Tesla starts shipping $3,000 Cybertruck tent, looks nothing like what was unveiled

Tesla has started shipping its ‘Basecamp’, a $3,000 tent designed for the back of the Cybertruck. It’s a bit of a This disappointment as it looks nothing like what was originally unveiled.

Accessories are big with trucks. Their form factor open up a bunch of interesting possibilities with the bed, but the Cybertruck’s specific design with the angle on the bed makes it more difficult to use some off-the-shelves accessories.

To address that, Tesla has planned a series of accessories designed specifically for the Cybertruck.

One of them is Basecamp, a tent that fits in the back of the electric pickup truck. It was first announced with the original unveiling of the Cybertruck in 2019:

This looked like an interesting design with seemingly a rigid bottom half that matched the design of the truck.

The product became ‘Basecamp’ and was released for sale shortly after Tesla revealed the production version of the truck last year. It already seemed to be a lot less attractive design at that point:

Now, Tesla has started shipping, or rather installing, the Basecamp for early Cybertruck owners.

I say “installing” because you need your first installation to happen at a Tesla Service Center to attach the tent’s brakets, which support the base of the tent, to the Cybertruck’s vault side rails.

A Cybertruck owner going by ‘TownBiz’ on Cybertruck Owners Club received one of the very first Basecamp and gave a first impression review of the tent system:

‘Although Tesla is requiring SCs to do the initial install, in reality both install and removal of the tent from the bed (aka “vault”) is straightforward as long as you can deadlift 90lbs and/or have a buddy to help lift. Basecamp comes with 6 brackets that attach to the vault’s side rails and have specific spacing. Attaching these brackets is simple: same as how you attach your bottle opener or tie down points that come with Foundation Series trucks. Assuming Tesla is requiring the SC to do it just because of potential liability issues w/ people not putting the brackets in the right positions. That said, the manual provides install instructions for anyone to put these brackets in, so I suspect that one day Tesla may direct ship to customers. The trickiest parts of initial install are setting the stowed Basecamp in the right slot (need to put it in at a slight angle closest to the bed of the truck) and aligning the two T25 bolts that secure Basecamp’s frame to the truck. The manual recommends using a flashlight so you can align the holes and that really does make it pretty easy. Unfortunately the SC installer had some difficulty with this initially and scratched one of my brackets and may have also slightly messed up the threading on that bracket because it’s a little loose – not a show stopper, and theoretically a replaceable part. Once you remove those two T25 bolts, you can take the zipped up Basecamp with frame out of the truck and store it at home. This is welcome news because it definitely cuts into the length of your bed/vault (a bit more than 1/3 closest to the cab of the truck) if you like to transport adult sized mountain bikes using a tailgate pad. Otherwise, as mentioned the design is great because you can store gear under the stowed Basecamp.’

Here’s what the production version of the Basecamp looks like on the Cybertruck:

Obviously, it looks nothing like the original render and arguably, it doesn’t look as good. To be fair, it should look better with the awning out, but they haven’t installed it in this case.

Here’s the inside:

The owner has noted a few issues with the installation, packing, and unpacking process. He is not sure if he can recommend it for $3,000:

Because the rainy weather hasn’t allowed me to do a full setup + takedown more than once, I still can’t definitively say whether or not I recommend the $3K Basecamp. On one hand, I think that much of the thoughtful and unique design elements might warrant the cost: it’s fairly lightweight + easy to install/remove the stowed tent from the truck, stays out of the way (unless you want to transport multiple bikes in the bed), doesn’t reduce range due to decreased aerodynamics, and has intuitive pieces that make setup + takedown a breeze. On the other hand, there are some unpolished areas that stick out because of all those great elements I mentioned already: removing + re-installing the “Aeroflap” and the frustration of fitting and zipping up the stowed Basecamp in softcover after you finish using the tent. The three minor damaged pieces (the scuffed + potentially thread damaged middle bracket where a T25 bolt secures the stowed Basecamp to the bed rail, one of the leg quick release buttons, and the nylon webbing for one of the cobra buckle retainers) that I mentioned might have been better designed and will need to be fixed too, but because they don’t impede the function of the tent they’re not show stoppers. The currently MIA “Tent Mode” is also a bit of a red flag because the rumoured self-levelling element is a pretty big deal for roof-top-tent camping – briefly laying on the sleeping mat while parked in my gently sloped driveway I could feel myself rolling downhill. If Tesla releases Tent Mode to all CT owners or only verified Basecamp owners may be a deciding factor for people buying the Basecamp or waiting for a 3rd party solution (theoretically if a maker creates cross bars for the vault, other folding rooftop tents that are not wider than the vault/bed could work nicely). $3K is a serious chunk of change and you could buy a lot of sweet camping gear with it. However, as I mentioned at the start, evidently $3K for a high quality rooftop tent is not that crazy.

The ‘Tent Mode’ is expected to enable an auto leveling of the truck with its air suspension, but the software is nowhere to be found in Cybertrucks right now.

There’s unfortunately no way to link the truck’s AC to the tent with this system.

Electrek’s Take

In my opinion, this is definitely a disapointment for the price and in comparison to the original renders.

$3,000 is no joke. You can get some awesome tents for that price.

Sounds like you would be better off with an off-truck tent or maybe an off-the-shevel roof tent if you can have some kind of cross bar accessory to make the Cybertruck’s roof flat and able to receive the tent.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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