There was a time when a covered wagon rolling across the plains of Kansas was a very common sight. And today, with the help of the unique, hand-built designs of PlainsCraft, you may just see a Conestoga “hitting the trail” on your next trip across Kansas.
After months of research and building out an initial design, Dennis and Donna Steinman founded PlainsCraft in January 2019. Since then, they’ve perfected both the design and construction of high quality, custom-made campers that offer a unique experience and an opportunity to connect with some Kansas history.
Glamorous Camping or “Glamping” is an emerging market for those looking to ditch the traditional hotel in favor of a mobile camping escape. “These campers are great for people who want to experience something different, love the outdoors, but don’t want to give up the amenities and comforts of home,” said Dennis Steinman, who is the chief designer and builder.
With this trend just starting to take off, PlainsCraft is perfectly positioned to provide these one-of-a-kind units to RV parks and campgrounds, ranches, hotel venues, or other outdoor recreation areas. Whether they are used by an individual or leased out commercially, the PlainsCraft Conestoga wagon allows users to take a piece of history with them as they take on the west—or wherever the road may lead.
“Traditional Conestoga wagons were used to cross the country and head west during the pioneer days, and we believe these campers offer something that is unique and portrays some of our country’s history,” said Dennis.
The Steinmans have put care into every detail, with the goal of making them as authentic as possible without sacrificing comfort.
PlainsCraft allows users to pick out and customize the inside, with options for both king- and queen-sized beds in addition to bunk beds. “We have built in a handmade wagon wheel table and cabinets to hold a mini-fridge and microwave, and we’re currently working on designs for an in-unit bathroom,” said Donna. And, unlike the ones used by our pioneer ancestors, each unit comes equip with heating and air conditioning to help take on the elements in comfort and style.
“Each unit is high-quality, and we have the design and construction perfected,” said Dennis. And, from his family’s own experience living in the country and utilizing the campers, “We think people may also find them interesting to put out on their farms and ranches as a guest house,” Dennis said. “They’re perfect for building a campfire by the wagon and enjoying the sunset.”
In addition to the unique experience they provide to an individual or family, he cites a strong return on investment for businesses to purchase and rent out.
“For anyone interested, we’d love to talk to them about it and show them the campers,” said Dennis. “We’re very proud of them.”
From their experience founding several businesses in Kansas, Dennis and Donna have found the entrepreneurial environment exceptional. “We have utilized several local and state programs to help us start and grow our businesses over the years, including training programs and CDBG,” said Dennis. And as their latest company PlainsCraft grows, they are looking to engage more across the state and connect with more suppliers around Kansas. “We need suppliers, and we’re looking to buy as much as we can right here,” Dennis said. “They are good to work with here, compared to a lot of places.”
Dennis and Donna are proud Kansans who love where they live and work. “Kansas is a great place with great people,” said Donna. “It’s our home, we don’t want to go anywhere else.”
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