Zazu Campers began in early 2018. Spence was driving what many people on Maui would call a “Maui Cruiser,” which is a glorified term for a vehicle that usually costs more to maintain than it does to purchase. He loved that car but after a few costly repairs he decided it was finally time to move on. He wanted something that was – first and foremost – more reliable. Second, he had seen some vehicles with rooftop tents when out camping in Hana and he knew that he had to have one and that it had to be on a decent size truck. Camping in Hana is nothing short of unbelievable and to do it with as much comfort as these tents provide takes an unforgettable experience to another level.
However, going from his Maui Cruiser to something like this was a tough pill to swallow financially, so to justify it he figured he’d rent it out a few days a month on Turo. Just a few days a month is what he thought, and the free weekends he’d be able to take it out with Dina to have their own share of fun. At that point he began scouring the market for something that would fit what he had in mind. After a couple of weeks, he found his first Jeep. It had a torn soft top that wasn’t even salvageable along with pools of water under every seat. It wasn’t pretty at the time but the vision was there. After ripping out all the carpet, drying it out, installing a brand new hard top, roof rack, and tent, Jeep #1 was ready to roll. Dina and Spence took it out and had an absolutely incredible camping experience, took a bunch of pictures, woke up to the sound of the ocean, and drove back nice and recharged, ready to get back to their jobs. Spence put those pictures on Turo and went live with the listing, and since then it’s been booked so frequently that Dina and Spence have only been able to take it out just a couple of times!
As Zazu grows, it becomes increasingly important to exercise utmost respect for the ‘Āina (land) and Kama’āina (people of the land). Hawaiian culture is something that should be protected, though often times it is exploited. Zazu aims to show visitors this beautiful place and share the incredible vibes while also instilling an understanding of the importance of the culture and its history.