Our home on wheels in Big Sur

Justin has a way of planning epic birthday trips for me (to Spain in Barcelona/Tarragona/Madrid, Italy…you know, terrible experiences). So for his birthday, I had to do something epic. And nothing says epic like sleeping in your car.

We were actually really excited to rent a Jucy van — a mini van whose back seat converts into both a dining table and a bed, and the trunk has a gas burner, fridge and sink. It has everything you need — minus a bathroom.

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Kitchen of a Jucy van
Trunk has the fridge, sink, pantry storage and pull out gas grill.
Trunk has the fridge, sink, pantry storage and full out gas grill.

The main part of the car converts from seats, to a bed, to a table.

It’s a pretty sweet ride. We were psyched for this trip. So, we rented our Jucy in Oakland, hit the grocery store, and set off on our long birthday weekend in Big Sur.

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We had reserved a campground down there so we had a place to park and access to bathrooms. Nice bonus of being in the woods, having a picnic table and a fire pit. Which of course meant lots of s’mores! Most people don’t know that I am an EXPERT at making s’mores (nickname: S’moto). Yes, that is me toasting my graham cracker and melting the chocolate on the fire grill first — of course with my headlamp as a critical tool.

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This was our first time “car camping” and we had such a blast. We loved thinking through supplies and meals, and having your home on wheels means you have ultimate flexibility.

For example, when we finished a hike and were hungry — boom! Full fridge awaiting us in the parking lot. Big Sur has some incredible sunsets along the coast. We could pull up to watch them and whip out our table, chairs and make some hot appetizers right there.

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We took some great hikes — a few that took most of the day, and a couple that were a short walk from the road. The views and waterfalls were incredible.

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We were pretty proud of ourselves for the food we made, especially the meals that involved multiple steps and multiple burners.

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And with that, our first Jucy experience came to an end. It wouldn’t be the last time we rented a Jucy van, because it really was, that good!

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Tips for packing:

  • Clothing. Depending on where you are going, pack warm clothes, layers and blankets for nighttime. Bring shoes that are easy to slip on for trips to the bathroom.
  • Toiletries. Don’t forget shower flip flops, towels and full shower toiletries — most facilities expect you to bring your own.
  • Cleaning. We bought a $2 plastic tub that we used for washing dishes which was way more efficient than using the small sink. Don’t forget to bring dish soap. It was also really handy to have a roll of paper towels.
  • Groceries. Remember you’re creating your kitchen so you’ll want to bring oil, salt and pepper, spices, and any other condiments you like. Don’t forget to shop for drinks and a few treats 🙂

Do it! It’s an awesome experience!

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