Tacoma Truck Bed Camper Makes ‘Roughing It’ a Lot Smoother

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yotatech.com Leentu Tent for Toyota Tacoma

Leentu camper models are designed to fit 2005 and newer long-bed Toyota Tacomas.

Camping can be a lot of fun. You gather a bunch of friends, pile it into a vehicle, crank up the tunes, and get to the campsite, where you drink and tell stories and listen to music by the campfire. Pitching and erecting the tent? Eh, not that fun.

That’s why truck bed tents exist. Once they’re installed, they provide lodging that’s off the ground and more removed from ants and other creepy-crawly creatures. Leentu makes a couple of different models of its in-bed tent that specifically fit 2005 and newer Toyota Tacomas with a long bed (a glance at the Toyota accessories and parts website reveals that the automaker doesn’t offer one).

yotatech.com Leentu Tent for Toyota Tacoma

Leentu has a target weight of under 150 pounds for the composite model; it’s aiming for under 100 pounds with the carbon fiber model. Both tent variations are designed to be set up and broken down by two people in a matter of minutes. They feature weatherproof shells, zippered windows, exterior and interior LEDs, and more than six feet of interior standing room, as well as a ventilation fan and high-density foam mattress. The composite tent is pre-wired for a solar panel; the carbon fiber Leentu comes with an integrated 60-watt panel. Power outlets include five-volt USB charge ports, a 120-volt AC receptacle, and a 12-volt auxiliary port.

Leentu pricing starts at $10,295 for the composite model and goes up to $13,995 for the carbon fiber unit. Leentu is offering discounts off of the final retail prices in exchange for early deposits.

Leentu will begin shipping tents in Q4 of this year. If all goes according to the company’s plans, it’ll start producing finished versions of its models for short-bed Tacomas in early 2019.

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Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his JK Forum profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including JK Forum and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Derek also contributes to other outlets. He started There Will Be Cars on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube to get even more automotive content out to fellow enthusiasts.

He can be reached at [email protected]

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