JUCY Campervan: Big Sur California Road Trip

For this California road trip—mostly through the Monterey Peninsula and down Big Sur—I experienced the funness of a JUCY campervan. JUCY is a New Zealand company that started operating in California about 5 years ago. JUCY USA currently has three locations: San Francisco (San Leandro), Los Angeles (Lawndale), and Las Vegas.

With its eye-catching logo, color scheme, fun layout, and concept, a JUCY campervan definitely attracts attention. Almost every time we stopped, people asked me about my JUCY campervan.

Making breakfast along the Pacific Grove coastline, two couples from Europe waxed poetically about their own camping experiences and they loved the European design of the JUCY kitchen facilities.

As we loaded our food into the solar powered refrigerator in the Trader Joes parking lot in Monterey, people approached, asked about the campervan, and then gushed when we said you can cook on these two stoves.

JUCY Campervan: Big Sur California Road Trip
McCool Travel and JUCY on Big Sur California road trip

When picking up my rental, I plied the staff with questions, learning among other things, that one Asian family rented two vans for several months to explore the US. Very cool. She told me that most rentals in their office are from foreign visitors while the Los Angeles office primarily has local renters. Interesting.

In this article, I will use the terms JUCY campervan, JUCY mini RV, and JUCY Trailblazer (formerly Champ). They all mean the same thing.

Thee highlight of our JUCY campervan road trip was definitely driving Big Sur, one of the most scenic coastal drives in thee USA and the world.

JUCY Campervan: Big Sur California Road Trip

McCool Travel note: JUCY no longer operates in USA but you can rent their camper vans in Australia and New Zealand.

On our California road trip with our JUCY campervan, we enjoyed camping along Big Sur and the California Central Coast, making breakfast and dinner with views of the mighty Pacific Ocean, and driving the coolest vehicle in California. The JUCY Trailblazer mini RV can sleep 4 persons, has a solar-powered refrigerator and lights, 2 butane stoves, and a sink (with 5 gallons of clean water).

Additional items to consider include a kitchen kit, fold up chairs, bedding kit, winter pack, and prepaying for mileage.

The vehicle itself was a converted Dodge Caravan and it drove like a minivan rather than an RV. It was quite easy to drive, park, and maneuver. The advertised mileage was 18 MPG and my vehicle’s mileage was right about there (perhaps even better).

JUCY Campervan: Big Sur California Road Trip
McCool’s JUCY watching a Pacific Grove, California sunset

California Camping Fun

Camping with a JUCY Campervan is easy and fun. Let’s call it relaxed glamping. Selecting a campsite will be your toughest task.

JUCY Campervan: Big Sur California Road Trip
McCool’s JUCY Campervan in Big Sur California

Preparing a meal is as easy as pushing buttons and turning knobs. Push a button to open the back door. Turn a knob to start the butane gas stove.

JUCY camper van kitchen
elegantly designed JUCY camper van kitchen
JUCY Campervan: Big Sur California Road Trip
breakfast with a view anyone?

Time to rest after all that button pushing and knob turning.

JUCY Campervan: Big Sur California Road Trip
oceanside breakfast in Pacific Grove California. Photo credit: FuninFairfaxVA.com

Setting up the sleeping arrangements is also super simple. Seat cushions transform into a bed, approximately full size. It was cozy for two adults. The upstairs penthouse has more room, maybe a queen size. The penthouse is set up by turning a crank handle.

JUCY Campervan: Big Sur California Road Trip
JUCY Mini RV bed

Both sleeping compartments have elegantly designed solutions to maximize darkness. Inside the JUCY campervan, flaps roll up and down on some windows while there are fitted shades with suction cups and Velcro for other windows (like the front windshield). The penthouse flaps zip shut and have additional Velcro closures, like a well made tent.

JUCY Campervan: Big Sur California Road Trip
JUCY Penthouse. Photo credit: Julie McCool, FuninFairfaxVA.com

Here is the view from the JUCY penthouse.

JUCY Campervan: Big Sur California Road Trip
JUCY Campervan penthouse

She looks lovely in her campsite, agree?

JUCY Campervan: Big Sur California Road Trip
JUCY Mini RV in Big Sur California. Photo credit: FuninFairfaxVA.com

The most difficult part of the JUCY Campervan experience is returning it. Not that the process it challenging but rather you will want to keep JUCY longer. When I returned the JUCY mini RV in Los Angeles—then made a trip to Palm Springs—I saw that many of their vehicles were for sale.

Since I was traveling in my typical carryon style, I passed, but it sure was tempting. After all, I could have extended my California road trip to cover the rest of the country on my way back home to Virginia.

JUCY Campervan: Big Sur California Road Trip
rent or own a JUCY campervan

JUCY provided me a complimentary 5 day rental of one of their mini RVs so that I could share this great travel experience with my network.

McCool Travel note: JUCY no longer operates in USA but you can rent their camper vans in Australia and New Zealand.

McCool Travel tip: If you are interested in RV travel (whether renting or buying), a convenient place to begin research is Go RVing, particularly the Where to Find: Rentals section.

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18 thoughts on “JUCY Campervan: Big Sur California Road Trip”

  1. Full time traveling is really hard for those who never tried any dare in normal life but peoples like you are real-life heroes. who never step back from any problem and fight with this. and your adventure always gives you great memories…I like to read it and would like to read more n more about your van life… Keep it up…. love all of you…

  2. This is awesome. Our daughter goes to school at UCSC so we make the trek up from San Diego a couple times a year to see her. A Jucy would be the perfect vehicle for that trip. Between the Redwoods, highway 1, Monterrey Bay or Morrow bay we will never get to see it all no matter how many times we go.

  3. I’d never heard of a JUCY campervan before. It sure is cute. I can’t believe 4 people can sleep in it, but that picture of the pop top convinced me. This is coming from someone who once drove a “hippie van” VW bus camping around the U.S. One question: Where do you put 4 suitcases?

  4. How fun! I’m definitely not a fan of camping, but JUCY is something I would do and will look into next time I’m in California!

  5. We almost tried Jucy once, but it didn’t fit into our plans. Maybe need to start in Vegas and check out the desert and Grand Canyon a bit.

  6. I didn’t know they operated out of California. We have been looking at the design and layout of these since we are turning a minivan into a camper this year. So cool! Sounds like a great time.

  7. This is a fun-looking vehicle. I love that you can travel and camp with something that drives more like a mini-van than a truck or RV.

  8. I didn’t realise that Jucy have branched out to the Us. I knew that they had started doing accommodation within the city in New Zealand but to sprout legs and jump countries is fantastic for a brand that really stands out for its colour scheme.

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