Our first real family trip with the Alpaca canopy camper brought us to sunny Croatia. At least that's what we thought ...
But let's start from the beginning. In June 2023 we presented, among many other products, the first prototype in the subtle color purple at the trade fair "Abenteuer & Allrad" in Bad Kissingen. For us, the trend of fast and minimal camping is already known from the USA and we’re convinced that this type of camping is also an attractive option in Europe. The added value of a commercial vehicle that can be converted into a camper in no time at all is an absolute highlight. The pop-up tent is super quick to set up and through the interior you have everything you need. A spontaneous weekend at the lake is now definitely a good option. Even more, if you want to use the pick-up as a truck, you can quickly remove the interior, which is only hooked by straps.
Full of anticipation we packed our DOT Alpaca at the beginning of the vacation with our family. A bit of a challenge for four people plus a dog, but doable. The most important thing while camping - everything must have its place. This is especially important when camping minimally, as you have to deal with little space. For the children's clothes we decided us for a mobile box, which can also be used as a seat. On the long sides we have storage space for things that we need quickly or daily, such as hygiene, dog food or even shoes. In the drawers we have food and our clothes, as well as the kitchen and refrigerator. At first glance, you might think it is far too little space, but we can now say from experience it is sufficient. Only for food we would plan an additional box. Our boys are just constantly hungry and there is not always the opportunity to shop.
Arrived in Croatia we were first caught of an unpleasant rain front which lasted over 3 days. Since we were by the sea, this was well bearable for the soul, but we traveled with our prototype and had of course also concerns what our Alpaca camper will say to it. We had some test camping stations before and Nico was able to fix some leaks already on the product side, but there were always new surprises. However, it turned out that all the adjustments have already taken effect and our Alpaca remained completely dry. Since it was also not just a bit of drizzle, but a downpour of over 80mm, it made us especially proud - the DOT Alpaca is finally rainproof! In the rainy season we made ourselves comfortable with four and partly with five (Loki wanted to go inside as well, the weather was too wet for him even as a water dog). In the Alpaca you can push the upper floor to the rear, so one can lay below and the other can sit downstairs.
After the rain, the longed-for vacation relaxation, for which we have traveled, finally occurs. Our two DOT Moon tables helped us set up a nice ambiance and have a feeling of an "outside" living room. The small one next to the hammock, the big one with ocean view next to the car. A dream we now often think back to. Exactly for this purpose we develop our products. Quick and uncomplicated to assemble, clever details and beautiful to look at.
After a long rest with the family at the sea, we were drawn to the mountains in Slovenia. We could quickly pack everything, even that we camped 10 days in one place, and finally jet off. Arriving in the mountains we already saw the extent of destruction that the flood had caused in Slovenia this summer. Of course we informed us before, whether we could arrive at the campsite, but this sight has shocked us very much. On site we were told that this campsite is the only one in the area that is still open. All the others were washed away and damaged. This is incredibly sad and we hope the region recovers quickly. The cleanup was already incredibly advanced and we were amazed at how quickly it looked "good" again. The Forest Camping reminded us a lot of a camp in Canada and we got a great desire to hike despite the circumstances. Most, or rather all of the trails were no longer complete and some were heavily damaged but this made the hike even more adventurous especially for our boys. We liked it very much in this region and will definitely come back. With our pick-up setup we were definitely the exotic ones and people admired our very good organization and space miracle.
Already after 2 nights we packed our things and drove to the next place. Because I personally, get relatively quickly the desire to continue. Thanks to our good order system everything was ready packed within 20-30 minutes and the family were ready to go. We mounted our two tables with tension straps to the lower side of the bed. Not the final solution, but definitely the most practical. Here we’ll come up with a better way to fix the tables.
On our last campsite in Slovenia we were surprised with a place directly at the river. The view from the Alpaca directly on the water was once again a real relaxation. The nice thing is, we drive to a new campsite, tailgate open, roof up, tables folded out and we are done. We were very convinced by the minimal camping with the Alpaca and we have our goal as a family: at least 40 camping days a year. We have reached the first 14 and the next trip is already knocking.