Hard-shell solar rooftop camper is a $20,000 tent replacement

Redtail Overland offers two versions

Redtail Overland RT90 and RT110 Hard-Shell Camper_6
Redtail Overland RT90 and RT110 Hard-Shell Camper_6
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Founded by Ty and Annie Tatro, Redtail Overland was created as a solution to the most commonly encountered issue known to campers: weather. The company went public this month to launch its first product, the RTC, a heated carbon fiber sleeping pod that attaches to the roof of a vehicle and has built-in solar panels.

The Tatros say they have a combined 25 years of overlanding experience, including 18 combined years doing design and manufacturing work for popular overlanding company Earthroamer. Throughout their years of adventures, they often used a rooftop tent, as it's one of the most efficient and simple ways to live on the go. But flimsy tents are vulnerable to the elements, such as rain, wind, heat, cold, and wildlife. Even "hardtop" rooftop sleepers leave exposed tent materials, so the Tatros decided to build the ultimate solution to their problems.

The RTC, which is constructed of rigid weight-saving carbon fiber, is made in two sizes. The RT 90's main body is 90 inches long and 56 inches wide. Inside, the sleeping compartment is 81 inches long by 53 inches wide, and with the clamshell opened, the RT 90 is 58.4 inches tall. Redtail says the RT 90 can sleep two adults and a dog comfortably and is perfect for midsize SUVs.

The larger RT 110 is better suited for families who are driving a pickup truck or van. Its exterior measures 110 inches long by 60 inches wide. The interior space is 101 inches long by 57 inches wide and is designed to fit two adults and two kids. When propped open, the RT 110 stands 62.2 inches tall. When closed, both the RT 90 and RT 110 are only 10.7 inches thick, not counting the integrated ceiling fan. A built-in floor hatch also allows for direct access from a vehicle.

The fan is just one of numerous amenities that the Tatros say make the RTC more like a camper than a tent. The RTC has independent power sourced from an integrated solar panel system. The RT 90 has two panels for 210 watts of solar power and a lithium-ion battery pack rated at 40 amp hours, while the RT 110 has three panels for 330 watts and a lithium-ion battery pack rated at 60 amp hours. Redtail says these batteries can charge from depleted to full in roughly two to three hours of direct sunlight.

When charged, the batteries can power a built-in heating system and USB charging ports. Like everything else these days, the power system can be connected to a smart device via Bluetooth and monitored through an app. The app also controls the dimmable LED lighting. 

When not in use, the RTC can be easily packed up in a few minutes. The mattress and bedding can be stored in the RTC, and gas struts and folding sidewalls make for simple takedown.

Redtail Overland is based in Colorado and the RTC is built-to-order. The RT 90 is priced at $20,000, while the RT 110 is $25,000. Visit Redtail Overland, via Uncrate, for more information.

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