Just as El Capitan dominates the horizon of Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park, El Kapitan in Huntington Beach, California dominates the Sprinter Van Conversion market ... everywhere. For over thirty years, Brendan Kuhn and his wife, Sarah, have used unparalleled craftsmanship to create flawless interiors with a goal of making vehicles that enable their customers to experience a life of freedom while connecting with the environment.
“We have the largest selection of Mercedes Sprinter vans in the country,” says Kuhn. “Every van is a different color and has different options with various price points.” The vehicles come completely empty which gives Kuhn and his team a blank canvas on which to create their masterpieces.
“They are a cargo van when they come to us,” Kuhn explains. “We go in and cut in windows, fan installations, air conditioning, sound deadening, flooring, walls, beds, seats, kitchens, galleys counters, microwaves, cook tops, porta-potties … the whole interior.”
In all of El Kapitan’s marketing materials and on the website, the emphasis is on the van lifestyle as much as it is on the actual vans. In fact they refer to their Mercedes Sprinter 144s as “Story Makers” and the 170s as “Dream Weavers”. Kuhn says his customers are drawn to his vans because they’re perfect for people who like the expedition – wherever it takes them – equally as well as they like reaching a destination.
“Our customers are different than the RV crowd that go to RV parks as their destination. RV’ers set up in one place for several days,” he explains. “Our customers, on the other hand, want to get up and go without a lot of hassle. They don’t want to bring a bunch of stuff with them. They’ll bring their skis, their gear, but they’re light travelers. And they go from destination to destination as they travel to maybe their second home at the lake or up at the mountain.”
He says his customers have a taste for higher end interiors, too.
“We want our vans to look different each time. We don’t want people to feel as though they bought a stock camper made mostly of vinyl and plastics,” he says. “They’re not as nice.” In fact Kuhn says he often looks to a selection of leather to help pull a look together.
“That’s one reason we use Moore and Giles leather. They’ve got so many colors,” says Kuhn. “I can take a look at some of their leather samples and find a printed leather that makes me think of a fish scale which might be just what I need!” He says the quality of the company’s leather is top notch.
Like all of Moore and Giles’ customers, Kuhn mentions their great customer service. “I work with Randy Maggard, and he’s not, you know, just going for the sale. He thinks of my needs and tells me when my choice might take a little bit of time. He suggests something else but orders my original choice so it’ll be in the next time I want to use it. Not all reps are like that.”
“And Moore and Giles has much higher-end collections. It works well. It feels good,” Kuhn says. “Cheap leather begins to get spider web cracks and peeling. But if you pick high quality leather, you’re going to have it forever.”
To find out more about El Kapitan Sprinter Vans, visit their website - Elkaptian.com or call 714-896-8267.
For more information about Moore & Giles leather, visit mooreandgiles.com and on Instagram @mooreandgilesonthemove or contact Randy Maggard at firstname.lastname@example.org