Jupe shelter

What the Hell Is a Jupe Off-Grid Dwelling?

Basically, the Jupe is a fancy, solar-powered yurt. But there’s so much more to it than that.

For one thing, Jupe was engineered by designers from SpaceX and Tesla. Those design chops shine through in the aesthetics. For starters, the interior has a clean, minimalist look finished in birch, canvas, and aluminum. The exterior architecture is somewhere between a shipping container and a spaceship.


Comfort on Delivery

Jupe is designed to be livable upon delivery, so the unit ships with a queen mattress, bed frame with headboard, and a deck. Jupe doesn’t need a foundation, so in most places that means it doesn’t need a permit.

As a final touch, Jupe contains USB charging stations and outlets, and purchasers can add an optional porch, smart speaker, solar package, and exterior LED lighting.


Jupe (the company as opposed to the product) has an interesting business model, seemingly targeting people with 1) land and 2) an interest in breaking into the short-term rental game in a serious way.

Jupe partners with purchasers to drop off the units and help with renting and booking. The minimum number you can order is eight, so you do need lots of land and a lot of interest.

Prices and partnership details are available upon request from Jupe’s website. You can also book a stay in a Jupe in California, Colorado, or Texas.

Hidden Depths

All of this information is pretty much what’s on the (somewhat sparse) website. But TechCrunch just interviewed Jupe’s founder, Jeff Wilson, and the article reveals some surprising purpose behind the slick lifestyle photos and startup-standard web copy. Apparently, Wilson envisions Jupe as a solution to the global housing crisis.

“We’re not making fucking glamping tents for bros at Coachella,” Wilson told TechCrunch in the interview. “At this point, food is a distribution problem, clothing is largely solved. There are about 1.5 billion people in the world that still don’t have adequate shelter. If you’re going to work on big problems here on earth, that’s one worth working on.”

That’s enough of a dream to catch the attention of the Y Combinator, which TechCrunch is reporting just invested $9.5 million in the startup.


Wilson goes on to admit that the current iteration of Jupe isn’t quite there yet:

“For right now, it’s someone that wants to have a very high-design, very comfortable experience in nature, off-grid. Longer-term as we build out the technology, we will build for people that no longer want to live in the cities, that want to live with a community of folks out on a raw piece of land. From there we expect to widen that time horizon to where people are living in these for weeks, months, ultimately their entire life.”

It’s a big dream and a worthy goal. We’ll have to wait and see where Wilson and Jupe go from here.

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Andrew Marshall

Andrew Marshall is a writer, painter, and photographer with work in publications across the web. Andrew lives, runs, bikes, paddles, and skis in the Tahoe basin on the California/Nevada state line. He's one of the few unapologetic cat people in the outdoor industry. You can find him on Instagram (@andrewmarshallimages) or Twitter (@pawn_andrew).