Bernhard Schepanik loves the great outdoors – fishing, for example, on a lake where he rarely sees another face. Or camping – somewhere off the beaten track, without a power supply. But he doesn’t have to go without his coffee machine or television. Nor do his customers. As Bernhard Schepanik, owner of Schepanik Reisemobile in Straelen, designs self-sufficient camper vans, with a solar system on the roof or satellite dish – based on the customer’s individual requirements. And he’s got plenty of orders on his books. “I’m fully booked until September”, adds Schepanik.
Business was already pretty business before the pandemic struck. His customers are raving about campsites in Spain or Sweden where camping is actually allowed, but where they are pretty much cut off from civilisation, not to mention cut off from the power supply. Last year saw an unprecedented increase in the number of customers placing orders. The trend towards camping holidays, independent of hotels or holiday accommodation, which took off during the pandemic, has also been felt by Schepanik, to such an extent that he needed to swiftly organise new warehouse space in a flexible manner.
In order to avoid relying on fragile supply chains and reduce costs with a bulk discount when placing the order, the camper van expert decided to order several components at once rather than as and when he needed them. “But the solar systems and lithium batteries are rather expensive”, explains Bernhard, “they can’t simply be left lying around on the yard – especially due to insurance reasons.” He was therefore looking for a warehouse which could be assembled quickly, cost-effectively and flexibly in line with his requirements – and he found the ideal solution with the Safe+ model from Herchenbach. Thanks to its trapezoidal sheet walls, the unheated warehouse offers weatherproofing and condensation protection for costly components, but also deters theft of the stored goods. The modular system from Herchenbach allowed Schepanik to freely select the length, width and eave height, and he had a TÜV-inspected static in his hands shortly after signing the contract.
So how did Bernhard Schepanik hear about Herchenbach? He grins and tilts his cap slightly upwards. “One of my neighbours here already had a building from Herchenbach”, he shares. “Once the building was up, I went and asked him: How can it be built so close to a residential building? There is even a roof tarpaulin on top of it.” But the neighbour told him all about the special Herchenbach roofing textiles, which are not only resistant to heat and flying sparks but also most importantly meet the fire protection requirements for “hard roofing”. “It was then that I knew”, said Schepanik, “that I wanted one for myself.”
The spot for the aluminium warehouse was found in no time at all. A gravelled area is located right next to the actual workshop building. As Schepanik needed the building to be assembled as quickly as possible, anchoring with ground spikes was right up his street. If the ground is suitable, as the surface course, base course and frost protection layer have already been built (for a parking area, for example), a foundation does not need to be cast. The existing surface is used directly – as was the case at Bernhard Schepanik’s workshop. Within an hour the ground spikes, which securely hold the anchor plates of his new building, had been inserted – a tremendous amount of time and money was saved when compared with a concrete foundation, which takes around four weeks just to dry.
Schepanik erred on the side of caution and booked a pre-assembly inspection with Herchenbach. During a geometry check, the dimensions of the temporary building are staked out and access routes are checked. At the same time, the elevation profile is measured and documented. During a ground scan, experts use a metal detector to examine whether and how pipes have been laid in the ground. Ground spikes are then inserted at selected points in order to test the stability of the ground. Schepanik’s ground got the thumbs up. Once approval had also been granted from the building authority, nothing stood in the way of cost-effective ground spike anchoring.
The building was actually assembled in a flash. The assembly team had calculated less than two days. This was the particular highlight for Bernhard Schepanik. He had previously shot films on several of his projects on Youtube and the building assembly was also documented in a special way. As the first frame is pulled upwards after a short time and the aluminium glistens in the sun’s rays, Schepanik launches his drone and films all the action. In time lapse, the trapezoidal sheets are mounted on the walls, the roofing textile is fitted, the gutters are attached. As the two sliding gates are hung, Schepanik smiles with content. “Now the insurance company can see for themselves, everything is adequately protected here.”