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£2,543
pledged of £8,000pledged of £8,000 goal
51
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, December 19 2018 9:48 AM UTC +00:00
Stephen SaundersBy Stephen Saunders
First created
Stephen SaundersBy Stephen Saunders
First created
£2,543
pledged of £8,000pledged of £8,000 goal
51
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, December 19 2018 9:48 AM UTC +00:00

About

Highway Hammocks is thought to be the world's first producer specialising entirely in interior-hammocks for vehicles, designed to provide somewhere comfortable for a power-nap, a snooze or an overnight sleep when you are out on the road somewhere. 

The Vansnoozer is a hammock designed specifically to fit inside a van. If your van hasn't been converted to a camper, and you need the space inside for tools, bikes, surf-boards, fishing gear etc, it leaves little room to make a bed.  The Vansnoozer solves this. It fits in a few seconds using rubber chocks over the doors, enabling you to stretch out in comfort above it all. It will also fit in most large estate cars (station wagons), and SUVs.  As long as you have a good six feet, (1.85 metres) of roof length, it will generally work.  There's less room in a car, so you' may have to recline the front seats, and take out the headrests, but the result will be more comfortable than sleeping in the seats. 

But mainly this is for vans. The Vansnoozer is adjustable for length and for tension, as you don't want too big a dip to be comfy.  If you have a fixed bulkhead in the van which prevents you accessing the front doors, the problem can be solved by fitting two eye-bolts, or tie-down rings in the top corners.  I can supply these or you can order them locally. 

Vansnoozers are utility hammocks, in tough synthetic canvas, easy to clean, strong and durable.  (They are not the kind you'll see on the beach in Barbados).  They roll up into a bag not much bigger than an umbrella for storage when not in use.   

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Who would benefit from having a Vansnoozer?  Anyone with a van that hasn't been converted to a camper already, and who might either want to stay out over-night or simply take a power-nap when dog-tired. And anyone at risk of being delayed, broken down or stranded. (So that's everyone!) Tradespeople, mountain bikers, surfers, anglers, para-gliders, festival goers, track-day attendees, trade show visitors, and people who forget their house-keys and come home far too late to wake anyone up!   Anyone who might want to take a nap when out on the road. 

When it's chucking down with rain and you're facing a long wait, stretching out in a comfortable hammock is a million times better than trying to sleep in the seat.

This is still a very small operation just finding its feet. I'm Stephen Saunders and I created the Vansnoozer out of necessity after too many uncomfortable attempts to snooze on the seats with my feet up on the dashboard or my knees bent around the gear lever. If you have a fully fitted out camper; great, but many of us don't. This includes delivery drivers like me whose carefully scheduled day can easily go pear-shaped and result in a long and tiring epic.  And there's something cool about sleeping out in the van in a hammock that I discovered when I made my first one, that had entirely passed me by before.

I have been a professional driver for many years. I was a serious outback trucker in Australia in the early eighties, then a European continental driver, and more recently I've been driving vans and day-cab trucks here in the UK. I have made road trips from London to the Middle East, hundreds the length and breadth of Australia and Europe, and twice across the USA from East to West. I probably have around 1.5 million miles behind me. Constantly thinking of new inventions in 1988 I won a British Design Award for another product that I developed.

Some trucks have sleeper cabs, some don't, some vans have beds in the back and some don't. I know all too well how uncomfortable it is to try to sleep across the seats, and how difficult it can be to make a level space to get comfortable amongst everything else in the van. I also know how vital a power-nap or a decent sleep can be when dangerously tired, or when stranded or delayed. There have been many scientifically-run studies of fatigue in drivers (and pilots) which have shown that while coffee perks you up for a short while, (at the cost of further fatigue just down the road), a power nap, where you are really asleep, even if for only 20 - 30 minutes, gives you a good 2 - 3 hours of refreshed driving (or flying) capability. I ran my own tests too, on one occasion safely driving non-stop across Europe for 37 hours, using 20-minute power naps every two and a half hours after the first eight or so. 37 hours at the wheel would be terrifyingly dangerous otherwise.

Looking about, I realised there is usually space above the clutter, or above the seats, plenty of space in fact, if only I could rig something up. A hammock would be the obvious answer. I made the first ones at home, with my wife's help on her sewing machine, but the materials alone were more than I felt I could justify as a retail price, so I had some made in India, by an ethical, fair-trade association producer called Asha Handicrafts, recommended to me by a friend who has his range of ET Games made by them.

This is the Cabsnoozer; my first product which is already on the market.

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In order to ensure that the costs are kept low enough to offer the Vansnoozer at a reasonable price, worldwide, I need to be able to order in quantities of around 500 units at a time. I also need to market them, meaning getting them known, seen in magazines, promoted on social media platforms etc., for which I need an operating budget. I need to raise £8,000 for these two things, which will kickstart the business and enable it to grow. Your help with this would be wonderful and greatly appreciated.

We have developed some extras that make the Vansnoozer even more comfortable. The thermal mat keeps any chill from coming up from underneath. The fleece blanket is made in a tube to slide over the Vansnoozer stopping it from sliding off, and also insulates from underneath as well as above. The pillow just gives your head that obvious extra comfort and support.

If you are a van driver, and don't have it fully fitted out as a camper, if you think you might ever get stranded in a van, or a station wagon, if you have a friend, a partner, or a lover with a van who is a challenge to buy a present for, or if you simply want to feel the love and gratitude of a tired old driver trying to make everyone else comfy, please pick a pledge option, and support this project.  

