Recently, YouTube's Kara and Nate had the opportunity to live with a Tesla Cybertruck for 72 hours. Their channel focuses on RVs, Vanlife and camping so they are not your typical car reviewers. That's why their video focuses instead on the Basecamp, the newest tent bed accessory for the Cybertruck.

But first, the couple did have some observations about the Cybertruck itself. Kara says the interior is “simple, sleek, futuristic looking.” One of their favorite features by far is the digital rearview mirror that jumps to the side view when you turn on your blinker. In fact, they were fascinated by how the screen controls pretty much everything in the truck and shows you what is happening while it’s happening. Best of all, they can watch Mr. Beast while waiting at a Supercharger. (Substitute Mr. Beast for a YouTuber of your choice.)

“I absolutely love it," Nate said. "I think it’s the coolest truck in the world.” 

Tesla Cybertruck driving in the desert

While it is interesting to see the reactions of non-enthusiasts to a vehicle as unusual as the Cybertruck, we’re here for their expertise on camping and vanlife. On this front, their first impressions of the Basecamp are not as positive as the Cybertruck itself.

“Whoever designed this tent is not actually a camper,” Nate explains. “I don’t know why you wouldn’t run some type of accessible outlet into the basecamp. There’s no way to do anything with electricity or lights inside of the tent.” They suggest some kind of flexible light bar that could run along the roof of the tent, or somewhere to charge your phone. For the price, this could have easily been included as an integrated feature rather than running your own cord or battery pack. 

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The low tech nature of the Basecamp continues with the assembly. “Why does the Tesla Basecamp come with a Bicycle pump?” Nate continued. “I could not believe it when I opened the duffle bag and this was inside. I thought ‘Surely this is a backup scenario.’ Not the case.” As has been pointed out by many others, there is a 120v outlet just a foot away and could easily power an electric inflator.

Kara agreed with Nate’s assessment. “With the price of this, and how quality the rest of the tech is in the Cybertruck? It just really feels random.” 

Cybertruck Basecamp Air Pump

Nate also felt that the foam mattress could have been far more comfortable. “The tent is already inflatable. Why not put a couple inches of inflatable mattress underneath this pad? Then it would be the most comfortable thing ever.”

To give a good idea about how much work is required in the Basecamp's assembly and disassembly, Nate filmed the entire process. It took 17 minutes to tear down on his first night and did not go smoothly. He ran into several issues including accidently snapping off the hinge mechanism on one of the legs.

When setting up the tent for the second night, the process went a bit better. On average, Nate says that once you learn the process, the setup and takedown should take about 10 minutes. 

Cooking with the Cybertruck

After the first night, both campers started to see that while the Basecamp itself may not be the best value, the Cybertruck camping experience is quite good. While Nate says that a van is typically more convenient for camping than a Cybertruck, “comparing it to the alternative of tent camping, this is 10 times better than a tent that sets up on the ground.”

There are some ways in which the Cybertruck exceeds the capabilities of a van build. On the second night they realized they could turn on the truck’s bed lights for some evening lighting. Due to the large size of the EV's battery, they were able to boil water and air fry at the same time while only using 2% of the battery pack.  

While this feature is not unique to the Cybertruck, it is an undeniable benefit of camping with an EV. By comparison, if they simply boiled water twice in their van, it would drain almost the entire battery. But with an EV, “you’ve got your own power supply when you come out into the desert like this.”

Have you taken your family on camping trips in your EV? How did your vehicle fare? Let us know in the comments below.  

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