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posted on July 19th, 2016

Carl’s Honda Element eCamper

When Carl K.’s buddy told him about Turo, he was intrigued. When he realized he could buy a camper van that he could use for himself and still get a return on his investment, he was even more intrigued. Splitting his time between Colorado and Maui, Hawaii, he knew a camper van on Maui would be an instant hit. And right he was.

“The average hotel room on Maui costs $400-500 per night,” he says. “It’s very, very expensive. But most people want to be outside, they want to be near the ocean,” and with a camper van, you can have your beach and not go broke getting there.

Carl’s 2005 Honda Element eCamper, aka HondaLULU, is a steal at less than $100 per day, and it turns out Maui is short on rentable campgrounds, so a camper van is the perfect budget-friendly solution.

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“The Element eCamper is like an updated classic VW Westfalia, but it has the advantage of modern reliability and updated safety features,” Carl says. “You just pop the top and sleep under the stars.” Couldn’t be easier to take a chill vacation in paradise.

What’s Carl’s best islander insider pro tip? “Sunrise on Haleakala,” he says. “Most folks have to pay $100, wake up at 2 am, take a bus from their resort up the volcano, just to see a sunrise.” With a camper van, however, you can go up the night before, sleep under stars, and then wake up with a spectacular Hawaiian sunrise, right at your doorstep.

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“What’s really been cool though is how nice everyone has been to work with,” he says. “I really enjoy renting to people on the island, giving them tips and tricks, and being an evangelist for a more peaceful world. The thing that makes Turo work so well is that if you’re ready to trust people, you can do great things,” Carl reflects. “You open up the sharing community.”

And Carl’s connected with pretty much all his guests — from the German professional soccer player to the woman from Massachusetts who went back east with an adopted Hawaiian dog in tow.

Heading to Maui? Forsake the anesthetized, manicured resort life and embrace your adventurous side with Carl’s camper van. Your wallet — and your inner trailblazer — will give you a warm “mahalo”.

Megan is the copywriter and content tsarina at Turo. She lives to wander near and far, never met a beach (or dog) she didn’t like, and loves to talk postmodern lit and theory to anyone who’ll listen.