After 20 years in the radio and music industry, David Clapper switched gears. With a longtime friend and fellow traveler, he started the journey in 2017 to create a new way to travel. As the Southeast’s first compact camper van rental and concierge service, Atlanta-based sCAMPer Van provides fully stocked vehicles that were designed with many miles, music festivals and off-the-beaten-path adventures in mind.
What was your inspiration for launching sCAMPer Van?
I had just returned from a trip out West with my son and while we were out there, we rented a van very similar to what we have now. We drove it from San Francisco, California, to Yosemite to Big Sur and Monterey, cooking, sleeping, driving and living out of the van for several days. We fell in love with the experience. While I was contemplating my next step in my career, I wanted to rent a van like that to join some friends on a surf trip to the Outer Banks, North Carolina, and well ... I couldn’t find anything at all. sCAMPer Van was born.
How do your vans stand out from other recreational vehicles (RVs) or car rental services in the Southeast?
I like to call Scamper Van “glorified car camping” as our vans are not an RV in your traditional sense. Our vans are compact, easy to drive, low-cost options for people that want to explore. What really makes us special is the customer service and the goodies that come with our vans. We offer anything, from trip planning to grocery shopping and gear rental, from kayaks to mountain bikes and hammocks. And get this: we deliver it to you.
What is the longest trip someone has taken so far?
We’ve seen our customers head to the Grand Canyon, Cooperstown, New York for the The Pro Baseball Hall of Fame and all the way to the tip of Maine.
What advice would you give to the first-time sCAMPer?
Pack light and be free. Honestly. Our vans are designed to unplug, to get off the grid. They are self-contained with power and water so although a campground is nice, try exploring something a little off-the-beaten path.
Do you have a favorite place to camp?
What a lot of people don’t realize is just how many options are out there for outdoor exploration in our area, from the Appalachian Mountains to the Okefenokee Swamp, from Providence Canyon to Tybee Island. There is so much to see and do. I have a summer surf trip planned in North Carolina, and I always make sure to swing through Brevard and Asheville when I’m nearby.
What are people are often surprised to learn about their sCAMPer Van experience?
Our vans are small, and I think sometimes people are nervous about the space, but we look at it this way: you are using the van to get outside, the biggest space there is. What people seem to comment the most about is that there was plenty of room for their trip; that they overpacked and didn’t realize that we made sure that they had everything they needed for the trip.
How many sCAMPer Vans are currently available?
At the moment we only have two vans. However, we have just inked several investors into the business to help us expand the fleet immediately and expect that we will have enough vans to meet demand by mid-summer.