simply had to have one of these campers, so he and Zach quickly went to work designing and building. “My micro camper is named Gypsy,” Christopher says. “Outside, Gypsy is purposefully ‘Plain Jane’ — hardly identifiable as a camper van. Gypsy’s 15-foot length and 6-foot height make it easy to navigate California coastal towns and fit into any subcompact parking space. But look closely, and you will see discreet solar panels on the roof and electric vent fan.”
“The feature that I really love is the comfy bench that converts into a 3’6″ wide, 6’4” long, two-person bed. It’s perfect for hanging out in the van, and you can fit up to four people just hanging out. I camped in Gypsy before the buildout, and the Cascade design actually created far more usable space than I had when the van was bare.”
Wondering how this awesome van ended up being listed on Outdoorsy? “I built Gypsy for myself, but I soon realized how many people were interested in my build,” Hackett shares. “I’d pull up along the beach in the morning and brew up some espresso inside the van with the rear door open facing the ocean. Folks would walk by and look in and comment on how beautiful it was inside.”
“Gypsy has sparked many conversations! So, I came up with the idea of sharing my micro camper with others, so they could also experience the wonderful nature of the Central California Coast.”
With the decision made to rent Gypsy out, the next step was finding the perfect rental platform. “I chose Outdoorsy for its amazing turnkey platform,” Monk explains. “I come from a technology background, and I appreciate the simplicity and intuitive features of the Outdoorsy platform. I have used other peer-to-peer platforms, but for me, Outdoorsy is hands down the best in terms of the user interface, and the Outdoorsy app is great for managing my business from my iPhone.”
“I worked on my listing for three weeks, working out pricing, packages, and photographs. I got my first booking one week after opening bookings. I have only been renting for a short time, but I’m already covering all of my payments on the van!”
“For me, meeting interesting people has been the highlight of renting,” Monk tells us. “Most of my renters have been hikers, campers, or simply explorers. My first renter was a father who took his 4-year-old son on a week-long journey to Joshua Tree.”
“Creating memorable experiences like this is why I’m doing it. I’ve found that my renters share a common love of traveling small and dreaming big. I like to share my stories with them and get inspired by their adventures! I hope Gypsy provides a retreat from a stressful daily life. I want to inspire my customers to write their own magical story, one that they will tell time and time again.”
All about Christopher Hackett
Favorite morning beverage:
“Espresso coffee with half-and-half”
Favorite campsite meal:
Music you like to play on the radio:
“Classic, Soul, Rock”
What’s your Outdoorsy spirit animal?
If you could travel anywhere in an RV, where would you go?
“I want to travel up to Portland, Oregon, camping along the way.”
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