"Swiss Army knife" camper squares and domesticates Tesla Cybertruck
The simplest, most straightforward Cybertruck camping solution yet, the Space Camper turns Tesla's pickup bed into a micro-home and simultaneously makes the Cybertruck look like a normal pickup ... well, almost. Not only does the fully electric camper run on Tesla's battery pack, it also taps into the onboard air compressor to pop its roof in seconds and relies on the height-adjustable suspension for easy removal. A modular ecosystem with add-ons like a kitchen, outdoor bathroom and solar-tripling rooftop charging system promise to fulfill the creator's vision of Swiss Army-knife levels of multifunctional performance.
From flimsy-looking accordion huts to over-the-top amphibious contraptions, the sharp, unconventional angles of the Cybertruck's bed have inspired some truly weird campers ... or camper renderings, at least. Space Campers simplifies things with an uncomplicated design more similar to existing products made for traditional pickups.
Space Campers starts by going the topper route, designing a wedge-shaped bed cap for a wedge-shaped truck. The Space Camper will mount to the pickup bed walls, just like other toppers, turning the pickup box floor into the camper floor. As a bonus, the level camper roof makes the Cybertruck look slightly less like a post-apocalyptic B-movie prop.
To create space beyond what a fixed-roof cap can offer, Space Campers adds a wedge-style pop-up roof, much like Tesla did in quick-rendering a potential Cybercamper. Space Campers' roof rises much higher than Tesla's, though, with the intent of clearing up to 8 feet (2.4 m) of standing room when the 50 x 80-in (127 x 203-cm) roof bed is lifted out of the way. Space Campers plans to make that bed removable so it can mount atop a frame and serve as an outdoor daybed, the smaller sleeping platform panels and cushions working as other furniture, such as a mobile workstation desktop/table and cushioned bench.
The basic Space Camper design leaves the Cybertruck bed wide open, meaning that owners could use it just like a pickup shell to secure cargo stored inside the bed. They could also easily remove the camper shell by backing the open door over a stand that Space Campers plans to offer as both a product and set of DIY instructions, undoing the clamp mounts and lowering the truck's adjustable air suspension so that the camper lifts right off.
Future buyers looking to build their Space Camper into a more complete mobile home will be able to select from a full lineup of modular components — or Swiss Army-style implements, if you prefer. One option sure to be popular is the kitchen block that secures neatly up against the pickup box front wall. It will include a sink with hot/cold water and storage for dishes and cookware. The initial renderings show bed platform panels doubling as side worktops for holding the portable induction cooktop and providing prep space. A standalone cooler-style fridge/freezer box finds its home on the pickup floor.
Outside, an available shower enclosure would deploy from a rack-mounted case and provide privacy for the hot/cold shower and portable toilet.
Space Campers intends for its camper to integrate more fully and cleanly with its base truck than the average pickup topper or camper by relying on existing Cybertruck equipment. All available electrical equipment, including the induction cooktop, fridge/freezer, water heater, interior and exterior lighting, and power outlets, will run off the truck's hefty battery pack, which Tesla aims to give a range up to 500 miles (805 km). So there will be no need for an LPG tank or separate leisure battery.
The plan for the pop-up roof, meanwhile, calls for it to operate via pneumatic struts fed by the Cybertruck's onboard air compressor. The system would work at the push of a button, raising the roof in about 30 seconds. Closing the roof would also require a mere push of a button and would take roughly two minutes. A basic strut-assisted manual opening/closing would probably be faster and simpler, but it might prove difficult to operate given how high and angled Space's roof design is.
Headquartered in San Luis Obispo, Space Campers plans to assemble its campers on the Central California Coast out of "aerospace-grade composites." It estimates base weight at 470 lb (213 kg) but is ultimately waiting on final Cybertruck specs to finalize its own design and spec sheet.
Space Campers starts pricing at US$24,000, and reservations are available now at various refundable deposit levels between $100 and $10,000, each with its own production priority tier and perks (or lack thereof). Accessories like the kitchen and bathroom will be specced and priced closer to launch.
The Space Camper does promise some standard features that not all toppers do, such as sidewall storage cubbies and rooftop L-track for mounting crossbars, racks and other accessories, but it's priced at quite a premium over others. Camper-related hardware prices have been rising quickly based on the current state of supply/demand, but other pickup toppers still tend to fall from under $10K to $16,000 to start. We imagine Cybertruck owners will have to deal with that kind of premium for a while ... perhaps always, since they'll be shopping products specially developed for the Cybertruck that don't play nicely with other pickups.
Source: Space Campers