This is a product and service review for JUCY Rentals. JUCY allowed me to borrow a camper for a weekend adventure…the opinions expressed in this article are my own. For more information about JUCY, please visit their website.
I was contacted by JUCY Rentals a few months ago to see if I would be interested in borrowing one of their “champ” camper for a weekend adventure of my choice. I was hesitant at first because I don’t have any experience with campers or RVs. My camping is usually done on the ground with or without a tent. I messaged Amy to see if she and her husband would be interested in a quick camping trip (kind of like when we went to Yosemite National Park!) and after getting an excited response, I knew I couldn’t say no.
I picked up the camer at the Los Angeles location and the super friendly staff gave me a grand tour of the vehicle and put up with the million questions I had about the rental process, what amenities were normally included, the typical trips people take with the campers, etc. It didn’t take me long to get used to driving the camper (it’s essentially a tricked out mini-van) because I drive my SUV and regularly drive a Tacoma so big cars are my jam.
Alex and I made our way out to Joshua Tree National Park on Saturday mid-day only making a few stops along the rode. It gets very windy in parts but the camper felt good in the wind. I was able to drive on the dirt road through the campground without worrying too much about clearance, too, which is nice. We set up camp and waited for Amy and Andrew to arrive (they had a lot longer of a drive than us) by scrambling up the beautiful rock formations in Indian Cove Campground.
And then it happened. Alex and I wanted to check out an area near our campground that had some bouldering problems that we wanted to check out. As I reversed out of the parking spot of our camping spot…I hit a rock. More like a small boulder. My stomached dropped and I’m sure I stopped breathing. How could I be so dumb?? I slowly returned the car to the parking spot and immediately called the JUCY Rentals customer service number. I was a little shaky (I mean, I just hit something with a car that isn’t mine!) as I spoke with the really nice customer service person and she thanked me for calling in, let me know that she was updating my account so that the Los Angeles office would know about the incident, and told me to not worry about a thing and to enjoy the rest of my weekend. Needless to say, I was only semi-relieved and refused to drive anywhere until we were ready to go home. Thankfully, the insurance for the rental was covered in my agreement (lesson to future Kam: Always get the insurance).
Once Amy and Andrew arrived, I pulled out cold drinks from the refrigerator in the back of the camper and gave them a grand tour, including setting up the “penthouse” sleeping area that is on top of the vehicle. Our campsite neighbors took a great interest in the vehicle and requested demonstrations, too.
The camper included:
- 1 burner Gas Cooker that’s attached to the vehicle and one that is portable (I could take it to the picnic bench)
- Small fridge
- Sink with Tap and Drain, water tank, waste water tank
- Internal Table
- External Picnic Table
- DVD player with screen
- CD player and radio
- 2 Bench Seats
- Two Double Beds
- Storage Space Under Benches
As part of the agreement, our camper also included personal kits for 4 (bedding + towels) and a provisioning kit (cooking equipment + utensils). We did not opt for the wifi for this trip because you can get very good 3G connection in the Indian Cove Campground.
That night, Amy and Andrew got cozy inside the car, which sleeps two comfortably. There are curtains that suction to the windows for added privacy, too. Alex and I climbed the ladder into the spacious penthouse above the vehicle and settled in. It made us feel like we were on a safari or something equally silly-sounding. There was a cargo net at the foot of the sleeping area for things like our shoes and a mesh pocket system for each of us that acted as a nightstand. Even though it was very windy throughout the night, the penthouse stayed warm and we didn’t feel the wind like we would in a tent.
Overall, the camper was a great addition to our weekend considering the wind we experienced. I think that it would be a better option for a longer weekend or even a week long tour through Utah’s National Parks! When I returned the camper, there was a couple from Australia returning from a very long trip from LA up to Seattle, over to Yellowstone National Park, and then a slow trek back to LA through a handful of other National Parks. It sounded like a fantastic option for them (and I’m already playing with the quote estimator to see if it would be a good idea for a big road trip from Alex and me in the Spring). I think this would be a great option for families with small children for a summer trip! What kid wouldn’t want to spend the night in the penthouse sleeper area? I do have to say, if anybody tosses and turns while they sleep, make them sleep elsewhere because the car is going to move and everybody will feel it. I would also suggest announcing which side the ladder will be on so the in-car sleepers don’t open that side’s door…and so the upstairs sleepers don’t try to exit in the middle of the night on the side without the ladder!
Have you tried a camper van for camping? Would you take a camper like this on the road?
New special: From now through March 31, 2015, travelers can rent a JUCY Campervan for any three night trip for the inclusive rate of $195. In addition to a complimentary provisional linen and cooking utensils kit (valued at $165), the rate also includes 100 mile per night allowance (this doesn’t include one-way fees, insurance, or additional mileage fees)
Thank you to JUCY Rentals for letting me take this green and purple beast on the open road for the weekend and hooking us up with a few of the extra amenities. It was a hit in the desert!