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How We Slept in Our "Car" For Two Weeks
#California was somewhere we knew we wanted to visit. And what better way to do it than by sleeping in our car?! Well, sort of. We rented an #affordable camper van and drove down the coast. Our van got quite a few stares and the sleeping arrangements took a bit of getting used to, but the #family time was priceless!
After travelling New York to Florida on our East Coast, USA road trip, we were told several times that the Pacific North West was even prettier and we had to do it. Having never been camper vanning before we thought that would be a neat way to see all the natural beauty along the way.
Jucy is a company well-known in New Zealand, and when we found out they also were located in San Francisco, we knew they would be the perfect solution. Their vehicles are not giant RV’s. Instead they had a minivan named Champ. Champ was a 7'4" Dodge that seemed to include everything, including the kitchen sink.
When you first see the car, you can never forget it. It has been the highlight of our trip across the West Coast as people frequently stopped to ask about it and see inside.
Jucy Cars in San Francisco
Big Bus Tour San Francisco
Golden Gate Bridge Guided Tour
Clad in neon green and eye-popping purple, it’s hard to miss, especially with the Jucy logo on it and the Lucy cartoon mascot. We almost felt like rock stars on tour travelling around in this vehicle.
Setting Up Each Evening
The Jucy Campervan was surprisingly easy to set up. The electric pop-top opened up very easily by just holding 1 button. Once the bed was made we could leave it made and store the sheets and pillows up there when we were on the road. It’s also the longest bed my husband has ever slept in and he found so much joy in being able to stretch out the full length of the roof. My 3-year-old son slept with him on top, which was easily accessible via the retractable steel ladder. The top sleeping area also contained 2 lights that were useful at night, as well as a small storage compartment, the perfect size for a torch, keys, wallet, etc.
Inside we pulled a chair back and, hey presto, it’s a bed. We moved our luggage to the front seat, made the bed and Mia and I were straight to sleep.
I must admit some discomfort on my first night. I have never been a camping queen and I had constant thoughts of someone coming to the car and waking at every sound. My husband slept like a log.
Let's Take A Tour
Let's start with the boot, it's got everything you need (except a toilet). Inside the back is a kitchen sink, gas stove (plus spare), fridge drawer, cupboards with cookware, cutlery, plates, bowls and such. The fridge drawer was bigger than anticipated and fit our 2 litre milk plus yoghurts, canned fruit, water bottles, carrots, tomatoes and more.
A collapsible table is stored on top of the car (below the pop-top) and is handy for cooking or sitting outdoors (great laptop table).
Inside the van was a storage box that converted into a bed. Inside this storage box (alongside our 2 carryon bags and some other items) was a table. This table could be taken out, stuck in a hole in the van, making the chairs the seats and a neat breakfast nook.
Mia’s favourite feature was the electric side doors which could be opened with the press of a button, and even controlled from the front seat. As we popped in and out of the car very frequently, it turned to be more helpful than we had initially anticipated.
The pull-down DVD player with remote control is a convenient way to keep the kids amused in the back seat on the longer drives.
All in all, this Champ is one fine camper. It gave us so much more flexibility then a massive RV as we can stop in at restaurants, supermarkets, delis and attractions with no worries about parking (except the height, most shorter drive-thrus didn’t quite fit). I could drive it through cities like San Francisco and Seattle without any fear of hitting anything or anyone. And my favourite, it was pretty good on fuel.
If you are planning a short road trip or family holiday, take a look at the Jucy Champ videos to see it in action – very impressive.