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Truck camper rides low power-lifts into high-rise

While the Safari Cruiser doesn’t open up the high-roofed covered space of a traditional shell, it does sit above the bed, leaving it clear for cargo storage. Wild Land even says it adds 7.9 inches (20 cm) of height for a little extra secure capacity. The crossbars on top hold up to 66 lb (30 kg) worth of bikes, kayaks, etc.

At camp, users simply have to drop the tailgate, turn the bed wall-mounted battery pack on and then hit “open” on the accompanying keychain remote. The Safari Cruiser rises slowly and steadily like other electrically actuated scissor-lift contraptions, only this one doubles up on scissor lifts to create a high two-story base camp that includes an upper rooftop tent and lower tent space in the pickup bed.

Because the Safari Cruiser’s upper tent floor doesn’t extend over top the truck cab like the typical pickup topper’s, it would only offer a sleeping length as long as its 5.6-foot (171-cm) body, insufficient for most campers. Wild Land engineers around this problem by installing front and rear fold-out tent floor extensions that increase sleeping space while turning the rooftop tent from a cube to a trapezoidal prism. Owners will have to fold these out manually, but then they’ll enjoy a generous sleeping area of 87 x 55 in (220 x 140 cm).

The upper tent is reached via a ladder in the pickup bed, creating a more seamless indoor space. Wild Land says the unit sleeps two to three people. On a clear night, the rooftop tent looks to be among the most panoramic we’ve seen, using a full-mesh front panel that wraps seamlessly into the sides for open 270-degree views from a treehouse-like vantage point. The clear skylight overhead ensures campers can look at the stars as they doze off and also opens so that they can poke their heads up for an even better view. The rooftop also has a 30-W solar panel for powering the LED lighting and lift system battery.

The lower space inside the pickup bed is more of a flex space that owners can use how they like. The Safari Cruiser doesn’t include a lift-away upper bed platform like those in pop-up camper vans, so the space is limited to a 59-in (150-cm) height everywhere except directly into the roof tent hatch. That makes it too low for the average adult to stand up. It also doesn’t appear to be enclosed at the back so wouldn’t offer full weather protection for sleeping in the truck.

The lower zone could probably make a nice al fresco lounge area with a couple of cushions or low benches and maybe a low dining table. The 360-degree awning that wraps clean around the back of the truck would then provide some extra shade from the sun.

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