Full disclosure, we were completely new to camping when we rented our JUCY Chaser, so if you are an experienced camper this post may be less useful. Here I describe everything we wish we would have known or done differently prior to setting out on our month long camper van adventure in New Zealand, and provide a packing list at the bottom!
- When you pick up your JUCY be sure to check out the corner of the JUCY office where there is a “take/leave table” – when we arrived, the area was full of free items campers had left after their trip. We had no idea this existed! We managed to grab two small rugs (doormats that helped keep dirt contained), toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap, clothes detergent, instant coffee, cooking essentials (oils, soy sauce, salt, pepper, etc.), Tupperware, water bottles and more!
- JUCY provides you with many supplies – bedding, towels, sheets, plates, wine glasses, cups, bowls etc., and if you’re lucky previous campers will have left supplies in the JUCY office you can pick up. In addition to items we grabbed at the JUCY office, we ended up needing to purchase the following items throughout our trip:
- Sponges for cleaning dishes
- Rope for making a clothes drying line (generally clothes driers cost 4 NZD for 20 – 40 minutes, so having a clothes line can save money, and provide an alternative solution if the dryers are occupied)
- Pasta strainer (they make collapsible strainers, which I recommend)
- 12V PC car charger – this charges a laptop from the cigarette lighter. These can be purchased off amazon before you travel. For Mac users, I recommend this type of 12V Computer car charger.
- The ceiling lights on the roof of your camper aren’t controlled by a light switch on the wall, simply tap them on the indented spot to turn them on (Notes: your lights must be turned on via your power control panel)
- When you pick-up your JUCY you might be briefed that to secure your toilet tank (aka black water tank) simply “throw it in, and snap it in place”. In some models, the tank needs to be carefully aligned, or some “matter” will not actually make it in to the tank. This isn’t fun. I recommend the first few times pouring water in your toilet to ensure you have properly aligned your tank… cleaning up your own, or your travel partner’s “stuff” gets old quickly.
- Two weeks in to our trip, our sink drain pipe loosened itself and water ran everywhere under the sink. We managed to fix this by simply tightening the screw in the drain.
- Make sure you have wide tape to close off your ceiling vent on the West Coast of the South Island – an area known for Sand Flies! Swarms of sand flies will come in if it isn’t covered, and tape is a great way to keep them out!
- Inside your fridge there is a freezer tucked behind a door on the upper portion of the fridge.
Campervan Packing List
- Long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and tall socks to hide your skin from sand flies! Yoga pants / compression pants work well, as does a long sleeved athletic shirt. You will want to cover as much of your skin as possible!
- Duct tape
- Pick up at least two empty boxes from the grocery store when you arrive (most NZ stores keep them in front after check out). We used one for our “breakfast box”, one for hardware, and another for our “lunch/dinner box”. They help you stay organized, which is important when living in a tight space for multiple weeks.
- Rubber bands, bag clips, zip lock bags, dish sponges, dish soap
- If you are bringing a laptop, a 12V to computer charger adapter will charge your machine from the cigarette lighter of your camper or vehicle! There were numerous instances where had I not purchased this charger, I wouldn’t have been able to take care of work, book excursions, or check on reservations for camp sites. I recommend this PC laptop car charger, and this for a Mac laptop car charger.
- All items mentioned in the first two bullets of this post!