Start-up company in Chinatown turns camper vans into COVID mobiles

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Monday, March 8, 2021
Start-up turns camper vans into COVID mobiles
Texino retrofits their camper vans to become mobile testing and vaccine sites during the pandemic.Texino, a camper company in Los Angeles' Chinatown is turning their vans into mobile COVID testing and vaccine sites amid the pandemic.

LOS ANGELES -- From vacations to vaccines, Texino Founder and CEO Nick Devane has you covered.

In 2020, his camping van company was approached with the idea to build camper vans fully equipped for mobile testing.

"What started out as one, turned into five and then 10. And then so far, we've actually built about 90 testing vans," said Devane.

And as vaccines started to receive FDA approval, the functionality of the vans started to grow.

"As we got into the fall, we added the ability to distribute the vaccine to those vehicles as well," said Devane.

Once the van is completed, it's given to one of four companies helping with vaccine distribution and testing.

"I think the beauty of the vans is the ability to hit a lot of different places quickly," he said.

Devane said they're completing about two of these vans per day.

And though it's busy in the Texino warehouse now, it looked very different at the start of the pandemic.

"The first six weeks of the pandemic almost no one was going camping. We actually had to let go or furlough most of our staff. And we sold all of our vehicles just to stay in business," he said.

But thanks to a camping boom in April, they started to get busy again.

"Suddenly, everybody wanted to buy a van or rent a van. We were fully booked through the summer," Devane said.

Devane said many small business owners can relate to the struggle the pandemic has caused. But he's happy to be in a place where he's able to give back.

"Compared to our normal work it has been really awesome to be impactful and feel like we're doing something about the pandemic," he said.

Texino Camper Vans: