Welcome to the next instalment of our campervan conversion product innovation story. Looking back through the history of Kiravans, there are a couple of ‘stand out’ moments that massively influenced the company’s direction. One of these is most definitely the development of the ‘Designed by Kiravans’ VW T5/T6 DoorStore.
What is a campervan DoorStore?
A van DoorStore is an innovative solution for increasing the storage in the back of a panel van. Much like the storage bins you get in the front doors of your car or van, the Kiravans DoorStore fits neatly into the empty cavities of the sliding door and has a variety of storage pockets for keeping all those little bits and pieces you need, nice and secure, when you’re out on the road.
How did the Kiravans DoorStore evolve?
Like most of these things, ideas tend to arrive as you are sat in the back of a van pondering conversion options. Back in 2013, Rob spotted the big empty space behind the lining panel in his VW T5 sliding door and got his tape measure out…
Having figured out that the concept was a goer, we got in touch with an automotive designer on Upwork. He produced a concept sketch to bring our idea to life, which we then emailed to a plastic forming company in Derbyshire.
We now had enough information to know that we should go for it! Not knowing whether anyone would actually buy a product like this or not, we decided we had to take the gamble…
Having learned all about the different plastic types, colours and finishes, we were now ready to commission the mould and place an order for our first twenty DoorStores. Initially, we ran into a few teething problems with the lower pocket rubbing on the T5 wheel arch when the door was opened. So, inevitably there was a bit of tweaking to be done before we had the final product ready for market.
I had installed the prototype in my van by now and was finding the extra space really useful so we were fairly confident our customers would love it too :)
The next phase
As word spread and orders increased we boosted our production batches up to 100 units. We started to get lots of positive feedback and videos emerged of people lining and personalising their Kiravans DoorStore in many individual styles.
We expanded our range to include a product for a right hand sliding door, which opened up a whole new European audience. Shortly after came a design for the twin rear doors. Sales kept building steadily and we got distracted with other projects as the company grew.
Fast forward to 2021...
We are constantly inundated with requests for DoorStores for other van models, so to satisfy this we started doing our research. Unfortunately, not all vans had such useful space in the door cavities as the VW, which ruled out certain makes.
However, the Ford Transit Custom was one we really wanted to develop due to demand. Unlike VW, Ford seemed to have a number of different models of sliding doors for this van so we just had to pick the layout that would offer the best storage options.
Our product designer worked hard during lockdown to come up with two awesome products, which has just recently been produced and released to market. Time will tell whether the Transit Custom DoorStore and Transit Customer PanelStore join our bestsellers list too!
With an ever growing variety of panel vans being manufactured and converted we will continue to expand our DoorStore product line. If you have a van that you think would work well, feel free to get in touch and share your idea.
Watch our videos that bring our VW and Transit Custom DoorStore's to life...
If you want to find out more about Kiravans and our campervan product innovations, then read all about the first product development story on the following link for our legendary Double Seat Swivel Base for the VW T5.
It’s funny how a simple idea can take off sometimes…