Whether a user is 51,000 feet in the air, or traveling across the Rocky Mountains on a camping trip, Infusion Design is focused on designing spaces that perform at the highest level for what a person needs and desires, said Sean Elsner.
The company was always meant to stand out from the competition, the Infusion Design founder added.
“There are design firms out there that do interior design for houses, boats, toasters — we did it all,” said Elsner, who started Infusion Design in 1997 and now serves as president of the firm. “The culmination of seeing the world and all the products that people use in a multitude of ways for multiple decades has allowed us to lead those markets with our intellectual property.”
Click here to learn more about Infusion Design.
The Bonner Springs, Kansas-based design firm is known for its work developing aircraft, boats, the first electric mower and now its latest product, Campinawe — an all-electric, maintenance-free and sustainably-built camper.
Ideation for Campinawe began in 2021 with a napkin sketch, Elsner recalled, noting he and his team saw a gap in the marketplace and quickly got to work.
“Based on our aviation background and design background, we saw this product — that from a construction standpoint — hadn’t changed all that much since the 1960s,” he said. “… Because of the vehicles that 70 percent of people own today, manufacturers were struggling to give customers [camper trailers] that weren’t too heavy to tow with their current vehicle. We saw that there had been a few bigger teardrop trailers, but they were really nestling on that [weight] threshold.”
Infusion Design’s solution: change the weight paradigm of a traditional camper.
“Our product literally goes together like a 3D puzzle, so we’ve eliminated all the extra panels that you don’t need,” Elsner explained. “The panels we use are more expensive than traditional plywood, but it lets us take so much weight out of the top of the body that we can then put the weight back in the chassis underneath. So, it’s more stable, more rugged.”
Campinawe is committed to sustainability, Elsner continued, noting that their panels are made from Indonesian hardwood that come from a self-sustaining forest that replenishes itself every three-to five years. Birch plywood, which several competitors use, can take between 40 to 60 years to replenish.
“Our materials don’t rot, decay or mold,” Elsner said. “They’re built to last generations.”
Click here to check out Campinawe’s inventory.
The Infusion Design team created Campinawe with simplicity and ease in mind, said Tim Baine, who works as the design director of Infusion Design.
“You don’t have to know the complexities of RV systems to use our product,” Baine said. “It’s all home-base technology with interfaces that people are comfortable with. We eliminated having to figure out water systems and how to winterize it. We still have amenities such as fresh water, but it’s all electric.”
Other Campinawe camper features include: a queen-size memory foam mattress, Yeti cooler, Kovea mini butane cook stove, removable commercial grade vinyl floor liner, sunbrella cushions and blackout shades, fire extinguisher and CO detector, USB rechargeable battery operated fan, paper towel holder, trash bag holder, tool set, lap trays and phone storage pockets.
People are typically surprised to discover Infusion Design is leading industries and designing state-of-the-art products from Bonner Springs, the duo said.
“We’re a bit of an anomaly in the Kansas City metro,” Elsner said. “It’s a bit odd, because this is really a Kansas City story. We are 100-percent manufactured in Kansas City. We’ve created partnerships with people around town like Croft Trailer and Boulevard Brewing to build what we build and make sure our story is shared.”
Croft Trailer Supply, which has been a family-owned business since 1939, manufactures Campinawe’s panels so that the Infusion Design team can efficiently build the trailers.
“We have the best trailer manufacturing on the planet with the longest history,” Elsner noted. “We found somebody, in our region, who applies higher level thinking to the industry every single day. We want our chassis to be the best, so we go to where expectations are pushed.”
Campinawe’s partnership with Boulevard Brewing manifested into a space-themed camper that pops up during Boulevard events.
“We used to joke in the office that we built space campers because of our aviation background, and we’ve worked on supersonic airplanes,” he recalled. “Boulevard Brewing sells their Space Camper [IPA], so we always said that we needed to meet them. The idea just networked itself between a few people, and we hit it off. From a business standpoint, we both believe in making sure everything we do is the best.”
The “Space Camper” has been featured in local events such as Comic Con and is currently part of a raffle to win a two-night rental camping under the stars.
Click here to check out the Space Camper and enter Boulevard Brewing Co.’s raffle.
For those interested in renting a camper for a weekend trip or camping getaway, Campinawe campers are available with VanLifeKC — a Kansas City-based rental company. Customers in Longmont, Colorado, and Fayetteville, Arkansas can also rent directly on Campinawe’s website.
Click here to read more about VanLifeKC.
Building a company in Bonner Springs has allowed Elsner and his team to focus on thinking beyond what the industry has been, he shared.
“We don’t want our designs to look like they came out of San Francisco, Los Angeles or New York,” Elsner said. “We want fresh air and new perspectives. Being here has allowed us to grow bigger, faster and stronger because we are creating our own standard.”