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Dale, Co-founder

Dale is a designer, engineer and co-author of the best-selling book, The Van Conversion Bible. He lives off-grid in his self-built campervan, travelling the world and exploring the best climbing areas.

As a child, Dale could either be found up a tree, or dismantling something he probably shouldn’t have been! He has always been intrigued by how things work, and spent much of his childhood building and inventing things with his granddad. He learnt about physics the hard way, crashing handmade go-karts and falling out of dubiously constructed treehouses. 

His inquisitive nature followed him to university and led him to study a degree in Product Design at the prestigious Design School of Loughborough University. Fast forward four tough years and Dale graduated top of his year, with the highest final year project grade ever awarded.

After university, Dale moved to the Peak District and worked for a small engineering consultancy where he gained exposure to lots of exciting design projects and engineering challenges, from medical devices to sections of submarines. After 5 challenging years, he was headhunted by Dyson (conveniently situated close to his partner Charlie) and moved down to Bristol to work at the technology company’s headquarters. Dale’s experience at Dyson was invaluable and allowed him to flourish as an engineer, but after nearly 5 years of working for the ruthless tech company, he decided to escape the 9 to 5 grind with the aim of contributing to something more sustainable and meaningful.

Over the 10 years Dale spent designing and engineering products, the goal remained the same – create solutions to problems that delight every user and enhance their day. However, most physical products fail to achieve this. A fancy new phone or a flashy car might make you happy for a couple of hours or even a few days, but quickly people become bored and start looking for the next ‘thing’ to bring them happiness. 

For Dale, building his own campervan, was the first product he had designed that truly enhanced the quality of his life. A campervan facilitates adventure and meaningful memories, something no gadget could ever achieve. This encouraged Dale to shift his career away from designing physical products, and instead enabling others to live better, with less ‘stuff’ and more adventure, by supporting them in building their own campervans and daring them to live differently!

It’s not been easy building a business whilst travelling the world, but I’m so proud of what Nohma has achieved. Not only do we have the most qualified team in the industry, but also the best reviews and biggest growth.

Dale Comley, Co-founder

But it’s not all work and no play – whenever he can, Dale will be off climbing. Apart from a brief foray into paragliding (which didn’t go so well…), this is how he spends most of his free time, and he has now been rock climbing across the world for over 20 years. From competing in competitions as a teenager to attempting some of Europe’s hardest climbs as an adult, he has always set his aspirations high.

Dale has been living in his van Ringo with partner Charlie full-time since April 2021, allowing him to further explore the world’s best known and upcoming climbing destinations from the comfort of his home. Dale is a big believer of ‘working when you feel productive and climbing when you feel strong’, so living and working nomadically has made this dream possible.

Dale and Charlie recently took their adventures to a new level, getting married on top of a mountain in Yosemite National Park. After their honeymoon in Baja California Sur, they drove further south down the Pan American highway, all the way to Patagonia. Keep your eyes peeled to find out what their next adventure will be…

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