Vanlife, the new nomads : an exhibition at Rétromobile

In partnership with “Les Coflocs,” specialising in the creation of travel and adventure videos, Rétromobile is widening its reach to accommodate the movement of modern-day wanderers who set off on adventures aboard overhauled and fully refitted vans. About ten of these vehicles will be on display on Exhibition Bridge between halls 1 and 2: an opportunity to share in the experiences of these new backpackers with a thirst for freedom.

Van Volkswagen T3 avec vue sur La Chartreuse

Vanlife: a phenomenon of the times

They might be students, working professionals or retirees. Travelling solo, in a couple or in a family. Their common denominator: their decision to cut loose without further ado, and leave their everyday sedentary lifestyle behind to experience new roaming adventures. Having risen to prominence in May 2020 on the first exit from lockdown because it ensured the highest protection from contagion, this lifestyle harnesses the power of social media to attract new followers. Browsing these platforms creates a desire to take to the road oneself. On your screen, videos of breath-taking scenery intermingle with photos of unusual encounters, original situations and perfectly comfortable furnishings.

Combi Volkswagen T1 dans la nature

Living, travelling and sleeping in an often vintage, bespoke-fitted van, either for a weekend away or for an open ended trip to the other side of the world: that’s Vanlife. It’s a craze that all its enthusiasts describe as an anthem to liberty. A world with its own codes and practices. This type of tourism offers a true breath of fresh air, and flexibility in its organisation, since you can go where you please without having to park up on a camp site.

Van Chevrolet Californie surplombant Los Angeles

The vanlifers set foot at Rétromobile

The van is the instrument of their expeditions: their four-wheeled home. And originality is the watchword: Rétromobile will be showing off many vehicles suitable for use in Vanlife. Visitors will be able to discover a total of up to ten: a Volkswagen Combi, a Peugeot J7, a Chrysler cabriolet 1933 with its caravan, a Renault Estafette, a Simca 1100 camper van, a Fiat 850 Familiare minibus fitted with its original roof tent, a Citroën 2 CV “Tour du Monde”, a Peugeot D4B, and a Commer RV.

Van Citroën Type H devant la mer

Through these vehicles, but also through the personal accounts from their owners, Retromobile will shed light on the two categories of vanlifers: enthusiasts of “fit-it-yourself” and the fans of originally fitted vans, such as the famous VW Combi T1 and Westfalia T2 of the 1970s. According to the Coflocs, founded by Laurent Lingelser and Florian Mosca, two vanlifers with a passion for adventure who shoot inspirational videos and documentaries of their travels and produce guides with Michelin, the VW Combi T3 is the van par excellence. It was behind the wheel of this model that the authors of the film “Vanlife, les nouveaux nomads” themselves caught the virus of this way of life.

Van Volkswagen T3 dans le désert

Vanlifers could talk for hours about their travels and their experiences, which could be summed up briefly as follows: “You pick somewhere on a map, you go there when you want and it won’t impact your everyday life, in particular thanks to modern communication technology.” The experience of Eva and Matthias in this respect is quite enlightening. After spending six months refurbishing and fitting out a 1979 Peugeot J7, these young adults had a plan to explore Southern Europe. “Then we made the acquaintance of some vanlifers who were setting off for the North Cape. We decided to follow them and go with the flow.” Eight months and 20,000 km later, they are now back in France with memories of incredible encounters and huge quantities of pictures that they look forward to sharing at Rétromobile. Naturally, they haven’t given up on Southern Europe, which will be their next destination in a few weeks’ time. With its promise of freedom of movement and a big change of scenery, Vanlife is enjoying unprecedented popularity.



More about "the Coflocs" ?

Find them on Facebook, Instagram & YouTube: @lescoflocs

And discover on YouTube their film "Vanlife, les nouveaux nomades" and their latest episode "Les Coflocs en roadtrip en Allemagne"

Plusieurs vans Volkswagen au milieu d'une route de campagne en Allemagne