Where to Rent Your Minnesota Camper Van
I recently went on my first camper van trip with my dog, Ole and it was a really fun and unique experience! Being able to hit the road and go wherever you want and then wake up with an incredible view inside a state park, or with views of Lake Superior or a national park is the best part of the camper van experience. I most enjoyed emerging from the cold, dark van after a night of deep sleep and into the bright warm sun at William O’Brien State Park. For a February morning, it was calm, quiet, and warm. We took our time getting dressed and eating breakfast before beginning our hike.
On this trip, I rented a van from Voyager Campervans, a van rental company founded in Minneapolis. They have a variety of van sizes, and the pickup and drop-off process is seamless. Their Minneapolis building is surrounded by blocks of free street parking so you can leave your car for days while on your #vanlife adventure. Be sure to use code expkristen50 for a $50 discount on your reservation at check out.
1. What’s Included with the Camper Vans
As I previously mentioned, there are several options to choose from based on your needs and how much space you require. I used the V3 Minny, which felt like the perfect size for just my 100 lbs dog and me to sleep comfortably, while still feeling compact and easy to drive. The V3 Minny comes with:
- Electric outlets and LED lighting, which can be used when the van engine is off
- A fan to keep you cool
- Coleman gas stove with cooking fuel
- Cooking pot, pan, and kettle
- Knife and cutting board
- Pour-over coffee maker
- Plates, bowls, cups, and utensils
- Lots of storage space
- Two camping chairs
- A solar-powered refrigerator
- Built-in sink with an electric water source (bring your own water)
- Two pillows, bed sheets, and a comforter
2. The Kitchen Set Up
The kitchen setup is pretty sleek and easy to use. There is a large countertop that pulls out like a drawer. There’s also a small gas Coleman stove, pots, pans, plates, and utensils. Try cooking something simple for dinner, like pasta, burgers, pan-fried fish, or a grilled cheese sandwich. For breakfast, cook up eggs, or keep it simple with yogurt and granola. You can also heat up water and brew fresh coffee with the pour-over coffee maker.
3. How the Bed and Bench Work
When you pick up the van, the bed will be folded up so you can easily store your items on top of or underneath the bench. It took me less than three minutes to set up the bed, and then put it away when I wanted the bench back. You could leave the bed assembled during your entire trip if you wanted as well, it doesn’t get in the way of the driver or passenger seats. Check out the video below for a more detailed tour of the van’s interior space.
4. How to Stay Warm (or Cool)
If you go on your camper van adventure in the winter, you will stay warm as long as you pack the right items. To stay cozy I brought:
- A wool blanket from Faribault Woolen Mill
- A down Rumpl blanket
- Wool long johns on top and bottom
- A warm, fleece-lined hat
- A warm L.L. Bean sweatshirt
- Toasty wool socks
- The sheets and comforter included in the van
Note, there are outlets inside the van that take energy from a secondary battery, and I was hoping to use my heated blanket. I kept getting an error message that there wasn’t enough power for my blanket to work. The Voyager Campervan employees told me ahead of time that it should work, so I’m thinking it was something specific with my blanket. That being said, I actually didn’t need it at all and was quite warm all night, other than my nose being a little cold. And if you go in the summer, there is a built-in ceiling fan that provides a strong and quiet breeze.
5. Where in Minnesota to Take Your Camper Van
We chose to stay at William O’Brien State Park for a few reasons. It’s about an hour from Minneapolis, it’s one of a few parks that has winter camping available, it’s quiet and beautiful with lots of trees and (frozen) snowy lakes. While you can certainly take your van anywhere you want, even beyond Minnesota, here are a few great places to go with your camper van that aren’t too far from the Twin Cities:
A Carefree Way to Explore
Being that this was my first camper van trip, I wasn’t totally sure what to expect. I really enjoyed the experience and the freedom that a camper van gives you. While my trip was only one night, I love the idea of being free to hit the road and go wherever you want, whenever you want. My favorite part of the experience was waking up at the destination. I didn’t need to pack up and drive anywhere to go for my hike. I simply had breakfast and started walking.
Looking for other fun trips around Minnesota? Check out my blog posts on Epic Things to Do in Stillwater, 10 Reasons to Visit Ruttger’s Bay Lake Resort, 18 Awesome Things to Do in Minneapolis, and 10 Reasons to Visit Pine City. Happy adventuring!