The entrepreneur and inventor Dominik Freund sits in his home, a converted ambulance.
Image: Lucas Bäuml
Holidays in a camper are booming – more than ever. Dominik Freund even lives in a van and has fulfilled his dream: he converts old vehicles into stylish mobile homes. On social media, he shows how it’s done.
Es would be enough space. Nevertheless, Dominik Freund prefers to sleep in his converted ambulance and not in his base. That’s what he calls the workshop and the headquarters of his company “Freundship” in Niddatal between Friedberg and Bad Vilbel. He doesn’t have the time to set up his planned apartment there. It’s just too much to do. The 34-year-old entrepreneur converts vans and minibuses into rolling apartments, films them and posts the videos on his YouTube channel. He also runs a shop with his colleague René Schulz, where they offer various products for expanding a camper: How are the vehicles insulated as well as possible? How does a parking heater work and how do you install it? He also founded a platform called “Vans of Germany” on which part of the German-speaking vanlife community can network. There’s no question that Dominik Freund’s entire life now revolves around finding ways to accommodate freedom and lifestyle as individually as possible on a rolling eight square meter.
Vanlife and camping are more popular than ever. The Federal Association of the Camping Industry in Germany, which represents more than 1,200 campsites, reported in September that there were more than 14 million overnight stays at German campsites in the first half of the year. This is a new record and an increase of more than eleven percent compared to 2019. “The increase shows once again that camping is still on the road to success,” said the association. At the end of October, the Caravaning Industry Association, which represents 208 members in Germany, reported the third most new registrations in one year for 2022. Only the years 2020 and 2021 were more successful.