Connect with us

2Fast

The Rossmӧnster Overland Baja Truck Camper Replaces the Pickup Bed Entirely

the-rossmӧnster-overland-baja-truck-camper-replaces-the-pickup-bed-entirely

Post-pandemic adventurers, control yourselves. Behold, the Rossmӧnster Overland Baja truck camper, one heck of a cool looking off-grid camper that happens to come with a name suitable for shouting from the mountain tops. Cue the Ricola cough drops commercials.

The “Ross” in Rossmӧnster comes from Ross Williamson, the founder of the company and mastermind behind the Baja. Rather than the scary creature that hides in closets (made scarier by umlauts), mӧnster in Rossmӧnster refers to “mӧnster” in the Swedish language, meaning “to design and create artistically, simply, and skillfully,” according to the website.

In 2015, Rossmӧnster Vans started building custom vans out of its shop in Longmont, Colorado, suited for adventuring and overlanding. Next, Rossmӧnster Rentals, launched in 2019 and also run out of the Longmont location, provides opportunities for people to rent Rossmӧnster Sprinter 4x4s, VW Vanagons, Promaster Cities, and (now) pickup-truck-based campers.

Most recently, Rossmӧnster Overland launched in 2021 with its first truck camper model, the Baja. Broadening from its van-life focus to include truck campers was a natural expansion since the truck market is huge and there seems to be tons of demand for off-grid camper setups like the Baja. Not a spur-of-the-moment idea, the Baja project took about a year to fully develop and test.

The base truck for the Rossmӧnster Baja is a 2019 and newer half-ton or heavy duty truck with a 6.5-foot bed. That means a Ford F-150, Ford F-250, Ram 2500, Chevy 2500HD, and GMC Sierra 2500HD all work. Many truck bed campers utilize trucks equipped with long beds, but notice that the Baja is not a traditional in-bed truck camper that attaches to the factory truck bed. It’s not a slide-in camper, either. Instead, the camper replaces the whole bed, seamlessly continuing the cab’s body lines throughout the length of the camper so that it still looks like the bed could be there. Notice how the back of the camper overhangs beyond the length of bed, adding additional room.

Since the Baja camper replaces the bed, the whole setup more resembles an RV with its connected cab and living space. There’s an insulated pass-through from the cab of the truck into the camper, which can be closed via a roll down insulated partition that seals off the camper to reduce noise while driving. The camper also can be entered directly through its rear door.

Besides the pass-through, Rossmӧnster says the truck cab remains largely untouched and retains four factory seats. As for the rest of the truck, Rossmӧnster adds custom front and rear bumpers, Baja Designs fog lights, a Warn winch, upgraded rear air bag suspension, and front and rear locking differentials.

The custom composite Baja truck camper shell is inlaid with a Baja Designs LED light bar. Electric actuators control the rear door, while a 400-watt Zamp solar setup, customizable exterior rear storage racks, a Fiamma awning, and a custom MAXTRAX table mount round out some of the exterior highlights.

The hard shell top of the Rossmӧnster Baja truck camper pops up, adding over a foot of additional height. This feature keeps the camper compact and more fuel efficient while driving but more spacious, less dungeon-like while camping. The extended top uncovers a bounty of side and front windows that allow for a healthy amount of natural light to enter.

The Rossmӧnster Baja truck camper has three layout options that sleep 2 to 4 people. There’s a Queen-size bed with a fancy Tochta mattress and elegant skylight. It features multiple lighting zones, a 30-gallon fresh water tank, Cruise 85 Isotherm stainless fridge/freezer combo, True Induction cooktop, Ruvati workstation sink, exterior hot water shower, Rixen hydronic heat/hot water system, and Victron power system (3000-watt inverter, 400 Ah lithium battery bank, and Bluetooth battery monitor). An AC unit, water filtration system, and onboard air compressor are a few of the items on the upgrade list.

The Rossmӧnster Overland Baja starts at $175,000 (which includes the truck), a detail that may keep this dream rig locked tightly in dreamland. That’s an outrageous price tag when contrasted to the run-of-the-mill slide-in truck bed camper or used toy hauler, but right on par when you consider other luxurious, niche expedition vehicles (think EarthRoamer, a super-sized truck camper). These lightweight, compact off-grid setups are inherently expensive. Despite this healthy price tag, the crew at Rossmӧnster doesn’t seem bored, as the next available build slot is August 2021. The build itself takes about four weeks. If you’re interested and not currently rich, hey, maybe cross your fingers and think to-the-moon thoughts about your crypto investments…

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2Fast

2022 Volkswagen Taos Gets Basecamp Accessory Package for More Effective SUV Cosplay

2022-volkswagen-taos-gets-basecamp-accessory-package-for-more-effective-suv-cosplay

Volkswagen is introducing an outdoorsy accessory line for the all-new 2022 Taos. The accessories add a rugged look to the compact SUV and are available bundled together in a package or sold separately.

