Leentu Sunzal composite pickup truck camper keeps adventures light and fast
Back when we looked at the Leentu pickup camper at Overland Expo West 2017, it was very much a rough prototype. But that rough prototype made it out of testing and development, leading to the well-polished Carbon Camper production model launched this (Northern Hemisphere) winter. Now Leentu is moving away from expensive IndyCar-grade carbon fiber and onward to a more affordable aluminum honeycomb topper for the pickup-camping masses. The Leentu Sunzal Utility Pop-up maintains a low weight but comes in well under the price of the Carbon Camper, providing a more economical way of turning a regular old pickup truck into an all-out adventure vessel.
A number of things changed on the journey between Leentu prototype and Carbon Camper production. The retail model wears a noticeably sleeker, cab-hugging Nomex honeycomb-core carbon shell, but it has gained about 50 lb (23 kg) over the targeted 100-lb (45-kg) base weight. Still, at just under 150 lb (68 kg), the Carbon Camper is well lighter than other minimalist Toyota Tacoma campers we've seen, including the 275+ lb (125+ kg) Go Fast Baja, 340-lb (154-kg) AT Overland Tacoma Habitat and 340-lb Snap Treehouse. It's also well more expensive, initially going live for preordering in March 2018 at a price of US$13,995 and rising from there.
That leaves the all-new Sunzal model to fill the role of affordable, mass marketable Leentu, a competitively priced everyman pop-top in search of cheap, dirty adventure. A touch squarer and nosier than the Carbon, the Sunzal loses the carbon fiber in favor of a less costly monocoque construction of honeycomb-core composite panels coupled with corrosion-resistant 5052 aluminum alloy. Leentu hasn't written the weight in permanent ink just yet but says it's aiming to keep the base around 300 lb (136 kg) for the midsize pickup model, so still quite lightweight.
Unlike the straight-rising top on the Carbon, the Sunzal has a hinged clamshell top that swings forward to expose the marine-grade fabric tent sides. This opens up between 6.1 and 8 feet (1.9 and 2.4 m) of headroom during the day and access to the convertible 80-in-long (203-cm) bed at night (bed width varies by truck model). The bed is topped with a 2-in (5-cm) high-density foam mattress, and the greater interior includes openable windows, storage compartments, a lockable door and LED lighting.
Leentu keeps the basic Sunzal packages lean and simple, pricing them at $7,599 for midsize trucks like the Tacoma and Ford Ranger and $8,599 for full-size models like the Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado. From there, buyers can upgrade with a variety of options, including a 60W solar panel, roof rack or roof fan. Buyers who order on or before May 19 can use the code "SPRING10" to receive 10 percent off. Leentu plans to begin shipping toward the end of the month.
As for the Carbon Camper, it's sold out for 2019. Leentu plans to revamp it and possibly move it into an upmarket custom position, with estimated pricing between $20,000 and $25,000.