Big Sur Campervan Model: Review and Tips from a Past Renter
How-To's & Resources, Renter Guest Posts, Traveling With Kids
By Dawn S
When the Mavericks campervan is too small, and the Del Mar is sold out – try the Big Sur campervan! This larger, more spacious 5-person model that debuted on the West Coast, can now be reserved at all 11 campervan locations. We had the privilege to take the “Trouter Space” Big Sur van on its maiden voyage. This is a Big Sur campervan model review, the tricks and tips we learned along the way, and how it compares to the Mavericks camper van model.
Got friends? No problem! We had a fantastic week traveling around the Olympic Peninsula with 4 adults in a Big Sur van w/a rooftop sleeper, and even had plenty of room for 5 people (and all our stuff), for an overnight side trip to Mt Rainier.
Daytime Campervan Setup
Each morning, we closed the rooftop sleeper and turned the big bed in the van back into two bench seats. This allowed us to access the under-bed storage bins. But, if you don’t want to convert the bed every day, you can leave it made up and just stow your gear on top of the bed during the daytime and still have room for 5 passengers in the seatbelt area. We only set the table up once, when eating a meal inside the van on a cold windy day.
It’s much easier to get dressed in the van during the daytime setup (bench seats) but with the curtains still closed for privacy. You can take turns jumping in and getting dressed for the day. This goes quicker if you got your stuff together the night before and put it in your bathroom tote.
Pack light, bring layers, and plan to re-wear your pants and shirts several times. Bring along a travel-size Febreze to spray your clothes when you take them off at night and lay them over the seat back to air out. Febreze also works great on stinky hiking boots, and the dirty laundry bag, too.
Nighttime Campervan Setup
It’s much better to set up the beds while it’s still daylight, and before someone gets too tired and grumpy. If you tackle it together, you can be done in a jiffy.
Damp Towel Tip
Our quick-dry OutGo microfiber towels got folded in half and hung over the curtain cordage to dry. Or, if it’s hot and muggy at night, you can cover up with your damp towel to stay cool.
Rooftop Sleeper Tip
Unzip the windows and doors before you crawl out in the morning for easier opening and closing. Keep your earplugs and eye mask in the mesh pockets or in your pillowcase, so when your campmate starts snoring like a grizzly bear, you can easily find them in the dark.
Slumber Party Tip
For the most room when you have three people sleeping inside the van, the person in the middle should sleep with their head at the opposite end, toward the others’ feet. Think of the interior bed more like a tent set up with three people! I hope you are not in the middle!
The van had plenty of under bed storage. We also picked up a few boxes from a grocery store to use under the second-row seats to organize our frequently used items such as snacks, paper towels, headlamps, journal, and one was just for shoes. We also used boxes to store groceries and supplies in the kitchen area. A “flat” box works great as an added storage bin on top of the closed stove, just place it over the sink while you are cooking.
The Duffle Shuffle
John and I used the storage bins under the bed for our gear and clothes, but Sara and Steven left their clothes in their duffle bags. During the daytime, duffle bags and bathroom totes went in the back bench seating area. Frequently used day packs and camera bags went in the empty bucket seat in the second row that was not being used. At night when we made the van bed, all bags went into the front and second-row seats (use this same process if you leave the bed set up all day). We used carabineers and rubber gear ties to hang up jackets and bathroom totes. This gear shuffle only took a minute or two.
Where to Store the Bedding for 4
The sheets, pillows, and duvet for the queen-size van bed fit right into the lift-top storage bin inside the rear bench seat. We did not leave any bedding in the rooftop sleeper, because it was rainy during our trip, and we didn’t want to risk getting it damp when we closed up the wet canvas walls. We stored this second set of bedding in the Ikea tote bag in the back of the van.
Where to Store the Ladder
Where can you put that ladder, so you aren’t tripping and crawling over it? We laid it on its side across the back of the bench seats in the van, against the wall of the kitchen.
Mavericks vs Big Sur Campervan Model: How to Choose?
Now that you have made the wise decision to spend your vacation in a hand-painted, well-equipped Escape Campervan, which van model should you choose? Here are some reasons to consider the Big Sur and some reasons why the Maverick is also awesome.
Try to reserve a Big Sur van if:
- You have kids in car seats
- You have 3-5 adults traveling together
- You want to leave the bed made up, and still have seating/seatbelts for five
- And if it will be cool at night time where you are camping
- The Del Mar Pop Top is not available
The Mavericks is great because:
- If there are only 1 or 2 people, you can leave the bed made up and still have access to your stored items
- The rear and side windows open for ventilation, if it’s warm at night during your trip
- If you can’t snag a Big Sur, The Mavericks is a great classic setup and will be just as much fun. It seats five but sleeps four with the rooftop sleeper. Got a group of five? Just bring a small tent, sleeping pad, and sleeping bag to make it work. Or you can rent a tent from Escape!
We loved our 10-day adventure in the Big Sur van, on our road trip from Seattle to Mt Rainier, Olympic National Park, and so much more. We hope you have as much fun as we did when you book your campervan. And remember, families that can travel in a van together… can make it through anything!
2 thoughts on “Big Sur Campervan Model: Review and Tips from a Past Renter”
Why is it recommended to get a Big Sur when it is cool at night while camping vs. recommended to get a Mavericks when it is warm at night while camping? Is it because the windows open in Mavericks, but not Big Sur?
Actually, only the front windows in both the Mavericks and the Big Sur open. Both models would be great in cold or warm weather as long as you are prepared!