I’m sure we’ve all seen the vanlife family Instagram accounts, right? Well after scrolling through some campervan families, I thought “I would like to try traveling in a van”! After all we’ve done traditional camping, glamping & everything in between…so why not try traveling in a camper van to see how it actually pans out? The only problem for our family is that we didn’t want to invest in BUYING one, so with a few google searches, I found KuKuCampers for our week-long van life adventure for a nightly rate that was a lot more affordable than I had anticipated. OH & unlimited mileage, so if we made a detour to see a giant pistachio at a road stop attraction it would rack up our mileage. SCORE! Now it’s time to share what we learned REAL quick a week on the road in a KuKuCampers van!
Find a rental camper van with Unlimited Mileage
This is a HUGE reason I picked KuKuCampers, the unlimited mileage paired with their very reasonable rates had me pulled in. You don’t want to stress over extra miles driven, a wrong turn made, or any of that nonsense. Straight forward pricing is what I was looking for & found it, with a daily rate. Remember when you are calculating the rate that you are basically paying for a mode of transportation PLUS a place to lay your head at night which makes campervan rentals a very economical way to travel. KuKuCampers in Colorado is located near Denver, so planning any adventure you’d want unlimited since there is SO much to see & you never know how your plans will change on these types of trips.
Keep packing to a minimal
You can do this by asking questions if you are unsure what is already in the van. Ask are dishes, towels, blankets, flashlights, silverware, camp chairs included in your rental? Do they cost extra? These are all things to consider, especially if you plan to fly into the city of your rental. When packing for a week of adventure we have learned we can pack way less if we just stop into a washeteria, most of the national parks we have visited have them so we plan to fluff and fold during our trip to keep packing light. We also planned to do laundry while making breakfast or lunch in the van so we started a load, set a timer on our phone, go back to the van & then pop back in to switch to the dryer or grab the clothes to fold up.
Research before you go
KukuCampers can be a wealth of knowledge if you need help where to go, where you can stay overnight & all things that pertain to the campervan life. For our family, I found sites that had amenities that fit our needs. We love staying at the campsites of National Parks (for this trip Grand Tetons & Yellowstone NP were our picks), enjoying the close proximity to start our days on the trails & the amenities that come along with staying in the National Parks. There are plenty of places outside of National Parks
Keep a Tidy Van
So, we learned real quick that when the kids left an apple, notebook or toy on the counter that it would go flying onto the floor as soon as we started driving. So we made it a good habit to clear off the countertops as we were about to hit the road. It’s easy to forget about that loaf of bread until it goes flying across the van! HA! But quickly establishing a space for everything you bring (which is why I advise to pack light) is a must. I’m not sure if all campervan rentals are setup like KuKuCampers but they had plenty of areas to store our clothing (under the benches), our food (above the driver seat was a great space) & the kids even found spots to stash their toys/devices!
Pick your Campervan Rental size wisely
If doing it again, I would pick the campervan without the bunk since we always huddle together while camping it just made sense that we all ended up on the same bed most nights & it would have allowed for a bit more headspace. Campervans are going to be a tight space no matter what, but the beauty of them is that you open the doors, pull out your camper chairs & relax outdoors too (while the kids run wild)! Just like you wouldn’t stay cooped up in a tent, you don’t do that while traveling in a campervan either.
For our one week trip to Grand Tetons & Yellowstone NP we rented a category C campervan that fits 5 people, has a kitchen, Queen size bed & top bunk from KuKuCampers.
We arrived in Denver, Colorado & took an uber to their offices to pick-up our campervan rental in Colorado. After arriving we went over all the paperwork, learned all the ins & outs of the van along with checked the van for any sort of dings or marks (like you typically do when renting a vehicle).
The camper came with a portable stove, plates, bowls, cups, utensils, cleaning supplies and pots/pans. We had everything we needed for all our basic meals. We found it more enjoyable to take the portable stove outdoors to cook our meals instead of being cooped up in the van with the kids jumping around the van.
The main table in the campervan folded down to create a Queen size bed & the top bunk was accessed by using the countertop area as steps (you can see the kids doing that in my video above), we used the Queen bed for our whole family for a majority of the trip since the top bunk was a little claustrophobic for my kids.
We found the campervan to have PLENTY of storage for our family of 4, we each stored our bags underneath the benches/bed that folded up. We kept chairs, a fold out table & any extra in the back. And for our blankets/pillows, we ended up tossing those on the top bunk during the day to keep them out of the way. Also, the table made a great fort for the kids! 😉
For drop off, we had a flight that was earlier than the offices opened but they had a drop off option that was very straight forward, we took a picture of the van, sent an email & then dropped the keys in the dropbox. SO EASY!
We were given a media discount in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.