Inspired by the Basecamp line for the Atlas, the package includes custom plastic body cladding, front and rear fender flares with integrated splash guards, and lower side plates. The grille also gets a Basecamp badge. The Basecamp package gives the Taos a more aggressive appearance and creates a cohesive styling upgrade that extends from the nose to the rear.

In addition to the new Basecamp accessory line for Taos models, Volkswagen has a full suite of equipment options that bolster convenience and vehicle protection. Featured gear from the extensive catalog consists of Rubber MuddyBuddy and carpeted floor mats and Bumperdillo guards for the rear bumper that help prevent damage when loading and unloading cargo.

Aimed at folks with an adventurous lifestyle looking to boost functionality while adding distinctive styling, Volkswagen seeks to build on the vehicle’s dynamic exterior design. Except for the Basecamp badge, which is only a part of the complete package, the dealer-installed components are available individually. The Taos Basecamp bundle costs $999 and is on sale now.

Continue Reading

2Fast

Tesla’s New AMD Graphics Chipset Should Have Sony PS5 Performance

tesla’s-new-amd-graphics-chipset-should-have-sony-ps5-performance

During Computex 2021 (aka Taipei International Information Technology Show), AMD disclosed it is providing APU- and RDNA2-based GPUs to Tesla to use in its new Model S and Model X’s infotainment systems. That explains Tesla’s bold claims, noted on its website, that “[u]p to 10 teraflops of processing power enables in-car gaming on-par with today’s newest consoles” in its Model S and Model X vehicles. Essentially, Tesla is putting a gaming computer on wheels, but more importantly, it shows the company is doubling down on a smart-connected vehicle future.

The Hardware

The current MCU2 (the second-generation media control unit) found in all Tesla models on sale today uses an Intel Atom processor, which is a lower-end product usually found in budget laptops. This new chipset from AMD—some Tesla fans have dubbed it “MC3″—should be a major upgrade, and Tesla claims it will be in vehicles this month. The APU (a CPU with an integrated, lower-performance GPU) generally handles the media system, using less power to handle simple tasks. The high-power dedicated GPU kicks in for high demand applications such as AAA games.

According to an earlier leak from developer Patrick Schur on Twitter, this high-power chip is based on AMD’s Navi 23 GPU, which should put it more or less on par with Sony’s PS5 gaming console in terms of raw computing power. Since the new Tesla infotainment screen has a 2200 x 1300 resolution, gaming performance should be at least equivalent to a PS5 hooked up to a 4K (3840 x 2160) TV.

Overall, this new chipset from AMD is a huge leap from the old Intel chip; think of it like going from a $400 netbook to a $2,000 gaming laptop. However, this change to a higher end chipset may put Tesla in a slight manufacturing disadvantage for a while, as the current global microchip shortage and strong demand from both gamers and crypto miners means GPUs are scarce. The demand is far bigger than supply, and manufacturing can’t scale up quickly to accommodate the demand, so don’t expect this new chipset to trickle down to higher volume Teslas such as the Model 3 and Model Y any time soon.

(Speaking of crypto-mining, the AMD GPU should provide 40-60 MH/s—millions of hashes per second—for mining Ethereum, but don’t buy a Model S as a mining rig. At the current rate, profit is roughly $4 a day, you will need 20,000 days to reach ROI, unless you “diamond hands” hold and ETH moons someday. And it’s not like Tesla would let you install any mining software, anyway.)

The Software and Future Potential

Nerdy hardware talk aside, what does this new chipset bring to the in-car experience? A smoother infotainment UI should be the most noticeable benefit. The Intel Atom chip from 2018 has started to show its age as Tesla added more functions throughout the years; the in-car browser can’t even scroll smoothly on this site, motortrend.com. And entertainment features such as Netflix and YouTube UI have started to feel sluggish. The new chip will almost certainly improve the UI experience.

Being able to run AAA games—big-budget blockbuster video games, in other words—is a gimmick that helps sell an expensive car, but it’s a gimmick no other brand has attempted. But there is more to it below the surface: This highly capable hardware paves a path for extra revenue for Tesla in the future, should it decide to sell games and apps on its own platform. The gaming industry is worth $150 billion; Apple’s AppStore made an estimated $64 billion in 2020.

Tesla has the ability to reach a user base of over a million owners, so selling software and subscription features is a potential revenue stream that is difficult to ignore. When driver-assistance technology becomes more mature in the coming years, and drivers don’t have to monitor the road at all times, the in-car infotainment system may become the major feature for car buyers.

It took Apple’s iOS 13 years to build up a customer base capable of generating $64 billion in one year. Since Tesla is intent on developing true self-driving systems in the future, it makes sense to start thinking about how to lock their customer base into their software ecosystem.

