Here’s everything you need to know about driving a campervan around California — including camping fees, what to pack, insurance and more!
It’s no secret that one of our favorite ways to travel is by campervan. Over the years, we’ve rented campervans in both Australia and Iceland, and now we get to add our beloved home state of California to the list!
We rented a JUCY during our trip to Australia over 8 years ago, so when we heard they had opened up shop in the USA, we had to give them a try on our recent road trip to Yosemite and Mendocino County.
A Guide to Traveling California in a Campervan
Types of JUCY Vehicles
The JUCY “Trailblazer”
The Trailblazer is a gem of a vehicle in that it offers the easy maneuverability of a regular minivan with the same conveniences of a motorhome.
The vehicle features two double beds, one inside the vehicle and another above, a small kitchen with a 30 liter compressor fridge and sink, storage space beneath the bench seats, a built in table, two butane gas stoves, a 20 liter water tank, and a 25 liter waste water tank.
(Note: Make sure to pick up a sponge and dish soap while you’re stocking up on groceries as these are not included.)
The JUCY “Wavefarer”
The Wavefarer is slightly more compact than the Trailblazer, and is perfect for two people. It includes a double bed, a 20 liter water tank, a 25 liter wastewater tank, an internal table, and a kitchen area including two gas stoves, a kitchen sink, and a 30-40 liter fridge.
Included in every JUCY package with minimum rental duration of 5 days during peak periods and 3 days during the low season is a vehicle rental, all additional driver fees, taxes and fees for all included services, and liability insurance with a deductible.
Additional items available to add on to your rental package include a kitchen kit, a bedding kit, camping chairs, an external picnic table, a child and baby seat, a solar shower, a grill, a car adapter, and a winter pack. Whatever your needs, JUCY has you covered!
Read more: A Guide to Traveling Iceland in a Campervan
Accidents happen, and thankfully JUCY has four different auto insurance options to give you peace of mind on the road:
• A Collision Damage Waiver & Supplementary Liability Insurance (Bond $500) for a daily charge of $22.00.
• A Standalone Collision Damage Waiver (Bond $500, Excess $0) for a daily charge of $10.00.
• A Standalone Supplementary Liability Insurance (Bond/Excess $1500) for a daily charge of $12.00.
• Basic Vehicle Coverage and Statutory Liability (Bond/Excess $1500) with a waved daily charge.
JUCY Rental Locations in the USA
As it stands, there are three places to rent JUCY campervans in the USA: San Francisco (San Leandro), Los Angeles (Lawndale), Point Roberts (Washington) and Las Vegas.
Note than in order to rent from any of these locations, you must be at least 21 years old and have a valid drivers license. Also note that JUCY does not offer airport transfer service, but each location is located close to a major airport.
The beauty of traveling by campervan is that you can stay almost anywhere! California is home to many campgrounds and state parks that are perfect for your JUCY campervan. Generally, designated campground fees in California range anywhere from $15.00 to $50.00, depending on where you stay and what kind of amenities are available.
If paying for a campground isn’t quite your style, there are also plenty of free, dispersed, camping options around California. Just remember that these free options tend to be a little out of the way, will likely just have a pit toilet (or no toilet at all), and you will probably have to bring your own bear box.
When camping for free, remember to keep your things clean and contained, to camp at least 200 feet away from water, to research any fire rules and regulations in your area, and to see what kind of limitations your campsite has for length of stay.
Read more: The Ultimate Packing Checklist for Campers
Bear Safety Tips
It’s well known that Northern California is bear country.
If you happen to be camping through these parts then some good rules of thumb to follow are to not leave any food in your campervan, bring a bear canister if you’re on a site that doesn’t provide lockers, follow a leave no trace policy, and cook food and wash dishes away from your campsite so that bears aren’t attracted to the smells while you sleep.
Campervan Packing Essentials
Headlamp: A headlamp is always a great item to take along on a campervan trip. You never know when you’re going to need it and it’s so much handier than a phone light.
Biodegradable wipes: We never go on a campervan trip without these extremely versatile (and biodegradable) wipes.
Beanie hat: A beanie hat is a great thing to bring along no matter what part of California or season it is; those nights can get chilly!
Car Power Inverter: Have all your electronics charged and at the ready with this handy car power inverter. Don’t count on using only the USB outlets in the JUCY — especially if you are bringing a laptop or drone to charge.
Thanks to JUCY for helping us making this road trip possible! As always, all opinions are 100% ours.