Unfortunately, we have to charge a shipping price for outside the UK:

UK - Free
Europe - £15
USA - £20
Rest of World - £30

Your support with a pledge or a pre-order purchase from the reward options is what Kickstarter is all about and would be greatly appreciated, and will enable Highway Hammocks to become a more established business supplying hammocks to tired drivers all over the world. Your ability to share the links to this campaign through social media and your own personal connections would be immensely helpful in this regard.  Please make use of your facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp and other platforms to alert anyone you feel might be interested to this. I have also started a series of video pontifications called Old Trucker, which I hope you will find informative and entertaining.  Part one is up now on Facebook and Youtube, and they will get better as I become practised. There are literally hundreds of subjects I intend to cover.  If you enjoy them, please share them. Thank you very much. 

Lastly, you will see an I have created an opportunity (for £5) to make a reciprocal hyper-link between the Highway Hammocks website and one of your own.  I hope you will take this opportunity and we can promote traffic to each other for mutual benefit.  

Risks and challenges

So far, Highway Hammocks has successfully produced a short run of hammocks specially designed for truck cabs, from developing the first prototypes to receiving 450 of them from Asha in India. These are called Cabsnoozers, for day-cab trucks. These have proved to be good, strong, well-made and perfect for the job. There have not been any issues of concern at all with them. The Vansnoozer is a variation on these, and requires some additional components which I have been able to buy or make myself to prove the concept and make a number of working prototypes. None of these components presents a manufacturing difficulty and Asha Handicrafts are well prepared to handle the production. There are few risks associated with the product; no moving parts to go wrong, and everything has been tested to take super heavy weights! I am in Asha's hands over delivery times, but the previous shipment was efficiently handled and arrived without problems. I also have the advantage of being able to share shipping space with my friend's games consignments which are regular and ongoing as he is quite well established. His relationship with Asha has been over a long-term and is a proven reliable one. Furthermore, he has offered collaboration with his distributor in the USA so it may be possible, if demand is sufficient, to ship a stock directly to America and despatch US orders from there to save time and double handling.

With Christmas coming directly after the campaign I have allowed an additional three - four month production and delivery period, (May 2019) which from my first experience of producing the Cabsnoozers should be more than adequate, but there could be unexpected hold-ups as with anything. If there is a delay which looks like taking deliveries more than a week or two past this estimate I will contact every affected person and keep them informed. If everything comes in early, the same applies!
There are some problems which I very much look forward to having; that of having so many orders that I need new premises, and extra staff to pack and despatch them. I feel ready.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About US$ 1.30

    Undying love and gratitude

    Pledge £1 or more and you will receive our undying love and gratitude for helping kickstart Highway Hammocks’ Vansnoozer, and the knowledge that people all over the world will be sleeping safely and comfortably rather than scrunched up across the seats. If you wish to have e-mail updates Highway Hammocks will keep you abreast with periodical news on progress, new products and ideas.

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    Pledge £5 or more About US$ 6

    Your logo hyperlink on our website

    Pledge £5 or more and we will put a logo-image hyperlink to your own website URL if you have one, subject to moderator’s approval, (to ensure its a happy and wholesome site) on the Highway Hammocks website in a special backers section. We will then ask you to put ours onto yours, with no obligation to do so. But this helps promote both of us on the web. If you want to use a logo of a third party organisation, such as a club or friend’s website, or that of the company you work for, please ensure you have their permission.

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    Pledge £35 or more About US$ 45

    Early Bird Vansnoozer

    Early Bird offer: The first 100 backers to pledge £35.00 will receive a Highway Hammocks Vansnoozer hammock.

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    Pledge £45 or more About US$ 58

    The Vansnoozer

    Unlimited offer: Pledge £45 to receive a Highway Hammocks Vansnoozer. (RRP after Kickstarter: £50)

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    Pledge £55 or more About US$ 71

    Early Bird Vansnoozer hammock pack

    Early Bird Offer: The first 100 backers to pledge £55 will receive a Highway Hammocks Vansnoozer, with T-shirt and thermal mat.

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    Pledge £65 or more About US$ 84

    Vansnoozer hammock pack

    pledge £65 will receive a Highway Hammocks Vansnoozer, with T-shirt and thermal mat.

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    Pledge £85 or more About US$ 110

    Deluxe Vansnoozer bundle

    Deluxe bundle: Pledge £85 and we will send you a Highway Hammocks Vansnoozer in a specially made sports bag, complete with tubular fleece (it goes right around you and the hammock so can never slip off), fleecy pillow, one Highway Hammocks T-shirts in black, choice of sizes S M L XL and a thermal mat.

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    Pledge £130 or more About US$ 169

    Twin Vansnoozer set-up

    Pledge £130 and we will send you two Highway Hammocks Vansnoozers, with a kit to create a twin Vansnoozer set-up side by side in your van, without tipping towards the centre, plus two T-shirts and thermal mats.

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    Pledge £175 or more About US$ 227

    Twin Vansnoozer deluxe packs

    Pledge £175 and we will send you two Vansnoozers complete with two tubular fleeces, two pillows, two thermal mats, in a Highway Hammocks sports bag, and kit for creating a two-hammock side by side set-up. Plus we'll also include two Highway Hammocks T shirts in black, choice of sizes S M L XL

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Funding period

- (28 days)