What could be taken for Americana is beginning to take root in Western Europe. Call it “faux camping” or “indoor glamping,” the idea is fun and simple: park several vintage campers in a large warehouse and deck out the space with a fun theme or atmosphere.
Take for instance BaseCamp Bonn in Bonn, Germany, with 16 vintage caravans, two night sleepers, two Airstreams (and “quite a few other oddities to stay for the night”) parked inside a former storage facility, which now serves as an indoor campground. With its neon lights and street graffiti, BaseCamp Bonn has a young, urban feel to it, and bills itself as a hostel. It’s certainly not your typical hostel, claiming to be “the coolest place in the world- well, at least people say that’s what it is,” as the accommodations were customized by an acclaimed German television and film set designer, Marion Seul. But another claim that it is “the only indoor vintage faux campground of the galaxy” does not hold up.
A mere 600 kilometers away (hardly a galactic parsec) in Berlin lies the Huttenpalast, an indoor vintage trailer park with exquisite touches that give it a more well appointed character. It was founded in 2009 by designers Silke Lorenzen and Sarah Vollmer. Guests may spend the night in an old caravan or a wooden hut in a former vacuum-cleaner factory decorated like a quaint cottage environment. Huttenpalast also offers rooms with in-suite bathrooms sure to impress with high-ceiling, large-windowed factory architecture.
Another option awaits in the beautiful city of Alkmaar, Netherlands, known for its canals, bridges and cheese market, where one can stay at the Indoor City Camping Alkmaar, which features vintage 1960s-era mini caravans located right next to the Victorie Park in the center of town. Each unit comes with a private kitchen and bathroom. The apartment and caravan can also be connected and rented as one larger unit.
Should you not want to leave the States to enjoy the indoor vintage trailer experience, a must-see is Tad Pierson’s trailer warehouse where he runs American Dream Safari tours in Memphis, Tennessee, and has two Airstreams and a teardrop trailer parked in a fun indoor setting. “In 2007 I parked them in the warehouse, and within 6 months it all took shape,” says Tad. The trailers are not for rent as of yet, but guests of his famous Memphis tours can visit the park, which Tad is considering renting out soon on a seasonal basis.
Glamping is often associated with extravagance of course, but this experiential travel is priced just right: BaseCamp Bonn starts at € 24 per night (about $33US), Huttenpalast begins at € 55 per night and ranges up to € 135 for accommodation for 4 people. Indoor City Camping Alkmaar starts at € 40 per person, and all include a breakfast, bed linen, and wifi. Now you can take that vintage camping trip to Europe and leave the camper at home!