COVID-19: Motor-home makes debut in Bengaluru

Personalised travel in COVID-19 times: Motor-home makes debut in Bengaluru

On the move

Personalised travel was bound to gain traction with the tourism industry trying to reopen with extreme social-distancing norms.

To tap the potential, a Bengaluru-based startup, Campervan Camps and Holidays has now come up with what they call India’s first commercially approved motor-homes.

The campervan/caravan industry is not new, as an earlier startup, CamperTrials, had also launched its services in 2018. Trippy Wheels followed two months later. But the new service, unveiled here on Wednesday by Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, assumes significance in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the devastation it has caused to the tourism industry.

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Simply put, the motor-home called LuxeCamper is a home on wheels, but specially designed for luxury travel. Living and sleeping areas are designed within a compact space that can accommodate up to four people. A lounge at the vehicle’s rear-end doubles up as a bed.

This adds to a motorised suspended queen bed at the front, a wardrobe, and thermal controls for both heating and cooling. To cook food on-the-go, the motor-home has a kitchenette, complete with an induction cooktop, stove and gas hobs, toaster, electric kettle, a microwave oven, fridge, and freezer.

Powered by rooftop solar panels, the LuxeCamper uses solar energy to charge inverter batteries and power the heating and cooling equipment. This vehicle has a skylight, five bi-directional fans, hot/cold shower, toilet, two smart televisions, and Bluetooth music system.

Besides 360 degrees cameras, emergency exits, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, speed governor, and a GPS tracker, the motor-home also features 4G WiFi, 230V a/c power sockets and USB charging points.

Founded by Tiger Ramesh, the startup has cricketer Anil Kumble, musician Vijay Prakash and businessman Phaneesh Murthy among its angel investors. Vinay Luthra, former Karnataka Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, is the board director. The company designed and manufactured the vehicles on its own, says Ramesh. Built with German design, the LuxeCamper has been approved by the Automotive Research Association of India as per AIS-124 standards. The earlier startup, CamperTrails had imported the caravans from the United States.

CamperTrails’ model was to ferry travellers to a camping site and park the caravan with its trailer inside the partner resort for the night.

The Campervan team has already inked partnerships with small lodges, homestays, and select campsites of eco-tourism chain Jungle Lodges and Resorts.

Initially, customers could choose trails at camping sites, including Bandipur, Bheemeshwari, Hampi, Kabini, Kodagu, Kudremukha, Sadashivgad, Sakleshpur, and Sitanandi.