View of the sand dunes in Big Sur.

How a Family Explored Big Sur in a Camper Van

The GoCamp team is fueled by a genuine passion for all things camping and outdoor adventure. We also live for moments that are beautiful and unforgettable. If we’re able to capture those special times with a camera, we cherish them forever.

When photographer Marilyn Diaz-Norris wanted to take a family trip in the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter called Brandy, we were thrilled! Marilyn said she wanted to document their journey through the California central coast. And she documented some incredible moments indeed!

Marilyn shares her family’s exploration of California’s sunny beaches and Big Sur. She also shares tips and tricks they learned along the way while traveling in a camper van. And they learned a lot traveling with a little one for the first time. We’re so excited to have a new addition to the #vanlife family!

Originally from California, the state holds a special place in Marilyn’s heart. As a new mom, Marilyn knew she wanted to build memories to last a lifetime. This was her and her husband’s first time traveling with their toddler.

Thanks to the owners of Brandy, Marilyn was able to jumpstart her family trip with an easy pick-up and demo of how the camper van works. Next, they headed for the Redwoods where their kiddo could sleep comfortably in the van.

“Driving the van towards the central coast was a lovely training course on acclimating ourselves to how the van drives. And to our surprise, she was easy to drive and even fit in standard parking spaces. We loved the ability to pull over for a quick diaper change, or make a stop for a beachside nap.”

person holding baby in the air with hats on

After some beach time in Capitola, the family was ready for their big highlight of the trip — Big Sur. So from hidden gems along the highway to dips in crystal clear rivers and campsite tacos, Marilyn and her family enjoyed every step along the way in the Brandy. 

And thanks to the camper van’s extensive storage space and sufficient kitchen appliances, they were able to pack all their necessities and enjoy home-cooked meals while on the road. 

“One of my partner Patrick’s favorite features was the storage rack under the bed. Originally intended for bringing a bicycle along your trip, it also doubles as a super convenient way to access all of our stuff without having to crawl under the bed. Most days when we set up camp we would extend the rack fully out so we could have maximum space inside the van for hanging out, cooking, and accessing the storage drawers.”

By day five, Marilyn and her family enjoyed a final view of Big Sur and some tasty treats on their way to drop off Brandy. Because of GoCamp’s simplified rental process, returning the camper van was just as easy as picking it up!

“We thoroughly enjoyed our experience using GoCamp and renting Brandy for this trip. We absolutely will be doing it again. Now we just need to consider where the next trip should be!” 

Read Marilyn’s full review of Brandy and more about her family van camping trip.

Rent a GoCamp Camper Van for Your Family Adventure

At GoCamp, we love seeing veteran and new campers take to the roads in our camper vans and the adventures unfold for them.

Just like Marilyn and her family, you can also have an amazing experience in one of our camper vans — whether you head to sunny California, the beautiful Rockies, or the Pacific Northwest.

If you’re ready for your next journey in a cozy camper van, our team is here to get you started. Check out our highly curated fleet of camper vans, and prepare for an unforgettable experience!