How a Harborough-based camper van business has taken off during lockdown

It has done so well that it has hit the road itself - and relocated to a new site

Monday, 30th November 2020, 5:07 pm
Dan and Rachael Cooper of Custom Camper Solutions at their new site on Airfield Farm in Market Harborough. PICTURE: Andrew Carpenter

A Market Harborough camper van business has taken off so incredibly well this year that it’s hit the road itself.

The six-strong team at Custom Camper Solutions have been working flat out all year as demand for their iconic vans has shot through the roof.

Scores of people locked down during the eight-month Covid-19 pandemic have been desperate to break out.

Custom Camper Solutions at their new site on Airfield Farm in Market Harborough. PICTURE: Andrew Carpenter

The set-up has now loaded up and moved hook, line and sinker from their base at Eckland Lodge Business Park on Desborough Road, Market Harborough, to Unit J8 at the Airfield Farm site on the northern edge of town.

Ecstatic Sarah Claypole, 43, who helps to keep Custom Camper Solutions rolling along at a breakneck pace, told the Harborough Mail: “We have had a fantastic year.

“It’s sadly been such a tough year for so many local businesses hit by the coronavirus.

“But our business must have exploded by at least 50 per cent – it’s just been totally staggering.”

Andy Gardner in the workshop. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

The thrilled mum-of-two added: “People have had enough of being locked down and locked up.

“They want to get away and head for the open road, freedom and fresh air.

“It’s all about the Great Outdoors.

“Our vans give couples and families the chance to shoot off to the Scottish Highlands, the Lake District, North Wales or where ever else in our magnificent country.

Dan Cooper and Andy Gardner work on a campervan. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

“We’ve been so busy that it’s mad.

“Every black cloud has a silver lining and our leisure and tourism industry is just booming,” said Sarah, who works in the office and lives in Market Harborough.

“A lot of people are realising that you don’t have to fly abroad to have a great holiday.

“They are finding out that you can have an incredible time away from home in so many different parts of the United Kingdom.”

She works alongside owner and camper van superfan Dan Cooper, 44, who launched his high-octane venture, a genuine labour of love, in 2012.

“Dan absolutely loves his vans and he’s living the dream every day!

“He’s set up a business here which is so flexible because we cover just about all the bases,” said Sarah.

“We hire out a camper van – and that’s gone down so well that we may bring in more to hire out in future.

“We also sell brilliantly kitted-out vans.

“We are selling two at the moment for just under £40,000 and £46,000 respectively.

“And we also take in and convert and customise people’s vans as well.

“We’ve got a fully-trained team of highly-qualified craftsmen and technicians, we’ve just taken on another worker and will hopefully look to recruit even more after moving,” said Sarah.

“We offer all our customers the highest standards of craftsmanship, quality products and the best equipment and our hard work, diligence and service is paying off.

“We really are a shining success story in what’s been a very challenging year for Harborough with so much bad news.

“We have now moved out to a lovely new unit with a custom-built interior on Airfield Farm Business Park.

“We’ve been planning this for three to four months and it’s been hectic – we have had to shift all of our tons of kit lock, stock and barrel.

“But it’s very exciting and we can’t wait to get started at our amazing new home – so please pop up and see us there as soon as you can.”