How do you sum up two amazing weeks doing a road trip in an absolutely amazing van through national parks in Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and California?!


It’s impossible.

But I’ll try my best.

It all began with a Groupon that popped up back in September. Mind you, I don’t spend a lot of time on groupon so the fact that I even found this was fate, I’m convinced.

For $359, I was able to rent a Maverik Escape Campervan for 7 days as long as it was booked before April 1st, 2017.

A couple of years back when my sister and I were traveling through New Zealand, we saw these crazy painted vans everywhere on the roads in addition to the Juicy vans. Seems that concept has made it’s way to America and there are three locations right now that provide rentals for the West Coast: Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Las Vegas.

After booking the dates I convinced Laura, a Naval Officer I was stationed in Naples, Italy with to sign on to travel with me.

As a few schematics of the escape campervan process, when you rent a vehicle through them you are allotted 100 miles per day throughout your trip. So if you rent a van for a week then you receive 700 miles up front for the trip and any miles you go after that cost .25 cents per mile (Which can add up quick!)

With the groupon, we received 1000 miles for the week and because we had paid for the first of our two-week trip through the groupon they even let us pay that rate for the second week! For the two week trip in the escape campervan we averaged about $49 per day for the van, we had an allotment of 1700 miles total for our trip, and the annual national park pass which is free to active duty military, which I’d say set us up quite nicely for the trip!


We compiled all kinds of stops and ideas for the trip after I booked the groupon back in October. Laura and I were pretty much on the same page as far as what kind of things we wanted to do, but how do you plan out the road trip if you decided you would not book campsites prior to the trip so that you’d have some leniency once you got on the road?

Well  the answer is you just don’t plan it out that far in advance.

You come up with a game plan, agree to the exact stops that should be seen, and then you work it out as you go.

In the end, we visited things in this order over the 2 week road trip:










More to follow about these trips soon!

Here is Aurora in all her glory. On our first day after we picked her up in Los Angeles and drove to death valley. She was designed after the Northern Lights, hence the name Aurora 😉 and logistically after we arrived in LA to pick up our van, we were so SO SOOO excited about which van we would get at the lot. There were so many great options.

Our first night at a RV campground in Death Valley. The coolest thing about Aurora is that we could stay at a regular campsite because we did not require any hookups like RVs normally do, but if all the campsites were full, then we were also able to stay in an RV park. The best of both worlds.

That first night we really sat down to work out the game plan, which became a half of a piece of paper with the plan scribbled onto it.

In the back we had quite the setup. Escape campervans were so thoughtful, providing the bedding, pillows, chairs, electric heater, plates cups and kitchenware, refrigerator, 2 canisters of propane, and the grill. I mean seriously they thought of most things!

A couple days before the trip one of my colleagues told me about the water bricks you see on the counter in the photo. I mean they are designed to withstand air drops so that can tell you a little bit about how tough they are, and cost about $15 per brick and hold 3.5 gallons of water. Think about it!

The fridge is fully stocked.

Getting ready for bed in the van. Plenty of space for the both of us and considering we were dealing with 102 degree heat for the first night not much else needed.

Haha, all of our stuff in the front seat when we sleep in the back.

One of my favorite parts of the experience was the camaraderie of being in an escape campervan. When we passed other fellow escapers there was normally beeping and waving, and we saw alot of the same designs in multiple locations showing that people were on similar trips like us.

Everything is in the van and we are ready to roll!

Camping gear at the ready.

Just wanted to add a little camp fire to this post to get you excited about the camping aspect!!!!! I know I am!
Laura brought her tent just in case we wanted to camp out for a day here or there, which was awesome! She fit all of this stuff into her backpack to meet me in LA. Can we say expert packer!

Kicking it at one of the campsites, with this awesome picnic blanket Jess got me for Christmas!

Some days it was just too cold and we had to eat inside the van. **cough cough** Bryce Canyon **cough cough** No worries. Aurora was up for it.

Our favorite breakfast by far.

These photos look as fun as the trip was seriously, if you love adventure, camping, hiking, supporting the National Park Service, well then I can tell you this is a trip you would love!
There is so much more to follow so stick around to hear about our days in all of these places. I can’t wait to get to it.

**I was not affiliated with Escape Campervans when writing this post. I’m giving them a positive review because I enjoyed my experience with them (*****) and would recommend this to anyone who is looking for an effective way to have a road trip on a budget.

This article appeared first on the Cassey Excursion.