With approximately seven trucks in a 600 meter garage²Arnaud Banse, 45, owns a large fleet of vehicles that are always on the move during the summer. The fruit of a passion that goes back to his early years as a driver. “Volkswagen Combi is the first car I bought at the age of 20, tracing the home of the Arcachon Basin. For me, who loves to surf, it was the perfect car to get around and go to the beach and go on vacation. I was told I was crazy to buy something so old but when you see success in a year 2022…”
These old-school campers, halfway between the utility and the motorhome, are now attracting a large crowd, eager for atypical vacationers. The spontaneous entrepreneur details: “In addition to going on vacation, there is a client who wants to go on an adventure. In the beginning, there were a lot of backpackers who wanted to treat themselves to a week or even ten days of autonomy, without the constraints of a mobile home. Today, that has changed A little with city dwellers from Paris, Marseille or Toulouse who, above all, want to live an experience in a shorter way.”
A change in thinking has been noticed by this manager in recent months. Rentals are shorter and more targeted on weekends. It’s time for a quick escape. He adds that “Covid played a lot too. I would say that three-quarters of my clients have gone before to the ocean and the Basque Country. Since 2020, three-quarters of them have gone to the Pyrenees instead.”
summer binding 2022
If mindsets change, success remains. And this is despite severe restrictions this summer. With high inflation, high gas prices and a heat wave, demand is less robust than usual in August. But the season is long and does not end until October, there is still time … ”, he says positively.
For the vintage car enthusiast who decided to practice on bodywork at Jurançon High School in his late thirties, the recipe has remained unchanged since 2012. Arnaud Banse restores old kits from the ’70s, stripping them and then returning them completely to the body and engine level. Then he added a water pump, a 230-volt electrical outlet, and a pressure refrigerator.