Last Updated: 11/23/20
Jucy USA are known for their iconic green and purple pop-top vans. A simple offering loved by budget campers around the world. They have 3 locations in the USA and 2 campevans on offer.
About Jucy USA
Jucy's unforgettable purple and green campervans are relatively new to the USA, but they dominate in the New Zealand market where they were born and have a huge presence in Australia as well. Seeing a niche that was relatively untapped in the US, the small camper rental market, Jucy arrived to little fanfare in 2013.So what are they offering the US market that is different from the big boys and just how well are they going?
Jucy's launch into the US has probably been a little slower than liked but there is still forward momentum with planned depots to open in Canada in the near future and probably a Denver depot too. Currently around 300 campervans and growing. When it comes to booking, it seems you are probably a little better off using agency sites like this one as there is a preference to supply newer models to those who come through agencies as opposed to direct. Something that only Jucy USA seem to be offering is OUT OF HOURS pick up and drop off and the newer CAMPERVAN DELIVERY option – oooo, just like Pizza!
The OUT OF HOURS PICK UP is pretty simple, there are easy instructions on the Jucy website you just have to fill in a few details with Jucy in the days before the pickup, fill in a form when get to the campervan, take some photos and you're off. With drop off, just take a few photos and drop the keys. Simple.The DELIVERY option is newer. The rationale for this as explained to me by the Jucy Marketing Manager is that it can take 60-90 mins to get across town sometimes, particularly in LA. So by the time you get a cab through all that traffic you have paid close to $70 in taxi fees. Why not give that money to Jucy USA and let the campervan come to you? This is just another way that Jucy are looking for ways to make easier and better with Jucy. We are impressed! This is doubly important when you consider that Jucy USA doesn't offer any hotel transfers at any branches.
The Jucy USA campervan range is limited to 2 rental models right now – which is really only 1 model with a 2nd version having the 'penthouse' sleeping cocoon on the roof. The interior concepts, layout and kitchen are the same across the 2 models with some minor tweaks across the different age generations. Generators are available but rarely taken out I'm told. Plus, they've have reasonably priced accessories for audio and charging in the office before you go.
Jucy make their own interior designs, they don't just buy a pre-made motorhome like the large RV rental companies do. They have kept it simple and bought just one kind of car - 2nd hand to keep costs down – and then they put their own nifty little designs inside. The result is some cool uses of space and kitchen so it feels like a car to drive during the day but you can sleep and eat in it at night.
There is a box in the middle that holds a vast amount of storage for its size, this acts as the base of the rear facing bench seat. A simple sliding of the bench sleep gives access to the storage and the table top. The table is easy to assemble and then you can sit in the campervan with 2 per side of the table. Another quick little conversion and the table is away and bench seats have converted to the bed. No one else has this clever little design and it is a great one.
The kitchen is the next strength. Another clever design has got a fridge, sink, cooker and storage space all tucked away in the rear of the campervan. The fridge is a drawer so that's thinking outside the box for one thing. There are 2 cookers. One built in to a slide out drawer and the other one that can be taken out and used elsewhere (BBQ anyone?) There are plenty of utensils supplied and the design is another great credit to Jucy. There is one downside however and that the gas supply of the cookers. They are small and old school, they don't last too long, hard to find and expensive to replace. You can get a stash of them at the Jucy depot where it is a good idea to stock up as they are hard to find on the road. This is the one thing that Jucy USA needs to look at replacing.
The Jucy USA Trailblazer model is the Wavefarer with a sleeping pod on top. These kind of pods are getting more common in companies around the world but in the USA Jucy is pretty unique (though probably not for long – its a good idea that will get copied). There's a ladder built in to the system to get up there, but man you DO NOT want to be drunk trying to get up that little thing. It is pretty simple to set up, basically stable but still a little thin and rickety. You just have to trust that it won't snap off in any way.
Anyway, the pod itself is much like camping but comfier. Generally the youth market will sacrifice a little comfort for the sake of saving money. Again, this is not as plush as a full size RV's bed, but then again it doesn't cost what they cost either. I found the mattress up there quite comfortable and with all the vinyl zipped up it is quite waterproof, wind proof and private. There is a little light in there to help you see at night and actually I like the view from up there. The angled roof might cause some claustrophobic people some issue as it comes quite close to your face if you are on the side the roof joins the base, but I'm sure you'll work it out.
The earlier models had a motorised opening system, but Jucy USA seems have taken a step back here and made it a manual wind-open system – which takes FOREVER! I was told the opening motor used up too much house battery and if there is a flat house battery in the morning you have to start engine to get it down. I think the motorised version should be brought back with a handle as an emergency option. The manual wind open system is step backwards.
But all else being equal, I like this roof option. The newer campervans are quite streamlined meaning less wind resistance so it keeps the fuel costs down while being able to split the rental fee between 4. Storage might become an issue for 4 people though. Whilst the storage box is pretty spacious, once there are 4 backpacks to contend with it will get a bit cramped and you will have to play luggage Jenga each day as you move one thing to get to the next thing and back. Also privacy for 4 will be a bit of an issue – I hope you are all close friends.
Personally I like this camper if you are looking for small and cheap campervan rental.
Payable in accident is $1500 and tires and windows are not covered by any insurance. You break them, you pay for the replacement. The Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI) at $14.95 includes a liability cover of up to $1M. This option, however, the bond/excess still amounts to $1,500. You can pay an additional $10 for the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) to reduce the payable to $0. For this one, Jucy USA will still take a $500 payment imprint from your credit card in case you damage the vehicle in a way that is not covered by insurance – such as going off road and crashing the campervan. Another option is the CDW and SLI at $24.95 to get the above coverage as well as getting 3rd party damages of up to $1M. This also includes windshield coverage and 2 tyre replacements.
Jucy want to have youthful fun in the campervans. They are always looking at new ways to engage their renters with competitions and discounts. They offer vehicles to 21yo+ without penalty for being young. They have entire PERKS page on their website dedicated just to ways of getting discounts to fun things and also supply a festivals package. This company is clearly aimed at the young and adventurous, Their reputation, however, is not all praises. They've got a mix of reviews from happy and disappointed renters.
I like Jucy USA for a road trip where you want to keep it simple, small and cheap. You have to travel light compared to the big RV's and you are bound to the west coast region of the USA for pick up and returns, but the ingenuity in the design, going the extra mile with out of hours pick up/returns and the delivery option has got to be considered as a great extra bonus. Also don't forget the fuel and parking benefits of having a sedan sized campervan. Recommended for campervan rental for youth and those who travel fast and light.
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