Tacoma camper rig brings Aussie-size off-grid capability to US outback
With 40 years of experience in overland RV electrical components, Redarc is a powerful brand name in Australia, relied upon by off-grid specialists like Patriot Camper and Terra Trek. It's much newer to the US scene but has already impressed with its hardware. Now it steps its game up with a full vehicle build, a go-anywhere Toyota Tacoma that combines serious battery power with all the essentials needed to live off-grid for days or weeks at a time ... and escape alive and well in the event of an emergency.
Beyond selling its components to other camper manufacturers, Redarc has decades of experience custom-outfitting and managing an Australian Toyota Hilux overlander fleet. The company Americanizes the truck by starting off with a 2021 Tacoma TRD Off-Road, one of the surest ways of winning the hearts and minds of the American overlanding crowd.
The truck model may be American, but the build proceeds in true Australian fashion. Rather than filling out the bed with a camper setup of some form, Redarc swaps the bed out completely for the type of flatbed canopy set-up popular in Australia. Built by Australia's Mits Alloy, the canopy serves as a custom home for Redarc's electrical suite, which centers around a dual 120-Ah lithium battery system. Redarc's Manager30 battery management system (BMS) opens charging paths that lead to the vehicle alternator, shore power hookup and input for the portable solar panel, ensuring drivers are able to power up no matter where they're spending the night.
Redarc RedVision color displays on either side of the canopy provide accessory control, battery information and water levels, all accessible remotely via smartphone. The electrical system powers a slide-out ARB Zero fridge, ARB air compressor, and interior and exterior lighting directly, while supplying power to 110-V AC outlets through a 2,000-W pure sine wave inverter.
The canopy isn't the only part of the truck with dual batteries, as Redarc adds a Fullriver Full Throttle AGM battery under the hood to run the Rigid auxiliary off-road and area lighting around the roof and grille. An in-vehicle battery charger keeps the auxiliary battery topped off via the vehicle alternator and solar, teaming with the smart battery isolator to jumpstart the starter battery and get the truck up and running in the event of a dead battery. A dual-battery gauge in the cabin helps drivers keep tabs on the truck set-up.
Redarc ensures that the base Tacoma can venture far enough off the grid to put all that electrical power to work. It adds a 1.5-in Icon suspension kit, rear airbags, Falken WildPeak AT3 all-terrain tires, and a ruggedized front bumper with embedded Warn VR 10-S winch. A combination of the canopy roof and Front Runner platform rack holds the Rigid lights, Alu-Cab rooftop tent and 270-degree awning. Redarc's Tow-Pro Elite brake controller ups the truck's towing control for those who want to pull more sleeping space ... or maybe a toy chest worth of outdoor fun.
Redarc will give its off-grid Tacoma a proper world premiere at the inaugural Overland Expo Mountain West show in Colorado this month before taking it to the Overland Expo West and East shows and ending the tour at SEMA 2021.