We were able to camp in a Jucy Campervan for 4 nights recently and had a great experience! A Jucy Campervan is essentially a regular van that has been outfitted into a small, comfortable RV. Having the RV be the size of a regular van made it much easier for Allie to drive, especially on the cliffside roads of the Big Sur!
We had the Jucy Trailblazer. The two types of Jucy Vans, the Trailblazer and the Wayfarer, are very similar but the Trailblazer has the penthouse on top and the Wayfarer doesn’t.
There is plenty of storage to keep your luggage and camping supplies if there’s only two of you. Jucy Campervans do sleep 4 people, but having two people in the back could make it a little snug when driving, so you would need to pack lighter. Normally we kept our luggage and supplies on the seats in the back and extra people would have bumped up the difficulty level a lot.
When camping, our Jucy was surprisingly easy to set up. We slept in the pop up “penthouse” on the top. This is basically a tent that you wind up, but when compact it just looks like a small storage bin on the roof rack. There is a ladder that attaches to the side of the penthouse to let you climb up easily. When it comes to sleeping, the sides are like blackout curtains, which let you sleep in!
We set up the back of the van as living area. It has two couches with a table in the middle. This area can also be turned into a bed if you want to sleep inside of the van.
The RV also has two batteries, one for driving and one for running the fridge, outlet and lights when you are camping. This battery lasts about 10 hours and means you don’t have to worry about draining your car battery and getting stranded to have a little light at night.
If you open the trunk, each Jucy Van has its own small kitchen. There is a pump sink that holds 5 gallons of water. This makes washing dishes super easy. There are two butane burners for cooking and a small drawer fridge. There is a cupboard full of cooking supplies including pots and pans, a kettle, and a coffee maker.
If you want to spend time sitting around a campfire it also comes with two folding camping chairs and a camping table.
Jucy Campers can be picked up at three locations in the United States, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas. You can also rent Jucy Campervans in New Zealand and Australia. Once you pick up your van you are free to travel just about anywhere. You can even drive to Canada if you want! Keep in mind when trip planning though that you can’t drive South to Mexico.
For our California road trip with Jucy, we drove from San Francisco to Los Angeles. We spent time in Santa Cruz, saw the Redwood Trees, explored the coastline and the Big Sur and spent time on the beach.
We camped in an RV Park, a KOA Campground, and State Parks. These each gave us a very different experience but each was enjoyable in their own way!
KOA Campground – Santa Cruz/Monterey Bay
KOA Campgrounds are a great place to stay if camping in the “wild” isn’t really your thing. There are tons of other people around so you don’t need to worry about safety as much. At the KOA Santa Cruz/Monterey Bay, there are lots of amenities to make your stay more comfortable. There is a large heated pool and a general store where you can buy just about everything.
Downside: A children’s movie was playing near our campsite. If we happened to have children travelling with us I’m sure this would have been a lifesaver. It can be hard to keep kids entertained in the evenings when the sun goes down I bet. This was a bit of a pain for us though. We had been hoping to “listen to the soundtrack of the wild” as Allie put it, but instead were stuck listening to the soundtrack of a children’s movie.
Carmel-by-the-River – Carmel
Carmel-by-the-River is an RV park in the Monterey Bay Peninsula. This place is super quaint and small with a couple more permanent residence and campsites. It is owned by a really sweet family and just a quick drive from Carmel-by-the-Sea. Of all the places we stayed this was least like camping. You’re not allowed campfires, but they do have wifi.
State Park – San Simeon and Malibu
We stayed at two state parks which gave us a much more rural and authentic camping experience. There were lots of available campsites and each was nestled in the trees. These campsites are drastically cheaper than the previous two so if you are looking for more budget camping but still, access to some amenities State Parks are for you.
These campgrounds had bathrooms and coin-operated showers. There were places to buy firewood onsite as well. We actually got a ton of cheap firewood at the San Simeon campground. It was only $10 for an entire wheelbarrow full of firewood!
We did spy a bit of wildlife while we were camping. We saw a family of 4 racoons that wanted to hang out at our campsite. Make sure your food is put away and you don’t feed the wildlife!
Note: Someone approached our Jucy and warned us that “if you keep food inside this thing bears will tear the doors right off to get it”… Needless to say, this scared the heck out of us. Our KOA site did have a bearproof container to store food but the other 3 did not. After endless research, we learned that you just have to be careful and smart about your food. If you are in bear country, like visiting Yosemite, bears are a lot more of concern. We recommend researching ahead of time, clean up after yourself, don’t cook overly smelly food like meats and fish, and don’t leave food visible in your vehicle.
“This Jucy RV comes with everything including the kitchen sink.”
I had so much fun cooking in our Jucy. It was so nice to have warm meals in the chilly evenings. The kitchen is surprisingly spacious and easy to cook in. We did luck out and have great weather, even if a little chilly in the evenings. I don’t know what we would have done if it had rained though! Because the kitchen is in the back of the van and needs to open the trunk in order to access it. If it was raining and/or windy I am not sure how this would work.
All of the foods we ate during our camping trip were super easy to make. We took huge advantage of our two butane burners to warm up things like soup or chilli or boil water for something like Kraft Dinner or instant noodles. I know these aren’t the healthiest things, but after hiking and driving all day all we wanted were simple warm foods.
Ideas for camping foods:
- Mr noodles
- Hummus, veggies and chips
- Granola bars and nuts
- SMORES (of course)
A lot of people get a lot fancier, check out this post on Country Living with 28 Campfire Recipes, but we kept things really simple!
All in all, we loved camping in our Jucy Van. It gave us the opportunity to drive and explore the California coast in a way we have only dreamed. If you are travelling somewhere that Jucy caters, definitely check them out!