Become a Pro-Vanlifer With Sprinter, Home Bases and Community, Starting at $150

Living on the road has become something of a fashionable enterprise, springing from the need of finding a sense of freedom in a world that has been saturated with highly stressful situations for decades. Like all activities it involves a range of positive and negative elements – from the chance to explore the entire world to not having a place to call home and being cumbered by the most mundane of activities, such as doing laundry.
Kibbo Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 9 photos
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A new startup company called Kibbo is trying to devise a new and innovative way of bridging the gap and enhance the best elements of living on the road while lowering the hardships down to a manageable level. The enterprise is specifically focusing on the van-dwelling side of the living on the road segment and instead of featuring a classical van-centric approach is instead focusing on the entire experience around it.

Those loving their campers – vans or not – know very well that a nomadic expedition can bring about a lot of hurdles. It was never enough to just have a van for a mobile home – you also need to park it, refuel it, service it, do the grocery shopping and laundry. All these are pretty common pitfalls – and some resolve them by simply oversizing everything, especially the van space.

But you can only do so much to expand – and some might even consider you outside the van-dwelling community for this very precise reason. For example, Kibbo’s co-living strategy involves the use of small vans – the company rents out Mercedes Sprinter-based campers and lets members bring their own van, but only if it is under 25 feet long.

How about that special plan Kibbo is all about – it involves the van, the members and so much more. More precisely, the idea behind Kibbo is to connect vanlifers with clubhouses localized in great or unique locations on the Western Coast of the United States as well as setting up a sprawling user community.

Kibbo vanlife experience
For now, the company is promising it will open home bases – places to settle down for a while and do all the standard tasks a landowner would do on a regular basis – on and around the beaches, forests, mountains and deserts in Ojai, Zion, Black Rock Desert, and Big Sur starting this very fall. From 2021 onwards they will also cater to people looking for more urban locations – with new openings scheduled for San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Los Angeles, among others.

Once there, people will get common access to everything needed to play, live and work at the location – from quick wireless internet to a full kitchen with all the groceries store essentials and down to excursion gear that will make anyone fully prepared to explore the great outdoors.

The company thinks those looking to fly solo might also want to connect with others from time to time, so the community has been devised to attract all sorts of adventurers, artists, makers, and creators from the van-life segment. If people want to socialize, they can easily share their free-living experiences with others by simply co-creating new adventures, dinners, trips and more in the clubhouses and even on the road.

But how about the starting point of the entire endeavor – the van itself? The first Kibbo unit is set to explore the life on the road (with intermittent clubhouse “vacations” for relaxation, recharging, socializing and work) starting this fall in Mercedes-Benz Sprinter-converted vans.

These have been decked out specifically for Kibbo with all the necessary amenities to become a tiny house with wheels. They seem to be based off the latest iteration of the Sprinter available on the U.S. market and include not just house essentials but also the full list of technologies associated with the German brand’s legendary van, from adaptive cruise control to off-the-grid power efficiency.

Kibbo vanlife experience
As far as the costs involved with becoming a Kibbo member are concerned, the startup expresses its desire to become an alternative worthy of calling itself cheaper than living in a studio apartment. We also have more precise measurements to which you can confront the former statement.

Kibbo is quite classical in terms of pricing, following a subscription-based strategy. First off, wannabe members need to consider the one-time sign up tax – though early adopters will get that fee waived off through the end of the year.

Next up is the standard membership quota of $150 / $195 per month for one or two persons, respectively. The only warning is this is just the appetizer – it brings the accesso to the community and the choice to book up the company’s collection of clubhouses.

A full-time access to the network of locations and use of their available amenities (from parking spot to snacks and all those enticing extras – bikes, adventure gear, etc.) comes with a serious monthly markup – kicking off from at least $995. And you also must consider the cost of renting the actual vans – those modern Mercedes-Benz Sprinters range between another $1500-$2500 per month.
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About the author: Aurel Niculescu
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Aurel has aimed high all his life (literally, at 16 he was flying gliders all by himself) so in 2006 he switched careers and got hired as a writer at his favorite magazine. Since then, his work has been published both by print and online outlets, most recently right here, on autoevolution.
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