This is us…

Lost Campers was founded in 2007 by Emma and Nick Thomson.  The inspiration came when we were cash strapped backpackers, heading to the mountains in Montana to attend a wild, outdoor wedding. We had met these soon-to-be-married friends while backpacking and snowboarding in Germany many moons ago and being the outdoor types, they invited everyone to camp on the property where the wedding was held. As we were flying in to Bozeman, we wanted to tick 2 boxes at the same time by renting a small/medium vehicle to drive us around and that we could also sleep in but there weren’t any options. The only travel alternatives were car rental or monstrous RV rental. Where were the budget campervans for rent?

While sitting around the camp fire, we decided to open a company called Lost Campers that would provide hire camper vans for backpackers and independent travelers like ourselves. At this time, America was desperate for this road trip vehicle rental option. Little did we know how crazy an undertaking that would be. Fast forward 8 months later and we opened our little office in San Francisco with just one camping van rental vehicle, who we named Mr Brown, a GMC Safari (pictured above) all decked out to provide awesome adventures. Everything inside the van was hand made by us, from the curtains to the bed, to the shelves in the back. Well we exaggerate a little there. We didn’t make the mattress or the pots and pans, that would be magic that we haven’t quite learnt yet. Our goal was to get folks travelling with the freedom and comfortability a well-equipped cheap campervan rental provides.

In 2008 things were surprisingly difficult with the recession and all, but through grit and determination we continued on, growing van by van and within 2 more years, opened our depot in Los Angeles and then expanded to Salt Lake City in 2014. We closed our SLC depot in 2020, but our Californian locations are still going strong.

We have two thriving camper van rental offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles with central locations to city and airports.  Along with Nick and Emma, Lost Campers employs nine people who we call family.  

We still believe in the same principles that motivated us to open Lost Campers. Affordable, well equipped campervans for hire for people who want to explore America’s vast and spectacular outdoors. Great vans at Great Prices with friendly, outstanding customer service. We still hand build all of the interiors and keep clean lines, easy functionality and simplicity so you have the most amount of interior space for your gear, whether that be camping, hiking, fishing, snow sports, kayaking, surfing, photography, festival or any other gear. Most importantly, we use wood for our interiors, as we don’t want to bring anymore plastic into the world. Wood is recyclable and definitely breaks down easier than plastic. It brings a much more natural feeling to our vans.  

So much to be Grateful for!

We are adding this section mainly because without everyone around us, Lost Campers would not exist today. 

Emma and I are deeply thankful for you, over 25,000 of our customers, our staff and our family and friends.

We have customers from all corners of the world that have travelled with us who we now call friends. Our renters have traveled to places that people only dream about and which once there, have had their minds blown. We think that is beyond amazing. We are thankful that we can help folks do that and nothing makes us happier than hearing the stories upon return and seeing their relaxed, smiling faces. The USA and Canada really does have many, many unique and exceptional environments.

We are thankful to our staff for helping facilitate people’s dreams. We hold close to our hearts the folks that work for us. Many of our team members have been with us for years. We have watched their kids grow up and we have seen them take wild and amazing adventures themselves. With every passing day and every interaction with another traveler, we grow more compassionate and more humble and perhaps more worldly.

We are thankful for our family and friends. Without family and close friends, things can be lonely. We should reach out more to connect with people and offer a hand. Together, we are all in this thing called life. It doesn’t hurt to message someone and make sure they are okay and that things are cool. Chat with your fellow campers, you never know what story you may unfold.

Anyways, dream big, be humble, and treat people fairly. Safe travels! And GET LOST! 


Nick and Emma Thomson