The final van in our van fitout series is the White Knuckle MTB Camper Van.
In the final instalment of our vanlife series, Will takes a look at the incredible White Knuckle MTB Camper Van.
Words: Will Shaw
Photos: Dom Hook
Bryce Munting is about as keen a mountain biker as you’ll find anywhere. In 2020 he set up the White Knuckle MTB Camper Van, a deluxe camper set up for mountain bikers to use on their Tasmanian riding trips. We recently used the fully custom Mercedes Benz Sprinter on our Wild Mersey trip, and it was actually the inspiration for this article! I caught up with Bryce post trip to hear a bit more about why he set up the business, and his plans for the future.
AMB: What inspired you to set up the White Knuckle MTB Camper Van?
Bryce: There’s a bit of a story behind it. I met Jill Kintner and Bryn Atkinson down in Derby, and I didn’t actually know who Jill was until I saw her on a Facebook post from Vertigo Bikes. They were really nice people though, happy to have a chat and give everyday people the time of day. We chatted about their van and it was a bit of a lightbulb moment for me.
Since Derby opened, I’ve had a dream of owning a mountain bike business where I’d have the opportunity to ride. That ruled out shuttles, so when I thought about the van I went all in from there. I sold my car, motorbike, and bike to fund the van. After purchasing the van, it took 6-7 months of hard work to kit it out.
AMB: Did you take any design inspiration from anyone, or did you know exactly what you wanted?
Bryce: Their (Jill and Bryn’s) van is awesome, but it’s designed for them specifically. With my van I needed to have something that’s going to work for everyone, not to mention all different types of bikes as well.
I worked alongside Colin from CP Motorhomes with the fit out, and he has decades of experience fitting out campers. I didn’t want to skimp out on the build, so I went top of the line for everything.
AMB: What were the main things you wanted and needed from the design?
Bryce: My main focus for the van was functionality of the back area where the bikes are stored. People need to feel like their bikes are locked away and protected from each other. I wanted people to be able to finish a day of riding, chuck the bikes in the back and head to the pub without worrying.
The bikes being secure and separated means you don’t have to worry and they’re not in your living area. The integrated bike rack also accommodates bikes of all shapes and sizes in a secure way. We also provide a full set of tools, and an integrated bike stand, so you can work on your bike no matter where you are.
Another focus was comfort. I’ve been in campers before with all the bells and whistles, but the beds are sometimes incredibly uncomfortable, so you don’t get a very good sleep. I wanted the beds to be top of the line quality, with enough room for people to sit up in bed and be comfortable.
AMB: What are some of the little details that people might miss at first glance?
Bryce: The Redarc Inverter is a great addition to the van. Having this in the van allows people with eBikes to charge their batteries for another big day of riding.
This isn’t specifically van related, but in terms of overall experience I want it to be totally no fuss for people. That’s why our booking price includes everything. We’ll take your bike bags and store them for the week, and if there’s anything we can do to help you have a better time just ask! I think that’s one of our advantages over a large hire company, because I’ll always communicate with my customers face to face and be available for them
Making things easy for people in terms of meeting them at the airport means they can get the maximum amount of riding in. 99 percent of people are so pumped when they arrive, and we end up having a chat about what trails they’re riding where I can give them some local advice.
AMB: How has the feedback been so far?
Bryce: Every review we’ve had has been super positive. People really like that nothing was too much trouble, as you’re dealing with another rider at the end of the day. We provide either an alcoholic or local produce hamper with every booking, and people seem to appreciate little touches like that also. One lady was gluten free, so we arranged a gluten free hamper, and it really made her day.
AMB: What’s the best trip you or a customer have had so far?
Bryce: For me personally, the van is awesome for those impromptu trips to Derby, where you ride all day and you’re knackered, and you stay there instead of having to head home. When you head out for dinner you don’t have to worry about your bikes being on the back of a ute or on a bike rack either.
In terms of the best trip for me it’s a funny one, because we didn’t actually ride a lot. We went down the West Coast. What I loved about that trip was that we could jump in the back with a beer and get out of the weather whenever we wanted. That’s what this van is all about, seeing new places and hanging out with your mates.
For our customers, no one has hired the van for less than seven days. Pretty much every group has gone Launceston to Derby, to St Helens, to Maydena, and back to Launceston. That means you can ride a few days in each place, and you don’t have to worry about accommodation or getting food as it's all right there!
AMB: Is there anything about the design that you’d change?
Bryce: You’ll have to watch this space!
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