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Counter to COVID-19: Colourful caravan tourism

Bob Rupani  | Updated: September 19, 2020, 04:07 PM IST

COVID-19 has unleashed "Corona Confinement" on us. Never before have there been so many restrictions on movement and visiting places and many of us now just want to break free. But social distancing is not possible in planes, trains, buses or hotels. The solution could be "Camper van tourism" and as OVERDRIVE feels the popularity of such vacations on wheels is likely to increase, we are doing a series of stories on this concept of road trips and driving holidays.

All Trippy Wheels Campers have bright and artistic paintwork

The most colourful caravans featured in this series have to be the ones by Trippy Wheels, which you see here. Sanjna and Vathsala, the founders of Trippy Wheels say, "Art has often been used as a medium of expression, and anything can be considered art, from a beautifully crafted chair to the traditional canvas paintings. So why not vehicles? In the 60's and 70's there was a trend of hippie themed vans and singer Janis Joplin had her Porsche 356 painted in a psychedelic art form, and even the legendary John Lennon, had a psychedelic paint job on his Rolls Royce! The paintings on our caravans are also a medium of expression giving them a touch of individuality. Each of our caravans has its own name, theme based interiors and exterior artwork. It's not just a vehicle; it's a travel companion for our guests".

This Force Tempo Traveller Camper is designed to accomodate eight travellers

Amongst their fleet is a Force Tempo Traveler based caravan called Kanasu, dream in Kannada. This caravan is designed to carry up to eight guests and has seats that convert into beds. Its body paint was done in Gangtok, and the roof upholstery is handpicked from Hampi. Kanasu has apparently traveled with guests across the country from Karnataka to Sikkim, to Gujarat, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, etc.

The Mahindra Imperio based Caravans have a capacity of four travellers

They also have a couple of heavily modified Mahindra Imperio pickup based caravans called El Toro and El Zorro - 'The Bull' and 'The Fox' in Spanish. These are ideal for four travellers and come with bunk beds. The Mahindra Imperio pickup platform was chosen to enable guests to go off-road and not let challenging terrains bring down their wanderer spirit.

The bright artistic paintwork and colourful interiors are the hallmark of Trippy Wheels

All Trippy Wheels caravans are equipped with comfortable beds accompanied with warm quilts and soft pillows. They also have a kitchenette with a stove, utensils, spices and cutlery to prepare a full-fledged meal. There are a variety of indoor and outdoor games and a music system too. The caravans come with additional lights, fans, charging points and one can even hire a projector, barbeque set, adventure sport equipment, etc. All caravans are provided with a driver, known as a trip navigator.

Trippy Wheels have a variety of basecamps

Trippy Wheels has tie-ups with various homestays, youth hostels and camping sites, and these basecamps spread across more than 50 locations, offer safe parking and restroom facilities. They are situated in places like Agumbe, Gokarna, Dandeli, Hampi, Goa, Kodaikanal, Ooty, Wayanad, Varkala, etc.

Sanjna and Vathsala say, "We are an affordable caravan service provider. We want people to take road trips where there are no restrictions like booking of accommodation or transport, check-in and check-out times or hectic and tedious itineraries. They can pick a caravan to travel with comfort and coziness of a home on wheels. We encourage our trippers to make their own plans. However, for people who are new but want to explore, we have curated Caravan Trails for two, three, or five days. Slow and sustainable travel is the future. Take it slow, take it easy and take it all in."

The Campers come with a stove, utensils and spices to cook a proper meal

Trippy Wheels claims that after COVID they sanitize the caravans inside out and also carry sanitizers, hand wash, sterilized wet tissues, disinfectant sprays, masks and gloves. There are separate cabins for the driver (trip navigator) and guests, and their staff is aware about the dos and don'ts. They are tested for symptoms along with the guests before boarding, and Trippy Wheels also helps procure E-passes for interstate travels.

After the easing of travel restrictions, several families have used these Campers, to move fom one home to another

Once the lockdown restrictions were lifted, Trippy Wheels also launched, "One Home to Another", a scheme to help people move safely from one place to another. Trippy Wheels says this campaign was a huge success and helped several people reunite with their families across the country.

Trippy Wheels have also offered their caravans for companies dependent on field work. Clients can use their caravans as a one point solution, instead of exposing their employees to several points of contact like public transport, cabs, hotel rooms, etc. In fact, Trippy Wheels is now operating three of their caravans in remote parts of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Telangana as part of this "Work on Wheels" concept.

Interestingly, Trippy Wheels started operations with two used Tata Wingers that they modified extensively. The first Winger was named "Into the Wild" and its artwork (inspired by "Into the Wild" film) was done by artist and social activist, Baadal Nanjundaswamy. After some wonderful trips, this Tata Winger had some maintenance issues and was retired. It is now based as a stationary caravan at the Trippy Wheels basecamp at Agumbe.

Sanjna and Vathsala, the founders of Trippy Wheels

The other Winger was christened "Summer of Love" and Trippy Wheels says this is their most popular caravan till date. With a colourful hippie outlook, it was painted at Trippy Wheels own workshop and modified to accommodate three guests. It provided lots of useful learning for future Trippy Wheels caravans, and is now also retired and home for a family near Hampi.

Happy people enjoying a vacation on wheels

Presently Trippy Wheels is building their latest caravan 'Lucy', which is based on a Toyota Hiace. It will accommodate five travellers and the name is inspired by the very popular Beatles song, 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds'.

Sanjna and Vathsala say, "We see a growing demand for caravanning in India and it's high time we make it happen! We want to welcome everybody who wants to partner with Trippy Wheels to join hands with us and make our vision of bringing true caravanning culture to India a bigger and wider success! Happy Trippin'!" For more information visit www.trippywheels.com

Also read:

Film Star Vanity Vans Useful For Mumbai Police

Counter to COVID19: Camper Van Tourism

Counter to COVID-19: Luxury Camper Van Tourism

Counter to COVID-19: Offbeat Camper Van Tourism

Counter to COVID: Self-Drive SUV Camper Tourism

Counter to COVID-19 – Camper trailer tourism

Counter to COVID-19: Club-on-wheels: the Party Bus

Counter to COVID-19: Pop-top camper van

Counter to COVID - Pop Up Roof Ford Endeavour SUV Camper

Price (Ex-Delhi)
Starts Rs 29.55 Lakhs
Displacement
1996cc
Transmission
Automatic
Max Power(ps)
170
Max Torque(Nm)
420
Mileage
13.9 Kmpl
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