Is this campervan ok?

Alison's Mom

New member
I know most back seats in campers and RVs are not suitable for carseats, boosters or kids but this one looks like it might be ok.

http://www.jucy.co.nz/vehicles/jucy-condo.aspx.

If you look at the day mode of the floor plan, there are two captains chairs with shoulder belts, and you can see them in photos 4 and 5 when it's scrolling through. The table looks to be removable as it's not in all the photos.

If cargo is stowed properly (duct taping cupboards shut?) do we think it's safe?

There are other vehicles that have two rows of seats in the drivers cab to seat 4, then a partition to block the 'living' portion which would probably be safer from a projectile perspective, but really big, bulky and pricey.
 
ADS

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
The problems with the setup are:

1. Are the seats and seatbelts anchored properly? There are often problems with the way "converted" seats and belts of this type are installed when added aftermarket.

2. There is just no way to properly secure the projectiles. Duct tape might help in a sudden stop (though it might not) but in a crash it's unlikely to be enough.

3. Quite frequently the front passenger compartment is the only part of the vehicle that is crashworthy at all.

Two rows with a partition tends to address all three of those (though there can still be issues with 2 and 3, they aren't as severe usually.)

There's also the issue of it being big, so more likely to roll, less stable, worse response time, etc., but that's just something that can't be escaped with any RV.

I'd say it's definitely a lesser evil than what we usually see, but I wouldn't feel comfortable with it for my own family.
 

LISmama810

Admin - CPS Technician
Yep, I agree with ketchupqueen. It's certainly better than a lot of other options, but I wouldn't consider it ideal.

A trailer or fifth wheel will do a much better job ensuring safety and keeping cargo separate from passengers.
 

bubbaray

New member
Are you RVg in NZ? It is virtually impossible to find trailers or 5th wheels outside of North America. Most are van conversions or micro trailers that you can't stand upright in (tag, etc).

I would use that van conversion for my own family if we were somewhere where they don't sell/rent large trailers/5th wheels.
 

LISmama810

Admin - CPS Technician
Are you RVg in NZ? It is virtually impossible to find trailers or 5th wheels outside of North America. Most are van conversions or micro trailers that you can't stand upright in (tag, etc). I would use that van conversion for my own family if we were somewhere where they don't sell/rent large trailers/5th wheels.

Yeah, when I first responded, I didn't realize it was a rental site. Even in the US, towables are hard to come by in a rental.

I would be more comfortable renting the posted vehicle than a Class A (what people usually think of as a motorhome).
 

Alison's Mom

New member
Thanks, all, for your feedback. I was afraid of that!

We will be in Australia and NZ on a visit next year and we are considering renting a camper in NZ because of the distance between all the sights we want to go to. If it's really unsafe, we could just scrap the idea, and rent a house plus a car and see fewer things, but I thought it would be a fun way to travel.

I'll email the company about the aftermarket back seats and see what they say. I'm asking whether the seats and seatbelts are bolted into the frame / metal component, as opposed to plywood or something flimsy, right?
 

LISmama810

Admin - CPS Technician
Here in the US (and likely elsewhere) it's fairly common to see RVs like that made out of Dodge/Mercedes Sprinters. Since those are intended to have seats in them, they likely are attached in a "real" way, and I imagine this would be similar. I've been in the Mercedes ones before (with four captains chairs) and although I didn't investigate, they seemed to be regular seats.
 

LISmama810

Admin - CPS Technician
Thanks. This camper is a Toyota Hiace (or similar). So if it's original seats, it's good, as opposed to seats added aftermarket, right?

Even if the seats are added aftermarket, they're probably latched into approved, actual places, not into plywood, you know? I don't know enough about the vans to say for sure, but my educated guess leads me to believe the seats are designed to act just like seats in the passenger versions of the van would.
 

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
The caveat is that they're probably safely attached if out was a professional conversion by a body shop that specializes in that. There are specific structural qualities you want in an attachment point and it's not just ”bolted to the frame.” I'd ask who does their conversions and if it's a trained and licensed shop, it's probably fine.

I still probably wouldn't do it myself. I'd be more likely to rent an SUV and rent camping gear instead. But it's definitely better then the typical ”motorhome” setup.
 

Alison's Mom

New member
Yup, that all makes sense. Thanks. I'm the paranoid, risk-averse one. DH is the happy go lucky one. Sometimes I need to compromise, so if it sounds like the conversion was professionally done, this might be one of those times : )

I appreciate all the information and insights!
 

2BunniesMommy

New member
Totally off topic, but since OP has gotten some great answers, I figured why not share a story.

I saw one of those come into a shop while I was having an oil change done. I live in the middle of nowhere, about 5 hours from Las Vegas and 3 from Los Angeles, the two places that rent them. They brought it in because they had accidently put diesel in rather than regular gas. It was a pretty expensive mistake, esp. if the rental company ended up finding out. Sounded like the local shop was getting it taken care of for them though.
 

Alison's Mom

New member
Totally off topic, but since OP has gotten some great answers, I figured why not share a story.

I saw one of those come into a shop while I was having an oil change done. I live in the middle of nowhere, about 5 hours from Las Vegas and 3 from Los Angeles, the two places that rent them. They brought it in because they had accidently put diesel in rather than regular gas. It was a pretty expensive mistake, esp. if the rental company ended up finding out. Sounded like the local shop was getting it taken care of for them though.
Yikes! Yes, I heard they were converting mini vans in the US for rentals in a couple of cities. From what it appeared, these were smaller vans than the ones in NZ/Australia, though? Not totally sure. . .
 

Alison's Mom

New member
Totally off topic, but enjoy your trip! I went to Australia/NZ in college and had a blast. Wonderful countries.
Thanks! We went in spring 2012 to Perth (we have friends there, and next year's trip is for a wedding) and Sydney. This time we're adding Auckland as there is a stopover there anyway, so might as well see a bit of NZ. . .
 

2BunniesMommy

New member
After looking at the ones on the website that are available in the US, or at least from Las Vegas, which is the only one I bothered looking at, it looks like the car just Town and Country vans with a sleeping area added on top. Would those be safe? I was surprised that the cost was only $45/ day and includes 200miles/day. Got me thinking we could take a trip totally out of my comfort zone, DH really wants to go camping, but my only camp experience was awful!

Now, I am wondering what it was that came in for a repair. It was the same purple and green super bright combo, had an unusual name on the side that didn't stick with me, but when I saw the JUCY on the website seemed like it could have been, but it was tall an boxy and looked a lot like the one OP linked to. Whatever it was, I am sure they traveled a pretty decent way to get here with it.

OP, whether to under up renting one of these or go with the house and car plan, I hope you have a wonderful time in Australia! That has been a dream trip for me since 8th grade when my math teacher was from there.
 

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