Here’s why I’m intrigued by the new Cyberlandr pop-up camper for Tesla’s Cybertruck: it fits completely within the confines of the truck bed when collapsed. The way I see it, this design addresses multiple issues that persist with conventional truck campers, like fuel economy, weight distribution, and garage-ability (is that a word?). But there’s more. The addition of a compact bathroom with a dry-flush toilet and recirculating shower into the floorplan of the Cyberlandr could be a game-changer for people who consider those non-negotiables. If this comes to fruition, it could open up the world of overland travel to a whole new group of individuals while simultaneously setting a new bar for ultra-compact truck campers.
What is a Cyberlandr Truck Camper?
The Cyberlandr project is tied to Stream It Inc., a computer hardware manufacturing company based in Austin, Texas. According to the Cyberlandr LinkedIn company page, they have already received $100 million pre-orders for this new truck camper which will retail for approximately $50,000 each. Stream It Inc. plans to begin production of the camper in 2023.
What features does the Camper have?
The Cyberlandr camper has a lot of features, including many of the systems necessary for off-grid camping and extended overland travel. There are a bunch of futuristic luxuries as well:
- Compact galley with refrigerator, induction cooktop, sink, and storage
- Patent-pending seating which converts to a sleeping space
- Bathroom with recirculating shower and dry-flush toilet
- Roof-mounted solar panels generate electricity to charge Cybertruck batteries
- Radiant heat and air conditioning
Kitchen/Galley– While the simplest overlanding kitchen setups consist of little more than a camping stove and some basic utensils, (some) truck campers offer the benefit of indoor galleys. Because it is fully enclosed, the kitchen in the Cyberlandr provides occupants with a sheltered place to prepare food, regardless of the weather. But having a purpose-built kitchen in your truck camper is about more than protection from the elements; it’s also largely about convenience.
In this case, a compact refrigerator with a Danfoss compressor, a sink, induction cooktop, and hands-free automatic-opening cabinets for food storage all conspire to make meal preparation quick and cleanup easy. The main food prep surface is comprised of Infinity Fine Porcelain stoneware, a material that Stream It says is “light, frost-proof, impact-resistant, resistant to chemical and physical [damage]…created through advanced thermal treatment and complete vitrification, [with an] average absorption rates of 0.05%.”
Perhaps the most notable quality of this particular truck camper kitchen is that all appliances are electrical. And thanks to the Cybertruck’s massive batteries, you’ll never need to worry about whether or not you have enough fuel left to prepare a meal or keep your perishables cold.
Convertible Seating – This is one of the most interesting areas the Cyberlandr camper is innovating. Conventional convertible seating exists, but not like this: it can function as a traditional seat, a bed, or completely folded out of the way to create standing room. A three-way convertible seat is interesting enough that I wouldn’t be surprised to see this technology/design adopted by other truck campers and travel trailers down the road.
“Patent-pending chairs are one of the secrets to making the most of a small space. These free-standing chairs can be moved around indoors or taken outside (eliminating the need for folding chairs). They recline too so you can relax and watch a movie or work on your laptop computer, and they convert to a surprisingly comfortable and breathable bed when it’s time to sleep.”
Does the Cyberlandr have a Bathroom? YES – It’s surprising how many truck campers on the market don’t include a toilet or shower solution as standard equipment. And in my experience, these are two of the biggest non-negotiables for people on the fence about camping or vehicle-based travel. However, in the case of the Cyberlandr, both of these needs are addressed with a compact dry-flush toilet and a recirculating shower.
Tell me more about the Cyberlandr’s recirculating shower – I’ve seen some DIY systems during my time on the road that were very impressive, but I haven’t seen a commercially produced option. If executed effectively, this would effectively allow multiple showers using the same water, a design that is especially interesting given that fresh water is likely to be the biggest limiting factor for how long travelers can go in between resupplies.
Solar Panels– The Cyberlandr has a retractable 500-watt solar array that covers the entirety of its roof. This amount of wattage would generally be considered overkill for a conventional vehicle or camper (unless you have a substantial battery bank to take advantage of the charging potential), but with the ability to enhance the range of the Cybertruck, it makes a lot of sense. This solar array is constructed from Sunflare modules that have individual cell bypass diodes. Whereas entire strings of cells on conventional panels don’t function when partially shaded, Sunflare cells individually produce power. This means that partial shade will still allow the solar array to produce power for the Cyberlandr.
