People matter; community matters; being outside matters. This is why Campo is here. We believe in the value of human interaction, and the value of bringing that outside. Campo was started because of a need in our community in Santa Barbara, California, to make multifunctional family vehicles for work and for play. From the get go our goal was not to make money, but to bless people with multifunctional, reliable, and enjoyable vehicles. What matters to us is the stories; the stories of our builds being used for the things that matter. Smiles are wide around the shop when someone receives a message, a photo, a story of someone using a build we have done to bring themselves closer to each other and closer to the outdoors.
On October 3, 1981 Robyn and I were married. As goes with most young married couples, we had no money. Coincidentally, we also loved to travel and almost always it was on the road. The reality was used sedans kept smiles on our faces (most of the time) and money in our pockets as we drove.
When kids arrived the need for space was apparent. The Volvo 244 Wagon seemed to be a great fit but as road trips became lengthier, vacation time extended and the boys grew, space shrank. The next step seemed only right, especially with my deep family history invested in Volkswagens, we bought an 86’ Westfalia Multivan. With enough space to fit an entire town, it seemed, we were satisfied.
Working carpentry, the van became my truck on the weekdays as I transported materials to and from jobsites. The ‘multivan’ as it was called, was surely being used as such. When the third boy came along and Robyn and I became more adventurous with the kids, we upgraded to a 1989 Syncro. We converted it to a Westfalia, added an Audi 1.8T to help with the hills, and for the next several years spent time customizing it to fit the needs of our growing family. Whether it meant adding a shelf here or a hammock over there (for the youngest) we were constantly trying to find the most efficient use of space.
As fate would have it, the boys kept growing and our space needed to also. After cycling through 8 more vehicles (Defender 110, VW 3 door Syncro CrewCab, VW Syncro Tri-Star, VW Eurovan, VW Eurovan CrewCab, VW Passat, VW Tourag, VW Thing) my eyes turned, yet again, to German engineering and we found ourselves with a 2008 Mercedes 144 Sprinter.
I had only seen the Sprinter used as a delivery truck but I knew that, with some solid creativity and craftsmanship, these vans could do a lot more than deliver the mail.
Our build-out began and along with that, the idea to create a company that brought these multi-vans (vans for both work and play) into the market place. Coming from 35 years of finish carpentry I was keen on making something aesthetically pleasing, user-friendly, and lightweight.
After multiple build-outs, two different vans (now a 2015 4x4 Mercedes 144) and a lot of trial and error, we have finally come to a place where Robyn and I are excited about sharing our thoughts, designs, and products with the marketplace.
Within the last couple of years we have began to manufacture and distribute various CampoVan products to family, friends, and our ever-growing community of faithful van-goers around the world.
If you have any questions, shoot us an email. We’d love to chat.
-Byron & Robyn