If one of your new year’s resolutions for 2018 is to spend more time outdoors but you’re not exactly the camping type, a JUCY RV (jucyusa.com) might be the answer. A JUCY is essentially a souped-up minivan that’s been outfitted to become an all-in-one camping cargo. Models sleep between two to four people and come with everything you need for an adventure in the great outdoors, such as a kitchen (pots and pans, dishes and silverware are included) and sleeping quarters. The best part about the JUCY is the penthouse, a sleeping area with a mattress at the top of the van that collapses when not in use.
We recently took the JUCY out for a spin to see if it met our expectations. The destination was Great Basin National Park, a four-and-a-half-hour drive from Las Vegas. Onboard were four campers—two experienced outdoor enthusiasts, one camping newbie and a kid. Driving the JUCY was a breeze. It is exactly like a minivan (which it is). The inside of the cabin has been retrofitted with a foldable dining table, so extra seating is not available beyond the fifth passenger. (Though there is a fifth seatbelt, so theoretically, you can fit five if need be.)
The best part about the JUCY is the ease of setup. Once we arrived at our campsite, all we had to do was park the RV. With a simple crank that came with the van, we set up the “penthouse”—the sleeping perch on top of the van, which is accessible by a ladder that’s also provided. And don’t worry, they’ll teach you how to set up everything in the JUCY before you leave the rental area. (One note to consider: If you’re more of a petite stature, you might want to think about packing a stepstool. I’m 5-foot-2 and I could barely reach the crank without straining. But if you’re camping with someone taller, this is not an issue.)
The inside cabin was also easily set up as sleeping quarters after we used it as a dining area. And if you don’t have sleeping bags, JUCY provides all the bedding you’ll need. However, if you’re going somewhere very cold, still dress in layers. It got to about 0 degrees overnight for us and there was little insulation in the penthouse, though the zippers and velcros did keep the wind from coming in.
The JUCY’s “kitchen,” located in the back of the van (where a minivan’s trunk area would be), came with two portable stoves and propane cans, perfect for cooking small meals or heating up water for coffee in the morning. This came in handy when we woke up, as a warm beverage was the first order of business. There’s even a sink for washing dishes, though it is your responsibility to drain the water at an approved drainage site before you return the RV.
We spent two nights in the JUCY, and we each got a chance to sleep in the penthouse and the main cabin. Sated with the beauty of nature and smelling of campfire, we packed up on our last day, happy not to have to break down a campsite. The JUCY provided all the ease and convenience of camping without all the work. While it’s not exactly glamping, it does make spending time in the great outdoors that much more accessible for anyone, regardless of their camping experience.