Radiant Heat and Air Conditioning – Radiant heat is an interesting method of warming a camper. Generally, radiant heat is utilized in conventional home builds where the thermal mass of a foundation or floor helps the system work to its full potential. The reason I think this system might still work well in the Cyberlandr relies on the fact that the vehicle has a 20-kilowatt-hour battery bank. Basically, the heat doesn’t have to be super-efficient because there is a surplus of power to operate it. Radiant heat also avoids the issues surrounding water vapor which is a byproduct of combustion in catalytic heaters.
The one major concern I have is how heating will affect the vehicle’s range in colder environments. Unfortunately, the Cyberlandr website doesn’t do a great job of explaining the heating/cooling system in a way that normal people can easily understand: “We plan to use an HRV/ERV for continuous circulation and up to 80% energy recovery.” There is also no estimate of the BTU output of either the heating or cooling systems.
Electrochromic Windows – Not really a vehicle system, but definitely worth mentioning, the Cyberlandr camper’s electrochromic windows will be able to automatically tint based on sun intensity.
* A quick note on complex systems – As overland travelers, we know that if something can break at an inconvenient time, it will. Reliability is far more important than comfort in the field. While there is a place for technology in our four-wheel-drive pursuits, we must consider that every complex system we take on the road is a potential point of failure. Things like electronic drawers that open automatically, radiant heat, and smart TVs are nice when they work, but if they fail in the field, they are little more than dead weight until they can be repaired.
** The frequently asked questions page on the Cyberlandr website is a great resource if you want additional information that wasn’t covered here.
Cyberlandr Truck Camper Weight & Specs
While the following numbers are likely to change by the time the first Cyberlandr camper arrives in the real world, here are the current specifications from the manufacturer’s website:
- Dry Weight: 1200 pounds
- Wet Weight: 1360 pounds (I take issue with this number given that 40 gallons of water weighs approximately 320 pounds)
- Fresh Water (usable): 40 Gallons
- Gray Water (usable): 20 Gallons
- Water Filtration: 4-stage
- Solar Panels: 500 watts
- Battery Capacity (shared with Cybertruck): 20 kilowatt-hours
- Sleeping Capacity: 2 adults + 2 children
- Wireless Connectivity: Starlink satellite internet service (learn more about Starlink’s potentialin this article)
- Aerodynamic Drag Cd: 0 (oh so sleek)
- Estimated Range Reduction with CyberLandr: 5%
More on the Cyberlandr Camper’s Low Center of Gravity and Aerodynamic Shape
I mentioned it above, but two of the Cyberlandr’s qualities that are of great significance are its low center of gravity, and its ability to fit completely within the Cybertruck’s tonneau cover.
Having a lower center of gravity is a quality that is highly desirable for truck campers because it translates to better vehicle handling characteristics while in motion. This means less body roll and better stability versus a taller camper. If Stream It Inc. brings this collapsable design to fruition, it could pave the way for similar designs in conventional truck campers.
Additionally, Cyberlandr doesn’t affect the aerodynamics of the Cybertruck. This is because the Cyberlandr fits entirely within the Cybertrucks tonneau cover (when closed). This creates zero additional aerodynamic drag. In comparison, conventional truck campers almost all stick up above the cab height of their host truck which leads to reduced fuel economy. Once again, if we actually see this camper design realized, it could really mix things up in the current truck camper market.
How can I reserve a Cyberlandr Camper?
So you’re pretty stoked on everything you’ve read and you are ready to order a Cyberlandr camper?
Before you hand over your money, it’s important to understand that aside from the computer renderings you have seen above, the Cyberlandr camper doesn’t actually exist yet. Hopefully, we’ll see a prototype before too long, but until that time comes, I’m keeping my expectations low.
If you’re still excited and want in, Stream It Inc. is taking deposits for the Cyberlandr, which they plan to begin producing in 2023. $100 will reserve your spot in the production queue, and according to their website, your deposit is fully refundable.
Learn more about this unique truck camper on the Cyberlandr website.
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