Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Wednesday, June 16, 2021

RV Preview: CyberLandr™ camper for the Tesla Cybertruck2™

By Tony Barthel
While a lot of people not familiar with Tesla cars see them as regular cars with electric drivetrains, those who have or are familiar with them know they’re very different than that. Yeah, yeah, they drive and stop and all of that, and many know that they have some form of automated driving features. But a Tesla really isn’t an ordinary car at all. 

What a Tesla is, is a computer that happens to be able to transport you. Like a computer, a Tesla can get updated over the air and the features it has today may pale in comparison to what the same vehicle has in a few years. The self-driving aspect is probably the most obvious example of that. 

So, if you buy a Tesla today you’ll likely have something even better a few years down the road thanks to updates and changes that came your way through the magic of the Internet. Which will eventually mean Starlink. Which is another Elon Musk creation. 

How does this relate to RVs?

Since this is an RV review column, I’m sure you’re wondering just how this relates to RVs at all. It does. When Tesla announced the Cybertruck more than a quarter-million people made reservations to get one in the first week. Today it’s estimated that there may be more than 650,000 preorders of the unusual-looking vehicle. 

Ford would shoot its own momma for single-year sales of 650,000 units. 

But, since it’s kind of a pickup truck, one of the things people like to put in pickups is campers. With that in mind, the principals of streamit.live, Lance King and Bill French, took their experience in cyber security and artificial intelligence and created a drop-in pickup camper called the CyberLandr™ that’s every bit as Tesla-esque as the pickup it rides in. 

Yes, I wrote “in.” 

CyberLandr

The CyberLandr, as the camper is called, is as different from any camper you’ve seen today as a Tesla is from any car you’ve driven. Unless it’s a Tesla, of course. 

Know, first, that final details of the CyberLandr haven’t been finalized simply because the company hasn’t been able to get a Cybertruck to detail out some aspects of the vehicle. There are also new technologies that haven’t been totally dialed in. But the company is hoping to deliver the first CyberLandr campers with the initial deliveries of the Cybertruck – which could be sometime by the end of this year. 

Technology

Like the truck it rides in, the CyberLandr is very software-dependent with advanced computer systems thanks to Nvidia systems. There are cameras and sensors on the unit, and the team is using their experience in artificial intelligence to make the camper a better experience. 

The CyberLandr fits into the odd-shaped bed of the Cybertruck, and can fit completely inside the back when it’s closed up. If you haven’t seen the reveal, the truck’s bed has a sliding tonneau cover that can completely enclose it. 

So to facilitate going from this small space to a full-on camper, the CyberLandr has a three-section lift mechanism that lifts the roof of the camper up – opening it up in three sections to make it fully walkable. There is another mechanism that extends the camper at the same time to lengthen it to the full length of the bed with the tailgate down. 

While this lifting and extending is going on, there’s also a set of stairs that folds down. In just a few moments you’ve gone from something that fits completely in the bed of the Cybertruck to a full camper. Magical. 

Using smart technology, the back door is a roll-up door. If you’ve been to Europe and seen the roll-up shutters on windows, you’ll already be familiar with this. To get in, the camper “sees” you, authorizes you to get in and out, and opens the door. 

This is not unlike your iPhone “seeing” you, knowing who you are and unlocking the phone. 

The shutter-style door can also be closed part-way with screens between the slats so that it’s a screen door, as well, letting air in. Ever since my first trip to Europe (well, second, since I was born in Switzerland), I’ve wanted to put these remarkable shutters on my house. Now I can get them as the door to the CyberLandr. 

Water

Inside you’ll notice there’s a shower to the left of the entrance and the toilet. In that space is a dry toilet, as we looked at in the Imperial Outdoors XPlore RV a few days ago. If you want to know more, there’s a link to that article – but this also eliminates a black tank. 

Under the bed of the Cybertruck is a trunk/well. That’s where the CyberLandr plans to store all the water facilities for the camper. Part of that system is a very advanced filtration system that uses both multi-stage filters and UV – so that the gray water is so clean you can drink it. 

Before you say “Eww,” know that there is not real “new” water on this planet – all water is recycled. 