Game Time

To see how the current MCU stacks up, we booted up some AAA games for an unscientific test. It worked … with a few caveats.

As mentioned above, due to chip shortage, don’t expect to play AAA games in the Model 3 and Model Y anytime soon. But what if you really wanted to play high-end games while waiting in line for an available Supercharger in a parking lot (stationary, absolutely NOT driving on the road), and you didn’t have the latest Model S or Model X? Well, Tesla’s in-car browser is based on Google’s Chromium—the open-source code that underpins Chrome and many other browsers—and Google has a game streaming service named Stadia, so in theory you can play AAA titles through the in-car browser.

I plugged in my Stadia controller to an in-car USB slot, opened up the browser and logged into my Stadia account. And … it worked. I was able to play Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order on a Tesla Model 3’s screen.

But it didn’t work well. In fact, it was nigh-unplayable, due to frequent disconnects and numerous input lags. Game streaming requires a stable internet connection, and the car’s network module failed to provide that. Whether it was on full bar LTE cellular or a stable WIFI home internet, the MCU2 struggled to maintain a stable connection. Still, it works, in a technical sense, and the better internet module that will come with the MCU3 hardware improvements should bring Tesla’s dream of premium gameplay to a small screen near you.

Continue Reading

2Fast

Obscure, Futuristic ’70s Mazda RX500 Concept Was Immortalized in Die-Cast Form

obscure,-futuristic-’70s-mazda-rx500-concept-was-immortalized-in-die-cast-form
  1. home
  2. news
  3. Obscure, Futuristic ’70s Mazda RX500 Concept Was Immortalized in Die-Cast Form

With a wild, eye-catching wedgy shape, it’s no wonder the RX500 inspired a Matchbox model that outlived it.

It’s late 1970. Mazda has been at the rotary engine game for almost a decade, developing the problematic Felix Wankel/NSU design into a formidable, powerful, and futuristic little powerplant. It was the highlight of the forward-looking production 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S. While beautiful, and interesting, the Cosmo Sport merely (albeit expertly) epitomized the now. The RX500 Concept, which took the stage at the 17th Tokyo Motor Show, envisioned a rotary-powered future straight out of a Syd Mead sketchbook.

The RX500’s aesthetic is pure ’70s sci-fi, with a wrap-around windshield that makes it look like a starfighter for the road. The ports on the engine cover and fenders look like exhausts for some sort of fusion reactor, the mirrors look like sensor pods, the large inlets just behind the windows could be jet intakes. Fair in the wheels, and it looks like it could hover, or fly. Pop up the butterfly doors and the impression is enhanced.

But the profile is the most striking. The high, nearly horizontal rear decklid streams backwards from the roof, terminating in a bluff rear flanked by a quadrangle-vented dark ring. Inset is a huge red-painted stripe emblazoned with the words “Powered by ROTARY.” Underneath, two prominent square exhaust outlets are painted red. There’s a loose thematic link with the Ferrari 250 GT SWB known as the “Breadvan,” but the RX500 is much busier in the details, yet arguably more elegant overall.

The shape came from Mazda’s design team, in particular Shigenori Fukuda, who later became head of the company’s design team. The designer admitted some influence from Italy in an interview with Pen, in particular Bertone’s work, but the design is on the whole original. And the spaceship influence is quite overt, directly inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey, Fukuda told the outlet.

It wasn’t enough to simply build a futuristic mid-engined supercar, albeit one with a modest (by today’s standards) 247 horsepower from a modified two-rotor 10A engine that revved to a stratospheric 15,000 RPM. As was the trend at the time, the RX500 explored safety concepts, with a taillight cluster that used colored indicators to show whether the car was accelerating, braking, or coasting. That particular concept didn’t catch on, but adaptive brake lights did, decades later.

What did endure was the shape, although not in a full-size vehicle. In 1971, Matchbox immortalized it with a die-cast model, which differed from the fantastic RX500 mainly in the re-imagined engine cover, which opened as one piece (as opposed to the gullwing engine bay doors on the RX500).

The RX500 speaks to a future that never was for Mazda, and one that arguably wouldn’t have worked out very well considering the oil crises that followed shortly after the concept’s debut. While Mazda never built a road car much like the RX500, its mid-engined race program eventually led to an overall win at Le Mans with the legendary 787B in 1991—after which rotary engines were banned from the series. The Autozam AZ-1, a mid-engined kei car with gullwing doors, is perhaps the closest thing to this RX500 to hit production, and it utilized a Suzuki I-3 engine.

Just one RX500 was made, and it was restored in 2008 to display at the Numaji Transportation Museum in Hiroshima, the home of Mazda. But the 1:59 scale Matchbox model remained on sale for over a decade, with a hiatus of several years in between, giving the RX500 a broad fanbase and a stronger legacy than it might have had otherwise.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2016-2021 2Fast2Serious magazine.