Automotive

Tesla Cybertruck might double as an Aztek-like go-anywhere Cybercamper

Tesla Cybertruck might double ...
Will Tesla jumpstart the electric camper market next?
Will Tesla jumpstart the electric camper market next?
View 2 Images
And if you don't like the idea of slumming it in the CyberTruck bed ... how about a CyberCaravan?
1/2
And if you don't like the idea of slumming it in the CyberTruck bed ... how about a CyberCaravan?
Will Tesla jumpstart the electric camper market next?
2/2
Will Tesla jumpstart the electric camper market next?

Well, Elon Musk warned it wouldn't look like anything the world was imagining, and he made good on that claim. The Tesla Cybertruck looks absolutely nothing like any speculative renderings prepared us for and, good or bad, nothing like anything we would have thought up if given a million chances. Tesla's pickup camper, however, looks a little like something we've seen before ... the late, great Pontiac Aztek and its tailgate tent. Or at least Telsa's effort is just as weird and unconventionally proportioned. After revealing its feverishly anticipated Cybertruck, Tesla flashed a preview of how the pickup's harshly sloped rear-end could transform into a go-anywhere shelter.

So far, all we know about the Cybercamper is that it's a nice-looking rendering. Whether Tesla has the slightest intention of building a camper kit or not, as rival EV maker Rivian has already done, is as much anyone's guess as what exactly is running through Elon Musk's mind at this very second. Or this one.

But it's not so crazy. US motorhome sales have taken a step back the past two years after a record 2017, but prior to that, they were on a steady rise since the 08/09 recession years. Those sales gains, along with the popularization of overland vehicles not reflected in RVIA's general motorhome statistics, were very much driven by millennials looking for new, unique and adventurous ways of experiencing the outdoors. And what could possibly be more new, unique and adventurous than overlanding a video game truck 100 miles past nowhere and sleeping in it for a few nights?

There's at least a small but passionate group of early adopters just waiting for the right electric camper to come along ... and that camper is definitely not an electrified old-school Class C with maybe 250 miles (400 km) of range on its very best day. Given the lack of a better electric motorhome alternative, some early adopters have already taken to camping out in their Model Ss and Xs, either with makeshift kits or using something fancier like the Dreamcase. What all those folks would really love to pull the trigger on: a brand spanking new AWD electric camper with 500 miles (800 km) of range, the Tesla of motorhomes.

A payload of 3,500 lb (1,587 kg) and towing of 14,000 lb (6,350 kg) don't hurt the Cybercamper's case, either, breaking down into a lot of toys' worth of adventure and fun. Plus, the big battery doubles as camp power, running induction cooktops, fridge/freezers, stereos, blenders, heat, air conditioning and more for comfortable nights that flirt with glamping. Adaptive air suspension makes for easy bed leveling.

We say "flirt" with glamping because there's nothing especially glamorous about the sleeping quarters Tesla's mocked up. Sure, the Cybertruck camper is nicer and more contemporary than the rear tent that looked like it was thrown over the Aztec in a botched fraternity pledge kidnapping, but it's still fairly rough and minimalist. It appears to have hard panels secured to the pickup bed sides, with tent canvas between those panels and the popped tonneau cover/roof. Inside, a raised sleeping platform for two rests over top the deluxe slide-out kitchen and drawer system, which packs a dual-hob induction cooktop and plenty of counter space, but no fridge or cooler we can see. Perhaps the chilled food and drink are stored out of view.

Not luxurious, but it's certainly in line with other topper campers out there, such as the Jeep Gladiator Summit. And if it seems too spartan, perhaps Musk can talk you into a dual-axle Cyber glamping trailer.

And if you don't like the idea of slumming it in the CyberTruck bed ... how about a CyberCaravan?
And if you don't like the idea of slumming it in the CyberTruck bed ... how about a CyberCaravan?

So will Tesla move forward with a Cybertruck pickup camper? It almost doesn't matter ... someone's already itching to turn Tesla's ungainly beast of a pickup into one hell of an overlander or mobile prepper shelter, and what's the point of doing so without showing the world ... and hopefully building a few extra for interested buyers. At the very least, Tesla's jotted down the starting point.

Source: Tesla

4 comments
buzzclick
This is an impressive new set of wheels, but as a glamper, no thanks. Gimme a light-as-possible, long-range, electric, 3 or 4-people capable, 4wd, van-sized, propane-heated, inverter 110V, and a pull-out awning and I'm game.
Mark Keller
Rivian for the win!
Bruce Anderson
Remember the folded paper design fads of the 1970's? Maybe Giorgetto Giugiaro's fling is back in style, but he came to his senses.
JeffK
Where I camp, I want hard sides or nothing but a sleeping bag. Other than keep rain off, all a tent or tent camper does is give a false sense of security. If something goes bump in the night, I want to see it and be able to assess its status. Is it a threat or not, if not ignore it, if it is potential threat I want to have time to light it up, get a solid sight picture and be prepared for a change from potential to kinetic threat. I've seen that elephant from both sides and your imagination makes him bigger and a lot scarier when you can only hear him.