But what that means is that whether you’re using a campground pressurized fresh water system or recycling shower water, it all gets very effectively filtered. This means that the tank size is as close to irrelevant as possible. 

Living space

I can’t tell you how many videos I watched of this camper and of the company founders. But I can tell you that I learned a lot about how they think – and I like it. 

The main living space is a bit small, but the use of space is outstanding. There are two chairs that come with the camper which can be used as chairs (inside or outside), recliners (take them outside to watch the sunset) or even the bed. The company had a ladder manufacturer make the chairs so they were sturdy and folded up nicely. 

In the main space is a counter along the front edge of the camper which has a large, deep-bowl sink and a two-burner hidden induction cook top. This gives lots of counter space when the sink is covered, but then also allows you to use the various kitchen bits when needed. 

Get this: As mentioned, everything in this camper is “smart.” So you can just turn on the water faucet like any other or say “give me a gallon of water at 123° F” and the CyberLandr will deliver. 

Smarty pants

In fact, that kind of smart technology is built into the camper in almost all areas. 

Instead of curtains, the windows feature electrochromic technology so you can ask the camper to darken the windows at night. But wait, there’s more. 

The CyberLandr can also automatically darken the windows on the sunny side of the camper to reduce glare and heat inside. Then it can change the tint in the windows to lighten the interior or assist the climate control in managing interior temperatures. 

Speaking of smart: One of the things the team discussed is the camera and monitoring system. You could literally be alerted if there’s a bear outside, for example, or an intruder. 

Your mileage won’t vary

I have been on a surprising number of panels and calls lately talking about the future of the RV industry. One of the recurring sentiments I share is that RVs are going to have to actually care about aerodynamics as more electric drive systems get employed. Shoving a big box through the air is something automakers have worked on and really overcome to a great extent. Now it’s time for the RV industry to do the same. 

In the case of the CyberLandr, they do overcome this by fitting entirely into the bed of the truck. Once a vehicle reaches highway speeds, a majority of the power needed is to overcome wind resistance. That’s just not the case here. So the company estimates less than a 5 percent impact on range for the Cybertruck. 

Power to the People

Oh, and on the subject of power, Tesla has already said that the Cybertruck’s massive battery will also be available to the entire truck. So the CyberLandr doesn’t have any batteries of its own, –it just uses the huge batteries already in the truck. 

But there are also huge solar panels that form the roof of the CyberLandr and those can actually provide charge to the Cybertruck’s battery. The CyberLandr taketh, but it also giveth while you’re camperith…ing. Naw, that sentence didn’t work. 

In summary

I already know there are going to be a lot of commenters who are going to say they would never want something like this. They’re going to bemoan the water filtration, invalidate the folding camper idea and all of that. I see you. 

But there are also more than 650,000 people sitting on pins and needles waiting for their Cybertruck to be delivered. And I know a good number of those people aren’t going to think twice about plopping a $49,000 camper into the back of it. Especially since it really doesn’t degrade much of the functionality of the Cybertruck and opens up a whole set of possibilities.

Of course, the obvious use is for camping. But it would be nice to be at the kids’ soccer game and have the only clean toilet for miles around. Or a refrigerator full of beer at a tailgating event. You could be at an outdoor music festival and just ask the truck to pop up the camper and have a great place to sleep it all off. 

I also know a lot of our readers are die-hard diesel fans. But, when you think about it, even a freight train is an electric vehicle. Did you know that? Yep. The diesel engines only act as generators; it takes an electric motor to pull a freight train. 

Which isn’t far from how much power the Cybertruck is promised to have. So, yeah, I think it’s ugly, too. But the tech behind it and, if you get a CyberLandr, in it, might make the Cybertruck the hottest thing since sliced bread. 

“Everything that attaches to a Tesla should be as smart as the Tesla,” said Bill French. 

##RVT999b

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18 Comments
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Lance
1 month ago

I think it is great that so many people are so satisfied with their current RVs. CyberLandr is not for those people. CyberLandr is for people who don’t like manuevering massive vehicle, and those who want to go to places other RVs can’t go (whether that is off-road, through the drive-through, or into the parking garage at the mall). It is for people who love nature enough to want to tread more lightly upon it. For people who don’t like changing propane tanks, cleaning and emptying black water tanks, and people who see nothing wrong with carrying some modern conveniences into the wild (not long ago flashlights, and folding chairs were considered appaling technology unfit for camping). Who hasn’t picked up take-out and wished they could have eaten it comfortably in their own private kitchen rather than having it cool during the drive home? Who hasn’t been at a fireworks show and wished they had their own clean, private restroom nearby?
Electric trucks will need a new approach to RVs.

Sink Jaxon
1 month ago

Seems good for two people…for one night…

Travis
1 month ago

Nothing against it but it is not for me. I work in technology and one of my escapes of camping is to get away from it. Last thing I want to do while camping is download firmware updates to my truck and camper. LOL

And although I am not totally against the idea of an electric truck I would not call this thing a truck.

Merlin B.
1 month ago

No, thanks. I don’t even like the truck let alone the so-called camper. You won’t see one of these in my driveway.

Leslie Berg
1 month ago

Does `Open the pod door, Hal?’ make chills run down anyone else’s spine? I think I’ll just open the pod door myself for the time being. Computers have their share of glitches in the best of times.

Leslie Berg
1 month ago
Reply to  Tony Barthel

I am more in the Luddite camp. I don’t want my house or car spying on me, inadvertently or maliciously. Or for the purposes of product development.

Thomas D
1 month ago

I noticed that the mock up is completely bare of essentials. I can not see my wife or myself folding clothes just so so to fit in some compartment. Where are the utensils to cook on and the spices and sauces. The extra rolls of tp. The shoes? The list goes on. Sometimes we don’t have enough room for what we need in a conventional rv. Show something when it becomes reality. Don’t make too many prototypes. I don’t think I’m interested.

Bob M
1 month ago

I prefer to read about RV’s that are presently on the market.

Traveler
1 month ago

Cool!
The naysayers don’t have to buy one, but then they probably would have criticized the first horseless carriages too.
How else does innovation happen?

Clara
18 days ago
Reply to  Traveler

I agree. This is the bee’s knees. The perfect complement to my Cybertruck. It will open up a whole new world of wilderness camping for me.

Donald N Wright
1 month ago

Should the Cyber RV Trailer look like the Cyber Truck with multiple flat panes ? Thinking that way, an Airstream Trailer should be towed by a “Dymaxion” Truck ?

Joe Malvasi
1 month ago

Ford sold over 780,000 F-150’s in 2020. Don’t think they shot their momma!

Roger Spalding
1 month ago

Tony, a minor addition to your statistics. Ford sells 900,000 F-150 pick ups in an average year. Many times, Ford has exceeded that amount. GM and Ram/Dodge/FCA have long been envious of Ford’s record of having the best selling vehicle in the US for decades (and that doesn’t include all the Class C and Class A Ford F-150 to F-550 based RVs). Elon Musk may be a certified genius and exemplary American, but he still has a way to go before he bests 4 generations of Fords in the car and truck business.

Dan
1 month ago

Our Class C carries enough gas to go over 500 miles without a refill, if we ever choose to do that. Some of the all electric cars that are available now might get half of that. Imagine the battery needed to push even a small RV that far and then have to find suitable hook up where you can stay for hours while your battery recharges. Are RV parks ready to add charging facilities to the full hook up amenities? And, ow, what will that cost? I’m all for electric vehicles, but I wont be shopping until one is available that even as just a small grocery getter will give me 100 miles of travel, with the A/C or heat running, and then charge overnite with a 15 or 20 amp circuit.

Roger V
1 month ago

My 21′ gas powered Winnebago Class B loaded with lithium and solar does all that with far more room and comfort, a lot more storage and no need to worry about finding charging ports in our 30K miles of travel each year. Interesting concepts here though. I do think the truck itself will sell fairly well until the novelty wears off. And the dozen or so folks who pony up for the camper will surely garner the attention they’re seeking at Johny’s soccer game and maybe even the local KOA.

Stephen Malochleb
1 month ago

Not very useful for a family of 3 or more. Unless you could afford 2. His and hers.

Brad G. Hancock NH
1 month ago

Tesla camper……..????? I think I’ll keep my Winnie.

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